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September 2, 2014

Ask Mo Returns! Answering Your Questions on 'Terra Nova,' 'Revenge,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Ringer' and Much More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 12th 2011 11:30AM
Thanks for all the great questions you sent in for this round of Ask Mo. I picked a bumper crop to take on this time. Let's get right to it, shall we?

Jamilbhatti0782: Do you think 'Terra Nova' will be picked up for a full season?

Mo says: Production wrapped last week on the first season of the dino drama, which was always envisioned as a 13-hour saga (according to a Fox representative, the show's 2-hour season finale airs Dec. 19). Any episodes beyond that would be part of a hypothetical second season, but the network hasn't yet decided whether to order a season 2. Given the show's high cost and relatively modest ratings, the jury is still out on whether we'll get a second season of dinosaur drama.

Will we want one? That's another good question. I'd love to hear in comments what everyone thinks of the much-hyped show. 'Terra Nova' is supposed to be a family-friendly drama, but my nine-year old son, who adores dinosaurs and action-adventure (and who is also addicted to more ambitious family-friendly fare like 'Doctor Who'), turned to me after the Oct. 3 episode and said, "Mommy, that was boring." Out of the mouths of babes....

Clhamburger: Do you think a show like 'Ringer' can sustain itself for more than a season?

Mo says: At this point, I'd be happy if it could sustain itself for one season. I've watched four episodes of the CW drama, and for a thriller, it's decidedly lacking in thrills.I'd be willing to forgive the paper-thin characterizations if the plot was jam-packed with exciting twists, but this generally plodding show exhibits little storytelling flair and takes itself way too seriously. I've tried, really I have, but the endless scenes of characters discussing their marital troubles and Siobhan's "adventures" in Paris have been testing my patience in the extreme. My desire to watch a Sarah Michelle Gellar show has been severely diminished by the knowledge that this one doesn't really know how to use her or how to engineer twisty turns and soapy deliciousness. Sorry, Buffy, but I think I'm done with 'Ringer's' identical twins.

John R: I feel like we are experiencing something great in watching the episodes of season 4 of 'Breaking Bad' roll out. This is a work of art that is working on every level. Greatest TV drama? Who can say? But it seems that times have changed since the broadcast of 'Breaking Bad's' closest competitors for that honor, shows like 'The Wire.' Now there are a raft of critics like yourself and the Hitfix [critics], plus the weekly podcast from the 'Breaking Bad' crew themselves allowing us insights into the creative process. It's as though new forms of technology and communication have made the cultural process itself more accessible and immediate.

My question: Do you agree that this is an exceptionally exciting experience, to be present at the birth of a work of art like 'Breaking Bad,' and how do you feel about the role in this process of critics like you?


Mo says: I definitely agree that this season of the AMC show was exceptional. For me (and I would venture to say for many other critics) watching 'Breaking Bad' blossom into a modern-day classic has been a thrill and a joy (and by the way, our 'Breaking Bad' interviews, features and reviews can be found here). Talking, thinking and writing about how a great show has achieved that greatness is one of the biggest pleasures of this job, in addition to just sitting back and enjoying the creative efforts of a top-notch group of writers, directors, actors and crew members. My heart gets stomped on every time a good or great program ends its run or goes away too soon, but it builds resilience to know that there's very likely another amazing television moment around the corner -- and 'Breaking Bad's' season 4 finale certainly provided that.

As far as that show's critical reception goes, I frankly struggled with the first two seasons of 'Breaking Bad': I felt that there were a lot of things to like about the show, but I had a hard time with the bleakness at the heart of it. But the world and the characters that 'Breaking Bad' had built up, plus the show's skill at creating delicious tension, moral dilemmas and indelible visuals, truly began clicking for me in season 3 (which I watched all in one weekend -- you can read that chronicle here, here and here). I am very grateful that other critics sang the show's praises so loudly during season 3; they led me to watch that amazing run of episodes, and I was really grateful that I was fully on board during season 4 as it aired.

As for the role of technology in helping us all enjoy these shows, it's a beautiful thing, and it has indeed changed even from a few years ago -- we all have more avenues through which to share our assessments and enthusiasm. I hope this doesn't seem douchey to say, but it absolutely makes my day when someone says that they wouldn't have watched 'Battlestar Galactica' or 'Friday Night Lights' had I not kept writing about those shows (as did many other critics, of course).

