Saturday, September 13, 2014

The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #140

This week I've made a momentous decision! I'm going to cut down a lot on my TV watching. I'm going to stop watching a lot of shows I normally watch just out of habit. They're either kind of boring or just not very good. I watch a lot of crap just because I like the actors, and I don't want to do that any more. So I'm cutting out CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, The Simpsons, and all of the daytime soaps. (Don't worry, we'll still be covering them all on our site) There are some new shows I may or may not watch, but only if they're very good.  There's only a few non-scifi shows I plan to keep watching, like Bones and Castle.

Here's the list (the dates are premiere dates):

The ones with question mark I haven't seen yet, so we'll see if I like them enough to keep watching.

Saturdays Doctor Who and Intruders
Thursdays Syfy Haven
9/22 CBS Big Bang Theory
9/22 FOX Sleepy Hollow*
9/23 ABC Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.*
9/23 CBS Person of Interest*
9/24 ABC Black-ish (?)
9/25 FOX Bones
9/25 ABC How to Get Away with Murder (?)
9/28 ABC Once Upon a Time
9/28 FOX Family Guy
9/28 ABC Revenge*
9/29 FOX Gotham (2nd episode because I've already seen the 1st)
9/29 ABC Castle
9/30 ABC Forever (2nd episode because I've already seen the 1st)
10/2 CW Vampire Diaries*
10/2 CW Reign*
10/6 CW The Originals*
10/7 ABC Selfie (2nd episode because I've already seen the 1st)
10/7 CW The Flash
10/7 CW Supernatural
10/8 CW Arrow*
10/22 CW The 100
10/24 NBC Constantine
10/30 CBS Elementary
11/17 NBC State of Affairs- (?)

airing later: Justified, Mad Men, Beauty & The Beast, The Americans, Perception, Heroes Reborn, The Mentalist, Real Time with Bill Maher, Royal Pains, Sherlock, Teen Wolf, White Collar
Suits*, Rizzoli & Isles*, Franklin & Bash*, Falling Skies*, Dallas* and Hot in Cleveland

*These are shows that I'm already very behind on, so who knows if/when I'll catch up

Of course I'll still have plenty of shows and DVD's to watch that the networks send me to review for our site (or that I review just because they're new). 

What new shows are you watching this Fall? Which of your favorites are you looking forward to returning? Don't forget to see our Primetime TV Schedule - it has tons of info about the shows and when they premiere.

This week's news is here  and here's next week's.  See the returning shows trickling in and the debut of Red Band Society and Mysteries of Laura!

What's most difficult for me is giving up the soaps.... not because I enjoy them so much, but because they've been a habit I've had since 1984! I may occasionally tune in. I want to see Billy Miller as Jason on GH, and Shemar Moore's return on Y&R.  But otherwise, the shows are just too boring, repetitive and filled with clich├ęs. They're always at least 20 years behind the times. They don't have enough people that are not lily-white or really boring. I love the actors, but I just can't take the bad writing any more.  If you're not enjoying a show, you shouldn't watch it. Life is too short to watch bad TV. Until the TV networks decide to put some real money into the soaps and get fabulous writers, they're going to be bad and continue to underestimate the viewers. They think we're all stupid and that we'll watch any crap, no matter how unrealistic it is. Well, here's one less stupid viewer of soaps. I just can't take it any more! Maybe if they had more romance, I would keep watching, but they don't. It's all filled with "action" or violence and not enough real romance. They rush the stories (especially with people continually bed-hopping) or drag them out far too long. GH is very good at pandering to fans except in the one way that matters - improving or updating stories. Having gay characters is a good start, but they write them badly and completely unrealistically. Like all of the other characters. Enough is enough. I just don't care enough about any of them to keep watching. They've made all of them into empty, boring shells of their former selves, even Anna. 

