Saturday, February 25, 2012

Define "Good"...

Serious point of contention:

A lot of fans get upset at their so-called favorite show if they do not consider every episode to live up to their expectations of perfection. But my question is how many episodes can be considered "just" good versus great, let alone revolutionary/groundbreaking/amazing before you call it and give up on the show? Most fans will not give up on the show at all; they'll continue to watch, always lamenting how far its fallen. But for me it's a percentage thing-- a numbers game. If a show only produces ten or twelve or thirteen episodes per season, ala the cable model, shouldn't we hold that shorter order up to higher standards, given they have more time to develop and flesh out characters and arcs than an insanely packed twenty-two (or twenty-four) episode network season during which writers easily get burnt out and stretched too thin?

It's a seriously question. Writing in general is emotionally taxing; writing for television is even harder core. So how much slack do you cut your favorite shows? And which shows have you given up on because they didn't live up to early expectations?

1 comment:

Simone said...

This year, there are two shows I've given up on: Ringer and Grey's Anatomy. For Ringer, the in-your-face exposition became too much. I finally called it quits after episode 11, which suddenly had a Bridget with bangs and a Siobhan without. I believe that context should be more than enough to differentiate the two, so I thought the wig was a rather lazy device. I haven't looked back since.

Oddly enough, I also gave up on Grey's Anatomy because of laziness, as well as predictability, but by gave up I mean I stopped hoping for better quality--I still faithfully watch on Thursday nights, despite my perpetual eye rolling. The formula for a Grey's Anatomy episode is painfully clear at this point. Someone will be in denial or struggling with an issue, before they are then paired with a patient who just so happens to reflect some part of the very same issue. This will all come to a head just before the final c-break, at which time tears will be a shed and impassioned speeches made. The final act will bring some sense of resolution, unless the writers are going for an arc--then someone will simply say or do something they can't take back. This level of predictability has left me feeling unsurprised by the show for a long time, yet having invested in it for eight years, I can't let it go completely.