Everyone has them: those shows they shouldn’t be watching but can’t quit. Some call it hate-watching but I think of it as more of an addiction.
Let’s take a look at the series I can’t seem to kick:
(Readers Beware! Spoilers Ahead!)
I saw the pilot when it was originally released in May, the season before the show itself premiered, and I absolutely hated it. I could not finish that first episode (a rare thing for me). Then someone posted the New Directions’ performance of “Don’t Stop Believing” (the pilot’s final scene) and it was so fun and enjoyable. I couldn’t help but go back and give the show another try. That second time around, I was able to get passed the so-so acting, the over-the-top storylines, and the annoying “ba-ba ba-ba ba-ba” sound effects used for scene transitions because I knew I could expect solid music in the end. And as music goes, the show delivers.
Since its premiere, Glee‘s quality has gone up and down. Some episodes hit their mark—Kurt and Mercedes’ coming out stories, Kurt dealing with Burt’s heart attack, Coach Beiste’s domestic abuse, Cory Monteith/Finn’s death. But for every well-handled storyline it also had Grilled Cheesus, the Quinn-Terri pregnancy fiasco (not to forget the hot tub pregnancy debacle), just about anything Mr. Schue does (has Mr. Schu ever been appropriate?), and other storylines that made TV watchers of all ages cringe. The show is plagued with inconsistencies and forgotten storylines. And then there’s the newest incarnation of the New Directions. But…
Glee gave us Lea Michele (general vocal impressiveness), Chris Colfer (I’m loving his Land of Stories series), Amber Riley (Dancing with the Stars winner!), and Darren Criss (A Very Potter Musical–this was pre-Glee but it brought more attention to it). Anything that gets Idina Menzel singing earns my vote. (And yes, I have already bought my ticket to see her upcoming Broadway musical, If/Then.) Not to mention the Glee Project (for which my roommates totally Gleeked out when they went to tryouts and met Season 1 winner Damian McGinty).
Every time I consider not watching any more, I decide that, with an end in sight, I might as well finish it out and enjoy the ride.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland–
Of all the shows I watch that I know I shouldn’t, Wonderland might be the worst. I can’t really pinpoint anything redeeming about the show: no amazing songs or rare moving performances. The show doesn’t have ups and downs. It’s just down. I say this with a heavy heart, as I love creators Jane Espenson (Torchwood, Buffy, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Gilmore Girls, Once Upon a Time), Adam Kitsis (Lost, Once Upon a Time), Zack Estrin (Charmed, Tru Calling), and Edward Kitsis (Once Upon a Time, Lost). But with Wonderland…something just didn’t click.
The graphics are pretty terrible—everything is CGI and nothing looks remotely real. The cast is…problematic. Lead actress, Sophie Lowe, is perfectly sweet, but she lacks the fire and presence to carry a show. Cyrus (played by Peter Gadiot) is a bland version of the boy everyone is supposed to fall in love with. Unfortunately, no one has. Emma Rigby’s pouting lips are so distracting that it is impossible to take her seriously as the Red Queen (yet she’s still the most interesting part of the show). Naveen Andrews is the biggest disappointment. He was Sayid on Lost! He was awesome! And now he’s…so-so villain Jafar. I know that giving villains a sad, moving back story is a staple of the Once Upon a Time world, but Jafar just feels distilled. Michael Socha (who I enjoyed on the UK’s Being Human) is a bright spot on the show—he’s funny and believable but he just can’t compensate for everyone else’s shortcomings.
Despite the issues, my love of fairytale re-tellings, combined with a short season (which will undoubtedly be Wonderland’s one and only), keeps me watching.
[5/22/14 UPDATE: The show got significantly better in the second half, when the main characters were forced to team up with the Red Queen in order to defeat Jafar. There was a little less CGI and a little more character development. By no means was this a masterpiece, but the best character on the show, The Knave played by Michael Socha, will be joined the Once Upon a Time cast next season so maybe this is the best of both Once worlds.]
2 Broke Girls–
I often question why I keep watching this show. The jokes aren’t funny and the lines are delivered like the actresses are on stage in a nightclub doing standup. I enjoyed Kat Dennings in Thor but for reasons I can’t pinpoint, her charisma doesn’t carry over to the small screen. Maybe the jokes are too obvious or the characters are hard to relate to. And don’t get me started on Sophie, whose voice I find grating in a way that not even The Nanny’s voice bothered me.
When I really take the time to think about it, I think the reason I watch the show is that it is a half hour show that kills time in the morning while I am getting ready to leave my apartment. It is a matter of convenience, not enjoyment. If push came to shove and I had to choose between 2 Broke Girls and just about any other show in my line up, I would pick the other show. (I take it back about Wonderland, I think this is the worst of the shows I can’t stop watching.)
So what do you think TV watchers? What shows are you still watching against your better judgment?