« The pretend Kyoto Protocol | Home | Osbourne vs. Osbourne »

December 4, 2003


Shows We're Not Watching

sodom and gomorrah

If you have turned on your TV lately, you may have noticed there's basically nothing good on.

Take a look at the twenty top rated shows this week. Are there any that you actually look forward to watching? Think about it. Is there a decent drama? A funny sitcom? Sure, we tune in to 24 every week out of a sense of obligation, Queer Eye is sort of funny, and Amy's into The OC, but I think you have to admit that, objectively speaking, even these shows aren't really all that good. But at least they're better than 99% of the other crap. Watching TV these days is a little like being God looking at Sodom and Gomorrah...you keep hoping for that one good show, but it never seems to materialize.

Let's have a look at shows we're not watching:

  • CSI. Oh my god, this show is so boring. Why is everyone watching it? Watching Scully do the same stuff was so much more interesting, and I can still catch her in re-runs. You sit there and you wait for these people to reconstruct the crime, and the payoff is usually so anti-climactic, you wish that they would just show the people getting killed and forget all the Rashomon crap. In this one episode I watched, it starts like this: a couple of kids jumped off a cliff and drowned, a guy got electrocuted by a power surge in his house, and someone let his baby cook to death in his car. And -- hold onto your seats -- here's how it turned out: a couple of kids jumped off a cliff and died, a guy got electrocuted by a power surge in his house, and someone let his baby cook to death in his car. The show never really goes anywhere. It's just a lot of people scratching their heads and waving fluorescent wands around. What kind of fluid is this? Hey, look, a fiber. SO BORING. Don't even get me started on the episode where the fetishists dress up in bad zip-up animal suits and then get run over by a car.
  • CSI: Miami. This is the number one rated show on TV right now. Not as intrinsically boring as regular CSI, but the dialogue is worse, and like I said in my red-haired crimefighters post a couple weeks ago, the rest of the cast disappears into the wallpaper as David Caruso breathlessly attempts to resuscitate his career. The show was so bad, I couldn't even make it past the first half of the episode I was watching. Maybe I'll give it another shot some time, but it was sort of excruciating.
  • Nip/Tuck. This show had a lot of promise, but it turned out to be all sizzle and no steak. Sure, there's lots of naked people doing it in the shower, and plenty of bad language (Once, a lady said, "Eat shit and die, asshole!" This is on F/X! Since when did FCC standards become so lax?) But the show itself is very convoluted and, as it turns out, not very engaging, even though it has a pretty good premise.
  • Survivor. This has been going on for sooo long. How can it still be fresh? I thought it was interesting when Richard screwed everybody in season one, but doesn't man's inhumanity to man get old after a while? I admit I thought it was funny that one of the guys this year faked the death of his grandmother so he could get a bit of luxury time away from the tribe, but still. This idea has run its course.
  • Fear Factor. I'm not sure anyone is watching this show anyway, but did you see the promos of the people making -- and then drinking -- the wine made out of worms? That may have been the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life. I can barely write about it without gagging and dry heaving. Why on earth is a show like that on tv? Is it purely to debase us?
  • Law & Order: SVU. I know some of our friends like it, but every week the show seems eager to outdo its previous representation of defilement of the human spirit. Not enough to have a mutilating rapist on the loose...let's throw in a serial child rapist in the same episode! How can it be entertaining if you're busy plugging your ears and covering your eyes every time they show and talk about a victim? How harsh is this show? Here you go: The pilot episode, which I'll never forget, involved Serbian rape victims striking back. This is how you introduce yourself to your audience! Obviously, in order to justify the murders, we had to hear all kinds of graphic details about the rapes. Beautiful. I'll just be down the hall checking on my frozen pizza... All the Law & Orders have a tendency to commodify rape, but at least with the other versions, you occasionally get a break. We like the other two flavors of L&O, especially the reruns on TNT, but SVU substitutes shock value for the intelligence of its less grisly cousins.
  • All of the CSI rip-offs. Cold Case, Without a Trace, etc., etc. The original was boring enough...No need for watered down versions. Can someone please invent a new kind of TV show? What? Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are spending a month on a farm in Arkansas? You're taping the whole thing? THANK YOU.
Anyway, if you read this site with any regularity, you may have noticed we spent most of November writing about different TV shows (mainly because it was sweeps and I got cable and a Tivo), but this post is sort of a farewell to all that. We still love TV as much as we hate it, but we're not really going to write much about it. Laura will do her Bachelor recaps and the Trista wedding, and we'll talk about 24 and the OC every now and then, but for everything else, we're going to cool it for a while, unless, of course, something good comes on. -adm
As I have only ever watched two of the shows included in our nation's Top 20 (CSI and Law & Order, and each of those I have seen a maximum of two times,) I am beginning to understand why I always feel like I have nothing in common with my fellow Americans. I have also never watched any of the shows that ADM covers here, except for that one dull CSI episode I watched two years ago where some hooker died of smoke inhalation. I'm glad we've decided to cool it with the TV for a while. Considering I mostly just watch Seinfeld and Dawson's Creek reruns anyway (thanks, TBS!) (and mostly watch the Seinfeld in hopes that I'll catch that one episode where Catherine Keener plays Jerry's artist girlfriend,) I'm sure it's for the best.

The Simple Life, though. My guess is that the biggest surprise about this show is how funny and good-natured Paris and Nicole actually turn out to be. Nicole got some good one-liners in during these first episodes, and I think we'll end up grudgingly fond of both of them, in spite of the anti-rich-person nature of the show. -amy

categories: TV
posted by adm at 12:05 AM | #


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)