Turn on the TV today and you have a great sport coverage,reality TV shows and a list of entertaining sitcoms (Seinfeld reruns never get old) . There is alot of new, quality TV out there today, as I have alluded to and the usual share of crap aswell (House renovation shows are everywhere). But in this blog, I want to spotlight TV dramas or any of those big budget. The good stuff as always seems to be coming from the US. Show like The Mentalist, Dark Blue and Dexter are showcases of what great TV should be like. I’d mention Prison Break in the same breath, but that sadly has left our screens (admittedly at the right time). Good TV dramas like these work by both entertaning us and making us think. Dexter is the one show that is unlike pretty much everything else on TV right now, mainly because its one of the few shows that everyone seems to love (well normal people will like it anyway). Take Lost for example, a still massively popular show, but one that has alienated alot of people (including me) with its confusing and drawn out plot. Flashforward is another example of a show that grabbed peoples attention when it first hit our screens but it has slowly lost peoples eyes and ears as the ratings over in the US has dipped majorly.
The main problem I think lies with shows having way too much time to flesh out their stories. That might seem like a silly statement but hear me out. A show like Flashforward has around 20 episodes to get its story across and as an avid fan of the show, I can say there has been many episodes that were 70% dull. Shows like this have way too many characters, most of which nobody cares for or even likes. I mean I’m no TV director or writer, but if Flashforward halfed its cast and focused on say the main story of Mark Benford and maybe have one two other characters, the show would lessen the amount of bores it garners.
That point can be proven in a show like Dark Blue, that is argueably like many other cop shows. But the difference is, it had only 10 episodes in its first season and it was much more memorable and it seemed like the quality was higher even the quantity of progamming was lower than usual. On the subject of police/detective shows on TV nowaday is overwhelming. You’ve got loads of CSI spin offs, Law and Orders, The Shield, 24, Dark Blue, The Mentalist etc. All of these are good in their own way. They’re well made, well acted and have their legions of viewers, but these days there is a definate perception that there is way too mant shows that are threading the same waters.
But the show that I watch weekly is The Mentalist and that is because Simon Baker makes an amazing lead actor for the show. That sort of lead is the breath of fresh air that has made The Mentalist a new favourite. He is a very upbeat and funny guy, who is thrown in the middle of a dark and serious crime world. An element like this saves the show from fading into the crowd of what has become an oversaturated market full of very serious, samey shows.
TV is TV and even if people say they don’t watch TV they do. People say TV is pointless because they download the shows instead. Newsflash, that download was taken from that tired old baron land called a TV. Respect it.
P.S Justified is an epic new show.