Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Continuing Proliferation of Bad Television

It's the end January and the terrible mid-season shows continue to pile up like traffic accidents on an icy highway.

NBC used to have a terrific line-up of comedies on Thursday nights. And while they mostly continue that tradition with "Community;" "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation," they have yet to find a fourth show to live up to those particular shows' excellence. "Outsourced" turned out to be a racist and unfunny take on how most American's perceive Indian culture, and the network's newest show "Perfect Couples" is simply a perfect disaster. 

Adorkable (you know what I mean) cub Kyle Bornheimer continues his losing streak, following "Worst Week" and "Romantically Challenged" with this show about three couples who have nothing in common but the men being college buddies. Bornheimer's Dave is in the most sane relationship with his wife Julia (Christine Woods - "Flash Forward"), while David Walton; Mary Elizabeth Ellis; Hayes MacArthur and Olivia Munn ("The Daily Show") play the most dysfunctional couples ever, with MacArthur and Munn the most cloying and annoying of the three.

The episode I DVR'd concerned Dave and Julia's attempt to celebrate their anniversary, while their wacky friends did their best to distract them from doing so. A pre-anniversary 'game night' proves disastrous, ending with the temporary break-up of Walton's and Ellis' characters while exploiting the insipid New Age platitudes of MacArthur's and Munn's. I kept shouting at the TV: "Throw these A-holes out of your house!"

Creators Jon Pollack and Scott Silveri have some impressive writing credits to their names (most notably "Friends"), though this mess isn't one of them. Sadly, Bornheimer and Woods are both likable and talented comedic actors who deserve a better than show this one. "Perfect Couples" is two for two, along with Fox's animated "Bob's Burgers" as the worst of what network TV can be. Happily, David Kelly's new show "Harry's Law," starring Kathy Bates is a winner and the superhero drama "The Cape" at least shows potential (more on both of those shows, soon).

Don't believe me? See for yourself:


More, anon.


Mr. Bananas said...

I don't watch much network tv, but I actually saw this episode. I agree that I wanted to throw the annoying people out of my house. However, some of the snappy dialogue made me laugh, so I guess there is some kind of potential. But I understand your frustration.

Stephen said...

I don't want to watch a TV series about the intertangled relationships of groups of couples... unless one couple is gay.

Stephen said...

I love quality TV shows: Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Glee, True Blood, Work Of Art:The Next Great Artist, Men Of A Certain Age are favorites.

Guilty Pleasures:
Sarah Palin's Alaska
Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
RuPaul's Drag Race
The A List
Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys
Top Chef
Project Runway
The Kathy Lee & Hoda hour of the Today Show

Prospero said...

I don't like (or even get) so-called "reality TV." I'm never a fan of manipulating the truth for ratings. Of course, "30 Rock;" "Glee" and "Modern Family" are three terrific examples of brilliant scripted television. And for a genre fan like myself, there's not a better show than "Fringe."

muhammadrazzaq said...

And now the late-night talk shows. Remember that scheduled guests can change without notice.