Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Television losing its grip

I just want to say how much I appreciate the major television networks and their efforts to help ween me from my nightly television viewing habits. By continuing to cancel shows that I watch regularly and failing to produce any new shows that are worth my time they are making it much easier for me to spend my evenings doing more productive things.

Just this past week they announced this is the last season for Frasier. And earlier they announced that there will be no more Friends. That frees up a whole hour right there. Unfortunately, I did get hooked recently by the new series Joan of Arcadia, so it’s pretty much a wash right now. But I’m fully expecting the networks will opt not to renew Joan of Arcadia next season since my decision to watch a show typically seals its doom in that respect.

Right now my weekly television viewing habits are pretty sparse. Here are the shows that I watch on a regular basis:
Monday: None
Tuesday: Frasier; Judging Amy
Wednesday: Star Trek: Enterprise
Thursday: Friends; ER
Friday: Joan of Arcadia
Saturday: None
Sunday: None

My wife and I just started watching Friends for the first time this season. I’m sure that was the final nail in the show’s coffin. But at least we have six years worth of re-runs that we have never seen.
I’m worried about Enterprise. The ratings have gone down and the show has become increasingly desperate to draw more viewers which usually only speeds its descent into oblivion.
ER is still going strong even with an almost entirely new cast. I was preturbed, however, when they decided to kill off my favorite character this season - Dr. Ray Romano, the arrogant and saracastic jerk with the heart of gold. Last season they decided to torture his character by chopping his arm off with a helicopter propeller and this season they wrapped it up by having a helicopter drop out of the sky to squash him like a bug.
Over at Judging Amy, the main character is continuing to torture every man who has the audacity to fall for her. This season she abandoned her latest beau at the alter - literally. And the show’s writers are continuing that Hollywood tradition of breaking up every marriage and keeping all the characters unhappily single. I suppose that locking a character into a loving relationship is a hardship on the poor writers who then cannot fall back on their bag of cliches for new plot developments.

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