Monday, March 01, 2010

The Marriage Ref: Do I know you?

A review of the heinous, Jerry Seinfeld-produced "The Marriage Ref" coming up just as soon as you laugh hysterically at all my jokes...

When no "Marriage Ref" review screeners were sent out, I assumed it was NBC being high-handed, as the network tends to be even though it's been doing so poorly for so long. We're premiering this show after the Olympics! We don't need reviews! And while I'm sure that was a part of their thinking, seeing the final product revealed an equally obvious motivation: We are gonna get killed by the critics when they see this fiasco.

Now, I'm not pretending that TV critics have the power to make or break a network show anymore. With the Olympics as a lead-in last night and "The Office" birth episode as a lead-in on Thursday, "The Marriage Ref" should do okay for a while. But good lord was it excruciating to sit through: 30 minutes (imagine how bad it'll be at its usual one-hour running time) of celebrities being smug, mocking ordinary couples with arguments so obviously ridiculous and one-sided that they would seem justified picking on the wrong side, and cackling at each other's lame punchlines as if they were all attending the Friar's Club Roast where Jeff Ross made his legendary Bea Arthur joke. Painful, pointless, obnoxious... I would almost rather have "The Jay Leno Show" back.

It was really interesting watching Seinfeld on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this year, where he played himself as Larry David's ideological twin, equal in their feelings of superiority to the rest of humanity, but with Jerry having managed to pretend to conform to society's laws. (He did it in part by using Larry as a tool to get out his most evil impulses.) But where "Curb" builds its humor out of Larry constantly failing whenever he tries to prove this superiority (making the joke be on him, and not the world), and where "Seinfeld" managed to make Jerry's smugness work because it was in reaction to a fictional, cartoonish universe, the more we see of Jerry out in the real world, the more irritating he becomes. It should be impossible to make me feel bad for Larry King, but Jerry somehow managed to come across as the bad guy while pointing out how unprepared and oblivious King is.

Not only was "The Marriage Ref" not nearly funny enough to justify the constant chortling from the celebrity panelists, host Tom Papa and the studio audience (though I will acknowledge that jokes always seem much funnier in person than they do on TV), but there was this undercurrent of contempt for the couples being judged that made the whole affair feel particularly unpleasant.

I think Seinfeld is a tremendous comedian, and still consider "Seinfeld" one of the greatest sitcoms ever. Alec Baldwin is an incredibly funny man, if also a complete lunatic. Some of the panelists shown in the clips from upcoming episodes (Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman) are so innately funny that I'd almost be tempted to check out their episodes if I hadn't just sat through this ugly, unfunny, patronizing mess.

What did everybody else think?

75 comments:

Lizzie said...

I had to turn it off right after I found out that the couple was arguing a dead pet. Maybe I was being overly sensitive but having furry family members stuffed liked that bothers me for some reason.

Otto Man said...

Painful. Just painful.

Otto Man said...

I hadn't seen that Larry King clip before.

Seinfeld's right that it's ridiculous for King to ask if the show was canceled, of course, but he did still come off like a bit of a jerk.

The best part was how King got in the perfect comeback without even realizing it: "'Bee Movie' opens this week..."

Now *that* was awful.

Lisa said...

Alan, just read your review. Like Lizzie, I turned it off as soon as I heard about the pet thing (what were they thinking? Nobody wants to hear that!)

Anyhow, in response to your comments about the overexcited studio audience, my guess is this: they were told by the producers to laugh uproariously at everything, or risk getting thrown out of the studio. I've been to a few TV show tapings that shall remain nameless, and I've heard the producers threaten the audiences with varying degrees of that - or telling them they would move their seats. I'm pretty sure that's what happened at "The Marriage Ref."

Oh, and you're so right about Seinfeld's smugness. My "Larry King" moment for me with him was when he went on Letterman and called the woman who creditably accused his wife of stealing her book idea a "wacko," and suggested she was like a serial killer because she had three names. Not funny.

Nick said...

I felt exactly the same way about the show, Alan. Just didn't work at all. And I don't have much confidence that it'll ever work in the future. Yet still, I'm very tempted to see what Larry David and Ricky Gervais can bring to the table, especially since they'll be on the same panel.

amysusanne said...

