Friday, April 24, 2009

Keep It Or Kill It?

Websites that insist on spreading lame lists like this over twenty or thirty pages so they can get more ad clicks piss me the hell off. Still, Zap2It has put together a list of television shows that, as we approach May Sweeps and head towards an uncertain summer break, appear to be on the bubble for renewal next fall. From their list of almost thirty shows, these are my picks. If'n I were a network executive god type dude, which TV shows would I keep and which ones would I kill?

  • Dollhouse: MEGA AWESOME! I'm a Whedon fan. Can ya tell? It started rocky but has really hit a stride in recent episodes and I wanna see where it's going.
  • Castle: Formulaic. Predictable. Procedural. also? MEGA AWESOME! Katic is hot & Fillion is hilarious.
  • The Unusuals: Procedural, but unpredictable. Funny. Great cast. Kinda formula but has a quirky slant. I like it.
  • Lie to Me: Great cast. Interesting premise. Bad writing. I liked it at first, but it's already jumped the shark for me. You think you understand the characters one week, but next week they behave like pod people. No consistency. I still say keep it tho cuz Monica Raymund and Kelli Williams make business attire sexy hot.

  • Better Off Ted: never seen it. not interested.
  • Samantha Who: never seen it. not interested.
  • Surviving Suburbia: never seen it. not interested.
  • In the Motherhood: never seen it. not interested. not a mom.
  • Reaper: never seen it. Never heard about it before today. Looks mildly amusing, but I might have trouble suspending my disbelief.
  • Cold Case: This is still on? Very formulaic and repetitive. Depressing. Didn't like the regulars.
  • Without a Trace: This is still on? Very formulaic and repetitive. Depressing. Didn't like the regulars.
  • Everybody Hates Chris: This is still on? ...Wait. The entire CW Network is still on?
  • Sit Down, Shut Up: I try not to watch Fox - especially animated shows. The Simpsons should have been canceled around year seven. Fox kills the shows I like and keeps other crap going long after it should have died. FOX SUX.
  • Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles: I watched the first season, mostly cuz I like Summer Glau. Stopped watching around the finale when the big action scene consisted of an artsy use of stunt men jumping into a swimming pool with Johnny Cash music playing. If you can't afford regular fight scenes, explosions and gore, don't call it Terminator anything.
  • Chuck: I'm happy for Adam Baldwin getting a regular paying gig. Aside from that? DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE. I really don't care if Chuck gets the blonde spy chick. The entire premise is unbelievable. The humor is hokey and trite.
  • Gary Unmarried: Huh?
  • Harper's Island: Huh?
  • Eleventh Hour: Huh?
  • The Unit: Huh huh huh huh huh.. he said 'unit'
  • Privileged: Uh not really.
  • Medium: I used to like it. Fun if tedious premise. Nice cast. Tolerable writing early on. There just came a point where I could no longer believe what was going on. Suspension of disbelief flew out the window and I went with it.
  • New Adventures of Old Christine: I really wanted to like this.. for about 5 minutes. Then I really wanted to watch anything else. I tell ya, the Seinfeld alumni are cursed.
  • My Name Is Earl: I never wanted to like this. They lost me with the first episode. I don't care about the characters. I don't find the situations amusing - more like cringeworthy. The humor is forced and juvenile. The accents are annoying. The lack of intelligence on the part of the characters... just sad really. I understand it's trying to break new ground and be different, but I really don't enjoy the journey.
  • Parks and Recreation: I like Amy Poehler, but not enough to give this a try. The premise does not remotely interest me.
  • Worst Week: Note To Self. If I ever get to name a TV series, try not to put the word "worst" in the title.
  • Life: Note to self. If i ever get to name a TV series, try not to use a word that could be used to describe ANY other television series ever in the history of anything.
  • The Game: Note to self. If you ever get to name a TV series, don't start with the word 'the' and don't use a vague four letter word that'd look boring on a t-shirt.
I would also like to add Smallville and Heroes to the Kill list, although those two have been picked up for next season. I stopped watching Smallville around the second or third season, when it became obvious they were not trying to describe to us how he gets in the cape and long johns. This was admittedly not the Superman story of my youth. It was a retread that turned it into a weak-kneed soap opera. I liked where it started but I despised where it's gone. Recently I revisited it and watched a few recent episodes, witnessing Chloe marrying Jimmy Olsen. Since when was Jimmy Olsen ever married to anyone?

I'm currently still watching Heroes but I wish I could stop. What began as one of the most innovative and imaginative series to come along in some time has deteriorated into a convoluted and mixed up narrative that has no focus or drive or spirit any longer. This is by no means the fault of the actors who are struggling with scripts thrown at them by committees obviously more interested in appeasing product placement than what's required for the story. This show has literally been all over the map. It's overly reactionary to fan opinion. It repeatedly breaks its own rules regarding things like how powers work, usually changing powers based on the needs of plot convenience. Characters join and leave as the story needs it with only cursory explanations regarding motive and despite any common sense. I'd rather they kill off over half the cast, and then focus solely on a handful of survivors who would band together out of necessity and fear that united they survive but divided they'll be next. Keep the narrative more focused, driven, and cut down on the globe trotting. HRG must have frequent flyer miles coming out of his ass.

The only other prime time show that comes to mind which isn't mentioned above is Lost, which I'm happily addicted to and sadly it will end after one more season, but that's a good thing cuz it means the producers of this show know when to end it - when the story is done. Most tv shows do not know when they have worn out their welcome. I'm happy to report that Lost will leave us still wanting more, yet satiated that the tale the writers wanted to tell will be complete. So Lost would definitely stay in the KEEP category, but I understand with fond sadness why it must go when it does.

I used to like a lot more television than I do currently. I'm not sure if that's because I've changed; that maybe I've gotten older or my tastes have matured.. I'd prefer to blame it on the TV industry, which in many cases seems to be phoning it in and it's been like this for some time. The rare exceptions usually get canned, either for political strangeness that only men in suits would understand, or because good quality television costs more to produce, and for some reason advertisers don't want to support that when cheesy talk shows, fake news magazines, and unrealistic 'reality' game shows are cheaper with more stupid people watching who will buy the shit they're hocking. I'm obviously not a part of the demographic that networks want, so I watch television less and less.

That's probably a healthy thing, when you really think about it.

No comments: