On Television

The world is following Dave's lead and going batshit over The Wire...the thing is, there is not a backlash possible or Slate would have run a few articles dissing it already. (please note that the Zach Braff backlash is going very, very well.) The Wire is truly a brilliant show.

However, there are a few shows out there that perhaps were once brilliant but are now losing their luster. I speak, specifically, of Rescue Me's 3rd season, really the only one I've watched all the way through. It had moments of awesomeness, which were usually flanked by moments of extreme dumbness. Although the end of the season finale was excruciating to watch...but dramatically appropriate, I think. So it ended on a high note. But throughout the season, the sentimentality sometimes stooped to Ed Burns-level, and the subplots flirted with the ridiculous (I firmly believe that the gay subplot was invented solely because the show's writers realized that the two young firefighters were essentially the same character, and they had to differentiate them somehow.)

Another show that could be going off the rails is Weeds. It is still entertaining, but getting ridiculous in a way that makes the funny parts less funny. As an example, Snoop Dog is guest-starring on the most recent episode--as himself.

Any concurrences or dissents or additions?


dave said...

I think you're right about Rescue Me. There were enough really brilliant and funny moments to keep me coming back for a fourth season, but it kind of boiled down to the great moments versus the embarrassing ones, and it was just about equal.

Twin Peaks is the best ever example of a show that was once great and came off the rails really, really fast. If you haven't seen it, netflix the first season, but stop there -- the rest will make you embarrassed, and will make you worried about Lost (it becomes clear really quickly that they either didn't KNOW what was happening, or that they never, ever planned for a series that odd to get picked up for a second season).

Alias is the other one that comes directly to mind. It was really good for the first maybe two seasons, and then after that it just went south. Every week with a new lost, evil, Direvko sister. And then that goddam Rimbaldi business. Ugh.

Dan said...

I'm totally with you on Twin Peaks, Dave, and I'm very worried about the future of Lost. Speaking of Twin Peaks, Shanna Compton just put out a chapbook anthology of Twin Peaks inspired poetry available here: http://www.shannacompton.com/half-empty.html.

I got really into The 4400 on USA a few summers ago when it first came out. This past season was kind of lame. They did a poor job of juggling all the differnt plotlines and it ended up being a lot of filler that didn't advance the story at all.

Sam said...
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Sam said...

Last season Nip/Tuck headed off the rails- white supremacists, pointless business ventures, a horrendously accented Anne Heche and a pair of murderous siblings left little room for the dark humor and subtly twisted psychology of previous times. I'm hoping Ryan Murphy's vacating of the movie director's chair will put the doctors back on track.

And, as big an Alias fan as I am/was, I have to agree with Dave it went off the rails- especially for all of Season 3.