As the crazy weather keeps us all locked in, and the winter TV hiatus continues for what seems like an eternity, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned from my dearest telly this year. Basically, I haven’t learned much. But here it is anyway.
1. It has been proven once again that quality doesn’t guaranty success… And “SyFy” blows.
This is where I complain about the cancelation of three shows I was deeply fond of. It was very sad to see a show as good as Terriers not be able to find an audience. But unfortunately, it happens. And there are very few networks that will give a low rated show a second chance. It’s a very sad loss, but it was a pleasure watching it.
As for Caprica and Stargate Universe, I just don’t get it. Sure, these shows where nowhere near being ratings juggernauts, but they were two of the best written and best made shows on SyFy, and good shows on this channel are scarce. Where these shows cancelled to make budgetary room for Chupacabra: The Revenge? Also, the Stargate Universe cast learned about their show’s cancellation via twitter. How tacky is that?
Fuck off, “SyFy”.
2. If you’re going to make a comeback, instead of resorting to infamy and controversy, kick ass.
I originally thought I’d end up not liking Nikita. To my surprise, I deeply love it now and I’m crossing my fingers for the show to be renewed because it’s gotten so much better. But that’s not what this point is about.
Remember Devon Sawa, star of Final Destination, Idle Hands, Eminem’s Stan music video, and 90s teen mag cover boy? He made a long disappearing act but reappeared in 2010 on Nikita as Owen Elliot, a dangerous “Division” (that agency name is still dumb as hell) agent who later becomes Nikita’s ally.
Not only has the introduction of Owen made of Nikita a more well rounded character and secured better action scenes for the show, but also skinny pretty boy Devon Sawa shows up all grown up and fully capable of pulling this off:
And he proceeds to continue kicking ass and display all those good old acting chops of his.
In an era when fame is achieved through infamy and comebacks are achieved through PR, scandal, rehab, or the ultra lame sex tape, this guy chose to look for a good role and do a good job at it.
Kudos to the Nikita writers for creating such an interesting character, and kudos to Devon Sawa for taking the high road and making a very dignified comeback. Very impressive.
3. 3D is no longer the source of all evil.
My long, tragic history with 3D was addressed here. But also, I finally tested a Samsung LED 3D TV and it was very impressive, despite a little bit of eye strain and the crappy automatic 2D to 3D conversion.
4. The Movie Network, Movie Central, FX Latin America and Canada have done right by me, again.
The Movie Network and Movie Central originally aired Regenesis, one of my favorite shows ever. And despite all my intentions to ban anything related to Beverly Hills 90210 from my life, these two channels began airing Call Me Fitz this year, a show headlined by Jason Priestly as Richard Fitzpatrick, a used-car salesmen with no moral compass and all the shenanigans he and his weirdo co-workers and friends get into.
Call Me Fitz began airing on FX in Latin America and I refused to watch it on general principle. That is, until last month, when I was bored out of my mind and decided to give it a shot.
Call Me Fitz is now my second favorite comedy, the first being Community, and it’s been picked up for a second season. Give it a shot! Pretty please?
5. Space gives me fighting, and now I’m all about MMA, but still not about TUF.
I’ve always been a fan of martial arts, but I could never get into The Ultimate Fighter. And because of this, I never paid much attention to Mixed Martial Arts. So two weeks ago, I was having a bout of insomnia and decided to watch some telly. And to my surprise, Latin American channel Space was airing the best of Strikeforce, the mixed martial arts organization events originally aired by Showtime and the NBC.
Watching those guys beat the crap out of each other is not only hypnotic, it’s also quite beautiful. I haven’t seen enough to have identified my favorite fighters, but I’m definitely a new MMA fan.
That being said, I still don’t like The Ultimate Fighter.
6. Sometimes, consistency pays off.
Burn Notice, Vampire Diaries, and Criminal Minds have been consistently good from the very beginning and their latest seasons are no exception. Most importantly, they keep getting better, particularly Burn Notice. I’ve never seen Mad Men and Bones, but based on public reaction, they seem to still be going strong.
It’s good to have a few shows to rely on.
7. When mommy and daddy go at it, a collective “Yeww!!” rumbles in the distance.
Cuddy and House hooking up on House was all kinds of wrong. Their relationship was actually interesting when they weren’t together.
8. Satisfying all viewers can be achieved.
The threat of Olivia and Peter hooking up on Fringe has been clear and present from the get go. Many supported this impending hookup, and many opposed it (including me). By having Peter hooking up with FauxLivia, and later have the real Olivia return to her universe, find out about the hookup and ultimately reject Peter, I’m pretty sure all parties in this hookup debate have been satisfied for the time being.
I can’t believe I just wrote “hookup” these many times…
9. If ratings parallel animal instinct, “cannibalism” is alive and well.
Because who knew The Walking Dead would end up being so damn popular? I loved this show. It was deeply flawed – particular episodes 3 and 4 – but I loved it anyway. I have this very pretentious and patronizing theory about what went wrong (allow me a moment of pure self-delusion): My guess is the show would have been a lot better had it been written by British writers, because they’re actually used to writing and developing stories very efficiently for very short seasons. Yes, I think good British TV writers are better than good American TV writers, and most of the flaws this show were due to the writing.
But I loved it anyway and will continue watching it.
10. When in doubt, stick to what you know.
Of all the new shows this years, I only kept Terriers, Caprica, and Nikita. Two of those are gone, and I’m back to watching the same stuff I’ve been watching for the past two years.
And that’s all for this year, folks. More crap to come… You’ve been warned.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!