Saturday, December 9, 2017

Are Gays Overused in Television?

I honestly don’t know if I can write this post without sounding homophobic so maybe I’ll just hope that I don’t get any hate for this as I already know that I’m probably not sharing this post on facebook this time around. It is an interesting question so I figure that I might as well ask it. Are gays used too much on TV shows? I’ve heard reports that there are more gays in television than ever before. Is this a good thing? Do we need this many gay characters?

One thing that I remember reading somewhere online once (a place I can’t remember and won’t bother looking for) made it seem like gay characters were forced upon some CBS shows due to what they felt was a lack of representation or something dumb like that. The example that I remember is them adding Alicia’s gay brother to The Good Wife. This is despite the fact that an LGBT character called Kalinda was a regular on the show already. Maybe because she is bi-sexual, that wasn’t good enough for people. But it would seem dumb to make shows have gay characters because the writers can make them as bad people as they want to.

But there hasn’t been as many gay characters that were horrible people. The closest example I can think of is the cast of The Real O’Neals where pretty much everyone was horrible in some way. Only I don’t think that the gay character was as bad as all the other main ones. The only other show I can think of is Survivor, only that doesn’t have made up characters; it has real people.

A problem with gays on television, if there is one, is that we can go a while without learning about their orientation. The first season of Supergirl made no hints that Alex was gay other than a lack of any love interest of either gender. But that was easily explained with her being too busy with work. Still, it wasn’t bad when they revealed that she was gay because it was never talked about before. Similarly, the show Fresh off the Boat had another character think that she’s a lesbian, which the age of the character being as young as she is, made it so that she didn’t realize it before.

Supposedly, Haley Dunphey, a character from Modern Family, is bi-sexual. This is what the actress who played her tweeted out. But this character has existed for years. There has not been any hint of her being bi-sexual. Even if they play it off as her suddenly realizing it, it would seem to suddenly change everything we know about this character. Plus, there are two gay leads on the show already. Do they need a third regular LGBT character?

Another problem that I see sometimes is that a character that is gay is not in any way different than what this character would be if he or she were straight. I saw this problem in some shows some times. This doesn’t happen too much. Like I know that it might not be too much of a problem, though. I saw it as a potential problem of Captain Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. While they have made his character more than enough different from a straight one, it seems that most of the time, he could have been easily straight with almost nothing different about him.

In case you think I’m mentioning one problem after another with gay characters, here’s one that works in a different way: straight characters of the same gender getting together. This is a huge problem that I’m surprised the LGBT community isn’t upset with. I was so upset that Walden and Alan were getting married on Two and a Half Men that I ended up not watching the final season as a result. They have been straight the whole show and remained straight as one does yet still got married to each other. What is with that?

Back to the original point: why are there so many gay characters on TV shows? You could probably more easily name shows that don’t have any gay characters than those that do. Even if there isn’t a gay main character, there is normally an important enough recurring character that’s gay. Even closeted gays are gay characters. Even if they aren’t the main focus of the show, they are there. The Simpsons has never been about gays in most episodes, but Waylon Smithers who is in a lot of episodes, has been gay for a long time, although that’s not what the show is about. Neither is Sugergirl about Alex being a lesbian, although that remains unchanged.

I guess that my closing point is that there are a lot of gays on TV shows and you’ll see more of them over time. I have read in both Time Magazine and that there are more LGBT characters than ever be for. Why is that? I don’t know. I hope that it is still okay to do shows without them. And I hope that I didn’t offend anyone with this blog post.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Winter Blahs: It Affects Television Too

Perhaps you’ve heard of the winter blahs. It is basically when you can’t accomplish much of anything and nothing really exciting happens. Parts of the winter make you feel like, well, blah. And the affect can be seen on television as well too. I’m not sure why this happens. But it seems like the winter is the start of when things get boring and dumb on TV.

This isn’t always bad that the winter blahs happen on TV. During December, you’d probably rather be doing other things while celebrating and getting ready for Christmas instead of wanting to watch shows that are on. It is understandable that they’d take a break while giving us Christmas specials during this time instead. It can also be nice to see reruns of different shows that we might have missed before. I’m just pointing out that the winter is the first time of the year this typically happens outside of a brief window of time when the World Series happens. That might be more due to something called sweeps happening at that time and that’s a whole different post.