I'm beyond glad that so many critics I respect are using their sites, podcasts, tweets and various other platforms to highlight what's interesting and/or great about the current era in television. Along those lines, I have to point you to the AV Club, which has been doing terrific long-form interviews with showrunners like Vince Gilligan and Louis C.K., who've talked about every episode of the most recent seasons of their respective shows. Fascinating stuff.

Evilgalprods: Stipulating that there are several crap shows out this season (and every season), what would you identify as the primary "missing factor" in today's TV fare?

Mo says: Space, the final frontier. It makes me sad that smart networks like Showtime, HBO, FX and Starz haven't come up with an intelligent, character-driven sci-fi or sci-fi flavored drama. The broadcast networks have generally screwed up every attempt they've made at the genre, especially in the post-'Lost' era, but I sort of expect that. What's more depressing is that nobody else seems to be stepping into that the space void.

I was really pleased with how well Syfy's 'Alphas' turned out in its first season, but I'd put that show more in the superhero-flavored camp than the science-fiction realm. And fantasy fare such as 'Game of Thrones' and 'Once Upon a Time' is not really what I'm talking about either, though I appreciate those shows' distinctive worlds. I'm talking about a show that takes on the great themes of space shows: Exploration, possibility, assimilation, survival, how societies choose to organize and rule themselves, society vs. the "other," etc.

My hypothetical sci-fi drama doesn't necessarily have to have space ships, though of course, I wouldn't say no to a show that took place in space. The main thing is this hypothetical show has to do is engage with the classic sci-fi themes, as 'Battlestar Galactica' did, via complex characters who face knotty moral and personal conundrums. To say that 'Terra Nova' isn't cutting it in any of those areas is putting it mildly, and the same goes for 'Falling Skies,' both of which tend to avoid the most interesting parts of their premises. (Don't get me started on the generally awful recent season of 'Torchwood,' which extravagantly squandered all the good will built up by 'Torchwood: Children of Earth.')

But in these dark times, a space or sci-fi drama could help us see the possibilities that lie not just in the stars, but in ourselves. As Charlie Jane Anders of io9 put it in a great essay on this very topic, "it's definitely an untapped niche, and one which connects to some of our most basic desires as people -- to get out of our world, to explore, to find something bigger than ourselves, and to be heroes on a much grander canvas. Why the hell not?"

So say we all!

Javier: 'Up All Night' seems to have potential, but what is the point of the Maya Rudolph wannabe Oprah [character]? Any chance they'll can her and move on?

Mo says: I doubt they'll get rid of her, considering NBC marketed the show in part as a vehicle for the 'Bridesmaids' star. So that won't happen, but I agree with you -- 'Up All Night' seems to be two shows, neither of which fully works, awkwardly jammed together. One show is a mildly forced comedy about a couple with a new baby, and the other is about an imperious talk-show diva who has something of a split personality -- at times she is demanding and clueless, as divas are, but at other times, she appears to be the moderately sane friend of Christina Applegate's character.

Despite liking all the members of the cast, I just can't get behind this show, given its many structural and tonal problems. Do let me know if you think it takes a great leap forward, but for now, it was my submission in our list of TV Shows We've Already Given Up On.

Arnas Baldauskas: I think 'Revenge' has potential and its cast is not bad, but the storyline is kind of weak. What do you think about it?

Mo says: Agreed on the storyline front. I think it's pretty formulaic show at this point, and the characters aren't quite interesting or fun enough to make up for that yet. My biggest problem is how quickly Emily ruins the lives of those who've wronged her -- it all happens pretty easily, and where's the soapy suspense in that? Still, I want to like this show -- I think Emily VanCamp (whom my co-worker Maggie Furlong interviewed here) is very talented, and 'Revenge,' which has a few sparky elements, has the potential to be escapist fun. I'll give it a few more chances before I decide whether to put down roots in the Hamptons.

Lou: How do you feel about character deaths? I've been thinking about how it's become a real hindrance to shows like 'True Blood' and 'Supernatural.' When you know the main characters (Bill, Sookie, Eric and the Winchesters) will not be killed off for good, putting them in life-threatening situations every week almost feels pointless. [However] other shows that are based firmly in reality like 'Breaking Bad' -- I can actually imagine them killing off Walt or Jesse for real before the show ends. It would be a bold move but one I could actually see happening. It makes watching it much more emotionally engaging and intense because it could happen.

