Over the past few years I’ve become vastly disappointed by network television and the lack of true entertainment found there. It seems we’ve become locked into a pathetic cycle of Reality TV (which in my opinion is an oxymoron), programs who have seen better days, failing reboots of classic 70’s programs, and lazy writing in general. Thus when anything unique or different appears we hold our mutual breathes in anticipation of being saved from the network sludge insulting our senses.
It has come to my attention though that the fantasy/supernatural/paranormal genre is starting to leak down from the cable networks into the regular networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. Such successful programs as Battlestar Galactica (yes it was a reboot, but one that was done well), True Blood, Doctor Who, Being Human (the British version not the Americanized one), Torchwood, and various other shows have caught the attention of the know it all executives who wouldn’t know entertainment if it walked up and bit them on the ass.
Until recently the only program I watched on a regular basis was Supernatural on the CW network. The CW is the little network that could and its so far down the totem pole most folks don’t bother. The CW for all its flaws has the sense (sometimes) to know what the big four are just starting to get an inkling of–fantasy and the supernatural sell when done well. Once upon a time the CW was known as the WB and introduced such classic genre shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel, and Smallville. Supernatural introduced on the WB in its last year is still going strong into its 7th season. A couple of things these shows all have; excellent writing, incredible actors, and eventually rabid fan-bases created via word of mouth on-line. The CW has continued the tradition of genre shows by introducing Vampire Diaries and this season The Secret Circle. I doubt any of them would have lasted if they’d been optioned by one of the big four networks.
Why you might wonder do I say this?
Simple. The networks have this incredibly bad habit of allowing the executives to push the creators and writers into changing what works. A prime example of this is Heroes one of NBC’s former potential golden shows that started out with a bang and ended with a pathetic whimper. I was excited by this show in the beginning, but going into Season 2 it was clear the executives had started weaseling their way into the writer’s room.
Here’s the thing guys–I don’t try to tell a construction worker how to do their job because I am NOT a construction worker! So, do us all a favor and go back to pushing your little pencils around and leave the writing to the fucking writers already. *clears throat*
Okay, back to the original topic. There has been a popping up of genre shows this season ABC’s Once Upon A Time, NBC’s Grimm, CBS’ A Gifted Man. Whether any of these will get the time to bloom and show what they may have to offer is yet to be seen. I’ve personally watched Once Upon A Time and Grimm, both of which I see as having viable potential to both entertain and build a following.
Once Upon a Time is a unique perspective on the fairy tales of our youth. This one is not for the kiddies. Told in a series of flashbacks along with present day we learn all the characters of those fairy tales were cursed by the Evil Queen so they may never have their happily every after. Drawn into our world they have no memory of who they were or their true origins, all of them average folks living in a small Maine town. Unfortunately for the Queen, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming (his name is James) is saved by being sent to our world before the curse overtakes their world. She is now the only hope they have of being released from the curse.
Grimm follows a Portland Homicide detective who suddenly begins seeing what he believes are hallucinations. Shortly after his aunt (played by the exquisite Kate Burton, daughter of Richard Burton) arrives telling him she is dying of cancer, but there is more. His family is cursed with the ability to see the true faces of the beings we share this world with and they hunt down the bad ones. Thought the Brothers Grimm were just telling stories–they weren’t. They were part of a group of humans who keep the balance between the natural and supernatural. The stories were true and the evil creatures were their prey. When
one Grimm dies another in the blood line takes on their power. So, welcome to the world of Grimm and trying to balance fate, daily life, and the hope of having a normal life when fighting the good fight.
What stands between the success or failure of these shows are the very people who gave them the green light in the first place. If these “men in black” have any common sense they will step back and allow these possible genre successes to follow a course their creators meant for them to follow. They will allow the viewers to decide if perhaps fairy tales and the supernatural will become the new cop drama something that has saturated the airwaves for over a decade.
You be the judge.
Until Later…Blessed Be