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.

Friday, June 14, 2013

You've Got Something Stuck in Your Teeth, Dr. Lecter

I have dropped my first new show of 2013 from the list of things I routinely record. It's NBC's "Hannibal."

I have suffered through two episodes of this trip down the rabbit hole of insanity. For me, the show is nearly unwatchable. Every commercial break I found myself glancing at the clock in the hopes that it would be over. Nope, still another 40 minutes or 30 minutes or 20 minutes to go. Tick-tock....

I must admit that I missed the pilot episode. I'm not sure if that would have helped me figure out what's going on, but it couldn't have hurt.

"Hannibal's" Dr. Lecter: You may recognize him as the villan in one of the Bond films.

I'm sure there are Hannibal fanboys who are thrilled with this series because it is billed as closely based on the original book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Couldn't prove it by me; I never read the book.

Apparently the book is based on the idea that everyone is at least somewhat crazy. Every one in the NBC series certainly seems to be.

So you have an FBI profiler, who is nuttier than squirrel poop, being propped up and analyzed by the stark-raving-mad Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who seems to be pals with the profiler's boss. While this profiler, fading in and out of sanity, runs around tracking down serial killers, Lecter treats him and amuses himself on a cannibalistic killing spree of his own. Lighthearted, don't you think?

This is the poor, crazy schlub FBI profiler Lecter is treating.

I am so disinterested in this thing that I don't even know the character name of the profiler.

My head hurts just writing about it.

I seem to be in the minority on this one. The reviews I've read have been pretty positive, but I don't know if that's translating into viewership. I think if I'm having a hard time following this mess, so is the average couch potato.

In any event, I removed it from the series my DVR records.

With my membership to Netflix, I indulge myself by downloading movies and episodes of TV series that I wouldn't spend money to watch. Yes, I understand that I pay a monthly Netflix fee; but I mean, I watch stuff that if I had to actually fork over some dough to watch, I wouldn't. One such show is "Hart of Dixie."

"Hart of Dixie" core cast. No Goober in this Mayberry.

Evidently, this series is still in production and airs on the CW network. I have not a clue where the CW network is on my TV dial. But the first season of this series is offered on Netflix. I am about two-thirds of the way through season No. 1, and it is like watching a train wreck; It's terrible, but you keep on watching.

There is so little creativity in the writing, nearly every episode revolves around some concocted special event.

The classic square-peg-in-a-round-hole story, the premise is that a hip New Yorker graduates med school at the top of her class and winds up in some little burg in Alabama where she takes over a dead doc's half of a medical practice. The town's name is Bluebell and it provides every Southern stereotype you can imagine. I live in a fairly small Southern town and it's nothing like Bluebell. My thinking is that this is an East Coaster's idea of what life in a small Southern town is. Pretty much each episode revolves around some special small-town event of which this little community seems to have no shortage.

Yes, Miss Bilson, could you spit out the marbles and try the line again, please?

Dr. Zoe Hart -- the "Hart" in "Hart of Dixie" -- is played by Rachel Bilson, who has never delivered a line she didn't mumble. There's a gaggle of prissy debutantes, an ex-NFL football star as mayor who refers to himself in the third person and a swarm of nosy town folk. There is more relationship intrigue than an episode of the "Young and Restless."

Man, this is bad TV -- poorly written and acted; but, unlike "Hannibal," it's easy to follow. I can doze off for 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch and not miss a thing. It makes "Andy of Mayberry" look like "Masterpiece Theater."

Do I have too much free time on my hands? You bet!

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