A lot of shows can wind up going on hiatus the moment that November sweeps are over, which can be quite bothersome since it seems to be quite a blah thing happening. This seems to happen most on the CW which airs midseason finales of all its important shows and waits until mid January to start airing new episodes. ABC is notorious for airing lesser shows in at least December while a lot of their great show are gone until later. I think that NBC is a bit like that too.

So much of what they always do with shows always confuses me. They air new episodes on Thanksgiving and the week after, we see a whole lot less new things on. There are new shows right after the next year begins, only for a lot of it to quickly repeat again. Reruns aren’t even that annoying when you think about it. But we see them a lot more in December and January than any other time.

I don’t think that I have anything else to say. I’ll have to keep writing more of these posts in the future. I’ll be scheduling the rest of the posts for this year pretty soon. I don’t know when things will change, but keep an eye out for changes. Just know that you will keep seeing these Saturday posts unless I say something different. Don't be surprised if you don't see one one week.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Arrowverse Drinking Game

As you might expect from the title of this post (it being a drinking game), I didn't have much time over the Thanksgiving weekend to come up with a new post for this blog. Only this time, this type of post was done mostly late by choice as there is a four series crossover between the shows starting tonight. I hope it is as good or even better than the last one. Remember that one takes risks when one plays drinking games and I take no responsibility for any harm caused to you or any other person playing these games. Now I might as well get to what this game is like. Take a shot if any of the following happen:

  • Any fight scene of any kind.
  • The heroes disagree with each other about something.
  • Any secret is revealed. Includes those previously revealed but not to this person.
  • Oliver Queen says, "You have failed this city."
  • Kara Danvers is awkward in any way, shape, or form.
  • Any superpower is used.
  • Any characters travel through time.
  • A character from one show shows up on another show.
  • Firestorm is formed.
  • Anybody learns of someone's secret identity or reveals their secret identity. Includes fake outs.
  • A character is knocked unconscious.
  • A character speaks highly of their alter ego.
  • A character says he has spoken to his alter ego to learn something. e.g. Oliver Queen says that Arrow gave him important information.
  • Any change from the comic books, even one that winds up temporary.
  • A character impersonates another character, real or imagined.
  • Doppelgangers show up.
  • Someone new gains powers.
  • Someone with power loses them for a time.
  • Person is confused with doppelganger.
  • A new Harrison Wells shows up.
  • Any mention of a different earth for any reason.
  • A dead person comes back to life in any way.
  • A character disappears in some way for a while.
  • Travel to any other earth, even temporary.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Are Life Lessons in Modern, Primetime TV Shows?

When you watched shows as a kid, you watched shows targeted towards your demographic. Shows made for kids have or should some sort of life lesson in it. But then you wonder if this sort of thing is actually in a lot of shows you’d see on network TV at different times. You may or may not know of the concept of a special episode. But some shows do this all the time. While this could just be me and what I think about some shows, I figure that this is worth an analysis.

One of the things that you can’t do in children’s shows are address the serious topics that people that age don’t face. Thus, when it comes to lessons in life about sex or drugs, you’d have to learn them on primetime shows or they wouldn’t teach them at all.

Before I get too far, a life lesson in some shows may just be what some people would write off as liberal propaganda. Some shows might admit that. Now what could be called that might have some good to teach people. Just know that not everything would be accepted as a good lesson to everyone.

While you wouldn’t expect an outrageous show like American Dad to teach you lessons about life, I have noticed some of those in the show when I used to watch it. One taught about the dangers of sexual objectification and how you shouldn’t be with people who see you as just an object for some form of sexual need on their behalf.

The Flash is a show that seems to include life lessons in it from time to time. It makes sense since there are probably a lot of teens watching a superhero based TV show and they could teach good lessons with it from time to time. A recent episode showed that people should focus on saving lives even if it means letting the villain go. Earlier, they had the main character learning the perils of trying to change things that shouldn’t be changed. Of course, this occurred in a way that wouldn't happen in real life.

