Tuesday, September 20, 2022

TV: Fall TV has arrived

Summer turns to fall and new programs show up on TV and streaming services.  Possibly so many new shows that important events on existing shows get overlooked?  Let's start with the new.

PEACOCK hasn't had a great deal of luck with scripted programming.  Most of it has been British shows that they've tried to pass off as original to PEACOCK or embarrassments like BRAVE NEW WORLD.  But they have had some success -- QUEER AS FOLK, MCGRUBER and ONE OF US IS LYING.  With VAMPIRE ACADEMY, they can add one more to their shows worth watching.  

Episodes one through four dropped last week and that was good because Julie Plec and company are laying the groundwork for a long run.  Plec is responsible for THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, LEGACY and, most importantly THE ORIGINALS.  Plec has overseen long running shows because of her attention to characterizations and plot points.  She knows how to build audience interest.  That should make her a strong asset for PEACOCK.


But PEACOCK thinks a season is ten episodes.  Episodes five through ten will air weekly on Thursdays.  Is there a reason, other than NETFLIX envy, that PEACOCK is going for ten episode seasons?  Plec should be able to handle it and have a tight season but she really works best on a larger canvas.  

She's got a strong cast -- especially Daniela Nieves as Lissa -- and this feels like a show that's not just marking time -- unlike so many shows that debuted last fall on THE CW.  

Season two of FATE: THE WINX SAGA also reels you in -- sadly, it's only seven episodes and WINX is petty much gone in the blink of an eye.  Before that happens, Bloom (Abigail Cowen) grows stronger and the characters grow deeper.  That's especially true of Terra (Eliot Salt) who has a season of self-reflection and self-realization.  But it's true also of Andreas (Ken Duken) who becomes so much more than he was last season and so many others.  

While time flies by quickly on both VAMPIRE DIARIES and FATE: THE WINX SAGA, it seems to drag on when it comes to MONARCH, FOX news series starring Susan Sarandon.  Susan's not the problem -- killing her off in the first episode might be.  She's the only one in the cast who pulls you in.  The cast isn't bad -- and the actors may grow into their roles -- but no one else is really able to lead.  There's also the problem Mike noted, they haven't cast the show well.  A new show needs the audience to easily follow the various characters.  But when you've cast dark haired men in the younger parts, you risk people confusing Luke (Joshua Sasse) with Cliave (Adam Croasdell) or even Ace (Inigo Pascual) as they try to sort through who's who.  This could be avoided by casting, for example, a bald man in the role, or a blond, or giving someone a brush cut, or a redhead.

Joshua Sasse will probably stand out quickly if the show lasts because he's the one who has mastered a role.  A drama -- especially a soap opera -- often requires the actor and the writers feeling out a role.  So we're not slamming the rest of the cast.  But Sasse has already mastered what's been served up on the written page.  Maybe the writers can toss his character something to make Luke someone will root for?  At present, he's the son who's not appreciated by his father.  Because he's gay? If only.  They haven't even come up with a reason for the detachment/estrangement.  

Susan will return for flashbacks and other things but her character is dead.  What was the point?  BLUE SKIES did something similar with Ryan Phillippe; however, Ryan's character was brutally murdered in the first episode while he attempted to solve a mystery that all the characters swirled around. And David E. Kelley set this up wonderfully.

MONARCH let you know Susan's character had cancer in the first episode and her death wasn't surprising as a result.  You might have been shocked that they'd kill off Susan in the first episode, but that was it.  She had cancer, she was dying.  We knew that much.  Equally true, when Alfred Hitchcock killed off Janet Leigh at the start of PSYCHO, he still had Anthony Perkins in the cast.  MONARCH really has nothing.

Trace Adkins isn't bad as Albie.  He hits the right notes.  He doesn't do much else.  That's partly due to writing.  The show is just starting but it's starting with bad writing, really bad writing.  That's evident in the way episode one drags on (as does episode two) and it's evident in the characters -- none seem to have been thought out in terms of writing.  

Back to Plec, she thought out the characters, she thought out the plot points and she cast well.

MONARCH may have cast well -- it might not have -- but it's hard to tell when they've supplied the actors with so little.  

We heard the show was being critically trashed and that did surprise us until we watched.  Episode one would have tanked without Susan.  Episode two does tank.  

What could save this soap opera?  Maybe bringing on Heather Locklear.  We're not joking.  Trace Adkins needs a strong actress to work with -- a Heather Locklear, a Michael Michele.  An Amber Valletta would tank the show as surely as she tanked BLOOD & OIL.

Trace is the one we really feel sorry for.  Opposite Sarandon, he could have shined.  Now he'll end up in some sort of Katey Sagal relationship.  No, Dan doesn't fit with Katey's Louise and he never will.  

Sara Gilbert is out of control.  Her thirst for power saw her work to stab Roseanne Barr in the back and, in the process of her power grab, she destroyed her marriage.  We don't blame her wife for leaving.  We'd already noted her how pathetic Sara was.  She didn't come out until 2010.  Despite having two children with her partner by 2004.  Pathetic and disgusting.  

You're in the closet and you're a parent -- twice over -- with your female partner?

You're not just asking your partner to hide in the closet with you, you're asking your children too as well.

Sara is pathetic and disgusting.  She had a fit when Darlene was the source of a joke in season ten of ROSEANNE -- she didn't like Dan and Roseanne laughing about how Darlene might be gay.

And that, by the way, is the attitude that ended her marriage.  She's pathetic.  She doesn't want people to think of her as gay.  So she won't let Darlene be gay and she's avoided playing gay characters as an adult.  She has internalized homophobia and then some.  This season, the show goes on without Michael Fishman whom Sara fired.  DJ is gone. Roseanne's gone.  Pretty soon, it'll be just her and Katey -- playing Darlene and Lousie as gal pals -- but not lovers. 

Sara Gilbert and her homophobia are aided by a garbage press and that's never more true than when it comes to SCREEN RANT.

Last week, Cathal Gunning was again lying at SCREEN RANT.  ABC, he lied, fired Roseanne Barr.  No, they didn't.

They didn't have the power too.

They cancelled her show, that's all they could legally do.

They then trashed her in the press, claimed she had destroyed all these lives.  It was too late, they insisted, for the crew to get new jobs.  All the series were locked in.  So they were without jobs because of mean old Roseanne.  They then made promises, if she'd let them have the characters.

That's how they got THE CONNERS.  It's not now, and never has been, as popular as ROSEANNE.  But it had a built in audience and has made a ton of money for ABC because they stole it from Roseanne.

This is not a minor issue.  Louis CK lost his show because of his actions.  He was not then asked to sign away his creations.  No man ever is.  No woman has been before.  What they did to Roseanne was outrageous.

And uncalled for.  ABC heads should roll.  

If you missed it, ROSEANNE is a hit on COZY and it on many streamers -- that's all ten seasons. 

Twitter was outraged but the American people weren't.  That's because most could handle a joke that bombed.  And most grasped that Roseanne Barr wasn't a racist -- she had a life and a body of work to back that up -- unlike Sara Gilbert.

Sara stole the show.  And it's a minor hit because Sara's a minor talent.  She hasn't taken it anywhere.  She hasn't added to it.  She's made the generic White cast TV show while pretending that Roseanne was a racist.  The racist -- and the homophobe -- is Sara.  That's why Sandra Bernhard was brought back as Nancy on season ten of ROSEANNE (TV's first recurring lesbian who wasn't a joke) but never showed up on THE CONNERS.

ROSEANNE was a groundbreaking show.  THE CONNERS?  Sara Gilbert's destroyed the sitcom and made it run of the mill.

Roseanne supported Donald Trump, that's not a crime.  She's an extreme Zionist -- also not a crime.  She attempted a joke that didn't go over -- again, not a crime.

And people used it to destroy her.  Powerful people.  And they emotionally blackmailed her to get control of her show.

Those facts are disappeared for now but they will be huge in the future.  And Sara Gilbert will have to answer for what she did.  It will be attached to her for as long as anyone remembers her.  She's a backstabber who immediately moved to attack Roseanne so she and ABC could steal the show from her.  

There's no excuse for what she did.  And there's no excuse for the embarrassment that is THE CONNERS -- a tired show that makes MAYBERRY RFD seem revolutionary.  

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