Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When Bad TV Shows Bite the Dust

As a writer, I am constantly looking for ways to avoid writing. I sit at my PC and search the Internet for all manner of useless information and products to kill time. The idea is to keep from facing the scary fact that I have no fresh ideas for writing this blog, or much else for that matter.

Whether it's a paid assignment -- yes, believe it or not, I do get the sporadic assignment for which, after much hand wringing and gnashing of teeth, a check eventually shows up in my mailbox -- or just writing something for fun, I try to keep from getting started as long as I possibly can.

It was in this spirit of procrastination that I recently Googled "canceled TV shows" to check out which of my favorites have bitten the dust.

There are so many shows on so many networks that I forget about some of them during their breaks. I am one of those rare specimens who happily admits to actually liking TV; as such, I am always curious about which shows have been canceled and which are returning.

I had to filter through any number of titles on the list that I've never even heard of to get to the occasional show that I have at least a small degree of interest in. Did you know that there was a show called "Running Wilde"? I sure didn't. How about "School Pride"? Me neither.

Also on the list was "Friday Night Lights." I thought it had been canceled three years ago. Nope; it apparently limped along for an additional three seasons well under my radar.

As I ran down the list I did find CBS canceled "Chaos."  I can't say that I am surprised or disappointed.

I find it hard to believe a CBS executive -- or more likely a committee of CBS suits suffering from some sort of mass obliviousness -- saw a pilot of this turkey, considered it a winner and then decided to order 10 or 12 episodes at great expense to the network.

I suspect they all still have their high-paying jobs there today. 

Here's the compelling Chaos concept in a nutshell: In the modern CIA, there is no room for old-style, shoot'em-up spies. However there is still a team of four of these spies operating. The director doesn't like them or like to use them, but on occasion has no choice.

Can you feel the tension?

The two or three episodes I saw required elevating suspension of believability to an art form.

The idea the CIA has so much money that it can afford to send four people on an assignment that could be easily accomplished by a single guy is ridiculous from the get-go.

Of course these guys are so incompetent that they must constantly bail one another out of one tough spot after another.

Then these guys, who we are to believe are so accomplished that no one else could possibly handle the assignments they are given, show up to locations all wearing look-alike gray suits.

They look like the chorus line in "Guys and Dolls."

Yep, there they are undercover somewhere in the Mid East all sporting gray suits and going everywhere in a mini herd. Stealthy, no?

A clever fortune of the crack writing every week: No one ever gives them a second glance.

The characters were likeable enough, but the writing was absolutely abysmal.

It was one of those shows that after sitting through an episode, I thought, well, there's an hour of my life I'll never see again.

On another topic, I see that a production company has penned a deal with Charlie Sheen to create and star in a comedy. No idea yet where such a vehicle will air.

I guess there are people who are fascinated by car crashes and train wrecks who will tune in to see if old Chuck will crash and burn.

Talk about rolling the dice, whoever is backing this deal must be desperate for a tax write off. What are the chances this guy can survive nine months of production without a drug-induced meltdown? Winning!

I understand there are policies that insure a show's producers in case the star kills himself or otherwise self destructs during production.

I suspect some insurance agent somewhere is in for a very big pay day.

1 comment:

  1. Friday Night Lights was the only show I had heard of. Well, I also have heard of Guys and Dolls.