My Illegal TV Opinions

by thethreepennyguignol

Sometimes, when I’m laying awake at night in bed, the fevered heat of another day burning away around me, I think to myself: I am a fraud.

Because, obviously, in the near-decade that I’ve been running this exquisite blog, I have portrayed myself as the arbiter of good taste in all things pop cultural and especially televisual. I understand that I have come to bear the enormous responsibility of being a, if not the, tastemaker for audiences of the small screen, and I swear to this – I do not take that lightly.

But every now and then I remember that I’m phenomenally stupid and my opinions are shit, and that it’s much more fun to talk about the daftness than the serious stuff, right? Thus, this article: my whisper to you through the screen of the confession chamber, admitting all the dark beliefs (read: unpopular opinions) that I hold within myself about certain TV shows and episodes. I daren’t hold them back any longer – the only thing that will get me through is if you share yours in the comments, too. Without further ado!

Once More With Feeling is a Terrible Idea

I’m a musical theatre lover to my very core, and honestly, on my last rewatch, I was really looking forward to the iconic Once More with Feeling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s musical outing much beloved by the fandom and often rated as one of the best episodes of the series. And truthfully, I think I might have hated it even more than I did before.

Once More With Feeling (spoilers for BTVS ahead) is one of the most important episodes of this season, by far, as it’s the one where Buffy reveals to her friends that when they brought her back from the dead, they actually ripped her out of heaven and brought her back to a much-worse existence on Earth. A huge moment for the series, and for the show, right?

But Once More with Feeling is so caught up in the musical theatre stuff (which is pretty mediocre, actually – the songs are average at best, clunky at worst, the performances awkward and hurried) – so caught up in trying to turn this cast of not-singers and not-dancers (aside from Michelle Trachetenberg and Anthony Stewart Head) into just that – it loses any sense of weight that it should really have. Not to mention the fact that Sarah Michelle Gellar – who is consistently brilliant as Buffy – has all her emotion and vocal dexterity stripped from her auto-tuned singing voice, at the time when she needed it most in this entire season…I think this would have worked fine as a goofy gimmick, but sticking something this huge in the middle of such a silly episode is just a huge mistake.

Legends of Tomorrow Should Have Stayed Silly

You know what people are always saying – bullies try to pull you down to your level? Hi, yes, I’m that bully. Legends of Tomorrow, as I wrote about when it first came out, was a dreadful little show that I loved for about the first dozen episodes or so; silly, Saturday-morning-cartoon fun with a sense of the absurd and a delightfully daft attitude that separated it from the trudging seriousness of so much other superhero television at the time. The first season of Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t hated, but it wasn’t until the later series – where it started to take things more seriously – that it got the love it so clearly craved before.

But look, Legends had a special little place in the TV landscape that I wish it would have stuck with, you know? I followed it for a few more years after it shed its initially-silly skin, and kept waiting for that same spark of glittering good fun to return, but it just never did. But nor did it reach the heights that it clearly kept groping around for, either. Legends of Tomorrow was at its best playing sly, silly, sensationally fun daftness, and everything it’s done since just hasn’t reached those same heights for me.

Matt Murdock Fucking Sucks

I admire Daredevil, I do. The action sequences are insane, the effort at creating a real gritty noir show within the Marvel world is impressive, I like Foggy, even though that’s an illegal opinion in its own right, apparently.

But from the very moment I laid eyes on Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, I’ve been glancing around at myself in confusion trying to work out if anyone else sees what I do. Which, for some reason, they don’t – but we’re all here today to listen to my truth, and that truth is that I cannot fucking stand Matt Murdock. There’s something about Cox’s performance that is just so insufferably smug and unappealing to me that it nukes the entire show from orbit; I’m meant to believe in this man as some sort of arbiter of justice, which is difficult when I can feel my knee twitching to vanish into his solar plexus every time he passes through the frame. I don’t think Cox is a terrible actor, particularly, but there’s something here that’s just so deeply, deeply unlikeable that I would honestly, truly rather date Kingpin – Mister Door-Decapitation himself – than our main hearthrob.

Your tax for reading this article and letting me divest myself of my sins is to share your own in the comments or on social media so I can see that it’s not just me losing it. Oh, or you can support me on PayPal, if you’d like!

(header image via Hazlitt)