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I remember

Now most people who know me will not be surprised when I say I'm a big ol' television 'ho. I watch TV almost constantly, and up until recently, most of my viewing centered around plain ol' half-hour sitcoms. Even bad ones used to be pretty good. These days, bad ones are just bad (not even funny bad), and good ones are very few and VERY far between. My viewing habits have been transformed into, oddly, hour-long dramas/dramedys. I used to watch very few of these, with only things like Star Trek to vary my pretty steady diet of sitcoms. Back in the 90's I got hooked on Northern Exposure, and then got into Picket Fences, and came late to Magnum, P.I.; then Chicago Hope because I think I'll watch Mandy Patinkin in just about anything. Then, of course, Buffy and Angel came along. But on the whole, still my habits centered around sitcoms.

Now there are precisely two sitcoms which are worth really paying attention to, and of these? NBC has seen fit to still not put Season 5 of Scrubs on their schedule, and FOX has decided to drop the number of episodes ordered for Season 3 of Arrested Development and has pulled it from the schedule for the rest of November (leaving us at a bit of a cliffhanger). Both, I suppose, make the cardinal error of being smart and funny. (At least, since I get the newsletter, I know Scrubs is finally in production.)

The one new sitcom I liked, Kitchen Confidential, has apparently not exactly been cancelled, but they haven't ordered a full season, either. I do like My Name Is Earl, but since they put it on opposite House, I always forget it's on and haven't taped it since House came back from baseball hiatus. I also like Two and a Half Men, but it's more because of a really stellar cast than the show itself or the writing (it's a throwback to older sitcoms, where the mediocrity of the show is saved by the acting; without Sheen & Cryer, as well as the kid--one of the best kid actors I've seen--Men would reek. I realized it a few months ago when I happened to catch a repeat of an old guilty favorite, Gilligan's Island--yes, I love Gilligan today as I always did--and noticed I was enjoying the fact that the silliness and stupidity was perpetrated by some monumentally fine actors. Watching Jim Bacchus was a joy).

Idiotic sitcoms, with mediocre casts speaking stupid lines in stupid situations which rely heavily on one (or more) of the characters being put down or humiliated, on the other hand, seem to never get cancelled. I guess that's why there are still reality shows, which I thought would burn out by now.

Even The Simpsons, which I still love, is running dry. Although this year's Treehouse of Horror was the best in a while.

I appear to be in the minority amongst the smart folks I hang with in that I still like Lost a lot and have enjoyed this season mightily (am I the only one who noticed they re-cast Vincent? He wasn't a big fat white lab last season). I love House and Boston Legal, NCIS (Donald Bellasarius and David E. Kelley are pretty much responsible for the change in my viewing tastes, I think), and while Criminal Minds isn't any better than other procedurals, go back to that "I'll watch Mandy Patinkin in anything" comment above--he, as usual, is awesome. Of course, it's on opposite Lost and I'm several episodes behind and forgot to record this week's. Just about everything worth watching is on opposite something else so, now, without Arrested Development, there's nothing on Mondays, Thursdays are meh, nothing on Friday, and everything else is on Tuesday and Wednesday. Except Scrubs.

I wish I could afford to buy more shows on DVD. At least Scrubs Season two will come this month (I pre-ordered it ages ago). Maybe if I get some Christmas money I'll finally get seasons 1 & 2 of Titus at last, just in time for S3 to come out.

I realize my tastes are not precisely highbrow. But I admire comedy. Good comedy is probably the trickiest and most difficult thing to achieve in the performing arts, and it takes real talent to balance the absurd and whimsical with timing, pace, and a dash of reality. In the years of watching such things, I've realized it requires someone who is both a comedian AND an actor (some standup comedians just aren't that good with delivering someone else's lines). It amazes me when people are astonished that comic actors are "so good!" in dramatic roles. Piffle. Drama is a snap. If you're a good comic actor, you're going to be incredible in a dramatic role--just TRY and go the other way. I'm much more impressed with dramatic actors who have the ability to play comedy. (One of the reasons I'm enjoying Boston Legal so much is discovering William Shatner's comedic timing. He's awesome!) Comedy should be recognized for what it is and not dismissed as mere fluff, even when the subject matter is downright cotton candy. In the words of George Burns, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."

I want Scrubs!!!

(Why does Cairo wait until I'm ready to get up and go to work to get snuggly on my lap? I do realize part of it is to shed on my work clothes, but the purring and the nuzzling and affection--and the gripping my hand with his teeth so I can't type and MUST pet--is very hard to put down.)



