Searching for Satisfaction in the Season of Sweeps
By Alexa Day
This used to be my favorite time of year. Not because of the holidays. Not because of the change in the seasons.
This is the season of sweeps. I’m a TV junkie, and I used to love watching my favorite shows pull out all the stops to get my attention during this run for the ratings.
Who would become pregnant? Who has an evil twin? Would someone fall down an elevator shaft?
Anything could happen, and nothing appeals to me more as a writer than a world where anything at all can happen.
This year has been disappointing. I haven’t written TV off altogether, but my old standbys have let me down.
I was on the fence about Sleepy Hollow at the end of its second season. This season, it’s been scheduled opposite Scandal, which sends a pretty powerful message, right? I figured I had to choose between an actual (if dysfunctional) interracial relationship and the mere hope of one, so I chose Scandal. A couple of weeks in, I wondered if I’d been wrong (I’ll get to that in a second), so I took a peek at Ichabod and company during a Scandal commercial break.
During my peek, I gathered that Something Awful had happened to my second favorite lady bad-ass; Abbie had been hospitalized after a run in with the supernatural enemy of the week. Ichabod looked on, concerned, but he still manages to comfort Abbie’s sister and fellow bad-ass, Jenny.
“She’s strong,” he says. That’s right. He says Abbie’s so, so strong.
Well, so much for that, I thought. Abbie has officially crossed over from potential love interest (I know, I saw potential long after most people threw in the towel) and became Strong Black Woman. Now, I don’t necessarily have to have an interracial relationship in everything I watch, but you all know how much I hate seeing a perfectly available, perfectly compatible black woman passed over for no good reason. This was my issue with Magic Mike XXL, remember?
I went back to Scandal, but all is not well in the land of Olitz, either.
I’m relieved to find that Jake has finally wised the hell up and stopped chasing after Liv. I figured he’d be pouty and kind of psycho for a really long time once he came to grips with the idea that Olivia would never choose him, no matter what he did for her (and to her — the man’s a machine). But Jake is done. Liv doesn’t seem to understand that, but he’s been doing a great job of moving on.
As for Olivia, she has everything she wants. The most powerful man in the world has chosen a side — and it’s hers. Everyone knows they’re together. She’s sleeping in the White House. He’s popped the question.
And true to form, Olivia is pushing him away. Again.
She keeps calling Jake, though. Big ups to him for reminding her that he is now nothing to her.
I think this is part of the Olivia Pope mystique. I don’t think she’ll be able to make a choice that makes her happy — at least not for long. I don’t know why she feels this need to deny herself happiness, but I’m worn out. I’m tired. I don’t think I have time for any more of this.
Hope, however, springs eternal.
I don’t want to delve too deeply into The Walking Dead because it deserves its own post, but I will say that I am willing to overlook Rick’s little smooch with Jessie. For the time being. I can give Rick a pass because there’s enough story elsewhere to keep me occupied (are we about to find that Glenn and Negan are in the same place?) and because, honestly, this whole Jessie thing just started. I let Ichabod ignore Abbie for two seasons before I gave up.
Anyway, still watching The Walking Dead.
I’m also returning to Satisfaction.
Put very simply, Satisfaction is the story of a man, Neil Truman, who discovers that his wife Grace has been seeing a male escort. He responds, ultimately, by becoming a male escort himself.
Satisfaction is absolutely loaded with sex, my friends. Oh my, yes. If you’re not sure your TV regimen is sexy enough, consider adding Satisfaction.
I don’t know why I let go of Satisfaction during its first season, but when I peeked at it again a couple of weeks ago, well into the current season, I found that Grace has responded to Neil’s career choices by launching a male escort business with her husband.
Grace, I salute you, madam. Nothing like a joint venture to bring two people closer together, right?
I want to admit now, publicly, that I was wrong to ditch Satisfaction. I was led astray by two other shows that I knew or had reason to know would ultimately betray and disappoint me. I’m just glad Neil and Grace and their complicated, sex-laden lives are still here for me. I hope we can all make it up to each other during a lovely Thanksgiving binge.
But what about you, fellow TV junkies? What are you getting into? What are you giving up on?
And are you following Lady Smut? We won’t jump the shark on you.