Bitching about the fallout from the recent writers’ strike is so January. But faced with crap like The Moment Of Truth, the lie-detector game show that makes contestants squirm over questions about their marital fidelity and criminal records, I’m ready to cancel my cable subscription.
Maybe the series would’ve made it to air anyway, but sans walkout I’d at least have a few other options to flip to besides CGI dogfights on the Discovery Channel, which are surprisingly engrossing in a Top Gun-meets-Sega Genesis sort of way.
Not that network brass can’t recognize garbage when they see it. They just prefer to wait until the ratings come in to act on their opinions. Take Quarterlife, the 20-something drama from Thirtysomething producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, who are both 50-something and clearly grasping at an audience they know very little about.
The series originated online, and the eight-minute webisodes were mashed together for prime time. The result is whiny MySpace-inspired shoegazer drivel, like the first 20 minutes of Cloverfield before the monster shows up and makes things a lot more interesting for everybody.
Well, Quarterlife premiered to some of the poorest ratings in 17 years, and soon proved to have the half-life of a fudge brownie at fat camp. It was cancelled the next day.
And while I’m heartened that more people are watching W-Five than Hockey Night In Canada (maybe Leafs fans are too embarrassed to watch, and if they aren’t they should be), I’m still deciphering what it means that 1.7 million Canadians watched Oprah’s Big Give.
If you’ve worn out your Sex And The City DVDs and are still jonesing for the shallow antics of high-powered women on the prowl, there are the competing dramedies Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle.
Lucy Liu plays it rough as part of the Cashmere Mafia.
Cashmere’s Mafia don is SATC exec producer Darren Star, while Lipstick Jungle is based on the book by Candace Bushnell, who also wrote SATC. And the results are virtually indistinguishable from each other. They’re also indistinguishable from monkey scat,except that one stars Lucy Liu and the other Brooke Shields, although I couldn’t tell you who’s on which show without the help of Google.
I’ll take the fem-bot duo of Lena Headey and Summer Glau on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The pair give just the right balance of feminine and masculine, protective mothering and Terminator ass-kicking to a film-based TV series that probably shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does.
And who knew that Brian Austin Green, who played Beverly Hills 90210 boy-band wannabe David, could man up to play a grizzled resistance fighter from the future (and the brother of John Connor’s baby daddy from the original Terminator)?