This is going to be a tough sell, I know this before I begin, but I think it's important. It is the rule, not the exception, that once a television show has been given its walking papers, viewership does not dramatically increase. So I don’t really expect to change the world here. But if we don’t at least try, why bother with anything? Remember, it was once said (and has oft been repeated): never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. And for that reason, I strive. I strive for the betterment of all. You must know this, you must believe this, or I’ve lost my battle before I’ve even begun.
You’re not watching Kidnapped. I know you’re not watching it. The ratings are awful, it got bumped from its Wednesday 10 p.m. spot to Saturday nights, and has been cancelled (though they are being given enough time to wrap up the story). You’re not watching The Nine either, so I don’t really know what you’re doing Wednesdays at 10. I guess CSI: NY gets pretty solid ratings, but if Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. have taught us anything this season, it’s that two incredibly successful shows can co-exist at the same time. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s your private life and you have the right to spend it as you see fit. At least you have that right, provided you watch, TiVo, DVR, PVR, VHS tape (you luddite), or otherwise record and watch Kidnapped. Seriously, what possible reason do you have for not watching the show?
Let’s take a look, for a moment, at essential elements for a good television show, shall we? Interesting weekly plot: check. Compelling actors: check. Engrossing visual style: check. Strong writing: check. And not essential — though it helps, particularly in a serial — gripping over-arching plotline: check. Kidnapped has it all, and yet, for some reason I can’t fathom, you’re not watching.
I can accept for a segment of the population, a story about the kidnapping of one’s offspring is a little too raw and emotional. There are, unquestionably, people out there who find such a subject too harsh for television, for whom it hits too close to home, or just generally causes feelings of angst.
But, thye have to be in the minority. The vast majority of you can’t possibly have such a block for not watching the show, so it must be something else. It must be, otherwise you’d be watching.
Did you not know about it? Did uber-mega-corporation NBC-Universal (a division of even more uber-mega-corporation GE) not appropriately inform you over the summer about the upcoming series? I know in the DVD release of Waist Deep there’s an advertisement in the case of Kidnapped, and I can’t imagine that this is the only place such an advert appeared. Were there no billboards? No promos during sporting events on Saturdays and Sundays? You found Heroes, for which I commend you, but that just proves NBC-Universal did plunk down some money on promoting new shows. And Kidnapped had to have received a decent percentage of that advertising dollar (please note, there were, at the very least, advertisements put into new DVD releases).
So, what’s the issue here?
I don’t ask much; I really don’t. And so, when I do, you should take it seriously. Very seriously. And here’s what I’m asking you to do: this Saturday night, at 9:00 p.m., set your VCR, TiVo, DVR, PVR, or just sit down in front of your TV, make sure you’re set to NBC, and check out Kidnapped. I promise, it’s not too late. They’ll take the first minute or so of the show to catch you up on the story so far. Stick with the show for the full hour (closer to 44 minutes, if you recorded it and are watching at a later time), and tell me if it’s not good TV. Tell me what’s wrong with it, what you didn’t like, why you’re not going to watch the show next week. I’ll tell you why you’re wrong, what you’re missing, what you didn’t see. Or, maybe, just maybe, you could be right, you could point out the huge flaw in my logic, the reason I’m incorrect.
You could, but I don’t think you will. You’re either not going to bother to watch at all or you’re going to agree with me and come back with some reason about not watching in the future because you simply don’t have the time. And here’s my answer to that: MAKE TIME. You make time for the important things in life. You make time for the things that count. You make time for the things worth making time for, and this is one of those things.
To close, let me just remind you of this wise quote: unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.
You are the viewer. You have the power. Use it for good.