Every writer has a bag of tricks they reach into when all else fails. It can be a character type, a setting, a theme, a turn of phrase, whatever. In yesterday's "Andy Barker, P.I.," I made a reference to the six episodes of "Police Squad" and how half of them were terrible -- the same point I've already made, according to our archives, three other times in the last decade.To read the full thing, click here.
In TV, writers usually repeat things from their successes, whether it's Steven Bochco doing another cop show he knows critics will describe as "gritty" or David E. Kelley writing shows about weird, skinny female lawyers in short skirts. Occasionally, someone gets a chance to right a past wrong -- Joss Whedon turning the lousy "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie into the awesome "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV show -- but usually the TV business doesn't allow people to make the same perceived mistake twice.
That's what makes this mid-season's crop of dramas so strange, because we've seen one show after another that seems to be an attempt to recreate a prior failure.
A few weeks back, NBC gave us "The Black Donnellys," with the guys from "Crash" doing a younger, slightly more accessible take on their short-lived '90s masterpiece "EZ Streets." And tonight at 10, we get a pair of do-overs: ABC's "October Road," a quasi-sequel to a Showtime drama called "Going to California" that five people watched; and NBC's "Raines," another stab at modern-day L.A. noir from the creator of "Boomtown."
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"Lost" post coming in a little while, but first the morning column link, in which I try to find something interesting to say about the not very interesting "October Road" and "Raines":
Posted by Alan Sepinwall at 10:03 AM