Monday, August 28, 2006

Stupid TV Night on Fox

I'm about ready to give up on Prison Break and Vanished, Fox's Monday-night dramas.

Tonight on Prison Break, a character whose hand was chopped off with an axe at the end of the first season had his hand reattached by a veterinarian... and as soon as it was sewn on, he was able to move it, to grip things, and to kill the poor vet who thought he was doing a good thing. Now bear in mind that only a day or so (at most) is supposed to have passed since the end of the previous season. This character has been lugging his severed hand around in a cooler. Apparently a vet can accomplish in an hour or so what takes a team of surgeons, neurosurgeons, and immunologists months: attach a limb and make it totally usable with full strength and dexterity. It doesn't really matter what happens from here on: at this point, the story has ventured so far into the stupid that it can't come back.

Then, on Vanished, we have more Atlanta stupidity. Last week, we had someone refer to the city of "Shomblay." They were probably talking about "Chamblee," which is pronounced "sham-blee." It would have taken all of thirty seconds for someone to check this, but they didn't bother. Then we had Southern style plantation homes in Atlanta, which are about as rare here as they are in Los Angeles. Tonight, we had someone refer to the city of Dunwoody (Dunwoody isn't a city, it's an area with no clearly determined borders); then later on, we had a shot of an underground city below the streets of Atlanta. My guess is some moron heard discussion of "Underground Atlanta" and pictures this city with multi-story building located deep beneath the modern city of Atlanta. 'Tain't so, McGirk. Underground Atlanta is a seamy little blend of second-rate shops, bars, and a few restaurants a few steps below current street level; a more appropriate name would be "sunken living room Atlanta." The old city of Atlanta was burned by Sherman, remember--that whole Civil War "March to the Sea" thing? Again, five minutes of research wold have told them this was sheer idiocy.

And how did they discover this "lost city of Atlanta," as I call it? Well, they were looking for a car that went into a long tunnel and never came out the other side. Try to find such a tunnel anywhere in Atlanta; the longest "tunnel" we have is a couple of hundred yards, max, and it's really an underpasss more than anything else.

This is about as dopey as someone having someone travel from Disneyworld to the San Juan Capistrano via subway in five minutes, or having someone drive to Catalina Island over the Catalina Bridge, or having some jog from Brooklyn to Schenectady. It's bad research, bad writing, and it's pretty much unforgiveable as far as I'm concerned. So as of tonight, both shows are off the viewing list. And I hope that Fox considers hiring writers for their shows next year...


Doug said...

I'm just done with serial TV until The Office is back on. It's just so dumb and aims mostly for the middle.

I had such high hopes for 24 to be something different and I enjoyed it up until the last two weeks. The lack of resolution drove me BATTY.

Tredekka said...

I think you can add Wednesday to Fox's stupid schedule. I saw "Justice" and it was easily the most contrived television event since AFTER M*A*S*H. The dialogue was almost literally, "Juries hate me because I'm such a rogue lawyer" and "Of course you like defending innocent men, you're a young idealistic lawyer!" Imagine how great it would be if every episode began with the same character red flags. And Prison Break's vet hand reattachment also featured a hand left in a cooler against bare ice with no baggie--and if Garth Ennis has taught me anything, bare ice destroys all nerve endings. Really bad writing across the board.

T.D. said...

I think you need to flesh out that "Disneyworld to the San Juan Capistrano via subway" idea and pitch it to FOX. It has a certain Neil Gaiman-esque quality to it. Add some connection to the swallows being magical, and FOX would be sure to snatch it up. The thing is it would probably only last one season like so many other shows FOX has given us.