Monday, May 23, 2016

TV: Going out with a whimper

Blame it on the Moldavian Curse, if you will, but the season finales this spring have been very unshocking and truly mundane.


Oh, sure, THE BLACKLIST managed to shock but that was the exception.

The Moldavian Curse?

Once upon a time, the only shows having season finale twists were the serials, the nightime soap operas: KNOTS LANDING, FALCON CREST, DYNASTY, etc.  And it was DYNASTY that ended season five with the prospect that any character might be dead.

Blake and Alexis' daughter Amanda was marrying Prince Michael in Moldavia when terrorists burst in and shot up the chapel.  It made for a tremendous cliff hanger and strong ratings.

It was also difficult to get the sixth season rolling and to manage expectations after the only deaths were two minor characters (Lady Ashley and Luke Fuller).

The let down is no something factored in when season finales roll around.

Shonda Rhimes may be factoring that in.

Equally true, she's running on fumes.

Once upon a time, she could create and manage pot boilers.  Then she spread herself too thin while also destroying good will by getting caught being a flat out bitch in public.

Back in February, 2015, we noted:

Katherine Heigl is not a bitch and the fact that Shonda Rhimes can't get over their conflict isn't reason for The Water Cooler Set to attack Heigl.  Considering her success, we think Shonda should have been a lot more gracious or at least kept her mouth shut.  She may think it's amusing but she's a woman and her one-sided cat fight with Heigl will later be used to help bring Shonda down -- probably in two years when Shondaland no longer seems new and the viewers fall away and The Water Cooler Set can really sharpen their knives on her.
Yes, Shonda, you dominate ABC TV.
Once so did Carsey-Werner -- and where are they on the ABC schedule today?

Shonda spent all of 2015 failing.

If that's news to you, you've missed her burials this spring as one publication after another discovered she was tanking in the ratings.

The Water Cooler Set is the Christopher Columbus of media criticism.

We say that because what they discovered in the last few months, we were charting from February to May of 2015:

TV: Shonda Wasteland
TV: Off the rails
TV: When a show runner is a show ruiner
TV: If They Could Turn Back Time
TV: Shonda Rhimes' fall from grace
TV: ABC in shambles, pretend not to notice

2015 was one failure after another for Shonda Rhimes.

Proof of that was she finally got herself on the cover of Ms. magazine.

If you want to know where TV is . . . don't go to that magazine, they haven't known from TV since the seventies.

They're a dishonest LITTLE GOLDEN READER for those who can't read, serving up crap public relations hype passed off as 'reporting' and 'criticism.'

The only thing worse than the print edition is the laughable website.

But as bad as 2015 was, 2016 was even worse.

Her shows were failures.

SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER continued to bleed viewers.

And her new 'hit' THE CATCH?

It did scare up 10 million viewers for its premiere.  And by its final episode struggled to get four million.

Because no one could put up with that garbage.

It's why ABC informed Shonda next season would be SCANDAL's last.

Shonda did not make the decision to end the show, ABC did.

And several minutes too late?

Her big cliff hanger for SCANDAL?

Jake gets named Mellie's running mate but . . . he's still working for Olivia's father!!!

Does anyone care?

Does anyone give a damn about this show anymore?


Which is why a series whose season finale once grabbed 10.57 million viewers finished up this May with 6.65 million -- the lowest season finale the show has ever had.

Jake, for those of you who do not watch Shonda's claptrap, is one of two men on the show who treat Olivia like a chew toy.

Fitz is the other one.

Fitz, the President of the United States, left his wife in his second term after Olivia decided to tell the American people that she was the president's mistress.

Then they moved in together at the White House.

Then she had an abortion and left him.

What does Olivia want?

When viewers can't answer that about the main character of a show they watch constantly, the series is in trouble.

It's Shonda's fault.

She has no bible that she works from.

She has no long range stories.

She watches Headline News and rushes, from one week to the next, to try to craft a storyline on to the characters.

If the storylines don't actually fit the characters?

Who cares!

She's got preaching to do.

And it's this preaching that's run off the audience.

Complex (and satisfying) season finales can be hard to come back from.  And if you'd lost four million viewers from your fall debut to your spring wrap up, the way Shonda did, you might decide, as she apparently did, "F**k it, I'll just write some more 'commentary' and worry about actual storylines next fall."

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