Cancellicious: 3 Shows That Might Join ‘Lonestar’ in Failed Series Heaven
The TV DEATH WATCH has already begun!!! Fox officially euthanized its low rated critical darling on Tuesday. Lonestar needn’t worry because soon other low rated, costly network failures will be keeping it company.
My picks for other shows that won’t make it to season two:
Outsourced – Thursdays – NBC
It also has the potential to be a huge, huge hit because it has absolutely no shame about playing to the lowest-common-denominator. If one of the other three shows it shares the night with did a joke about Indian food giving you the shits, it would be couched in some level of self-aware irony, the show acknowledging that it was stooping to a puerile level, but, hey, sometimes puerile is really funny. Outsourced just says, “Holy shit, dude. If you eat Indian food, you’ll probably be on the toilet for, like, a WEEK, and it’ll be all runny and stuff? GROSS.” Sadly, this has often proved to be a solid way to entice the American public into watching television.
If Outsourced were on CBS or FOX, I wouldn’t expect it to be cancelled. On the contrary, I would expect the show to be cultivated and elevated to the status of other unfunny “comedies” like The Big Bang Theory (a laugh track? what, you don’t trust us?) or everyone’s favorite whipping comedy Two and a Half Men. But the peacock has been struggling to regain its Thursday night dominance since Seinfeld took its bag of nothing and went home two hundred years ago. Well, Outsourced is not the way to do it. It’s even worse than the Fred Savage vehicle Working or the stinky and recently canceled Better off Ted. Outsourced is what happens when a network is asked to rethink its enduring love affair with whiteness as “default” in order to present programming more inclusive to a global audience. If the bad press won’t get it, hopefully the respectable, but ultimately lackluster ratings will. POC/Non White characters are not props, tropes and stereotypes for the wacky white guy. By the way, I’ve gotten the trots from pot roast. Where’s my sitcom?
My Generation – Thursdays – ABC
Oh this one has everything: bad numbers, bad reviews and it’s a lousy show. I had it on in the background while preparing for the Grey’s Anatomy premiere and I actually had to turn off the sound/picture because it was so terrible. When a show is so bad it’s not even fit for background noise, you’ve got a pretty dire situation on your hands. The only joy I got in relation to My Generation is reading the bumper crop of terrible reviews written within moments after it debuted on ABC.
Sometimes people give a show the benefit of the doubt because it’s at least trying something new. But in this case, the producers have taken something old — the fake documentary — and misapplied it. Chances are no one is going to be wondering what ever happened to this show, either in 10 years or 10 weeks.
The faux-documentary feels just as false in its current-day updates as it does in its set-up. The over-achiever now works at a beachside bar. When reminded that his one word to describe his future was “success,” he feels as though he has it and few people with lives more difficult than surfing and flirting would disagree, but the consciously clever writing on the show underlines the irony of the over-achiever becoming a surfer as if it means something deep. It doesn’t.
Bottom line on this one: You can’t expect a show to grow an audience if we already own a copy of The Big Chill and nobody likes the characters on your show. Stay sweet, My Generation! Also, 2000 wasn’t all that long ago, couldn’t anyone find someone who remember what people wore, how they talked and what pop culture products they consumed? Is this really a difficult task to accomplish? Where are all the low rise jeans? Where’s The New Radicals?!!?
Better With You – Wednesdays – ABC
On a braver network this show would be called, White People with Silly White Problems and someone more clever would attempt to Fabreeze the stench of the early 90s off the show or at least try to pass it off as irony. Not happening here. It’s all earnest unfunny stuff shot in the same style as How I Met Your Mother and totally uninspired. Better With You has all the earmarks of all those shitty 90s FOX live action sitcoms like Ned & Stacy, Flying Blind, Babes and the truly awful Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Intrusive counterfeit chuckles: check. Recycled, stale jokes from unfunny sitcoms of yore: check. If Better With You makes it to midseason it’ll be on the strength of the strong cast whose talents are wasted on this terribly embarrassing dreck.
But don’t take my word for it; watch all 22 minutes of the pilot yourself. No, you won’t get those minutes back – ever.
What shows are on your TV DEATH WATCH?