Thursday, January 07, 2016

Rizzles Out

So, that’s that. After its upcoming seventh season “Rizzoli & Isles” is ending. The ratings stalwart for TNT has been cancelled to make way for more prestigious and edgy fare. New TNT/TBS network chief Kevin Reilly is shaking up the Turner brand entirely. Gone are popular, if not entirely critically acclaimed, shows like “Rizzoli & Isles,” in are more “muscular” FX-style shows. (Oh, have I mentioned Reilly is also the former FX chief?)

You know what that sounds like to me? Bye, shows that lots of chicks like. Hello, shows that dudes and (often) dude critics like.

Sorry, maybe I’m just being cranky at this news. A show starring two female leads and created (and currently run by) female showrunners – not to mentioned based on characters created by a female author – is such a rarity it’s deeply personal to see one go.

Also, duh, I enjoy the show. Sure, it’s not “The Sopranos” or “Breaking Bad” or Mad Men” or “The Wire” or “Game of Thrones” or anything else that has launched a million thinkpieces. But it’s a fun show and easy to watch build entirely on cast chemistry. There’s no shame in liking that.

So what will replace “Rizzoli & Isles,” which is should be noted has been TNT’s second-most-watched show in its history behind only “The Closer?”

One of the first programming announcements is a two-hour horror block led by an M. Night Shyamalan (who is a dude) reboot of “Tales from the Crypt.” Then there’s also “Animal Behavior (created by a dude),” a series about a 17-year-old boy who moves in with his crazy crime family relatives. And “Good Behavior” starring “Downton Abbey” star Michelle Dockery as con artist recently released from prison (based on a book series written by a dude and showrun by a dude) – but hey, the lead is definitely a lady. Also in production is “The Alientist” (based on a book by a dude, created by the dude who helped produce and direct “True Detective” and two other dude co-screenwriters).

Got it, dudes. Like I said, I’m a little grumpy. I’m grumpy because a fun show I like is going off the air (the second in the last year – sniffle, oh, “Lost Girl,” I miss you so) to be replaced by serious things for serious people (often dudes). I’m grumpy because the reason for its dismissal has nothing to do with poor performance and everything to do with the chase for buzz. (I get it, “Rizzoli & Isles” has negative buzz, except among us gay ladies who buzz about its gay potential). And finally I’m grumpy because its end spells the end of the dream of Rizzles.

While I never expected it to happen, there was always the fantasy that if the show went on long enough finally they’d just stop throwing men at the ladies, throw up their hands and throw the ladies at each other as chemistry demands. Sure, it was a long shot. Sure, it was never the plan. But, hey, we can dream. And now, with 13 episodes to wrap things up, that Big Gayzzoli Ending seems an impossibility.

But, goodness, imagine if they did. And wouldn’t that be the most delicious irony? That there, at the very end, it was finally “edgy.”

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The ratings began to slip when it became the Rizzoli family instead of Rizzoli & Isles. I can only hope that Sasha Alexander follows through and becomes a producer/star of something decent. Maybe say even ur, edgy.

Kaz said...

I respect your love of this show. I never liked it myself. Rizzles was never going to happen as long as Angie Harman got her way. She's never going to play gay. I miss Lost Girl too. Zoie Palmer is under used on Dark Matter.

Anonymous said...

If "The Alienist" TV show follows the book, one of the leads will be a female detective in 1880's New York. You won't hear me complaining if that's the case.

AK ALASKA said...

It is entertaining to turn down the sound & just watch those two interact. I am enjoying the juicy character Sasha has on "Shameless". New season opens w/her naked & glistening .......OMGoddess Thank You. Yummy yum yum squeeeee.

Carmen SanDiego said...

I stopped watching when the soldier boy pregnancy scare happened but yes, you're right, it is a shame.
As if we don't have enough shows about edgy dudes. Ugh.

loveisles said...

