The jungles of Manhattan. This show was toast before it ever aired. You’d think a pseudo-superhero show starring a supermodel famous for being naked, a syndication queen like Xena, and all the fun of Mitch Pileggi would have been the ultimate guilty pleasure. But absolutely everything went wrong. And then it got worse. Behold the carnage.
If you combine explicit sex with a lot of relationship-based talky-talky, do you get a show with something for everyone, or a show that everyone will avoid? Well, if the show also features no plot, dreary cinematography, and intolerable characters, as well as talky-talky that’s almost as dull as the sex, you get Tell Me You Love Me. Unsurprisingly, almost nobody did.
Who would think whoring would ever go out of style? Well, when saddled with the sad, hangdog face of host Mark L. Walberg and a post-9/11 America desirous of purity and goodness, it can. Fox hit gold with the first Temptation Island, a show about trying to break couples up — mainly due to the slutty ways of the aggressively hungry-for-fame and unfortunately-coifed Mandy. The second season, however, failed to catch on, and Fox pushed it permanently out to sea. Good news: Mark L. Walberg is back, with a show on The Game Show Network. “Where’s the good news?” you ask. That means we never have to watch him again.
If only this had been The Cameron & Derek Chronicles…
Our biggest regret about this costly, underwhelming sci-fi series: Fox cancelled it before we could see a meteor wipe out the majority of life on prehistoric Earth, including (and especially) every member of the Shannon family.
You know, it sounded like a good idea at the time…CIA. Espionage. Everyday lives of operatives. Knowledge of covert operations happening every second of every day that not a single human in America is aware of. Too bad Wolfgang Petersen and the powers that be at CBS managed to create a show that holds no interest for ANYONE ALIVE. I mean, for God’s sake! It’s up against ER! What in the HELL were they thinking? Apparently, they weren’t thinking much; this show is over. Over. Done. Kaput. Without continuance. Or without further recapping, anyway. CBS picked it up for the whole season, for some reason, but we’re done.
Sometimes you just need to pull the plug.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune,” some girl once said, “must be in want of a wife.” We don’t know which girl that was, because girls are just silly and we don’t need them: we have shiny cars. But it turns out she was right, because when you don’t marry those rich guys off, you never know what can happen. Two particularly terrible examples are Tim Poster and Tom Breitling, of the “Tim and Tom Connection,” who randomly bought a historic hotel and casino in downtown Las Vegas with their dot-com bubble-illions. And then filled it with crap like transsexual hookers, regular hookers, roofie parties with hookers, creepy swingers, hillbillies that dressed like pimps, actual pimps, psychics, child welfare cases, and a host of other crap we never got to see, because we proved once and for all that TWoP is smarter than FOX by canceling it straight to hell.
We bailed before the deliciously bitchy Erin/Olivia feud made the non-Whitney parts of the show watchable.
Not even the overexposure of Mark Burnett, not even the stroke-y slur and anti-heat of Sly, not even the corpse-stiff line-readings of Sugar Ray Leonard, or the heavy price tag, the un-Midas touch of DreamWorks Television, or the scheduling nightmare posed by Fox’s copycat The Next Great Champ, or the widely-publicized suicide of one of the contestants, or the general lack of interest in boxing could doom this well-crafted show. Oh wait, yes it could.
What’s the magic formula for TV success? First you take a hit vintage TV series. Then, thirty years later, make a blockbusting movie from it. Finally, sponge off that concept, don’t update it at all, and add one washed-up sitcom star. Wait, that’s the recipe for TV failure! Keep running, Dr. Kimble; we don’t feel like catching you anymore.