Knowing how many eyes look at a proposed pilot before it hits the airwaves, do you ever find yourself scratching your head at what makes it on the airwaves? Surely nobody (outside of Fox executives) is surprised that THE LOT is bombing, right? While the premise is great, the execution is the definition of clumsy. From the annoying hostess to Carrie Fisher’s inability to form a coherent sentence, the show wastes so much time on blah banter that it’s tough to stay awake long enough to see the flicks being made by the would-be directors – many of which are, by the way, incredibly good. Unfortunately, there’s a bigger problem as well: It’s become quite obvious that when asked to vote on the work of the budding directors, America is doing so based on the overall movies as opposed to the actual directing. And who can blame them since the judges often seem to do the exact same thing?
Another show that probably looked a lot better on paper than it does on the small screen is PIRATE MASTERS, which is an awkward combination of BIG BROTHER, SURVIVOR, AMAZING RACE and an incredibly cheesy pirate movie. Current captain Joe Don – a firefighter whom we can only assume has had a long-burning desire to do community theater – takes his ridiculous role so seriously that you can almost see other crew members trying hard not to laugh. Far and away the most interesting character – John, whom subtitles tell us is a “stripper/scientist” (we couldn’t make this crap up if we tried, kids) – was let go by the end of the first episode. And what kind of pirate show ends by “cutting people loose” (which basically entails setting them adrift on a barely sea-worthy raft) as opposed to making them walk the plank? The biggest surprise is that this mess comes from Mark Burnett, who has done some of the best reality on the airwaves… and it may well be a fear of burning that bridge that led CBS to let him shanghai the hour a week necessary for this shipwreck.
At this point, we’re ready for GENERAL HOSPITAL’s writers to just give up on Sam – who has never really had a solid through-line as a character – instead of watching them drag the character through the mud. Hey, how about this: We never loved her portrayer, Kelly Monaco, more than we did when she was on PORT CHARLES. So why not kill off Sam and reveal that she was, in fact, the never-before-mentioned sister of PC’s literal vamp of a vixen, Livvie? Heck, ONE LIFE TO LIVE is pretty much wasting Michael Easton as John, so let’s Caleb, too. Crazy? Let’s not forget that long before PC delved into time-traveling and evil candles, GH featured an alien from the planet Lumina. Wouldn’t you rather see Livvie and Caleb steaming up the screen than watch the show try and explain why Jax is protecting his murderous brother?
AS THE WORLD TURNS is firing on all cylinders right now… except when Paul gets one of his damned psychic flashes. Meanwhile, DAYS OF OUR LIVES has convinced us to give it one last shot now that the DiMera clan is back… but now that we’re watching, they’d better break out some killer secondary storylines if they want viewers to stick around. Everybody knows that at this point, NBC has all but confirmed that it will be yanking DAYS off the air in 2009. So if ever there was a time to get the ratings up to prevent that from happening, the time is now.