Okay, yes this is a trashy show. Unredeemable junky tabloid gutter garbage and no one should watch this sort of thing. Which is to say: I like it and when I have burned through all of the superb quality stylish high moral value television shows and don't feel like re-watching a movie by Kubrick or Hitchcock for the twentieth time (apparently they have both stopped making movies)--that's when I find Stalker to be an enjoyable guilty displeasure.
Usually when the Metacritic aggregate published review score drops into the red I don't even bother giving a new TV show a first look. The current score is 17 or "overwhelming dislike" with many of the critics commenting that the show has a misogynistic tone, and 15 of the 24 sampled reviews were written by men. So why do the male reviewers hate Stalker just as much as the female reviewers? Perhaps because the show is also quite misandristic (or man-hating, and I had to search to find this unfamiliar word, add your own social commentary here). With all of the talent involved, could the show really be that bad? I had to find out (a month later when the first episode was about to become unavailable for free online). I just finished watching episode six and so far I would say that this show only portrays children, pets and California architecture in a positive manner. No further comment regarding pets, otherwise a spoiler warning would be required.
Stalker is in some ways a companion show to creator Kevin Williamson's other major network show* The Following, except that because it's on CBS, most of the Fox-worthy sex, violence and other depravity occurs off-camera or at a respectable distance from the viewer. Also, CBS seems to demand more episodic (and, sigh, procedural) storytelling than the other networks, giving us a new villain every week and more than a plot-required number of talky office scenes with at least one lame joke that would feel right at home on the original CSI circa 2000 (just like most other CBS shows, again sigh). Both shows share writers, directors, original music composer and production teams. That means that everyone involved can get a regular paycheck and churn out this high production value brain-destroying television. Enjoy. I know I do, thought I don't really feel good about it.
*Sorry The Vampire Diaries, you're on The CW, a minor network with all the awesome combined power of The WB and UPN.
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