Bold & Beautiful is ludicrous. That show will never be good as long as they keep letting the one person in charge write it. He ran out of ideas years ago and keeps just recycling the same stories, punctuated by laughable things like when Ridge fell out of the helicopter.  I lost track of Days and Y&R a long while ago, but I don't miss them because they're just boring. The soaps like to blame the internet or other things on why viewership is declining, but the blame lies solely on the networks and the writing.  You can't expect new people to tune in when you can't even keep your tried-and-true viewers like me. They need to update the writing to the 21st century, and not just in superficial ways. They need to make the shows gripping, compelling, unpredictable, and ground-breaking, like any good drama. Simply put, they have stagnated. Cancellation is not the answer. A complete overhaul is needed. The soap "genre" is not dead, but they're not doing it any favors by writing such dreck.  I'm not saying they have to be as good as primetime TV. I'm saying they have to be the daytime equivalent. They have to write 5 shows a week. Fine, then be at least 1/5 as good as "Elementary" or "Once Upon a Time" or "Sleepy Hollow" or even "Law & Order: SVU", and then I'll watch again.

Why don't you get good primetime writers (especially young ones), tell them not to use any soap clich├ęs, make sure they know who all of the characters and their history are, have them write ONE good episode per week, and then stretch it out to 5 episodes per week, adding in more romance and other character development?  Then let them do anything they want as long as it's within the confines of the characters and their history, and as long as it's realitistic and not laughable, and not too violent.  How hard is that? Oh, yeah, and don't hire any actors just because they're pretty. Hire people who can act. There are lots of people out there who can't get an acting job even though they're very talented. Draw from your pool not only of soap actors but the primetime ones who are out of work. Especially people of color.  Pay them whatever is needed (and the writers, too). And then publicize the heck out of the shows. Encourage the writers to take chances and don't worry about pissing off viewers. If the shows are good, people will watch it. It's that simple. If you do all that, and the ratings don't go up, then cancel the shows. At least then, you can say you tried. These low-budget half-measures are not working.

Sure, the soaps have improved some, especially GH in the past few years. It's just not enough. It's too cosmetic and not substantial enough. It's great that they pander to fans by bringing back our favorite stars from the past and hiring great actors like Michelle Stafford from other shows, but the writing doesn't support the rest. It has to be good enough to make me want to keep tuning in, and it's not. You can tell it's not enough for most people because most of us are always falling behind on watching. If the shows were that good, we would make sure to tune in every single day, no matter how busy we are (like we did back in college).

I was about to give up on GH this week, but then they brought back Robert Kelker Kelly, one of my favorite actors, as Stavros. Unfortunately, they always have him play just a one-dimensional crazy evil guy. It would have been so much better to have him have some humanity. Looks like they're doing the same thing with the return of Peter Harrell. I enjoyed seeing Judson Scott his week, but I doubt he'll be on long. Such a waste of great actors (even if RKK is chewing the scenery a bit - I'm sure they're telling him to do that). You can tell RKK is having fun, at least. It's hard not to smile when he's on screen.

I've been watching season 5 DVD of "The Good Wife" last night and it's RIVETING!! This is fantastic soap opera. I knew it was a good show, but wow! I'm going to have to go back and watch the first 4 seasons, too. It's that good.

I thought my DVR problems were fixed, but it's still been messing up, so I had to phone Oceanic Time Warner Cable to get a new box. I just need to record some more of the shows off my old DVR and then I can install the new one. I finally did get around to watching the Tonys and the Emmys! I always love the Tonys. It's like having a little piece of Broadway on my TV. Hugh Jackman is awesome. I thought the Emmys were pretty good, too, funny...much funnier than I expected!

On Thursday I was shocked and annoyed to find that our local CBS station showed Thursday night football instead of The Young & The Restless! How dare they... I keep emailing, phoning and tweeting them, but so far I've gotten no reply. Looks like they're doing the same thing next week, too. Grrr!  Here in Hawaii, we're 3 hours before California and 6 hours before New York. Y&R usually airs around 1pm.

Last week's "Doctor Who" (the Robin Hood one) was just awful. The worst I've ever seen. I hope they get better because that was embarrassingly bad.

We have a lot of new Interviews and Reviews so check them out!

Have a great weekend!