Mo says: Totally agreed. There have been some recent episodes of 'Sons of Anarchy' that weren't all that suspenseful for me, because any time Jax Teller is in "danger," I think, "Well, there's no way he's going to die." On the other hand, I can recall specific episodes of 'BSG' that were intensely suspenseful because I fully thought that show would be willing to kill off a major character, if it made sense within the narrative. Same goes for 'Breaking Bad': Half the reason that show is so gripping is because it's convinced us by now that it has the courage to really do almost anything with any of its characters.

Of course, having said that, I don't think 'Breaking Bad' is ever going to kill off Walt, at least not until the end of the series (and that's just my own speculation). But, as 'The Shield' did with Vic Mackey, the show does a terrific job of putting Walt in situations that seem hopeless or potentially deadly, then showing him finding creative (if evil) ways out of those horrible jams. That kind of plotting is hard to pull off, and 'True Blood' doesn't really try it much -- that show just tends to pile plots on top of plots on top of plots, on the erroneous assumption that more is always better. That show is proof that it's really not.

Over on 'Supernatural,' I know the Winchesters will never die -- well, if they do die or go to Hell, that's always a temporary situation. But I'm not sure the show's current gambit -- making the brothers' lives seem so hopeless that you wonder if they wish they were dead -- is a good solution to this problem. Friday's episode was a low point for me as a fan, and if you disagree, or if you agree, join the still-raging debate (175 comments and counting!) on my review of last week's episode.

Wicker: Any ideas for the next Joss Whedon project (like he needs the help)? A 'Dr. Horrible' sequel, 'Buffy: The Next Generation'? What would you like to see from him?

Mo says: I thought I'd include this question given that the trailer for 'The Avengers,' the movie Whedon is currently directing, came out yesterday. I think the fact that Whedon is directing a tentpole superhero film is all the proof we need that he's too high up in the entertainment-industry food chain to come back to TV, possibly ever, or at least not for a long while. And who can blame him for leaving behind the TV grind, given how his last couple of series were treated by TV executives?

If he ever comes back to TV, he should go to HBO, Showtime, Starz or FX (maybe not AMC, given all their showrunner troubles of late). HBO and Showtime are fine with giving unconventional shows time to find themselves, Starz has given a great home to 'Buffy' alumni Steven DeKnight (creator of the very 'Buffy'-esque 'Spartacus') and FX gave Louis CK a (small) pile of money and allowed him to go make the exact show he wanted to make. Maybe there are other networks out there that could potentially provide safe havens for Whedon fare, but those are the ones that spring to mind.

I certainly wouldn't mind a 'Dr. Horrible' sequel when Whedon is done with 'The Avengers,' and honestly, if he were to abandon the network system entirely to do a full-on television series online, you can believe that I'd be among the millions of fans who would follow him there.

Sobelcraig: We loved 'Sherlock' on PBS last year. When is it coming back?

Mo says: Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said a couple of months ago that 'Sherlock' would return on PBS "probably in May," [Update] 'Sherlock' will return May 6, according to a Masterpiece spokeswoman, and it will consist of three new installments written by 'Doctor Who' head honcho Steven Moffat and fellow 'Sherlock' executive producer Mark Gatiss. The sprightly adaptation will again star Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I'm very much looking forward to it -- the first season was a blast.

And by the way, if it's top-notch British mysteries you're looking for, check out 'Case Histories,' PBS Masterpiece's adaptation of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels. They star Jason Isaacs, who's terrific in the lead role, and the three installments that will air in October (starting Sunday) cover Atkinson's first three Brodie books. I should have a 'Case Histories' interview with Isaacs posted later this week.

Louise: Is there anything in the pipeline from Ron Moore or others from 'BSG' creative team? And what is the 'FNL' of the season so far -- the smart show that no one's watching?

Mo says: Ron Moore had three pilots that didn't get picked up in the last development cycle, but in August, Deadline reported that he and 'Caprica' writer Matt Roberts had sold a Western pilot to ABC. We won't know until spring whether that pilot will get picked up. As for other 'BSG' alumni, they all continue to appear in various projects: Edward James Olmos can be seen in the current season of 'Dexter,' Mary McDonnell's 'Closer' spinoff, 'Major Crimes,' debuts next year, Jamie Bamber will guest next year in the new TNT drama 'Perception' and 'Longmire,' Katee Sackhoff's new A&E show, debuts on next year as well. The rest of the show's cast continue to pop up regularly in many different shows, too many to list here.

