The Darkest Timeline, Indeed

Don’t forget about submitting your entry to the HijiNKS Ensue 6 Year Anniversary Fancy Bastard Fancy Fan Art Contest. Submissions are due this Friday. THERE ARE PRIZES! Details HERE.

Phoenix Comicon is in 2 weeks (May 23-26)! I will be there with David Willis at Booth 1749. Would you like to be our intern for the weekend? We can offer a con badge that will get you in, probably some lunch and in return you’ll get to work at our booth, getting shirts, making change, etc. We’ll make sure you get time to check out the show as well. Email comics at hijinksensue dot com.

The only comfort I took during the final 30 minutes of this season of NBC’s Community is that it was likely THE ACTUAL FINAL 30 MINUTES AS IN FOREVER. With creator Dan Harmon gone the spirit of the show has progressively tanked all season. The characters have become parodies of themselves, which is no small achievement considering that USED to be part of the fun of their dynamic. When handled with subtlety and smarts, self-parody can be the foundation of some very endearing moments. With this season, Community has replaced subtlety and smarts with a sledgehammer and a pie in the face. It reads like bad fan-fiction. At it’s core (considering the driving creative force behind its inception is long gone) it IS bad fan-fiction.

My friend, and Leverage co-creator, Jon Rogers said to me, “…You wanted #community so now you’re going to EAT EVERY BIT OF ITMonkey’s Paw, #community fans. Goddam monkey’s paw.” He’s right. Community fans made a deal with the TV Devil, and he’s a dirty dealer. They traded Community’s soul so that it could have a longer life. But is it really Community? Is it even alive? ZOMBIE TV SHOW ATE MY BRAINS! Coming this fall to NBC.

The only thing incorrect about Rogers’ statement is I (ME, the actual ME) did NOT want Community without Dan Harmon, just like I didn’t want a final, bizarro season of Scrubs, just like I didn’t want and continue to not want more seasons of The Simpsons or Futurama. Do like Jerry did. Leave on a high note and leave ’em wanting more.

[Thanks to Mikey and an actual Yaoi I saw at SDCC for inspiring today’s alt-text.]

COMMENTERS: Which show or fiction series (books? do they make… books?) do you wish had been cancelled before it was and why? 

Comments (45)

remember how everyone was on about 6 seasons and a movie?

I’m pretty sure it’s worked like a monkey’s paw. We’ll get our 6 seasons and a movie and in the end it’ll be like watching a car crash in slow motion, we all know it’ll be horrible, but we just can’t look away.

Kryss LaBryn's avatar

Kryss LaBryn · 107 weeks ago

Came here to say that.

When it looked like it wasn’t going to be renewed, JMS got the major plot points wrapped up for the end of the fourth season, not wanting to leave fans hanging if there wasn’t a fifth. And I’m not suuure if the problem was that there was a fifth season after the pre-existing threads were more or less tied up, since he’d basically ditched the teep war thread in order to be able to fit it all in, so it’s not like he just pulled something out of his ass. I think it’s more that the fifth season was, well, kind of awful. It has some great Bester moments, but Jesus, Byron. Pun kinda sorta maybe intended. It just wasn’t the B5 we’d had for the first four seasons, and while it was still probably better than most other shows on TV at the time, it was still… yeah.

I can happily ignore season five in its entirety. Didn’t bother getting it on DVD. And frankly, “Sleeping in Light” at the end of season 4 is my favourite episode ever, I think. It is a really well-done finale to the series, and I just don’t think there was a NEED for more B5 after that. In the context of the series. Which was about the Shadow War, and stuff. More B5 *stuff* would definitely be cool. I’m still pissed about Crusade, and how long ago was that? Gods damn you, Time-Warner. Gods damn you.

Isn’t “Sleeping in Light” on the Season 5 DVDs, though? I know it was filmed at the end of Season 4, but it wasn’t broadcast until Season 5.

I honestly didn’t think Season 5 was that bad. It just… wasn’t that good, either, I suppose. I liked the ideas, and seeing some of those plot threads resolved was kind of nice. I think it was–almost literally–anticlimactic. Or perhaps post-climactic. Anyway, I didn’t dislike it, but I can skip it on a rewatch without any guilt, too.

Besides, it wasn’t nearly as bad as Legend of the Rangers. Does B5 fan orthodoxy even consider that canon? I know I don’t.

