Jay Cronley: Once-bad television now becoming rancid
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 3:20 AM
Here's some surprising news: Television can get worse.
As you sit there flipping through the hundreds of channels in search of a couple of decent shows a week with which to escape the stress of a daily grind - flying past the catfish women, those unreal housewives of various cities with lips so puffed by the plastic surgeons that their attorneys can barely understand them when they file for divorce, and after scanning the sitcoms designed for people who don't read, and the late-night talk shows tailor-made for potheads - it becomes all the more distressing when an old favorite drifts toward popular convention and a good actor appears in one of the worst series ever perpetrated on the American viewing public.
"Justified" is back on FX.
Not-so-great escape: A person used to be able to think: "Yeah, well, today might have been slightly tortuous at work. But at least Tuesday nights we'll be able to escape with Boyd Crowder and Raylan and the rest of the creepy crawlers from backwoods Kentucky."
A show once great owes it to its fans to stay at least very good.
Instead, here's the way it sometimes works.
As "Justified" became popular, the actors apparently heard how cute they were. And this year they're strutting around like peacocks, like movie stars, not like eyeballs belonging to somebody peeking out from where they shouldn't have been.
The dialogue sounds affected, like something aimed at winning critical acclaim or an award.
The series is still better than most.
But that means less each season.
Bacon and rotten eggs: The worst television series ever made is "The Following," starring Kevin Bacon, who couldn't need the money this much.
Kevin Bacon can act and has been in two really good river movies, "Mystic River," and "The River Wild," among some other high-quality films.
The rest of the cast looks like a reunion of a bad high-noon soap opera.
The series is on Fox, which owes anybody who watched the first episode an apology. The first show was about good people having their eyeballs poked out by roving nuts.
Here is how the network describes its new series: "A brilliant and charismatic yet psychotic killer communicates with other active serial killers and activates a cult of believers following his every command."
At least Fox has defined fiction rotten to the core: Something that could be seen on television and nowhere else.
Original Print Headline: Once-bad TV is now becoming rancid