December 10, 2008

NBC Continues Its Inexplicable Cancellations


This time with My Own Worst Enemy.

I should have known better. I began watching The Black Donnellys and NBC heartlessly cancelled it. The following season, I began watching Journeyman and again, NBC heartlessly cancelled it. This season, I tuned in to MOWE mainly due to Christian Slater.

Christian Slater used to not only be in my Freebie Five, he was my Freebie Five. He was the living end, as far as I was concerned, and I would watch anything he was in (evidenced by my viewing of Mobsters, Kuffs and Very Bad Things).

Surely any television program Mr. Slater wished to become attached to would be worthy of airing. Or at least giving it a chance to get legs.

Not if you're an executive at NBC. Apparently those clowns wouldn't realize a hit show if it crawled up their ass and laid a golden egg.

MOWE's cancellation - - like Donnellys and Journeyman, before the holiday season and before given time to gain an appreciative audience - - is all the more grievous when compared to what Heroes has become this season (and, well, last season). Heroes was like the Holy Grail during its freshman year - - pure, untouched and novel. There were more central characters than you usually see on a primetime (not reality) show but the viewer knew they tied together in some fashion and could hardly wait for the resolution at the end of the season. Since that time, however, Heroes has been the television equivalent of Tom Cruise - - unpredictable, manic and batshit crazy. Characters brought in, characters dropped and forgotten. Longstanding characters having their backstories re-written this season after we saw for ourselves what happened during Season One. The constant changing of the future and the past - - so much so that I'm wondering what I was watching over two years ago because I don't remember any of the chum Heroes is throwing at me now. Sylar's a good guy? No, wait Sylar's a bad guy. No, he's a good guy and he's going by Gabriel and he's good while he's with Elle, despite the fact that her mission with The Company was to incite his serial killer side. No, he's bad again because Elle lied. Sylar is a Petrelli. No, no he's not. Arthur Petrelli's dead. Oh no, he's not. Niki's dead although we never got clear resolution of that but her lookalike Tracy has shown up and she's deadly dull. Mohinder used to be smart but after shtooping Maya he lost all his IQ points and now he's pretty but dumb. Hiro was trapped in 17th century Japan last season; this season, he's trapped in his 10 year old mind (although brownie points to whoever brought on the wonderful Breckin Meyer and Seth Green to play comic book store proprietors).

So NBC has stuck with Heroes, despite the ratings fall off, despite the gripes of viewers and frustrations. They have even stuck, surprisingly, with Chuck, it's 8 p.m. lead-in show - - a show that's goofy, silly and irrelevant.

So why cancel MOWE? The backstory is interesting - - Edward is a CIA operative who, for his protection, is given a dual persona, Henry, who is married, has children and lives a "boring" suburban life. When necessary (i.e., a hitman is needed), Edward is supposed to be activated while Henry "goes to sleep". However, there is a little glitch in Edward/Henry's mainframe and Edward tends to wake up on Henry's time and Henry tends to wake up on Edward's. Most definitely novel for primetime t.v. and Slater is doing a commendable job, most especially portraying Henry. We are used to seeing Slater doing his cocky Jack Nicholson-esque impersonations, which is the heart of Edward. Cocky, self-assured and mostly apathetic. Seeing Slater playing a frazzled, scared and utterly confused Henry is worth the show itself. Add in fellow operative Raymond, who is meek Tom when Raymond is asleep, played to perfection by Mike O'Malley, as well as Alfre Woodard as Edward's boss Mavis and you have a potential winner.

Shame on you, NBC.

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