Continuing with my previous post about TV shows, I thought I’d give some ideas I had about various TV dramas, particularly ones I’m actually watching. I was going to put them in the last post but it got a little long. I’m skipping over other reality shows for now because it’s easy to pick them apart in detail and many of the criticisms are the same as the storage shows.
I’m also skipping sitcoms because I just don’t watch them anymore. They just use all the same recycled jokes as sitcoms of the past. And there’s too much reliance on putting people down or crude humor to get laughs. Situational humor that requires thought is considered too complex for modern audiences. And many times the shows are aimed at people with a certain income bracket, a certain lifestyle, a certain age–usually young–or a certain background. For example, Seinfeld was about a group of Jewish people living in New York. The Office was about a group of people who work in an office environment. And there’s plenty of “family” sitcoms which make the kids out to be smarter than the adults. While one doesn’t have to be part of those groups to enjoy the show, they do tend to appeal more to those groups.
But for this post I’m going to focus on some of the dramas I’ve been watching. I’m also focusing on the full-season network shows. Cable shows tend to follow slightly different rules and have shorter runs. They are more likely to get full season order or even a two season order since a full season may only be 10 episodes long. As well, a single season is more likely to be aired over two or more years. The channels also don’t air nearly the quantity of shows the networks do and are more likely to put all their backing into just one or two shows.
It looks as if the show is in it’s last year. If not, then it could only have one year left, but CBS has little room for it’s new dramas so it’s only likely to get another year if almost all it’s new dramas aren’t good enough to go to series.
Most of the show’s story has been sustained by the Red John, but that character was revealed and dealt with earlier in this season. And the whole setting of the show has changed to where it appears almost as a spinoff. Some of the characters are now working for the FBI. The titles of the episodes have changed from being red related to using other colors.
It’s as if they’re making changes in the hopes of extending the show’s life, although it could already be too late. The Red John story was extended too long, and it appears now as if that was because the writers had no Red John. The show reached it’s peak when Jane show who he claimed was Red John. And for the sake of the story that should have been it. But then they had to go into revealing a proper Red John and it turned out to be someone the audience couldn’t care about at all, let alone even remember.
This only goes to show that the writers never had a proper villain in mind when they wrote the earlier seasons. It’s a common problem with many shows, especially science fiction shows. There’s usually some major villain or mystery that the show focuses around, but the writers have no idea what that is. Lost was a good example of this. In order to come up with an ending they writers had to ignore almost everything past the first season because while they found it easy to introduce questions they didn’t have the answers.
Bones is another show that looks to have outstayed it’s welcome. The show really should have ended a couple years ago. Everything feels recycled. I’m not saying it’s a bad show because I still enjoy watching it, but it feels as if the show will never be as good as it use to be. Still, being able to continue a show past a wedding of the major characters, let alone a baby, is admirable. Much of the time the wedding marks the end of the show. And the danger of a good show getting stretched too far results in killing off any syndication interest the show could have. A shorter show can be watched twice or more, a longer one is harder to. If Star Trek had lasted the full seven years it might not have been as popular as it turned out to be.
Supernatural is yet another show I like be feel that it’s about time to be retired. And it can’t have much life left in it, although the introduction of the Men of Letters did a lot to help give the show a few more years. Unfortunately, it would probably have been more interesting if Sam had been more a Man of Letters and using spells to deal with situations while Dean was more of a Hunter. Although they have been showing some of that.
I’ve found myself getting further and further behind on the episodes lately. It just doesn’t seem to draw my interest. Everything seems to be following a formula. It tried to tie itself in with NCIS:LA through crossover episodes, and has appeared to survive but acting as an NCIS:Hawaii. But I find the episodes are so forgettable that once I’ve watched it I forget what just happened. And many of the episodes are very badly written, with story elements that are insultingly wrong. Although the show managed to get renewed, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it has been cancelled.
