Archive for the ‘When a Good show goes Bad’ Category

Today, I continue my look at the problems with Glee. It isn’t, perhaps, the most ideal time to post this given the rather excellent (in season 2 terms) episode that aired this past week. Indeed, keep a look out in the coming days or week for my analysis of my new favourite romantic couple on TV: Britana (Britney + Santana)

Regardless, here is the second problem with Glee, an issue which I do not foresee being remedied any time…well until the series is eventually cancelled in 2016 due to Will’s hair being deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I’m with you Sue…

2.      Theme episodes

 

Rewind to season 1. They have a Madonna themed episode. Fine I say: Musical icon, symbol of women’s liberation from the yoke of patriarchy. Season 2, a Britney spears themed episode. Ficus-off I say. I literally had to fast-forward through much of this episode. 4 songs in 10 minutes: check. ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’… I screamed as I gouged my metaphorical ears out with my neglected branches, sap running down my roots. Ridiculous and illogical Britney Spears guest appearance. Check. Although it was nice to see the character ‘Britney’ gain some air time.

Then came the Rocky Horror tribute. It may have been the greatest Rocky Horror tribute ever. I haven’t seen the film so the convoluted winks and nods were all but indecipherable to me. Given the shows demographic I found it hard to believe many knew what the ficus was going on. There was one transsexual too many if you ask me.

I understand it is a musical-comedy which lends itself to musical tributes. But, as everything with Glee, the writers aren’t content with doing it once. They will squeeze that lemon until there is nothing left. Didn’t they realise it was fairly sour the first time?

Until next time

Keep watching your screens

That’s how the Ficus Sees it…



My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location http://misanthropicficus.blogspot.com.

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Quiet times here for a TV addicted Ficus. Hiatus breeds contempts. Ficus breeds baby Ficus. Whatever that means…

I thought I might as well discuss Glee. Never felt the emotion myself. Good show though. Sometimes….

Firstly, I love Glee. I don’t luv Glee like OMG! But I do love it…like omg.

I do consider myself a gleek, newly born into the land of gleekdom.

I’m a new convert to glee-stianity, a politically active member of the gleecrats.

I mean the gleeks shall inherit the earth, right? (This is my favourite pun)

See, I watched the pilot when it first aired and I liked it, but I got sidetracked and the show fell from my radar.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I spotted the first season on ebay, bought it and watched it in a week. I have now caught up to the current episode.

I love it’s heart and its humour…. But, man, when it is bad it is horrific. Like nigh unwatchable. Like literally I have fast-forwarded through a couple of episodes.

Where do the problems lie?

Here, there, everywhere really…

1. Which Glee?

First of all, I subscribe to the theory expounded over at AVClub about the ‘three Glees’. That is, the 3 Glee creators Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan all have competing visions for the show. Consequently, whoever writes an individual episode writes it in a certain way. Murphy’s the over-the-top crazy, big-budget, theme episode guy. Falchuk’s the message, smaltzy guy. Brennan writes the more sombre, melancholic, cathartic episodes. Being misanthropic I tend towards Brennan but I do like certain episodes by each of the creators. The problem is, this makes the show very erratic and unpredictable. Sure, it’s part of the charm but it’s also very frustrating to watch.  And let’s be honest. Season 2 has magnified these inconsistencies. One week the characters seem to be heading in a certain direction only to be thrust in a completely different one as a different creator takes the reins. How can there be realistic character development with 3 versions of each star randomly appearing each week? Will is a prime example of this. He has probably suffered the most from the chef’s broth fiasco. One episode he’s chicken and pea, the next he is minestrone. The next he is smoked salmon…huh? Imagine how the viewer feels! The result being a character which is devoid of any real identity. He’s each creator’s mouthpiece…and a fracking irritating one at that.

This is probably the main issue which hinders Glee from being a truly ‘great’ show. It lacks a cohesive vision and a coherent set of characters.

Tune in tomorrow for another reason why I’m a little ‘meh’ on Glee.
Keep watching your dvds
Until next time
Ficus.

After a first season which imitated the British classic line for line, sans mature language and content, The Office (US) stepped outside the shadow of the original to become of the funniest and most heartfelt shows on network, hell, all of television.

The recipe was simple enough. Give Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson decent material and you’ll have yourself a damn funny show. Add a ‘will they-won’t they’ romance featuring boy and girl next door Pam and Jim and you get a compelling romantic story. Put them together and you have a great show, which for seasons made us laugh and cry.

The supporting cast was and is unspectacular but solid enough. There’s fatty, grumpy, bitchy, stupid and slutty.

So what went so wrong in the past two or three seasons? Well, as is inevitably the case as much as the writers would have liked to artificially extend the intrigue surrounding Pam and Jim, there reached a point where they had to be unified. In doing so, the show lost momentum and a distinct overarching storyline. Oh and it turns out that Pam and Jim aren’t very funny or engaging in their new found marital bliss.

The writers have tried to create other points of romantic interest yet they do not measure up. Moreover, the humour has dissipated. We know the routine all too well after 7 seasons. Michael is going to do something inappropriate (we cringe). Dwight will say something slightly quirky (we smile). Pam and Jim love each other (we fall asleep). The supporting cast will give their well rehearsed and well-worn responses (we lip-sync).

So perhaps, the show hasn’t ‘gone bad’ in so much as it has gone stale. Steve Carell is supposedly leaving at the end of this season, leaving a space for a new boss to enter the picture. Or should they just call the whole thing off?

This Ficus thinks so.

Keep watching Your Screens

You be the Judge



My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location http://misanthropicficus.blogspot.com.

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW…


 

I am a big fan of Dexter. That is, Dexter Morgan. That is, the main character on Showtime’s hit series ‘Dexter’. He is a fascinating character depicted by the wonderfully talented and multifaceted Michael C Hall.

From season 1 where we learn about his bloody past to season 3 and season 4 where he meets his match…then kills his match…and then the alien from 3rd rock from the sun kills his wife…it has been a great ride. The tension builds as the season progresses, as Dexter gets ever closer to his final kill. We know he will prevail, albeit sometimes with collateral damage…one example stands out like a dead wife in a bath-tub…

Season 5 has been (to this point) a let-down.

There are 10 things….well 3 things….I hate about this season.

1. Eli Stone is the major antagonist. I mean…doesn’t Dexter know this bloke has a brain tumour? Doesn’t he know that George Michael keeps showing up and serenading this poor dude? Wouldn’t that drive us all to be a bit of a deranged deviant? Seriously though, when compared to the characters portrayed by Smits and Lithgow…Johnny Lee-Miller is a light-weight.

2. The story is very slow. I get it. The writers are going for the ‘slow burn’ this season. However, the show has too often been sidetracked. This week’s episode concerning an abusive step-father is just one example.

3. The B-story/Minor characters are mundane. This criticism is, in this ficus’s opinion, what stops Dexter from being a classic show. Do we care about Laguerta and Angels’s marriage? Do we care about Deb’s….Deb? MCH should be on screen 99% of the time.

The good news is the season is not finished. The writers can still salvage the season by tying the loose ends together quickly and stop being sidetracked.

Update:

Well the season has now ended. Dexter Prevailed. Stiles left. It was a very disappointing season.