Archive for the ‘Why Make a Ficus Cry?’ Category

I don’t like to discourage people from watching a show based on 5-10 minutes of evidence. But in the case of the Chicago Code I’ll make an exception.

Perhaps, it’s just me but from the opening narration to the time I clicked my remote I was cringing. Yuck!

I mean, lets start with the narration. For some reason the directors thought it necessary that the actors shout. It’s really not a good idea to have the two leads yelling at viewers. It makes them appear like caricatures.

They are what they are I guess. The woman who played the super-intendent was so wooden and rigid. I mean, I’m sure that’s who the character is…but who wants to watch her? Then we have ‘Mr Don’t Swear in Front of Me’. I was very disappointed by what I saw of him given what a talented actor Jason Clarke has proved to be. He portrayed a very complicated character in Showtime’s Brotherhood.

The police chase scene was by far the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen on a police procedural.

I couldn’t even enjoy the presence of ‘Luke Cafferty’. He’s still in HS for god’s sake.

OK. That’s enough ranting. I could understand people liking this show. There is a hook. There will be some wild chase scenes and shootouts.

Maybe it got better after 10 minutes.

But for anyone that has seen Homicide: Life on the Street, you will find the Chicago Code blasphemy.

But I may be wrong…I will watch the rest of the episode if you, loyal readers, instruct me to…(Please don’t)

Ficus Out

1. The Pacific

This is not a bad show. It is not a bad show by any stretch of a Ficus’s imagination (limited though that rather intangible notion is). However, when a show is billed as a quasi-sequel to the almighty Band of Brothers, with the same creative team, I expect to be blown away. I wasn’t. I barely swayed in the breeze this show managed to create. I think in many ways it is the war-genre which is dying. Especially those shows set in the Second-world-war. How many shows and films can be made without fatigue setting in? War is horrific. War is terribly violent. Its effect on individuals is tremendous. Those who fight are courageous. They die too often and die too young. I get it. Band of Brothers got it. Saving Private Ryan got it. Flags of our Fathers…You get the picture. The Pacific offered nothing new on the subject. It was simply a reproduction of many great works on WW2. Now I could have overlooked this, if it were not for the uninspiring characters portrayed in the Pacific. Here, I don’t blame the actors so much as the structure of the storytelling. The show jumps all over the place, from episode to episode making it difficult for the viewer to really get to know and care for any of the characters. Band of Brothers did have a large ensemble, but they were far better integrated into each episode and each character-centric episode was superbly crafted to really give insight into that individual. On the plus side, the battle scenes were fairly well executed. Perhaps it just a battle-weary Ficus talking, but I was mightily disappointed by the Pacific.

Until Next Time

Keep Watching Your Screens

-Ficus

2. The Walking Dead

This show made me think the writers were dead. Or at least they thought the viewers were. Or at least it made me wish I were dead. It perhaps suffers like the Pacific, from a genre which has been so saturated in recent years that it is on the verge of cardiac arrest. Regardless, watching this show was a terribly difficult experience to endure. The writing is dull and very uninspired. The scope of the story is so very limited you would have thought the show didn’t revolve around an ‘end of the world’ type scenario. The characters, oh Treebeard, the characters…The best thing Icould say is that they were caricatures, stereotypes or cardboard cut-outs. Mr Good Sheriff and southern redneck and the wife cheating with the husband’s best friend…really? To be fair, the zombies were more than sufficiently creepy. But those forlorn souls could not sustain my interest beyond the first hour. Hell, at least it wasn’t a 13 episode season. Yuck.

3. Weeds

Weeds is a very well written, performed single-camera dramedy which satirises suburban America. Because, as you know:

The people in the houses
All go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

Sorry, Weeds was a terrifically funny show which satirises suburban America. The first 2, and for the most part 3, seasons lived up to this billing. It was also interesting to see how Nancy Botwin (MLP) slowly became consumed with her career as a drug distributor come king-pin (not a great one mind you) to the ruin of her family. The previous season, following the trend of the past couple continued to move further and further away from this original premise. Consequently, the show has lost all meaning and relevance. It is without focus and direction. In many ways it mirrors the now itinerant Botwins as the move aimlessly throughout the American landscape. The Botwins are on the run without a home, a map or a decent script. Unfortunately, their pursuit of mediocrity will continue next year, as Showtime have already signed the renewal contract. I have one thing to say about that…Ah, why don’t you take this one Senator:

Until tomorrow,

Keep Watching Your Screens (unless Weeds is on it)

Ficus

4. The Office

Ah, Where Everybody Knows Your Name. I mean that’s what she said. The Office has been on the slide for a season or two. It was inevitable once Pam-Jim became ‘Pim’ or is that ‘Jam’… the writers would be devoid of a central driving force to guide the show. This season saw Steve Carell begin his fairwell tour through the fields of uninspired writing. Why not end it? Well, it’s American television and as Shaq says “The great thing about America is you can always come back next year” (If your ratings are good). And The Office’s ratings are good. Real good. So what if the writers just try to recreate the Pam-Jim will they/won’t they with lesser characters. So what if after 100 episodes, there’s not much left to laugh at, not much left to happen. So What? I’ll tell you what: It makes a Ficus cry. And You’re on the list. Take that NBC. Get out of my nook. And that my friends…

Keep Watching Your Screens

– Inconsolable Ficus

Remember, these aren’t the worst shows of the year as I tend not to watch bad television. These are the shows that either promised big and delivered a deuce, or have proven themselves in the past and this year have come up holding their schrum.

I begin the daily countdown with Number 5…

5. True Blood

I’m going to do bad things to you. Like put you 5th on my list. True Blood is starting to impress me less and less. There seemed to be fewer meaningful and heartfelt scenes than last season. Instead we saw a lot of blood, gore and spine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….But I can’t help but feel the show has become somewhat of a parody…of itself. The sultryness and sexyness have enveloped the story, which seemed stuck for most of last season. Some of the character development, like that involving Sam were a little disappointing also. More importantly, does Tara annoy anyone else? I nearly dropped my seed when watching her.

WARNING: Children, the squeemish or those who value the integrity of the human skeleton should not watch this clip

Keep Watching Your Screens

A truly Misanthropic Ficus