What I’m Riding . . . 4 television series I wish would pull the plug

Bitten . . . with a touch of hockey

Bitten . . . with a touch of hockey

I believe there’s room for all kinds of television.  Quality shows that make us feel something as well as shows that we just put on as background noise so we won’t feel so alone.  I treat my shows the way I treat my books:  once I start, I follow it through to the end.  I feel I owe it to all the folks who worked so hard getting their projects to the masses.  Which is why I’m so glad shows like Revenge and Nurse Jackie have decided to call it quits.  The story arc of Revenge had become so tedious and who cares, that by the time they put Amanda/Emily and Jack together–which I had wanted to see since episode one, as the writers wanted me and every other viewer to want until they went way way off track and had Emily hopping into a new man’s bed every season–the chemistry between the actors had fizzled out so completely it was anti-climactic.  It was like what the writers did to Ross and Rachel at the end of Friends’ run.  It’s like begging your mom for an ice cream cone all summer and on labor day she hands you one that’s half-licked and melting down your hands.  Yum; thanks.

The following is my list of four shows I wish would clear some space for something new to come along, cuz it’s time to toss out the blood-stained granny briefs to make room in the panty drawer for a few new Soma hi-cuts:

1. The Vampire Diaries–Oh, how happy I was when Nina Dobrev, who portrays lead character Elena, announced she was leaving this limping CW drama.  Surely they wouldn’t continue without their star.  Even McDreamy-killing Shonda Rhimes knew it was time to vacate Private Practice when Kate Walsh pulled out.  Not so, TVD.  They’ve decided to stick around for another season, along with anemic spin-off The Originals, both of which I begrudgingly watch.  I mean, I want to stop, but I can’t.  Have to see where it ends.  Why is the show so bad?  First off, everybody gets killed, but nobody ever dies.  It’s like the Road Runner cartoon.  Everyone runs around chanting in Latin, afraid of . . . what?  They can’t die.  There have been more necks snapped on this show than a Perdue chicken farm.  And that hideous crunching apple noise that sounds every time a vamp bites his or her wrist to feed someone to bring them back to life is beyond laughable.  If there’s no fear of loss or death or ultimate consequence, that sucks all the passion out of watching.  Oh, wait, there are people who die:  parents.  No one on the show has any parents, they all died.  Then there’s all the characters to keep straight.  There’s humans, good vamps and bad vamps, good witches and bad witches, and . . . one werewolf.  Poor thing has no wolves to relate to.  Not that he gets to be a wolf all that much as of late.  Or screw Caroline, now that she’s moved on to Stefan.  Do we even know what this show is about anymore?  Where the tension comes from, the suspense, the investment?  I truly don’t care what happens to any of them.  I don’t know who’s fighting for what or why.  What happened to that intriguing story of a quaint little American town where two vampire brothers decide to settle and call home for a few years before everyone else notices they never age or eat in public?  Why people are rapidly disappearing since they came along?  The human girl they both fall in love with?  Her friends whose lives they insinuate themselves into?  How do they assimilate themselves into this world seamlessly?  This show has gotten so off track the writer’s can’t even seem to keep up with the mess they made.  Complete overhaul needed.  Or you could just bring Steven R. McQueen back (just please stop forcing him and Bonnie down our throats; it’s baffling how loyal the creators have been to the couple with the least chemistry ever on the show).

2. Mistresses–Who are the mistresses?  Did ABC think it a titillating title yet too polarizing an idea to actually build a show around four women dating married men?  Yeah, yeah, they explained it away by giving the Webster definition of mistress: a woman who has power, authority, or ownership.  But come on, we all know the marketing team wanted us to think of four bitches sleeping with other women’s husbands.  How refreshing the show would be if that were the case.  Would we root for them?  Or anticipate the day when their deceitful little worlds would come crumbling down?  Would we see ourselves?  Or the skank who stole our man?  Instead we got smart and sexy lawyer Savannah, married to a perfectly devoted, successful and hard-working (not to mention gorgeous and Australian) man who sleeps with her colleague.  We’re supposed to believe she loves him more than the Australian.  Like, if you love Hugh Jackman, you probably aren’t also going to be eye-balling Sidney Poitier.  Just saying.  Savannah’s sister Joss?  Ugly.  Yeah, I said it.  Ugly.  But they made her the hot pants of the show.  She gets Justin Hartley.  She gets Shannyn Sossamon.  She gets the sexy French boss.  And now that Alyssa Milano’s left the show, she also gets the hot Australian.  Enough already.  Then there’s psychiatrist Karen who sleeps with her patient, then gets inappropriate with his son.  And mother-of-the-year April, who keeps from her daughter that the father she thought was dead is really alive.  On the page this sounds like a deliciously campy ride, right?  Naw.  Their pathetic whining makes them seem like the friend who calls you at two am to cry about that guy she met in the bar who won’t call her back after she screwed him in the bathroom.  Just hang up and go back to sleep.

