TV Review

May 31, 2003

Way back in October,
I took some time to
review
the television I was watching, or planned to watch, in the coming season. Now,
that all the season finales have passed and television has become a wasteland
of late night Three’s Company reruns, I thought it might be fun to run through
my personal list again, comparing what I thought then to how I feel
things really turned out.

For those that still have some shows queued up in the TIVO, watch out. I
can’t promise that there won’t be some spoilers ahead. Travel your
unwatched shows with caution. Here goes.

Sunday

The Sopranos
(prev)
I started the season noting that the pace of the show had slowed
a bit. Just wait, I said, things will pick up. Well, they did
and they didn’t. The crescendo that ensued resulted in a pitched
battle between husband and wife, with far less body bags to wade
through than a normal season of good ole’ Tony. It’s still one
of my favorite shows but I can’t wait to see all the folks that
have been playing with fire finally get burned. It should be
a short, two year wait before season five allows me to do so.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
(prev)
This silly little comedy gave me just what I expected: a silly
little comedy. It doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t.
The final episode of the season, which featured an impressive
burst of profanity, made me howl. I don’t remember the last time
a half hour of comedy made me do that.

The Simpsons
The Simpsons was a late season addition, largely brought on by
a Christmas present from a friend. The DVDs of the first season
reintroduced me to the show I always wanted to watch but never did.
I’m glad. The old ones are classics. The new ones will be
classics the moment they age. The love the creators have for
these characters shine through, even after all this time.

Fox recently signed the papers for two more seasons of Homer,
making Simpsons the

longest running
comedy series ever. That’s a whole lot
of DVDs I’ll have to buy.

Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm is a show I’ve followed from the beginning but somehow missed
the cut in October. My VCR is more than happy to keep recording
long after the Simpsons is over and I’m more than happy to speed
through its commercials. I still enjoy this one, even as the
main character quickly passes puberty by.

Monday

Drew Carey
(prev)
I’m sad to say that Drew jumped the shark by jumping all the
way to the sad graveyard that is primetime Fridays. Kate ran
off to one of my favorite shows, Scrubs, and you get the feeling
that the writers are just out of juice. Maybe a summer relaunch,
which will move it back to Wednesdays, will do it good. I have my doubts.

Whose Line is it Anyway?
(prev)
This show also got caught up in Drew’s midseason move. As a result,
I don’t remember the last time I saw an episode. It’s
too bad. I miss it.

Tuesday

Frasier
(prev)
I predicted that once 24 began, I’d have trouble finding the time to
watch Frasier. It was a good prediction. I haven’t seen an episode
since. Oddly enough, it was the cancellation of the show after it,
Hidden Hills, that really took Frasier off my schedule. It hardly
seemed worth it to tape just a half hour of television.

Hidden Hills
(prev)
I was sorry to see her
go. I mean it go. And the shows that replaced it are sad. Not that I’d
know personally. I’m on strike from its timeslot until she – I mean it – returns.
I can only hope that the phrase “Returning Soon”, which can be found on its
web site, mean that it, in fact, is returning….soon.

24
The best suspense show on TV came to the end just a week or so ago.
Some say the first season was better. Some say the second. I
call it a draw. It did feel a bit more uneven, though, with some
episodes far outpacing the others. I hope that they leave Kim
home for the next one. Her adventures, which included being nearly
killed no less than six times this year, get harder and harder to swallow.
I thought Jack had a bad day.

Wednesday

My Wife and Kids
(prev)
I said that I rarely fit it into my viewing schedule and that trend
continues. While I don’t know if it will ever make my ‘A’ list,
I’ll catch it now and then, particularly during the summer of reruns.

Ed
(prev)
Will it be cancelled or won’t it? Ed, my favorite show and
a fellow victim (see Drew) of a midseason move to Fridays,
had its season fall under a shadow of renewal doubts.
Thankfully, it will be around for another year, making
the season finale, which wrapped up all sorts of loose
ends just in case, all the more interesting. Let’s see
how Carol and Ed do now that they are together. And,
come on people, watch this show. Do it now. Don’t make
me come over there.

The West Wing
(prev)
Another strong season of a quite likable and (obviously) fictional
democrat reign, which ended with way more questions than answers.
I enjoyed the season although I’m sure you could hear the head
slapping when 24 beat them to the punch with their use of the,
previously unknown to me, 25th amendment. Two replaced presidents
in one season of television is two too many, if you ask me.
You didn’t? Well let’s move on then.

Thursday

Friends
(prev)
I’m just not down with the whole Rachel and Joey storyline.
I suppose part of me still has her attached to Ross, regardless
of the fact that he has moved on. I also thinks it makes her
a bit more of a ho; she’s quickly making her way around her circle
of friends. They have one more season to correct it, though.
I’ll be watching. I always am.

Scrubs
(prev)
The new time slot for Scrubs was both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing came in the form of ratings; they were spectacular.
The curse came during sweeps when NBC, in a fit to give us
as much Friends as we could handle, preempted the show on
a regular basis. Come on, NBC. You are going to need
something to carry the torch once Friends has finally
flamed out. It should be this show. Give it some respect.

ER
(prev)
The episodes of this season – the last of which still resides on
my VCR – displayed a marked improvement over the last one.
Cleaning out a lot of old cast members – including good old Mark Green –
seemed to give them the opportunity to take more chances, rather
than rest on their laurels. I’m glad. I’m still a viewer.
I didn’t think I would be.

Survivor
(prev)
My guilty pleasure still manages to entertain me. I imagine
the tribe politics is what intrigues me. Maybe I should have
tried my hand at psychiatry.

CSI
(prev)
I mentioned that the premiere was typical. I can’t say the
rest of the season was much different. Thankfully, typical
is still pretty good with regard to their approach to a crime
scene. It still feels different, particularly because its the
only show of its type that I watch.

Push Nevada
(prev)
The odd, drawn out storyline of this one put it right where you expect:
the trash bin. It never got a chance to tell its story. I don’t
really care. That tells me all I needed to know about it.

Friday

Firefly
(prev)
Did Firefly make it past the first episode? If it did, it didn’t
make it much longer. I never made time to watch it and neither
did anyone else. Ever get the feeling that we’ll never get to see
a decent science fiction show that doesn’t include the Star Trek license?
Me too.

John Doe
(prev)
Is this one still around? I wouldn’t know. I only
caught the premiere. The concept – a man that knows
everything but who he is – doesn’t sound like it would
work over the long haul. I’ll never know.

Fastlane
This show, which was a midseason addition for me, earned my
trust because it was unapologetic about its content.
Here’s some boobs. Here’s some fast cars. Here’s some explosions.
We’re not going to bore you with any kind of storyline. And you’ll
always have Tiffany to look at. I say was because
it has basically been cancelled. How can this be? It should hit the
sweet spot for the lonely guys that spend
their Friday nights in front of the TV.

That’s it. No Saturday. I need some time to myself.
Technically, I don’t watch anything on Sunday either. I just
make good use of my VCR.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad season of TV. I am a bit worried
about next season, though. More and more shows that I like
quietly disappear from the network lineup and aren’t replaced
with anything too interesting. At least NBC
renewed Ed
and I have a PVR just aching to record something. All hope is
not lost.

by | Categories: t.v./movies |

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