Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TV is Broken - The 2008 Season Sucks

Last season’s writers’ strike caused nearly every non-reality show to have very short runs last season. Between the strike and Kiefer Southerland’s DWI conviction, 24 didn’t even have a season. As a result, TV fans across the nation have been bored with reality shows about modeling (yawn), or worse, they had to go get social lives.

But after 18 months of boredom, die-hards from coast to coast ditched their friends, upgraded their DVRs and got ready for an awesome 2008 Fall season. What they got instead was a bad Sex in the City ripoff, two mediocre X Files clones, and some terrible plotlines for their favorite returning shows.

TV is broken, here’s our proof:

The Worst New Sitcom:
Kath & Kim

It is almost impossible to get viewers behind a show with entirely unlikeable characters. Even when you do it perfectly (It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia), you’re limited to a niche audience at best. Kath & Kim chronicles a spoiled, self-involved woman-child and her enabling mother.

If we wanted to watch annoying people who are in love with themselves, we would have watched The Simple Life.

The Worst New Serial:
Eleventh Hour

With more interesting actors than J.J. Abrams’ Fringe, and with Jerry Bruckheimmer at the helm, we’d hoped this would be interesting. Instead we found an utterly boring, sort of sci-fi show that in its debut chose to get at the forefront of the stemcell/cloning controversy. Of course nobody likes to be preached at, and they’re about six years too late to join the debate.

The Worst Returning Serial:
Prison Break

This is what happens when TV executives get greedy, pure and simple. Prison Break was never supposed to last more than two seasons. But it was making money, so when some producer needed a new chinchilla-skin car cover, they asked “does this really have to be about people breaking out of prison?” Then they started bringing people back from the dead, and not wanting to spend much on the makeup budget, lasered off the ginormous tattoo covering Wentworth Miller’s top half. You’ve jumped the shark, please get off TV now.

The Most Annoying Plotline:

Every season is referred to by the show’s creators as a “volume.” First season was “Generations,” followed by “Exodus,” and now we are in the middle of “Villians.” Clearly Tim Kring is a fan of Empire Strikes Back, but who wants to tune in week-after-week to watch their favorite characters get their back-sides handed to them?

To compensate for such wimpy heroes, every time one of them dies, they are miraculously brought back (or turned into a triplet). As long as they keep this up, they’re going to lose tens-of-thousands of regular viewers every week.

Final Thoughts
In The 40 Year Old Virgin Steve Carrell asked “is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?” And when it comes to writing compelling TV shows, the answer is a resounding yes. TV writers’ brains have atrophied from not working for so long. And we’re pretty sure they’ll get their groove back, but we have two questions…by the time they do, will anyone still be watching? And, anyone want to buy a used DVR?

Call us corporate shills, but it’s times like these, we’re seriously glad we have Netflix.

Original here

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