We Need To Talk…

An open letter to the networks RE: 2015-2016 New Fall Shows

Let’s just get to it shall we? I’ve brought you all to this blog for one reason. To ask  – is this it? These. Really? You watched these shows during pilot season and said “Let’s make this! The world will love it!”???

*sigh*

Okay, don’t get me wrong, there are a  few I actually really enjoy – The Muppets – keep that funny shit coming, Quantico – It so far HAS lived up to the trailer and my expectations, and……. *looks down at notes* Nope, that’s it. So let’s all give it up to ABC for making the new season not a total waste.

Go on, give them some applause people – I’ll wait.

Done? Good. Now,  putting those shows aside… We have problems. All of you have problems.

FOX, let’s look at what you’ve put out into the wild – Minority Report, Scream Queens, Rosewood, Grandfathered and The Grinder.

Minority Report Let me break this down for you –  just because it made money at the box office THIRTEEN YEARS AGO doesn’t mean it should be on TV. In fact, it wasn’t even a great film then, let alone going to make for entertaining television now. Stop pulling from your stock pile of ideas that worked in the past and GET NEW IDEAS! There’s plenty of writers out there, myself included, who have binders full of stuff we’d like to see on TV. Will they all be great? Hell no, but at least they’ll be more original than this..

Scream Queens I REALLY REALLY wanted to love this show; it was one of the few I couldn’t wait to premiere and you know what? It wasn’t worth the wait. This show is not what I was hoping it would be. It isn’t scary, or edgy, or funny or any other adjective ending in y other than crummy. Ryan Murphy is a great writer but someone needs to lead him back onto the trail because he’s wandering in the woods of mediocrity headed straight for Blandsville, population: Him. To say you guys had the upper hand on the MTV adaption of Scream in terms of audience anticipation and critical word of mouth, you could learn a lot about the execution of a teen horror show from the MTV gang.

Rosewood I don’t hate this show, but I can’t say that it excites me a hell of a lot either. We have so many detective/cop/investigator/criminal science shows out there that this just gets lost in the jumble. Please keep in mind that just because every network has [insert generic show type here] on their schedule doesn’t mean you must have one too. Think outside the box. Go against the grain. Remember Empire? That was unlike everything else on TV and look what happened.

Grandfathered and The Grinder  I’m lumping these  two together because… well because I can. So, let’s get beloved sitcom stars to star as an older/more cynical version of his true life self. Good. Thanks for that. As I said with Rosewood, I don’t hate either of these shows – but I don’t love them either. They’re middle of the ground. That’s all. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m sure they’ll find an audience just based off their stars – but will they keep that audience? Highly unlikely. There’s no reason for people to stick around, and dammit FOX you NEED people to stick around. Please try to get back to your glory days – Married With Children, In Living Color – hell even the recently departed Raising Hope. Those were all great comedies that strayed well away from the norm.

CBS? Step up fucker, you’re next.

Firstly, I have to thank you for not subjecting us to anything new that Chuck Lorre has shit out, or for tacking NCIS or CSI onto ANOTHER friggin city. I know it must have been difficult for you, and I’ll just say – admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Now let’s see what you have added to the lineup – Life In Pieces, Limitless, Code Black and the yet to premiere (but leaked months ago) Supergirl

Life In Pieces – funny-ish. Cute-ish. Modern Family-ish. Nothing wrong with any of that, but may not keep the network afloat once the big wigs start ending their runs. Not the worst thing on your network, but that doesn’t really say much.

Limitless For a film adaptation/remake/reboot whatever the hell you’re calling it these days, I didn’t hate this show. It was rather a fun watch, but so was Scorpion when it first premiered – and we all know how that’s gone….

Code Black  I’m going to tell you a little something you may or may not know about me – I’m a die hard ER fan. That show was groundbreaking, breathtaking and just fucking well done, and as a result I feel we should just retire the medical drama genre as a whole. (Sorry Grey’s fans – Abby and Luka forever!) Is Code Black terrible? Absolutely not. Am I being a little unfair comparing it to one of the greatest shows ever made? definitely. But you will ALWAYS get comparisons, and if you’re not willing to kick the shit out of the genre and try to make it better that it’s predecessors – then just don’t bother. This goes for cop/procedural shows too. Keep that in mind.

