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February 17th, 2003

This Year’s TV: A Follow-up

Back in October I discussed the new television season a bit and my initial thoughts on the new programs and new seasons of personal favorites. It’s about time for a little-past-mid-season follow-up…

First off, I’m still bitter about Undeclared being cancelled last season. Way bitter.

John Doe… Interestingly, this past week, they killed off the annoying teenaged girl with the stilted dialogue that I complained about after the first few episodes. The show itself has remained interesting, but has slipped up in a few areas. Number one: there’s no question that the shows are being aired out of sequence. For instance, while this week’s episode featured the death of the annoying teenaged girl, the previous four episodes showed no trace of her, not even a mention of her name. The most recent episode picked up an ongoing storyline that hadn’t been mentioned since last year. Add this weird out-of-sequence ordering to a handful of supporting characters without a good direction, and I’m not sure where the show will end up at the end of this season. Don’t get me wrong… I actually enjoy John Doe, even with all it’s little imperfections. But if it survives its first season in the Friday night death slot along with all these other miscues, I’d be really surprised.

Haunted… Once again, a quality show gets screwed. Matthew Fox was great and there was some really good long-term potential for this series. Unfortuntely, being a show on UPN that didn’t suck was apparently enough to get it cancelled.

That 70’s Show… Much better than last season with not so many “heavy” moments.

Smallville… Not as strong as the first season, probably because it feels like it’s moving too quickly. But, all-in-all, a well-written series that continues to be the WB’s shining point.

24… I’d be hard-pressed to find a better hour of television this season than 24. Fortunately, the network decided to bring the show back despite its less-than-stellar performance in the ratings last season. It’s an incredibly fast-paced show with heart-pounding-moment after heart-pounding-moment. The casting is dead-on, especially Keifer Sutherland, and the writing is excellent. I had some doubts after the first couple episodes, but once I re-learned to suspend my disbelief, I got back into the groove. 24 is the one show each week I really anticipate.

And, to throw one on the pile, some friends recently introduced Huyen and I to Coupling, an amusing little Brit-com combination of Friends and Seinfeld. Clever beyond 99% of current American sitcoms, surely.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday February 17, 2003 -- 9:08:32 am
I've watched Coupling - it is quite good. Also, I've gotten into Alias recently.



FROM: vlm
DATE: Monday February 17, 2003 -- 11:19:23 am
Coupling: v. good. The Office: v. v. scary if you've ever WORKED in that office, which I apparently have. Twice. Must stop doing that.



FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday February 17, 2003 -- 9:37:41 pm
I thought they canceled John Doe. That's what I get for never having watched it!



FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Monday February 17, 2003 -- 10:49:32 pm
From what little I did see of Haunted, I liked. A shame.

Still, the two best shows on TV continue to be 24 and Alias, although this season is crucial to Alias, with the demise of SD-6, the lack of an identifiable source of evil could prove to be a ratings killer. Still, I'm so intrigued by whatever plan Sloane and Saark have that I'll keep watching.

That, and Jennifer Garner in lingerie, make my Sunday nights happy. ;-)



FROM: Wycked [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday February 18, 2003 -- 3:33:04 pm
How about how Fox killed off Futurama? I smell foul play.

I mean think about it. Right off the bat, placed in a slot that was always getting it preempted. That right there is a sign that the people at Fox don't like it to begin with, or are trying to spite those making it. They just expect it to die off, right?

So then what happens? The same thing that happens to all great shows. All sorts of popularity, a bunch of awards, the opposite of what Fox had in mind. So instead of poisoning it slowly, they up and slit its throat, by shelving season 5. For what? REALITY PROGRAMMING. And people didn't like that a bit. So they run a couple episodes on "Sunday nights," which apparently now means "oh, they'll be on Sundays... which ones though, we're not sure."

Cartoon Network had the right idea by getting the rights to reruns, I wonder if Groening can get Fox to let up on the rights for making new seasons. With the DVD sets coming out, I'm gonna doubt it... They're probably too bitter about being caught acting retards. In the name of what? Joe Millionaire? Feh.



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