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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

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