Channel Surfing with C.T.

As a huge fan of both the original LAW & ORDER and it’s SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT spin-off, I’m sorry to say that I’ve pretty much given up on both, which have become repetitive and, worst of all, character-centric. Remember when this show bravely refused to delve into the personal lives of the characters? Now, every case is somehow connected to one of the major players. Sorry, but now I’d rather watch WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB. Should I be ashamed to say that? Maybe, but this show is like Friday night comfort food. At the end of a rough week, I just want to curl up on the couch with the crime-fighting gals and listen to ‘em dish. Heck, half the time I don’t even care about the cases, which tend to be kinda silly. It’s the chemistry between the leading ladies that brings me back week after week.

PROJECT RUNWAY is back, and I have only one thing to say: Hallelujah! Nobody does reality TV better than Bravo. My fondest hope? That they’ll soon announce the return of TOP DESIGN.

Does anybody give a crap about any of the 14 contestants who’ll be competing on the celebrity version of THE APPRENTICE? For God’s sake, one of the people is a producer. A producer! If it weren’t for Omarosa, you know nobody would bother tuning in.

Monday night, I watched one of the most fascinating, disturbing, interesting, intriguing well-balanced documentaries I’ve seen in years. The program? HBO’s I AM ANIMAL: THE INGRID NEWKIRK STORY. For those not in the know, Newkirk is the controversial co-founder/director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Now I’m a meat eater, through and through. From moment to moment, I found myself uncertain of how to feel about the group and their often outrageous — but undoubtedly well-intentioned and sometimes misguided — actions. I can’t recommend this documentary enough, although I’d warn that there are images of animal brutality that will turn your stomach.

It may be time to put an end to that storytelling technique in which something happens at the beginning of an episode, and then the words “48 hours earlier” flash on screen before we flash back to the events preceding. What makes me think this trick’s time has come? It’s even been employed by THE REAL WORLD, which last week kicked off an episode with Isaac — my personal favorite of the houseguests — leaving their Australian abode before jumping back two days in order to explain that his grandfather had died. Newsflash, MTV: reality doesn’t happen in reverse, nor should reality-based programs.

Given the number of people who tape or DVR programs, it might behoove CBS to prevent THE AMAZING RACE from starting 15-20 minutes late. Since the show is not being streamed on the CBS website, I — and millions of others, I suspect — missed the final quarter of Sunday night’s episode thanks to football once again running long. How about trimming a segment of 60 MINUTES? Does anybody really care what Andy Rooney’s grousing about this week? Because if I keep missing the most important part of the race — you know, the finish line? — because of overruns, I’ll simply stop tuning in. And whenever you see the word “I”, CBS, it’s safe to assume I’m speaking for a bunch of other people as well.

I may have heard the most disturbing show promo ever the other night. “Last Wednesday on PHENOMENON,” boomed a voice, “a stunt went horribly wrong on live TV. Imagine what could happen next!” Seriously? Are you selling the idea that this week, someone might actually die? I can’t help but ask myself this: When — and really, it’s no matter a question of “if” — someone finally does die on a reality show, will it be the end of the genre or only serve to create a bigger, badder monster?

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  • Tim G.

    Blech! Top Design was AWFUL. Don’t tell me you like Shear Genius too!

    Project Runway + Top Chef = all the “reality” I need

  • procrastinator

    Ok I do enjoy Project Runway but the reality situation is out of control. I recently did a Reality Roundup and gave Apprentice a C before I saw the new lineup, I mean why not just have regular people if you can’t get celebrities…

  • Jenny

    I’m with you on liking Women’s Murder Club but I still love SVU. :)

  • BHcolin

    So I’m confused here — wasn’t there a post on this blog about boycotting reality TV during the writers strike. Then this post is all Project Runway, Real World, The Amazing Race.
    It’s cool and all — because I don’t understand boycotting unless you got a nielsen box — just confuses me how this blog says stop watching reality tv then posts about the programs.
    Anyways just my thoughts. I hope I didn’t sound like I as nagging or rude- cause I didn’t mean to.

    Here’s to hoping the writer’s strike ends soon– or it’ll be the death of daytime soaps, and I need my daily Y&R

    oh and in the midwest TAR was actually on time this week. I was amazed cause I always check at 6pm to see if 60mins has started and it did, on time.. But I’m just adding time on to my dvr, and recording the replay of Dexter so I tape TAR, DH, B&S on DVR and the cold case on VCR and works out cool

    and the Women’s Murder Club is a fun little show on Fridays. I like the actress in it- they work well together

  • theTVaddict

    BHcolin, Completely understandable that you’d be confused. But C.T. stands for ‘Couch Tater’ who’s opinions may differ from that of the TV Addict!

  • Rock

    Omarosa generates interest in The Apprentice? Don’t THINK so! I guess Trump will have to pair up his “celebs” to tango or jitterbug. Seems like that’s what America wants to watch these days. Get those Seattle doctors doing the cha-cha, Grissom and his gang waltzing to crime scenes, Charlie Sheen doing the lambada, Extreme Polka Makeovers… Oh, the ratings will soar, I tell ya!!! :(

  • Todd W in NC

    Don’t be ashamed for liking Women’s Murder Club. I totally agree about the excellent chemistry.

    As someone who is not a natural fan of the procedural crime drama, I was very seriously considering dropping this show despite all the positive elements. But, after giving it a chance for a couple more weeks, the smart writing, witty dialogue, likable characters, and excellent performances are too good to pass up.

    I actually look forward to WMC more than Betty, Grey’s, Private Practice, Bionic Woman, and especially Pushing Daisies (still doesn’t impress me). So, WMC will stay in my rotation (what little rotation is left thanks to the strike).

  • Matt

    If we combine all the shows talked about here, we’d get a more interesting series:
    “Pushing Grey’s Ugly Bionic Private”

  • SimplyKimberly

    I never used watched tv on Friday nights. It was my TiVo’s night off. Now, Women’s Murder Club, Moonlight and Friday Night Lights have changed all that.

    And I am glad because now I can tune into NUMBERS as well (a show I liked whenever I did tune in).

  • ct

    Tim G… I’m ashamed to admit that my household did kinda like sheer genius. probably not enough that we’d cheer its return, but we did watch every episode. As for Top Design… I know some people found it to be a series of decorated boxes, but my household loved every episode. Maybe it’s because we’re slowly but surely redecorating our house? Or maybe because we absolutely loved mocking the out-of-control hair/wardrobe of judge Kelly… in either case, I’d rather it be brought back for another season than the Bachelor or this insipid pseudo-celebrity edition of The Apprentice!