The main idea behind life lessons in primetime is in the show called Blossom. It frequently made use of concepts known as special episodes where they wouldn’t focus on the laughs that a sitcom like it would normally have on a regular basis. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it is something that happened, maybe not so much anymore. Well, it happens on Arthur, but that isn’t a primetime show.

Family Guy was criticized for trying to do an episode about the perils of abusive relationships as that show isn’t known for being serious most of the time. They have done other good episodes such as those that talked about the anti-vaccine movement or pointed out the flaws of those who wouldn’t treat their kids with medicine (as that actually happens with some dumb religions). They even tried to talk about abortion, but the episode in question was banned from airing, although it is out on DVD.

I don’t know what else there is to mention regarding this post. Maybe there are life lessons in some TV shows. Maybe there aren’t. I could be seeing things that aren’t actually there. But I only brought up some examples and there could be a lot more. That’s just my thoughts on the matter.

Friday, November 24, 2017

My Planned Viewing Habits: Midseason 2018

Well, while I am coming up with different posts to fill out the rest of this year, I might as well do the last of my regular posts that I’m sure I can still do this season. I still have to do whatever posts I can while the year is still happening. Sometimes I wonder how I get all the posts I require myself to do done in time. This year already has the most posts I’ve had in a year and I’ve done that a few times every year now. I’ve had a complicated time trying to watch and keep up with shows that I would normally watch. Too much has changed and gone wrong this year in terms of what I watch. Hopefully I’ll get into all of what I want to watch but who knows what will happen? This is just a plan and I’m not sure if all of this will happen or not. I guess that you’ll have to see when I do reviews what I was able to end up watching and if I had originally planned to do so or not.

Anyways, what are existing shows that are on TV that I still care about? I forget if I told you this before or not, but I started watching How to Get Away with Murder to fill the gap in shows that I would have since CBS wouldn’t be showing any shows until November. That’s the only returning show that I just got into for the first time to tell you about.

I am still planning on watching the following ABC shows: Grey’s Anatomy, The Middle, Fresh off the Boat, American Housewife, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, and Designated Survivor. There are times when I might watch 20/20 and Shark Tank. As for CBS, I will keep watching Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, Madam Secretary, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Bull, Scorpion, MacGyver, Kevin Can Wait, Blue Bloods, and Hawaii Five-0. There are times when I watch 60 Minutes and that happens a lot more during midseason after football is over.

Switching to the CW shows, I still watch Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Jane the Virgin. Since Survivor will be on hiatus for a bit, I’ll probably watch Riverdale during the break should it still air at the same time. I need to get caught up on that online if I can. As for the FOX shows that I’m into, they are The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Last Man on Earth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Gotham. I also do watch Bob’s Burgers at times.

Speaking of things that I only do sometimes, I can’t really watch any NBC shows right now as the website sucks most of the time and the channel isn’t coming in. That means that I’m giving up on The Blacklist since it airs against Survivor most of the season. If I were normally watching it, I’d be into the shows of Blindspot, Law and Order: SVU, The Good Place, and Chicago Med. But I haven’t seen them yet this season, although the last one hasn’t started as of me writing this.

Because of these complications, I never watched The Brave like I was planning to. I still could end up seeing it, but I doubt that I will in the end. I only saw Law and Order: True Crime once online. It wasn’t something I was that into, although I would have kept watching it if I could have.

What are the new fall shows I’m still watching? The new FOX shows that I still care about are Ghosted, The Orville, and The Gifted. The new CBS shows that I still care about are Young Sheldon, Wisdom of the Crowd, 9JKL, SEAL Team, and S.W.A.T. The new CW show I care about is Valor, although that might be ending soon. I don’t know if I’ll watch more of Dynasty or not as I’ve only seen one episode thus far when it worked out for me. It would be a fourth show for me which I can’t do. Only it is an NBC show that makes this a fourth show so maybe I should watch it. The new ABC show that I care about is The Good Doctor. What about other ABC shows that were new? Well...

