Monday, February 19, 2007

Channel surfing

Some random thoughts on what’s currently on TV:

What a break for February sweeps – Ana Nicole Smith and the astro-nut!

LOST – Unlike a lot of fans and critics, I’m still on board. I love the fact that I just can’t out guess them. And it’s worth tuning in just for Elizabeth Mitchell’s eyes.

24 – So far so good but a higher body count this season than the population of Iowa. Jack has now faced every villain but Goldfinger and Snidely Whiplash.

GREY’S ANATOMY – What happened to the humor?

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES – let it serve as a lesson to all shows in trouble: hire FRASIER writers. And the best writer of WILL & GRACE.

PRISON BREAK – I miss the days when it was just wildly implausible instead of ridiculous.

HOUSE – Great except for the episode where he and Ms. Snotty Teen 2007 discussed the meaning of life for an hour. If someone doesn’t bleed out of their eyes I feel cheated.

THE COLBERT REPORT – I know I’m going to get letters but it’s starting to get tedious. Meanwhile, THE DAILY SHOW continues to sparkle each and every day.

1/2 HOUR NEWS HOUR – Fox News’ lame attempt at the DAILY SHOW. Y’see, comedy is funny when you lampoon the establishment, not funny when you lambaste the anti-establishment.

AMERICAN IDOL – Open auditions are fun for maybe two nights. Maybe next year hold them in Utah. It would be fun to see what Paula Abdul is like sober.

They all come to television sooner or later. Parker Posey is in a new TV pilot called THE RETURN OF JEZABEL JAMES. You’ll be back Jennifer Aniston. You’ll be back.

STUDIO 60 – Off the NBC schedule indefinitely. America, I hope you’re ashamed. You have let Aaron Sorkin down!

So does that mean that Sorkin is now just a disgruntled unemployed writer???

CBS EVENING NEWS – When Katie start running “here’s what’s good about America” features you know the news division is being run by the research department.

JUDGE JUDY, ALEX, BROWN, FRED, WHOOPI – I dunno. I can’t keep track. There must be seven of them. Every Judge but Reinhold has a daytime show.

THE SARAH SILVERMAN SHOW – best new comedy of the year. Sarah is the girl you want to bring home to your parents to watch them have heart attacks.

DICE UNDISPUTED – Premiering March 4th, VH-1 unveils a reality show following Andrew Dice Clay around. If a show I pitched to VH-1 was rejected and I read that they picked up an Andrew Dice Clay series I think I’d kill myself.

HEROES – I hate the narrator and all his profound bullshit commentary. I wish one of the heroes had the ability to bring Rod Serling back from the dead.

I’m rooting for the new Andy Richter show, ANDY BARBER P.I. I hear good things. And Jane Espenson is writing on it.

Saturday night has just become a dumping ground for rerunning shows – the Nordstrom Rack of network television.

There is still a network that believes in sitcoms – TBS. Although, in my heart of hearts I believe they’d dump them all in a nano-second if they could show 150 Atlanta Braves games again.

Tomorrow: how I got thrown off the DATING GAME.

39 comments:

doggans said...

I still spend every Thursday night at 9:00 watching "Scrubs". God help me, I still see way too much of myself in JD.

Other than that, I don't have much time for TV. Damn me and my being a college student who actually cares about grades.

maven said...

Ken: I agree with you re The Colbert Report. We watch both the Daily Show and Colbert every night (DVRd over dinner!) and are beginning to fast forward through some bits. It's really the same thing over and over again. But I still find most of it entertaining enough.

And LOST is still great. Making my head spin after last week's episode! Is it a dream or time travel?

George W. said...

You have far too time on you hands. Get that liberal bug up you ass removed

Great Big Radio Guy said...

Another Colbert Report comment:

I was getting a little weary of it, too, but in the past few weeks, I've noticed Colbert loosening up a bit. He's still playing the pundit routine, but somehow, without breaking the character and ideology, he seems to be enjoying himself a lot more. It's fun to watch again. And of course, TDS is king.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

...and George W. can't be Bush. Far too eloquent.

Seymour said...

Much as I love Stephen Colbert, I have to agree. I find myself zoning out more often during it now, although when he's on form, he's still great.

But I NEVER zone out during The Daily Show.

