Thursday, April 12, 2007

The joy of television

I love TV. At any moment of the day it's there, waiting to suck you in with a Lifetime movie, classic music video, or syndicated sitcom (of which the best by far is still Golden Girls, thank you very much). But I hate the end of the season, when you're never sure whether or not your new favorite shows will get picked up for another 18 or 24 episodes. Cases in point: Friday Night Lights and Veronica Mars. Now I know V Mars is actually in its 3rd season, but I just started watching it this year. I became obsessed so quickly that seasons 1 & 2 on DVD showed up in my Christmas stocking and were devoured in 2 sleepless, junk-food filled weekends (and a couple of very late weeknights). Sure, there are 5 more episodes to go (indicating that CW might order more for fall), but they are stand-alone mysteries that won't have the same emotional and dramatic arc of a season-long investigation. And there's no guarantee that it will be back in September. Then there's FNL, which I never thought I would be watching so religiously, but it's seriously one of the best shows on TV right now. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are so great as the football coach and his counselor wife. Add to that an adorable romance between the quarterback and the coach's daughter, a fabulous supporting cast that provides intriguing sub-plots every week, and the sheer adrenalin of watching the Dillon Panthers play, and I find myself glued to the couch. How could NBC even think of cancelling it? I just don't understand how TV execs make their decisions these days. Take a show like Studio 60: yes, it's true that despite having a gifted writer and stellar cast, the series had a very uneven season and has often come across as more preachy than funny. But should it really be cancelled to make room for another violent family drama like The Black Donnellys or, when NBC decides that's a dud too, another reality show? Um, NO. Studio 60 has the potential to turn into something great--even with its dull moments, there's still intelligent writing and genuine comedy. It deserves a second chance!

Just as the network season is coming to and end, Bravo is following its Wednesday cash cow slot (aka 10 pm) into the salon with Shear Genius, yet ANOTHER attempt to follow the Project Runway formula. Now I like Top Chef but just couldn't get into Top Design--Todd Oldham put me right to sleep. Shear Genius, however, is luring me back into the land of wooden hosts, celebrity guest judges and lots o'drama, which this time is all about the hair. With real people saying things like, "I AM success" and "If I had just had 20 more feathers it would have been explosive," how can you go wrong? It's so bad it's awesome. If you're looking for a new guilty pleasure, look no more. And even if you're not, you should prepare yourself to be sucked in, because it's only a matter of time before they air the Shear Genius marathon. You know you can't resist...

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