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Goodbye to The Playboy Club

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Every season there are those shows that have no hope. The shows that are DEFINITELY going to get cancelled. The shows that only got made because the network couldn’t find a reality show to slide into that time slot. You know heading in that it’s going to be gone by midseason, yet you defy all common sense and you still ante up.

This show makes those shows seem like sure things.

There is a very real chance The Playboy Club gets cancelled during its’ first commercial break. So, of course, I’m in.

That was my pre-season assessment of The Playboy Club. And while it did make it out of its’ first episode….it didn’t make too much further. So while it’s impossible to say that I didn’t see this coming, I must confess, it stings nonetheless.

But why you ask? Well, I’ve spent the last day and half trying to wrap my head around that very same question and I’m pretty sure I’ve come to a conclusion (yet another perk to my daily 3-state, 3 hour sojourn to and from work (or commute as most people call it…and yes this is another case of a parenthetical statement within another parenthetical statement)).

I guess because I’ve been able to put so much time into analyzing this (because obviously, there really aren’t any more important things I should be thinking about), I not only have one reason as to why I’m so hurt by this show being cancelled, but I actually have two of them. So without further ado (I would say 256 words is enough ado), here the two reasons why I’m so bothered by The Playboy Club being cancelled.

1. Whatever happened to bad TV?
Don’t get me wrong, this was bad TV (really bad TV actually). But I would argue that that is exactly the reason why we need this show. With the explosion of reality TV, bad TV has become a lost art form. Judging by production costs alone, the networks would obviously much rather go out with a “bad TV” reality show than a “bad TV” non-reality show. But I would argue that in that thinking, there is a massive void in our TV viewing selection.

You see, sometimes, I don’t want a sitcom that hits me with some adaptation of a joke that has been used approximately 378 times in 216 different shows since the first time it was used in a 1956 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

And sometimes, I don’t want to watch a drama where I can sniff out the entire story line (definitely for the episode, and quite possibly for the season) about 7-8 seconds after the opening credits have cleared the screen (yes Grey’s Anatomy, I’m talking to you. To be honest, I actually liked Grey’s the first time it was on. I think they called it ER back then).

I don’t want it to make me a better person. I don’t want it to make some huge veiled statement about our society as a whole. But most importantly, I don’t want it to make me think.
Because, sometimes, I just want bad TV. I want mindless TV (Donna Martin graduates!). I want it to be over-the-top (the Melrose Place explosion at the pool). I want to be able to shut off my brain, watch without thinking, be completely entertained and love every ridiculously absurd minute of it.

The Playboy Club was all of those things. And now it’s gone. Thanks a lot NBC! Which is actually a good segue into my next point (it’s almost like I’m planning this as I write or something).

2. Fear of Commitment
How many times have you gone against your better judgement and gone all in on a show? You knew from the moment they announced it that the network wasn’t entirely sold on it. You knew they were just looking for a reason to cancel it. You knew that the only reason they put it in the fall lineup was because they’re already having trouble justifying 7 hours of The Biggest Loser a week on top of the 4 hours of Minute to Win It, and they figured that had to have some original programming…right? Didn’t they?

You knew all of this, yet you still went in on The Black Donnellys, and Journeyman, and Southland, and Kidnapped, and Pushing Daisies, and The Event, and Flash Forward, and Detroit 1-8-7, and of course on The Playboy Club.

And then the network did exactly what you knew they would they do. At the first sign of distress, they cancelled it. And in its’ place, they created a new SVU or they extended Deal or No Deal another hour longer. They got nice and safe…and lazy. Of course, these are the same folks who tried to cancel possibly the greatest TV drama of all time (Friday Night Lights) and the greatest TV comedy of all time (Arrested Development) every single season they were on.

So let me save you all the time since I have a good eye for these doomed shows. If you happen to be watching Terra Nova….yep…you already know…don’t you? Maybe Netflix (or whatever they call it now) an old season of The Wire or something. Sorry to be the bearer of bad new, I guess I just miss The Playboy Club.

Am I the only one? Was I the only one watching the shows mentioned above? Did I happen to miss any? I would love to hear about them..

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The TVpocalypse Queue Poll

Texas forever...or at least until they move on to their next show.

The readers have spoken….or written I guess. And now, as promised, here is the first edition of the TVpocalypse Queue Poll, (there is an actual poll at the bottom of this post…I promise), where the community will decide what shows will rise up and replace those shows that will inevitably fall off the TVpocalypse Top 25.

The response was better than expected and we actually have 12 shows in the running. And while I have a feeling there will be a few spots opening up soon for a myriad of reasons (e.g. seasons ending, network cancellations, general suckyness), there sure won’t be 12 spots opening…and so we vote.

