Tag Archives: television

Why Meredith Grey kicks Emily Thorne’s ass

3 Mar

I’m unashamed to admit that I enjoy trashy drama shows way too much. Anything with good-looking people living good-looking lives, and there’s me – schlomped in front of the laptop chomping down on microwaved Easter eggs and tea, tea, tea.

This year has been disappointing in the drama series department, though. It’s as if the shows I enjoy have reached their expiration dates, but are stubbornly hanging in there just for the sake of it. The one exception – thank the stars – is Grey’s Anatomy.

Wise as ever. Bless old Meredith's heart.

Wise as ever. Bless old Meredith’s heart.

The rest have kind of let themselves go. Like 40-something women wearing animal print and too much make-up, the shows are trying too hard to maintain something that just isn’t there anymore.

I’m talking specifically about Revenge and 90210. (Gossip Girl also ended pathetically – the big twist being that the title character had a penis all along – but at least it’s ended.)

The current seasons of Revenge and 90210 have succeeded in downgrading both shows to bad soapies. Such a shame.

I suppose 90210 never had much to work with in the first place – all it ever was, was good-looking richkids, their schemes, their clothes and their sex lives. It was inevitable that it became a stinker.

Eye candy. Only.

Bound to be a stinker

The bigger disappointment is Revenge.

Because damn – the first season was bloody brilliant.

My theory is that success is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a series based on a particular premise rather than on strong characters.

Look at Grey’s – very much a character-driven show, and getting even better as it goes along. You don’t care about what happens in Grey’s – you care about how it affects the people in Grey’s. And so the show is still as gripping in its current season as it was when I first watched it.

Now look at shows like Prison Break and Revenge. Absolutely, addictively brilliant first seasons, based not so much on a cast of characters but rather a well-developed plot. It was never about Michael Schofield or Emily Thorne, but rather about their plans.

Michael needed to break his bro out of jail; Emily wanted to screw over the Graysons. Good stuff.

Thing is, these ideas weren’t made to last longer than a single season. At the end of season one, it was pretty much “mission accomplished.”

Michael had pretty much run out of tattoos; Emily had pretty much run out of people to cross off that photo.

But no – of course it didn’t stop there. Instead, we have the TV equivalents of movies like Legally Blonde 2. Stuff so very average that it almost ruins the fun of the original. Where movies like that should go straight to DVD, series like the second season of Revenge (and the who-know-whateth season of Prison Break – Back in Prison, this time in South America!) belong under the label of SOAPIE.

We have people coming back from the dead, family fights about who gets to be CEO, and even corny green-screen sequences of characters racing along in motorboats to save their friends from an evil man in the middle of the ocean. Groan.

The meticulous and well-paced plot of the first season has given way to more of a day-to-day observation of characters, along with too many go-nowhere subplots.

You know something's wrong when your poster is more gripping than your plot

You know something’s wrong when your poster is better than your plot

Gripping enough for a Friday evening at home, but a disappointment as far as expectations went.

Plus, Daniel Grayson somehow became gross. He was hot stuff in season one. I think my little sister even went so far as to say that he was better than Chuck Bass. Not so in season two – there’s a poolside scene where he is topless and toneless as a middle-aged trucker. Eww.

Age old cliché for the screen writers involved? Quit while you’re ahead.

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Like, oh my gawd, we’re in Af-ri-caaaah!

22 Aug

 

The (heavily photoshopped) cast

I used to pride myself on the fact that I lived in a place where the biggest homegrown trash on TV was 7de Laan.

Sadly for me, South Africa is now home to a show called Clifton Shores

 Judging by the name and the ridiculously beautiful people involved, Clifton Shores is another cousin in the ever-growing family of glammed-up “reality” shows. If Britain has The only way is Essex and the States have everyone from Kimora to the Kardashians, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Golden Age of Stupid reached us.

For those of you who don’t listen to fluff shows like the Jacaranda drive, here’s the lowdown on Clifton Shores:

Four slutty American models-slash-actresses live it up in a Cape Town mansion trying to bed their playboy-slash-actor boss who happens to be a billionaire.

It’s not Clifton Shores, it’s Clifton’s whores!”

 Okay, that’s not quite what their official marketing material says, but that’s how it seems to me.

The official rap is that they’re four all-American girls here to work at an events company.

 I was going to write this post without actually watching the show – an intelligent sort-of feminist shouldn’t be caught dead watching this crap – but figured that I needed proper research, and thus watched the first episode.

 And man, am I glad. The show is even worse than I thought it would be.

Firstly, the viewer is expected to believe that the girls – laughably called Destiny, Katy, Kathy and, umm, something I can’t recall but am sure ends in “y” to go with the theme – were called up in America and told to come to Africa the very next day. Oh – and that they all just said yes, packed a bag (of couture) and got on the plane.

 If this was really reality, here’s how it would have gone down:

Quinton (the “billionaire”): “Hey, Sexy! I’m a billionaire from Africa. I like your tits. Come to Africa. Live in my mansion. Drink my fine wine. Hurry – you must be here tomorrow.”

 Real girl: “Fuck off and don’t call me again, you perv!”

Come to my mansion, foxy lady!

 But no – we’re expected to believe that they got a call, accepted everything good-willing, and just came here.

 Newsflash –  a show like this takes months to finalise cast and contracts. The viewer is not a fool – in the words of my sister, at least the Kardashians do fake reality realistically.

 Secondly, the girls are either genuinely shallow and stupid, or else edited to appear this way.

 Some paraphrased quotes from the show:

 When asked if it’s not gonna be difficult not to cheat on her boyfriend when living abroad:

 “Oh my gawd – I don’t know how I’m going to survive such a long time without making out with someone! The guys in South Africaaah have accents! That’s just so cute and just my thing.”

When driving through the Cape flats and seeing some goats:

 “Oh my gawd – are those their pets? Do they have to kill and eat them later coz they don’t have food? We should totally do charity while we’re here… I hope I get a big walk-in closet!”

 Another thing that irked me was how the “billionaire boss” – who looks about 30 and seriously did well for himself if he really is a billionaire and now stars in what will soon resemble Girls of the Playboy Mansion – is constantly shown arriving in his Ferrari/helicopter/whatever. Get over yourself.

Then there’s the website. Clearly assuming that people would just look at the pictures – your editor can really photoshop well! – the copy is shocking.

Just a sampler:

 She’s a free spirited Virgo who loves family, food, and most of all; tequila!

 Why is there a semicolon in front of Tequila??

He’s the CEO of both local and international companies such as telecom, mining, property development, boutique hotels, and entertainment.

Um – should the companies’ names not have been mentioned? Oh wait – since he’s probably an actor, that wouldn’t have worked… But still – grammatically, the sentence is pretty unsound which ever way you look at it…

 Much to my dismay, this show is actually exactly like 7de Laan. Undeniably bad, but undeniably addictive.

 Yes, folks – I’ll be tuning in next week Tuesday.

 In case you’re wondering – just so we can bad-mouth it – channel 123, 21:00.