Aquarius TV Series – Drowning in Ambition!
NBC’s AQUARIUS, created by John McNamara, is an interesting example of television writing and worth examining as a learning tool. The series has mixed reviews from viewers and low viewer ratings, but surprisingly it has been renewed for a second season, however, as of October 1, 2016, the series has been cancelled. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I didn’t anticipate a second season, and here’s why;
The show has major character, plot and tone issues that will keep it from ever having a strong foothold. The ‘idea’ of AQUARIUS is timely, and ambitious, but the execution is sloppy and forced.
With characters making illogical choices to characters not making intelligent choices, there are so many questionable actions (or non-actions) happening that it brings into question the whole premise of the show. In fact, the premise of the show is ambivalent as well.
Ultimately, I think the show struggles between our protagonist (Duchovny) Hodiak, open-minded, alcoholic, friend-to-all detective, and the antagonist (Anthony) Manson, bad dude at large but somehow way too smart. Neither have strong goals, leading to flaccid action, and even while Hodiak searches for the missing girl (she’s with Manson) there’s no true objective, i.e. save her, bring her home, help her escape… it just sort of fizzles.
I appreciate the courage to bite off such an interesting period of history, and chew on the social issues of the time (not much has changed apparently), but the idea and presentation need a lot more finessing if the show wants to last more than two seasons.