Friday, November 27, 2009

TV Yin and Yang

Been an interesting and rather satisfying few months of TV viewing the past few months (with a few potholes along the way).

Not to be redundant but I had to agree with just about everyone that MAD MEN ended its third season absolutely brilliantly, elevating it to my Top Ten list of Best Series of All Time. This year had a slow roll, but by its final few episodes, picked up light speed by a most satisfying season finale. One of the highlights had to be the deconstruction and damn near crash and burn of Don Draper. The scenes of Don finally coming to terms with his past to his wife Betty were spot on brilliant. Writer/creator Matthew Weiner is a television giant.

Hooray for the reinvention (or rediscovery) of Ted Danson on DAMAGES and especially HBO's BORED TO DEATH. Time for Alec Baldwin to take a backseat for awhile since he's wearing out his welcome. Danson rules the roost.

FX continues its winning streak with SONS OF ANARCHY (THE SOPRANOS on bikes) and the continually bad craziness of NIP/TUCK. As for SONS, I vote Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal as couple of the year.

Speaking of Baldwin, is 30 ROCK the most overrated sitcom on broadcast TV? Truth to be told, I have never been a regular, but for the most part, the only positive reaction I've had watching this show is the occasional smirk. While I give Tina Fey all the credit in the world for putting this show together, I still find her to be a limited comedic actress. And Tracy Morgan is a one trick pony that needs to go to the glue factory. He was one of the worst members of SNL in his time on the show and now hangs on like a cold that won't go away. As for Alec Baldwin, I say again, take a break.

Speaking of overrated, is CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM the most overrated show on cable?

CURB had 2 out of the 12 episodes that I felt were worthy-DENISE HANDICAP and THE BARE MIDRIFF. The others, including the much-hyped SEINFELD reunion seem to coast along on its reputation, like Larry David himself. Most of the time, I feel like he's saying "Eh. That's good enough." Other times, he tries too hard and the strain is really beginning to show. However, I do give he and Michael Richards a round of applause for having balls o'plenty to confront Richards' racist rant a few years back. Overall, my enthusiasm for this show has been curbed to the point of abandoning the vehicle altogether.

On the reality front, I've finally watched TOP CHEF and even though the food is more interesting here, it's really no different than Food Network's NEXT IRON CHEF. (By the way, someone needs to take a swing at Alton Brown) On the other hand, host Padma Lakshmi is the world's most beautiful dullard. My God, what a boring woman...and she was married to Salman Rushdie. Even he got fed up with her dial-tone voice and endless posturing."Please! Put me back on the fatwa! I beg of you! She's boring me to horrors!" Salman probably pleaded. To which I can only add, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ................................

Again, I have to add that most of my viewing habits lay in cable programming with the miracle of on-demand options thrown in for good measure.. While others have some sort of DVR or choose to catch shows on the Internet or renting DVD of shows, how the hell are the networks or broadcast television going to survive? The answer is: They're not. Free TV is going the way of all flesh. This year's mandatory conversion to digital was pretty much the first nail in the coffin.
Next on the hit list: the Nielsen ratings, a mercy killing in my book.

Mark my words, o' true believers.

Excelsior! (or some other packing material)

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