Thursday, March 19, 2009

the current best night of television in the US...for the next week or so.

If you want evidence that the US television might've seen its best years slipping away, be aware that the current best night of primetime commercial broadcast television, the current (for the next two weeks or so) Wednesday nights, are great because of three essentially cancelled series playing out their strings, and one newcomer which isn't too discouraging.

Wednesdays. EDT:
ABC 8-8:30 PM Scrubs
8:30-9 PM Better Off Ted (now filling in for a second Scrubs)
NBC 9-10 PM Life
ABC 10-11 PM Life on Mars

Scrubs might not be working Too hard, as they take the victory lap of their eighth season and first on ABC, but it's better than it's been for a while. Better Off Ted probably won't last the summer, but it's not without a certain charm and wit (but will annoy many with its arch "zaniness."). Life is simply the best series on broadcast now, at least, an intelligently acted and written series that pulls all of its threads just so. Life on Mars improves on what (admittedly little) I've seen of its UK parent, and just when one thinks it's too heavy-handed, dances right past one with a deft twist or so.

And they'll all be over in weeks or perhaps a month or so.

At least the last really good night (Babylon-5, The X-Files, Homicide: Life on the Street...it was all the punctuation that made them) lasted a full season, in DC in '95-'96.

3 comments:

K. A. Laity said...

And yet, it doesn't tempt me to turn on my television at all. Surprise -- when there are so many other alternatives, this kind of tepid fare has little appeal. When do you think television programmers will catch on? At about the same pace as the car companies? Yeah, I'd guess that.

Todd Mason said...

These aren't the tepid shows...except perhaps TED...the tepid shows are what we're left with since no nearly one with a Nielsen meter nor diary is watching them, as opposed to the genuine tepid LOST or GRAY'S ANATOMY.

Thus you become, in a distant way, part of the self-reinforcing cycle of mediocrity, the reversion to the bland.

Like the car folks, some of the execs catch on for a while, and then they move on, and their successors have no clue.

Todd Mason said...

Also...there are great films and books to experience, and videogames for those who do them...but there aren't that many great New films, and these are at least Very Good new drama. (Save TED.)(Which isn't bad.)