Why I hate Network Television

It seems like a conspiracy to drive me away personally. Every time that I think that I have found something worth while to watch on network television they cancel it. After years of forsaking network TV for cable and satellite I had made tentative steps back to the networks. I told myself that maybe things had changed; maybe they could retain my loyalty with quality original programming. I fooled myself into believing that they would give my favorite programs a chance to thrive before canceling them, just because there weren’t enough twenty year olds in short skirts and stripper shoes, or enough buffed shirtless dudes, or enough angst ridden vampires.

I have nothing against pretty young things in short skirts or booty shorts, however there is more to making quality TV shows than a liberal helpings of eye candy.

Case in point, Don’t trust the B in apartment 23 has both, but Kristen Ritter is very good at nonchalant delivery with flippant remarks, that are both inherently selfish and hilarious. James Van Der Beek whom I hated on Dawson’s creek, is a perfect parody of himself. The stories are absurdly funny and as whimsical as the lead character Chloe, a self styled Holly Go lightly type, only more conniving.

I got hooked on this show after only one episode and quickly became a fan. I actually caught up  on all of the episodes that I missed on my i Pad and was looking forward to another season of hijinks; when to my Chagrin I discovered that Apartment 23 was cancelled. I was furious. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, strike three for network TV.

Strike one happened in 20ll with the cancellation of The EVENT Featuring Blair Underwood as the president. They built the story up into a crescendo and then just ended it without a real ending. Talk about unfulfilling; it was like being fed a really good meal and then being forced to regurgitate it, or like having one bite of your favorite brownies. So what happened to this show, I still don’t know. Not enough shirtless guys maybe or short skirts, too many old people, I just don’t know. As a baby boomer I represent the majority of today’s present demographic. Yes there are more baby boomers than any other age group, yet we are poorly represented on Television. I don’t expect the airwaves to be flooded with codgers like my self but I do expect programming that appeals to me, with characters that I can relate to. The fact that Modern family still exist proves that people will watch more mature actors like Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara. I’m not a real fan of this show but at least it represents the over twenty demographic.

Strike two came more recently with the finale of one of my favorites, Last Resort, Where they reduced Andre Braugher’s stellar performance to just another Dead Bro Walking. See TV Tropes. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackDudeDiesFirst

I was really pumped about seeing another season, but alas it wasn’t to be. If this program was meant to be a mini series and not a regular weekly series, it should have been advertised as such. I love mini series, I am a big fan of them, some of my fondest TV memories are of mini series. I still remember such big winners as Roots, Winds of War, Rich man Poor man and Shogun. In a mini series you don’t have to degenerate into stand alone weekly episodes or two parters. Everything in a mini series is straight forward building up to the climax; there is no cataclysmic deceleration. What I saw last week was a rush job that may or may not have been planned ahead, (Break glass in case of cancellation). It was a real WTF moment that even fooled my direct TV info button; it was listed as season finale, not series finale. I was thinking that Andre Braugher i.e. Captain Marcus Chaplin was faking his own death until he could miraculously reappear at some opportune time and place to save the day. Instead the faithful viewers got a martyr and a montage of what happened to the rest of the crew and peripheral players, sort of.

We know that Kylie Sinclair assassinated the president But what happens after that? For instance what happens to her, not to mention her father. and is poor Sophie going to have to spend the rest of her life with Julian the local thug and exploiter of island resources. It’s apparent that he honestly loves her or she would have been killed in the finale, but it’s unfair to condemn her to such a dubious fate. Sophie was a real heroine in every sense of the word, her only crime was loving the wrong man and daring to hope for the return of his affection.

Another nagging question is Why didn’t CPO King go after Julian instead of trying to take out a representative of the Chinese government, (there are plenty more where that one came from). And what happens to the people of this obviously self sustaining Island, that is so dependent on out side resources now that modernity has reared it’s ugly head. I am pretty darn sure that what ever was in that vial of green stuff that Julian gave to Zheng Li will attract the attention of some sleazy corporation or another whether it’s Chinese, French or American. As long as Julian is calling the shots the future of the island is dark. but all that is moot since the series is over. I hate you ABC. This blunder was as monumental as canceling “The Event” or Sci Fi channels canceling “Caprica” while leaving “Sanctuary” intact. I love you Amanda Tapping, but that show sucked.

With both Last resort and Apt 23 gone the only thing still holding my interest is 666 Park Avenue, but knowing ABC for the CANCEL CRAZY KNUCKLEHEADS that they are, I don’t want to invest my time in watching yet another show that I like, only to see it unceremoniously dumped like Tess of the d’Urbervilles. So good bye and good riddance ABC; maybe I’ll see you in another five or ten years when I have forgotten the royal screwing that you gave me. By the way I haven’t watched the Sy Fy channel since a they Cancelled Caprica.

Here is a short list of shows that I loved but were cancelled
Skag (1980)
(note: From 1984 until 1990 all of my TV love was focused on Miami Vice.)
(note: From 1990 to 1999 I switched to cable,because of lame network programming.)
Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Dead like me (2003-2004)
Wonder falls (2004)
Men in trees (2006-2008)
Reaper (2007-2009)
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
Heroes (2006-2010) I only mourn the first two seasons.

As you can see I am a Bryan Fuller fan but the networks aren’t. His shows have garnered a lot of awards; look it up on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0298188/#Writer but for some inexplicable reason they keep getting cancelled. You can clearly see a pattern of Network incompetence degenerating further into an unwatchable mess devoid of any entertainment value. Why should I bother with the network hacks, when I can enjoy shows like Mad men, breaking bad. How to make it in America, Enlightened, The Borgias, Boardwalk empire, Magic City and many many more. So Arrivederci Networks until you can mend your evil ways.

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