Saturday, July 07, 2007

The 2006-2007 Television Season Review

Yes, it is time to review the best and the worst of the TV world. Those that read this blog know that I'm a sucker for good television, and I frown upon those that condemn the magic box as a tool of Satan. Everything in moderation, I say, especially if you have Tivo (the single greatest invention in the history of the world).

Here's a little review of the shows I was looking forward to, as stated in a September post:

Imus in the Morning:
As we already know, the whole idiotic Rutger "Nappy Headed Hoe" remark, including how that media bitch Al Sharpton took total advantage of a camera in his face, made the heads of CBS and NBC lose their spine while pissing on the 1st Amendment. Apology, fighting for racial equality, and philanthropy didn't really matter in the eyes of Rainbow Jessee and the rest of the agenda driven assholes, they just wanted a media minute. They had it, and now it looks like the backfire has succeeded in putting the I-Man back in the radio chair. I listened to WFAN's Imus tribute and got a whiff, then read the excellent news in the New York Post. Guess what? Biting humor and intelligent conversation are going to win out. August can't get here soon enough. But for those that can't wait, here is a little "Cardinal Egan" for you. WARNING!! IT WILL OFFEND YOU!! Do your duty as an American, and f-ing ignore it and never visit this blog again if it is that bad. It is your right.

The Newshour with Jim Leher and Frontline/Frontline World:

The Newshour is as good as always, although I'll never look at Gwen Ifill the same after her bitching and moaning about Imus. Frontline was ok this season, with some of the best episodes focusing on Politics and the Environment (including how Al Gore totally screwed the U.S. at Kyoto), Retirement, Domestic Spying, and an excellent look at media in America. Frontline World was even better, with short stories from all around the world, including a neat diddy on Islamic comic books.


60 Minutes:

I know, Iraq is important. But come on, almost every week? It is a news magazine, that can go ahead and find more interesting stories. I'm not diminishing the war, I'm looking for information around the world. The interview with that little nut Ahmadinejad was pretty good.







Lost:

After a slow start being at the mercy of the Others, the show kicked into major super gear with some explanations of who the Others were, how they got here, and the serious issues with Ben Linus. The last few episodes were some of the best of the series, and you are starting to get that feeling that the show is now headed towards some conclusion. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of questions that still remain, but they are the kind that continue to fill the stomach of a true fan in ways that remind me of the X-Files ten years ago. Who could forget the finale?

"I am sick of lying!"

The show is legs, and it is continuing to roll.

Gilmore Girls:

We didn't get the sense of closure. We didn't get the fun back, we didn't get the whitty banter, and we didn't really ever get Luke and Lorelai back together like we wanted. What we got was a horse that needed to be shot about a season and a half ago. The season was too serious, with constant relationship tears, heart attacks, and agonizing life choices that made the show painful to watch. The new writers also managed to make the show's characters do a lot of settling for things. Chris disappears again? Lane is now a housewife???? Please. What is disappointment. Entertainment Weekly said it best, "Come on, you know you watch out of habit".






The Amazing Race:


Well, I still find it interesting, even though the most boring group won the race. It is only going for one more season, and that's probably in January. I'll be happy with one more run and then it should go away.
















Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:


Ok, at first I was, "How the hell can this be cancelled???". Then at the end of the last four episodes I had a clear understanding of why NBC didn't want to shell out for another Sorkin romp. Yes, the show was smart and well cast. Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry were great. So was Amanda Peet. But the show became depressing, political, and worst of all, un-interesting. So many jokes were inside jokes for West Wing fans or simply jokes that not even Gilmore Girls pop culture fans would really get (Juliette Lewis impersonations are not funny). In the end, I would probably watch this again next season if it were around, but it isn't, and I'm not that broken up about it.

Jericho
Watched the first two full episodes, then watched the next four with serious Tivo fast forward going, then I dropped it altogether. The characters began to annoy me and the story was less intriguing and more "look at all the problems with the small town"ish. I was looking for back story on a nuclear disaster and was greeted with some half-baked covert ops situation that sort of worked. Huh? The show was cancelled, and then a rabid fan campaign got CBS to renew it for a half helping of episodes that start next year. I may take a peek, but probably not. Too much that is already good.



The Nine:

My wife and I were so excited about this potential knock-off of Lost. A bank robbery that goes terribly wrong, and creates the backdrop for what happened during the 52-hour standoff. The problem was that the story went nowhere and left TV viewers horribly let down. Mysteries didn't connect and often seemed to have nothing to do with the main part of the story. ABC cancelled the show last year, half way through the season. However, it looks like ABC will air the remaining episodes starting August 1. I'll be there for the short term, however I don't expect a very good pay-off.









Doctor Who:
Fine, call it a guilty pleasure. This season found the departure of the hotter-than-hell Billie Piper, who ended being one of the better companions that the Doctor has ever had. The episodes themselves ranged from downright campy, to outright fantastic. A Queen Victoria/Werewolf story was fun, a visit to a planet where Satan might have resided was actually quite frightening, and bringing back Sarah Jane Smith (a companion from the mid- 1970's) for an episode was classic. The concept of Torchwood, a secret government operation, was interesting. David Tennant is an excellent Doctor Who, probably second only to Tom Baker. I'll continue to watch. Sue me.


Battlestar Galactica:

Still the best show on television. The season started with the brutal portrayal of the current situation in Iraq, as the survivors had been taken over by the Cylons on New Caprica. The escape only brings us to the quarter point of the season, as questions arise about the "Final Five" Cylons, the location of Earth, and real intentions of Gaius Balter. The season ender was a little weak, but the questions that it left were excellent, and with the announcement that next season will be the last, I am totally hooked.



Heroes:
My second favorite show is simply The X-Men in modern form. I was afraid that it would be some sad attempt to create a corny version of the comic masterpiece. Instead, the show has become one of the top sci-fi shows in U.S. history. The second I saw Sylar cut open a skull, I knew this was going to be cool. Of course one of the most famous taglines, "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!" helped in gaining my interest. The finale was a little weak, but the characters are very strong, especially Horn Rimmed Glasses, a man that came close to Cigarette Smoking Man in terms of mystery. Next season looks good, count me in!









What's on tap for the summer?

Top Chef, Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares (got a cooking thing going), new season of Doctor Who, and a healthy dose of another excellent show, Rescue Me.
Did I mention that I love TIVO!

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