Do No Harm Do No Harm (NBC)

Born to die

I hereby proclaim these shows dead on arrival

By Matthew Singer 01/10/2013


Last year, ABC introduced a midseason sitcom called Work It!, about two unemployed St. Louis men disguising themselves (terribly) as women in order to get work. To the surprise of no one, it was canceled after four episodes. It’s hard to imagine anyone — including the creators and the network execs — not knowing that a 21st century Bosom Buddies was bound to crash and burn and evaporate off the face of the pop-cultural map. And yet, it somehow made it to air. So did Cavemen, the show based on the Geico commercials. And Joey, Matt LeBlanc’s Friends spinoff. Every year around this time, a crop of unmitigated disasters that seemingly anyone could see coming a mile away, rush at us through our TV screens like runaway trains packed with explosions. Here are four new ones about to explode and disappear in your living room in the next few weeks.

1600 Penn (NBC)
Oh, so it’s basically First Kid: The TV Show? Or is it more accurate to say Black Sheep: The White House Years”? Except Chris Farley is dead, so he’s been replaced by the Poor Man’s Fat Curly-Haired Guy from Saturday Night Live? And the president is the guy who was already the president in Independence Day? Fail.

The Carrie Diaries (CW)
All remaining goodwill toward the Sex and the City franchise dried up — much like … ugh, I can’t even bring myself to finish that joke — after that utterly useless second movie, which revealed the show for what it’s always been: lifestyle porn for privileged white women. That doesn’t bode well for this prequel, which follows a teenage version of Carrie Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb. The most depressing thing about this show is that everyone watching will know that Robb is going to grow up to become Sarah Jessica Parker. Poor girl.

The Following (Fox)
So apparently this show is about a detective or something (Kevin Bacon) being stalked by a serial killer inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Sounds great, until you realize that one of the worst movies of last year was also about a killer inspired by Edgar Allan Poe targeting a detective … who happened to be Edgar Allan Poe himself. You probably don’t remember that film. That’s because it came, got laughed at by critics and audiences alike, and quickly vanished. It’s hard to imagine this program doing much better.

Do No Harm (NBC)
Call it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. House, M.D.: A doctor with a split personality is a brilliant neurosurgeon by day, self-destructive carouser by night. And he’s off his meds! Actually, this sounds more like An American Werewolf in London, except instead of turning into a violent quadripedal man-beast, the protagonist morphs into a giant douchebag. That just reminds me that we’re long overdue for a werewolf medical drama, and this thing ain’t gonna cut it.  

I Need Media is a biweekly media column. Matthew Singer watches everything from PBS documentaries to Community and Showtime’s Gigolos. Follow him on Twitter@mpsinger.

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