Mike Konecny's avatar

Mike Konecny · 107 weeks ago

As I watched season 4, it felt as though my heart was being ripped out of my chest. With the finale I felt a sigh of relief as if I could finally come to term with the death of a loved one. With the announcement of season 5, I realized I will have to go through that horror again. This is the darkest timeline!
tudza's avatar

tudza · 107 weeks ago

One swell poop?
UnitedShoes37's avatar

UnitedShoes37 · 107 weeks ago

Geez. Why is so much of this season’s TV making me feel like Butters in “The China Probrem”? Y’know, “I don’t know, I thought it was pretty good.”

I mean, I had my doubts about Community without Dan Harmon (and I still say the whole, Harmonless season should’ve been set in the Darkest Timeline), and I was as confused as anybody during “Journey to the Center of the TARDIS”, but I don’t feel like whoever took over Community this season or Steven Moffat have been raping our good friends Abed and the Doctor. They’ve just stumbled a bit. There were some genuinely enjoyable moments in this short season of Community, and they got Neil Gaiman to come back and write another spectacular Whopisode, not to mention Diana Rigg managing to be even more snarky and almost as delightful as she is as one of the greatest C-characters in all of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Is all the hyperbole really necessary? Hell, maybe, just maybe, if we show Community the same love we all showed it when we thought it was going to get murdered, the current showrunners will find their footing a bit more, and we all know Doctor Who isn’t going anywhere, even if Clara’s plot goes even more batshit than “The Overly Compressed Narrative of River Song” (a.k.a. “Let’s KIll Hitler!”)

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

See, THATS why I kept watching…because it’s still a lot of fun despite the stumbles. Next year, Community will finds its footing and things will be great.
Riff's avatar

Riff · 107 weeks ago

It’s been so depressing watching season 4. Community used to always be the last show I watched on a Friday night, but now I’ll watch it first to get it out of the way, if I even bother to watch it at all.

One of the worst things about it is all the fans who say “It’s still good! It’s still good!” like Homer chasing the pig down the river. I’m going to stab the next person who says, “I guess I just like liking things,” in reference to the show.

As someone part way through the third season of Community, my question is: where do I stop? I am happy for the show to go out on a high note in my own mind.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

Tom327Cat's avatar

Tom327Cat · 107 weeks ago

Oh My Gosh Yes! Firefly! By “Heart of gold” the series was really beginning to show it’s age and feel tired. When I saw “Objects in Space” I knew It had jumped shark hard. Thank goodness Joss was smart enough to not try and push a TV special to wrap up loose ends.

2 replies · active 107 weeks ago

 Stephen's avatar

Stephen · 107 weeks ago

You have angered the gods. Beware… they are coming for you.
Khel's avatar

Khel · 107 weeks ago

I firmly believe that Scrubs ended at season 8 and this fabled 9th season people talk about were just the fever dream of an emotionally disturbed sociopath
w00hoo's avatar

w00hoo · 107 weeks ago

I played BtVS rpg with someone who’d only watched to the end of Season 5. That was a good enough line to draw beneath it for him. Because the rest of us had seen all 7 he finally caved and watched the last two. He wished that he hadn’t.

While I love Supernatural, I’m only watching it because it’s there. I’d have been comfortable with them finishing when they said they would…

1 reply · active 106 weeks ago

The Unknown FB's avatar

The Unknown FB · 106 weeks ago

For me, the way they ended Angel at Season 5 by being yank-cancelled in favor of more fraggin’ *Charmed* really ticked me off, and to this day I really don’t care to watch 90% of the Big 4 broadcast’s shows.
The ending to the season/series mostly wrapped things up and left a good set up for the comic series, but still felt rushed at the end, and bummed me out.
Unrepentantfangirl's avatar

Unrepentantfangirl · 107 weeks ago

For books Alex Rider. After book five they should have just said no. Oh god. Please no.
Wesley's avatar

Wesley · 107 weeks ago

Mostly every sitcom right now.. 2 and a half men, the big bang theory, how I met your mother.. I stopped watching all of them.

It annoys the crap out of me when series that used to be based on humor eventually start relying on vicarious shame and call it comedy.

