There’s very little out there, in TV land, that knocks us on our butts, where we say “Wow! That’s so cool…I haven’t seen that before.”
Case in point: TV programming. With the rare exception of Tina Fey ( I just love her irreverent wit), there are few writers of television material I find truly “cutting edge.” In fact, most try to imitate a model they find successful and then they run that one into the ground, crafting never-ending spin-off‘s of it.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the multiple personality “Housewives” series, as in “Housewives of Dallas, New Orleans, New York, and New Jersey” (For brevity purposes, I’m using a collective title here–just too redundant, otherwise.)
I haven’t seen one yet on “Housewives of Rhode Island or North Carolina,” (my two home states) and I wonder whyJ
This is followed by the shameless pandering to a similar theme in “Dance Moms” and “Tots in Tiaras,” intended to capitalize on a mother’s supposed natural obsession to see her kids in lights (read that–raking in the cash.)
But for some of us, the adolescent genre eerily borders on child marketeering, and too many of us recall the Jon Benet Ramsey horror.
Then, too, there’s that Sunday night phenom based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It reaches back into time, captures the fairy tale, and tries to weave its storyline through a modern-day scenario. Does it get confusing? Sure–I still haven’t figured it out. I don’t know who the protagonist is…the antagonist…and I got so damned confused, I just left it all. But I still recall the visuals of the Mayor’s sneer and curling lips (I hope she’s the villain.)
Next, there’s “Alcatraz“–a real hummer, I might add. Husband and I watched 4 episodes and tho’ he is a retired correctional officer, neither one of us could make heads or tails out of its theme: Strange happening years ago on the island of Alcatraz where sits the old prison (a very cool place, I might add, if one’s not a guard or a prisoner.)
According to the story line, some thirty years ago, the prisoners were supposedly being shuttled via a ferry (have to be–prison’s on an island) to another location, when something terrible happened (they never quite say what or we missed that segment.)
Now, flash forward many years and these same prisoners are cropping up–singly and in sequence, to confound today’s police with signature crimes. Who solves each case–or attempts to? A super-sleuth team comprised of a young attractive female ‘detective’ and her partner–overweight, albeit brilliant, data-driven genius whose mind is akin to a computer/repository of “all things criminal.”
He makes collecting data on criminals who intrigue him his hobby. As such, he knows their crimes….their histories…all of their peccadilloes, and this is often how they beat those same societal outlaws: He knows a certain man has a penchant for key lime pie (so they track him to the place in the city that offers the best). You get the drift.
Now, what’s even more amazing?…Those same criminals haven’t aged a bit, with the passage of time!!! (They may have told us the reason for that, too, and again, if they did, we missed it.)
So, I started this post with saying I love J Tina Fey. I repeat…I do. Why? She’s uncomplicated. In her one-line zingers, on “30 Rock,” she gets to the heart and the funny bone of most of us.
There’s no tortured story line to follow (like Hansel and Gretel’s path of crumbs that actually were their undoing.) And the program doesn’t make me feel stupid, as if I’m uttering that Marmaduke reaction whenever the dog’s massively confused.
In short, I get Tina Fey, and I don’t get these others.
She’s also just so damned honest. And I really appreciate that, in this day and age, when all these others want to pass off ‘sludge’ as some kind of ‘entertainment.’
But what do you think? What programs do you most like (and stand up for those I slammed, if you feel strongly about them.) Give me your reasons why they hit on all of your cylinders…Variety is what makes…(you know the rest.)