There are new shows that I would watch if they were still on at midseason. 10 Days in the Valley will be burning off the rest of its episodes on Saturdays fairly soon. Inhumans was a limited run series so while it might be back for future seasons, it won’t be back this season. The same is true of Law and Order: True Crime. The show Me, Myself, and I was cancelled so it won’t be back, unless it is to burn off the rest of its episodes. I'd watch it if it does come back.

What are the new midseason shows that I can about? Well, there is a yet unnamed spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy that will air sometime on ABC that I’ll watch. I’ll be watching the FOX show The Resident. I would watch 911 if it didn’t air at a bloated time for me. On CBS, I’ll watch Instinct and By the Book. I don’t know yet if I’ll watch Celebrity Big Brother, but I think that I might avoid it if I can. I’ll be watching the CW shows of Black Lightning and Life Sentence. If I can get something in on NBC, I’ll watch Ellen’s Game of Games, although I don’t care enough about anything on that network right now to go out of my way to see if it is new unless it has alumni from The Good Wife or CSI: Cyber.

I do want to see the NBC shows of Timeless and Shades of Blue when they come back on. But if NBC still has the problems that it does, it seems unlikely that I’ll see anything of it that isn’t online. Even then, I might only watch a series finale of a show that I like since the website fails too much. I probably will not watch The 100, although it is possible that I give it another chance.

In terms of the other shows from previous seasons returning at midseason, I’ll be watching the FOX show of New Girl since it will air its final season. I’ll get more into that later. I’ll be watching Ransom again since it has a surprise return, even though it might not be on until the summer a la Flashpoint. Other shows on CBS that I’ll watch are Elementary and Code Black. I’ll watch the CW show of iZombie, which may not be on until the summer, although I won’t know for sure until the schedule is announced. I’ll be watching the ABC shows of Quantico and Match Game. I might even tune into To Tell the Truth as well, if it works out. It is also worth noting that two shows that could be considered midseason shows, Chicago Med from NBC and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from ABC, will have already returned when I get to them later. And I really hope that I can watch Chicago Med.

Now is when I normally talk about any of the new fall shows that I’m not sticking around for. Only I don’t have to as any of them that I can watch, I will watch. This means that Dynasty might be the only one that I’m not into and not because I don’t like it, but because it airs at a bad time.

Of course, the only real thing to note here before closing is that these are merely plans and I may not stick to them or be able to stick with them. I may care less about primetime on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the later airing shows and skip them as a result due to my new job. I will give priority to all of the final season shows that I care about. This means that I might have to give up an existing show that I know is coming back in order to watch or keep watching New Girl and The Middle. This also means that I will watch any episode I can easily see of 10 Days in the Valley as well as Me, Myself, and I, should it air again. I am also making sure that I watch both Instinct and The Resident regardless of when they air. And I should note that I might not even get to watch any of the new shows mentioned should they air at a bad time for me, which can easily happen. One can never know what will change against the original plan.

And that’s pretty much it for this blog post. I need to write more of this blog as I don’t know when I’ll need a post published all the time. In addition to Saturdays and random other days, I could wind up with any number of changes affecting this blog of mine here. If you don’t see a Saturday post, then wait for the next one (whenever it is) and I’ll explain what happened and changed due to my OCD rules. I hope to have a lot written soon to close out this year.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Scheduling Voids and How they are Handled

When you get to knowing TV shows as much as I do or even as much as pretty much any basic person does, you will notice that there are times when there are gaps in the schedule that probably shouldn’t be there but are because of cancellations. They could quickly fill the gap, but this doesn’t always work. Whenever a show is cancelled, something must air in its place. But what?

Sometimes gaps can be dumb in terms of what replaces it. What do I mean? Well, the dumbest of these are when they effectively air nothing but reruns in an empty timeslot. CBS has done this in two back to back seasons with comedies. In one, they got rid of Partners and replaced it with encore programming. This was despite the fact that a show called Friend Me was something they ordered to air. But the man who created it killed himself and CBS liked the empty timeslot better. That is understandable. But in the next season, they pulled The McCarthys from the schedule in February and never really replaced it until the next season giving them an odd number of comedies for the rest of the season, which is around four months of people getting extra Big Bang Theory reruns instead of something new all the time.

