Monday, October 22, 2018

TV: No cookie for THE ROOKIE

Many, many years ago Nathan Fillion and a sub-strata of womanhood entered into a devil's bargain that continues to this year: When they fawn over him, he won't marvel over the fact that, despite being homely, they somehow married and they'll pretend that he's not a mincing queen.  ABC's THE ROOKIE is the latest product of that bargain and it's just as painful as everything that's come before.


It's not just that the soon to be 48-year-old Fillion looks far too haggard to pass for the 40-year-old John Nolan, it's also that he looks far too fat to be a police recruit.  There is a physical for the job, after all.

Throwing caution and common sense to the wind, Fillion's construction worker John packs up his bags and heads for LA to become a cop apparently because, unlike the revulsion the rest of the world felt, he found inspiration in the LAPD beating of Rodney King.

His character is part of a rookie class that includes Lucy Chen (Melissa O'Neil) and John is supposed to be deeply attracted to Lucy but the two have so little spark you're left wandering if he's really pursuing Lucy to get closer to her training officer Tim Bradford (Eric Winter).

A lot of bad screen time has been spent pairing Fillion with various actresses.  For example, MODERN FAMILY teamed him with the very appealing Sarah Hyland but despite Hyland's charm and talent, the twenty year age difference was apparent in every single scene and, since Fillion was attempting to do straight out comedy, he really turned up the mincing factor, managing in one episode to even out flounce Eric Stonestreet.

Speaking of MODERN FAMILY, this season saw the show runners respond to our criticms -- face to face as well as printed here -- about the true homophobic nature of the show.  Did we catch it, we were asked at the start of last week?   Yes, we did.  And we thanked them for it.

We thanked them for proving us right, they are homophobic.  We had ignored it in our last article because we were trying to be kind.  But since you asked . . .

Finally, one of the children on the show as asked if they were gay.  Finally, the possibility was raised.  The children on the show are Haley, Luke, Alex, Manny, Lily and Joe.  Manny had a new girlfriend no one had met and she was Canadian so adults Mitch, Cam and Jay were convinced he was gay.  They raised Gloria's suspicions.  She tried to repeatedly make it clear to Manny that it would be okay to be gay.  And she managed to be offensive in the process.

Mitch and Cam's "lifestyle."  It's a life, it's not a lifestyle.  Did no one on the set object?  We kind of picture Julie Bowden applauding the same way she did when they wrote Jay as homophobic over Mitch and Cam's wedding a few seasons ago.

MODERN FAMILY has done very little to earn its repuation as a gay friendly show.  It's appalling that the non-homophobic Gloria, in 2018, referred to what Mitch and Cam share as a "lifestyle" and not a life.

And, of course, Manny's not gay.  There really is a gal in Candad.  Breathe easy, America, it's just Mitch and Cam.  They're the only ones in the big, big family that are or ever will be gay.

Maybe it's this refusal to grow that explains why the show's audience continues to shrink.

Bad ratings?

Is there any other story for Channing Dungey's ABC?

No, there's not.

Which brings up back to THE ROOKIE.

Over five million dollars were spent promoting the debut of this series -- nearly a million in outside advertising and 4.4 million worth of advertising spots on ABC.  No other ABC show this season has gotten that kind of advertising push.

So expectations were high for the premiere last Tuesday night.  And then came reality.  CINEMA BLEND put it best, "Nathan Fillion's The Rookie Got Mediocore Ratings, But ABC Is Still Pumped."  Over five million dollars to promote it, the most promotion ABC gave any of its new shows this season, and mediocre is the result?

Everything Channing Dungey touches turns to crap and THE ROOKIE is just the latest example.  Sad for ABC but creative types keep a finger in the wind, can be superstitious, and the feeling is Channing's on a bad streak and it's going to take her down so it's better to make deals right now with other networks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }