Monday, November 10, 2008

Why American tv drama needs to be taught a lesson it won't forget.

I'm sorry Sylar, I'm sorry Bree, but it's time for me to move on. We've had some good times together, but, look, this sort of thing is never easy. It's not you, it's me. I've changed. I just don't think it's working out between us any more. Y'know? I don't know.

No. Forget that. It is you. Both of you. You've jumped the shark. You've pushed up against my realism quotient and knocked it over. I think Adam Buxton said it best when he (didn't quite) say:

I want a quantum of realism, and no more than a quantum.
I know they do big bags of realism, but I don't want em.
I only want a teeny tiny slice of realism, or else I turn off...

[some scary beardedness not usually seen on the Adam & Joe 6music radio show]

But that's not the point. The point is: Heroes. The second point is: Desperate Housewives.

Shark jumping: to wit - an episode in 'Happy Days' where the Fonz rather than being cool and successful with 18 year old girls, goes water skiing (in his leather jacket & a fetching pair of trunks) and jumps over a bunch of sharks (school of sharks? a mob of sharks? a collision of sharks?)

Well you might say, what's wrong with that, fair enough, ay, that he would want to do something different. After all the Fonz was about 45 by then, so fair play to the lad that he might want to stop hangin out with 18 year olds, trying to get to *1st base* with them on the back seat at the movies. He needed to move on. To slightly older girls. Or their mums.

Now that would have been a worthwhile plot line. It would have been a natural progression. The ideal plot development surprises you, but also has a sense of inevitability. What? The butler did it? O, well he always did look shifty, I just wasn't thinking about him...

You don't just stick a pin in the *ABC book of Plots* and come up with a new idea. Plot springs from character. Or should at least have some sort of relation to the character.

So point one: Heroes

I stuck with it through the hard times. I did my stint on Series 2. When some of the other lightweights were getting out. All that stuff about Hiro going back to 9th century Japan, okay, stupid & his new mate, Adam = annoying, but I hung in there. There were enough interesting developments, all running on from Series 1. They were saving the world (again). But that's okay. You can save the world twice. That's sort of fine. But to misquote Oscar Wilde:

To have to save the world once, Mr Petrelli, may be regarded as a misfortune; to have to save it a second time looks like carelessness. But if you have to save it a third time, I mean, mate, that's just effin ridiculous, innit?

And now in a shark jumping set of plot twists that can only have come up whilst the writers were stoned/bored/drunk - or 'avin a larf - everything and everyone that was good has turned bad. And everyone that was bad - well Sylar anyway, is good. Though virtually everyone is bad. And some of them are bad in the future.

It makes me feel like little Ralphie Wiggum when I watch it. "This bad plotting makes my brain sad. My nose makes its own bubble gum!"

So there we are: at an impass. I didn't watch it Wednesday. I tried to watch it Sunday - sort of now - it's sort of on in the background but I no longer care. I don't even care about Hiro. And I love Hiro. And Doctor Suresh is all icky & thumpy. It's not nice. I want more nice. I want, umm, some actual heroes. I am holding out for a hero till the end of time. But it's not going to happen. I've grown up maybe. Or Heroes has gone off. It sort of stinks like a bag of kippers that have been hidden behind your radiator by a friend. Who did it as a joke. Cos he *thought* you'd find it amusing. Well yeh, thanks for that. Cheers, *mate*.

Second on my list of ..... oh, no, they didn't, did they? No, is this a joke? Are they going back to normal next week? What about all those 57 plot lines they just, umm, dropped? Errr...

Desperate Housewives. Okay, shallow, stupid, scantly amusing, but an enjoyable tumble drying of the brain on a Wednesday night. Until they decided to JUMP into the future. 5 years into the future - where apart from the *amusing* fact that Gabby is slightly frumpy - oh, how tittersome that is - they all look exactly the same. And the world looks the same. In fact, all their cars are at least 5 years out of date. How unlikely is that?

No. Come on. Silly. Stop it. I've stopped watching. Wake me up when you're back on point, ladies.

But that's good, cos now I don't watch any tellybox items at all. Apart from Buzzcocks and Dvds of The Shield. Nothing. Nowt. Ziltch. Not even Little Dorrit. Just cos I'm not sure I can be bothered. When you lose the habit of long term drama you kind of start to think you don't need it. What is there on, that is worth watching? I beg of you. Or else I don't. Because it gives me more time to... to... to... go for a walk? Sit in the park on a wet bench wondering if that is a raindrop dripping down my cheek or a little tiny sad little tear ... mourning the death of my tv habit. Is this how ex-heroin addicts feel? Do they miss the days when they were hopelessly in need of a fix?


  1. Everything's gone cack, I haven't got round to watching this week's Heroes yet. Merlin's tedious, despite really trying to like it. Buzzcocks is good, Top Gear is good (if you like cars and worship Clarkson), and that's about it just now.

    May I suggest you listen to some podcasts instead?

  2. I will take those fine comments on board. And perhaps books as well. It'll soon be time for *experts* and non-expert bloggerationers to list their top 10 whatnots of the year. and then I can catch up on everything I've missed. There's bound to be lots.

  3. Right you are. Top seven days of the week coming up.

  4. Anonymous4:42 am

    Dude, totally with you on the TV thing. There's nothing worth watching. So now instead of wasting hours of my life in front of the TV I spend hours on the internet. Fair trade really.