There is a special sort of sting in disappointment. If a story—be it a book, TV show, movie, video game, what have you—is just bad, you can let it slip from your mind. You may have your gripes with it, but in some greater sense it will glide away from you like oil and water. A story that seemed like it was going to be good, held promise, wormed its way into your imagination and your heart… a story like that turning out bad gives you a unique kind of injury. Especially when you wrote a very public article telling people that you reckoned it had potential. Multiple articles, even.
Given that I wrote that big post speculating on Rent-a-Girlfriend’s potential, it feels like I should return to it and perform a post-mortem of sorts. Now, this is not me “walking back” my previous reviews or analysis. I maintain that the first few episodes genuinely compelled me, and genuinely presented a space in which to play with some really interesting ideas. Which, again, is why the show’s dedication to not doing any of the things that I suggested could be really interesting, is so very annoying.
Do I take it as a personal slight that a show did not cater to my wants? No. It’s clearly not made for me, and that’s fine. But it’s worth returning to the scene of the crime and unpacking what exactly went so wrong, from my own perspective as a viewer (and I imagine this is perspective shared by more than a few people). If I can write a post about how much Riverdale annoyed me for sucking me in with a cool premise and then going off the shits, I can certainly write one about Rent-a-Girlfriend. Yes, those shows exist in the same category now.Continue reading