Last night's Desperate Housewives (One of their best episodes ever. Dixie Carter was GREAT!) was credited to Marc Cherry and Joe Keenan. It took two gay men to write the Zack's-hung-like-a-salami scene. Now if Zack would just cut the girly hair.

So which nuclear holocaust show has had the higher death count this year, 24 or Jericho?

Phil Plait, aka The Bad Astronomer said...

Andy Richter's old sitcom ("... Controls the Universe") was the funniest thing to come along in a long time, and I'm glad to see him again (even though he did hgave a brief cameo -- like there's any other kind -- on "Elf"). The previews of his new show make it look cheesy, but I have learned not to trust such things.

hollywood blond said...

Silverman's show should be great. Hope it doesn't go thru the freshman new show bumpy start. If the scenes and writing just roll on out, it could be a lot of fun.

shecanfilmit said...

The only show I make sure to catch every single week is Two and a Half Men. Why don't people like you ever put it on their lists? It's consistently funny.

Ken Levine said...

Because I saw a recent episode where the kid ran to the phone and Charlie Sheen said, "Boy, I haven't seen him run that fast since he had the squirts." Not my cup of tea.

Stoic said...

What? No Earl?

Jennifer said...

I miss Dark and Twisty Meredith. Happily in love Mer is no fun. (Drowned Mer is slightly better.)

Lost...I'm "meh" about it now. I am getting frustrated with the lack of movement in the story.

Heroes...I'm with you on the narrator. I don't like his voice, and I find his narration totally unnecessary.

Finally...I think I read BSG has had a decent set of ratings on Sunday night...but I preferred it on Friday. :( Couldn't they do it both nights? It's not like they have much going on either night otherwise...

la guy said...

I'm a big fan of Stephen Colbert but I don't watch the show much. I always thought the premise was a little too narrow to sustain a daily show. One big advantage The Daily Show has is that Stewart is more less being himself and accordingly has much more flexibility. Then again if Stephen Colbert did nothing in his career other than the White House Press Corps dinner he'd have my vote for the television hall of fame.

There was great interview of him on Charlie Rose but inexplicably the show is not available (unlike many other episodes) at Google video. This is a brief bit of it.

Scott E. Amundson said...

At 9:00, I'm on www.TNAOBB.blogspot.com getting my weekly dose of action and adventure.

ravaj said...

forgive me for my lack of depth - i could spend all my tv time looking at all of elizabeth mitchell. loved her in e.r., loved her in gia ... love her almost as much as marlee matlin's jodi in the current L word

Paul said...

I still love Lost, and I don't understand all of the hype around Heroes. Every time I watch Heroes it's just really dark and depressing. Every single character except Hiro seems absolutely miserable to have superpowers. Where's the cocky bastard who gets superpowers and starts showing them off around the world? Every comic book has one of those, and the show NEEDS one.

I agree Colbert is fading just a bit, but it's still hilarious. Jon Stewart can be condescending, but The Daily Show is still almost always funny.

Matthew Maroon said...

The best thing about The Colbert Report has always been and will always be the interviews, both the nightly guests and the Better Know A District segments. His wit is unparalleled, and his guests are actually intelligent. The Daily Show gets some great guests, but too often has some crappy celebrities promoting some crappy movies. I never find myself skipping a minute of the Colbert Report, but I often find myself skipping the last ten of the Daily Show.

So while the non-interview segments of the Daily Show are probably more consistent than those of the Report, Colbert at his best still outshines Stewart by a substantial margin, in my expert opinion.

Willy B. Good said...

I had the misfortune of watching that crap Fox News "comedy" too and I agree conservatives totally suck at comedy though I found their very liberal use of a bad 'Joanne loves Chachi' laugh track highly amusing.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand Andy Richter - he was gifted, riding so high during the Conan years, and went off that show with most people really fearing for Conan alone.

But Richter's combination of improv, and way with quick responses as skills were never again required it seems. He may have been a writer, but for what? He was the small part or cameo that could be really played by any formula actor (and not a good one) in forgettable comedies.

So sure, I guess he will be now in yet another sitcom attempt - but seriously, what are we expecting? He HAD mainstream America ratings numbers with Conan, and couldn't capitalize on them.

What now could he possibly do.


ps as for George W:
The only causal connection between too much time on your hands and up your ass, seems to be your obsession with imagining both.

rorybaldwin said...

