It is tempting to watch ABC's made-for-TV movie Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America, airing tonight. It is tempting because I believe it would be an easy thing to make fun of. It is the kind of movie I could sit around and watch with a good bottle of red wine and laugh and poke fun. But I probably won't. I just don't have time right now to watch a movie purely to make fun of it.
With movies and television shows I have a roll-my-eyes rule. It is simple. If I roll my eyes three times during it, I should give it up. Such eye-rolling is purely involuntary. I have no control over it so I think it is a good test. When something horribly cliched or terribly written comes on the screen, my eyes just travel upward on their own accord and I note it.
Take for instance, ABC's recently premiered series What About Brian. I had a bad feeling about this show even though my husband said "oooh, that looks like a Tina Show" when we first saw the preview. He said it looked like Thirty Something, which I liked back in the day. But I saw cliches lining up at the door in the preview. I saw bad acting in that preview and I just knew. But I gave it a shot on the off chance that it was a great show in hiding. I rolled my eyes twice in the first segment but I still gave it a shot. Halfway through I started flicking around to other channels and never watched another episode. The season finale aired last night, after five episodes, so I think we can all bid adieu to Brian.
Then there was Derailed, a movie I rented this weekend. I didn't hate it and I didn't roll my eyes but I did find myself wishing the bloody thing would be over. This is never good in a movie. Well, I suppose if you can't wait for it to be over because it is so thrilling and you can't wait to find out what happens, that would be good for a movie. This was not the case with Derailed. I figured out the "twist" pretty early and I found the characters very unsympathetic. Hint to writers: don't make supporting characters sick/lovable/sympathetic and then have your main character cheat on them. So, if by some weird chance, you actually care about my opinion on Derailed, I say skip it.
Anyway, back to the Bird Flu movie. Why won't I give it a chance? At least give it as much of a chance as What About Brian. This movie made me roll my eyes four times in the preview (the clunky, boring name caused one eye-roll). I figure giving the whole movie a try could result in eye muscle damage so I'll skip it. Plus, I think this whole bird flu pandemic thing is garbage that will never happen and even if, by some slim chance, it does occur, do we need a dramatic enactment of how scary it will be? It's like Atomic Twister and 9.5 and all the other movies that come up with unlikely disasters, create one-dimensional characters for them, then let them play out. Just not worth my time. Not to mention the fact that it will cause even more insane panic than the media's shamelessly beating the "what if"s to death about the bird flu. So, I will give it a miss. Besides, the funniest show on TV, Scrubs, is on opposite it. Not even tempting really.