Friday, April 22, 2011

The 'Chaos' Catastrophe

Hello again.

In case you missed the three whole episodes it aired, there was a show on this spring on CBS called Chaos.

You would be forgiven for missing it, though, based on the picture on the Wikipedia page. Take a look at this:

Ironically, that image is called "Chaospromo", although what exactly it was promoting, I'm not sure. Four men, wearing grey suits of varying shades, on a black background with perhaps the most boring font choice.

This photo, and what it represents, killed this show. The show was shot in shades of grey, promoted as "rogue agents battle the bureaucracy", and seemed-- at first glance-- to be about just that: CIA Office Politics, starring rogueish but otherwise unexciting show.

IMDB tells a different story, bar the promotional description. The show is action, adventure, drama. The greyness of the show belied its actual content, which involved world travel-- one episode took us in the dead of night to the North Korean border-- and was quite reminicent, I found, of McGuyver. McGuyver was bold enough, and ridiculous enough, to go fake overseas-- to dream of far off and tense situations and places. Not just another hospital or city somewhere in America. Not just a few flashbacks to a hotel room in Amsterdam.

It was fun, it was quirky, and it delivered a good time and a few laughs, with truly heartfelt moments. The designer could have made a point of having the CIA all grey and the four characters, whose chemistry grew with each week, be stand out colours against the greyness of the bureaucracy-- but someone went with grey and made it look like the dullest show on the face of the Earth.

Chaos was an adventure show in a world deminated by intrigue, action and endless drama. It was the first genuine adventure show I've seen on tv for the first time-- marketed as colourless bureaucratic drama.

So three episodes aired and then CBS, not able to support anything for longer than that, apparenty, axed it. Did they even watch the show? Did they even know that the promotion didn't sell the show for what it was?

So long, Chaos. I will remember you fondly.