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Junk TV Round-Up – SMALL TOWN SECURITY, THE LAST SHIP, THE FOLLOWING, GRIMM
The suits up at AMC must have had an emergency meeting not too long ago: “Okay, men–and you too, of course, Marjorie–we have been hitting it out of the park lately with Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Killing, you know the list. What worries me–what worries our shareholders–is we don’t have enough crappy, over-done reality-TV programming to undercut the quality scripted programs we’ve been showing. I want five bullshit ideas on my desk by 5 PM or you’re all fired!” And of those ideas, I guarantee you half of them were along the lines of “Dumb rednecks do stupid things and talk funny,” since CMT has gotten all uppity with their reality shows. So now we have Small Town Security, the show that’s like a Larry the Cable Guy routine come to life. The only real bright spot in yet another god-awful “unscripted” series like this is that it puts more transgender folk into the national spotlight. Dennis Croft, second-in-command over at JJK Security, used to live life as a woman, but is now a transgender man. The Advocate had a bit of a chat with Croft, and frankly, the guy’s gender situation seems to be the least weird thing about him. It’s kind of a drag (if you’ll pardon the expression) that we as a society still need to “get used to” transgender folks and other “sexual deviants,” and if being featured on some dopey reality show is gonna speed this process along, I suppose I should probably stop being such a wiseguy about it.
Michael Bay, content with his mission to churn out blockbuster junk cinema, has turned his jaundiced eye to television lately. His production company, Platinum Dunes (which sounds like a cyber-punk novel, I know), recently sold a prequel to Treasure Island called Black Sails (which I find interesting depsite myself) and also has in development some reality show over at A&E. Now Deadline tells us TNT has greenlighted another Bay production, an adaptation of William Brinkley’s post-apocalyptic The Last Ship, wherein the crew of a naval destroyer out at sea has to deal with the fact that they are some of the few survivors on a plague-ridden Earth. As with any post-apocalyptic story, there is sure to be plenty of wild west lawlessness and unshaven dudes with eyepatches, but I can’t recall anything like this done on the high seas, so again, possibly interesting. Brinkley himself could not be reached for comment on what Bay might have in store for his vision, as he preemptively killed himself twenty years ago.
Another new show that gained steam at SDCC over the past weekend is Kevin Williamson’s The Following, which features Rome‘s James Purefoy as the leader of a twisted serial-killer cult and Kevin Bacon as the lawman sworn to hun him down. It sounds pretty tepid on the face of it, and if the two Kevins named here weren’t involved, I might not even give it a second look. After the The Following panel at SDCC, The Hollywood Reporter had a sit-down with the two leads, who proceeded to tell us nothing of any real substance about this show:
Is it me, or does Bacon seem like he’d rather be doing almost anything else? I dunno, doesn’t bode too well, kids. We’ll give it a go, though, huh?
And finally, with more hi-jinks from the 2012 San Diego Comical-Book Convention, we have the cast of Grimm dishing to TVLine on the latest on the upcoming second season of this not very good show. I really and honestly gave Grimm a chance when it premiered this last fall, and I couldn’t do it, even with Currie Graham having a major part in an episode. But now in an attempt to win me back into their good graces, the producers of the show have lured Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio onto the program to play Nick’s mother. Mastrantonio is probably most well-known as Gina Montana, Pacino’s little sister in the 1983 classic Scarface. But if I couldn’t slog through The Abyss for her, I doubt Grimm will have any better luck. They’re on the right track, though. Throw Steven Bauer in there and I guarantee I’ll watch that.
Until then, go read a book.