As for the 'FNL' of this season, 'Homeland' isn't much like that late, lamented Texas saga in subject matter or tone, but it's a dense, compelling, terrifically acted drama. I highly recommend the Showtime drama, which I reviewed recently here and which you can still easily catch up on via On Demand and so forth.

FlyoverFi: If you were a network executive already thinking about the development of new shows for the 2012-'13 TV season, what do you take away from the first few weeks of the current season other than Eddie Cibrian is no Jon Hamm?

Mo says: Ha! Ain't that the truth. In a general sense, I'd say network executives would be wise to let individual characters and writers have distinctive voices. 'Charlie's Angels' failed because it has no real point of view or attitude -- it's just there, there's nothing intrinsically interesting or entertaining about it. But edge-free, lowest-common-denominator fare (and so far, everything from 'Terra Nova' to 'Hart of Dixie' to 'How to Be a Gentleman' falls into that category) seem to be performing below expectations, while the memorably goofy 'New Girl' has been the fall's biggest hit.

Certainly comedy appears to be working in general, and if the number of female-created comedies getting full-season pickups ('New Girl,' 'Whitney,' 'Up All Night,' '2 Broke Girls') is a sign of things to come, I'm happy about that, even if I think the post-pilot episodes of '2 Broke Girls' have been a real disappointment, creatively speaking.

Ferris: In a couple recent podcasts, you've discussed characters whose actions are determined by what the plot needs, not what the character would actually do. Tara in 'Sons of Anarchy' is one I can recall, offhand. Which characters do you think suffer most from that effect?

Mo says: I'd say Kate from 'Lost' was the most extreme example of this -- in the final season, she had no discernible arc, she merely tramped around the island delivering messages and acting as story spackle whenever various strands of the show needed to be linked together. It was really disappointing that a character who started off with such potential came off as an afterthought who often merely helped to fill in holes in other people's stories.

In the last couple of seasons of 'Supernatural,' Castiel occasionally functioned as what I call a "Whatever" character -- a character that happens to have whatever power, information or item that the main characters happen to need at that moment (see also: Penelope on 'Criminal Minds,' Chloe on '24'). Those characters can definitely be overused; when not employed sparingly (or given their own organic character arcs), they tend to function as human plot shortcuts. The flip side of that is when a show doesn't quite know what to do with a character or how to get them to a certain point, so it invents tedious or uninteresting story lines for that person to go through, and the use of Tara in season 3 of 'Sons of Anarchy' certainly qualifies in that regard.

Readers, I'll throw the question back to you. What TV characters have been made to serve the story at the expense of their overall arc or development? Share some examples if you care to.

Billy: If you watched 'The Hour' on BBC America, what did you think of it?

Mo says: I did watch it, and I enjoyed it quite a bit (Ryan McGee and I talked about it on this podcast). I'm a sucker for period dramas, but the cast of this look at England in the 1950s was particularly strong, as was 'The Hour's' intelligent look at a post-war society in transition. The spy stuff and the parts that had to do with Freddie's friend Ruth Elms felt a bit messy and awkwardly jammed in at times, but overall, it was a solid effort and I look forward to the show's second season. I just hope it doesn't premiere when I'm traveling on business and/or on vacation, as was the case this year.

GilesGBruce: What are your thoughts on "Dexter"? It's had its ups and downs -- I think Season Four was a low point -- but for me it's still must-watch TV. Have you given up on it?

Mo says: Yes, I have. I'd rather remember the excellence of the first two seasons of 'Dexter' than watch the increasingly formulaic drama it has become. Speaking of creating tension, a topic that came up earlier in this column, there isn't much left when we know that Dexter will be able to wriggle out of any jam and will never get caught, no matter what. The show used to be an intriguing character study, but every time I've attempted to watch it in recent seasons, Dexter himself has become less and less interesting to me (despite Michael C. Hall's generally good work). The show used to be about an extremely damaged person who wondered what it would be like to be a "real boy," but now it's become a show about a guy whose hobby happens to be murder. That's not that interesting to me, especially considering that the stakes seem less and less real each season and the characters -- Dexter and everyone around him -- go through similar experiences year after year.

