I love me some gud TV.
Because I love TV so much, I keep trying so very hard to see what everyone else sees. I keep trying to appreciate the brilliance, the intellect (if it exists), the sheer marvel, the comedic genius, the “tour de force” accolades and awards and so on these shows have received by their viewership. I don’t know why I bother. I simply cannot see what everyone else seems to see:
1. 30 Rock: Supposedly a lot of rapid-fire, witty banter courtesy between some Liz Lemon, eye-rolling character and the quirky bunch of bozos, including Alec Baldwin, who work with her and against her on some sort of comedy sketch show. I caught a couple of episodes involving Tracy Morgan playing Tracy Morgan pondering his ego with the snotty secretary from Ally McBeal, AND there was Salma Hayek who snidely remarks on Liz’s penchant for sniffing her own farts in her Snuggie. What am I missing here?
2. Grey’s Anatomy: While I confess to being moderately entertained by Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, if anything for its ham-fisted attempt at intrigue (and those misty, faraway expressions between Olivia and Fitz during the initial seasons), I cannot get into her hospital intern melodrama where everyone’s fucking around with everyone else to the point of confusion…and the McDreamy, McSteamy, McInBetweeny…All of that. We get it.
3. America’s Next Top Model, American Idol, Top Chef, and all the other Topping shows: Let’s just be real here…The only reason why people obsess over this utter caca is because we secretly crave drama that doesn’t affect us personally (which is why Grey’s Anatomy is successful), and there’s just nothing like the drama that happens within a competition. I’m convinced that more Americans would watch the Olympics if it were turned into a season-long, “backstage” event, one in which the judges were snarky jerkfaces, loudly expressing disdain rather than mere number scores, and the competitors had camera time to fight and sleep with each other.
4. Community: I know, who doesn’t like Joel McHale? Don’t confuse The Soup McHale with fictional series McHale though. For some reason, believe it or not, that very same sarcasm he displays so well grows tiresome. Also, as someone who works at a community college, I want to know why this series is no longer about non-trad. students attending a community college and the challenges they face, the community they create (I get the title, yeah). Instead, it’s a series of “zany” adventures at a community college loaded with cutesy pop cultural subtext starring “zany” characters who were once, supposedly, students taking classes at a community college.
5. The Following: Oh, what a premise this show had — Serial killer inspiring a cult of wannabe serial killers. And Kevin Bacon…And James Purefoy! What could possibly go wrong? I liked the first few episodes, but the gimmick and the acting grew tedious. Even Kevin Bacon grew blah, and he doesn’t go blah for me much (stick to movies, Baconator).
6. Two and a Half Men: Remember when Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen were relevant…back in 1980-something? How about when Ashton Kutcher was remotely funny back during That 70’s Show (Oh, Demi, what did you do?).
7. Pretty Little Liars: I can’t even…
8. Glee: Maybe it’s just the auto-tune recordings of the stars’ singing…Maybe it’s the songs chosen (how many ’80’s anthems or contemp. pop shite can we handle?)…Maybe, just maybe, it’s the ridiculous notion that a school’s glee CLUB gets so much funding from the county that they have the best of the best in everything, from stage, to lighting, to musicians, to costuming… Ryan Murphy doesn’t seem to care much about the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief, but, apparently, he knows what teens like (kind of a creepy thought since this is coming from the Nip/Tuck guy).
9. American Horror Story: Speaking of Ryan Murphy… How is it a horror series does away with the horror at some point during the season and still keeps an audience? I think AHS is the most schizo show on television. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. Season three just up and decided that the gimmick would be how many amazing actresses can we cast in a series and grant unique characters to? Then it just became the Jessica Lange-soft-focus-lens showcase. In season 4 — Freak Show —it became a drinking game of How Many Times Will Lange Play Marlene Dietrich Muttering Her Way Through a David Bowie Song? Next season, viewers will be graced with the presence of a certain Lady Gaga. Just. No.
10. Bates Motel: Oh, my God…I don’t think I’ve ever been so annoyed by Vera Farmiga in a role as I have been with her screeching rendition of Norma Bates. It’s disappointing simply because Farmiga usually plays desperate mothers in bad situations very well (see Joshua and Orphan for examples). At least the original Norma was dead throughout the movie. And Freddie Highmore, an adorable kiddo, just isn’t all-that convincing as a would-be-gonna-be psychopath.
11. New Girl: AKA One Girl, Three Guys, Hilarity Ensues. Zooey Deschanel is awfully cute, but can we just admit, oh so carefully, oh so cautiously, that…well, hell…she can’t act. She has the wide-eyed, eccentric-nut thing down, but she delivers her lines as if she’s memorized an audit notice from the IRS. Girl. Cannot. Act.
12. Two Broke Girls: AKA The Kat Demmings and a Blonde Show. One’s an ex-heiress down on her luck, the other’s a crass waitress. Together, they’re new besties and business partners-to-be. End of fun-ness and fun times.
Honorable Mentions (Shows that I’m trying so hard to enjoy…but I may need further convincing):
True Detective: Is it deep and meaningful? Are these characters worthwhile? Is the dialogue profound? I still have no idea. Maybe I’m just…dumb. Season one was hypnotic and weird and scary. And Matthew McConaughey was extremely weird. Season two is a mixed bag of police procedural and cliches…and Vince Vaughn playing himself as an ex-gangster, his own cliche. I just don’t know if I like it or not.
Ray Donovan: Horrible L.A. family doing horrible L.A. things to one another. At the center, Liev Schreiber, who plays the title role, a fixer and perpetually troubled antihero. There is not a single person worth liking here, but every so often, there’s a truly righteous moment of poetic justice, so I persist.
Once Upon a Time: I really enjoyed the first season of the fairy tale series, but it just got so Disney-fied and convoluted with its many story arcs. Then there were suddenly so many damned fictional story characters tossed in because What If, and it all just grew quite annoying.