Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open Letter To TV Land

I love my TV. I love my DVR. This week, as the new fall season gets under way, I have to make choices. The networks often help me by cutting a show in a matter of weeks (sometimes, just one). So, I have developed a formula to determine what new shows make the cut.

1. Thinking All Ladies Want The Same Show
Those are the stars of 2 Broke Girls. This show has so many things thrown into the promos, it absolutely kills me. First of all, telling me the brains behind Sex and The City is no longer a good thing. It's not that I didn't love the show, it's that I absolutely hated the movie. So, when people talk about SATC, all I can think about is the movies and their unfunny puns and ladies who refuse to just age gracefully.

Second, this also tries to add in a side of Friends - street-smart gal and spoiled rich girl living together and finding their way. Here's the thing about Friends: with the exception of the Thanksgiving episodes, I don't find the reruns funny. In fact, if it's late at night and I find that on TV, I watch it because it won't keep me in stitches. It puts me to sleep.

Third, this is created by Whitney Cummings. I have enjoyed her on those Comedy Central Roasts. I have not enjoyed the clips of her own show, Whitney. Sometimes, funny people don't work well on TV. If she can't get the show with her name in the title right, how can I trust her to make sure this other show works?

2. Thinking We're All Nostalgic
I LOVE Mad Men. Since it won't be back on until next year (boo!), I do want a little sixties in my life. It appears Pan Am may get it right. Subtle sexism, lovely costumes, cocktails on airplanes - oh, how I wish I could time travel!

Where does it go wrong?
The Playboy Club - where they put sexism's bunny tail right in your face. The not-quite-skimpy (by today's standards) costumes might appeal to the fellas, but the novelty will wear off - like how quickly a centerfold is forgotten. Wait. They are forgotten when the next magazine comes in, right? Anywho, the clips of this make it look cheap and light on the story lines. Plus, I don't like the idea that Hugh Hefner put the swing in the sixties. Because he hasn't changed. And that's creepy.

3. Thinking We Love A Remake
I am just old enough to kind of remember Charlie's Angels before it was turned into a movie. Now, I tolerated the movie because I think Drew Barrymore is super cute. But here's where a reboot goes wrong: taking the title of an old series, but putting in new characters in the same gig (and the same boss). I'll take a reboot, like Dallas.
Why? Because it brings back the original characters in a new generation. I won't think twice about watching this next summer (the perfect time for a show like this when I spend my days watching reruns of reality TV on Bravo). I don't know how this can go wrong, unless they show JR fumbling his way through Twitter on his iPhone. Note to Dallas show runners: PLEASE DON'T DO THAT.

4. Thinking We Miss All Things LOST
OK. I do. A little. But this just confuses and scares me.
Why are Benjamin Linus and Jesus fighting crime? Oh. They're not actually Benjamin Linus and Jesus? I don't believe you. I don't believe they're not on an island trying to avoid a crowd trying to nail one of them to a cross.

That show's real name is Person of Interest and its executive producer also ran LOST - J.J. Abrams. I cannot jump on board here. Instead of remembering that fantastic first episode of LOST, I remember the mediocre episodes that followed in other seasons. Can't do this.

LOST's "lost" seasons - where the castaways seemed to flashback with no forward motion (and nearly made me stop watching) - has made me realize EVERY series needs and end date. Otherwise, I tune in week after week and wonder where it's going like it's some sad relationship and I hear my baby clock ticking. I have felt that way with How I Met Your Mother. I am hopeful that now that the show has its end date (2013), we'll get down to the business of the show title and it will lead to a Barney spin-off. Why? Because the world NEEDS Barney Stinson.

You see, my DVR isn't exactly barren. I have plenty of beloved shows that don't (usually) disappoint. So for a new show to get me, it has to really get me. Here's what I'm adding this season:

  • Up All Night
  • Suburgatory
  • Revenge
  • American Horror Story

Anything else will have to start getting the kind of press that convinces me the show will be around for more than a few weeks. I hate not know what happens to a show in which I invested my sofa time!

I don't know if any of the powers that get these shows on air will read this, but if they do, I hope they take notes. I can't take another bad show.
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