Friday, 13 May 2011

What have they done to my shows, Ma?

Supernatural is boring, Doctor Who is goddawful, Sanctuary is enjoyable, Chuck has started retconning itself at land speeds so far unrecorded by man and is fast becoming a ludicrous, meaningless mess, and the Vampire Diaries is fricking awesome. How the hell did that happen?
What planet have I moved to? Can I get home? Is there a bus? A super sonic jet?

I mean, seriously. The highlight of my viewing week at the moment is the Vampire Diaries. I repeat, the Vampire Diaries. Tortured vampire romance with meaningful looks and soapy close ups and convoluted interpersonal relationships and it just had the most kick-ass penultimate episode since Supernatural Season 4.

I maintain that the secret of this show is to introduce some ludicrous mythology or crazy dialogue and then, just as you’re willing to grudgingly accept it in a spirit of ‘suspension of disbelief’, have the viewer find out that it’s made up or the person was lying.
I give you: the Aztec Sun and Moon Curse. Totally ridiculous. Made no sense. Nearly made me throw something at the TV. Turns out, Klaus and Elijah made it up and we have a scene of them laughing about how gullible people are. How awesome is that?

And Sanctuary! Three seasons in and they’ve finally worked it out. It’s never going to be great literature-on-screen but this low-budget green-screen sci-fi show has finally come up with some interesting storylines and has pinned down its characterisation.

Meanwhile, the shark Chuck jumped in Season 3 is back and it’s bigger and badder than ever. How can geeks do this to their own show? They’re geeks! They’re supposed to care about continuity, consistency, characterisation and their show’s mythology. Don’t these people watch their own show?

Over in England, the first three episodes of Doctor Who for this season were a convoluted, disjointed, poorly-written mess that was barely watchable, thus proving that even seemingly great writers like Stephen Moffet can still only pull off one good season of the show. RTD’s reputation has never been given a greater boost.

I had some trepidation when Supernatural was renewed for a sixth season despite Kripke’s original five-season plan. I had hoped to be proved wrong but here we are. Supernatural season 6 isn’t bad per se. It’s just pointless and incredibly boring. They stopped the apocalypse. Why do we care anymore? Sam lost his soul? Yawn.

At this rate, the mid-year shows are going to roll around and I’m going to be wretchedly disappointed in Dexter, True Blood, and Breaking Bad, while discovering that… no, the brain can’t even compute the end of that sentence.

I may not be able to count on my viewing mainstays over the past few years to be any good but at least I can count on Fringe, Smallville and Stargate Universe to be consistently bad. So the bottom hasn’t completely fallen out of my world. (Does SGU’s cancellation mean we finally get the third Stargate SG-1 film we’ve been waiting forever for? Please).

NOTE: Apparently not. The lack of success of the awful SGU has meant the end of the Stargate franchise for now. Thanks ever so much, guys. Well done.