It pains me to write this.
The malaise I talked about a month ago has not gone away, even though I honestly think the show is better now. There are more stories going on, new pairings are being tested, it is more consistently paced, stories seem to have beginnings, middles, and ends. Characters aren’t been wasted on propping up someone else.
But there is an overall flatness to the show that I find uninspiring. Under Hogan, the good parts were so good it made the bad parts so much more frustrating, incredibly so. But it also made criticism, and fanwanking, more fun. I used to have a nearly inexhaustible appetite to discuss the show, and that is no longer the case.
So I’m giving it until the end of sweeps. I’ll make a pledge not to fast-forward, and keep an open mind about every storyline (even Chan). I’ll enjoy Phillip—Higley has done wonders with him, showcasing his relationship with his father, giving him a business-rivalry storyline, and testing him with different actresses. (Hogan’s treatment of Phillip was one of his biggest failures.) I’ll enjoy snarky John, and Tony and Anna’s rivalry. I’ll remain hopeful for some emotional fallout for Steve and Kayla, maybe a new storyline for Nick.
But if I still feel this way at the end of the month, it may be time to pull the plug.
I really hope it doesn’t come to that. Days, consider yourself on notice.