01897: The Need for Hard TV Choices

I've mentioned previously (whether on this blog or on the Geeky Guide), I'm trying to move away from my previous generosity for bad television despite the desire to (1) judge shows by an entire season and not just a few episodes and (2) blindly support all genre television for the sake of genre television.

So time to judge shows based on their pilots!

Finally got around to watching the first episode of Z Nation, which admittedly I only gave a chance since (1) I pity SyFy and (2) zombies can't be that bad, right? Well, what I had not looked into was the fact that the production team behind the show was The Asylum, those guys who have managed to get in bed with SyFy for all those campy b-movies. Sure, the Sharknado movies are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but those are one-shots that I don't have to take too seriously. TV shows tends to take a lot more investment of time and brain cells.

And while the show wasn't full-on Asylum bad, it was very far from good. If anything, it might have benefited from more comedic (read: camp) treatment to make it more like a cheesy b-movie instead of a highly tropey somewhat serious drama. I mean come on, the central plot involves the classic "this guy potentially represents a cure to zombies and must be kept safe" concept. Couldn't we do better than this? So I'm pulling the plug on this one - no point in investing in the show further.

We also watched the first episode of Gotham, which wasn't too bad but not that great either. If you pretend that the comic books don't matter and it's okay that all of Batman's villains are significantly older than him since they're already criminals while he's still a kid, it's not too bad a show. I just didn't see the point in introducing pretty much every single notable character in the show all in this first episode - things felt a little crowded as a result. Seriously, they fit in every single character that was highlighted in the character promo posters above.

It's just "okay" for now as an alternative police procedural, but I don't feel all compelled by it either. So for now it's on probation - this is not a guarantee that we'll watch the whole season to the end.

It's not quite Arrow bad - that was a show that regret having watched the entire first season just to give it a decent chance. When a show has to resort to the lead character finding flimsier and flimsier reasons to be shirtless in pretty much every single episode, you know they're something wrong. I only gave that show because Doctor Who alumni like John Barrowman and Alex Kingston were reported to be on the show. But this only helped me realize that I don't just want the actors - I want Captain Jack Harkness and River Song to be in an actual Doctor Who spin-off together.

Shows I still need to experiment with - Legends, Intruders, and Broadchurch to name a few. Upcoming shows to stand judgement include Constantine , the US version of Broadchurch Gracepoint, and maybe Selfie. No, I don't foresee watching The Flash either.