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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 32nd Edition

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Hello everyone and welcome to another WRT! Today I'm (MK) joined by Gina (GK), Beth (BW), Samantha (SB), Abi (AK), Laura (DL), Jamie (JC), Donna (DC), Jaz (JZ) and Jessica (JN). As always sit back, enjoy the read and join the discussion down below.

1. Last week we talked about who we wanna see cast in one of the upcoming Pilots, but which Actors are your turn offs? Who makes a potential "I'll watch this Live" into a "Summer Binge"?

MK: There are some major turn-offs for sure. My personal no go is Taye Digs. After Private Practice, I really can't go through that torture. Nathan Fillion is also on my no-no list after that Castle debacle.

BW: Actors don't really make me push a show, it is more a matter of story annoyance.

SB: I don't want to seem too mean but I refuse to watch anything that Nathan Fillon stars in. Lena Dunham is also a major turn off. There are others whose acting abilities leave a lot to be desired, but strong enough writing and cast around them can make sure you don't notice it as much.

AK: I absolutely will not watch any show that Lena Dunham is involved with, either on or off-screen. Not to slam any actors but I’m not a fan of Nathan Fillion either. It’s a lot harder to think of people who would turn you off projects than people who would make you excited for them. I tend to just not watch shows if I don’t like anyone involved in them.

JC: I don't really have many actor turn-offs. It's mostly in comedy for me, people I just don't find funny. But I don't really know their names, just their faces.

JZ: I agree with my fellow writers and say I’d avoid shows with Lena Dunham or Nathan Fillion. I just find some of their behaviors in regards to their professional lives to be too much of a turn off for me to support them with my viewership.
I also generally avoid shows with big-name Hollywood movie stars in them. I just don’t appreciate the hype that goes with these big-name castings. You kind of get the impression that you HAVE to love the shows, or the shows are “quality” because A-list X is attached to them. I prefer for them to stay in their own pod and let the television actors do their thing!

2. OUAT ending with season 7. Too late or did the show still have some magic?

MK: OUAT will forever have a special place in my heart and I'll always remember their glory days and amazing episodes but things weren't good in season 5 & 6. The writers did find a way to bring some good stuff back this season and recapture some magic but overall it is probably a good idea to end it now. I'm extremely sad we won't see Pochahontas or Moana getting an OUAT version, but maybe in a 10 years away revival.

GK: I will always LOVE Once Upon A Time. This season, I liked parts of it. I know I don't want it to end. I think they jumped too far and there was no continuity between older Henry and the Henry we knew. I think if it was focused on Regina, Hook, and Rumple as the focus it would have kept me more engaged. But I will miss it. And I think moving it from Sunday night was wrong cause I kept thinking it was going to be on and then I was disappointed when I realized it wasn't.

BW: I haven't watched since the Belle episode, but sadly from what I have seen they have lost a step when they rely on the new characters.

SB: I've never really paid attention to the show but I honestly think it should've just ended last year. Attempting to reboot the show with only 3 regulars left was never going to work. People have become too attached to the characters they shared the previous 6 years with, the alternative Hook thing was a desperate way to get around the Emma/Hook romance, adult Henry is ok enough as are Adelaide Kane & Gabrielle Anwar, but I do not know what they were thinking bringing Dania Ramirez on board. She is an absolutely appalling actress who takes you right out of the scenes.

DL: I am almost 2 seasons behind on OUAT, although I did see the first couple of episodes of season 6 for the heck of it. I kind of felt like that season 6 should of more ardently been a spin-off so that it wouldn't disappoint so easily. I think the show has always had potential and has delivered wonderful episodes over the years, but I think it's time to let it go--let the cast shine in other roles.

JC: I have a love-hate relationship with this show. I've dropped it more times than any other show (probably). By the end of season 6, my interest was very low again but season 7 has been slightly better. But I'm okay with it ending. That way I can finally put this relationship to rest.

DC: Once upon a time was a show that started of with such an interesting premise and strong female leads from the normal Disney princess but soon they became just that. Which angered fans when the characters become weak because of there male counterparts instead of working together. its no doubt the villains stole the show over the heroine's with the; likes of the Evil Queen and Wicked Witch doing good in the end. The character portrayal by all the actors brought to life Disney fairytales for all of us but sadly the ending wasn't all happiness and it took it down a course that lost its core fans. I hope it goes out on a high.

JZ: I hadn’t watched the show since 5a, but it was the new cast and exits which brought me back to watching it again. I believe the show still has magic, but ABC’s attempts to revive the series came too little too late and way too suddenly for the fans. I think if they slowly fazed the cast out and introduced the new characters and worlds, maybe the show would have had a better reception.

JN: For me, I think Once Upon a Time should have ended with season six with most of the original cast still intact. If Jennifer Morrison had signed on for another season, I may have felt differently, but the show started and should have ended with Emma Swan. I get that people want series to go one as long as possible, but was only having more one season as opposed to ending on a high of six truly spectacular seasons worth it? I don’t think so.

3. Pilot season is still a big event in regards to Broadcast Networks. Should shows be developed more off cycle or get straight to series orders to avoid the hussle?

BW: I would advocate for more off cycle developing because some shows like OUAT and Nashville are finishing their runs and the actors can't partake in 'Pilot Season' if they wanted so we may have to wait until next year to see them as regulars in something.

SB: I get why pilot season is so popular but I think if the idea is good enough, then the show should just be brought to series. Pitching a show and all your ideas for it is all well and good, but it's only when you've got the script and actors at hand that you can truly see its full potential. There's also the fact sometimes a pickup decision can go past upfront week as Studios & Networks negotiate or ask for reshoots having not been happy with the end result, and that can leave some actors in limbo for months and cause them to miss out on other gigs.