And while I have used this blog to pour my TV heart and soul out into the abyss that is the blogosphere, I understand that a lot of you might not have a complete grasp on my TV viewing sensibility just yet. So with that in mind, I figured I would offer a quick snippet with my first impression of each of the nominees (or as quick as my stream of consciousness, run-on sentence writing will allow).

American Horror Story (FX)
I was already ALL over this one. Three good things here. First, FX has a near flawless track record for great shows. Second, a horror TV show is an anomaly…you have to think this could be really, really original. And third, Tammy Taylor. For those of you who don’t know, Tammy Taylor was the mother character on one of the greatest shows ever, Friday Night Lights (if you have not seen it, go now…you can come back later, I’ll still be here). FNL is one of those pantheon shows for me, where if any of the major players go on to another show I feel obligated to at least give it a try. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

Grimm (NBC)
I have to be honest, I don’t know that this is in my wheelhouse. This is based on books and I don’t read. And when I say I don’t read books, I mean I REALLY don’t read books. At all. It’s pretty safe to say that I have not read a book in AT LEAST 4 years…and that’s conservative. To my defense, I watch 25+ TV shows and there’s only so much time in the day.

Homeland (SHO)
Another pantheon show playing here. Band of Brothers. Damian Lewis, or Col. Winters as I’ll always remember him, stars in this show. It looks like the type of show that could attempt to fill the whole in my heart that was created when Jack Bauer decided that there was no more terrorism to stop. This show was also already on my radar.

Walking Dead (AMC)
Speaking of shows that were already on my radar. I have just heard too many good things from too many people to not believe this show is great. Of course, if I take this on I’ll need to do two things. One, I’ll need to rally on season one within 2  weeks (suddenly, I think I know what I’ll be watching this weekend). And two, I’ll need to get over my anger/beef with AMC for the debacle that was The Killing. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Mad Men isn’t on right now because AMC and I still aren’t speaking.

Raising Hope (FOX)
This show took a similar path to Happy Endings for me last season (which I watched last night…and loved it). I liked the looks of it. I had DVR’d a bunch of them. And yet, for whatever reason, I never got around to watching it. It’s not that I have anything against it, maybe it’s just another one that fell through the cracks (I’m but one man…I can only watch so much TV).

Big Bang Theory (CBS)
I was harassed by multiple friends on this one in the past. Too many people probably…which of course means I played stubborn and decided NOT to watch it just to be a pain in the ass (to know me is to truly love me…or so I like to think). This show does look extremely watchable. And even though I’ve been assured that I don’t need to rally on its’ history, the fact that it has been on for multiple seasons (and I haven’t seen any of it) does concern me slightly.

Terra Nova (FOX)
This show looks like an unmitigated disaster and I actually actively decided to NOT watch this. I’ve been burned too many times by these all budget/no writing titles in the past. Yep, that’s right The Event…Flash Forward…Heroes…I’m talking to you!

Covert Affairs (USA)
This is an interesting pick. I know that a lot of the summer shows on cable are really good, but for some reason I view them as minor league-ish. They’re on in the summer. They’re on lesser networks. I know, I know…very snobbish…but that’s how I feel. But with that being said, I wouldn’t be entirely opposed.

Southland (TNT)
As I mentioned in the comments, I loved this show when it was on NBC. And then I tried to follow it when it went to TNT, but I was one of the many who got lost in the move. For whatever reason, I forgot to DVR it, or I couldn’t find it, or who knows why. But, I do have a history with these characters, so it would not be a huge undertaking to jump back into this.

New Girl (FOX)
One problem here…I don’t really like Zoe Deschanel. I think it’s the whole hipster thing. Plus, from the promos I’ve seen for this show, it seems like it’s trying REALLY hard.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
I’ve seen this show a couple of times, and I always like it. I think I haven’t locked into a season pass for this because I almost view it as one of those shows I could stop at whenever I want to and mindlessly enjoy in a pinch…like during the summer (sorry again Covert Affairs) or even some late night when the DVR is empty (hey, it happens once in a while). I don’t really have any other explanation for not being a dedicated Always Sunny viewer, because it really does seem to play in my dark comedic wheelhouse.

Workaholics (COM)
Kudos to Cat for actually finding a show I’ve never heard of. If I were to take on this show, I would be taking it on completely cold. Of course, since I am a TV whore, this would not be a problem for me.

So there you have it folks. 909 words sure seems snippet-ish to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what shows rise to the top. Thanks for all the great feedback….keep it coming!