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
I think the disenchantment I have with LOST this season is that I feel I can miss an episode and not lose track of anything. :/

Cats do wait to be cute and snuggly until right before you leave. Dickens was doing that to me today.
Nov. 12th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
You may be glad I remembered to record Wednesday night's, though (although I missed the first scene, which had a great deal of mostly unclothed Sayid. Sorry!).
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:05 am (UTC)
Missing half-nekkid Sayiid... Sigh. :'-(
Nov. 13th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)
I'm still liking Lost, but I'm not loving it anymore, and I know precisely when my feelings shifted: When we discovered the whole second set of castaways. I'm just not buying it, plus that woman who's their leader bugs the hell out of me. And this week's episode grated badly, with Soppy!Sayid getting all cow-eyed and lovey-dovey with Shannon. Otoh, Shannon's now dead, to which I say, "It's about damn time." "Yay."

Vincent's been recast? Hmmmm.
Nov. 13th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
I don't really object to that at all, because they've been hinting at it practically since the beginning, and we already met Ana Lucia last season (she was the girl Jack was hitting it off with at the airport). She does fall squarely into the b-itch area, though, although I'm looking forward to next week's ep so we at least find out why she's so testy.

I never cared for Shannon, and didn't like the, "we're gonna kill her so now we'll make her interesting and sympathetic" thing.

My only sorrow with Lost is that the network won't let them just flat-out call it something supernatural at work on the island and let it go at that. They're afraid, though, that something which is overtly genre will "chase off" the mainstream audience. Uh, yeah. :P
Nov. 20th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
I agree that the second set of survivors didn't come as a shock, but I think "they" took too long to introduce them and then didn't make them interesting or sympathetic enough, and nothing in the last ep changed my mind. I can't stand Ana Lucia and want her to die, bitch, die!

As for the supernatural thing, I used to think that was it, but now I wonder (and am somewhat irritated) if they're going to try to wrap everything up in a neat scientific explanation. Which would be a real copout, imo, but that's hardly likely to stop them.
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
Well, from what I understand, the network does exert a LOT of pressure on a hit show, so I excuse some stupidity as that; admittedly there are problems, but I still enjoy the show enough that I can either overlook 'em or plain not see 'em. Of course, I'm one of the very few fen-type people on Earth who, apparently, likes Jack and am "meh" on Sawyer (but then, I don't think the writers have made Jack "perfect" nor do they force the other characters to see him that way); I don't like Kate at all, but as long as Hurley exists, I'm happy. Ana Lucia isn't much yet, but I'm willing to give her a few eps to get better. If she hits Hurley, though, she's toast.
Nov. 21st, 2005 03:05 am (UTC)
I liked Jack in the beginning, but he's been getting on my nerves lately, and I'm not even sure why. I like Sawyer better (or better with Kate, anyway) more by default than anything else. But Sayid's my Lost boyfriend, and now he's footloose and fancy free, what with Bitca!Shannon being all shot to death and everything.
Nov. 21st, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
Sayid is muy adorable, I'll give you that. (He was one of the main reasons I loved Bride & Prejudice so much.) I think one of the reasons I really do enjoy Lost is because I'm not heavily emotionally attached to anyone, and I can enjoy the show without hyperventilating or worrying myself into a frenzy from week to week (unlike a certain show about a broody vampire set in Los Angeles).
Nov. 28th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
I totally agree. I have favorites on Lost - and I truly do dislike Ana Lucia - but I have no deep emotional investment in anyone or any particular pairing. I really did learn a lesson with Buffy, and I rather hope never to care so much about a TV pairing again. Of course now I'm deeply invested in Miles Vorkosigan and any number of Martinverse characters, which probably isn't any safer for my heart, especially with the Martinverse. *sigh*
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
Yay, Shannon's dead! Yay!

I'm cautiously interested in Ana Lucia (not Andalucia?), but she is an awful bitch. On the other hand, she's at least an effective bitch, so she has that over Shannon the useless.

I'm not finding myself as interested in LOST this season, possibly because I'm not convinced the story is going anywhere and partly because they're trying to eliminate the supernatural element (the paranormal isn't quite the same).
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
According to all the websites and fan sites, it's Ana Lucia.
Nov. 21st, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Phooey. I like Andalucia better.
Nov. 29th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
I can't decide if the story's going somewhere definite or not. I hope it is, but it's gotten so diffused by the addition of all the new characters that I'm not sure I care.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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