Catch It While You Can
A few months ago I sampled Guiding Light, which had switched from the traditional soap production format to a handheld, small format, shoot everything in the field kind of storytelling. I thought it looked underlit, and, well, cheap. (Note: I would only attempt this with a DVR. Catch it while you can.
Unfortunately, the producers didn’t really exploit the small cameras by radically evolving their style- the show still cut like your traditional soap. Perhaps they were limited in what they could try by the unions, writers, producers, or the fear of losing the 35 viewers they had left. Perhaps it was a decision made by an accountant who picked up a “Broadcast Quality at 10% of the price!” brochure at Best Buy.
Whatever margins the lower production costs drove were not enough to save the series from cancellation.
I hate seeing folks lose their jobs, but I am relieved that the strategy of making your show look worse than the competition, with no benefit for the viewer, was not rewarded.