Stalker. The show that almost all critics hate. But the show I got, somehow, stuck with.
Maybe it’s Maggie Q. Maybe it’s Dylan McDermott. I don’t know. But here I am writing a review about a TV series that’s having everyone calling it out as one of the “worst shows of the fall”. There are already bets on how many episodes are going to be broadcast, before they cancel it. My prediction is that it won’t go that easy. There are others who say the show’s so misogynistic that it makes Rick Perry’s speech pale by comparison. Is it really true?
Yes and no. Yes, the series doesn’t go easy on women. They are all victims. To some degree, at least. Starting with Lieutenant Beth David (Maggie Q) who, though as she might be at work, still sleeps with her lights on, after she has closed all the curtains in her house. Jack Larsen’s former wife, Amanda Taylor (Elizabeth Rohm), hints that she was a victim of her husband’s and that he has done something so foul that it’s almost unspeakable. There is also Beth’s friend, who still has nightmares from a past experience with a stalker and so are also the countless victims on the show that are either spied on or brutalized. But, at the same time, the females are also fierce survivors. They react, they fight back. Or they try.
Kevin Williamson, the showrunner of Stalker, has made a name for himself writing and directing horrors that have become box office hits (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer). In television, he penned “Dawson’s Creek” ( the coming of age family drama), The Vampire Diaries ( the romantic/vampireques saga of a love gone wrong) and the more recent one, The Following ( about a cult and its followers).
Dark toned series vs light toned ones even in Mr. Wiliamson’s work, you could say. I confess, I’ve never watched Dawson’s Creek and I don’t know a lot about it (other than some daring storylines what were created for the series, for example Jack’s homosexuality, one of the first storylines ever with a positive gay character). But one thing I know is for at that time, Dawson and his gang represented the world as it was then: fearful of the unknown, but trying to get a grasp of life. Relationships were different, ideals were different, expectations were different.
Stalker is a “reality” of the day. And I’m not referring to the gruesome aspect of it ( although that is real too). I’m referring to a series of other aspects. The Obsession, for one. In the past decade or so, we have been fed with articles and gossips about our favorite celebrities. We are hooked, devouring any kind of (blind) gossip ( who is she dating? Is she/he gay? Is she crazy/s**t?). We obsess about dresses, food, music…about what your friend, former fiancee/fiance or a stranger is posting on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. We are getting ill with stalking.
Even us….the good guys, we don’t realize how we alienate ourselves in the process, for fear of others, of rejection or out of choice. How the circles in which we live are becoming smaller and smaller. We are becoming those guys in “Crash”…
“You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” ( Crash, 2004)
I’m not making a defense for the show – the show can do just that by itself through its writing and the story arcs of the next episode. I hope that Mr. Williamson will pay attention to what structurally doesn’t fit the show and make the necessary changes. But it’s his call. About the show and its critics: You may not like it, I may not like it in a month or so. But the reality is, that the show it’s terrifying not because of the violence, but by what it states: “That you, the good guy, are in danger. Of becoming the worst version of yourself”.
In a final note, I say only that Maggie Q is awesome!