I watched a couple of minutes of it and moved on. I saw the ad with Larry David, Ricky Gervais and Madonna and thought that that *definitely* sounded like it would be worth a half hour of my life, but no. I'll probably still watch that one when it airs, but I'm not holding out hope that it'll be a good experience. It's a shame because this could have been a cute show. And maybe it will be. But the couple of minutes I saw last night were pretty painful. Plus, you know, they cut off the closing ceremonies to air this. It's not as if I was dying to see Avril Lavigne, but it would have been nice to get to see the closing party portion without having it randomly cut off while Buble was still on stage and return tape delayed an hour later, all because NBC desperately needs hit programming.

Don said...

My first thought .....Did Jerry just played himself out of the TV Hall of Fame? Yes, Seinfeld was a certifiable first ballot Hall of Fame sitcom but when you follow it up with something this abhorent, it kind of makes you wonder. And while Larry David followed up Seinfeld with Curb, a borderline HOF show by itself, Jerry, left on his own, managed to produce a four alarm train wreck.

Anonymous said...

Awful. NBC may have to leave the country soon if this keeps up.

Yeechang Lee said...

I am not a fan of reality shows at all (or Seinfeld, for that matter). I didn't even bother to watch the entire episode, only skipping through a few minutes' worth. I've read other critics' (also as harsh) reviews and Tweets.

All immaterial. This show is going to be a hit for NBC (not that that's saying much), maybe even on the level of The Bachelor. Why?

* It's novel.
* At the same time, it deals with a topic everyone is familiar with.
* With three celebrity hosts per episode, there's going to be at least one each time who can make people laugh.

Ryan said...

One word: GARBAGE

fred said...

There's only one point with which I do not agree, and that's the Larry King one.

I don't think Seinfeld sounded like a jerk, nor did I felt bad for King one second.
Come on, the very least bit of professionalism would have been, for the host, to read the headlines of who is his guest and what he's done. That Seinfeld was the #1 show, and ended because they, creative team, decided to end while on top, and not as the result of a network decision, that they refused billions a year to continue as NBC begged them, that's most definitely a headline in Jerry's bio.

He wasn't a jerk, just pointing out clearly how King was not just unprepared, but at this point unprofessional and bad at his job.

That said, while I still think Seinfeld is a great comedian, and the sitcom remains the best one of all, his latest work (Bee Movie, and now this mess) is pure crap.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fred, Jerry's point with King was entirely reasonable. The way he presented that point, on the other hand, made him look like an ass. There are laughs to be had in pointing out when Larry King is being Larry King, but Jerry came across as an entitled rich guy asking, "Do you know who I am?"

You can be 100 percent right and still be a jerk.

MyFawny said...

H.A.M. (Hot a** mess)

So unfunny I went to do the dishes instead.

and because it needs to be said, I still won't watch Jay Leno no matter who his guest are.

Bg Porter said...

All I could think of was Jackie Gleason's failed game show "You're in the Picture" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27re_in_the_Picture), remembered now only for Gleason's starting the second show with an apology for how bad the show was. If there's any justice, Seinfeld will start Thursday's show by attempting to dig out his own liver with a spoon to make amends.

Anonymous said...

Right on Alan. Just a terrible show. The show must be advertising on Howard Stern to keep him from blowing it up on air.

And I think Alec Baldwin is great on 30 Rock, but how inappropriate is it to see him critiquing another marriage?

Adam said...

As I tweeted last night, it took fifteen failures and partial failures to get to the first great Seinfeld episode, "The Chinese Restaurant".

NBC will not be that patient again.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

I can't believe NBC decided to use the Olympic lead-in for the 10pm hour to promote the Marriage Ref. Why not use it to promote a better show (based on early critic reactions) like Parenthood? Who at NBC thought this was a good idea?

The Leno debacle already put NBC in a hole Thursdays at 10, and I would bet that viewing habits are already set for that hour (The Mentalist, etc.) I doubt the lead-in to this show will matter much.

Danny said...

I think I'm the only one that actually enjoyed it. I do agree that the arguments were a little too one-sided and I hope for future episodes they go with something less silly and more realistic.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time, I agree with you Alan. But not this time.

