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The Joy of Hate-Watching "Another Life" #anotherlife #netflix #smash #television

YeohOk let's get one thing straight from the get-go: I love television. I just do. I know the original Willy Wonka movie has a whole song devoted to the evils of the thing, but I can't help it. I love stories and I love to see them portrayed especially in a serialized format as modern series do now.

Not only do I enjoy viewing, but I also enjoy dissecting shows although I don't really have anyone to do that with these days - I tried online forums (like Television Without Pity) but people focused more on the 'picking it apart' aspect rather than on the 'enjoyment' aspect. I find it's necessary to have both, otherwise, you're just a crank. And who wants to have a discussion with a crank? 

However, having said that, here I go being a crank. 

Last weekend we watched the first episode of ANOTHER LIFE on Netflix. It's awful. There's really no graceful way to describe it. I'm sorry to all the people who put their heart and soul into this, but it's terrible. Bad writing, bad acting, terrible direction, and even poor costume choices (why are all the women in space wearing FLASHDANCE style clothing?). 

Even the awesomeness that is Katee Sackhoff (so amazing in the rebooted BATTLESTAR GALACTICA from a few years back) is terrible. She should be in a much better show and knows it. Her character leads a crew in space of angry 20somethings who think that everyone over the age of 27 is 'old' (there's literally a scene about this). If Katee was running a nightclub, I could maybe see their point.  There's a reason her character is super cranky, you would be too if you had to manage a day care in space with petulant children. 

The special effects are quite spectacular so I'm assuming that everyone did this with "I'm getting a sweet payday for this" in mind, but harumph, I found myself hate-watching it about 20 minutes in. Sadly, Tyler Hoechilin, who plays Superman so brilliantly on the SUPERGIRL show, is also on ANOTHER LIFE and he is just, well, part of the problem - pretty but unbelievable in every possible way as a respected astronaut. Since he's brilliant as Superman, I can only surmise that the director of this show ordered him to be a bad actor. He succeeds. 

Now, let me say a brief word about 'hate-watch'. I have only hate watched one show in my life and it was SMASH. Oh, it started off innocently - as an ex theater nerd, I thought that this was the show for me. But, as time went on, there was a lot to hate - stupid people doing stupid things for stupid reasons completely ignoring easy solutions.

Usually, if I don't like something, I just stop watching. But then a theater friend of mine and I started talking about it and it became "our thing" to call each other afterwards and complain about it. Then, we started watching it together and complaining in real time. We would have a lot of fun, especially when bourbon was involved. However, even that ran its course and we went from hate watching to just plain hating it. We liked the music, though, but even Debra Messings chunky scarves couldn't save it. 

ANOTHER LIFE is definitely one of those shows that people watch, like BAYWATCH simply because there's pretty people on it running around in skintight clothing ... actually if they'd just gone ahead and called it BAYWATCH IN SPACE I would have some respect for it knowing that they were embracing their aim to be eye candy. In the end, we got through the first episode and were tempted to continue to watch if only to enjoy criticizing it, but then we realized that we have better things to do with our time than watching something we hate. 

If you like sci fi, I highly recommend STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. I had to warm up to it, but learned to love it once I could dismiss the continuity problems. The show features a lot of fun stuff including a young Spock, and a magnificent portrayal of a heroic, moral, and likeable Captain Pike (Pike was the original captain of the Starship Enterprise in the pilot episode of the original STAR TREK, but was replaced by William Shatner as the Captain Kirk we know and love today). Anyway, Pike is exceptional because he's the kind of character we don't get to see much anymore: heroic, engaging, like-able, moral. 

As a side note, actress Michelle Yeoh is fabulous on this show and I hear that she's getting her own STAR TREK down the line. Awesome idea. Michelle Yeoh, by the way, would be amazing as Auntie Mame. She's got the perfect combination of worldliness, fabulousness, and the "I'm sooo over it"itness that Mame should have. Someone please re-make the film and hire her!  

I don't really recommend 'hate watching' as an activity; it's really just giving in to putting more negativity out there in the world and in this day and age who among us needs to feed the frustration we already feel about the world around us by watching something on TV that we don't love? 


In case you missed it: 

Review: The Farewell