Howdy readers! It’s time once again to unlock the feedback vault (we keep all of your comments in a high-security, low-moisture strongroom) and carefully pick the most valuable specimens to feature under the display cases in our lobby. That’s right: It’s TV.com Commenter Shout-Outs!
Like many of you, we had our eye on Tiny Furniture filmmaker Lena Dunham's HBO series Girls. But after last week's (super hyped) series premiere, the show garnered some negative buzz. Our own Price Peterson enjoyed the show's debut, calling it "incredibly relatable, honest and real." But at least one of you called it "eye bleedingly boring." Ouch. Let's see what else you had to say.
BarryDalton tried to explain the backlash...and said he remains curious with regard to what the show's future holds:
I feel like these characters could be from any generation, not just hipsters. I think the backlash comes from the fact that nobody likes to think their generation has this level of superficiality and naivete...when we are young we point fingers at others, not ourselves, that's why it takes a decade before you realize how lame your own generation was in many ways...usually the clothes and the haircuts but often more than that. One connects every generation is that 20 somethings are not self-reflective, they feel superior to previous generations, and they are extremely naive and superficial about both the present and future.
I found the first episode to be borderline genius in how it was able to simultaneously take the characters seriously while exposing their naivete and superficiality.
Not sure the show—any show—could do this successfully for 13 episodes. But I will tune in to find out. The series will either be great or impossible to watch—I look forward to your 4-episode review.
bmill2 simply appreciates the show's existence:
The fact that there is a divide in people's opinion probably means it's doing something right. The shows with "unilateral" appeal tend to be ones that are built on broad-stroke situations and characters (comedy, drama, take your pick). They show the world and people in exactly the way that we stereotype or expect the world to be. They are safe, comforting, and self-confirming. While that doesn't mean that they can't be engaging and entertaining shows, they fail to challenge the viewer. Shows that receive divided reactions tend to be shows that show a different (extreme or subtle) portrayal of people and the situations they find themselves in. Again, that doesn't mean that they are inherently more funny or engaging. What it does mean is that it is attempting to show a different way to look at the world. And I think that, in and of itself, is worthwhile. So while I may end up not liking the show, I at least can see the merit in allowing this type of show to exist.
I think the main problem is that Girls isn't as funny as New Girl. And though Girls is more realistic and has a calmer tone, that doesn't make it a better TV show. New Girl found a great stride with its wackiness and has a cultivated a good relationship between the characters. Girls feels like it is uncomfortable in its own skin, trying to be an observation and a comedy, but it failed at meshing them together. And unlike a show like The Office or Peep Show, the fact that all the characters are terrible people doesn't add to the comedy. And I don't quite see what the show is trying to portray other than Lena Dunham's hipster story, and that's fine in its own right, but if it's also trying to be a comedy, the bottom line is: It needs to be funny.
LarissaPeixot found she could relate, if only in part:
I believe the entitlement feeling is actually a funny, ironic, broad way of showing how today's youth is parent-dependent. I'm a 26-year-old, getting a master's degree and living with mom and dad. I don't relate to the ungratefulness, but I totally relate to the dependence. If my parents did to me what hers did to her, I'd be completely lost and royally f#$#.
Taccado is on board with what Girls is trying to do, and compared the show to Enlightened:
I can of course fully understand that this show isn't for everyone. Some people clearly require comedy that is more clear cut. But it is weird how they fail to see that the show has a different approach. There are many TV shows and films which I might not be the biggest fan of, but which still I truly appreciate because of their obvious brilliance. The same goes for Girls. Will I continue watching it? I don't know, I already have way too much to watch. But personally I really did appreciate it, as I appreciate all similar shows that strive to create different kinds of humor. Any comedy that tries to avoid the traditional way of delivering jokes, smack in your face like a shovel, gets points from me. Many say they didn't laugh once during the episode. I laughed several times, internally. There are different kinds of comedies, and this one isn't the laugh-out-loud kind. It's more of a tickle-your-brain-to-make it-giggle type. It makes you think while realizing the absurdity of a moment. But as Price said, the emphasis is still on "comedy." The insights the show is trying to deliver about the inner lives of the characters are not supposed to be revolutionary material. It's a comedy! "Observational," yes, "critical," yes, but most of all a comedy. This show reminds me of Enlightened. Laura Dern's character is also not the most likeable person. She is flawed and the story is minimalistic, many call it flat-out boring. But that kind of non-traditional comedy setting is excellent for creating unique entertainment.
