TV MEME: Day 05 – A show you hate (except hating requires me to care so more like actively dislike)

To be honest, there’s not a lot of tv I hate. There’s tv I dislike, or very actively dislike, but if hate? I’d have to still care about the show in some way to hate it.

However, I do have a short list of show that frustrated me to no end. A deep deep frustration as close to annoyance and hate I get with tv. Let’s talk about them and why.

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Note: all of these show I’ve stopped watching because of the reasons that will be give. I don’t care if things “have gotten better” because a general rule of thumb with tv is that if the flaw with the tv is entrenched in how it tells it’s story and treats its characters odds are that while things may have gotten better on the surface, when you look at what’s really happening things are still as bad as before.

Arrow – now this is a show that started out okay. It was going to be another superhero show and I love superheroes. The CW started with a relatively good choice for a hero tbh. The Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, was introduced in Smallville and became a fan favourite. It also helped that as one of the more prominent members of the Justice League you felt it could connect to a greater universe but not have to rely on Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman to lead the DC line up. After all Smallville just ended, getting Batman on TV was hell thanks to the movies, and before the movie this year everyone was afraid on how to approach Diana.

Oliver was a safe bet. He’s a human member of the league, his backstory has a similar structure to Bruce Wayne’s, he’s already been introduced by way of Smallville. His partner is one of the more iconic and famous female superheroes: Black Canary aka Dinah Lance.

And here’s where we start getting into our problems with the show.  The treatment of Laurel Dinah Lance is absolute bullshit. As our female lead, she looked to be having a complex, complicated, unkind at times, but empathetic storyline and superhero character development on par with Oliver’s, but fandom didn’t like it. That makes the show and showrunner’s sound weak, doesn’t it, but in this day and age showrunners and studios listen to social media a lot and that’s where fandom lives. Sometimes they listen to the loud members of a fandom, who aren’t necessarily the right people to listen to. I’ve said this before. By doing so they pushed Laurel’s development into the backburner while they focused on another female lead, not a bad thing, I’m always for female characters getting developed. But the problem here was: the show never had a plan or, really, a full character for Felicity.

Look, I can admit the early interactions between Felicity and Oliver were cute and I really enjoyed them. And I’m a die hard Green Arrow/Black Canary fan. Go back on my tumblr long enough and it’s there, but as the show started to develop Felicity/Oliver, they slow made more and more of Felicity’s character about her relationship in relation to Oliver and not about Felicity’s character herself. Laurel at least was treated as a full fledged character, even if shoved aside and ultimately killed for Oliver’s manpain. (An action that bit the show in the ass that they ended up retconning it.)

They aren’t the only female characters that were treated unfairly in this show. I could go through the list of the women that have died for Oliver’s “emotional development” *cough*manpain*cough*, but I’m not going to. I could also go through the list of actors and character of colours treated like disposable sidenotes, but again I’m not going to because I’m going to focus on how it treats John Diggle like an afterthought. I love John and the John/Oliver relationship can be truly wonderful to watch, but John’s plotlines are always shoved aside too. Before I stopped watching, every plot line he had was treated like a Very Special Episode instead of a continuing arc for a lead character.

And finally Oliver’s character just became the reductive anti-hero, who’s baseline characterisation seemed to be Chris Nolan’s Batman from the Dark Knight trilogy, who is always living out the same plot line over and over: being the Green Arrow makes it hard to live a life as Oliver Queen. Which will he choose to be? The flashbacks also got a bit tiring by season 3? 4? I forget when I officially stopped watching. Because the issue with the flashback is that they only allow for Oliver to really have a present and developing backstory. All the other characters have to share the remaining parts of the episode both for current and past character and story progression.

In the end I felt the show wasn’t really going anywhere interesting with any of the characters and killing of a female character to make their fandom happy? Well, yeah, outs.

The 100 – I mean this show, took asshole behaviour to the NEXT LEVEL. I’ve pretty much gone over a few of the reasons why stopped watching and supporting the show despite still enjoying the majority of the characters.