Chuck, anyone? They were sorta prepared for the axe, the season 2 finale could have been a… well, not maybe a perfect ending, but an ending nevertheless. The show got renewed but I can’t compare its actual ending to s2 because at some point I lost interest or something. It was fun to watch but nothing to obsess over, maybe I’ll watch the rest if I have nothing else to do.

As for Community, a friend promised to have an introductory season 1 marathon with me if I swore to never watch season 4, nor acknowledge its existence.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

Yeah, same here. Third season just kept getting worse and worse until I never even finished the last two or three episodes. As artificial as it was, the Masquerade was necessary to keep the show inflated. Once they started letting the non-spies know what was going on, they lost the balance of the show.
Kryss LaBryn's avatar

Kryss LaBryn · 107 weeks ago

This is going way, way, way back in time, but remember the old “Beauty & the Beast” TV show on CBS at the end of the Eighties? Yeah, they could have ended that one about two-thirds of the way through the second season. The third season was completely unnecessary and completely changed the tone of the series, to make it more attractive to the 18-24-year-old male demographic, when a large part of its appeal was that it was one of the few shows at the time that were NOT already aimed there. It was a bit like if, for the new season of, say, “Once Upon A Time,” they decided to cross it with “The Unit”. Not that “The Unit” wasn’t a great show, but it’s not what “Once Upon A Time” is about. It was a pretty big slap in the face to people who actually liked what they were already doing with it.

–Shut up. I was seventeen, okay?

I loved that show. A comedy about a financially struggling family. In the final season (8 or 9) they won the lottery of 100 million dollars. They continued to live in their three bedroom house and fix it up a bit.
When I think of that show, all I remember was that last awful season.
Cherie's avatar

Cherie · 107 weeks ago

For books: I would say any Piers Anthony Series that went more than 3 books. If he starts a world with the idea that he is only going to write a specific number they tend to be good all the way through (Blue Adept), but if it is more open ended, he takes a major nose dive after the 3rd book (Xanth, Incarnations of Immortality)
I liked the BSG finale too! I often feel like that may have been because I hadn’t watched it as it aired, but all at once (or rather compressed over a few weeks) after the series was done. It probably lessened the potential disappointment because I had no time to speculate on where things were going, and ultimately disappointed that it didn’t line up with my expectations.
LOST. As much as that show was based on the mysteries and the questions it posed, I would have rather it got cancelled before the sixth season could air. I’d rather have dealt with the nagging questions about what it all meant than had almost everything explained poorly.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

something was explained?
Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 107 weeks ago

Babylon 5 is one of the famous shows affected by cancellation threats. It had been planned for five seasons, but was going to be cancelled after the 4th so they condensed all the plot resolution into that season. Fans loved the plot-dense pace, and it got renewed for a 5th, leaving Straczynski to scramble for things he could do with a story that was done.

1 reply · active 107 weeks ago

Bryce's avatar

Bryce · 107 weeks ago

And of course when I typed this it wasn’t showing any other comments, for some reason.
For books, I’d have to go with the Ender series. It should have stopped when the original series stopped (i.e., Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind). Going back and filling in every nook and cranny of that universe really just detracted from what made the originals so appealing. I think the Bean books especially detracted from the character of Ender (“Ender is a super genius and that’s why he’s the hero BUT WAIT BEAN WAS REALLY A BIGGER GENIUS ALL ALONG.”)

Of course, in the end, the author retroactively ruined my enjoyment of those books much more than all the other works in the series, so… *shrug*

2 replies · active 97 weeks ago

I so agree!! And he keeps coming out with more filler for the Ender’s universe. The original series was enough, and I too think that making Bean more of a genius than Ender sort of stabbed his character in the back.

That being said…. MOVIE!

I loved the “Shadow” books.
They were a completely different feel, with the international sociopolitical maneuvering instead of family problems or whatever “Speaker of the Dead” was about. The villain was really terrifying, and seeing Peter’s change from a kind of scary kid into a decent leader was also fascinating.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 107 weeks ago

Personally I think the whole season of Community would have played better in its ACTUAL timeline – not this weird “every winter holiday in early spring” bullshit.
NBC is more at fault than anyone related to this season of Community.
Next year, watch the episodes at their correct times of year, and everything will be more easily understood.
Liam's avatar

Liam · 107 weeks ago

X-Files. Those last few years without David Duchovny and with Robert Patrick and that other woman was just unbearable.
Teeth, the Season 3 finale was Dan Harmon’s attempt to leave on a high note. There are some mixed opinions of it, but it means well and nearly, very nearly, ties a bow around S1-S3.