Sorkin should have done a spinoff show about Toby Ziegler instead. Then he could have an hour long of rantings about anything justified by the character. I think the character is supposed to have gone to Columbia to teach after he was pardoned. They could call it "The Ziegler Lectures."

Jesse Wendel said...

Battlestar, baby. I love me my Cylons.

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard Colbert say that he was looking forward to developing a cast of supporting characters to take the load off him. My personal recommendations would be John Hodgman and Lewis Black. Nate Corddry is another possiblity.

For la guy, Charlie Rose's interview with Colbert is available on DVD.

Anonymous said...

30 Rock? Conspicuous by its absence from your critiques? I thought the episode two weeks ago ("Black Tie") with Paul Reubens and Isabella Rosellini was hilarious and showed the sitcom has promise--if NBC doesn't put it on a shelf with Studio 60.

Middle Browser said...

Did I miss something or did you? "Friday Night Lights" is one of the best written shows on TV. And "Boston Legal" is one of the more consistently funny. "Cold Case" also is consistently well done. Are you too influenced by what's hip or hot?

Dave Williams said...

Leave it to me to wait until after the blog spammers strike...

I just wanted to say goodbye to Studio 60 as one of the four...okay, two...people here who liked it. I'll miss it. But I did not miss the wonderful irony of the fact that the final episode was titled, "4AM Miracle" and that the official website logline reads: "Writers block rears its ugly head at the worst possible time."

Coincidence? I'd love to think not.

Aaron, you're still an inspiration.

rorybaldwin said...

Hey i like studio 60 too, I can just see why some people don't. Horses for courses and all that.

Joe-Fagundes said...

I guess someone is jealous of Aaron Sorkin

ajsmith said...

I, too liked Studio 60. But as I'm finally getting around to seeing all of Sports Night on DVD this week, he really did push things by essentially writing the same show/characters in three different situations. Mybe the emphasis changed, but your previous comment (almost sure it was you) that "there's always a Danny" hit it on the head a bit.

Also, he pretty completely sold the whole thing out after New Years - dredging up romantic comedy cliches so obvious I'm pretty sure that he was just saying fuck you to the network.

Also, Sarah Silverman... love her stand up act, can't take the show.

Do love the blog though. Great job.

Anonymous said...

There's a narrator on Heroes? Am I missing something...?

...

Oh, wait. You mean the guy who does the recap?

Ken Levine said...

For those who complained that I did not mention their favorite shows, I only commented on SOME shows not everything on TV. But just because I didn't mention a show (like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) doesn't mean I'm not a fan. I just didn't have a wise ass comment, that's all.

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched THE 1/2 HOUR NEWS HOUR for a bunch of reasons, but certainly not because it's not funny to lambaste the anti-establishment. Interesting comment, though. I think there's plenty of people and attitudes on that side to lampoon, lambaste, thrash, and trash. Anyone/organization/movement who's pretentious and inconsistent (and aren't they all?) is open season. It's attitude that helps make one open to ridicule; someone's ideology doesn't make him or her immune.

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched THE 1/2 HOUR NEWS HOUR for a bunch of reasons, but certainly not because it's not funny to lambaste the anti-establishment. Interesting comment, though. I think there's plenty of people and attitudes on that side to lampoon, lambaste, thrash, and trash. Anyone/organization/movement who's pretentious and inconsistent (and aren't they all?) is open season. It's attitude that helps make one open to ridicule; someone's ideology doesn't make him or her immune.

Anonymous said...

I was actually thinking the very same thing about Colbert while watching last night's show. He bombed so many times I thought I was watching the latest air strikes live from Iraq on CNN! Yikes.

Stacey

Anonymous said...

Well I also like Studio 60, makes three of us, I guess. Not only does it mean Sorkin is just another unemployed writer, but it also means back to the old days when if I watched a show, it wasn't long for this world.

Reminds me of "Almost Perfect".

Anonymous said...

I hate to complain, but how come nobody has mentioned BOSTON LEGAL?. Granted, the show is getting more outrageous by the second, but it's still unbelievably watchable.

Anonymous said...

Ken, your stuff is great.
Whether it be on your blog, your shows, or on the reelradio site
Always enjoy it.
Keep up the good work, Beaver Cleaver!

Anonymous said...

Andy Barber, P.I.
Funny, because I remember a disc jockey by that name (except for the P.I. part!)

Anonymous said...

Yes, you like Sarah Silverman.
But, if she was available, would you "date" her?

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