OK, this is a tough one. There’s so much pap on television- who could sort through it all to pick the show that’s truly tops in its ungodly horrendousness? Naming the unwatchable Hope and Faith
or the stillborn Inconceivable
would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Picking daytime filler like The Tony Danza Show
would feel like a copout. There are plenty of more ambitious disasters to sift through.
Sure, I could select shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
or any SportsCenter
featuring Stuart Scott, both for pandering to an audience of unsophisticated sots. I could knock Showtime for actually making people pay to see Fat Actress
; ditto HBO for The Comeback
Heck, I’m even tempted to select Will and Grace
simply for still being on the air.
Alas, my choice is none of those, although they would nicely round out a Top Ten List of Heinosity. No, my choice is a show that was once one of the most creative on television; one with complex storylines, terrific acting, and a sexy attitude that just wouldn’t quit.
It was a show that took us in several directions at once, and even reinvented itself a couple of times, with consistently spectacular results. For its first three seasons, it never reached breakout hit status, but consistently seemed poised to do so.
That is, until season 4, when it began to suck. It ditched most of its continuing storylines, opting for a largely week-to-week approach to lure in more viewers. And it got them, although it was obviously due to its monster lead-in Lost
, which, ironically, it lost this year. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
I’m talking, of course, about Alias. Before Jennifer Garner’s awful taste in baby’s daddies became apparent. Before they killed off the characters long-time fans dug (Vaughn, Nadia). Before the storylines became so incomprehensible we didn’t even care that they added a hot blonde to the show to replace a tubbed-out, knocked-up J-Fleck.
In season five, announced to be the last, I can barely make it through an entire episode. I have no idea what’s happening, and frankly don’t care. I was ready to bail completely before they announced the show had been axed; now I’m torn on whether I should stick around to see their big finish.
But in retrospect, the real finish was Season 3, episode 22. It was that lost memory cliffhanger, one that was never truly taken advantage of. And the show never recovered. I’ll never get back the time I spent in the last season and a half watching, waiting for something, anything interesting to happen. Maybe, I, too, can have my memory erased- of the last two seasons of the show, anyway. That would leave me with fond memories of Alias
, instead of the bitter feeling of resentment I now possess.
So, J.J., that's my debriefing. Now pack up those pink wigs and go.
It's time.Honorable Mention
Hope & Faith:
That Ted McGinley sure is consistent.Inconceivable:
How did this one make it out of the pitch meeting?The Comeback:
God awful, train wreck pseudo-reality TV.