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It’s dark Inside

June 25, 2005

Over on TeeVee, Nathan Alderman has a great write-up on “The Inside” — the new Fox summer drama from former Mutant Enemy showrunner Tim Minear.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid he’s hit the nail rather close to the head.

There’s a lot to like about the show — and a lot that explains its microscopic ratings. Some of the dialogue, particularly in the pilot, makes so many references to “darkness” and “pain” that it sounds cribbed from some 14-year-old Goth’s LiveJournal. You can very nearly see the seams between the moments of slick, obvious procedural the network demands and the smarter, subtler show Minear’s trying to create. And the subject matter, though respectably unflinching, isn’t fun: skinned corpses, rape and pedophilia in the first three episodes alone. Why isn’t this on FX? The edgy elements would be a much better fit alongside The Shield and Nip/Tuck, and Minear would likely suffer less pressure to give the show a mainstream appeal it just won’t achieve.

The Inside is light-years better than the we’re-not-even-trying conformity of The Closer, but it’s hardly fun summer viewing. In his superb scripts for Angel, Minear could confront real evils under a protective layer of horror-movie tropes. Here, the abyss does a little too much staring back.

It’s a great show, with a lot of potential, but it isn’t exactly happy-go-lucky Fox Fare. It’s probably a question of which kills it first — a lack of viewership that enjoys the challenge, or network execs trying to “fix it”.

I also agree that it’d have been a great FX show; maybe the only saving grace is the current Fox TV prez is the former FX exec who signed up The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me to begin with.

As noted above, Alderman also reviewed “The Closer” in the same article, and wasn’t impressed. I’ve got the first couple of episodes recorded, but I haven’t tried watching them yet. I’d just delete them if I could find something else worth the disk space this summer…

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