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04 October 2008 @ 04:05 pm
THe Hoard Potato: First Casualties of Fall 2008  
Well, we're a couple of weeks into the New Fall Season, and quelonzia and I have already dropped three shows.

(As an aside, it's still a bit surreal to me that there's so much SF-related genre programming on these days that we don't feel a desperate need to watch it all, and will casually drop shows that start to bore us.)

HBO's True Blood got a lot of buzz, but we didn't even make it through the opening episode. It's just Vampire Porn. There's no substance; just a determination to be edgy.

Both Fringe and Sanctuary lost us for the same two reasons: one, a lack of likable characters; and two, a completely unsurprising, pro forma approach to their "exotic, cutting-edge, imaginative" subject matter. They didn't grip us or intrigue us; they didn't keep us guessing. Even a show as rigidly formulaic as Ghost Whisperer will have us bouncing speculations over Who Did What To Whom off each other in any given episode; for shows that claim to be exploring the mysterious, Fringe and Sanctuary don't have a whole lot of mystery.

Fringe, in particular, is too dependent on Ass Pulls to hold my interest. This is one of those situations where Doing The Research makes a difference even in a fantastic setting: most episodes of Supernatural involve actual critters from folklore, and the writers throw in enough of their actual mythical attributes that those of us versed in the lore can at least make a stab at guessing the Monster Of The Week.

Fringe, on the other claw, doesn't really seem to bother tapping into the copious literature of actual fringe science and pseudo-science that it promised. It's just Making Shit Up -- or, more accurately, rehashing the same ol' unexamined sci-fantasy gimmicks that every other half-assed Sci Fi show has tossed around.

Please understand the magnitude of what I am about to say:

The science was more plausible on The X-Files.

There's Cognitive Dissonance there. The show and its hype lead you to expect a frighteningly Realistic Deconstruction Of Weird Science: anomalies in a rigorously possible world. Egregious violations of physical principles that might fit into a more fantastic scenario are jarring in the more realistic milieu, jarring enough to knock me right out of my Suspension of Disbelief.

And as any gamer knows... I disbelieve! It goes away. *click* Bye, Fringe.

Oh, and There's A Conspiracy. Did I mention that? It's just handed out, right up front: There's a Conspiracy Pattern. Here's the Person You Shouldn't Trust. You're Not Ready To Know More.

The Point of No Return on Fringe wasn't when I fell asleep in the middle of Episode 3, nor even when I found myself completely uninterested in watching the last half to see what happened. It was when I told Quel that I honestly didn't care what happened in that episode, and we both realized that neither of us liked the show enough to watch it by ourselves.

The Point of No Return on Sanctuary, on the other claw, was about halfway through the two-hour pilot, where one of Our Heroes finally has a face-to-face encounter with the Ominous Stranger Who Means No Good -- and we realized that we just didn't care.

That leaves one new show that we're still watching, and two more that sound interesting but haven't debuted yet. The one we're watching now is Almost Certainly Doomed. I'll cover the Good Stuff in another post.
I feel: disappointeddisappointed
leonard_arlotteleonard_arlotte on October 5th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
I was afraid that you were going to list some of the shows I like.

Sarah Connor Chronicles
Clone Wars
Knight Rider
Eureka (on hiatus again)
Doctor Who (on hiatus til 2010)
KehzaFox: pleasedkfops on October 5th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Since I don't watch TV very much, I can't add too much, but I do love Heroes. The first season was a great roller-coaster for me, I couldn't get enough of it. I do think the second season suffered from the writer's strike, but it was still good, though maybe not as cohesive.

I have big hopes for the 3rd season.
Your Obedient Serpent: hoard potatoathelind on October 5th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
I was only talking about THIS season's NEW shows.

We watch and enjoy everything on that list except Clone Wars and Knight Rider.
JP Sugarbroadtaral on October 5th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
tvtropes links ftw.
(Deleted comment)
Your Obedient Serpent: barcodeathelind on October 5th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Okay, I won't tell you.
Hafochafoc on October 5th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
This post makes me realize how little television I've been watching lately. I was _aware_ of Heroes, but I didn't know any of the other shows you mentioned (or mentioned so far in the responses) even existed.

I'm from the TV Generation- I'm not proud about not watching or anything, just surprised. Shocked, almost. What the heck happened?
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on October 5th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
...you started writing?
scarfman on October 8th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)

It's just Vampire Porn.

You say that like it's a bad thing.