Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quarterlife? Not Even A Quarter Good

There are some people out there who think a series like "Quarterlife" (NBC, 10 p.m.) is the wave of the future. Created by TV icons Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick ("Thirtysomething," "My So-Called Life," "Once & Again") exclusively for the internet, NBC bought the series as filler for the strike.

I was curious to see how this new fad my translate to the small screen.

Boy, did I hate this series. I mean, I hated it quite a lot. Because it was Herskovitz/Zwick, I watched both episodes I was sent to give the show a chance. That's an extra hour of my non-quarter life I won't be getting back.

The show centers on the lives of six extremely good-looking 20-somethings, but this is no "Friends" to be sure, even if it is the same network.

No, these are the six whiniest, self-involved people on TV. Through in trite dialogue that's supposed to be introspective with a little pop psychology and hip music, and you have a show that presents itself as full of substance when in fact it has none.

In tonight's pilot, we follow Dylan (Bitsie Tulloch), a wanna-be writer who starts a video blog called Quarterlife. Within two postings, she manages to absolutely mortify two of her friends, Lisa (Maite Schwartz) and Jed (Scott Michael Foster), yet the writers treat her as if she's done them a favor. But when it comes time to open up about her own inner-most secret, she chickens out.

Other plotlines: Jed is trying to make a commercial for a car dealership with his friends Eric (Mike Faiola) and Danny (David Walton). Eric can't make a commitment to his girlfriend Debra (Michelle Lombardo), whom Jed secretly pines for all while Dylan pines for him. Follow all that? Neither did I, really.

The writers have filled these characters with so much angst to the point where it's very off-putting. You want to scream at the TV, "For God's sake, stop whining already!!!"

Whether you loved or hated "Friends," you got why these people stayed close with each other all those years. They had light moments, serious moments and so on, but the writing and the cast meshed well together. You generally rooted for at least some of the characters.

No such luck with "Quarterlife," which admittedly isn't trying to be "Friends," but is cut from a similar cloth. It takes itself way too seriously when it isn't being downright mean to some of the characters.

By all means, give "Quarterlife" a try if you like, but it may be the most depressing hour on TV right now.

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: If you are upset about the announcement that NBC is cancelling "Las Vegas" after its cliffhanger ending, you may be interested in TVGuide's interview with the show's producer here: http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Ausiello-Scoop-Las/800034137

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Unfortunately, there's precious little else new on from a dramatic sense. "Jericho" (CBS, 10 p.m.) is new, though it hasn't come back with a bang ratings-wise, considering the effort to keep it on the air.

"American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) delivers another round of performances by the guys, followed by a new episode of the mediocre comedy "Back To You" at 9:30 p.m.

Finally, a new "One Tree Hill" (CW, 9 p.m.) rounds out the new stuff, pretty much guaranteeing I won't be watching TV tonight.


zodin2008 said...

I have to admit, this trashing looking MTV style show wasn't even on my radar. It seemed more "The Hills" than "Friends" which is why I paid not attention to it's appearance.

Hopefully, it gets abysmal ratings and goes back to the web where it belongs. Yuck.

Besides "Jericho" (which CBS has done absolutely nothing to promote - they wanted these 7 episodes to fail so they'd have an excuse to pack the peanuts and not bring it back) my plan tonight was to watch the brilliant, "Breaking Bad" (still sitting in my DVR) and then watch the Ohio/MSNBC Presidential debate.

Sadly (because I am not a Barack Obama fan) I think this is likely to be the last 'primary' debate and the likely next debates we'll be seeing will be this fall between McCain and Obama.

Oh well, I can only hope Hillary takes several more swings at Obama and exposes him as the thing-resume'd candidate he truly is.

Phillip Ramati said...

On the other hand, CBS is in a tough spot, because it doesn't have anything new to promote Jericho with. Obviously, with new episodes of NCIS and the Unit ahead of it, Jericho's ratings would be a bit better. Hopefully, the producers are planning for some closure this time around instead of a cliffhanger.