  • [From my WWSROU post] Lexa, a lesbian character and fan favourite*, from The 100 was killed. If you didn’t already know this, I’m sorry for the spoiler. This happened after a season (and I’m going to be harsh here, because I witnessed every moment of this) of it’s fandom being pretty much gaslighted by the show’s creator who alluded to fair and positive LGBTA+ representation and behind the scenes fan pictures showcasing her during the filming of the season finale. Long story and spoilers short: Lexa was shot, she died, but they were dealing with a Matrix like world in plot at the time and her imprint still existed with it.
    *it should be noted she was not one of my favourite characters. In fact, while I liked the concept of her character and the development of her relationship with Clarke, I never warmed to the character. And the reason would be:
  • Lexa was also brown face. Or as Jennifer Lawrence once called it “oh they just put a whole lot of bronzer on”. Look at Alycia Debnam Carey as Lexa and then out of character. Lexa might have been a good character but she was the product of a racist show and it showed. Suddenly the leader of a group of people who are mostly people of colour is a white girl, with a really nice tan. A tan they did lessen later on, but still it was there at the beginning when they wanted to imply that Lexa was on some level a person of colour. And then to add injury to insult, they killed off one a woman of colour, Anya, played by Dichen Lachman who is a Nepali-born Australian actress. She was killed off for shock value when parts of the writing team changed, but also before the promised storyline she was meant to have with Clarke and bridging the Arc and the Trikru, but then that’s exactly what Lexa and Clarke’s arc became. I loved Any and found that to be an incredibly insulting end to her character.
  • Because you’ll notice that the show starts off with elevating it’s white characters and forcing it’s POC characters into roles where they’re just supporting the white character’s choice. In this case, mostly Clarke. Putting her in the ever terrible White Saviour position that shows really need to learn to step away from. I think it’s only in season four, from what I’ve heard that the show finally stop putting the characters in a position where they default to Clarke’s leadership wholeheartedly. Namely Bellamy and Raven, two poc characters played by two poc actors. Bellamy, while the show tried to pawn him off as white, couldn’t erase the fact that Bob Morley is Filipino and fandom wouldn’t let them forget it either. Raven played by Lindsey Morgan is a get ready for it: a darker skinned latina. Trust me, a rarity in Hollywood. In season 1, all three developed a sort of triumvirate for the Delinquents. A dynamic that I was very much into and that I wanted to preserve in my mind even as the show really showcased that as much as it said it cared about this triumvirate, what it showed is that Raven and Bellamy would slowly default more and more to Clarke, and the narrative would make this happen, even when it made no sense.
  • Also Lincoln and his storyline and the treatment of Ricky Whittle by the showrunner. I won’t go into that mess, Google is our friend, because that personal off screen stuff. However, the treatment of Lincoln and other black characters on screen was never positive. Lincoln for one was treated with the “Wild Man/Tarzan” archetype in relation to Octavia’s “Damsel/Jane”. He was never really given a full storyline of his own until the arc that lead to his death. Which was one of the ugliest written scene ever. And incredibly insensitive, but because it happened after Lexa’s death, and the character that died was a black man, [from WWSROU] this was received with less of an impact because sadly in media the unfair and violent death of POC, especially black men and women, rarely get more than a blink and shrug.Before that in season 1, Wells a young black man, who was portrayed as kind, smart, political savvy was killed by a young girl as a result of something his father had done back on the Arc. This was all done to “teach” a lesson about the grey morality of these kids and what happens when an “innocent child” kills another innocent child. Smarter people than me quit the show the second it happened.
  • All in all, as much as I loved the setting of the story of this show, and a lot of the characters – I’m like Rose and the triumvirate of Bellamy, Clarke, and Raven is my Jack, okay! – I just couldn’t keep watching a show that was so tone deaf and racist. Though don’t tell them that, the showrunner and writers are very sensitive and will say you’re insulting their pure intentions.

That was a lot of words, but I still have two more shows that really fall near that hate line.

Big Bang Theory – look, the fact that this how is about laughing AT nerds, geeks, fannish culture, instead of with it was the true downfall of it. Anyway, it’s such an empty show without soul.

Supernatural – speaking of soulless writing. Not only is this show terrible to it’s women, LGBT+ characters, and people of colour, it’s become so incredibly boring and repetitive that I can tell you that they’ve once again devoted a season to fighting Lucifer, just like they did… seven? eight? years ago. Every main character, good or bad, on this show is a white male and if they’re not well, don’t get attached they’ll be gone before the season is up. IT NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED.

Now, here’s a show I stopped watching for similar reasons, haven’t gone back to but I feel I would actually enjoy again:

Marvel’s Agents of Shield – Clearly I haven’t watching it in ages, but everything I hear about Daisy Johnson and her character development makes me excited and happy, and Chloe Bennet is an angel that deserves all good things. The show I feel tends to have a couple really good episodes in the midst of a lot mediocre ones, but when you hear good things about a character you love, you wanna support them! Also Mack is great! I’m super excited about Yo-Yo because LATINA SPEEDSTER!!!!! But I still haven’t forgiven them for Tripp, and I’ve never been into Fitz/Simmons even if I can admit Elizabeth and Iain’s chemistry is fantastic.

UPDATE: I forgot Dollhouse. which does kinda feel a bit like a hypocritical answer, bc I did watch every episode of that show… maybe i skimmed the finale. And was very into a ship of the show, plus Amy Acker’s character was my fave, and there were a lot of underrated performances. So “hate” feels like a false word. BUT, this show’s premise was terrible, glorifying rape and a company that was essentially sex trafficking. However, I did partially allow what I enjoyed of the show to override all the things that were terrible about it. So yeah I’ve hated it more as I’ve grown and learned. It was in part why The Sarah Connor Chronicles was cancelled and I’ll never fucking forgive that.

TV MEME: Day 05 – A show you hate (except hating requires me to care so more like actively dislike)