Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Layman state of TV 2007; Network edition

Last night Heroes came and went, and after half-heartedly watching the season and trying to give a damn, I just could not. I skipped the ending, and did not miss it one bit, and doubt I will ever look back.

But it got me thinking about exactly what I'm watching these days. And, of course, my biggest question of the TV season: WHY DOES THE OFFICE SUCK SO BAD THIS SEASON?

Used to be I LOVED The Office, the American and the British version, and about Tuesday I'd start looking forward to it, and even the quickie previews were usually enough to make it laugh. Usually I'd watch it while it aired, and then watch it again the next day, because there was always something I did not notice the first time around, or something that would make me laugh all over again.

Not this season. Maybe it's because they did that lame super-sizing shit, and stretched out all the jokes, but the opening episodes of the series were not just unfunny, but painfully so. Michael's IQ seemed to drop by twenty points, and he was not just incredibly stupid, but also shrill. It really feels like Michael is a parody of his character, or the writers lost track of what made the character work, while the other characters have descended into near-caricature. Since the super-sized episodes ended, it's gotten marginally better, but the damage has been done, and the show just does not seem to be what it once was.

Like I said, Heroes sucked too, but I expected that. It was overhyped and overblown and it was just a matter of time before it disappointed, Lost-style, and Heroes did exactly that. Good riddance.

So what am I watching?

I'm glad you asked. A couple weeks ago I would have said Pushing Daisies is the best show of the season, and I still think it's damn great, and consistent charmer, with more genuine heart than almost anything else on TV. I love the little touches, like the alliterative names of side characters, and some of their forays into animation, musical numbers, or just plain oddball whimsey. Plus, Mike White and Pee Wee Herman showed up as supporting cast members, and I just love the overall quirkiness.

Still, and I'm surprised to say this, but Chuck has really grown on me. After a great pilot, I thought it was going to settle into a routine, and maybe it has, but I like the characters and the humor and mix of nerd soap with network spyjinx. It's a lot of fun, and after dumping it from my Netflix Season Pass, after a couple of weeks of inadvertently watching it and enjoying it, I added it again, and it's slowly moved into a can't miss for me.

What else?

Monday; Not a damn thing,

Tuesday: My Tivo can't tell the difference between new Episodes of The Office and ones running on TBS, so I was getting repeats of that instead of Law & Order SVU. I like Law & Order, as TV comfort food, at least SVU and the original, but the episodes I've managed to catch this season have been amazingly bad.

Wednesday; Pushing Daisies. Weren't you listening?

Thursday: My roommate watches Ugly Betty, and I don;t object to most of it, though it is clearly sugary trash. I also make sure to watch 30 Rock later on NBC.com, and it never fails to make me laugh. Sorry, Office, 30 ROCK IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE FUNNIEST SHOW ON TV.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: I catch the Simpsons, when I remember too, but that's sorta irregular.

And that's pretty much it for network TV. Feel free to recommend shows, but the first person who says Journeyman or anything that is a medical show is going to get a sharpened pencil stabbed into their eye.



Yeah, those hour-long Offices are bad. It looked like they were just starting to hit their stride before the strike, though. I thought the last episode, where Michael gave a deposition, was as good as ever.

No one believes me, but The Simpsons is really good this year.

lou said...

I'd really recommend Friday Night Lights. It's a really well done show. The cast is pretty amazing. For a show about high school and football, I'm really impressed.

Anonymous said...

Friday Night lights is great. What about 30 Rock?

J. Nadiger said...

I really like CHUCK.

Sitcom-wise, I really like HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.

Anonymous said...

I really like 'How I Met your Mother' also but everytime I mention it to someone they look at me like I've got two heads! WTF. the show is funny.

5 Tool said...

Watching "Life" reminds me calm down and live in the moment.

Anonymous said...

You really should be watching "Project Runway." It's. So. Good. You'd heart it.