Two of the Year’s Worst Stalk TVNZ

Two of the worst reviewed dramas of the last year have been awarded plum primetime slots tonight on TV1 and TV2.

Launching at 8.30 on TV1, in the slime crime slot that for years was the domain of Criminal Minds, is Stalker, which US critics reckon was even more lurid than another of the network’s Monday staples, The Following.

It’s from The Following’s Kevin Williamson and stars Dylan McDermott (Hostages, The Practice) and Maggie Q (Nikita) as elite anti-stalker cops in LA.

On the review aggregation site, metacritic.com, Stalker averaged a 17-out-of 100 rating and in 23 of the 24 mainstream reviews posted, scored above 50 in only one publication.

Moreover, eight critics rated it a 0 and three, including the New York Times, a 10.

“Stalker is a manipulative piece of shock with no dramatic value, weak writing and characters you won’t want to get invested in,” slammed The Hollywood Reporter.

“The violence, creepiness and depravity appear to be the point, because nothing of value is offered in balance,” condemned the Los Angeles Times. “It’s unforgivable.”

Variety wasn’t quite as harsh but still thought it “a truly nasty bit of business [with] a particularly nihilistic bent, one that can hardly be redeemed by its tidy procedural aspects”.

The premiere opens with a masked assailant dousing a woman with gasoline and according to Stalker’s only supporter, the Boston Herald, quickly turns into “the kind of show that will have you checking the locks on your door–and changing­ your Facebook status to ‘guarded­ by rabid pitbulls’.”

CBS ordered a full season of Stalker after its first month on air, when the show won its slot with viewers aged 25-54 (TV1’s target audience) and 18-49.

Stalker will compete with another new crime drama, TV2’s The Mysteries of Laura, which stars Debra Messing as a New York detective juggling work and motherhood duties.

It averaged a 37 on Metacritic, with The Hollywood Reporter dubbing it “one of the worst” new shows of the season and Variety recommending it only to people who “really, really love” Messing: “the riddle that goes unsolved is why anybody who watches the first hour should be inspired to return for another.”

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2 Responses to “Two of the Year’s Worst Stalk TVNZ”

  1. Have to say Stalker was too much for me and while MOL wasn’t the greatest show I found myself enjoying it despite my initial inclination of it being a dud. Will be interesting to see if it survives in its Monday and would of been better paired with Revenge at 9.30, considering Revenge is likely to be dumped to 10.30 this year because of its sporadic scheduling due to MKR destroying start times. Can 2015 please be the year we return to consistent start times?

  2. Leo, the sporadic schedule is often a reflection of what’s happening across the Pacific. It happens across all the networks and shows. Most, seemingly, are the higher rating shows that are affected (or the shows my wife and I particularly enjoy). After an almost five-week hiatus in the States, The Good Wife came back earlier this year for two episodes, only to go off again for another seven weeks. Season seven of Castle is set to take 33 weeks to get through 23 weekly episodes. And so it goes on.

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