The Telefile

TWoP 10: Instant Ways to Improve This Fall's Shows

by Angel Cohn October 7, 2011 6:00 am
TWoP 10: Instant Ways to Improve This Fall's Shows

With fall TV in full swing, there are already shows getting cancelled, others getting full-season pickups and still more returning shows that could use a little help. While some programs have problems that could take an entire year to repair (see: House), these other series just need some quick fixes that would make them exponentially more entertaining almost immediately.

10. Saturday Night Live: Write Tighter Sketches
This show has the shortest turnaround time, so it could change course almost immediately. The series relies far too much on Kristin Wiig sketches we've seen before, but even worse, the writers often take a good idea for a sketch and let it run for far too long. Get in, hit the punchline and get out. That's what makes the Digital Shorts so enjoyable.

9. The Office: Add More James Spader
We didn't really care who the new office manager turned out to be (though we would rather have seen a fresh face come in and change up the dynamic instead of watching Andy flounder as he tries to fill Michael's shoes) once we found out that James Spader was going to be the CEO. His scenes are utterly mesmerizing and we can't get enough of him. Too bad that everything else seems pale and sad in comparison.

8. The Amazing Race: Follow Your Own Rules
Last week, the show provided a clue that said one thing, then put up a note with different instructions that didn't have any race indicators on it and had orphans hand the teams their next clue even though the task had not been properly completed. This show is a stickler for details, but yet changed its own rules in the middle of the game. We don't blame Jenna for being bitter.

7. 2 Broke Girls: Get Rid of the Chef/Owner
We like this sitcom, but we cringe at the diner owner and smarmy chef, who fall into all the worst stereotypes you can imagine. Perhaps the business can be taken over by new management and we can get some supporting characters that really work... other than the horse.

6. Boardwalk Empire: Be Less Boring
This show is beautiful to look at, but honestly, it's often a chore to watch. The pacing is way off, which could easily be fixed with a few more gunfights, or stabbings or raucous trips to jail that end in violence. That may sound bloodthirsty, but we expect a show about Prohibition to have a lot more action than this.

5. Terra Nova: Show the Action
The CGI on this show isn't exactly what you'd call stellar, but that's a larger production and budgetary issue that could take 85 million years to fix. But since we don't have a portal to the future, the program could at the very least find a way to convey action without just alluding to it. Sending people into the jungle to play Pied Piper and distract dinobirds sounded awesome, but all we got as a recap of off-screen happenings. We'd rather see attacking dinosaurs, cheesy looking or not, than just hear about an epic battle secondhand. This is TV, not radio.

4.Whitney: Remove the Laugh Track
It wouldn't improve everything, but since this show is going to stick around, it would be a start. Nothing's worse than hearing canned laughter during something that isn't remotely funny.

3. Glee: Find Better Songs
We like West Side Story in doses, but we don't really want to hear the entire soundtrack. Nor do we want to hear people sing/talk their way through the rest of Dreamgirls just so Mercedes can have something to do. This show has always had fun with pop music and classic rock, so we'd like a quick return to form with just the occasional show tune thrown in for good measure.

2. The X Factor: Cut the Episode Length
Want to get more people to watch? Maybe don't have the show take up four hours a week when two would be more than enough. Particularly since the series has been mired in the extremely padded audition and boot camp phases.

1. Grey's Anatomy: Make McDreamy McDreamy Again
Right now, Derek is a self-important righteous jerk who can't see past his own selfish ego to have human emotions. It seems that he gets worse by the season. This is not the man we swooned over. Hell, even his hair isn't lusciously wonderful anymore. Maybe they could just have him get hit on the head so he can wake up his old charmingly entertaining self again. Or, at the very least, let him spend some time at the bar again.

Watch TWoP's editors discuss how to improve this fall's shows in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop news channel:

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