Let’s Talk: Ambivalent TV Shows

As previously mentioned in my post about Abandoned TV Shows, I give every potential show a fair shot. My six episode minimum is non-negotiable, a proven standard over many years of quality TV watching.

That said, I’m on the fence about a few shows right now. Let’s discuss.

Jane the Virgin

For lack of a better explanation, this show is a telenovela in English. The drama factor is high, the Hispanic heritage center stage, and the characters a full complement of weird, scary, and adorable. What I like about this how isn’t the plot – the plot actually makes me roll my eyes on numerous occasions – but rather the actors involved in the show. Specifically, break out star Gina Rodriguez for her portrayal of Jane. But as far as the telenovela plot goes, Ugly Betty did it better back in 2006. I think when I started this show I was expecting to see some of that same edge in the plot, some of the same fierce intent that Betty had and I just don’t see it in Jane the Virgin. I know it’s not really fair to compare the two, they’re not the same, but I can’t help but feel a smidge let down.

iZombie

I’m just going to say it: I hate zombies. Of all the supernatural creatures, zombies are simultaneously the most likely to exist and the most disgustingly boring for use as plot devices. They grunt and groan, eat people just because, and all the while the living obsess over cures because for some reason it’s always a disease that causes a person to “turn” and not just some trick of magic. So why am I watching this show? Well, because Rob Thomas, the brains (get it?) behind Veronica Mars, is spearheading it. And as much as I hate zombies, I have to admit that his writing still comes through cleanly. Liv, the main character, has the same dry wit that Veronica did, a trait which isn’t easy to find in female television characters. Still, I’m ambivalent. I wish that that same quality writing and wit could be put in a better show, or better yet that Veronica would come back to TV. Alas, that is not the case and I must decide how I feel about iZombie.

Fresh Off the Boat

Sitcoms are hit or miss for me. I’m generally more of an overarching plot kind of person, someone who looks forward to seeing how the whole scope of a show evolves over a planned out path. That said, I still always give them a try. Fresh Off the Boat is about of family of first-generation Chinese immigrants in the mid 90’s. And I’ll admit, it’s funny, even though I sometimes feel bad for laughing. But the whole time that I’m watching and laughing, I’m also waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m waiting for the writers to run out of new jokes about Asian families, for the show to cross the line from good humor to politically incorrect. Eventually this show is going to tank and I’m ambivalent about watching it now because that expectation of failure is already ruining episodes for me.

Finding Carter

I started watching this show over the summer out of sheer boredom. I’d repeatedly seen the trailer while binge watching Teen Wolf and so I guess I figured that I might as well dive in and give it a shot. It’s about this girl name Carter who finds out after being arrested that the mother who raised her was actually her kidnapper. The police reunite her with her birth family, including her twin sister, and things inevitably fall into chaos from there. I’m definitely interested in this show because I think it speaks to some of those nature versus nurture and good versus evil conversations. Where do you draw the line between right and wrong when the life you had is the only life you knew? I also like that it stars Kathryn Prescott from UK Skins and Reign. But overall I think this show is lacking in quality script writing. Its being held back not by the actors or the concept, but by a lack of finesse necessary to bring this show to the next level.

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