The City-Comma-State Of Primetime


The new TV season is in full swing, and that means a whole host of new shows have been debuting in hopes of hitting it big with audiences.  It seems the trend this year involves putting a city or state in the title of your show.  Sure, this has always happened with television shows but there seems to be a real rash of them right now.  Maybe after the brand trend didn’t prove to be worthwhile (like with Pan-Am and The Playboy Club), it seemed like a homerun to throw in national familiarity.

The most appalling new show for me has to be Made In Jersey.  She’s sexy, but she’s also tough – she must be from New Jersey!  This seems stupid on almost every level.  While I’m appreciative of how the main character isn’t a booze-soaked guidette like those Jersey Shore cretins, making her Italian somehow automatically means she must be from New Jersey.  She couldn’t possibly be black or have Eskimo heritage.  Nope, she’s Italian and working at a big law firm in New York.  Awful.  Let’s hope this show goes down in a fiery blaze of low ratings.

I was a bit surprised to see ads for a new show called Vegas, which is obviously about an internet billionaire living it up in the Florida Keys.  Just kidding – it’s about Las Vegas, but not that same city we just had a one hour drama based on.  Nope, this is a period piece set in the 1960’s which seems to want to capture viewership based on name alone.  I can’t see people going for that “I am the law around here/well, I’m the new law in town” shtick but I’ve been wrong before.

Next up is the opposite of Made In Jersey in its attempt to appeal to the middle-America crowd who also watches Glee, and that is Nashville.  Once again, you know the name of the place.  It has an aged female country singer for the moms out there and the cheerleader from Heroes as an up-and-coming teen sensation for the young ladies in the audience.  And singing.  Of course.  Based on the female factor, it’s no surprise the series is on ABC, which is bloated with nothing but primetime soap operas like Grey’s Anatomy.  I don’t have anything against this one, but once again, the name of the show is the name of a music city, so you know what you’re getting.

The last show which I most recently saw billboards for is Chicago Fire.  I couldn’t possibly have anything against firefighters and I haven’t seen a single frame of the show, but let me give you my impression based on the advertising I’ve seen.  Leading the pack is the older-yet-still-a-looker man in command, a few muscular young bucks who are there for eye candy, and some attractive women who likely became firefighters to prove something, probably that they’re more than just pretty faces.  Chicago seems like a safe bet as the show’s location since it’s one of the few American cities which doesn’t already have a crime procedural drama based there.  Maybe the show will even have a blues-tinged theme song to give it some local integrity.  Yes, I’m basing my entire opinion of the show off the title and a few billboards but aren’t they there to try making an impression on me in the first place?

They are, and these have been my impressions.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment of Ranting In The USA.