NCIS and it’s spinoffs
NCIS also looks as if it might just be time to retire. The new female character, Bishop, just isn’t fitting in. It’s the top show on TV right now so it’s hard for CBS to cancel it, even if they had to replace major actors. We saw that with Two and a Half Men which was the top sitcom when Charlie Sheen left. But it’s been going so long that there’s not much story left for it. Tony still gets written as a stooge when after this long he should be acting more as an adult. And it’s unlikely that two such skilled detectives as Tony and Gibbs would be allowed to stay on the same team this long.
NCIS:Las Angeles successfully spun-off from NCIS, just as NCIS did from JAG. But how NCIS:LA looked when it started on it’s own was significantly different than it did in the backdoor pilot. The location changed and Heddy was put in charge. Over the years two of the original team members were replaced. Now we’ve seen a backdoor pilot for another NCIS spin-off, NCIS:New Orleans. Although this one looks closer in feel to the original series than NCIS:LA.
However, it’s hard to say how many changes will be made should the show get picked up. NCIS:Red was suppose to be an NCIS:LA spinoff but didn’t fly with the viewers, so it’s hard to say of NCIS:NOLA will be picked up for the fall. CBS wants to have a show to replace the original NCIS when it leaves, but there’s not a lot of room on it’s schedule. It’s very possible that NCIS:NOLA could be a mid-season replacement for NCIS and share the same spot for a number of years until NCIS is ready to retire. Although CBS did have three CSI shows going at once so it wouldn’t seem unlikely to have three NCIS shows at once.
Person of Interest
Right now it appears the best writers on TV are writing for Person of Interest. There’s enough twists and turns in the stories to keep them interesting. The show started with the premise that the “numbers” could be criminals or victims, but lately it’s been making them all out to be victims. Still, that would make this a good time to introduce a villain as a number. It’s just the sort of twist that makes this show work, because these sorts of twists help to keep the show from becoming predictable.
Agents of SHIELD
If there’s anything working against the show it’s using characters that many people aren’t as familiar with. If you were into comics and are familiar with the Marvel universe you shouldn’t have a problem. But for those who don’t know much about Marvel beyond the major characters it can get a little confusing. Especially when some of the “super” villains don’t appear to be all that super.
It’s really hard to say what sort of future the show has. The ratings have not been great, and for a big budget show like this the ratings have to be great or it’s not worth airing. Last week it was beat in the young viewer category by both The Voice and the “old guys show”, NCIS. Yet this show is suppose to be targeting the young audience.
The show can work as a promotional tool for movie releases, but since it’s tied in with the current casting of characters, should that casting change it will date the show very quickly. There’s only so many Avengers and Iron Man movies that Marvel can make before they have to change things up. If the show does get renewed it will need a new timeslot, although unless the last few episode of the season make a dramatic upturn that doesn’t appear likely. Maybe coming out with something with a single hero that isn’t tied in might work a little better, as the WB superhero shows seem to be doing.
I should also add that I’m not against the shows I think should be cancelled. I do watch and enjoy them but feel as if they will never be as good as they have been. If the network drops a show I like, they may replace it with one I don’t like but they may also replace it with one I like more. Sometimes it feels like I’m watching a show just because I use to like it but don’t anymore. And depending upon which night the show is on, I may not even miss it. There’s so much on Tuesdays right not that I’m recording from 7pm to 2:30am straight just to catch everything. So if a show such as Supernatural was to disappear I might not miss it at all, although I do tend to watch it later in the week when there’s not as much to watch. I’m also inclined to catch up on these shows during the summer, although lately there’s been so much new summer viewing that I don’t have a problem finding something to watch.
There’s also a lot of shows I haven’t watched. I never got into Castle mainly because it aired against NCIS, but it was also too similar to The Mentalist. If the Mentalist is dropped I may get into Castle if I don’t get into watching it during the summer. But chances are there will be some other new show that attracts my interest. I usually find for ever show I’m watching that gets cancelled, some other new show appears in the fall that I start watching. And for the past couple summers there’s been enough new material to watch that I haven’t had as much time to get into watching older material.