AK: Shows should absolutely be developed more off-cycle. Just look at the confusion earlier this week with the new Kenya Barris show which was given a straight to series order because it was presumed Alec Baldwin was attached but when they’ve tried to organise the logistics, it just isn’t feasible so they’ve had to revert it back to a pilot and completely recast the lead further delaying it. All this should have been ironed out weeks/months ago but instead, it’s been rushed and now they have a problem and it could possibly cost them the pickup. On the other hand, though, you’ve got problems like The Passage which we had news on this week, which now could be stuck in off-cycle development hell. Some shows require more development and some shows don’t. It should be obvious on the premise, writing staff and caliber of actors they want to attract to the roles whether they need more time or not.

DL: I think more off-cycle shows is a great idea, but I think the key for the networks are finding a balance between traditional pilot season series and shows that might get stuck in development forever. We saw some interesting things happen with the show that would have stared Alec Baldwin and then FOX is also now redeveloping The Passage, which I think we have been waiting a long time for!

JZ: I love the pilot season and I think it should remain. It's a great way for networks to test the mainstream audience's reactions to new products and castings other than with the few media elite and "test audiences" who may get it wrong. Also, what would we have to talk about if we didn't have the pilot season Hunger Games?

JN: More shows should definitely be developed off-cycle. Pilot season only allows actors and actresses who aren’t attached to a current project or know their shows are ending to participate. If a show gets abruptly canceled then its stars usually have to wait another pilot season to be cast in a new series.

4. Riverdale started out the season strong, but the numbers are getting worse and the audience is not satisfied? Where did the show go wrong and is there still time to fix it?

BW: I am all caught up and can say the biggest problem I see is that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to lean into the teen drama in the vein of OTH, 90210 and Dawson's Creek? Or does it want to be more of a murder mystery and twisted? They just don't seem to have a solid identity at the moment and it is hurting their potential but I still think that they are a young enough show to turn it around. Also, they need to quit with the cringe-worthy storylines in regards to Betty. Having her do some of the things she's done this year is incredibly uncomfortable to watch play out.

SB: I think the show has two problems - increased episode order and taking itself too seriously. Last season the limited episode number meant there wasn't really any room for filler & I know the cast & producers talked about how things had to get cut because they ran out of time, but the season at least had a clear path for what it was trying to do with itself and we got a nice simple beginning, middle, and end. This season the show is all over the place. It started off with the black hook terrorizing Riverdale & punishing sinners, and now I don't have a clue what the story is. Which goes into the taking itself too seriously bit. Last season Riverdale was a nice, campy, guilty pleasure. It had some problematic elements sure, but at least I wasn't rolling my eyes & finding my commentary on the episode more enjoyable than what I'm watching. It feels as though it's trying to be dark, twisted & really serious but it just falls flat & I agree with Beth - does the show want to lean in to the teen drama in the vein of One Tree Hill, 90210 & Dawson's Creek, or be a murder mystery and twisted, because the show can't be both. It just doesn't have that range of actors in the younger cast to pull it off. Then there's the fact that Kevin, Josie & Cheryl might as well just be background noise and in the case of Kevin & Josie very much just there to fill the quotas which are ridiculous. When they've both been given the chance to shine they have, and with the storylines thrown at Cheryl she has the potential to be an extremely interesting multi-layered character.

The show is only in its second season so I think there is time to fix things. Plan the arcs out well & stop trying to shock the audience every 2 seconds, because the result is us guessing things 5 episodes before it actually happens. Stop having the characters act like dummies because there's only so much suspension of reality a person can do. Take advantage of the cast at its disposal, particularly the adult cast members who are far more compelling than Archie/Veronica/Jughead/Betty. Stop taking itself so seriously and go back to being the campy guilty pleasure that attracted the audience in the first place, and stop with the dark Betty stuff. Last year it was obvious that she had some issues & when the show did explore them it was compelling to watch & I thought Lili did a great job with it but the webcam and stripping stuff is just uncomfortable to watch.

DL: I only watched about half of the first season and then I quit. What I didn't like about was is it's typical CW need to cater to young adult melodrama more than using the crime-mystery and atmospheric aspects implied by its cinematography to play into a much more introspective psychological thriller kind of story. I felt like it could have been closer to Bates Motel but just didn't get there. However I have no idea how the second season proceeded, so I don't really have a good say on the matter.

JC: I've really felt like something is missing with Riverdale this season. I don't feel the same spark as I did with season 1. And the worst part is that I can't really put my finger on what it is aside from not being a huge fan of the current storylines.

JN: Part of the issue may be the series had a 22-episode order as opposed to just 13 this season. Some shows work better with shorter seasons and Riverdale may be one of those shows. By having 22 episodes per season, the writers have to either stretch out a 13-episode plot into 22 episodes or come up with more, possibly filler, ideas. While the first season was teen soapy melodrama at its best, this season has taken a turn for the unbelievable. There’s really a masked killer in Riverdale going around killing sinners and teenagers, once again, solve the mystery when the town’s sheriff department couldn’t? Also, the reveal of the Black Hood was poorly executed as it was just some random janitor that was introduced just a few episodes ago. And don’t get me started on the plot where the Lodges are essentially mobsters. This show should be about the fun, wacky antics the teenagers get into, not constantly solving murders and covering them up.

Hope you've enjoyed this edition and join the discussion in the comment section. Till next week. . .

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