I thought the show was hilarious. As a reality concept it is so contrived, that it is obviously just a pretext to have funny people be funny. What is so wrong with that? Did not find it condescending at all.

As usual, Alec Baldwin was fantastic.

Bryan said...

What the eff was that? I listened to the whole thing last night while on the computer after the olympics - what a train wreck.

I saw an ad for a book the other day and it was by a celebrity and about raising kids (it may have even been Seinfeld too - I'm not sure) but I was thinking don't tell me how to raise kids (mine are alost grow by the way) until YOURS are grown otherwise you really have no knowledge.

Same with this thing - Alec Baldwin? Madonna? etc are going to try to give marriage advice? I know it's supposed to be funny but really all I kept thinking was how pathetic is Baldwin (and I, like Alan, normally think he's a riot)

Just look at how far we fallen - the networks, after major events like the Olympics or Superbowl use to premiere things like Homicide now we get this drivel.

LA said...

I'm never going to watch The Marriage Ref, but I really enjoyed its evisceration on my Twitter feed last night.

Phil said...

Considering how long most Hollywood marriages last, I think we need a show called the Reverse Marriage Ref, where normal married couples critique Hollywood marriages.

Anonymous said...

Spot on in your review. The comedy is mean and repetitive.

Maxwell said...

I'm in the minority with Danny and our annonymous friend. I usually agree with Alan and most of the good folks who follow him, but I found this to be awfully funny.

And I will also admit wondering about Alec Baldwin's credibility and the one-sidedness of the disputes, but then I realized that was sort of the point: Marriage is such a mysterious, crazy institution that crazy people are just as qualified as anyone else. And I kind of think that's also the broader point of the show...

Bryan said...

I don't know maybe I was too harsh before- maybe get rid of the inane couples clips and the terrible host and replace him with - oh, I don't know, Chelsea Handler or something - and then you might have something.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

I had it on as passive background noise while I finished up a blog post.

It seems that WATCHING "The Marriage Ref" must even more painful than listening to it.

Therefore I consider myself lucky.

cadfile said...

Not a good show but the point isn't the arguments of the couple it is simply a showcase for the celebrities to be hip and funny.

Kind of like the old "Tattle Tales" game show or "Match Game".

The fun bits came from the panel interacting and playing off each other.

I don't think it will be on this time next year but it might last the season just because of the people on the panel.

Rose said...

I was offended that NBC interrupted LIVE coverage of the Olympic closing ceremonies. I did not watch one moment of "The Marriage Ref" nor do I ever plan to.

My favorite part of the ceremonies is the party atmosphere at the end where all the athletes from different countries start mingling with each other. I can't believe NBC didn't show the full celebration. NBC is insane.

J said...

When they first started promoting the show, I thought it was going to be like "The Nanny" or something; a relationship "expert" would give advice and there would be an effort toward pointing out universal comic elements.

But then I saw a promo clip during the hockey game that mentioned Gervais and Madonna and the show immediately registered as a failure.

Because America just LOVES having celebrities tell them how to live their lives. Can't wait for the Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon episode.

Jeff said...

It was so awful that I can't shake the suspicion that those leaving positive reviews are plants from NBC or something.

Robin said...

@Rose: You needed further proof NBC was insane? :-)

I thought the scariest thing was that NBC News let Natalie Morales go on the Marriage Ref. How does NBC News think anyone will take them as a credible news organization when they let their journalists do things like this?

Oh yeah, they DON'T think anyone thinks they're credible.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even tune in to the show, but came to pretty much the same conclusions you did, Alan, just by watching the commercials. Just is those few clips you could tell that Alec and Kelly are fake laughing at everything, and that they were going to be smug throughout.

Glad I didn't waste my time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and from what I've heard from people who know Seinfeld, he is a pompous jerk. If he had "retired" after Seinfeld he would have been a legend, but as time goes by the public will see more and more of his true self emerge.

Bryan said...

I don't know that it's any big surprise that comedians can be pompous jerks - that seems to be very common. That does remind me though the first time I realized Jerry might not quite be the great guy we thought he was was when he stole his wife from another guy 3 weeks after their marriage. (yeah I know it's the 21st century and women can make their own choices and all but that's the best word I could think of to describe it)

Nicole said...