Moving on, Fox recently pulled Breaking In from its schedule for good, which means cancellation is all but official. Let's find out if you guys are gonna miss the Christian Slater comedy...
Jimmy_Fishkin was a fan of the first season (which ended with a cancellation that was later overturned) but didn't like the creative changes implemented in Season 2:
They gave the show the Human Target treatment—they took a show that had a dynamic that worked perfectly after Season 1 and then added unnecessary new characters that ruined the dynamic for Season 2. Megan Mullally was gratingly bad and didn't make me laugh once, and the British chick came off as pretentious and not believable. Making Creepy Aunt Carol a more focal character was a bad move also—she worked much better as a background character.
Much like Human Target, I was begging for Breaking In to be cancelled a few episodes into Season 2—when a show becomes a chore to watch, and no longer enjoyable, I'm out. Great job, Fox!
MikePelfrey agreed, implying that the show may has well have stayed canceled.
As far as I am concerned Breaking In ended after Season 1. Season 2 was a different show altogether. Absolutely awful idea putting someone over OZ. Fox screwed themselves by letting two key pieces of the cast to move on, due to renewal delays.
JustinJohnson9 said the changes to Breaking In actually made him grateful that Firefly never made it to Season 2:
Makes me glad for the first time EVER that Firefly didn't get a second season. They probably would have written out Jayne, Simon, and River and replaced Inara with Paris Hilton, turned Captain.
AshEngel didn't like the new lady characters:
I blame the blonde British chick for being incredibly dull and Megan Mulally's character for being friggin' annoying. Seriously every time she came on screen it was just groan-worthy. Not to mention Odette Annable leaving was just the icing on the cake. I'll stick with Season 1 thank you.
Finally, platoonist offered an interesting theory about Fox's strategy:
Fox is getting smarter, they don't anger the fans by immediately cancelling a show, but they make the fans hate the show so no one would bother if they canceled it.
Before we sign off, let's quickly chat about our latest 4-Episode Test, which covered GCB, Missing, Touch, Awake, and Bent.
Like us, torontogirl98 loves Awake and hopes it doesn't get canceled:
I love Awake so much I honestly don't think there is a better show out there or even anything that comes close. I am praying that it does not get canceled because it deserves more time to grow and a better time slot!
ben45tpy shared his verdicts on all five of the shows we reviewed, and so far likes three of them:
Okay. I didn't even try Bent because it looked really bad...and it is! I tried GCB because of the 'next Desperate Housewives' buzz, but the pilot ended up being one of the most excruciating hours of my life (almost as bad as Kenny vs. Spenny!). I watched it with some friends and after five minutes we were groaning in agony. [shudder] Awake is awesome of course, even though it's never got to the level that I want it to. Touch I love, although it might become formulaic after a while. And Missing is a guilty pleasure for me. It's very silly but I'm along for the ride. I love a good labyrinthine conspiracy. Hopefully it can maintain consistent plotting. I can't wait to see what Ashley does next!
AdaHui passed on Missing, but admits he or she has a soft spot for Touch and Awake:
I skipped Missing, the first few commercials looked good but the more I saw, the less interesting it seemed. Glad I did.
I do watch Touch and Awake. I'm an emotional sap, I admit Touch gets me every single time. However I never got the feeling that Martin's wife might still be alive.
Awake just blows my mind all the time. I love it. So good, hard to describe how caught up I get in it all.
logossun is confused by those who love Awake:
I am quite baffled that you would not notice the shift from the end of Episode 2 of Awake and on. What was an amazing pilot and Episode 2 turned sour with the realization of a plot, but it was nothing compared to the tired and predictable tearjerker that was Ep. 3—which was, to an avid fan of original TV—unwatchable.
leungkora is still watching Touch and Missing:
Awake bores me to death before I can find out what's really going on. I can keep up with Touch so far. Missing is not a good show, I know, but Ashley Judd and Sean Bean keep me hanging on. GCB, sorry, myself is a bitch and it's not necessary to see others. Bent, what is it? Never heard about it.
And that’s all folks! Thanks again for your amazing insights—you make this place an awesome place to hang out. See you next week!