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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The problem with TV shows; an Open Letter to Hollywood (and Hawaii) 

It's the way of the ... um... TV series world. It's always going to be this way, and I know that. I know it. I just don't want to accept it. It seems, well, stupid.

So let's say there's a show, for example, Alias (one of my favoritest in the WORLD, okay?). It shows up, it makes splashes, and critics and the public alike rave about it. It's fawned over and the story line arcs perfectly. You can see where we're gonna go with the whole series, likely broken down into seasons where you get a hint, or at least have some sort of inkling of what's coming that season. None of this pansy British season either, a real season. A season with 24 episodes, one that takes up SIX discs on DVD, plus maybe a few extras.

So we've got Alias Season 1, and it establishes a problem that needs some kind of resolution, right? It's got something to prove and it has to stick around at least a year to get through it. But every week there's something akin to closure. It's a full story within the 24 piece story. It's ... an episode. That fits into the grand scheme of things and it makes sense both big and small! It's great!

And then we span a grander story over let's say about 2 seasons, in order to give the writers some time to come up with (oh dear god!) a way to extend the arc because YAY! The show is coming back for year 3! They have to find a resolution that's not really a resolution because OH NO! The story arc changes. It just evolves into season 3. That's fine, right? You keep the characters, or at least most of them. Maybe add one. If you're really desperate, you might add two. And get rid of a couple. Okay. That's totally fine with me.

But WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THE WHOLE FIFTH SEASON? Seriously? The reason I actually watched the damn show in the first place is because Sydney kicked ass. She was a SPY. She was Bond in a TV series with a better body, sparklier eyes and a higher pitch voice, shame about the cars though. She was all intrigue and wow! That hair! And didn't you just want to know how she would get herself out of the situations she ALWAYS found herself in? The first couple seasons, yeah they were all about Sydney. But they weren't ALL ABOUT SYDNEY. Later seasons just get way too incestuous and totally and completely, "Yeah this could totally never happen to anyone." Sydney never got out of situations, she just well, got lucky without even faking like she was trying. It was depressing, but I still watched it.

Same thing with Lost at the moment. Truly, I hate it this season, but I cannot resist. Its a disease. Help me. Right, so. The first two seasons, WOW. Great! I was completely hooked and (ahem) watched episode after episode that had been downloaded. (HEY, that's legal in Austria. I was being a law abiding citizen.) The stories were weaving. Connections were established and we were getting somewhere. FINALLY. After 47 episodes, we were truckin! And then BAM! Like a golf shoe to the face! Episode 48 - EH??

I'm thoroughly upset what with practically LOSING more than half the cast in the interest (huh??) of picking up about 10 more in the others' camp. Great, thanks. And the end of one of the more recent episodes - maybe two weeks back? Seriously, why would it behoove anyone to add some geography at this point? Wouldn't it have been SO much better if he got to the top of the hill and there was a goddamn CONCORDE hangin' out up there? (Yeah, I KNOW it's a plane that only flew for British and French companies, go with me here.)

I can't stand to watch it, and I just moan constantly while its on. The batterings and the melodrama and the us vs. them crapola. Bring back the freaky island weirdness and put all the plane crash people in the same place again. Drown the freakos that keep stealing boats, or just isolate them on the OTHER FUCKING ISLAND. And please, with the love triangle - Stop. It. Now. Can we get back to the whole concept that sold me on the first season? The flashbacks, bring them back, the ones that are actually not crap and intertwine in the plot of the episode, and added bonuses when they intertwine with other crashed peoples' personal backgrounds. There was hallucinations that I loved so much. And what was that polar bear doing on a tropical island? Oh, and this whole, "Hey here's what's goin on with this guy in the first episode, NOW WAIT just long enough to forget what the hell's going on with him (3 weeks?) to see him again!" new thing - yeah it's annoying. Stop it. I'm serious. Stop. Now.

Oh and I have to wait til FEBRUARY for the next episode? Hmph. No sir, I don't like it.

Just to make sure there's no confusion here, I wanted to let the people that make The Bachelor know that they're totally winning me over. But really, they're only winning me over because it's so bizarre and asinine. Also, I cannot complain that this season of Gilmore Girls is all wrong because, well I'll be honest here, I have only seen a couple episodes from season 6 before I started watching the new stuff. I have no idea what style those people fucked up. Yet. DVDs are being ordered.

Hey, and CSI people, just how many versions of this damn show are absolutely needed? Its just like when poor Regis had to host Who Wants to be a Millionaire? every night. Cut it out! If it's good once, do you really think it has to be good 17 times? FFS, stop it already! I'll watch one version, but you're really pushing your luck to get more than that. Now, which one is the one with the blonde chick from The West Wing?

Stop selling out or what ever the hell it is you TV show making people are doing, would ya please? If you have a style that sells, STICK WITH IT and stop infuriating your fans.


Also, a personal note to Thomas Schlamme and Aaron Sorkin: xoxo I still adore your shows. The West Wing was just never the same after you two left. (I still watched though. It's this thing I can't stop. I'm sorry.) I have the latest episode of Studio 60 tivo'd. I'll get back to you about that one.

Whew! I feel better. You?

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