So I have been thinking about television a lot lately, mostly about how it is not worthy of my time. I had high hopes for some interesting shows this year, but very few have proven worthy of my coveted spare time. I also don’t want this blog to be about television, so I thought to get things off my chest, I’d share in a post, what I tried to watch, what I didn’t even bother with, and what has made it into the enviable “season pass position” of my Tivo. So without further ado, here it is:
WHAT I DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER WITH: Really this list is too long to mention everything, but notable are:
Gossip Girl: – despite the fact that I saw a few minutes and it seemed surprisingly well written/well acted, this is the kind of show that it makes impossible for me to respect myself in the morning, so I didn’t bother.
Chuck: I didn’t find one thing interesting about this premise. Nothing looked charming or the least bit original. No thanks.
Journeyman: This show was great back when it was called Quantum Leap and had a much more charming lead and a great sidekick. Extra no thanks to this show.
K-Ville: Gimme a break. I couldn’t even make it through the promos.
Carpoolers/Cavemen: No, it has Jerry O’Connell in it and he hasn’t done anything worthwhile (no Rebecca Romijin jokes please) since the first three seasons of Sliders…which wasn’t even that good. And NO, it is based on a commercial for car insurance. Let me just say that again to make sure it sunk in: IT IS BASED ON A COMMERCIAL FOR CAR INSURANCE.
Cane: Oh, I get it, it’s about sugar cane producers/exporters, but it’s also a play on the whole Caine & Able thing…wow, how unique. Uh, NO!
Reaper: I probably should have given this a chance, but I didn’t hear much about it until I’d already kind of committed to what I was and was not watching, so it suffers from poor publicity. If it’s any good it probably won’t last a full season anyway, so no real loss.
Dirty Sexy Money: Stupid title, stupid soap. I’m trying to have less “stupid title, stupid soap” things in my life, veto!
Back To You: Just because I liked Fraiser (yes, I did – three words for you: David Hyde Pierce) does not mean I like any piece of crap you throw together with Kelsey Grammar in it. NO! Now, you put David Hyde Pierce in it…and well, I’ll consider it.
Kid Nation: I wanted to watch this show, especially with all the Vulture Blog hype. It just never seemed to happen. Too bad.
My Name Is Earl/Scrubs: Why are these shows still on? They deserve a mention here because they are just still NOT GOOD. Also of note is the fact that it’s pretty hard to be bad AND have Jason Lee involved. My Name is Earl somehow manages, impressive.
Moonlight: Shows about vampires are at this point so not on cutting edge of anything that it is like trying to cut something with a swatch of velvet. Stop trying to follow up anything Joss Whedon does. He is the master and you can’t try to do something better than (and five years after) the master, or you just end up looking like some idiot that didn’t do his research. Move on.
Ghost Whisperer: Why is this show still on? I have never met one single person who has ever seen more than five minutes of this show…people who have watched more than five minutes of this show probably died from head implosion (and those people were thankful to be out of their misery). I know, I know, she’s got great tits. So let’s see her use them on something not horrific. More Hanes commercials? Great, I’m all for it, so long as this show gets the kill switch.
Torchwood: I don’t even know what this show is, and I have a strong suspicion that nobody else does either and that it only made it on the air by sounding vaguely like the now dead HBO cult favorite Deadwood.
Viva Laughlin: I mean you’re kidding right? I want to go back in time and be in the room when this gets pitched. You can’t BUY laughs like that must have been…especially when some executive said, “Ok.”
WHAT I TRIED TO WATCH, AND WAS ALMOST BLINDED BY IN THE PROCESS:
Private Practice: The few times I watched Grey’s Anatomy (there were times I kind of liked it) I always thought Kate Walsh was one of the more interesting characters (certainly more interesting than Meredith) why wouldn’t a show with her and some other decent actors (love Taye Diggs) be good? Well, I don’t know the answer to that, I just know it is very very not good.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Put me on the loser train because unlike the rest of the population I just can’t find what is funny about this show. A couple of the actors have pretty good comic timing and are easy on the eyes, but I just find it rambling and un-funny. I really did try.
Tim Gunn’s Guide To Style: I saw this on accident. I love Tim Gunn and anxiously await his return to Project Runway, I also don’t begrudge Tim’s attempt to make some dough while it’s an option, but is this really all we could come up with? Yet another “makeover show”? So tired. I’m disappointed in you Tim. I will never watch this show again in hopes that I forget you ever lowered yourself to this show.
SHOWS I INTEND TO WATCH, I SWEAR:
Tell Me You Love Me: I watched one episode and was underwhelmed, but decided to let it keep recording. Somehow I have not managed to watch any of the other recorded episodes. I intend to do it though, really.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: I have all these episodes recorded, yet have somehow not watched any. I remain hopeful.
Mad Men: Ditto.
The Sarah Silverman Show: I just can’t seem to get to it.
Drawn Together: This raunchy cartoon is just too far off my radar, I keep forgetting it’s out there, but I’m trying.
WHAT I AM ACTUALLY WATCHING, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO WATCH:
Heroes: I am watching this, but am actually hesitant to encourage you to watch it. It sucks. I am incredibly disappointed in this show (so much so that I dreamed about it last night – it was much better in my dream). I am going to hang in there until mid-season, but if they don’t get their act together, all the heroes are out of here. UPDATE: Last night’s episode of Heroes was just laugh out loud bad. The show has somehow managed to make all the interesting characters and their story lines just like the terrible whiny Niki character and story lines. Everything is over the top earnest…every scene! It’s just terrible. This is confirming my suspicion that these creators/writers were taken by surprise by their overnight (last year) success and didn’t have a follow up play in mind. They have no idea what to do with these characters. At this point I think the only way to save this show would be to bring in some great creative comic book creators (Moore/Gaiman/ Kirkman/etc.) and let them rework everything. I’m going to give them a couple more episodes to turn it around, but it was very difficult to watch the show last night.
Life: This is a genuinely good show. It is really well cast and the writing, acting and directing are all solid. More importantly the story arc is interesting and somewhat unique. The main character is a cop/detective, so is weekly trying to solve fairly typical “cop crimes” (although certainly more interesting than your average L&O episode) but more importantly the larger story arc is him trying to solve the crime of who framed him and sent him to prison. It is good stuff. Sadly, as it is on opposite the “more buzzworthy” Dirty Sexy Money, I fear for it’s future.
Pushing Daises: This is the best show on television right now. Bar none. Read more about it here. Sadly it is probably too good to be on tv, so I naturally fear for it’s future as well.
America’s Next Top Model: I watch this only after it has been recorded, so that I can fast forward through the horrible bits (many whiny crying juvenile brats and Tyra’s tirades and ridiculous over the top antics – someone please stage an intervention for her). I am only watching this show because we’ve got an office pool going and I feel the compulsive need to know who is going to win my 20 bucks…
30 Rock: Let’s hope others are watching it too this year so it doesn’t get the ax…all my favorite shows do (sniff. Studio 60. sniff).
The Office: I was loving those luxurious hour long episodes in lieu of the always sub-par Scrubs. I have to disagree with critics, I think the show has done a great job of keeping Pam & Jim fun and light and beautifully together. It’s nice watching two people perfectly matched be in love in a non-gooey way, we so rarely get to see that. I hope they buck the trend and keep at it. Also, how great would a Dwayne/Kelly relationship be…I’m totally into that after the teaser last week.
Last One Standing: Okay, almost nobody knows about this show I think because it is on opposite The Office and it is on the Discovery Channel, but I cannot recommend it enough. It is just AWESOME. It’s a reality tv show about 6 athletes from various countries (primarily US & UK I believe – they all speak English) and with various “specialties” (kickboxer, strong man, endurance athlete, bmx biker, rugby player, and a fitness guru) as they are shunted around to different tribes and cultures throughout the world and given a chance to live with the people and absorb the native culture, and go through some of the trials of “becoming a man”, with the ultimate goal of having the opportunity to participate in the native competitive sport of the region against other tribes. The episode I watched this past week was as they were embraced by the Zulu people and were taught stick fighting. It was intense amazing stuff. I highly recommend it for your TIVO. If you don’t have TIVO and can’t give up The Office, look around for it on your guide as it replays at different times/days in the week.
The Simpsons/King of The Hill/Family Guy/American Dad Block: Still good. I don’t always get it, but when I am, I’m happy.
Robot Chicken: Every chance I get.
So that’s it. Now I’m going to try to talk very minimally about TV from here on out, for some of you that’s probably great, for others of you maybe that means you won’t come back…I hope it’s mostly the former.
Pushing Daisies – best show of the new 2007 season
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