What were this year's worst?
It’s officially the end of the year and that means it’s time for one of my favorite things: lists! I’ll be blogging a few lists in the next couple of days – it’s a fitting way for a list-lover like me to finish up 2008.
While I spend the next couple of days compiling those (in between ski trips), here’s one from St. Petersburg Times’ media critic (one of a dying but noble breed), Eric Deggans, on the worst media moments of the year. I appreciated this round-up and I’m not sure I could have come up with it myself. I don’t have that good of a memory.
Two points he makes that I think are worth discussing: the creative implosion of Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy. I’m of differing views on these two. I just watched the last six episodes of Heroes yesterday (while paying bills and doing laundry and cooking dinner so I wasn’t a total vegetable) and I don’t think the show has gone off the rails as much as everyone – fans and critics alike – says it has. While I do think many of the characters were too quick to change from good to evil and back again – Sylar and Nathan in particular – I think that this show really makes an effort to offer interesting plots and storylines. You have to actually watch the show to keep up, but if you do watch, there’s a payoff. Like X-Men, the characters are essentially comic-book superheroes who seem to shift with the demands of the plot. I’m not sure the regular rules of humanity apply. And in the end, everyone ultimately went back to their original selves. As Sylar tells Elle before mercilessly killing her, “no one really changes,” and then he stops fighting all together and gives in completely to the monster that he really is.
Grey’s Anatomy, on the other hand, has become completely unwatchable and silly. The characters’ choices make no sense, they seem to be attracted to whoever walks past them in that moment, and the pit-pattery and repetitive dialogue grows ever more annoying. In the beginning, what I felt made the show great was how the writers interwove complicated relationships and funny dialogue with compelling medical dramas. Something was at stake every episode. Now, everything feels flimsy and pointless. However, Grey’s remains TV’s top-rated show among adults 18-49. The same cannot be said for Heroes.
What were your worst media moments of 2008? And what shows do you think started great but then fell apart creatively?