Sunday Tribune

The television trends that need to stop

- LA TIMES STAFFERS

AMERICA’S upcoming TV season is filled with surprises. Not. TV execs jumped on the boobtube bandwagon, adding vampire shows, procedural spinoffs and 1990s remakes. Yawn. Enough is enough already, we’re over these tired TV trends…

Recycling other networks’ old lineups

We’ll admit it was cool to see Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth back together again like it’s 1991, but 90210 2.0 had a tough time juggling between old favourites and the new set of West Beverly teens. Now with the new Melrose Place trying to out-camp its predecesso­r with a murder mystery and a medical student-turned-prostitute, among other plots, we have to ask: what was wrong with leaving the originals on DVD? And don’t even think about redoing 21 Jump Street.

Vampires

We don’t want to drive a stake through the vamp genre, but society is on the verge of bloodsucke­r saturation. With Twilight, True Blood and now Vampire Diaries, pop culture can’t take much more (and that’s not counting Buffy, Underworld and older undead franchises). Television execs would be smart to give this trend a rest.

A-listers trying for a TV comeback

We blame Kiefer Sutherland and Glenn Close for this one. The movie-turned-TV stars got a major career boost when they shifted to the small screen. But the novelty of seeing 1980s and 1990s stars on TV is wearing off – just as Christian Slater, Chris O’Donnell and Eric Stoltz try new shows this season.

Shows about modelling

Can you tell the difference between these two groups of young, beautiful women? Don’t worry, we can’t either. For years, America’s Next Top Model has produced plenty of drama but little success for the winning contestant­s. This season, Project Runway spun off Models of the Runway. And to make matters worse, the CW just debuted the fictional modelling drama The Beautiful Life: TBL. We get it, TV loves pretty people and pretty people love being on TV. But there can only be so much serious talk of perfecting your walk and weight issues before it becomes overkill.

Spin-offs of procedural­s ( CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order)

Yes, procedural­s are popular. They often have selfcontai­ned stories in which viewers can pop in and out without fear of getting totally lost. But the situationa­l originalit­y is often sucked out of our TV sets when CSI goes from New York to Miami to Las Vegas, and when there’s so much Law & Order you wonder how crime even has a chance. They’re good, they’re stable, but there are lots of other jobs out there.

Using music as a cue for hipness

It was fine when The OC introduced the world at large to Death Cab for Cutie. The band was an integral part of the storyline. Yet event appearance­s by the likes of No Doubt on Gossip Girl notwithsta­nding, it’s time networks and music supervisor­s re-evaluated the way pop music is used on TV. No more trying to anticipate trends or stay on top of the latest thing. Instead, surprise us. Let the music serve the show.

The bubble ends now

It’s no shock which shows are doing well and which aren’t. Ratings are posted daily on myriad TV sites and blogs. Reaper was on the bubble before its second season even started, which didn’t exactly inspire new viewers to tune in. So stop putting fans through torture. A decision about whether or not a show is coming back can be made well before the season comes to an end. Fans may not be happy to learn their show isn’t coming back, but at least they’ll have closure.

More episodic shows, fewer serials

Of course we love ‘em. Lost is huge, 24 is inventive and exciting, Heroes was really hot when it came out and Fringe is a current TV darling. The problem is you shouldn’t be all tied in knots if you have to miss an episode. The mystery keeps people coming back, but it also will prevent many from ever jumping on board for fear of having to commit or of having missed too much.

Episodic shows untether us from our TV sets to occasional­ly get a life instead of worrying about missing a week in Hugo’s, Claire’s or Olivia’s life. And they can still be fun. – LA Times

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