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September 25, 2009

TV Bad

Modern Family
Mercy
The Forgotten
Eastwick

Yeah, okay, I tried to watch some new show pilots last night. Couldn't get through the first two. Modern Family (new half-hour sitcom about three families) got some good reviews, but I don't find it funny when writers/producers simply humiliate characters in a scene. That makes me squirm. There has to be something more than just humiliation in there. Too many people are hung up on The Office and think that making an audience really uncomfortable is all you need to do to be good. Ugh.

Mercy (trauma nurse hospital drama) was just bad. Bad acting, bad writing, bad conceptualization, bad stereotypes. Dumb. And extra bad points for gratuitous, exploitive use of Iraq. Didn't stay for the whole thing.

The Forgotten
(ex-cop leads a volunteer group seeking the identities of John and Jane Does once their cases have gone cold) was watchable. That one I got through. It's Jerry Bruckheimer, and it shows. High concept cop procedural, basically. Even if the writing and acting are bad (and they are), there's still the mystery to pull you through. I might watch again if there's nothing else on, but I won't seek it out.

I totally avoided Cougar Town, which has gotten some bad reviews anyway, because I just don't like being marketed to in that egregious way. I'm not on The Schedule as it is, and being told who I'm supposed to be at my age (apparently a divorced mother of 2 who wears skirts and heels and fucks young men) makes me itch. So instead I went to the other women-of-a-certain-age wish-fulfillment vehicle: Eastwick. Fun! There's a cougar in this one, too, only they just call her a "slut." Plus a Miss Moneypenny and a doormat housewife. The Slut turns out to be clairvoyant, the Miss Moneypenny to be a hypnotic vamp, and the housewife is, OF COURSE, an earth goddess.

But how can you say no to witches? I love witches! I love the (literal) female empowerment that's inherent and inevitable in a witch-centered story. I hate to admit it, but Practical Magic is still one of my favorite movies (and yes, I know it's the Sarah McLachlan of movies.) No matter how cheesily you approach it, if you're making witches your protagonists, they will be women, and they will be active agents of their own destiny. You can't have a passive witch. (oo! plot of novel #10: the passive witch! Watch her sit in her La-Z-Boy! See her make cookies and daydream! It'll be a best seller!)

Anyway, Eastwick is supremely cheesy, but I'm loving it already and have subscribed to it on Hulu. One outta five ain't bad.

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