Everyone’s a Critic: Celebrating failure
October 12th, 2011
02:15 PM ET

Everyone’s a Critic: Celebrating failure

So, who had “The Playboy Club” in the cancellation pool for this fall’s new series? Don’t all raise your hands at once, and don’t think the NBC show is alone.

“The Playboy Club” was the first to get the ax, but not the only one. Broadcast networks have lowered the boom on “Free Agents,” “H8R” and “How To Be a Gentleman.”

And I’m willing to bet at least some of you out there had the same response I did: Total lack of surprise.

I'll also admit that I do, on occasion, derive a certain amount of joy from the failure of sub-par, over-hyped or offensive pop culture properties. And I’m here to tell you there’s nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I’d hazard a guess that we often enjoy watching things fail as much as we enjoy watching things succeed. Why do you think cancellation pools exist in the first place?

At its most basic level, the explanation is simple: We want to be right. We saw a preview or watched a first episode and thought, “Man, this is terrible. I can’t wait for it to get canceled.”

I didn’t think any of the so-far canceled shows were particularly good. So when the news broke that each was being put out of its misery, there was a certain sense of validation that came with it.

But I think there’s a secondary explanation for why we place bets and await failure: We don’t exclusively see the world through a positive lens. Why should pop culture be any different? So while I like talking about pop culture that I love, I LOVE trashing pop culture that I hate. (Where do you think the idea for the Everyone’s a Critic series came from?)

So bring on the next batch of new shows. If they’re good, great. If they’re terrible, all the better. In the meantime, we can wait for the next network with an itchy trigger finger to feed our sense of schadenfreude.


soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Ernest

    Too bad about free agents... But America is unfortunately unable to get intelligent mature comedy...

    October 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Marrok

    Thanks to charlie crack, starfire, mr ed, moodancer, stupid cow, fix in texas, missy for screwing up and making these marquee blog bad and boring

    October 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. dictionary

    Cancelled is the. British spelling while canceled is the American spelling. Both are completely acceptable.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Imonthemenu

    I liked the Playboy Club, I mean it is definitely better than the gentleman show. BTW how can a blogger get away with spelling cancelled incorrectly?? If they are choosing to be informative it's best to be informed.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 80's Girl

    You fat b!t(hes need to lose weight and be women. Hey Evil baby..you want a real lady? lol

    October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    I liked Free Agents... sigh

    October 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @Vip

    That is a good way to shut him up and true !

    October 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Evel Knievel

    We don't need shows about how to be gentlemen, we need shows to teach women to be thankful for what they get and to take their shoes off when they're in the kitchen.

    October 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vip

      Nope, you need a show on how to be a real man, not the boy your statement proved you are.

      October 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bo peep

    Cancel all this sh!t nothing's good on network this time around.

    October 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |

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