Thursday, May 17, 2007

In Which Mama Tells Off a Network

Dear ABC,

I realize that it's become much harder to keep the masses focused on you now that cable TV is so cheap and families like mine would rather watch home makeover shows on HGTV or that docu-drama about those fishermen on Discovery or CSI reruns on the Spike channel. That, apparently, is very difficult programming to compete with. Clearly this must be the case, or you would not have to work so hard to keep coming up with new, brilliant shows to entice viewers.

But seriously, whichever executives are in charge of that "coming up with new shows" need to be fired, because, well, Cavemen. First of all, the premise is one that cannot be sustained for an entire half hour. It only works in the short, Geico-commercial-length increments because if the joke goes on any longer it just gets old and annoying. And second, the clip you have up on your website? Crap. It is just crap. I suppose you think you're making social commentary on race relations, but dude, did you seriously just say that black people are essentially like cavemen? How are you expecting this to go well for you? This show will never make it, and you will have wasted all that money on make-up and prostheses.

Private Practice, your spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, is going to get some viewers because you are intentionally creating buzz about it (don't think I don't know it's you). But soon people will realize that they don't give a rat's ass and go back to watching Criminal Minds on that other network, or whatever the hell is on Fox that night. There has to be a reason that none of Tim Daly's shows since Wings (which was cancelled 10 YEARS AGO) have gone on to do more than 13 episodes. And excuse me, but if you can't even keep me hooked on Grey's Anatomy itself with all their oversexed shenanigans, how do you expect me to give a crap about what Tim Daly and Taye Diggs do with one of the characters from Grey's Anatomy?

Big Shots is a new show I've heard absolutely nothing about other than its cast and basic premise (which, by the way, sounds weak; it's not like all the other shows about four close friends/siblings have done very well or are looking too good). I am willing to check it out once, but only because it has Michael Vartan in it. But the I have to warn you, you have very stiff competition on Thursday nights, what with Smallville and Supernatural leading into the early news, not to mention Without A Trace and ER competing in the same time slot. Besides, nobody wants to stay up until 11 to watch a show they aren't that excited about. We're all just too damn tired.

Also in need of firing are the absolute morons who have convinced you that anyone still watches or even cares about The Bachelor. Got it, monkey boys? NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ANYMORE. We don't watch it, we don't like hearing about it on the entertainment segment of the local news, we don't care where any of the contestants came from, we aren't "rooting" for someone in particular, we don't even watch the freaking COMMERCIALS that are on during that time slot. This is no longer an interesting social experiment. At this point it is just pandering. It sucks and I hate it. It was "five minutes ago" back in 2005, if not earlier. Get. It. Off. Your. Lineup.

Also? I don't care for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition anymore. I have an entire channel devoted to that sort of thing, and none of those shows force everyone to use Kenmore appliances, nor are they being sued by orphans. I will admit that some of the shows on HGTV are hosted by and/or feature pretentious assholes, but at least they give you actual TIPS on how to improve your own home on a realistic budget, and they don't do things to a house that the family will eventually grow out of and find impossible to replace without causing structural damage. Oh, and none of the HGTV landscapers are stupid enough to plant an OAK TREE right next to the FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE. Why do you do it, ABC? Why do you hire idiot landscapers who don't take structural integrity into account during the planning phase? Have none of your people ever heard of a root bed? When that happened I'd never even SEEN a big-budget home makeover show before, yet I knew that was a stupid thing to do. I'm certainly glad that you've helped so many people, but if this is something you want to continue doing, then I strongly suggest you make some alterations to your staff and hire more people who know what they're doing. For the love of crap...

Thank you for keeping Ugly Betty on the air. I'm looking forward to the finale, and I really hope y'all do more to advance the story. Also, take a cue from the tele-novella you've used as your source material and have an ending for the series in mind. The problem with most dramas (and even some comedies) is that they have this story arc going on, but they don't really have an ending for the show. You can't properly tell a story if you don't have an ending. This isn't The Simpsons or Diagnosis Murder, in which you can just make up any old plot for any day and not worry about it having an impact on future episodes or how the show will eventually end. Get in your head now how you want this story to play out and how much time you think you'll need, whether it's another two years or longer. You don't want your premise to get old because the story is not moving along, and you don't want your story to suffer because your writers don't know where they're supposed to be going with this. Everything has an end. Figure out how to get there and you'll have a winner on your hands.

And for God's sake, give Victor Garber something better to do than wait around until it's time for mid-season replacements. The man is a freaking genius, WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT!?! How can you keep the SPY DADDY sitting on a SHELF!? Have you no memory of the Bristow Death Glare? The Bristow Elbow? The Guy Who Can Wear a White Linen Suit Without Looking Stupid? The Man Who Goes Through Potential Sons-In-Law Like Weed Eaters Go Through Crab Grass? Show some respect! HE DESERVES BETTER THAN A MID-SEASON REPLACEMENT SHOW!

That is all. For now.

Sleepless Mama
a.k.a. Miss Never Wrong About This Kind Of Thing


Anonymous said...

Ah yes... the same network that is bringing us televised bingo.

ABC: winner of "Has Hit Bottom and Started Digging" award.

Sleepless Mama said...

Oh man, I completely forgot about the Bingo thing! Actually, I think that one may last longer than the Cavemen show. I mean, look how long that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was on.

me said...

the only TV i ever watch is House, M.D.

Manny said...

I'm gonna hang in there and see if they come up with "Extreme Home Makeover: Bingo Edition!"