Television: Tyrant

I tried. I really did.

I got 15 to 20 minutes in. And I wanted to watch the whole pilot, give the show a fair shot, but . . . I just couldn't take any more.

In my review of The Leftovers I fussed a bit about the mode of throwing a bunch of bits and pieces at the audience in the hopes it will intrigue viewers enough to stick around and see how they fit together later. Tyrant goes the other way, being almost too linear and slow-paced. It was really almost excruciating to watch. It's like the writers were working overtime to establish character, but as viewers we "got it" within the first few minutes. No need to drag things on and out.

At one point I felt like I was watching Downton Abbey via a modern Middle East filter. So maybe I'll be the odd person out and one of few who don't love Tyrant. Because I've tried to watch Downton Abbey, too, and while I can appreciate the fine acting and direction and even the story itself, it bores me to tears. For me, the pace is akin to a very, very slow cart wheel trying to get unstuck from a muddy rut. I kind of want to see if and when it gets unstuck, but the longer it goes on trying to get free, the less I care.

In what I saw of Tyrant the kids were such stereotypes, too. The son who takes to being a member of the royal family and the high style of living versus the daughter who sides with her dad and would rather remain disassociated from all that. And the wife is, of course, the American Barbie blonde that stands in such contrast to all the Middle Easterners. Then there is the evil, cruel brother who is heir to the throne. (Mind, this is just what I culled from those first 15–20 minutes.) All pretty basic and none of it compelling.

One more show I can strike off my list.

No comments: