The Bitch Awards continue with two inept serial killer series, plus independent American & Australian series with killer emotional hooks. Let’s bitch it out…
#5 – Broadchurch S2
#4 – Eye Candy S1 / Scream S1
- Why is they so bad? Where to start? This pair of tragically inept series feel like they were cooked up in a lab by monkeys using test tubes marked “Things kids these days like.” Eye Candy is an adaptation of an R.L Stine about a serial killer who targets a hacker. The Manhattan that the series takes place in is completely ridiculous: it seems to be inhabited entirely by impossibly gorgeous teens with amazing hair and even better jobs. The main character, Lindy (played with blank expression by something called Victoria Justice) is the killer’s object of affection, but there’s never any indication why – the girl is a complete bore who mopes around looking for her abducted sister (because of course she has a goddamn tragic backstory). Hilariously awful in every way, and I’m not just talking the barely twenty-something love interest’s hair. Then there’s Scream, which mistakenly confuses pop culture references for being contemporary and a bland one-dimensional heroine for a relatable audience surrogate. Unfortunately in its desire to be modern and edgy, Scream forgets to be the two things it must needs to be: entertaining and scary.
- Worst episode? ‘IRL’ in which a killer pays people at a club to harm other patrons for cash / ‘Revelations’ in which the most obvious killer plays games for forty odd minutes before unmasking herself with a long-winded speech that no one cares about
- Number of episodes watched: 10 each
- Returns: Thankfully Eye Candy was cancelled. Scream will have a chance to get it right with S2 next Summer
#10 – iZombie S1/2
#9 – Transparent S2
#8 – Looking S2
- Why is it good? Looking was a good show in S1, but it became a great show in S2. The show was never going to be a broad hit, but its narrow focus on a niche audience – (mostly white) gay men in San Francisco – felt like a true slice of life drama. S2 improved on S1 in nearly every way: the most aggravating character, Augustin, was sent to character rehab between seasons, Mean Girls’ Daniel Franzese came onboard as an HIV positive character (addressing a criticism from S1) and the show’s secret weapon Doris ( Lauren Weedman) even got her own episode. While the focus on Patrick (Jonathan Groff), the series’ “white privilege” character, undoubtedly frustrated many, his evolution from naive, lovesick young man to uncertain, questioning partner should ring true to anyone who’s ever fallen for someone they maybe shouldn’t (Russell Tovey’s Kevin, perfectly balancing equal parts sex appeal and sleazy untrustworthiness). At its core, Looking told a series of small stories very, very well in a well-acted, cinematic fashion. Plus the music was exceptional, to boot.
- Best episode? I loved how the series finale, 2×10 ‘Looking For Home’ began as a romantic fantasy and turned into a grim concrete nightmare of paranoia and confrontation
- Number of episodes watched in 2015: 10
- Change in rank: New!
- Returns: HBO cancelled the series, but supposedly there’s a wrap-up film on the way
#7 – Please Like Me S3
- Why is it good? Every time I’ve tried to sell friends on this Australian series about a group of twenty-somethings growing up, it comes off sounding like a trite hipster series (or worse, an Australian Girls with more gays). The simple truth is that no other series on air has the emotional capacity of Please Like Me, which is written with exceptional precision and human insight by its main actor (and series creator), Josh Thomas. In the third season, Josh and his friends stop being kids and became adults. In the process the show bravely (and hilariously) took on a host of taboo-for-TV topics like abortion, open relationships, coming out and health scares in a surprisingly frank, open and confronting fashion. The results were awkward, funny, witty and painful; everything a drama should aspire to be.
- Best episode? 3×04 ‘Natural Spring Water’ is a propulsive high energy episode that takes place over a single night- it’s the perfect celebration of friendship, love, and tragedy that feels true to real life.
- Number of episodes watched in 2015: 10
- Change in rank: -2 (from 2013)
- Returns: Pivot and ABC (Australian) have yet to announce a fourth season
That’s it for the second day of the Bitch Awards. What do you think of the picks for best and worst? What makes your list? Sound off below and check in tomorrow for the middle of the best and worst TV of 2015.