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TV update

Well, I dropped VANISHED from my line-up. Too bad because they had a few plot elements that were intriguing. But those were negated by the plethora of non-intriguing plot elements. I felt like they were throwing too many random ideas into the show, probably to keep the pace fast and to keep us guessing, but the effect on me was that it felt contrived. Even key issues, like did the husband really love the wife, were on the table. Which I guess says something about me. I like unpredictability, but I don’t want to feel like I’m constantly being conned. Maybe that’s a reaction to shows like LOST that have taken viewer enthusiasm as permission not to have any internal plot integrity at all. (okay, so I’ll probably watch the first few episodes this year to see if it’s back on some sort of track, and to see Sawyer again, but really, they’re “losing” me)

Ray Liotta’s SMITH didn’t work for me either. I think they were trying for a Sopranos type of show (mob guy with a family life and a fake job), and like the Sopranos, the cast is full of criminals who are selfish, selfish, selfish – and brutal. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for ugh when not handled deftly. If you just hate everyone in the show, why would you watch it? Sopranos made you see some of the characters as vulnerable originally, then slowly revealed the depths of the moral bankruptcy. In contrast, SMITH just handed you a cast of despicable, shallow, selfish caricatures in the first episode, and I guess their plan is to flesh them out, make them human as the show goes on. Maybe that’ll work for other viewers. I have a feeling that some guys will like the show for the virginia madsen factor, but that just made it even more grotesquely laughable for me. And the heist? It simply made no sense. Lots of slick elements when viewed separately, but together they didn’t make a decent, much less mastermind-level, plan. The hype compared it to Oceans Eleven. Um…

Also on the negative side, HAPPY HOUR let me down. I see now that they might be coasting on a few running gags that were funny at first, but after three episodes of the same jokes, just aren’t working for me any more. Too bad, because as I said the other day, at least they took a different approach, which I appreciated.

On the positive side, JERICHO gave us a great first episode. I’ll definitely tune in again. And SHARK shows lots of promise. It had some problems, but maybe they’ll work those out. They probably just need to relax a little. They’ve got James Woods, after all. They really don’t need Judge Ito’s lamp from the OJ trial.

STUDIO 60 was excellent. I wish it wasn’t on Monday night, because I don’t really want “excellence” on Monday night – and I’m using excellence here as something that makes me think too much, because Monday is a very, very tough day at my office, and I need to fall apart that night. I can barely handle 24, and only because the action spikes my adrenaline level and gives my brain waves a boost. Otherwise, Monday night is usually situation-comedy night for me and my weary brain.

If it’s a choice between 24 and STUDIO 60, I’ll be recording the latter and watching the former. They really, really need to move their show to another night.

THE WIRE was terrific again this week.

Hmm, do you wonder why I’m not blogging about my writing? It’s because I’m feeling a little derailed, and I try to be upbeat on this blog, so…

I’ll give it a shot this weekend. See you then!




( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Live in NJ, as a result, I think it was on wed night Bravo channel at 11PM showed Studio 60.
Sep. 23rd, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
That's a great tip, thanks. I'll see if Bravo runs it here on a different night too.

All of my relatives on both sides live in New Jersey, mostly in Plainfield. My father got transferred aaround a lot in his job, so we lived in Ohio, and Rhode Island, then ended up settling here in California, but everyone else is back there. I haven't been back in ages -- we had a family reunion at Long Beach Island/Barnegat Light a while back. Really fun!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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