Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tardy Report Cards

On thinking about television without actually writing about it until its too late.

Sure, May Sweeps were ages ago. And those Spring Finales can hardly be remembered. But I've got something to say dammit, and it'll be said. Because this is a blog. And it's been anything but topical lately. So why mess with success?

1. CBS -- I watched nothing on this network during prime time, yet since it and PBS are the only channels I can actually get at home on my bunny ears, I have developed something of an embittered affinity for Craig Ferguson. While his interviewing style needs loads of polish, and his musical guests are way too West Coast, his monologue is probably the tightest in all of late-nite TV. And he has all those funny noises. Man, I love funny noises.

Letter Grade: C- / Ferguson carries this network.

2. FOX -- I miss the X-Files. I tried getting through season 3 of 24 on DVD for a second time this past winter. I failed again. Miserably, too. Plus, they black out all the good baseball games on Saturday afternoon when I try watching them on Bastards.

Grade: F / Someone reunite Bob Costas with baseball.

3. CW -- Someday, I'll catch up on season 3 of Veronica Mars. I can't say I was too sad to hear it was canned, though. Buffy was all downhill after 3 seasons, so at least VM won't have to go through that. And they finally canceled Seventh Heaven, too!

Grade: D+ / I give it two more years, tops.

4. NBC -- Who would have though that NBC could have stolen my heart so madly and deeply this past year. Friday Night Lights literally blew me away. I can't say enough about this show. It's damn good TV; most likely the best drama on television, cable or no. Heroes, however, sort of limped to an inauspicious ending. Sylar is still alive? Who cares? If it weren't for Hiro and Super-Jess, I don't think I'd be interested in season 2. Studio 60, on the other hand, finished up its run (during June, no less) on the upswing. Kind of. I got the feeling Aaron Sorkin just kind of threw caution to the wind and pulled out every TV cliche possible for the last four eps. In spite of all the ridiculous melodrama, this cast really acted their asses off, and Sorkin tied things up quite nicely in the end, giving his lame-duck series the kind of farewell that he couldn't with the West Wing. On top of all that, NBC threw a bunch of really good "quirky" series onto the wall to see what stuck: 30 Rock? Success! Andy Barker, P.I. and Raines? No one watched but me! Brilliant!

Grade: B+ / Friday Night Lights moves to Friday nights! It was nice knowing you.

5. ABC -- More shows that didn't make it regardless of how quality they were -- Knights of Prosperity and Day Break just couldn't take the network heat. Day Break because no one who loved Lost gave it a chance (even though it blew 2/3 of Lost season 3 out of the water); and Knights because ABC doesn't know how to market half-hour comedies. Good job, suits! Then there was Lost. Some good, some bad. After a terrible start, my faith was nearly restored in this series -- until the last couple of episodes. If Locke had actually died, I would have given up on this show completely. More on that tomorrow, because this post is long enough already.

Grade: B- / Let's Rob Ray Romano. Wouldn't you have watched that show?

Overall Grade: C+ / Too many good shows got buried.

My Life's Overall Pathetic-ness Grade: A- / Only because I don't watch CSI Miami.

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