Despite losing roughly one half of its audience over the course of its first season so far, AMC has renewed their Western, “Hell on Wheels,” for a second season. Thanks to a lead-in from “The Walking Dead,” as well as AMC’s (diminishing) reputation for quality dramas, “Hell on Wheels” had the second biggest debut for an AMC original series back in October. However, since opening with 4.4 million viewers, the show’s most recent episode was down to 2.2 million. Still, that’s twice as good as “Rubicon,” and roughly the same ratings that “Mad Men” receives, so it wasn’t a tough choice for the network.
Whatever. I gave “Hell on Wheels” a shot. I watched the first few episodes, but I bailed because I couldn’t stay awake. I hear the show has improved, just as I heard that “Rubicon” improved near the end of its only season. But you know what? Unlike “Rubicon” and “Hell on Wheels,” I’m still watching two other AMC shows, “The Walking Dead” and (reluctantly) “The Killing,” because they showed their potential in the opening episodes before crapping the bed. I guess if you’re going to suck, at least suck from the beginning that way I don’t invest in 12 episodes before I find out THAT THEY DON’T EVEN SOLVE THE MURDER IN THE END. Outside of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” I’m starting to lose my faith in AMC. Seriously, their formula now is: 1) Come up with a cool concept; 2) Hook viewers on the concept; 3) ignore the concept and film people walking solemnly through the woods or standing in the rain; and 4) Profit.