Flash Forward, 1.03: 137 Sekunden
I hate the writing on this show. It actively bothers me that high profile television like this is so badly scripted, and so cliched. The premise is captivating, but the drama is insultingly unoriginal: I've seen every character, every relationship, every interaction, in a million other shows, I've heard every line before, and what's most frustrating is that these characters are going through something *different*; the scenario could be a rich source of psychological drama, a unique way to examine and write about humanity, a *fun* opportunity to play with characterisation and melodrama.
So why are the characters' reactions to this experience so trite?
A mysterious woman tells Demetri he's going to be murdered on such and such date and he responds with, "What the hell are you talking about?"
... Huh? He *knows* what she's talking about! He has already expressed fears about dying in the near future, with valid reasons for these fears, and yet instead of responding in a believable way we get this hackneyed, unimaginative dialogue. I can't help myself but imagine how cool this material would be in the hands of the Mad Men creative team.
The drama is empty. Conflict isn't built up to, it's thrust at us; we're expected to care about characters' problems (for example, Mark's sponsor, his ex wife and their dead or maybe not daughter), yet no effort is made to get us to care about the characters. None of the characters have *personality*; everything they say relates to and drives forward the plot (which I predict will be more convoluted than satisfying), and this might be okay if the *dialogue were better* or if the characters' responses to the events were plausible. When Mark is baffled by all the crows dying -- an intriguing event to say the least - why is Janis all, "Who cares?"? Is she supposed to be echoing the feelings of the audience? That kind of thing only works if the audience IS feeling apathetic! But the crow thing? Kind of interesting! Kind of something any sane person would be freaked out by!
Glee, 1.06: Vitamin D
I try not to be bothered that every character on this show is a stereotype, because often they're funny (Jane Lynch, you slay me), and because I assume the writers do it deliberately, are aware of what they're doing, and are trying to make a point.
Except that so far they haven't made a point. The blonde female characters are all shallow and amoral, the red head is angelic, the white male hero is a good man but a victim of society's ills, the football players are varying degrees of stupid, the black girl is sassy, the gay guy is flaming, the Jewish girl is a spoiled princess.
And it's fun! But it's also boggling my mind that there's like, no other layers to it. That the show is not subverting these stereotypes but reinforcing them. I love the musical numbers and the acerbic wit. But I don't love the relentlessly shallow characterisation -- which is often uncomfortably sexist -- and I don't love the dramatic storylines. All the major conflict and intrigue seems to revolve around women deceiving men, or women sabotaging men, or women agreeing to marry men they *can't stand* because it's better to be with someone than to be alone. This regressive storytelling, without even a hint of an ironic wink, is particularly bothersome because Glee is one of the most pleasurable shows on television right now.
I just, I want to love Glee unreservedly, but the show is making it hard right now. Let's move away from women faking pregnancy, or using pregnancy to trap poor, reluctant men into staying in unhappy relationships! With beautiful evil blondes! Come on people, hating on pretty girls isn't feminism.