Friday, June 22, 2012

The Heroes Award- Worst Season

Named For: Heroes (NBC) 2006-10
Awarded To: The series with the worst season of the year
2010 Winner: Heroes (NBC)
2011 Winner: Eastbound and Down (HBO)

10. Dexter (Showtime) 2 points
1st by Jaydon

9. Smash (NBC) 4 points
5th by Larry, 3rd by Me

8. Ringer (The CW) 5 points
3rd by Jack

7. American Horror Story (FX) 6 points
2nd by T-time

6. Hung (HBO) 7 points
3rd by Larry

5. Louie (FX) 8 points
3rd by T-time, 2nd by Me

4. Glee (FOX) 9 points
2nd by Larry and Tyson

3. Girls (HBO) 12 points
2nd by Cecil, 1st by Me

2. The X Factor (FOX) 19 points
1st by Jack and Larry, 5th by Me

and the Poolie goes to...

1. Terra Nova (FOX) 28 points
1st by Tyson, Cecil, Rizzo, T-time, and Mags, 4th by Me

This is Terra Nova's first nomination and win for the worst season of the year.  Poolie voter T-time is here to tell you why this FOX series deserved the 2012 Heroes Award.

Terra Nova stands out among previous winners of this award. Both Heroes and Eastbound and Down were shows that Poolie voters had enjoyed in previous seasons before ignominiously falling. When you’ve committed to a show, you keep watching as it falls apart, hoping that it will return to form. But Terra Nova was a new show.  People should have just stopped watching if it was that bad, right? Somehow enough people continued to keep watching the freshman effort so that they could later vote on how much they hated it.

The cast was forgettable. Jim Shannon, the nominal lead, was just dull. I don’t hate him. I don’t even dislike him. I’ll say this for Jason O’Mara’s character: he was in the show. Stephen Lang’s Commander Taylor threatened to steal the show at the beginning of the series. He was decidedly grey and inherently interesting. That lasted about three episodes before they started softening him. The rest of the cast is no more notable. Their actions ranged from pointless to foolish. Their character traits ranged from cliché to nonexistent. Only one character truly stood out. Josh Shannon was completely insufferable. In a year where whiny teenage boys filled our television screens, Landon Liboiron’s character surpassed all in eye rolls garnered. Seldom has one man caused so many viewers to make strangling gestures on their couches.

The plot was additionally uninteresting. They partially serialized it, with the story leading up the struggle with the Sixers, and that may have kept some people going, but often it got bogged down with one-off episodes that were often ridiculously stupid. I’ll only mention the amnesia disease because frankly that speaks for itself. Plot holes and inconsistencies were legion but again, I’ll only mention one. The super-advanced society from the future does not have weapons that can kill dinosaurs. Yes, at some point in the future we will abandon the perfectly adequate artillery of the twentieth century in favor of guns that shoot puffs of air and occasionally scare the beasts off.

So why? Why did I watch all of these episodes when I quit on arguably better shows like Magic City and American Horror Story. Well, from the beginning, Terra Nova had one thing in spades: potential. The pilot was surprisingly good considering what came afterward. It opened up a new world for exploration. That sandbox was always there. In Terra Nova, anything could have happened. So what if it hadn’t yet: it still could. More than that, there were dinosaurs. And a fantastically beautiful setting in Australia. The best shots of the series involved no dialogue and no characters. A pterodactyl lazily floating over a primordial cliff. A brachiosaurus lifting its head from a grove of vegetation. These things look good in HD. Every time that camera swept over the pristine wilderness, I thought that maybe this next episode would be the one where they lived up to that potential. It never was though.

And possibly, that’s the worst thing a television show can do: suck you in, promise more on the morrow and fail to deliver in any way. When it’s over you’re mad that you watched it. When the season’s over, you’re relieved. This year Terra Nova was the worst thing I watched on TV. Apparently, I wasn’t alone.

by Tim Forcella

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