There are a lot of reasons this blog has been inactive—work has been emotionally taxing, life has been filled with complications, I’ve been generally blocked—but those tell only part of the story. I’ve not been writing about TV; I’ve not been watching very much of it either.
Television breaks my heart. ((Hyperbole is the currency of the Internet. Hypobole (spellcheck doesn’t appreciate that neologism) only works if your name is Bob Newhart or Steven Wright.))
Whether it’s a once-brilliant show dragging itself along for years after it should have exited gracefully—like some revenant haunting the moors—or a challenging show that falters in its final moments with a clumsy deus ex Ron Moore’s ass, ((While there are some who feel the ending was such a misstep that it invalidates the hours that preceded it, I’m not one of them. I think the ending was a creative whiff, but at least they didn’t just take the strike.)) or just the realization that Whitney Cummings has two shows on the air while there are seasoned show runners with actual talent who can’t get a pilot shot…
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah
…it’s getting harder for me to engage with TV anymore. I still watch a good assortment of shows (and keep telling myself that I need to catch up on some other highly regarded ones) but many of those are out of habit.
My fingers hover over the remote as each new episode of The Office or How I Met Your Mother airs. Is this going to be the week I finally pull the plug? Is this the week I cancel the Season Pass? It’s close. One of those shows is a bitter reminder of how bitter its nominal lead character has become. The other is just flailing, an unfunny chicken whose head cut itself off. ((That is one fucked up metaphor. It’s not evocative; it’s evidence that I’ve not been writing much. But I’m leaving it in. Warts and all, that’s what this is going to be.))
But I do care, still. And I do recognize that even as I’m getting more crotchety, we’re still living in a golden age of television. Mad Men is returning in just over a month, for Farnsworth’s sake.
So, I’m going to do what any curmudgeon does best: I’m going to bitch.
I certainly don’t have the energy, nor the desire, to do weekly recaps of shows I’ve grown weary of; I don’t even have the energy to recap shows I still like. And hell, no one needs or wants to read my recaps. I don’t much want to preview or review new and returning shows as there are thousands of other people more enthusiastic and excited about doing that right now. What I can do is apply my highly critical (in all senses of the word) eye to the state of television. And I can do it in a systematic and annoyingly direct way.
I’m going to run through all the networks, weblets, and cable outlets I watch (and a few I don’t regularly watch) and critique their tone, their programming decisions, and any damn other thing that crosses my mind. And remember that I don’t watch all that much TV anymore, so it should be interesting ((For small values of “interesting”.)) at the very least that I would unhumbly offer a critique.
Some of the broadcasters will most definitely come off well. Some will come off NBC.
I’m going to try to do several of these a week, once a day if I can remain motivated, and while I have some ideas how they’ll be prioritized, they probably won’t end up in any sensible order when it’s all said and done. I’ll (hopefully) even throw in some deeper analysis as I go along, but there’s no telling when I’ll just get lazy again.