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?