Midseason Check-In: No One Likes the Shows I Like

Okay, that’s not strictly true. Critics tend to agree with me. But the ratings don’t. I’m trying not to take it personally, but… what’s wrong with everyone?

As we’ve discussed before, shows aren’t so much canceled anymore as just left to end their run. Several of these shows just weren’t given a back nine. There is still a possibility they’ll be given a second season during the May Upfronts, if there’s enough grassroots phone calls and letters, but it’s a slim chance.

Lucifer: I admit I was late to the game on this one, jumping into the second season. I was a little turned off by how polished it all looked. I mean, it’s a homicide show set in the glamorous L.A. The glitz is supposed to be set off by the gruffness of Peter Falk, the outsider who can see straight through the bullshit and get stuff done. He bumbles his way in and everyone underestimates him but he tells the truth and puts the bad guys away, every time. Lucifer wears fancy suits and knows all the celebs and owns a nightclub. Glitz is in his bones. But being part of the world means he’s not dazzled by the razzle – he’s looking right at the hand doing the trick, and the thing he cares about, most deeply, is fairness. He may be the Devil, but his mission is always justice. Plus, he’s funny and educated. The show did get a full season 2, but the ratings are barely better than, and sometimes even with, Gotham.

The Good Place: What should the qualifications for getting into “the good place” be, exactly? Is it enough to say the right things, or do you have to put in the work to achieve them? If someone hands you a charity responsible for helping poor people and you only plunder it a little, do those lives saved go on your CV? What about if you travel the world negotiating peace treaties in order to further your career? Does it count? Should it count? More importantly, why is this show even on the bubble? These issues shouldn’t be reduced to stupid tropes and pithy catchphrases and this show does an excellent job of mining real humor from nuance.

Pitch: The promise of the first female major-league ballplayer. She has to be an amazing ballplayer, which includes getting along with her teammates and the press and managing the business around her. And she has to be an amazing woman, who looks sexy but chaste and speaks truthfully but restrained and never, ever, appears to be trying too hard. Because as far as she’s gotten, if she fails now, no one else will get a chance. Her failure would be a referendum on women. She wants to be an excellent person, but that’s not an opportunity afforded to her, because she is a woman, so she has to be the perfect woman, and perfect women aren’t supposed to play with the big boys.

Frequency: If only we all had a chance to change the past, knowing what we know now. This show can get a little bogged down in trying to make the emotional stories carry as much weight as the crime stories, and I wouldn’t mind if they’d occasionally stop and say, “here is where we are in this investigation, and here is what we need to move forward and change the outcome,” but this is a show where the characters’ actions have actual, tangible consequences that they have to live with, and even if you can get back the happiness that you had, it can’t ever be the same and you’ll have to fight so damn hard just to get to where you were.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Many, many words have been written about how good this show is and how you should be watching. You’re not willing to listen to experts. Maybe I should make a meme about competing shows literally killing their stuntmen or something.


About Generation Coax

I am an aspiring TV writer, amateur photographer, and craft hobbyist.
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