And I have to say, Showtime's increasingly lighthearted 'Dexter' ads have helped put me off the show. The show has always elements of black comedy, of course, but to increasingly play Dexter's dark avocation for laughs in advertisements just strikes me as a little too glib. How can we take Dexter's actions seriously if they rarely bring about real consequences and when they are framed, in ads anyway, as comedic and wacky?

Tausif: What do you think about the web series 'The Guild' and 'Husbands'?

Mo says: I think they've both been a lot of fun and are worth checking out. I wrote about Husbands here, and though I haven't written about the current season of 'The Guild,' the series is a perennial favorite of mine and I've enjoyed the Guildies' convention adventures quite a bit. All the famous guest stars have been incorporated well, and I've especially loved the subplot about the snooty steampunks. When boring network pilots are getting me down, I feel fortunate to be able to watch one of these Web series and feel renewed hope for the future of TV, wherever it lives.

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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USA J

Mo, you're nine year old rocks. Following in mom's footsteps, too. Yeah, Terra Nova is a snooze. When I first heard about it, I expected it to be both a financial and ratings loser. Surprised that any network would invest in it and I am a huge science fiction/fantasy geek, too (who still carries a tiki torch in mourning for LOST) . I like Revenge and yes, it has become my guilty pleasure each week. As a brand new series, I think the writers are intentionally trying to wrap up Emily's victim story each week in an almost procedural fashion since television viewer attention spans (especially on broadcast television) aren't what they used to be. Furthermore, I think this is a hook the writers are using to attract new viewers each week without having to worry about terribly complex back story. Hopefully, as the series evolves, the revenge plots will become more complicated and not always go as planned. Disappointed to the max about the purported female comedy revolution this year. Whitney is generally unfunny (the laugh track should be abandoned altogether and the writing needs comedy; 2 Broke Girls is just awful, shrill, crass, vulgar and totally unwatchable for me (it's even worse than 2.5 Men) ; New Girl is boring, unfunny and the rest of the cast seems like misplaced background scenery for Deschanel's perpetual puppy dog faces and goo-goo eyes (so cloying and annoying in its cuteness and preciousness I want to rip my eyes out). Female comedians deserve so much better than all this drivel they've been given. I know you are lukewarm on Happy Endings but it has grown on me quite a bit and I now consider it one of my favorite television comedies. The writing is wickedly funny and the lines are delivered at breakneck speed like the actors and writers have consumed too much caffeine; I always watch it at least a second time (just like another favorite, Cougar Town) to catch so many funny bits I missed during the first viewing. Both Happy and Cougar have dialogue elements of the classic romantic screwball comedies of William Powell and Carol Lombard or Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Of course, no one talks like that in real life but the movies and television are not real life. It seems that most people either love or hate both Happy Endings and Cougar Town as I read different comments around the web. Both have great ensemble casts with tons of chemistry, but traditional comedies they are not. Both, thankfully, have no laugh track and each one equally shares the funny or funny/poignant bits among all players.
Well, Mo, always enjoy reading your stuff. I bet by the time the Fall season is over, you feel like destroying your television set(s) or ripping your eyes out. How do you think this season is stacking up so far for both broadcast and cable? Sounds like a lot of potentially better stuff reserved for midseason, too.

October 13 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rba78

My disappointment in Terra Nova is now complete. Ripping off a storyline from an episode of Stargate Atlantis, a memory sapping virus, was the last straw. Why couldn't they have developed characters as they went from a world of pure convenience, and the cost to the enviorment for that convenience. To a world where nothing is guaranteed, not even the survival of the human race. Instead of stupid teenager plotlines, where stupid teenagers wander into the wild and DON'T get eaten by dinosaurs. Where food is in abdundance and readily available at the local market, while not needing to know where it comes from or how it's grown. It's just always right there for you and plenty of it. Where no one eats meat. A splendid home, provided by someone else, given to you. The equivalent of those spacious lofts New York tv characters live in, but can't possibly afford, but live in anyway. Where everything isn't guaranteed and provided by the government or your parents.

October 13 2011 at 4:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rba78's comment
John Browning

I think the ripping off Hitchcock's "The Birds" was an even more egregious mistake. The lack of thought that's gone into this mess is unreal.
It reminds me of when Spielberg produced
Amazing Stories" for NBC years ago. Great promise that never came off.
I hate the teen characters & the subplot of the old boyfriend for the now married doctor is just absurd.
This is just recycled scripts altered to add dinos.

