Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Two Steps Forward...

I'm not talking about that Paula Abdul song. (But, if it's stuck in your head, then that's just my present to you.)

No, I'm talking about The Sci-Fi Channel. It feels like a network with just a clear mandate as Sci-Fi (you know, just have programming that's somehow related to science fiction) shouldn't be as confused as it is. For every stellar and/or promising show like Battlestar Galactica and Eureka (which I only caught the pilot for, but I've got a couple episodes Tivo'd, including John Rogers') they do something mystifying like ECW Wrestling or, God help us, Who Wants to Be a Superhero.

Wrestling? Really? And that's science fiction, how? Yes, a bunch of those guys are probably juiced to the gills, but steroids are science science. The network isn't called Sci-Sci. And do the programming masterminds really think the core audience for sci-fi digs wrestling? These are the same geeks who got beat up in high school by the wrestling team; why revisit that world for shits and giggles? Throw in some more reruns of Firefly or Ultraviolet (the BBC mini, not the Jovovich-athon) or Alien Nation or Knight Rider or Jonny Quest or Automan or something. Quality or kitch would at least get you somewhere. But wrestling? Wrestling!?

And Who Wants to Be a Superhero doesn't even deserve to be spoken of in polite company. Let me just say this: I have watched lots of TV in my day. A whole lot of it for fun and, once it became part of my job, a whole lot more. Some of it has been terrific, some middling, and some pretty heinous.

Who Wants to Be a Superhero is the worst television program I've ever seen. Ever. Worse than American Idol, which was, until now, the worst-produced TV show on the air. The saddest part is that if Stan Lee were to die tomorrow, they'd be duty-bound to include it in his obituary.

Why can't Sci-Fi get their act together? I love the fact that they've nurtured Galactica, allowing Ron Moore, David Eick, and their crew to push the limits of televised science fiction. If only they didn't push themselves in the other direction.


KC said...

I actually find decisions like these to be somewhat inspirational. Afterall, if a channel with what should be such a clearly defined identity can screw up so badly, well hey, if you've got the drive and the preparation, how can you not succeed against this?

Ken Lowery said...

I still haven't seen Galactica. Everyone on the goddamn planet has now told me to see this show.

Did you happen to catch the pilot of the Amazing Screw-On Head? There's nothing more dreadful than a 'wacky' show that feels contrived and fake, and thankfully this show does 'wacky' very well. I hope it succeeds.. and I hope Sci-Fi gives it the TIME to succeed.

Bill Cunningham said...

Marc, what they're trying to do is bring in people who wouldn't normally switch to the Scifi channel to watch something. Note, that during the wrestling matches there will be plenty of action-packed promos for Scifi shows.

That, plus the fact that it's all tied into USA network (where they already have wrestling), you'll see promos for Scifi.

They're getting the critical accolades from places like TV Guide and You, but they still aren't getting the numbers.

And it is a numbers game...