3.  Bitten–Oh, Bitten, you started with such promise.  Hottie Elena (because all hot female vampires and werewolves are named Elena, see #1) has defected from her wolf pack to live a normal life in the big city with a gorgeous hotshot boyfriend.  She has a wolf husband whom she abandoned, equal hottie Greyston Holt who looks so much like Washington Capitals’ Braden Holtby I keep waiting for him to whip out a hockey stick and some blocker pads.  He’s her former college professor who fell in love with her and turned her.  Someone is slaying werewolves, and her pack lures Elena back to help them find and stop the evildoer.  Great first season.  Perfect mixture of realism and fantasy, suspense, gore and romance.  And the sex scenes?  Like something you might find on HBO.  With all the men shirtless and fighting each other on the front lawn, it also had just the right amount of homoerotic spice.  Television for everyone.  Then along came season two.  Elena’s human boyfriend is dead and now she’s back with her ex and the pack.  She’s been kidnapped by some evil scientist who wants to breed more female wolves because apparently Elena is the last female werewolf on earth.  She spends a lot of time running through his lab, breathing heavy and making Maddie from Dance Moms faces.  I know it’s on Syfy, but now it’s just starting to look like an over-the-top version of Star Trek.  Yeah.  That bad.

4.  Survivor–Now before you question my judgment, consider this:  Survivor is in its thirtieth season.  Name some winners.  Quick, without use of Google or Bing or any other Internet cheat sheet.  Rich Hatch, Tina Wesson, Ethan Zohn, Vecepia, the girl who dates Ethan, the old Chinese man, Sandra (who won twice), Boston Rob and Amber, Parvati, Tyson, the guy who did some porn, the Survivor China winner who we remember now because he turned into an alcoholic and went on Dr. Phil, Aris (because I thought he was so cute), and I think I’m tapped out now.  I didn’t even get half of them.  I’m sure if I sat and thought I might be able to figure out a few more.  Yes.  The nerd guy–Cochran.  And, of course, our latest winner, Mike.  I forget who won last season already.  And that’s my point.  Those beginning episodes were some fifteen years ago, and I can recall first and last names.  Is Survivor losing its luster?  Or are we just used to it now?  One thing I’m so sick of:  hating who wins.  Who wants to see evil rewarded with a million bucks? (At least I was happy when Mike won this year.  He started out a real whack job, but I ended up admiring his tenacity and will to come out on top when everyone was gunning for him.)  Remember when Woo lost to that asshole a few seasons ago?  Can’t remember his name, but I remember thinking life was so unfair.  Yes, Woo is getting a second chance next season, and I know I’ll watch, and I know Woo won’t win.  How about a new concept:  toss a rule in there that NO ONE is allowed to form an alliance.  You just have to vote with your gut.  How interesting would that be?  Watching people figure out all on their own who they want to spend time with.  Would all the ugly people go first?  The lazy ones?  The ones who lose challenges?  The trouble makers?  Where would the trouble makers even be without their spineless minions? Would good prevail?  Would someone who deserves the million actually win it?  Another show that needs a good creativity shot in the ass.  Or, they could always bring on Steven R. McQueen.


About whatimriding

Born and raised in Philly, I spent several years in Las Vegas, working at the House of Blues and writing about the city. I now reside in Tampa, where I continue to work on novels, scripts and short stories and tearfully await former Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier's return to the bay area.
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