We've almost officially made it to the end of the year and I think I can safely say that there have been some enormous highs and lows this television season. At this time last year we were still in the throes of the writer's strike, and while it's been almost a year, this season has heavily felt the repercussions. From cancellations of shows that should have been (natch; will always be) beloved to the onslaught of crappy 'reality' television, here is my list of 2008 in review.
I've said many times before that I didn't watch Pushing Daisies this season, but that's not to say that I wasn't an advocate. (Don't go into a hissy, I'm not a Nielsen viewer so my t.v. watching makes no impact.) I told everyone I knew to watch the show because of the absolute whimsy it carried. It was light even at its heaviest moments, and who doesn't achieve sheer joy when Kristin Chenoweth starts to sing? Alas, the show that was so promising before the writer's strike couldn't come back as strong as it should have and faltered right out of the gate. With ABC not saying how they're going to air the remaining episodes, the best fans can do is hope for a speedy DVD release.
This show is on the air and Daisies isn't? I feel almost violated by all that I know to be good and true in the television industry. I tried to sit through an episode of this show and after 5 minutes of watching a girl prance around in a bikini who had the acting chops of Paris Hilton, I couldn't stand it anymore. I understand this show gets big money from Ford, but can anyone tell me why people watch this show? Does anyone watch this show?
After ending its second season, this show is finally getting noticed. I've never quite worried about ratings on a show like this because it's cable and things seem to be more lenient once you get past network television. And surely the numerous accolades the show has won help. From Jon Hamm to Christina Hendricks there's not a cast member I don't enjoy watching on screen. It's not even a messy or twisted show; it's quietly complicated with a touch of sentimentality and a hint of disaster. Easily the best thing to grace televisions this year.
Well, this has been a misstep, hasn't it? This season has been a lot like a train wreck: I know it's terrible and that I should quit looking, but I can't help but watch to see what happens next. Obviously that's in the show's favor right now because I think that's the case for most of the viewers still tuning in. I'm not sure if we're all watching to see how bad it can get, or if we're all watching in the hopes that it will suddenly get better. The end of the most recent chapter, Villains, was almost too little too late, and in February we move on to...The X-Men? That's what it looks like to me, but we'll see how the writers keep the idea of mutants being hunted down fresh and new. We had a nice cleansing of the palate on Monday with a few notable deaths, but my bet is that Sylar isn't really dead. Hear me now: He will sit out of chapter four and reemerge in chapter five, bigger and badder than before. My few pleas are these: Please stop making everything about Claire, either get rid of Mohinder or make him less stupid, stop giving idiotic story lines to Hiro, and bring back Micah and Molly.
Why aren't you watching this show?! I'm pretty much terrified that Tina Fey's crown jewel will meet the same fate as Pushing Daisies which would be a tragedy. While some of the guest stars felt like they overshadowed the amazing characterizations of Tracy and Kenneth, this season has been mostly ups. I can't praise the cast enough, from Tina herself to Alec all the way down to Lonny Ross (not to say you are the bottom of the totem!); it's a joy to tune in on Thursday nights and I hope this is a show that sticks around for a while.
Even more of a train wreck than Heroes. I'm not even sure train wreck is a strong enough term. I know that there are people out there who love it and think that Ghost!Denny and Izzie are just oh so gosh darn amazing with the best story line ever in the history of television, but those same people probably think that Ghost Dad is one of the best movies in the universe. I would beg Shonda Rhimes to please go back to the way things were in season one; heck even in season two, but she doesn't seem to be listening to ANYONE. She makes no statements about where she's heading with this spectacular (better-fitting for a day time soap) storyline, and you can't tell me that she doesn't hear her fan's cries. And don't get me started on how she can cast the amazing Mary McDonnell in a role that not only makes Asperger's look like something it definitely is NOT, but does not let Mary show off how excellent an actress she is. (Actually, maybe it does in that Mary has such terrible material to work with it's shocking she doesn't walk off the set.) My fear is that people think that Mary has no idea what Asperger's is, when really, she's just doing what was written for her.
I'm stepping off of my soap box now. I apologize. Clearly you can see where my love lies for certain people of Hollywood.
Reality Shows and game shows
And here we have my 'what the hell?' moments. What the hell shout outs go to most everything on E! from the Lohans to Denise Richards. A few go to NBC for this new Ryan Seacrest endeavor and their over-kill of Deal or No Deal. One goes to FOX for their annoying lie detector show that I refuse to call by name, and let's give them one more for the show that has people contorting their bodies to fit through holes in a wall. I actually can't remember the name of that one; I care so little. Who watches these shows? Keeping up with the Kardashians? I wish someone would follow me around with a camera all day; you can see what it's really like to be a normal SANE person. The Hills? Hello, privileged little snots; I don't even understand how they get television shows. Bitter much? I'm not trying to sound just as bratty but give me a break.
On that note, we'll call it a done deal for 2008. What do you think the ups and downs were this year? Do you agree or disagree with me? You might get one more post at the end of the month but if not, we'll see you back here in January! Until then, don't hesitate to leave comments, and have a very safe and happy holiday season.