I probably shouldn’t have watched the show in the first place since its success was always looking dicey and I hate it when shows get canceled before they get going. I wasn’t surprised that Fox’s Lone Star was the first victim of the new season. From the start, the question was supposed to be “Who is the audience here?”

The basic premise of the show is that Bob Allen is a con-man who moves from town to town bilking the local residents out of money to invest in land that Allen doesn’t own. His current target is the city of Midland, Texas. Meanwhile, he’s running a long con in Houston where he married the daughter of the owner of an energy business. The con in Houston is going well in that he is about to be appointed to a high position in the company where he would have the access required to bleed the accounts so that he and his father can retire comfortably in some country with no extradition treaty. Allen’s problem is that he has fallen in love. Twice. A wife in Houston and a girlfriend in Midland. The show is about his attempts to hold on to both and try his hand at actual business management for the company in Houston.

This kind of show is right up my alley. It’s sort of Profit meets Dallas. But it’s not a show up many people’s alley. No matter how attractive, charming, and good-hearted the lead, the fact that he’s a bigamist by the end of the first episode (marrying the girlfriend in Midland) isn’t likely to sit well no matter how many people on the Internet swear that this is the kind of arrangement women want. But since it’s focused on love affairs, it’s kind of off-putting to men, too. If you find yourself rooting for the protagonist, you kind of feel uncomfortable about it. But without him (unlike with Profit) there is no one else to root for if you’re against him and they make him such a charming and warm guy that you’re disinclined to root against him anyway.

None of this was really a problem for me because I like a degree of ambiguity. But I am not really the typical viewer. Ambiguity is fine, but you need someone for those with a more clear moral compass to root for. They should have focused on the Houston plot, which was the more interesting (though the girlfriend/wife in Midland was the more interesting of the two leading women). Alternately, they could have stuck with him as a con-man and had an alternate protagonist in an investigator trying to trap him (like Profit did). But in the end I think they tried to do too much. Which is a shame because, with the plot they had, it was the best-written new show I have seen in quite some time.


Category: Theater

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3 Responses to RIP, Lone Star

  1. Kent says:

    I thought it had a lot of potential. It was my 2nd favorite new show, behind the excellent, excellent Terriers on FX.

  2. trumwill says:

    I am enjoying Terriers. Well, I was until Fox and Dish got into their spat. And the good thing about Terriers is that since it’s on cable, you don’t have to worry as much about it getting squashed after a couple of episodes. They seem to buy their episodes up-front.

  3. David Alexander says:

    he’s a bigamist by the end of the first episode (marrying the girlfriend in Midland) isn’t likely to sit well no matter how many people on the Internet swear that this is the kind of arrangement women want

    I think it’s a bit silly to argue that. I’d state that the ideal is marrying an alpha, but depending on the woman, the alternatives do range from staying single, being the “mistress/second wife”, chasing bad boys or alphas in other races, or marrying the best beta possible. FWIW, some of the Roissy types would argue what constitutes alpha enough can vary from woman to woman, so one woman’s alpha is another woman’s wimp.

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