Anyone else notice a chalkboard in the S4 finale taunting us with the “Six Seasons and a Movie”?

That said, I actually somewhat liked the S4 finale. It WAS an attempt at a paintball finale (albeit without committing to anything like the old wanton damage of show sets). It hit a lot of the right notes and nearly proved the new writers room have almost gotten it. Biggest complaint was the cop out “it was all a dream”, because S1-S3 spent so much time subverting that. I think if they had owned that choice, and pushed for the crazy Sci-Fi consequences we all might actually be somewhat looking forward to an S5 that could be the closest thing to a half-hour comedy Fringe we might ever see…

Tara's avatar

Tara · 107 weeks ago

NCIS. I stopped watching after season 8 because even then I could hear it’s death rattle, and keeping it going now is just a cruel kick to the groin of what it used to be. I don’t understand why consistently the worst shows on TV keep getting the highest ratings, like Two and Half Men and How I Met Your Mother. I guess people watch them out of habit, like they’re tricking themselves into thinking it’s still worth their time.

1 reply · active 106 weeks ago

Gregory's avatar

Gregory · 106 weeks ago

Respectfully disagree, it’s had some rough patches, but this past season with Ziva and DIrector Vance on the warpath has been pretty awesome and the finale was great. I’m actually shocked it’s been able to avoid getting stale. Just my two cents.
Maximum Ride…after James Patterson made the kids anti global warming vessels for no reason at the end of Book 3, along with the Stupid ending of that book, I gave up. Those are the only Patterson books I’ve ever read and it’ll probably stay that way.
Kryss LaBryn's avatar

Kryss LaBryn · 107 weeks ago

This is going way, way, way back in time, but remember the old “Beauty & the Beast” TV show on CBS at the end of the Eighties? Yeah, they could have ended that one about two-thirds of the way through the second season. The third season was completely unnecessary and completely changed the tone of the series, to make it more attractive to the 18-24-year-old male demographic, when a large part of its appeal was that it was one of the few shows at the time that were NOT already aimed there. It was a bit like if, for the new season of, say, “Once Upon A Time,” they decided to cross it with “The Unit”. Not that “The Unit” wasn’t a great show, but it’s not what “Once Upon A Time” is about. It was a pretty big slap in the face to people who actually liked what they were already doing with it.
The Unknown FB's avatar

The Unknown FB · 106 weeks ago

I’m thinking about “Enterprise”, not necessarily charitably, but how it got cancelled in a very cruddy way in Season 4, after starting to get good.
IMO, the showrunners needed a kick in their aft warp coils about 1.5 seasons earlier to get on the stick and write some good character-driven stories.
The way that series was handled and ended basically killed off TV versions of Trek to this day, sadly.
Alyson's avatar

Alyson · 106 weeks ago

I realized it was horrible when Abed wore a Doctor Who shirt. That shit wrinkled my brain.
Joel: I just shotgunned Simpsons Season 24, and its getting better. They write stories with real character development, and take bigger chances, instead of like “this is what Homer would do in Brazil.” Better gags, more realistic characters. More rewarding all around.
Also, I think from Season 23, the episode called “The Book Job” was as funny as any Season 8 episode.

Lights Out


Writing this at 3am when I should be leaving the house to catch a plane… nowish. Revolution officially went nanobotsbananapants. If you haven’t given up already, now’s a good time.

COMMENTERS: What’s the longest you ever stuck with a show that you hated, hoping that it would improve? For me it was Smallville, seasons 5-10. Or was it 6-10? Or was it 1-10?

Comments (36)

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Kirby's avatar

Kirby · 112 weeks ago

I can honestly like anything. Sit me in front of a TV show, movie, whatever, I’ll enjoy myself no matter how bad it tends to be. However, in Charmed I kind of have the reverse effect. I enjoy the show as a whole, but I really kinda don’t like Prue, and I can’t bring myself to just pick up the series after she leaves. So I’m forcing myself to wade through her episodes until I get through to the next part.

