Archive for May, 2013
I’ve been watching Mad Men pretty much since day one.
At its best the AMC drama is truly superlative. The dialogue is like great theater. The acting stunning. The mood of the show evocative. Mad Men is one of those shows that makes you feel smarter for having watched it. It’s a class act.
But is it just me or has Mad Men Season 6 done very little but tread water this season? Has complacency, and dare I say it, arrogance, replaced the show’s energy?
Take Don Draper for example, Mad Men’s womanizer in chief. We know Don cheats, it’s at the core of his DNA, and has been a key aspect of Mad Men since the very first episode. But this season Don’s adultery just seems unnecessary and actually kind of boring. Am I the only person who started fast-forwarding through the scenes of Don sleeping with his neighbor Sylvia? At this point Don’s cheating has gone beyond caddish behavior and into the realm of pure unpleasantness. It’s also really repetitive.
American Idol has only been off our screens for about five minutes and it’s still been dominating the pop culture headlines all week!
After a lackluster season 12 which saw ratings plummet to an all time low, and a panel of judges no one liked, rumors recently surfaced that Idol is planning a very big step for its 13th year. All the current celebrity judges are out – and in their place will be a new panel comprising of FORMER Idol contestants.
The names currently being bandied around include Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aitken and Adam Lambert and yesterday reports surfaced that Hudson’s deal is essentially done. So is the story true? And is this a good move? Here’s my take…
It started out with so much hype and hoopla. And yet this week, less than 18 months after its launch, the lights will finally dim for Smash, a show that NBC once viewed as their next big thing.
I’ve written about Smash a few times here at Remote Patrolled and it’s no secret that I’m sad to see the show come to an end. Smash had its issues but then most shows do – especially when they’re trying to break new ground. If the alternative is CBS style slop like NCIS that pulls in 20 million viewers a week, give me an ambitious failure any day.
While I’m disappointed that Smash is ending, I’m happy that it’s at least finishing in the right way. The story of Bombshell, the show’s main musical, is coming to at an end, as is the second show of the series, Hit List. The main characters’ stories have all been largely wrapped up. If Smash had run for a third season it would likely have had to start with an almost new slate of storylines. This is a good time to end the show.
Sometimes you do have to wonder at the thinking behind network decisions!
We’re currently in the heart of May. The broadcast network ‘season’ is pretty much at an end, with season finales airing left and right. And yet the nets are still intent on premiering a handful of new shows. To which I say… why?
A couple of weeks ago ABC launched Family Tools. I had a feeling the show would struggle and sure enough it was ABC’s lowest rated comedy premiere to date. After 2 weeks on the air the series has already been cancelled. The ax has also fallen on How To Live With Your Parents which launched in early April. Hannibal meanwhile barely has a pulse.
Next week ABC is launching the crime drama Motive, a generic procedural that even TNT would reject as too vanilla. Fox meanwhile has the long delayed Goodwin Games, starring the criminally under appreciated Becki Newton whose career spiral since Ugly Betty has been shocking. And speaking of troubled shows, NBC will finally unveil Save Me, the Anne Heche starrer that’s been on the shelf since forever.
Talk about nine lives!
Here’s the preview for The Killing, the jet black drama series that returns to AMC on Sunday June 2nd for it’s third season.
Hmm, but wasn’t The Killing cancelled by the network last July? Well yes it was, but thanks to the increased clout of Netflix, a co-production deal was struck, and The Killing is back!
The murder mystery drama has certainly been through quite a journey these last couple of years. Launched with big hoopla in the summer of 2011, The Killing was a reasonable hit for the upscale network – though more on the scale of Mad Men than The Walking Dead of course. The show followed mismatched detectives Linden and Holder as they investigated the grisly murder or Rosie Larsen in a constantly rain soaked Seattle. The Killing was atmospheric, gritty, full of twists and turns and often it has to be said, very slow.
I liked season 1 – and so did many of the critics – but then came THAT finale, and the show’s fatal mistake. They didn’t resolve the murder. And the viewer backlash was immense as audiences realized they’d have to sit through another 12 episodes to find out who actually killed Rosie!
I sat season More >
This week I read an interesting story on the industry website TV News Check. The basic thrust – Fox are considering a new plan whereby they would air original episodes of shows ALL year round – with NO repeats?
The reasoning is simple. Ratings for all 5 of the broadcast networks have been falling – hard! CBS has remained fairly stable but NBC, ABC and Fox are all in a downward spiral – just look at how low the bar for series renewals has become recently. Nashville and Revenge will probably get more series even though they’re both currently scoring around a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo. NBC will probably bring back Parks and Recreation which scores around 3 million viewers a week. In years past all of these shows would have been cancelled by now.
Meanwhile cable is booming. Shows like Breaking Bad, American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy attract major buzz and regularly out-rate everything on The CW – and often NBC. And then there are the big guns – Game of Thrones, True Blood, The Walking Dead and pretty much all the USA and TNT dramas – that totally dominate their network counterparts. Add in the juiced up More >
American Idol – season 12. What happened?
For a season that started so strong, how did TV’s formerly biggest music show end so miserably. Ratings are down drastically year-to-year, the judging panel is falling apart, the show feels exhausted and NBC’s The Voice is thrashing Idol in ratings AND buzz. Personally, as a huge Idol fan, I’ve checked out.
So what went wrong? Here’s what I think are the five main flaws of Idol this season: