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GIMMICK TV

I have learned to loathe gimmick TV – shows with a clever premise and nothing else. Sure, they have an attractive hook, but they don’t seem to want to tell you a story. They just want to draw things out over endless episodes. If they happen to have some charismatic actors or actresses, they can string you along for a while. But eventually, you realize you’ve been had.

And if they don’t cast charismatic characters, you catch on by the second episode.

LOST is the best example. Riveting, frustrating, and eventually…. ::yawn:::.

Oddly enough, the reason I didn’t watch HEROES right from the start was that it seemed so clearly gimmicky. Each character with a special power – great set-up, but without a strong storyline, just another pretty face. I’m so glad my friends bugged me and bugged me until I finally tuned in, because HEROES is a perfect example of what happens when you’re willing to tell a great story every week rather than just teasing the audience with the possibility of a story.

This year, the gimmicks are out of control. And the shows are almost universally lacking in a strong plot. CHUCK (nerd has top secret info in his brain, the spy community is out to protect/kill him) – same lame set-up two weeks in a row. REAPER? I wanted it to be good, but I ended up tuning out halfway through the second episode. (It’s about a guy whose parents accidentally sold his soul to the devil – now that you know that, you know the whole story, trust me). MOONLIGHT? I love a good vampire story, but this is just blah, despite the good-looking cast. JOURNEYMAN, ugh. BIG BANG? Oh lord, let it be cancelled quickly. And don't even get me started on CAVEMEN. Yes, I laughed at the commercial. Now it's over. Please.
I did give PUSHING DAISIES a try and hated it, but my family liked it, so I guess it can stick around, but it's got the worst gimmick of all: the main character can bring a dead person back to life by touching him/her, but if he touches him/her again, she/he dies again. (and it gets worse)

Oddly enough, the most gimmicky=sounding of all the new shows, BIONIC WOMAN, has been okay. We’ll see what happens. (not that I need a new show to watch. I'm trying to unload some in fact!

Meanwhile, I’ll stick with the non-gimmicks, like SUPERNATURAL, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, 30 ROCK, and a few others. And HEROES, since it’s great. And DEXTER on Showtime, because even though it’s a tad gimmicky, it has transcended its set-up and gives us a strong story every week, great characters, and a riveting overarching plot.

Kate

p.s. Speaking of SUPERNATURAL, it’s tonight!!!!!! Yay!!

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
msbhaven
Oct. 4th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
Supernatural? I know! The best part you don't have to wait until 9 o'clock tonight to watch it. iTunes has a free download of the season premiere.
katedonovan
Oct. 5th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
ooo, thanks for the tip. Did you watch it yet?
msbhaven
Oct. 5th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
Nope. I'll end up watching on the television at 5 in the morning. No interruptions. Peace, quiet, and my latte.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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