TV shows these days are about a dime a dozen. Many of them carry at least some star power but most lack the certain “je ne sais quoi” that make the good shows great. Little attention is paid to cultivating real comedy. And now, it seems, TV shows pop up the minute something becomes popular (read Vampire Diaries). Every once and a while, I find myself wishing for the good old days when network television aired several top-notch sitcoms like Frasier and Will & Grace. They were shows with thought behind them. But networks, too, have jumped on that bandwagon, rehashing ideas from the 1980s for a new generation.
For a while, I was of the opinion that the only place to find good, stylish shows was on networks like Showtime and HBO. But now I’m not so sure.
Exhibit A: Weeds.
Weeds used to be my all time favorite show. Smartly written with a sense of style to boot, Weeds took an original plot line (suburban widow needs cash and turns to dealing drugs) and ran with it. Somewhat irreverent and kooky at times, Weeds was breezy summer fare. But as the sixth season draws to a close next Monday, I have to admit that the show now lacks most of the punch that made it so great in the first place. As the core group of characters move from what was their third home in the history of the show, it seems like the writers have lost sight of who their characters actually are. No longer do they seem like a family, but more like a group of unhappy wanderers who happen to travel in a pack. Not to mention, which the constant movement, the writers did not develop any new characters to give the show any balance. Just as the Botwins seem to be roaming aimlessly through the country, the show doesn’t appear to have any trajectory moving forward. And with that, it has lost its unique style that made it so appealing six seasons ago. I will continue to follow the Botwins through all their odd journeys for as long as the show is on the air, but here’s hoping it will rekindle the one-of-a-kind spark that made it so fun in the first place.