So Cult TV shows are back in fashion with a vengeance. From low-rent sci-fi to the fables with hormone problems, no subculture is left untouched.
Anne Rice style vampires Blue Steel their way across our screens.
Frankenstein's monster looks like a high-school athlete that had a drink-driving accident that ruined his career, which is still a far better look than the original monster that we knew.
Werewolves and shape-shifters strip like they're doing an impression of Bill Bixby from The Incredible Hulk TV show.
Need I go on? Every supernatural piece of lore has been pilfered and predominately ruined by the TV and film industries.
But it is these TV shows that keep on trucking for an obscene amount of time. Some of these shows episode counts have or are beginning to encroach on the more beloved shows of past-times that were even sometimes unceremoniously cancelled.
I still cannot believe Awake was cancelled. This show was taking you on a journey with it's characters.
I should preface this with the fact that I love this genre in any format, be it novels, comics, games or film and television. Also, I have followed most of these shows from their beginning (even going to conventions and meeting their cast) till I couldn't stomach it any more.
But the market is well and truly over-saturated and much like the genre's best villains, it's unkillable.
Supernatural has lasted far longer than we (or even they) ever thought it would. Having finished its eighth season (that's 172 episodes) it now only has a few redeeming features and has completely betrayed and deflected it's original premise.
Jensen Ackles, plays Dean Winchester in the series, is such a solid actor that he basically carries the show. Unfortunately the character at times is rather boisterous and so misses a lot of the subtleties of character development, his ever-deepening voice always proclaiming "SAM" and berating his brother incessantly.
Sam himself, played by Jared Padalecki, unfortunately has no qualities remaining to him and the actor as a result struggles to be anything more than a bit part in The Dean Show.
Castiel has been written so badly and toyed with so many times by the creators, that Mischa Collins seems to just be along for the ride. And he does so very well, he's such a trooper when it comes to the fandom and he's a blessing to the show on and off screen.
The rest of the show is written or plotted so badly that it keeps treading the same ground and has forgotten that Jeffrey Dean Morgan and the "family business" storyline was it's main strength.
Vampire Diaries however, began low-rent and has sunk so low that it was the first show I "quit" watching.
I'm a completionist and I'd never not finished something like a television show, film or book. But Red State, The Avenger's and Evil Dead prepared me for this and so Vampire Diaries was the first one on the chopping block. Now I'm quitting shows like the TV studios are cancelling them.
I just couldn't put up with Elena Gilbert's whining and crying any more and the shows need to retread the same ground. I do hope a few of the actors find there way into better shows as it does have a good young cast, but that is basically all the show has going for it.
In fact most of these shows; Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Castle, are still going because they have a sexy young cast that the fandom love. Comic-con friendly casts are all the rage these days.
There are stand out shows as well (even stand out episodes from some of the above mentioned shows) such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Sherlock, The Walking Dead, Justified, Boardwalk Empire and Location, Location, Location. Lol jk.
Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire is an incredibly well written and fleshed out character, despite his relative mystery. Though Boardwalk Empire itself is almost unequalled in it's writing finesse, perhaps only by Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
In conclusion, with the casts tending to be recycled or shared as well as the storyline's, the actors are as much to blame as the writers and show-runners. Overly earnest middle American cast members (which ironically are often played by foreign actors) and badly portrayed UK characters (which ironically are often played by American's) infest our shows.
There's no longer any characterisation but more caricaturisation (I cannot believe that's a word). With murderers permeating our shows in one form or another, be it disputable vampire/demon killing or flat-out Norman Bates/Dexter serial killing, there's a lack of explanation and an unwillingness to delve into a more concrete and accurate portrayal of these characters mental states and development (or lack thereof).
With Under the Dome dragging the genre to a new low, I'm not sure how much longer it will be before this dome bubble bursts.
What's your stance on this predicament?
Which show do you think breaks all these rules and follows no tropes?
IMO The Returned is a breath of fresh air. It's a slice of fried gold foreign cinema on your TV. It's themes of afterlife are explored with tact and mystery to a LOST like level and it's characters are so broken it's heart breaking.