Posts Tagged ‘Disappointing Show’

Admittedly, a rather late recap given that the proceeding episode has already aired. But such is my feeling of malaise induced by the non-dairing writers of GG. It appears, ‘Dair Watch’ has lost it’s raison detre .

Does ‘Dair’ still exist? It would appear not, owing to Blair’s admission that the kiss was a mere reminder of her love for Chuck. On the other hand, it aroused in Dan feelings he would rather not canvass to the wider public. Yet, it takes two to tango right?

Did Dair ever exist? Or was it just a concept we engineered in our collective minds, desperate for Gossip Girl to avoid the failings of similar soap-dramas which become stale with the constant on-off romantic duos?

I believe there was certainly something. I never believed it was permanent, but it was a fun ride. It reinvigorated not only the story, but the characters and also resulted in some fine scenes between Meester and Badgley.

The impact on Blair is probably the most profound, at least in the short term. Dan seemed to help her uncover who she really was, beyond the shrill and skilled Machiavellian manipulator of the social scene.

But alas, the status quo is slowly returning, as the Chair freaks whip themslves into a lather over a truly despicable romantic concept, built on the worst aspects of human nature.

An Artist's impression of The Blair-Chuck Relationship

I guess this is what Alexis De Tocqueville meant by the ‘Tyranny of the Majority’. This, or something far more relevant.

Keep watching your screens

Misanthropic Ficus

PS. It was this.


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

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

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


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)


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


Greetings friends. I started off this daunting quest with the intent of creating a top 10 list. After weighing up my options, I realised that this would devalue the whole exercise. 10 is too many. It would mean including a few shows that aren’t mandatory viewing. These are, as I see it, the elite shows of 2010. I am interested in seeing everybody’s opinions. Well at least a person’s opinion. Feel free to post your own top 5.

Now to the order. I see Mad Men and Breaking Bad as interchangeable. But the again, Breaking Bad has Skylar as the ex-wife, Mad Men has Betty. I rest my case (order). Community is the best comedy on television. I give Lost the nod in favour of Fringe as the series finale blew my pants off (even though I was naked at time of viewing).

1. Mad Men

This is perhaps television’s most consistent performer. 2010 saw Don Draper transition from married man to bachelor back to married man. It was a quick 360, but it was one hell of a ride none-the-less.

Other highlights included Don and Peggy forming a close friendship. Given Don’s proclivity towards secrecy, it created a very interesting, although at times awkward, dynamic. Betty continued to discover ‘happiness’ cannot be attained via marriage. At least

not to a Republican…I think America learned this lesson already (High-Five!).

The mid 1960s. Beautiful women. Life after Kennedy. The dawn of the nuclear family. Don    Draper. Enough said really. The shows that exudes class continues to be predictably classy.

2. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad seems so long ago…that I barely remember what occurred in the 3rd season.

Yet, I do remember that the show continues to be riveting viewing.  Walt’s transformation from mild-mannered science teacher to drug-manufacturing genius is complete. He is now Heisenberg.

So much so that he cannot envision a life without cooking…alot like Jamie Oliver. Jesse continues to be tortured by his girlfriend’s tragic death. This season featured some very gripping scenes, not least of which was where  we saw Heisenberg on the edge of discovery by Hank (his DEA brother in law). The attack by the two twins on Hank was similarly amazing. It is never dull and features superb performances, especially by Cranston. It is the best told story on television. Breaking Bad continues to be mandatory viewing.

3. Community

In a TV season where the Office and Weeds continued on their quest for mediocrity Community stood out as a beacon of intelligence, humour and heart. And liver. And Annie’s Boobs.  While episodes like ‘Modern Warfare’ and ‘Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas’ will become instantly recognisable classics, the week-to-week antics of our favourite undergrads are always lively. Unlike the stale and directionless ‘Weeds’ or ‘The office’, Community seems to push the boundaries each week. Ambition is the key. The characters continue to develop, sometimes in unexpected directions. Oh and did I mention Abed was awesome? And Alison Brie…

4. Lost

I have mixed feelings about including Lost on this list. For much of the final season I was disgruntled, disinterested and generally feeling dissed. Maybe it was the dysentery. The writers seemed to concoct a lot of weak explanations for much of the phenomena which we, as fans, enjoyed pondering and discussing for hours throughout the show’s 6 season run. The creation of smokey stands out as one example. Yet, the resolution for the characters was nothing short of breathtaking. The finale was stunning, beautiful and truly befitted a show that for all its faults was still an epic.

5. Fringe

In the latter parts of season 2 and the start of season 3 Fringe went from inconsistent monster-of-the-week sci-fi to must watch television. The formulaic episodes which plagued most of its inaugural season gave way to a greater emphasis upon the fringe mythology. Our universe and ‘their’s’ continued to edge towards a showdown of epic proportions. It’s a grand story which, if Fox allows it, may rival Lost. Not in hype, but in actual storytelling acumen.

Tomorrow I will post my ‘Most Disappointing Shows of 2010’ List

Until then, Keep Watching Your Screens