The Boyfriend of the Week
April 17, 2004
Okay, that's it. I GIVE UP!
For the last two weeks, I've been preparing a very important write-up. It was all about Tyron Leitso and his terrific, unique new television show "Wonderfalls." (He played the cute bartender, for the three of you who actually tuned in.) The bulk of the write-up was an impassioned treatise on the importance of supporting intelligent programming in this day and age. All too often, great shows aren't given a chance to succeed -- if they aren't immediately a major hit, they're bounced around until fans can't find them and then canceled for the resultant lack of interest. And then, of course, they're quickly replaced by something that will make money right away -- more often than not, another asinine reality show.
Before I could get this plea up, though -- before I had a chance to urge you to start tuning in to "Wonderfalls" to help its ratings -- the bouncing around began. It was on on Fridays, after the seemingly similar, but actually quite different "Joan of Arcadia," then it got moved to Thursdays. Then it was back on Fridays, then the TV guide said it was on Thursday night again, when really it wasn't on at all. And before I knew what was happening, repeat episodes of "The Swan" started showing up consistently in its place. You know about "The Swan," don't you? It's that incredibly disturbing reality show about a group of "ugly" women who all undergo massive amounts of plastic surgery and then compete in a beauty pageant. Is it just me, or is that not totally sick?
And then, three days ago, I finally heard the news -- "Wonderfalls" has been officially canceled. And, frankly, it was the straw that broke this camel's back.
First "Peacemakers." Then the not-great, but full-of-potential "Lyon's Den." Then the absolutely fantastic, intelligent, and highly entertaining "Boomtown." Ditto, "Karen Sisco." And now "Wonderfalls" -- quirky, original, darkly funny, clever, and costarring Tyron as the cute underdog barkeep of my DREAMS. And while the creators of "Wonderfalls" are currently shopping it around to other networks, a few of them have already passed, and it's pretty rare for that sort of thing to work anyway ("Buffy" is the only successfully transferred show I can think of, actually).
It's been a heck of a bad year for shows trying to break out of the mold. Essentially, unless you're a reality show or a spin-off (we've got THREE "Law & Orders" now, two "JAGS," and next season will add a third "CSI" as well), the odds of your sticking around for longer than 6 episodes are pretty slim. And all the while, reality TV about mutilating yourself has never been more popular, with shows about teens getting surgery to make them look like their favorite celebrities (MTV's "I Want a Famous Face") and even a new show coming soon about people who get multiple operations to make them look more like animals (cats, goats, etc.).
I just can't take it anymore. I tried rewriting Tyron's write-up, because I really like him and wanted to share the love, so to speak, but I just found myself ranting through the whole thing. I'm too cranky, and I don't want to take it out on you guys instead of the right guys (the soulless, money-grubbing network people). I'm too annoyed. Too tired of the garbage. And thus, I'm doing the only thing I can at this point.
I'm going on strike.
Now, don't freak out or anything. I'm a disgusting, naive optimist, after all, and therefore these kinds of blows only manage to depress me for a short while. As soon as the crankiness passes, I'll be back with someone new -- most likely in a week or so.
But while I'm gone, do me a favor, wouldja? There's another struggling show on right now that, coincidentally, is also is about inanimate things talking to people and telling them to do good deeds (though this time the inanimate things are dead people instead of small, warped, wax lion souvenirs and monkey bookends). It's not the greatest show in the world, but it's got a couple of really solid characters and has been steadily improving as the season progresses. The show is called "Tru Calling" and stars ex-Buffy-ite Eliza Dushku (my least favorite character on the show, to be honest, but her brother and the medical examiner are great). It's struggling with ratings too and there are rumors it may not be renewed for a second season. This week, it was bumped from its regular timeslot, seemingly at the last minute, which is never a good sign. So, I'm worried. So, I'm asking for your help. If you haven't tried this show yet, tune in. Give it a try. It's on Thursday nights at 8pm. Granted, it's not a work of genius, but what it IS is creative, scripted programming -- programming that someone has really crafted, that someone actually cares about, and not just because it makes a fortune from the commercial advertisements.
And in the meantime, if you'd like to experience Tyron Leitso, but you missed your chance with "Wonderfalls," you can rent "House of the Dead," in which he has half his face burned off by zombie acid, or "Dinotopia," a cute, kid-friendly movie about two young'uns who crash on an island and find it inhabited by adorable dinosaurs. Or, you can just wait and see what he does next. With those blue eyes and that gorgeous smile, I'm sure it will be something good. It's just too damn bad it won't be something "Wonder"-ful.
MacGyver Factor Score: 97.433%. Sure, his show got canceled and I was too cranky to put together a real write-up on him, but that doesn't mean I'm not still crazy about him. He's just darn cute! For more information about him, check out his official home page below.