I sorta didn't think about Seinfeld once his show finished. He was always the least funny person on his own show. However, his adamant defence of Leno, when it was clear that Leno's actions were not kosher, showed me how much he was just another rich Hollywood "star" who is completely out of touch with reality for the regular folks. Good humour is more self deprecating than anything, and this seems like bullying.

I watched about one minute before I rewatched that pretty excellent hockey game that was on.

Christy said...

The commercials had already convinced me I wanted to avoid the show, but then when they interuped the closing ceremonies, we were so outraged we immediately flipped over to another station, any other station.

Chris said...

Haven't seen the show yet, but completely disagree on the Larry King clip. What, is Larry King some innocent bystander? That was a pathetic question, and Seinfeld, being a comedian, made fun of King. It was very funny. Should Seinfeld have somberly intoned, "No, Jerry we weren't cancelled, we were actually the most popular show in the United States. Good question, though."

Anonymous said...

Maybe that couple with the stuffed dog will bury him at sea when they go on the cruise they won for appearing on the show.

If you had seen the commercials and expected anything other than a bunch of fake laughs and mean-spirited condescending insults at the low-hanging fruit featured as couples, then you weren't paying attention.

It all seemed completely scripted and poorly edited and just really, really awful. How sad that the timeslot formerly occupied by Hill Street Blues, LA Law and ER will now be defiled by this piece of crap.

Rich, Denver

Anonymous said...

@Chris

I didn't see the whole interview (just that clip) but I think it's possible that Larry King was asking that question more for his audience's sake than his own. Keep in mind that his audience is older and may not even be familiar with who Seinfeld is, and Larry tried to get them caught up on some of the background stuff. You'll notice, he isn't actually WRONG in his question, he asks "And you guys left, right, you weren't cancelled?" It didn't seem like Larry wasn't prepared for the interview, just that he was asking some pretty simple questions, again maybe more for his audience than for himself.

amysusanne said...

I feel weird defending a show that I couldn't stand to watch more than a couple of minutes of, but I agree with cadfile: it's supposed to be like one of those old panel shows, not a self help guide. The comedians and actors aren't preaching at us or telling us how to live our lives, they're sitting around snarking with the single goal of making people laugh. I like the idea, I just didn't find the few minutes I watched very funny. Maybe it'll get better. Tbh, I'm not sure I considered it until reading all these comments, but the main turn off for me might have actually be Jerry. I love "Seinfeld". I like Jerry. Saw him live quite a bit. But, post-series I've just found him pretty uninteresting and unlikable. I'd rather watch Larry David or Tina Fey or Ricky Gervais than him.

Anonymous said...

I love Seinfeld... maybe I'm snooty too, but I love how he thinks he's better than 99% of people. It makes for funny stuff. And anyone who thought the show was supposed to be serious marriage advice missed the point entirely-- it's funny people being funny at the expense of people in stupid situations. At any rate, as a program it's certainly not worse than any of the other crap the networks are slinging at us.

Dane meets Simone said...

I laughed a lot. I thought it was great.

Anonymous said...

"Once they give you the cameras, it's on you," Jerry.

Tracey said...

Ooo... I like Phil's idea! Get some regular people who have had a 10+ year marriage (if you can find any...) who take some of those spoiled Hollywood types with their Hollywood marriage problems and put them in their place! Muauahaha! ]:^>

Jocelyn Testes-Harder said...

Aww, boo! mean people! boo!

Blair Waldorf said...

Alan,

Can you please review the closing ceremony itself? It was the strangest thing I think I have ever seen on television.

It was like a Canadian stereotype acid trip. I thought maybe the How I Met Your Mother writers put it together because it seemed like it was just a bunch of wildly exaggerated Canadian jokes strung together and made larger than life.

Quoting the announcer: "And the always enjoyable, giant, inflatable beaver... Soon to be accompanied by a giant, inflatable moose."

Anonymous said...

And anyone who thought the show was supposed to be serious marriage advice missed the point entirely-- it's funny people being funny at the expense of people in stupid situations.

I don't think that's what people are arguing. I think we just didn't find any of the funny people to be funny.

M.A.Peel said...

Seinfeld and Baldwin--a.k.a the boys from Massapequa--are good together. Too bad they couldn't find something worth doing.

Bryan said...

