Idol Chatter

Given that I can’t resist any television drama that features vampires, ghosts, all things-spooky and/or with vampire-like immortality, I’ve watched the entire first season of “New Amsterdam” on Fox with interest, if not unbridled enthusiasm. The season finale is tonight.
My lukewarm feelings about the show–for which I am certainly the intended audience (see above)–have to do with two issues I struggle with.
The first is in the general makeup of each episode—every week we learn something about Detective John Amsterdam’s 400 year past in a series of Lost-like flashbacks. The thing is, though I am still a dedicated Lost-fan, I groan every time the series defaults to flashbacks (though I am more partial to the flash-forwards of this season). I’m tired of flashbacks. And on “New Amsterdam” they are really cheesy. On “Buffy” and “Angel,” flashbacks were fun and campy because the shows didn’t take themselves too seriously. “New Amsterdam,” however, unfortunately does.

The second issue I have is a bit bigger and has to do with the show’s overall premise: John Amsterdam can’t die until he finds “the one”–the woman who is his soulmate. When he finds her, he becomes mortal again. Well, given the various annoying flashbacks, viewers have learned that Amsterdam has fathered–and left–sixty-some-odd children over the centuries, and by default, their mothers. In looking for “the one” he has left quite a trail of broken hearts. Amsterdam’s M.O. seems to be the following: get together with a woman, figure out if she’s “the one,” when she isn’t, dump her. Love ’em and leave ’em. From the looks of trailers for tonight’s finale, the woman he’s been wooing the entirety of the show so far, Dr. Sara Dillane, the new, potential “one,” may not be the one after all. Cue the disappointment and the moving on, I guess?
There’s something, well, rather offensive about a main character on a show treating women as so easily expendable, as such a means to an end, such a specific means. It takes all the romance out of it and adds more than a few questions about ethics.
Watch tonight at 9pm on Fox. My guess: the series gets cancelled. I wouldn’t cry bitter tears if it did, I have to say.

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