Monday, September 5, 2016

Guilty pleasures

When it comes to what we watch on TV we all have our guilty pleasures – those shows that we watch faithfully but sort of cringe when we have to admit to watching them. And with the explosion of reality TV over the past decade there’s no shortage of cringe-worthy television, whether it’s Housewives of ---, Pawn Stars, or The Kardashians. Okay, maybe the last example is so bad it doesn’t even deserve to be listed along with, by comparison, such intellectual heavyweights as Duck Dynasty. But you get my drift.

Still, we watch this pap.

My present guilty pleasure (because I’m a serial guilty pleasure kind of guy) is Scandal. Playing in modern day Washington (There’s a First Lady who wants to become President in her own right; how much more modern can you get?) the show centers on a group of lawyers who, by means fair and foul, “fix” things for people who get themselves into trouble of a legal, ethical, or moral variety. Anthony Weiner would be a typical client.

Complicating issues is that the head of the firm is having an on-again, off-again affair with the President, the First Lady is having an affair with the Vice-President who is staging a palace coup, and the Chief-of-Staff is an ends-justify-the-means guy not above using murder and less violent means of coercion to advance his (and the President’s) agenda. Of course this doesn’t all come out in episode 1; you need to spend several many hours in front of the aptly named idiot box before all the details emerge.

And then – Yes! There’s more – there’s B613, a secret paramilitary group established to protect the republic but which reports to no one, not even the President. Funded by hidden budgetary line items this shadowy group is a law unto themselves, causing mayhem wherever and whenever they are deployed. Not above killing US military personnel when they deem it appropriate, or reporters getting too close to a story, or anyone else for that matter, the most remarkable thing about this group is they leave mutilated bodies behind by the dozen that the authorities never seem to notice. That and the fact that they are everywhere, including the President’s Secret Service.

Think of it as a variation of ‘24’ but at a slower pace and not nearly as believable. Seriously.

So it’s all very silly, but it follows the pattern of success for this type of show – get the viewer invested in the characters early on and they’ll stick with it, no matter how stupid the storyline gets, just to see what happens next. But 106 episodes? Good grief, I’ll be at this all night!

6 comments:

  1. Yup, right up there with Brain Dead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, another mindless TV series I now have to watch. :)

      Delete
  2. I think we all have those shows we watch. Some are mindless and some are entertaining. I will admit to watching "Wentworth" from Australia - streaming on Netflix. Think Orange is the New Black but probably a bit more accurate. And I found "Nurse Jackie" to be entertaining as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes mindless is just what the doctor ordered.

      Delete
  3. I watch Scandal and Blacklist, we all need a little guilty pleasure tv

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.