As the 2017-2018 television season comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to hand out some awards (named after my favorite dog Pilgrim) on what has been an interesting season to say the least. In this current golden age of television, viewing has certainly become a year-round affair. However there is something special about the traditional season with a May finish line and networks competing for ratings that will set ad rates for next year. Also network television is not nearly as dead as I previously thought, but with some of the cancellations (and ill-advised renewals) it certainly isn’t for lack of trying.
A couple of notes. These awards are not going to be your typical Hollywood bullshit. I’m not a professional entertainment reporter, nor am I going to try to be one. I don’t have a rules committee, and don’t give a fuck about uniformity. Also, these are based on shows I watch. Not shows I should watch, or shows everyone is watching. But I have pretty good taste, so you should pay attention. I apologize for nothing.
The Flirty Freshman That Caught My Eye
The Gifted (FOX): I’m a sucker for comic book shows, and I have a particular love for the X-men universe. But I was nervous about whether or not this show could deliver. It’s premise is based on some convoluted and obscure mythos that could be difficult to translate to the screen. It’s fronted by Amy Acker (who I’ve been in love with since Angel and Alias), and Stephen Moyer (Vampire Bill was True Blood) so I knew FOX was making a serious run. It did a great job of combining elements of the X-men mythos, Easter eggs for geeks like me and some deep character development that created a compelling and engaging story. And in a year where FOX used its chainsaw in a way that would make Leatherface smile, I was happy to see it make the cut and get a second season.
The I Wouldn’t Watch This Revival With a Fucking Gun to My Balls
Roseanne (ABC): Whoever greenlit this piece of shit idea needs to be shot. Roseanne is one of the most annoying characters on television and a bigot in real life. None of this is helped by the fact that her voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard being serenaded to by a feral cat in heat. Oh, and lets not forget the fact that at the end of the first go around with the show Dan is fucking dead! They teach you in creative writing 101 that you don’t do dream sequences….Do people not remember how pissed off the world was at the end of the ninth season of Dallas? How ABC renewed this trash and cancelled a show hitting its stride like Designated Survivor is truly beyond me.
*Author’s Note: Since the time this was originally published (by less than 24 hours), ABC pulled the plug on Roseanne calling her recent bigoted rants on Twitter “repugnant.” I am letting my award stand unedited, but I applaud ABC for making the right decision.
The Cancelling This Show Makes Me Want to Firebomb Hollywood
Lucifer (FOX): I’m not alone in my intense hatred of FOX for cancelling this show. Although it deviated substantially from the comics (based on my admittedly limited exposure) the series was fun and engaging with enough teeth for some deep story and character arcs. The chemistry among the entire cast has been palpable and organic over all three seasons, a feat not easily accomplished. And although FOX truly limits itself by only providing two hours of prime time content before starting the local news an hour early each night (a cheap ploy to save money), the CW has the same format, and they managed to not sacrifice any quality content because of the constraint. It was obvious by the massive cliffhanger fans were left with that the writers were also blindsided. This move makes FOX look inept, and left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
The I Want the Time I Spent Watching This Back
The X-Files (FOX): This show needs to seriously just stop. It is fucking with the end of my childhood and one of my favorite shows. To be fair, the original run of this show should have ended with season 7, the last two seasons were painful to watch. But nostalgia won the day again, and despite last year’s “limited television event” getting picked up for an undeserved second (or eleventh, depending on how you keep score) season and against my better judgement I tuned in. And holy fuck was it bad. I’m not even sure I know what the show was trying to do. I’m not sure what I actually watched it was such convoluted garbage. The chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson was non-existent. It was seriously worse than the second X-Files movie, and I didn’t think that was possible. It only took FOX six hours to ruin my childhood. The only person capable of doing that faster is Michael Bay.
The How In All that is Holy Did This Get Renewed
SHIELD (ABC): I’ve seen some dumb shit get renewed, but this show’s death rattle was a season long complete with gurgling and gagging and gasping for a final breath. It was almost as convoluted as the X-Files. It had time jumps and aliens, which would be fine for a comic book show, but there was no real rhyme or reason to the order. And the plot this year was in no way a progression of the story, it had no foundation. None. And they killed off a ton of characters in the show, and essentially left it with nowhere to go. I was fine with that. I was fine with watching it die. Watching it try to revive itself into a twitchy animated corpse next season is gonna be painful. My only guess is that ABC has next to nothing to fill all its time slots, there is no other reason this show should stay on the air.
The That Series Finale Made Me Want a Cigarette After
Once Upon A Time (ABC): Let me be clear, this season of ONCE was terrible and should not have been made. The idea to do an entire reset of the show and bringing back nearly none of the original cast members was ill-advised. It should have ended a season ago in , and just taken a handful of episodes to wrap everything up. Actually, there was so much fluff and filler last year they could have just cut that and ended it proper. But they didn’t, and as with a number of shows I watched solely to finish. That being said, the final two episodes of the season were intensely gratifying to those of us who watched from the beginning. And given that the show creators, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, came out of the LOST writers’ room it was no surprise that they went for the emotionally satisfying ending where everyone got their happy ending, especially the fans.
The Networks with Execs Who Should Be Taken Out Behind the Woodshed
FOX puts out some pretty good content. They brought us The Gifted and The Orville this year and had Lucifer, Gotham, Exorcist and Bob’s Burgers on the slate as well. And then they toy with my emotions. Ratings for The Exorcist were terrible, so I wasn’t shocked when the cancelled it. I had hoped that the lower expectations of a Friday night slot could keep it. But as you can see from above I was shocked and pissed about Lucifer. I cannot stand it when network brass doesn’t give writers an opportunity to create a satisfying ending for fans. That’s just shitting all over your customers. If that wasn’t enough, the are postponing the next seasons of Gotham and Orville until 2019, and God only knows what they are going to put in those time slots between now and then.
SyFy continues to kick me in the junk and I foolishly keep coming back for more. First, the cancelled Expanse which was the best show on their network, and the only reason it didn’t tie with Lucifer for the Firebombing Hollywood Award is that Amazon, in its brilliance, decided to pick up the rights and give it a fourth season. The network has a bad habit of doing this, axing good shows (Expanse, Dark Matter, Defiance, Dominion) and keeping absolute shit (Krypton, Channel Zero) on the air. And in the case of Krypton, they allowed a show with potential to approach a tired and overdone Superman concept from a unique angle. And then they massively fucked it up, and renewed it. The sad thing is that I will keep given them a chance, painting my junk like a bullseye and waiting for them to strap on the steel towed boots again.