I decided to skip Revolution, just from the tweets it was getting on the premiere night. I also don’t tend to watch a lot of TV when it premieres, or anything like that. I don’t generally stop watching a TV show because I dislike it, I generally stop watching it because I stop catching it on TV, something else catches my interest and I stop for a bit with the intention of coming back, or I just stop watching TV for a while. If there’s a show I really like, I usually finish it/what’s available in one or two shots, then wait for more, or move on.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I watched a few episodes of Charmed back when it was televised, with a “meh” reaction. Recently tried watching the first few episodes, but could not get past how much that “Power of 3” chanting grated on me. Charmed was written for teens and pre-teens. The magic powers on it is so simple, the kind of stuff I used to wish for and dream when I was a child, that I can’t stomach it now.
Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Charmed was mostly just establishing shots of San Francisco (great drinking game, shots every time you see Golden Gate Bridge, everybody passes out during first episode). But the whole, crappy series served one single purpose for one single moment of awesome.

In the commentary for Buffy S7 ep7, “Conversations with Dead People” (the best! the creepiest!), Drew Goddard says they had so many problems trying to film the episode, that towards the end of the very long night he was laying on the floor crying “I don’t wanna do this anymore, just put on an episode of Charmed!”

I love that. Whenever I’m having a ridiculously hard time with something that’s too important to blow off, I work up a tear and say the same thing. Then I suck it up and make something awesome anyway.

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

It’s not a show I hate, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I can’t believe this monster of the week/yearly apocalypse show is still on. It’s the humor that keeps me watching.

Dang, I really liked the Benny character and was hoping he was going to become a regular.

lou's avatar

lou · 112 weeks ago

I hear ya on Supernatural. Season 6 was hit-and-miss because the showrunners never expected to make it past the 1st 5 seasons they planned out, so they passed the head-writer duty to someone else, for Seasons 6 (meh) and 7 (bleh). Now it’s on Season 8 with someone else in charge and it’s much better now.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I’m the one guy who watched the entire run of Cult hoping it would start to be not crappy.

2 replies · active 112 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

You must have a strong constitution, the only thing I liked about Cult was Robert Knepper…he does intense and creepy so well.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I kept thinking to myself that maybe it would all tie together in some brilliant, awesome fashion. I did like the idea that the real-cult was gaining members from the tv-cult because the real-cult was literally putting words into the mouth of the tv-cult’s leader.
I think I stuck with Heroes into the fourth season, or at least close to the end of the third. I think I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that season 2 was crappy because of the writers’ strike. I was young and foolish then…

I never started watching Revolution because I couldn’t get over the mental hurdle that if electrons can no longer flow, you get some very serious side effects. Like, oh say, molecules no longer being able to hold together. Nanomagicbots at least addresses that problem, so kudos to them for that I guess?

malcolm's avatar

malcolm · 112 weeks ago

I’ve actually been enjoying revolution lately, I think its improved. I’m not talking about the “science”, let it be magic, I don’t care. I just like where the story is going.
I watched every episode of _Andromeda_.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

So did I. It was pretty good
I’ve done better. If there’s a series that’s starting that looks like it’s going to be awful, you just don’t watch it or any commercial for it ever. It really helps to keep the brain cells up and the hate-filled rants down. I guess the worst series I’ve ever actually watched was Smallville. But that was because there wasn’t anything better on (didn’t have cable or Netflix back then) which was very few and far between. Maybe I’ve seen like ten episodes in all? I’m not really sure…
jscg's avatar

jscg · 112 weeks ago

It took me five seaons to give up on Star Trek Voyager. Even though every episode from season 3 to (it seems) the end had the big red reset button denouement, I just kept watching.

Kind of like when my Grampa used to watch the Judy Garland variety show and complain about how bad it was every week. My Gram used to ask him why he kept watching if it was so bad, and his only answer was “She used to be so *good*!”

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

The irony is after season 3 they gave up on the “We’re totally going to get home! NO WE’RE NOT!” thing and just started focusing on the story while moving them a bit closer to home every few episodes. Towards the end they realized home was WAY too far away so every other episode it was like, “Good job crew. That little maneuver shaved 20 years off our trip!”
Faye's avatar

Faye · 112 weeks ago

Stargate SG-1 was never the same after season 5. But I kept watching. Season 10. The movies. Atlantis. Universe. (I actually kinda liked Universe in spite of the ‘younger and edgier’ dynamic, but then, Robert Carlyle.)

My only release from this is that there is no Stargate currently in production, as far as I am aware. If it came back, I would be there, like a moth to a flame, and with about as much self-preservation instinct.

So, to answer the question: How long? Forever. (Though I wouldn’t say I ever ‘hated’ it, I was just disappointed, is all. There were still good times to be had.)

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

SG-1 lost me after it left Showtime. Universe was fantastic and should never have been prefaced with the word “Stargate.” It specifically wasn’t for Stargate fans.
Faye's avatar

Faye · 111 weeks ago

Agreed. I did enjoy Universe, mostly, but as it’s own thing – it didn’t feel like Stargate. (Stargate barely felt like Stargate in the final seasons, it was effectively a spin off the network didn’t want to split from the main series. And that Ori stuff creeped me out.)

Universe could have reached a wider audience, but they got stuck with the overlapping segment on the venn diagram of ‘Stargate fans’ and ‘gritty space drama fans’. The Stargate name hurt them.

As an aside, we joked that the series was Stargate: Voyager, but how much better would Voyager have been if it was more like Universe? They had the factions already, Starfleet vs Maquis.

The last three or four seasons of X-Files were pretty bad… and I’m still watching True Blood for some awful reason. And I saw all of Lost… but to be fair, I actually liked the way it ended. I just don’t listen to what producers and writers say before something is done.
Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I stuck it out to the end for Lost and Heroes, I especially feel Heroes was a waste…that show had potential…why did it have to turn into such a clusterf***
Can’t believe I watched “No Ordinary Family” past the first episode. The last season of True Blood was pretty bad, but I’ll probably still watch the next one…the show is STILL better than the books.

Longest show I’ve stuck to watching (and hate myself for it), “American Idol”,
To make it palatable I skip the city auditions episodes, fast forward through the critiques and listen to it while I’m working in the studio.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

I watched all of No Ordinary family on Hulu while I was working. It was just a horrific concept with even worse execution. A shitstorm top to bottom.
diggy's avatar

diggy · 112 weeks ago

I started to watch the “Fringe” pilot, quit after 5 minutes. Haven’t watched any of the show since.

2 replies · active 44 weeks ago

If it’s not for you, that’s fine. If you managed to watch all five seasons there are some wonderful stories, character development and a ton of payoff for the open plot threads.
I am currently trying to get to the end of Hemlock Grove. It is……bad. Like a supernatural german art house film written by a 15 year old from the suburbs of the States who really likes unicorns but hates his mom bad. I can’t stop.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

I’ve never even heard of that. But that description alone makes me want to check it out.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 111 weeks ago

I’m still debating whether Burn Notice is still worth my time.
How many seasons can you get away with “I got the guy who got me. Wait. No I didn’t. Getting that guy led me to this other guy. NOW I’ll get the guy who got me.”

Though I missed the last 3 episodes of the most recent season, so maybe that answers my question.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Once he rejoined the CIA I … I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just didn’t care. His scrappy resourcefulness and rogue team of occasionally awesomely destructive misfits was what made it fun. Once they gave him “legitimacy” and “resources” it was just another spy story.

Although really, the death knell was sounded when they brought in Jesse. Who fuckin’ cares about that guy? Nobody, that’s who.

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago



Sorry, I’m calm now. Sorry.

Congratulations on your first stopping-watching-a-bad-show, Joel.
The wife and I actually watched like 9 terrible eps of Revolution, just because we do whatever JJ Abrams tells us to. I wish I had those hours back.

The Grand Opining

I really do have SO MANY OPINIONS about TV shows, you guys! Especially some of the ones that haven’t actually come out yet. How are those opinions even formed? Upon what basis do they situate themselves? I will answer these question in order. EXPERIENCE AND PURE CONJECTURE! That is either the answer to one or both of the questions. Perhaps all or none of them as well. I will probably explore these opinions about shows both real and soon-to-be-real in the next few comics.

It’s a very dangerous game I play, this liking and disliking stuff and tell people about it game. The strategies involved compare closely to master level chess or even dad-against-children level Monopoly. The bottom line is, my opinions are too big to keep inside. I must share them! I feel so strongly about things like TV shows and movies that were I to contain my critiques of them, my brain would go super nova and take out half the galaxy with it. Better to let me make my silly Internet comics and posts to exorcise my demons rather than clean up such a cosmic mess.

The word “opinions” actually comes from the old phrase “old pine ones.” As in, “That guy won’t shut up about what he thinks about stuff. Let’s beat him to death with bats. These old pine ones will do the job.” In the future, opinions will be cultured in a lab, freeze dried, powered and baked into snack foods. Opin-YUMZ! will revolutionize the worlds of eating garbage and feeling ways about stuff, since each time you pop an Opin-YUMZ! flavor discus into your face-cave, you’ll instantly feel whatever opinion was baked into that particular bag. There’s Zesty “Music was better when I was in highschool” Ranch, and Cheesy Chedder “Gary’s new girlfriend is too controlling” Blast and Tangy “Everyone is a little bit racists, it’s not JUST me” Mesquite BBQ.

WHY ARE THEY STILL MAKING THE OFFICE?!?!?! Are you still watching it? SHAME ON YOU! When the star leaves 3 seasons AFTER it’s not funny any more and they continue to make more episodes, all complicit parties are equally guilty. This includes you! Of course, this is the final season and people DO like to feel a since of “sticking it out to the bitter end” and all. Still, every time I see a clip from one of the recent seasons of The Office, it’s like going to visit a loved one who’s recently suffered a traumatic brain injury. You really just want to cling to your fond memories, but they insist on overwriting them with new, morbidly depressing ones.

COMMENTERS: When I got my first email account (Hotmail circa 1995) I put a lyric from my favorite Harvey Danger song as my signature. “When you like something, it’s an opinion. When I like something, it’s a manifesto.” I feel like that perfectly sums up the way in which geeks like and dislike things. We just seem to FEEL more strongly about our preferences than the average person. There is far less, “Meh… I could take it or leave it,” within the geek community. We usually either loves something so much that it burns us or we hate something so much that we want to burn it.  Do you have any particular experience (positive or negative) with this “intensity of opinions” that geeks seem to possess? Anyone ever harp on you for liking or not liking things in a way that they approved of? Are you the person that does that?

Not Cool Cool Cool Cool, NBC

Not cool cool cool cool at all. 

TV actors live under the constant threat of their livelihoods being ripped away by some faceless executive. Which I suppose is better than having their faces ripped away by some lifeless executive. It has to be an unbelievable shock going from a professionally unemployed actor to making 10’s of thousands of dollars a week to wondering how you’re going to afford your pool boy’s Lexus payment when essentially not of the decisions that affect those major life changes are in your control. Hollywood is basically a glorified temp service broadcast to the world.

I’m a big Community fan, and it’s a shame to see NBC shelve their second best show (sorry Abed-heads, but 30 Rock is perfect) because not a wide enough swath of middle America can relate to its deep pop culture references, bizarre concept episodes and general geekiness. It’s one of the only shows actually pushing the boundries of what can be done with a comedy on network TV. I guess the problem is if you keep pushing boundaries, you eventually hit a wall. I hope the show rebounds and comes back stronger than ever, but it might just be too quirky, smart and genuinely funny to survive. At least we still have Whitney, right? What do you bring to your Whitney viewing parties? Chocolate? Red wine? A bullet?

COMMENTERS: Lament the seemingly inevitable demise of Community, or dare to proclaim why you won’t miss it once it’s gone (is it because you had your human heart replaced with a can of powdered turnips?). Feel free to post links to your Inspector Spacetime fanfic in the comments as well.

Of Capes And Cowls

This is your LAST WEEK to order an Ultimate Fancy Edition of Book 2 AND get your name in the book. Files go to the printer on January 15th. After that you will still be able to order a UFE but you will NOT necessarily be listed in the book on the Fancy Bastard Wall Of Fancy Fame.

Don’t want a stupid book? Check out The HE Store!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: HijiNKS ENSUE is 5 days a week now. Read more HERE.

“You should come check out my new ride. I call it ‘The Scrambler.’ Oh, and you’re going to love these. Bam! Cape-arangs! Pretty sweet, right Bats?”

The Cape Spoilers ahead: I watched the first two episodes of The Cape because I feel it’s my job to jump on these sorts of tv-grenades and absorb the initial impact in hopes that more of my fellow geek-kind can be spared the poorly written, campy shrapnel. (Shrampy campnel?)

