I've watched a static screen longer than these shows in some cases.
The American television program has evolved from a small screen time waster to a full blown life engulfing force in a little over 90 years. Once it was only considered a novelty, but now with the recognition money can be made in extraordinary amounts (at an equally substantial cost) studios are clamoring over themselves to spew out entertainment for the masses.
Behold children these are where all your imaginations come to life!
Alas, there are only so many hours of the day and even if we could bring ourselves to stay awake for 24 hours and somehow enjoy television we are still going to miss our shows. When you have kids you lose more time so if you're anything like me, you end watching an episode here or there of shows. Or better yet, when you are with your friends or at work, you'll get recommended more shows. I'm guilty of that. I've been a walking billboard for The Terror since it was announced (starts tonight at 9 on AMC).
But just like you I've got a list of shows I've tried to watch but they cannot reel me in for the kill.
1. Into the Badlands (AMC)
Into the Baddddddlands. Actually it's not half bad.
The network that brought you The Walking Dead bombarded you with commercials for a post apocalyptic karate program back in 2015. I've never really been one for martial arts films, but then again I'm used to the ridiculously over the top stereotype laden movies from the 70's and 80's. There's a fit out there but not for me. Into the Badlands did have one trope I was interested in though....
Post apocalyptic autocracy.
A nice ride through the poppy fields. All that delicious opium, but only so little time.
The show has a ton of the usual plot devices. A silent badass that can take on dozens of nameless henchmen, a mysterious boy, a femme fatale, a jealous wife and of course a tyrant. What more could you ask for? Well, honestly I'm not sure. All the hallmarks of shows I like are there, but the story still feels hollow to me. The acting isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the lines are delivered in a tone that is ridiculously serious.
Then I realized why I don't like the show and it is because of two characters:
Above: Pompadouche. Noun. One who is a pompus douchebag.
He's not just atypical whiner-baby, but the worst kind. He's so good at the role I'm pretty certain he could very well be the ass-hat son of a baron in real life. It's an overdone approach to the role and every time he's on screen I cringe. Spoiler: He might be dead. I'm not sure what season, but there's one too many episodes for me to watch and find out.
Now to character numero dos:
Am I a bit jealous that he's actually in physically good shape and I'm a pasty never was? Yes...Yes I am
His character is also whiny and prone to lying which is looked over on a frequent basis by the other characters. Kind of like when he played Luis Mendoza in the Mighty Ducks. He clearly lied about his ability to stop. Alright, perhaps that's the not the same actor, but nevertheless the point is the same.
His character is bad at lying and chooses odd times to lie. I blame the writing, but it makes the show tough to stomach at times. I keep trying to watch, but it can't hold down my attention.
2. Black Mirror (Netflix)
Honestly, I blame myself here for not getting into this program. Each episode is standalone and does not relate to the previous one. There is a definite beginning and an end. Similar to a short story which is ironic of course because I love to write short stories, but reading them always leaves me wanting more. Critics say that Black Mirror does a great job of leaving the viewer wanting to know more, but I must admit that I can't get past the episode where the PM bangs a pig.
This is the face of a man who banged a pig. Honestly, I would've expected worse.
The episodic nature is part of what makes the show great and at the same time pushes me away. Don't worry folks its on my list of shows to eventually get to not unlike Into the Badlands. If you love a mix of speculative fiction and science fiction in television format then Black Mirror is the perfect show for you.
Wait I love those things....
I do love those things especially in books, but I only can spend so much time in front of a screen. Between work, writing articles and watching television I'm surprised I can see at all.
3. Homeland (Showtime)
Makes me miss Band of Brothers more than anything.
I went to graduate school to become an intelligence analyst and if I was lucky an agent of some intelligence agency. I am neither, but that never made my interest wane in national security. Naturally, this drew the attention of my friends and family who thought that Homeland would be the perfect program for me. I imagine they would be right, but again, that just wasn't to be.
I had the same reaction when I heard that I would need to catch up on 7 seasons. Nope.
I think the real messed up thing about my no watching shows like Homeland is that I'll waste away two hours watching Warcraft on HBO or the same episodes of Family Guy I've seen a million times before, but God forbid I give an award winning series the time of day. I think it has everything to do with not wanting to leave my comfort zone. I have a weird hang up about contemporary shows. Perhaps it is too real.
My wife enjoys the show immensely and when a new episode comes on I'm typically in the room, but I'll make busy with something else writing, reading or dicking around on my phone.
I'm told this is the president in the show. Frigid might be a term used to describe her character.
The show does do a good job of trying to be in line with current events. Often seeing to dramatize them, but in a frighteningly familiar way. I think that's what keeps me from watching it. I'm as much of a realist as anyone, but I watch shows, read and play video games to escape reality.
Images for Into the Badlands are copyright with AMC
Images for Black Mirror are copyright with Netflix, Channel 4
Images for Homeland are copyright with Showtime