Supergirl I will not say that I watched this after it leaked, because that would be wrong 😉 What  I will say  though is that this is by far the best thing that could have happened to your network – the show, not the leak – and really hope you make more exciting decision like this in the future.

NBC, show your self.

What did you think we’d love this season – Blindspot, Heroes Reborn, The Player

Wow. You actually had less shows premiere this season than I thought. I guess that’s what happens when you pass on everything and let Netflix have it. Sorry, low blow…

Blindspot  Girl found naked in Times Square with tattoos on her body, and no idea where they came from or who she is. FBI agent’s name is one of said tattoos but has no idea who she is… I’m treading into Blacklist territory here. And not in a good way. This show sounded pretty thrilling on paper, and I really enjoyed the trailer – but you know where you lost me? The execution, no wait. It was the dialogue. Definitely the dialogue. HOW many times do we need to hear one FBI Agent turn to another and utter “Don’t you get tired of always being right?” Fuck. Me. Who saw that in the script and didn’t immediately scrabble for the red pain to strike it from the record? Try harder guys.

Heroes Reborn Heroes Stillborn more like. I get it. Everyone is trying to make amends for this show careening horribly off the cliff of amazing into the wasteland of “that could have been so good” but this was not the way to do it. You have/had a built-in audience for this show and you knew it, and you wasted it all on a terribly long, terribly bad pilot. It was two hours long. TWO. Why? If it was harkening back to the first season’s glory days then yes, by all means make it five hours I don’t care – but this was a waste of everyone’s time.

The Player Okay you took a chance on this show’s premise, so kudos I guess. Rich folk in Las Vegas doing criminal deeds. Sounds fun. And it should be…… but it isn’t. It’s not a terrible show, but as I’ve said so many times already in this post, an original idea is great but you need to have something to carry it along. People need a reason to come back every week. Blowing stuff up, helicopter chases, Wesley Snipes – none of these things constitute a reason to tune in again. Make interesting characters, make interesting choices. It’s simple.

And finally ABC. Step up to the plate.

You know what I love about you ABC? I mean other than the fact you air some of my favorite shows? You don’t half ass anything. You’re either all in, and make great shows worthy of viewers, or go to the complete opposite and slap any ol’ shit on the TV. Either great shows or horrible ones, no one can say you’re ever mediocre.

What’s your game this season – The Muppets, Blood & Oil, Quantico, DR Ken and the yet to premiere Wicked City.

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The Muppets and Quantico – See above, I love these shows. Keep up the great work people.

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Blood & Oil Right, I’m the first to admit the soapy dramas are not my bag. I’m not a devotee of Shondaland or ever really thought about becoming one. Saying that though, if you feel the need to go the soapma (I’m calling them that from now on, feel free to follow suit) route, then leave it to Shonda Rhimes. She clearly knows what she’s doing with that sort of thing, and people really do respond to it. This was actually the only show that’s premiered this year that I turned off half way through. And Heroes Reborn was two hours.. says a lot, right?

Dr Ken Sweet Jesus. Look, I know that Friday nights are a wasteland ABC, and I know you have time to fill but for the love of God don’t insult our intelligence, and the talents of people, with THIS. Much like Mulaney last year I can’t come up with a good thing to say about this show other than it was only 22 minutes. As I said to FOX, try to get back to your glory days here. The TGIF days. Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, whatever! Just make it fun to watch. And funny! I have Google Calendar alerts that made me laugh more than this show did. Step it up ABC, you’re on the map currently for having some of the best comedies on television – don’t let this kind of bad decision-making squander that.

Wicked City I like serial killers but not in the –  I’m writing a love letter to San Quentin right after this post – kind of way, I just find them interesting. I also like LA and very much in the – I would sell any body part I have to live there – kind of way. Put the two together, and we could have a great show on our hands. The trailer looks promising, and you seem to have some fans on social media already so hey – the only way is up! I hope.

My parting thoughts to you my beloved Television world is this – Networks, you ARE TV. You were the ones that laid the groundwork for great television, and while many will argue you can’t compete with cable I believe you can. So go balls to the wall, make the bold choices, and make the shows YOU want to watch. Don’t view pilot season as a last-minute supermarket sweep before the shops close on Christmas Eve, because you’ve been doing that for years and it’s not that kind of world now. Remember there isn’t just four channels anymore,  we can change the channel, and a lot of people  already are….

 

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