It’s been forever since last we posted content here at Live Plus Seven! A look at the last post will show us that some things change while others remain dependable constants. Happy Endings, Damages, Awake and 30 Rock have all gone to that syndication factory in the sky (also actual syndication in some cases), while struggling gems like The Mindy Project, So You Think You Can Dance, Parks and Recreation, and Hart of Dixie soldier on bravely despite ratings far less stellar than those of their competitors. Community is on what effectively seems to be its fourth life, soon to be calling Yahoo! home. Game of Thrones and Veep continue to be creative and critical darlings, and those poor, tortured Pretty Little Liars have already been granted another two seasons of torment at the hands of anyone capable of sending mass texts and blocking their number. We had high hopes for new shows, some of which we don’t even remember — which one was Do No Harm? — and others of which are making their mark on the television landscape, for better (The Americans, one of television’s best and least flashy dramas) or worse (The Following, yikes).
But this post isn’t about any of that, but rather a very, very pressing question that, in the current climate of television entertainment, must be asked:
Is anyone watching Mystery Girls on ABC Family? I can at once say the show is terrible and also that I think I love it. The dialogue and scenarios feel as dated as the episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 it references for laughs, and yet my love of said episodes makes it almost impossible to resist the re-teaming of Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling (not quite as irresistible as swapping out Tori Spelling for Tiffani Theissen or Kathleen Robertson, but Tori is the one with the D-list cache to get a show like this off the ground). You have to admire that Tori is self-aware enough to totally lean into playing a character who is almost a caricature of a caricature. Jennie Garth is a treasure as the straight-woman to Tori’s antics. Sometimes I wish the show was about identical twins, and Jennie was playing both roles, no offense to Tori. The show’s only other character, the girls’ gay assistant Nick, feels like a perpetual missed opportunity for the show to be just a little bit better than it is.
So the show is really not very good, and yet I keep wanting to watch it, which almost makes it good by default. No one I know seems to have anything to say about it, more maybe they don’t want to admit they’ve seen it. What say you, Internet? Is there maybe something more to this mystery than meets the eye?