I like to think I have a knack for knowing whether a series is going to work or not. A lot of ideas for new TV shows are pretty good, even if they don't get executed right. A lot of things can go wrong between writing a show and putting it on film. Some ideas, though, are just obviously stupid. Who didn't see these shows flopping?
Ex. 1: Surface. A show about sea monsters. Sea monsters! Realistically, how many adventures can you write about sea monsters? It's like trying to make a television series around Godzilla. He can only destroy Tokyo so many times. Make a show about pirates, I might watch it. Pirates might watch a show about sea monsters, now that I think about it.
Ex. 2: Book of Daniel. A priest gets high and sees Jesus. I'm an Atheist and I'm offended. When South Park does it, it's funny. Jesus in South park is a sympathetic guy; a good-natured, bumbling everyman. Jesus in Book of Daniel is made out to be The Son of God, the absolute moral authority for most Americans. As a writer, you just can't pull that kind of authority off unless you're, well, Jesus.
This season I'm calling it for two shows. There are surely more but I get depressed just looking at some of the new fall lineups. CBS looks solid. ABC looks abysmal. We'll see. These 2 shows have no chance:
Ex. 3.: Kidnapped. Compare this show to Missing. Missing works because there are about 1,000 ways and reasons someone can go missing. People get kidnapped for ransom. That's about it. How long before people realize they're watching the same episode week?
Ex. 4.: Brothers and Sisters. This is the description from ABC.com:
"Brothers & Sisters is a compelling, new one-hour primetime drama from executive producers Ken Olin, playwright Jon Robin Baitz about the California-based Walker family. In the series, we meet a collection of incredibly intertwined and somewhat damaged adult siblings who embrace one another unconditionally while striving to reflect the perceived perfection of their role model parents. In the days ahead, they will navigate waves of temptation, deception and grief."
Just a note before we explore the impending cancellation of this show. There are 49 other states besides California. It would be nice to see them on television every once in a while.
Here's what I can say about the show, just having read the blurb on ABC.com: Playwright Jon Robin Baitz has a very boring family, and he wrote a television series about it. Ahhh, there's nothing more exhilarating than upper-crust ennui. Not only does this series sound boring, it sounds depressing. Even his name is pretentious. Somewhat intertwined and incredibly damaged siblings might be interesting, the other way around makes me want to take a nap. At least the OC has hot chicks in bikinis. No thank you, I won't be “navigating waves of temptation, deception, and grief” with the Walkers. Maybe if the waves have sea monsters.