October 14 2011 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Louise

Thanks for answering my questions, Mo. Agree with you on Homeland and on the need for a smart sci-fi show. Can't get too excited about a western from Ron Moore; just not my genre, but it's better than nuttin'.

As for characters who serve only plot at the expense of their own arc, I think they did that to O'Hara in Nurse Jackie last season. They turned a really interesting, ambitious, funny doctor into a doormat who forgave Jackie after only a few episodes of pouting. Then nothing for the rest of the season until she became Jackie's 'dealer' in the final episode because Jackie will need a steady stream of scrips or there's no show. If I had a rubber brick, I would have thrown it at the tv...

October 12 2011 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Louise's comment
Mo Ryan

Couldn't agree more re O'Hara. Half the reason I gave up on the show is that every time O'Hara was allegedly mad at Jackie and done with her -- hey presto, she wasn't! It all got forgotten. Ridiculous waste of the character and performance.

October 12 2011 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig Ranapia

Mo wrote:
'Charlie's Angels' failed because it has no real point of view or attitude -- it's just there, there's nothing intrinsically interesting or entertaining about it.

I reply:
Plus one to that - but I'd also add the limp casting didn't really help matters either. (I think I said to you on Twitter that the 'Charlies Angels' pilot just made me wish someone would build a show around Gina Torres, Tricia Helfer and Marcia Cross kicking butt and exchanging catty one-liners.) The 'Hawaii Five-O' re-boot is no classic, but apart from the charisma-free dead zone that is Alex O'Loughlin the central ensemble doesn't put me in a coma.

Mo also wrote:
" I think the fact that Whedon is directing a tentpole superhero film is all the proof we need that he's too high up in the entertainment-industry food chain to come back to TV, possibly ever, or at least not for a long while. "

I reply:
I've got to quibble with that - I don't think Martin Scorsese felt he was slumming when he exec produced and directed the pilot of 'Boardwalk Empire' hot on the heels of the biggest commercial (and arguably criticall) hit of his film career, 'The Departed;. If anything's keeping Whedon out of television, I suspect it has more to do with him having the ability to do a lot of other things. I suspect Marvel would be perfectly happy to offer him more work writing comic books, and even though he's said script doctoring wasn't an entirely happy experience, there's worse ways to make a living.

October 12 2011 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Finn

Wait, a Case Histories adaptation? Starring Jason Isaacs? I love Atkinson's work so I'm intrigued as hell.

October 12 2011 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joseph Finn's comment
Mo Ryan

Yep, it's good stuff. Starts Sunday. I should have a post up on it tomorrow.

October 12 2011 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TAUSIF

@Mo Thanks for answering my question

@Wicker Joss Whedon also has another movie coming out shortly before The Avengers on April 13 called Cabin in the Woods it has Chris Hemsworth (he made this before Thor and Whedon actually recommended him to Branaugh for Thor), Fran Kranz and Amy Acker. Whedon only wrote the movie but Drew Goddard directed it. Apparently it starts a whole new mythos and we might get new comic books out of it if it succeeds.

October 12 2011 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa Thomas

I hope you really are done with Ringer if it means you won't trash the show again. This column sucks.

October 12 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wendy

Mo, I can't agree with you more about the dearth of sci-fi but I would expand that to include shows for children. It seems like most tv shows for tweens are about kids who have singing/acting careers and balance those with their "real" lives. Comparatively, a show about science fiction and aliens would be relatively realistic. My daughter and I not only enjoy Doctor Who but also the soon-to-be-late-and-lamented Sarah Jane Adventures. There's nothing like either show in children's television today. Sci-fi helps people, I think, allegorize human experience. When the Doctor tells humans (in, say, The Hungry Earth) that they have to be the very best people they can be in the face of the possible murder of their loved ones, it's a real teaching moment, so much more so than MIley dealing with having a zit. If HBO wanted to impress me, it would develop quality children's programming that matches its high quality drama and comedy programming for adults.

October 12 2011 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wendy's comment
Mo Ryan

Great point. I generally despise all the live-action shows aimed at tweens/kids. They're horribly acted and shrieky and awful and don't bear much of a relation to reality. Honestly, the ideal would be more shows like Doctor Who, but if they don't materialize give me Regular Show and SpongeBob and Adventure Time over the live-action tween bilge.

October 12 2011 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DiMeo

I'm with you MO I think that "Up all Night" and "2 Broke Girls" had funny promising pilots but their following episodes are terrible

October 12 2011 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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