My Thoughts on the New TV Shows

8 Oct

I’ve been a bit busy lately, what with the grad school and all, but since television watching is the best study break (read: occasionally the best study break, when you can actually stick to the one worthy show you’ve chosen, and then when it ends resume your work instead of dragging yourself off to bed four hours later, having watched two hours of ‘Drop Dead Diva’, one new show, and an episode and a half of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’) I’ve also managed to catch up on some of the many new shows offered this season. I originally planned on Haikus for them all, but since I’s gots papers to write, I’m going to stick with the simpler direct address.

Dear ‘Person of Interest’,
Congratulations! You are officially the first show I have programmed into my DVR to tape regularly. Trust me, this is a surprise to me, considering that when I first heard about you I thought your title was rather ironic, considering I cannot think of a person of less interest than Jim Caviezel. I saw his movie version of ‘The Count of Monte Christo’, and he was so insufferably dull that you rooted for the villainous Guy Pearce, who had to act enough for the both of them. Which he did (even his dental prosthetics acted more than Jim Caviezel.) That being said, I like you, ‘Person of Interest’, despite the fact that I still think Jim Caviezel’s expressions are limited to three: ‘longing look of rueful regret’, ‘stoic nobility’ and, my favorite, the ‘slow blink of trustworthiness’ (watch for it, I swear the man blinks at one third the normal human speed). I like you because even if you do have Jim Caviezel, you also have one of the most fascinating actors to watch, Michael Emerson, who makes any line seem like it contains volumes. You also have picked up on the great benefit of shooting in New York: the vast number of incredible New York actors available. My heart leaped for you, ‘Person of Interest’, on the very first episode, where the two suspects were Brian D’Arcy James and Chris Chalk, two actors so stellar I began to hope for a pilot spin-off called ‘Suspects’ just delving into the lives of those two guys. The episode I watched last night featured James Carpinello, Keith Nobbs, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Great actors, ‘Person of Interest,’ and smart choices for you!! Because I will tune in every week if I get not only a twisty entertaining action/mystery show, but, bonus, I get to watch it enacted by some of the best performers out there. And Jim Caviezel to act as a contrast to prove how great the other actors really are.

Dear ‘Pan Am’,
I feel like you should also be given credit for your theater-actor casting, so here’s your credit for that. And I’ll admit, I was entertained by you; I appreciate that you don’t seem to take yourself too seriously and can embrace the potential candy-colored camp-fest that you are. I am a little curious as to just how much intrigue can happen on a plane (and please let it never feature those airsick bags), and I’m not setting my Tivo for you, but you and I might cross paths again.

Dear ‘The Playboy Club’,
I feel bad picking on you since you’re already cancelled. And I loves me some Laura Benanti, especially singing Laura Benanti. But dang, you were a terrible show. As it turns out, you can’t be Mad Men just by having people say grotesquely sexist things – that’s like saying “hey look, picasso painted people with one eye on the side of their face and he’s a genius, that must mean my wonky terrible drawing here is a masterpiece!” Also, really, your attempt at Don Draper was Dimples McGee over there? How’d that work out for you? Oh, right.
Oh, and on a technical side note: you know what happens when someone is stabbed in the neck? They bleed. In fact, they bleed out. So while I guess it was handy not to have the guy who died by being stabbed in the neck bleed any blood on the floor that needed to be cleaned up later, I was a little sidelined by the question of whether he was a cyborg and whether that meant this show was going to go somewhere unexpected. I guess not, though.
As it turns out, I already wrote a haiku for you, so I figure I’ll share it:
Babes, business and booze
Just like it is on ‘Mad Men’
Except ‘Mad Men’s good.

Dear ‘Two Broke Girls’,
I love Kat Dennings, I enjoy some good hipster humor, but why god why the laugh track? Is it in fact a meta-hipster thing, in which you exploit the hipster tendency to take the least cool thing imaginable and make it cool simply by doing it, and you guys figured that an old-school sitcom laugh track was the TV version of this? In which case… I guess that works.
Also, subways never looked like that. Or Williamsburg.

Dear ‘Charlie’s Angels’,
Oh, ‘Charlie’s Angels’. You are so close to being complete campy fun, but you insist on taking yourself seriously. Please stop doing that – I felt super icky watching the scene two of the angels trying to cry over their fallen comrade, not because their pain was so real but because watching two actresses try that hard to emote for that long, while attempting to sell lines like “I didn’t know it was possible for my heart to hurt this much” felt like some sort of sadistic hollywood game. Can we just stick with the multiple outfit changes, multiple bad-guy ass-kickings, and lovely vistas of Miami? Because then I’m on board.

Dear Minka Kelly,
Are you sure you’re not Leighton Meester? Really? Because dang you two look alike.

Dear ‘Whitney’,
I am breaking my own ‘I’ll watch anything once’ rule for you. I will not watch you once. Teasers are supposed to highlight the best lines of the episode, and yet your teasers are so unfunny it makes me wonder how truly terrible the rest of the show is. I have no great desire to find out.

Dear ‘A Gifted Man’,
Again with the great casting!! This year’s TV shows casting departments are ON it. That being said, is it too much to ask for one little pesky song to be sung by Patrick Wilson? Preferably shirtless? I mean, I know he plays a mean surgeon and all, but even mean surgeons must have moments where they think what a beautiful morning it is, or that they feel younger than springtime. Or here, I’ll write the dialogue for you – “a scalpel, that’s all I ask of yooouuuuu.” Done!

Dear ‘American Horror Story’, specifically ‘Family of ‘American Horror Story’,
You live in what is obviously the most haunted house in the world. In one episode, you found out about its murder/suicide past, the creepy murals painted on the walls, the creepy employees who just show up and weirdly seduce you, the creepy neighbors who just show up and tell you you’re going to die in this house, the creepy burned neighbor who tells you he killed his family, the creepy gimp suits in the attic, and the creepy gimp-suited person you inexplicably had sex with. Your house is in the middle of LA, and not trapped in a snowbound middle of nowhere, so I would say move. Just move. ‘Mkay?

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