June 6, 2011

My Guiltiest Pleasure

I'm not one to make apologies for my viewing habits.  I love bad chick flicks, stupid action movies, the occasional formulaic sitcom, and cheesy teen dramas and I don't care who knows it.  I'll toot the horn of the under-rated, critical darlings and the universally beloved as loudly as the next person but I'll also tell you that I own Roswell's first season on DVD.  I rarely categorize anything I watch as a guilty pleasure because I rarely feel guilty for liking anything. 

I find most of the genres I love fairly easy to excuse because there's an argument to be made that their entertainment value comes from them being exactly as cheesy or ridiculous or bad as they are.  I'm of the opinion that One Tree Hill wouldn't have included a story about a dog literally eating a man's heart if it wanted to be taken 100% seriously.  That's the kind of shit you do when you know that your show's charm lies in it's over-the-topness.  Pretty Little Liars is a bastion of terrible acting but it is top notch crazy with a heaping helping of attractive and I honestly can't fathom how anyone could keep from loving it. 

There is one show that I watch and love, though, that I find very hard to justify.  Rookie Blue returns to ABC later this month and I'm beyond excited that it's back, but no matter how hard I try, I can't avoid feeling like this one is pure guilty pleasure.  The strikes against Rookie Blue are numerous. 

It's a police procedural which has been done to death and therefore can't possibly help but be completely predictable.  I watch a number of procedurals but I wouldn't say that I love them.  They're decent background or weekend "not yet ready to get out of bed and start my day" entertainment but if I miss episodes I don't particularly care.  And I will be the first to tell you that there will never be a television cop that even comes close to the awesomeness of Lenny Briscoe from Law & Order so everything from here on out is just a pale facsimile of what life used to be like when Gerry Orbach was with us.  Every one of these shows puts their own spin on it and Rookie Blue is no exception - this one follows 5 brand new cops, fresh out of the academy as they learn how to really be cops from a handful of more experienced uniformed officers.  Then the newbies spend an inordinate amount of time managing to get themselves involved in murder cases, gun-running cases, drug smuggling cases, child abduction cases, escaped convict manhunts, and one agoraphobic in labor.  That was just the first 13 episodes. 

It's Canadian.  I have nothing against Canada.  I love Canada.  I'm on record as wanting to marry a Canadian and have a couple of polite, Canadian children.  I've enjoyed my fair share of Canadian television too.  Degrassi, Degrassi: TNG, Instant Star - I watched and enjoyed them all.  But if we're being honest with ourselves, I think we can all agree that Canada is not known for it's quality television shows. 

The acting on this show is all over the place.  The non-rookie regulars are competent actors and while not setting the world on fire, they're doing a yeoman's job.  The rookie regulars are a bit less consistent.  I've seen Gregory Smith turn in amazing performances on Everwood but sometimes his work on Rookie Blue is downright abysmal.  I keep telling myself that these are acting choices that he's making because his character here is a bit of a knob but...I'm not sure I'm convinced.  Travis Milne seems to be improving from one ep to the next but Charlotte Sullivan's Gail Peck continues to seem cut out of cardboard. 

I could keep presenting the case against this show all day or I could say that despite all of these things, it's a pretty entertaining show.  The non-police parts of the story are ever-so-slightly reminiscent of early Grey's Anatomy with a hint of Dawson's Creek.  Diaz and Peck are the perfect opposites with a not-entirely-stupid obstacle standing between them.  And as much as I want Gail to get over Chris turning her brother's partner in and resume their romance, I also kind of like that Gail is an unsympathetic bitch.  Sometimes I like having a character I can sort of hate. 

Dov Epstein is a great character to hate yourself for liking.  He's a total spaz and if I knew him, I'm pretty sure I would punch him in the face a half dozen times a week, but out of uniform, his irksome qualities are a bit more endearing and funny.  He's like a little brother that you love in spite of his unbearable personality. 

I'm hoping for more Noelle and Shaw story lines this season because both are really interesting.  I would love it if they knocked Noelle up and we got to see a bit more of the friendship that was forming between her and Traci.  And more of Best would not suck either.  It'd be kind of great if Traci and Jerry got married.  I don't know why, but I would love that. 

Most importantly, I'm all about the Andy/Sam/Luke triangle.  Actually, what I'd really like to see is Andy dump Luke and have a lot of sex with Sam.  I honestly don't know how any right-thinking person would pick Luke over Sam anyway, but when you have the sort of screaming hot chemistry with Sam that Andy does, to ignore that and move in with the the most vanilla schmo you know?  Well that's the sort of decision that makes me wonder if Andy should even be aloud to make her own choices in life.  If I could, I'd take that girl into receivership in a right hurry. 

If I haven't made a strong enough case to convince you, especially if you watched the pilot and were like "ugh. Boring," I urge you to seek out the episode "Hot and Bothered" so that you can see the show actually did get better and there are genuinely some entertaining things about it.  And that Sam Swarek is totally hot. 

Oh who am I kidding?  Guilty pleasure.

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