And anyone who thought the show was supposed to be serious marriage advice missed the point entirely-- it's funny people being funny at the expense of people in stupid situations.

I don't think that's what people are arguing. I think we just didn't find any of the funny people to be funny.


I agree completely - this isn't HuffPost, Alan's readers tend to be very informed and intelligent people. I know it's supposed to be funny - I've got a great sense of humor- but one of the many many MANY reasons I hated this show was because when I saw Alec - as much as I love him - all I could think about was what a miserable failure he has appeared to be as a husband and father. And then next week we have Madonna.

(btw- that huffpost thing was a joke)

Anonymous said...

Just an awful show. Unfunny and stupid. What a moronic mess. I thought Jason Alexander pitching Jenny Craig was a new low but it is high class compared to this debacle.

belinda said...

I couldn't bring myself to watch this, but didn't BRAVO, have a show years ago (around the time when Queer Eye was all the rage) that had the exact same premise of having a team of people settle an argument between spouses(sans the celebrities and Seinfeld's name on it)? Boy, did that show take off so much I can't even remember the name of it.

And Seinfeld, ripping off a failed BRAVO show? Yikes.

dmalato2 said...

I think it's strange that they're going to have different celebrity guests every week. It gives them no time to develop any sort of chemistry. I think they'd be better off if it was like American Idol - a permanent three every week and a host that doesn't do anything but move things along, then the three judges make their jokes and vote on the winner. I thought the second half was way funnier than the first, mostly because they all had a chance to get comfortable with each other. And the host absolutely stinks. Get him out of there. But I think there's potential to get a couple good laughs a week out of this show if you don't take it too seriously, kind of like SNL.

blinky said...

This seemed like a really bad Saturday Night Live skit. The host seemed like a carnival barker or something. Totally unwatchable. Jerry Seinfeld must be a huge dick in real life.

Henry said...

I didn't watch the show, but given what was described here Alan, what is Seinfeld and the gang "ref-ing" with the various marriages? Do they arrange for someone to actually go into their homes and become a referee? Do they even know what a referee is or what he/she does?

Maybe I don't wanna know because I'll never watch the show.

(Haha, the word verification for this is "swines," which seems appropo)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it takes both Seinfeld and NBC to realize that the Seinfeldvision idea from 30 Rock is both more enjoyable and less damaging to their legacies than this trash.

dez said...

The ads made it look ridiculous, and when NBC cut off the Closing Ceremonies for it, I switched to something else. Boo!

olucy said...

Forget Baldwin's and Madonna's track record at marriage. This show is brought to you by a man who started dating his wife weeks after her wedding to another man.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny. I don't understand why everyone thinks it was so terrible. The arguments were ridiculous, and I definitely laughed out loud at the show. Its in my rotation for sure

Anonymous said...

Look at it this way --

Would FOX have aired "The Marriage Ref?"

The answer is yes. Then consider Fox's rating relative to NBC's, and realize quickly why 'The Marriage Ref' is on NBC.

Liz Coopersmith said...

I watched it, didn't hate it,agreed whole-heartedly with the decisions (no to the stuffed dog in the living room, no to the stripper pole in the bedroom), still trying to figure out why they think this is going to have any legs. You've got a bunch of divorced and sketchily married (Seinfield) celebrities riffing on other people's marriages. So far, there's been no conflict/controversy with their common-sense decisions. BORING! I will totally forget it's coming on next week, mostly because I don't watch NBC anymore. Nice try, guys.

Craig Ranapia said...

but there was this undercurrent of contempt for the couples being judged that made the whole affair feel particularly unpleasant.

Particularly unpleasant compared to what? Every other reality show whose entire reason for existing is to line up borderline unstable people who need professional help, not being set up to be laughed at and condescended to for the entiertainment of a-holes?

3333/afa said...

And while Larry David followed up Seinfeld with Curb, a borderline HOF show by itself, Jerry, left on his own, managed to produce a four alarm train wreck.

Read Roger Ebert's review of "Sour Grapes."

Lydia said...

I don't usually comment, but this show was terrible enough that I needed to add my dislike to this list.

Joseph said...

