If I had to sum up the new television shows so far this year (I don't... but let's say I did...), I would say they are "So Bad, They're Good."
Huh? Confused? Let me explain.
Back in the day, the stand-out TV series (Seinfeld, ER, alf) were exciting, witty, and entertaining. Then the reality TV-show craze hit (real-world, fear-factor, simple life), and we were left with exciting, scandalous, and entertaining series, but nothing that made you think. (Smart shows don't sell. Just ask the rat, David Cross.) Now, in the Post-Reality Era, the studios are trying something else out: Shows so bad- they are good.
I have three (3) examples and will address them individually, one per week.
Prison Break on FOX. (imdb, blog) This is without a doubt the "best" of the bunch. I actually became addicted to it while I was over in Central America (figures), during a week-long MaratÃ³n De la Rotura De la PrisiÃ³n. I was hooked after about half an episode. The plot premise- that a successful, professionalstructuralal engineer would tattoo his entire body with a blue-print/hell-scene, rob a bank just to get caught, get caught, enter a maximum security prison, build a popsicle-stick model of the Taj Mahal, involve every schmoe in the escape plans (including the 350 lb launder who couldn't climb over a table), etc, etc, all to break out his ugly, bumpy-headed, inappreciativeve, drugie, older-brother from of maximum-security prison- just seemed very feasible and logical to me. I never really stopped to question the plausibility of all this.
However, as the weeks went on, I found some things annoying.
- The Music- Our leading offender, the musica in this show tries to create suspense where there is none. For example: A member of our group is bleeding, something our idiot-pack -o-guards has finally realized. The music thumps like Andre the Giant's heart without its pacemaker(?)... What will happen? Cut to commercial... Thump Thump... Return... Our hero, Scofield, takes the blame by pricking his thumb. Silence. Whew, that was close.
- The Idiot-Guards. See above. The guards are the only morons left in Fox River that don't know what is going on. Also- I have never seen inmates given so much freedom.
- The Forced-Suspense. See above.
- The Plot. here is a quote from ABC's website:
- Combining the hope of "The Shawshank Redemption," the camaraderie of "The Longest Yard" and the tense procedure and spectacle of "The Great Escape," the series promises to reveal additional pieces of the puzzle each week as Michael carries out his daring plan to mastermind the ultimate prison break Â and solve the far-reaching national-scale conspiracy that landed him and his brother there in the first place.
- The Fact That I Love This Show. I don't care what happens. I just am dying to find out what completely absurd plan AND kinks (in said plan) could arrise next week.