Thursday, March 22, 2007

today : I watch less TV than usual

Odd, and slightly pervy

I am pretty bereft of decent long-form TV at the moment. My cable has started offering on-demand series. I thought I'd catch up and watch Alias Season 5. Alias was more fun than I expected. Only I gave up watching Season 5 in the first episode when it became obvious that each shot was planned to disguise the fact that Jennifer Garner was pregnant. How ridiculous. Why did they not postpone making it until she had given birth - or just gone with it. And anyway I got tired of all the false identities and Rennaissance sub-DaVinci Code, Name of the Rose crap.

I more or less predicted the demise of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was pretty clear from early on that it was an ill-conceived idea, and although it was interesting and almost very good - it ran it's course without reaching mid-season.

Spooks is returning in November and I am not optimistic. I think they've covered pretty much all the stories they could think of.

Gray's Anatomy seems to be getting more popular but also has kind of got repetitive. To have two main characters not speaking to each other for about ten episodes shows signs of a plot cul-de-sac. It's as if the writers are reluctant to follow the rules. You can't pair up main characters without having to split them up or there is no more drama. And when two (arguably three) of the five main characters start having their loved ones ill in the very hospital where they work then it just seems silly. And that's before I start on again about the increasingly annoying incidental music.

So what's left? Well, there's House, which actually needs more character stuff because the arcs move too slowly due to the formula of having a case to solve each week. Its still very watchable but needs to be unhooked a bit. More two parters are needed like last season's sweeps story - and the fabulous Lisa Edelstein needs to be used more.

Which leaves only Boston Legal, which here in Britain is starting season 3. Is there anyone more watchable on TV at the moment than James Spader? In BL he is still playing the slightly odd, pervy character that has served him well through an entire career only this time in a humorous and non-threatening incarnation. But nobody does likeable perv better than Spader.

Of course, BL just a wilfully politically incorrect, adolescent-minded remake of Ally MacBeal. Only this time they have cut out the itzy ditzy central character and killed the girly soppiness stone dead. Which helps, because Ally McBeal was one of the worst and most annoying shows of all time. BL is one of the few mainstream
dramedies that actually makes me laugh, even when the jokes are pretty cheap and at the expense of dwarves, cross dressers, peeping toms, cannibalistic homeless people and other relatively easy targets. The skill in the show is that it does manage to balance the character comedy with the cases and treats the (usually taboo bending, bizarre and unsavoury) cases as comedy and the strange odious comedic behaviour of the lawyers as drama. Which is, all in all, rather satisfying. It's a shame about the 1980's style incdental music, though. But what can you expect from the same 'creatives' who gave, as their abiding gift to the world, the utterly memorable singing sensation that is Vonda Shepherd?

No comments:

Post a Comment