If you’re not watching BETTER OFF TED, I officially despise you. Okay, maybe not “despise”, because obviously, you can watch or not watch whatever you like. I will, however, have to admit to having very strong doubts as to whether or not you should be allowed to walk around unchaperoned or vote.
Just when I think I’m out, they suck me back in. Time and again, I vow that I’m over GREY’S ANATOMY thanks to it’s ridiculous plot twists and self-indulgent characters. And then, there’s a shocking moment. Not one of those “stunty” things like Meredith’s near-death or a bomb-squad member being reduced to pink mist, but an emotional sucker-punch like the one at the end of last night’s episode. I didn’t give a crap about Lexie dumping McWhicheverheis and sleeping with Alec, or even Meredith telling Derek that their boss is a drunk. What got me was Christina begging Dr. Altman to stay, her rarely-displayed heart on her sleeve. “Tell me what you want,” she begged. And when Altman said, “I want Owen,” Christina responded, without even a thought, “Then take him.” It was completely in keeping with what we know about Christina and her near-obsession with becoming a surgeon, and yet it was still a stunning moment. And that’s why, despite myself, I’ll tune in again this week.
What keeps me tuning in to DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES? Sheer habit and nothing more. I will say that the Lynette/Tom stuff has been very emotional and powerful over the past few weeks, but nothing else is working. And after a promising start to the season, the series has once again gone back to lazy writing with no cliffhangers (the gals all forgiving Katherine is not a reason to tune in next week) and a “mystery” that goes whole episodes without being developed. Worse, the show makes the worst mistake any serialized offering can make: It doesn’t let its characters grown from week to week. After the plane crash, Gabrielle had a vision about her daughter’s future and we were left with the impression that Juanita’s mom had learned a valuable lesson. Yet this week, there she was again, fretting over whether her child was advanced or not. It’s also a real shame that the show keeps playing Bob and Lee as secondary characters. Anyone who has ever seen Tuc Watkins’ work as ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s David knows he is an actor with an incredible sense of comic timing and the ability to play drama as well, and he’s perfectly matched against Kevin Rahm’s Lee.
While I wouldn’t necessarily miss BROTHERS & SISTERS if I stopped watching it, I continue to tune in for one reason: the Walker clan is wildly entertaining. Not their actual storylines, which are cliched and predictible to the point of being boring, but rather the actual dialogue and scenes which play them as a family unit. Get those characters together in a room, throw in a few drinks (their alcoholic tendencies is one of the best running gags on primetime) and the inevitable fireworks are a blast. B&S is a stellar example of a show with an amazing cast and great script writers that is in desperate need of someone to come in with an overall vision that goes beyond generic plot points. If this show actually started telling well-crafted story arcs with a few twists and a hint of originality, it could finally live up to its promise.
At some point over the past few years, THE DAILY SHOW morphed from a comedic look at today’s news to a biting commentary on how media outlets actually cover the day’s big stories. Of course, when you have Fox News personalities crying on a nightly basis, Rush Limbaugh accusing President Obama of “exploiting” the disaster in Haiti, and MSNBC’s blasting a politician as “an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women”, it’s not like Jon Stewart and company have to look hard for good material! (And still SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE thinks bad imitations of a blind governor is great schtick.)