I didn't watch the show because I was assuming it was going to be all the things that Alan indicated it was in his review. However, I find it hard to muster up any sympathy for the "ordinary" married folks - I am sure they are fully aware what was going to happen and were willing to allow themselves to be ridiculed in exchange for their fifteen minutes of fame and a cruise.

I am tempted to watch the episode with Ricky Gervais; he never fails to make me laugh and I expect he will wind up riffing on himself and the other celebrities more than the actual married couple.

Lollie-ext-5555 said...

I've come in kind of late to this bash-fest. Where are the angry, hateful mobs? Apparently they're here at Alan's blog.

I loved it, just absolutely LOVED it!! These are funny people being off the cuff hilarious in a way I never get to see them.

All I can figure out is that Alan was having a really bad day when he saw the show and it must have made it like watching it through crap colored glasses. Because they had me crying and nearly choking from laughter through most of the show.

Most of the rest of folks here must be regulars who like Alan a LOT. Or a lot of them are Alan. Or we're in bizzaro world again. I hate when that happens.

Conan yanked his hip bones about night after night just slayed people and you call Marriage Ref not funny? Wow. Just freakin wow.

Daniel said...

So forced. So unfunny. Pathetic. Strippa Po? Seriously? Please.

Anonymous said...

What is the Bea Arthur joke and where can I find it?

Chief Journalistic Officer said...

NBC's The Marriage Ref attracted about a minute's worth of attention before it dawned on me like an avalanche of revulsion that a reality show about marital problems is doomed to vapid, pointless commentary and awkward one-liners, and that this show was a platform for comedians to joke about subjects that are inherently unfunny.

In a flash of dread I contemplated, amid the chuckles of celebrities and flashes of couples' faces, what married couples would pass the audition to be on this show. It was immediately apparent that the producers would never allow couples with real problems on the show, because of how unpleasant such a spectacle would be as to see them hash out their problems.

Marital discord falls into two categories: transparently superficial problems that can be worked out in a conversation, and deep-seated concerns that result in counseling or divorce. There's something to be said by quickly broaching concerns about a spouse, to avoid a small concern building into a major one. A TV show isn't the venue best-suited to such a resolution. That's a private conversation at home.

It's uncomfortable to watch a live-action show where the jokes aren't funny, because you get the uneasy feeling too often that you're being lied to. The lies come in the form of phony laughter and phony smiles, from the joke-makers and the couples, who, if they really have a problem, shouldn't be laughing.

So why, then, would a comedian as well-regarded as Jerry Seinfeld develop, let alone agree to star in, a show that's inherently unfunny? There's no good one-liner to answer that.

Lollie-ext-5555 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Lollie, fundamental commenting rule around here: talk about the shows, not each other.

Lollie-ext-5555 said...

You're right, Alan. I apologize. My bad.

I consider Marriage Ref to be one of the funniest, most enjoyable shows I've seen in several long dry years.

It's one thing to be funny in a well scripted comedy, or in a piece of stand up you've practiced for years. But to be off the cuff funny the way Kelly Ripa is every single day on her show with Regis, that's extraordinary. That woman has a talent for seeing humor in everything all the time. What a gift! She's the Shaun White of wit. And the others are nearly that good.

I imagine to myself, lights, camera, action! Okay, be funny right now, right this second Lollie..... looks about as easy as snowboarding in the olympics to me.

I only drink my ice tea during the commercial breaks to avoid unnecessary spit takes. :)

Anonymous said...

Lollie, if you liked this you should check out Chelsea Handler on E! I like the first two segments of her show where she has a round-table discussion with various comics about current events. Sometimes it's really good.

Anonymous said...

Like blinky said above--a bad SNL skit ---that goes on for an hour!

Dani in NC said...

I liked the show and thought it was funny. It isn't a great work of art, but it is better than Leno at 10p five nights a week.

Even though it isn't meant to be a serious show, it was a conversation starter for me and my husband. Also, it brought back memories of watching "Match Game" after school when I was a kid. I do hope, however, that Seinfeld was only standing in for the first two eps as a last-minute replacement. I liked all the other celebrities better than him.

Dedrick said...

I admit that the first episode with Jerry was just okay, but the most recent episode with Madonna and Ricky, I found to be hilarious. I really like this show and I think it has a lot of potential. I hope all the people on here that have already written it off give it another chance, because I'd hate to see the show cancelled