Young Star

What's worth your attention?

DEFINITELY MAYBE - Carl Francis M. Ramirez -

One of the zillion benefits of watching TV on the Internet is that you can filter through a lot of crap. Back in the day, you had no choice but to watch Kimba the White Lion or Denver the Last Dinosaur because that was the only thing you could watch when you flipped on the tube. But thanks to this generation’s on-demand culture, we now have the freedom of watching what we want, whenever we want. 

Today, our attention is far more valuable to content producers than it was 10 years ago. Our power to choose and discard has put the onus on producers to consistently put out good product. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In the realm of TV shows, you can only keep a good thing going for so long before it eventually starts to suck. In this day and age, 20 minutes worth of bad television is enough for a viewer to jump ship and anchor himself on something else. Conversely, one good episode is all it takes to turn a casual viewer into a rabid fan. 

Here’s a list of TV shows that have completely lost me, and shows that have won me over: 

Shows that have lost me:

1. How I Met Your Mother. Seriously, you can only rely on Neil Patrick Harris only for so long. Anybody remember Doogie Howser? Barney is the only thing that keeps this show remotely funny, but his snarky douchebag angle is getting really old. The whole Ted Mosby searching for the perfect love angle is wearing thin and the rest of the gang are really not that interesting anymore. The show has become static and monotonic. No wonder this is one of the few shows that still feels the need to use a laugh track. 

2. Heroes. What a waste of a promising first season. The mythology was there; the tension was there; all these interesting characters were there. And then somehow the writers of this show screwed everything up by writing the show into bigger and bigger conspiracies before it eventually all blew up on their faces. By the end of the second season, all we had left was a bunch of stupid corporations and Claire being entangled in her 547th family drama scene. Now Claire’s a lesbian and people are switching bodies and dead people aren’t really dead and it just feels like a long-winded excuse for bad writing.  

3. Entourage. At first it seemed like an interesting concept: A young, up-and-coming Hollywood Star living the life and chasing the dream. It all started fun and all, but after six seasons, nothing of consequence has really happened. It’s like Baywatch, minus the beach. 

Shows that have won me over:

1. Community. Now this is a TV show where the brilliant writing really shines through. Week after week, the audience is treated to really clever, highly nuanced and well-researched dialogue of Community’s eclectic and charismatic cast. When you can turn Chevy Chase’s corpse into a character that’s both entertaining and endearing, you’ve got something special.

2. Modern Family. Just like Community, the strength of Modern Family is in its diverse stable of characters. Coupled with the best situational comedy I’ve seen in a few years, these characters are only going to get funnier as the show grows and and gets fine-tuned. A lot of credit also goes to the acting of guys like Eric Stonestreet (who plays a flamboyant gay man) and young Rico Rodriguez (a Colombian kid with a new American step dad), who are comedy gold on this show.   

3. Caprica. Anything that has some relation to Battlestar Galactica has won me over by default anyway, but Caprica does step out of BSG’s shadow to produce something fresh and equally as thought provoking. Set 50 years before the events of Battlestar, Caprica takes on a more suburban, soap-operatic approach to sci-fi. It’s both interesting and a little uncomfortable watching teen drama that involves robots and religion, but Caprica makes it work. Only time will tell if it will create a cult following like its outer-space predecessor. 

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For questions, comments or corrections, please e-mail me at carlfrancsramirez@gmail.com.

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