Saturday, December 18, 2004

Television

What do I like that's on television? Not much, as far as I know. There are only two shows that I have watched regularly for the past few years: 24 and Alias. I've been watching the show Lost, but I'm not sure that the writers know where they want to take the show. (For example, the opening episode -- with the pilot getting mauled by an unseen monster -- was cool. And in one or two episodes since then, various people have seen signs of the monster. But for the past several episodes, people just saunter around the jungle alone as if they aren't worried about anything. This makes no sense.)

Now that I think about it, this fits into an overall pattern. Almost all of the TV shows I have liked have been very dark. I liked Highlander, the modern version of The Outer Limits, and the X-Files (although it wasn't as interesting in the last few seasons). One especial, all-time favorite was American Gothic, which unfortunately ran for only one season. (It was produced by Sam Raimi, who later did the Spider-Man movies, and it featured the excellent child actor Lucas Black, who also starred in Sling Blade, and who had a wonderfully thick Alabama accent.)

I don't really care for television comedies. The most recent sit-com that I really liked was The Cosby Show, and before that, the Andy Griffith Show. Every time I see a commercial for any sit-com that's currently on the air, I cringe at the vapid scenes depicted. Assuming that the networks would pick the highlights of a given show to put in a commercial, I get the feeling that all sit-com writers seem to be aiming for the lowest common denominator: cheap and vulgar one-liners. Perhaps I'm underestimating sit-coms as a genre, but given the stupidity of what the networks depict on commercials, I have absolutely no desire to waste the time to find out whether any sit-com is actually funny.

Stuart Buck

4 Comments:

Blogger Plainsman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Jenny D. said...

Try Boston Legal. I love William Shatner, residue from those early Star Trek shows, and he plays a smarmy lawyer in this show. I think it's funny, but much less bizarre than lots of legal shows.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I myself am not a huge fan of most sitcoms. However, there are two on the air right now that are incredibly clever. Arrested Development is perhaps the smartest comedy I have ever seen on TV. The writing is brilliant. Scrubs is another. While not as good as Arrested Development, it is still worth the half-hour a week to watch.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arrested Development is the most intelligent show on network television. Which is why it won't last past this season, but not since Fawlty Towers and Seinfeld has a show done such a good job weaving together disparate plot threads for maximum comic effect. I like South Park, too, and Family Guy is coming back soon, but I suspect those shows are too irreverent to play well in the Buck household.

Other than that? Yeah, not much until The Sopranos come back in a year. The Amazing Race is above-average "reality" television; it's a game-show travelogue, tightly edited to create "characters" out of the hapless contestants (mostly models, unfortunately, but there's occasional "real people" who are fascinating in and of themselves). The Daily Show is consistently entertaining; since it doesn't go for the lowest common denominator, and has occasional real interviews with real thinkers, it's often a better source for tv news than the tv news.

12:01 AM  

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