There are things to be concerned about when a show you like quickly returns and fills the gap of a cancelled show. You’d think that it wouldn’t be concerning, but it is. The quicker it is filled, the more likely that it is to be cancelled in the future, whether it is the end of this season or the end of the next season after it. Look at Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. It filled the gap of Doubt’s cancellation quite easily and was cancelled too. Beyond the Tank started to air again the week after Of Kings and Prophets last aired. There is no sign that Beyond the Tank is ever coming back with new episodes.

Sometimes you have to have voids in the schedule since it wouldn’t make sense to fill it. In February, when they have all these special programs on Sundays, some new shows won’t start because they’d be competing with things like the Super Bowl or whatever else is on. That’s why NBC, which airs football until midseason, will typically wait until March to roll out their Sunday schedules.

Comedies can be the hardest to work with in terms of voids in the schedule. While any drama can be replaced by another drama as hour long shows are easy to deal with, if you have an odd number of comedies, someone is probably doing something wrong. This means that a half hour is being wasted in terms of the schedule since they don’t have the right number to air. There are ways to fix this, but it doesn’t normally change since the longer you wait into a season to start working on a new show, the more likely it won’t come out that season.

While it can be seen as bad for a show to quickly replace another, it is actually the best course of action to have one show replace another once it fails. Otherwise, dumb things can happen like one show airing more than once in a season, which typically happens with non-scripted shows like Dateline or, most recently, Shark Tank. Other dumb things could be encore programming for an extended amount of time. I would not have been so annoyed at some shows’ cancellations should there have been an actual replacement for the show instead of just tons of reruns or additional episodes of shows already on the air. Why even pull the show if you can’t give it a real replacement?

An empty timeslot can give networks an excuse to air specials in their place until they feel that a more proper replacement can be used. You’ll see this if a show is cancelled and Halloween in near. When the TV show Hank was pulled from the schedule, that gave ABC time to air things like It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown in its place until they found a new slot for it. You’ll see Christmastime used as a lot of specials that air which normally don’t replace anything long term (unless you are a Christmas show, in which place, you are in until the season’s over and the other show gets its slot back), but if there is a place for it, it will air then and not some other time.

I don’t know what else there is to say on this subject. Maybe there is more that I could bring up, but there really isn’t. The main thing to summarize is that voids can come up in the schedule often enough and they can be dumbly resolved often. But they are always interesting things to watch.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fall Shows 2017 Part 2

Well, I’m back with part 2 of my review of the new fall shows of 2017. The next reviews will be on the midseason shows. Keep in mind that to keep things linked up with other blogs of mine, you will not see updated reviews of primetime shows for a while. I’m just glad that I have the same number of reviews for now with all the primetime shows. When I do, you won’t see any new sections like you have in the past because I can’t think of what else to add.

Dynasty: Show Description- A family has to deal with new dynamics and working with their respective companies. It replaces the 100 at the moment, although that show will be back. Behind the Scenes- This is a remake. My Thoughts- The characters are bad people so it has that against it. But the plot works for the most part. I give it three out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- This probably won’t last. Where to Find- On the CW at 9/8 Central on Wednesdays

Valor: Show Description- This is a military show, although I can’t tell the long term plot of it just yet. It replaces Reign. Behind the Scenes- I don’t know what to add here since I haven’t done research into this show. My Thoughts- I couldn’t tell what this was about so it doesn’t seem to offer much to it. But there are interesting parts to it. I give it three out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- This doesn’t look likely to last. Where to Find- On the CW at 9/8 Central on Mondays

S.W.A.T.: Show Description- This is about a team of people who try to help others in different situations. Just insert standard CBS drama into the plot line here. It replaces, for the moment at least, The Amazing Race, only that show will return at some point. Behind the Scenes- This is a remake of some sort. It also stars Shamar Moore, who used to star in Criminal Minds. My Thoughts- It seemed pretty good even if it didn’t seem that different from other shows. I give it three out of five stars. Long Term Prospects- It might last some, but I don’t know for sure. Its timeslot has been a disaster lately. Where to Find- On CBS at 10/9 Central on Thursdays