In short, The Cape gets everything wrong. It walks too thin a line between “campy superhero shenanigans” and “brooding Dark Kightesque seriousness.” The story, the costumes, the characters and the writing are so silly that any attempts the show makes at drama or real emotion are completely lost. I know many of you enjoy a healthy dose of camp in your super hero shows and The Cape delivers it in spades. It receives a 4.5 on The Greater Xena Scale of Sunday Afternoon TV Silliness. But I have a feeling even you campers out there would take issue with the completely Batmanshit nuts plot of this show.

Here’s the basic rundown (and a summary of how the whole thing is a complete rip off of Batman Begins): Palm City used to be a nice place, but now it’s full of crime and corruption (just like Gotham). All the cops are dirty except for one, our hero Vince (ie Jim Gordon from BB). There’s a villain called Chess, who has chess pieces for eyes and something something he really likes chess. He’s also the CEO of the corporation that’s taking over the city’s police force. Vince (the lone good cop), takes a job for Chess’s corporation as a private security officer and gets set up by his best friend and Chess to take the fall for Chess’s crimes. He is outed as the villain, and appears to die in an explosion leaving his wife and child behind, but escapes and is rescued by a band of circus freaks lead by Keith David. Turns out they are actually bank robbers and Vince has a magic keycard that opens any bank vault in the city. They rob a bank and everyone, including Vince, is happy about that for some reason.

Now that they are all friends, Vince decides he needs justice (like Batman), vengence (like Batman) and he needs to be a symbol for good instead of just a man (like Batman, almost verbatim from BB) and Keith David and his merry band of midgets and weirdos are just the bunch to teach him the arts of fighting, acrobatics, illusion, sleight of hand, misdirection, and mind trickery (The League of Shadows and Ras Al’Ghul from BB) to make his transformation to super hero complete. There’s a training montage where he learns to fight with a magic cape that is light but can become rigid (like in BB), how to use smoke bombs to disappear (just like BB), how to hypnotize people and how to wrestle a midget (just like in… wait…). This is all good and well until you realize that it all basically happened over the course of an afternoon or two. He MASTERS hypnotism to the point that he hypnotizes the hypnotoad hypnotist in a few hours. He can use his cape to snatch knives out of hands after maybe 45 minutes of practice. Whatever.

So with his new costume and arsenal of quickly gained super-abilities he heads out to find this shipment of super explosive that’s being brought into town by Chess. When he gets to the train yard there are shipping crates full of stuffed animals that contain the illicit cargo (just like in BB) and he begins to snatch the baddies one by one into the shadows, totally unseen (EXACTLY LIKE IN BB. IT WAS SERIOUSLY A COMPLETE REMAKE OF THE SHOT FROM BB.) While trying to take down Chess he runs into Orwell (played by Summer Glau) who is a blogger trying to expose the corruption of Chess’s false corporate identity. The first scene between The Cape and Orwell goes something like this. “So you’re a super hero now? That’s cool. Now we’re partners.” Niether party asks any questions of the other. They almost just exchange glances then form a crime-fighting duo. You would think there’d at least be a standard contract to fill out or a 1099 or something.

The Firefly code forces me to evaluate Glau with more leniency than I would others, but the best I can say is that she does all right with what she is given. And what she is given is pretty shitty. The plot is riddled with holes, the dialog is just plain dumb and the characters have little to no motivation to being doing the completely outrageous things they are doing.

The Dark Night get the “homage” treatment too. By the end of the second episode Vince’s fake-widow basically becomes the Rachel Daws character from BB and TDK. Also his “taking the fall for someone else’s crimes” echoes Harvey Dent in a not-too-coincidental way AND they introduce a second Jim Gordon/Rachel analog in the guise of “the lone city councilman who will vote against Chess taking over the prisons despite death threats and murder attempts.” There are literally dozens of other close comparisons between The Cape and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies but to list any more of them here would be to post the entire script for the pilot.

Verdict: I didn’t hate The Cape, but I won’t be watching it regularly and I can’t give it a recommendation. It is stuck between 90’s era TV camp like M.A.N.T.I.S, VIPER and MUTANT-X and legitimate super hero franchises like Batman Begins/The Dark Knight.

COMMENTERS: Did you watch The Cape? What did you think? Did I miss anything worth mentioning?

  • If The Cape is really our new hero, then America is doomed
  • Summer Glau wants YOU to design a villain for The Cape