TV Noir in Ringer and American Horror Story

Okay, I’ve been out of the loop…both physically and mentally. I didn’t go to the summer TCA for the first time in many years so there’s no binders or flash drives of publicity information…no panel discussion transcripts. There’s just me as a television viewer, who yes just happens to have covered television for many years. Let me preface this by saying that I have no premium cable — no HBO, or Showtime (although I saw the pilot for Homeland and really liked it). I’m watching the broadcast network shows I’ve always loved, like Parenthood and The Good Wife but two of my favorite new shows, or at least ones I actually tune in to watch for two or three weeks in a row, depending on their premiere the CW’s Ringer and FX’s American Horror Story.

I haven’t watched a CW show in years but I like the moody, mysterious quality of Ringer, it’s got legs and apparently the network thinks so as it has ordered a full season of the show. But it’s American Horror Story that’s the most provocative drama since..I don’t know. I’m trying to remember the last show that really kept me riveted. Part of its appeal is trying to figure out what the hell it is…part The Others, part horror flick, family drama somehow it seems to work and I’d watch Jessica Lange’s loopy performance any day.

I admit that with reality bearing down on me in a big way right now I’m seeking escapist television…but I’m staying with these two shows for a while…like their premise, like their casts and so far the writing.

Enjoyed the A Gifted Man pilot but disappointed with Prime Suspect, but having written many articles about the original in contrast to how America portrays women cops — mostly horribly– that was probably a given. I love Maria Bello but have tried to watch several episodes of the show and have fallen asleep. Every other drama we’ve tried to remake from across the pond has been very disappointing so I expected no less. I could go on and on about why that is the case…but women cops aren’t beauty queens for starters..don’t wear sexy clothes on the job at least, and here the writers have tried to make do with a hat instead of character development…




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