Living in Your Car Dropped


After writing in-depth reviews of the first seven episodes of HBO Canada‘s series Living in Your Car, I’m officially announcing that the show will no longer be in The Signal‘s review rotation.

Why? For a number of reasons:

  • I struggled to connect with the show. It was poorly structured, not terribly well written, and with a cast that contained only a few impressive actors. The show looked good, but ultimately wasn’t the caliber of show I prefer to write on.
  • The weight of having to review the show often lessened my interest in watching, rather than expanding it. Perhaps watching it uncritically will allow me to return to the series as a fan.
  • For much of the season, I wondered if there was something about the approach that I didn’t quite ‘get’, a level of quality that would only be revealed with time, much as when I dug into David Simon‘s The Wire. However, I found the exact same problems, albeit to a greater scale, on George F. Walker and Dani Romain‘s horrendous pilot for a previous show, The Line, allowing me to declare the weaknesses as I see them.

I know from your searches that there is a hunger for reviews of the show. Frankly, as a fan of Canadian television I share your sympathies. If I find someone interested in reviewing the show after 1.07, perhaps the reviews will continue, but I have little-to-no interest in continuing to cover this show.

4 Responses to “Living in Your Car Dropped”
  1. Jessica says:

    I came here via google and have not read anything else on this site but if you think George F Walker is the problem with this show i’m afraid to know what you do like. The link to the next post is titled “United States of Tara Dropped” so i can only assume it is much like this post.

    “The weight of having to review the show often lessened my interest in watching, rather than expanding it.” Perhaps it is not the shows but yourself.

    I find The Wire to be completely unwatchable for its horrible writing.If you hold that show up as an example of the good and this of the bad then o well we have complete disagreement.

    Maybe you really don’t ‘get’ it and have fallen into the trap of crap shows that even HBO puts out for consumption. Until a few days ago when i found Living In Your Car I didn’t know that George F Walker had done any more tv shows since This Is Wonderland so i am going to have to find The Line before i can say anything about that show. I haven’t seen any of his plays but it has been years since the series ended and i am still trying to get all of This Is Wonderland because i found it absolutely brilliant.

    • R. Lackie says:

      I don’t quite understand you, Jessica. You judge my style of writing based on posts you haven’t read, you judge my reading of Living in Your Car without having read my reviews of the episodes, and you have decided to insult me rather than engage with my statements? Does it offend you that I don’t think the show is very good?

      I welcome all feedback, but I’m disappointed you chose to respond in a silencing fashion (“If someone disagrees with me, they are stupid and should not express that opinion”) rather than offering something useful to the conversation. I hope that if you come back, we can have a friendly conversation about TV, rather than an argument based on our feelings being hurt.

      Best wishes.

      • Mark Bradshaw says:

        I have only recently stumbled upon Living in Your Car and was curious what reviews had been written on the show. I have not read all of your prior reviews however, I am surprised at your ulitmate conclusions “It was poorly structured, not terribly well written, and with a cast that contained only a few impressive actors”.

        Your reivew seems incredibly harsh for what I consider to be a well written, witty and charming television show. I am not sure what it is that you didn’t “get”. The show appears to speak for itself. There really isn’t anything to “get”. Each episode takes you on a little adventure and reveals aspects about the characters.

        I found the show to be quite original and very enjoyable. You claim to be a fan of Canadian television. I am curious what shows you “get” and consider to be good as a result. Also I would like to understand what it is you are looking for that you don’t feel you are finding. Perhaps you expect the show to be something it isn’t and with those misguided expectations have found it isn’t giving you what you expected or perhaps you have simply written this harsh review in order to get a response.

        Perhaps I need to read all of your prior reviews before coming to the conclusion that you simply didn’t understand the show for what it was but in any event I found your review to be an inaccurate and unfair depiction of the show.

      • R. Lackie says:

        Thanks for the interest, Mark, though I’m disappointed you followed Jessica’s lead to criticise my conclusion about the show rather than attempt to engage with the content of my reviews. I stand by my criticisms of the show, and my right to my own opinion, but I welcome opposing viewpoints.

        What did you particularly like about the show? What impressed you? The humour? The episode stories? Which castmembers made you want to check in each week? What drew you in? I’d love to hear your opinion, and engage you in a discusion about the show; after all, isn’t that what fandom is about?

        If you read my reviews, you’ll see that this review is only so harsh because I was reasoning precisely why I wasn’t reviewing the show any more. You’ll see from my weekly reviews that I thought it was a cute little show that had a few particularly compelling actors, when they were serviced, and a few really good episodes. You’ll also see that I found some elements of the series’ premise to be awkwardly-constructed, a few castmembers unconvincing or poor in their roles, and the standalone story element not terribly effective.

        I like the show… just not enough to devote an hour or more reviewing it on a weekly basis. Trying to analyse it or engage with it on any level but the watch-and-forget level became frustrating for me, you see. The show had, in short, many of the problems that plague another show, one many people love, Glee. I enjoy that show on a week-to-week basis, but when I try to review or analyse that show at a deeper level, I enjoy it less. So I decided to take a step back. As these reviews were pretty popular, this post was put up so folks would understand why I did.

        As for the confusion over ‘getting’ the show… I found the structure of the show a bit awkward and unusual, and I was trying to figure out whether this was because it was badly structured, or because the writers were doing something very particular with the show. The Wire, to cite a show I found very effective, has an incredibly slow pace at first; it was only when it had run for a few seasons that critics started praising it for the very things that made it unusual for a TV show – the slow pace made sense for the show, which is super-realistic and works to a life-like scale. My ultimate conclusion for Living in Your Car was that there wasn’t any unique rhetoric behind the structural issues I found, though I expect I either have more thinking to do on the show, or this will see improvement with a second season.

        Thank you again for your engagement; I’d love to chat more about the show, though I’d probably have to reread my reviews or rewatch a few episodes to really keep up in the conversation. The wonderful thing about opinions is we all have them, which in itself is a testament to the show. Hope to see you again around here. 🙂

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