Image Credit: Bill Matlock/FoxJust one week into the new fall TV season, an impassioned Internet campaign is already afoot to save Fox’s standout drama Lone Star about Texas con man Bob Allen (James Wolk) and his complicated life, which involves two extremely hot wives in two different towns, a manipulative father who won’t let him quit grifting, and an overbearing father-in-law (played by Jon Voight!) who wants him to join his family oil business, and some Madoff-type deceptions. Last Monday, the show went from best-reviewed show of the new batch to likely-first-cancellation with only 4.1 million viewers tuning in (compared with Dancing With the Stars‘ 21.9 million in the same timeslot). Now there are petitions, Facebook pages, and online pleas from its creator, Kyle Killen, to watch its second episode (That’s tonight! 9/8 Central! On Fox!) and pull off a “stunning upset” the likes of which are rarely seen in network television.
Sure, you say, he’s the guy who made the thing — of course he thinks you should watch. But we’re telling you — it’s good. Very good. Like, cable good. (Incidentally, those ratings numbers would be perfectly good on cable. Sigh.) Need more proof? Here, five specific reasons you should watch tonight:
1. This paragraph in Killen’s blog post: “You may have heard about last Monday night when several heavily sequined, dancing celebrity, conspiracy laden, bowling shirted nuclear bombs landed directly on our heads. When everyone who watched your show is a paid critic or someone you went to high school with, that’s less of a premiere than a slideshow.” Don’t you want to watch a show written by the person who wrote that?
2. Killen does not even want you to go through the trouble of sending Fox executives massive numbers of, say, entrees from Lone Star Steakhouse to show your love for the show. “Not letters, not M&Ms, not peanuts,” he tells EW.com. “Those are incredibly kind and endearing outpourings of support, but the reality is one thing gets looked at, and that’s the numbers on Tuesday morning. So if you want to save the show, turn on your television tonight.”
3. Cable shouldn’t get to corner the market on smart premises and morally challenged characters. As Killen says, “Cable shows are only cable shows because they’re on cable. There’s nothing that says a good scripted drama that is mildly complex couldn’t work on a network without involving a cop, a lawyer, or a doctor. That’s the theory we’re testing. So far it’s not going well.” Unless you want more remakes and endless crime investigations, vote with your DVR/remote for a fresh, unique show that takes chances.
4. In related news, it’s super smart. You like that, don’t you? We know, we know — nobody wants to figure out all of this business about shares in oil rigs, tracts, and wells that Bob’s swindles involve. Just know this: He’s doing bad stuff, he wants to stop, but he’s having a hard time getting out. But you’ll sound really superior when you can tell people at cocktail parties that you watch this show about the financial complexities of our times, when really you’re watching for the sexy guy with two sexy wives.
5. In other related news, its star, relative-unknown Wolk, is almost unbearably appealing. One look at that Clooney-esque smirk and those pleading hazel eyes, and you’ll understand how he could talk two gorgeous women into marrying him and pull off a lifetime of schemes.
What do you say, PopWatchers? Will you tune in tonight?