I gave the first episode tonight a look. John Waters was tolerable, but the show was absolutely appallingly bad. The dialogue was like something out of high school, with sexual double entendres that were too blatant for even a hooker to use. The actors tried, but no one could make the material come to life, and the level of acting never rose about your average deodorant commercial. And the whole thing had a fifth-rate Twilight Zone twist (and the opening disclaimer should have been followed sith Dum-Dah-Dum-Dum).
The direction was amateurish, and it’s clear that they had a $5 budget for sets.
You realize that you’re describing most of John Waters’ early work. It wasn’t the acting or writing or artistry that made his movies cult icons. It was the sheer spectacle! So how involved is he in this show? (on CourtTV, isn’t it?)
He plays the Rod Serling part. Comes on in the beginning to say, “This marriage looks happy, but it will end in . . . MURDER!!!” Comes on at the end to say, “He/she didn’t get away with it.”
There is no spectacle. The first episode involved an airplane and the shots of it were in an obvious mockup that looked like it was made of cardboard. And Waters’s early work may not have had great scripts, but they were serviceable. This is high school level writing – and even in high school, it would have gotten a bad grade.
It reminds me of various creative writing people who wrote about true events and didn’t understand why those in the critiquing group said it wasn’t believable. “But it happened,” they’d protest. But in order to make the show more dramatic, they threw believability out the window in order to follow a formula (part of the gimmick is that it isn’t clear who would kill who until the murder occurs. This is an interesting concept, but it wreck havoc with the believability.)