We loved the first few seasons because of the writing and the chemistry...and we had high hopes for Jan as the showrunner. The writing the last few seasons has been weak, not to mention the characters that just disappeared including the pets. The chemistry waned and I really believe there was some kind of rift between Angie and Maura. I think they were both "done". It's too bad, really, they could have had the kind of writers that Shonda has and the show could have been rich - plus, she's not afraid of a little lesbian interaction!! I've only watched the last few seasons to see Jane and Maura and maybe a little gazzoli at the end. I would really like to know what actually happened with Angie's divorce and the lack of touching between the characters. I read entirely too much fanfiction!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess you failed to notice that the show's last two seasons have been dominated by dudes in the writers room? That Jan Nash was nothing but a figurehead with neither passion nor an understanding for the show? That the formerly strong female characters (multi-faceted, with interesting human flaws within the limits of the show) have been turned into incompetent jokes? That Maura has been sexually assaulted TWICE by a colleague/friend and that TWICE there were NO consequences for the dude? That the other female characters on the show (most notably Angela and Susie) have been equally reduced to running gags? That the show has lost all continuity and even retconned Maura's past? And that the writers have pushed the gaybaiting to new levels and even started publicly insulting fans on Twitter?
Seriously, any woman with an ounce of self-respect should be happy that they finally end the farce that this show has become.
And fwiw, TNT's recent experiments with content for dudes (see Public Morals) were a fiasco. The network will have to learn its lesson -- one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Jan Nash and her sub-par writing team ran a good show into the ground when they could've made it great. And her favoritism towards some of the actors was totally unproffessional. Way to go Nash!

Anonymous said...

Agree totally with the last two comments! Not surprised about dude shows dominating what little female fare we have. At least the flagrant queer baiting will mercifully come to an end. Set insiders knew about the very real rift between Harmon and Alexander years ago and will spill once the show wraps. You only need to look at the social media posts to see how they barely acknowledged each other over the last three seasons after they cut the syndication deal. Time to move on for everyone...

Scamp said...

Dorothy, I want to thank you for all the lesbian subtext recaps that you've given us. Please stay on the job through season 7.

Reading the comments above, it's clear R&I has meant a great deal to those who watch it (and those who criticize without watching). The show and its characters will live on in fanfics, gifs, fanvids, tumblrs, etc.

Some call it queer baiting, others like me enjoy the teasing Angie and Sasha have given their lesbian viewers over the years. I'm glad the DVDs let me revisit Jane & Maura. (Especially the "oh babe" moment...I've dreamed about it! http://sam--tastic.tumblr.com/post/48255013821

Helena said...

Totally agree with the comments from Scamp and would like to add my thanks to you for the wonderful recaps. I decided early on to just enjoy watching these two beautiful and sexy woman and made my own dreams. Please stay with the recaps till the end.

J9 said...

Thank-you for the recaps (which sent me to watch the show), the drinking game, and above all, "The Rack of God" - a phrase I still use far too often.

amazona68 said...

I will miss the deliciousness of seeing Sasha and Angie together on my TV being totally platonic, totally married, crime-fighting, adorable LLBFFs yet I am also glad that Sasha has got her Shawshank redemption away from this show and on to bigger and better things I hope! (and Angie too) Fanfic is forever, as are some great memories shared with R&I friends I'd not have known otherwise! Dearest Dorothy, your recaps have made the experience of being a rizzles loving fan (tongue in cheek or not *wink*) of the show a big, gay blast! I will always follow and support you in what ever project/blog you tackle until I cross over into a hereafter where all beloved OTPs are cannon! Rizzles now, Rizzles forever!

Anonymous said...

A very big gayzzoli thank you for your wonderful recaps! I've anxiously awaited them all. Looking forward to one final season of them :) Super sad the show is ending.

Loving your work on the Jessica Jones recaps too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should encourage the female team of R&I to take the show over to Freeform where they seem to understand female driven shows ie Pretty Little Liars, The Foster etc. It doesn't have to end after next season it just needs to move to somewhere that appreciates it.

Anonymous said...

Even when I wasn't interested in watching the show, I'd read your recaps. I think those are what I'll miss the most. It sucks that TNT never seemed to figure out what it was that made Rizzoli and Isles resonate with so many viewers and that they're dumping it for more male-dominated programming.