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Thursday, May 26, 2005
Let's talk television

...Now that the main television season is wrapping up and we’re about to go into summer reruns and substandard programming, I need to vent about a few things that I’ve seen on television lately. My focus? Episodic television.

That’s right, those shows that we used to watch before sitcoms and reality shows invaded the landscape. Sometimes I wonder why I watch some of these shows – is it the escape from reality? Or is it simply to prove that I’m way more intelligent than the television writers give me (and millions of others) credit for.

Oh, and I apologize for anyone who is in a part of the world that hasn’t gotten the season enders yet – you might not want to read this… or at least save it until the show is finished.

First up: ‘ER’

I’m really not into a vent about this show, other than they’ve been recycling some storylines for the last year or so. I guess most people’s complaint is that they’re getting too much into the personal lives of some of the staff, but heck, they have to do *something* else they would blatantly have to recycle medical cases. After all, a case of ebola or some interesting flesh eating disease isn’t just going to walk into County General, is it?

Oh wait, I think it already did. It’s called ‘Morris’. He’s no Carter. And that’s what this is about – there’s no Carter on the regular staff anymore. I understand Noah Wyle’s need to spend time with his family and stretch his creative wings, and have to applaud the writers for giving him a reasonably decent exit, if a lonely one.

Next: ‘CSI’ – the original one.

The season finale rocked. Totally rocked. From one end of the spectrum to another. Quentin Taratino had a great idea, great direction, and it was all done in the CSI spirit and style. I have no bad words for this episode, other than I wanted Ecklie to nod in a rather resigned way when Gil said he wants his guys back. I have no bad words for this show.

The same does not hold true for the rest of the bunch.

Next: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

I have some serious hate for the writers of this show in making the season finale be the most clichéd thing that could possibly happen to our heroine Merideth Grey and her stud puppy love interest (who happens to be her boss’ boss) – it’s not that the Chief of Surgery found out that she’s having a fling with an attending… it’s that her stud puppy is married.

And she finds this out because the very snooty looking, very rich looking, bored haughty woman introduces herself as his wife, and that Merideth must be the one that’s screwing her husband. How much you wanna bet there’s people who want to firebomb ABC for that one now? And I bet she’s the estranged rich wife. Bitter and in the middle of divorce with StudPuppy – because, after all, he moved to Seattle to work for a hospital instead of staying in New York or New Hampshire or New Connecticut, or NewWhereever on the East Coast and staying with a lucrative private practice so that she could stay happily mired in her furs and such.

She looks older than him anyway…

Also on the firing line: ‘24’

Did they really have to kill Jack *AGAIN*? Come on, isn’t twice enough already? You had to make him one of the undead who walk the earth (read: zombie) thrice over? They’ve ‘killed’ him and brought him back to life every season but the first season, and that’s probably because they had one of the undead playing his wife that year.

At least they didn’t have the cliché of making him walk off into the sunset. But that’s because he walked off into the SUNRISE instead. Right. He’s not supposed to be seen, because he’s ‘dead’, yet he’s walking off along the train tracks in soon-to-be broad daylight. Not a smart move for Jack Bauer, but then again, who said he was smart? Certainly not the writers.

Seriously, if Keifer isn’t back next season, I won’t watch '24'. But then, according to the announcer, I don’t know Jack. Honestly, if they bring in someone else and explain it away that Jack had plastic surgery, they’re going to have to explain why he also had a voice transplant too.

Last, but certainly not least (and definitely not spared much ire): ‘Alias’

Alias. What can I say about Alias? Last night’s ending had to be the stupidest and meanest ending they could have ever contrived for the show. First off, they start the show with everyone parachuting into the Big Red Ball o’ Doom that looks remarkably like the one that almost killed Vaughn a couple of seasons ago. Only bigger. Then they manage to turn Nadia into a zombie with red eyes like the ball – oh but they’re going to try and save her. Riiiight.

Then the real end of the world comes – Sydney actually admits that she believed Sloane was doing the right thing. That should be some sort of cosmic clue that they’re going to turn the world on its ear, but I didn’t hear the warning bells. Next thing you know, Syd and Vaughn are in the car, driving down the coast around Santa Barbara, presumably heading for the beach.

Talking about weddings. Talking about eloping. Talking about love. And then Vaughn drops a secret in Syd’s lap because he loves her so much and doesn’t want to have any secrets. He could be a bad guy, depending on who you ask (ok, I want to know who to ask about that because I know J.J. Abrams won’t tell). It wasn’t coincidence that he was her handler. And by the way, since you’re so visibly freaked out Syd, his name isn’t Michael Vaughn.

And that’s when an incredibly large crash happens, hitting their car on Vaughn’s side of things and we go to black.

You know, that’s really mean of them to do this. There’s been all sorts of rumors for months – whether or not Michael Vartan is leaving the show, whether or not Alias is going to make the 5th season it’s last season… and this just doesn’t bode well for our kick-ass heroine and her love interest.

It’s as if they don’t want her involved with anyone because it will only bring angst. Then again, that’s what keeps bringing people back to the show, right? Riiiight. Still – you instill this sense of doing the right thing in eye candy Vaughn, and make him the pretty justice seeking SpyGirl’s love interest, get us to love them, and *now* you tell us that he might be a bad guy? Depending on who you ask, naturally…

...if you ask me, J.J. Abrams is the bad guy (especially after the last 10 minutes of ‘Lost’ last night)