Monday, August 12, 2013

Hell on Wheels Rant

I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to write this email on Sunday afternoon, but I figured you might find it amusing:

To: Free Beer and Hot Wings
Subject: Can't Wait to Talk About Blank‏

Literally, I couldn't wait til Monday to talk about this. (Sorry for the length, but I tried to make this worth the read)

I think you guys briefly touched on Hell on Wheels last week. You basically said it was pretty bad and expressed amazement that it was picked up for a new season. As a fan of the show who has followed it from the beginning, let me be the first to say: you were absolutely right. What follows may be spoilers for the show, but I'm sure nobody cares.

I was already annoyed when they killed off Lily Bell at the end of last season. I wasn't mad that she died, but that she died so pathetically, having the gun swatted out of her hand, laying on the floor being slowly strangled by the Swede, begging him, "Please, don't do this, I was kind to you." Is this supposed to be the same Lily Bell who, in the very first episode, was attacked by Sioux raiders, shot in the shoulder with an arrow, watched her husband die right in front of her, then proceeded to pull the arrow out of her shoulder, wrestle her attacker to the ground and stab him to death in the throat with his own arrow? The whole reason I liked the "fair-haired maiden of the West" was because she defied everyone's expectations by being tough as nails when she needed to. For her to just damsel-out at the worst possible moment is a plot hole you could fly a plane through.

To add insult to injury, on the premiere last night they introduced a new fair-haired petite-but-tough female supporting character, no doubt to replace Lily as a potential love interest for Cullen. I can just picture the conversation in the writers' room. "Hey, remember how we killed off our only good strong female character? Turns out that was a mistake." "Really? What about the brunette with the tattoos?" "Nobody cares about her." "Oh, okay. So, what should we do?" "Let's just introduce another pretty blonde who doesn't take crap from anybody!" "Really? Won't people think that's completely transparent and stupid?" "No! We'll make her a strawberry blonde this time. Nobody will be the wiser!" Nice work. As if Don Draper hasn't done enough to send us the message that women are replaceable.

Lastly, I was just annoyed with the death, or not-death, of the Swede. He fell into a river and we never saw him again. In the entire 2-hour season premiere, they never addressed what the hell happened to him. You'd think they would know better than to leave a character's death (or not-death) unclear after what happened on Breaking Bad with [that one guy who Free Beer probably hasn't been introduced to yet].

So yeah, I just had to get that rant out. As you guys are fans of good television, I thought you might sympathize with my frustration. As always, I love your show.

Dan Mayer (from Albany)

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