Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sophia? Murphy? Julia? Anyone?

well, it is the beginning/middle of the month of may and that could only mean one thing is upon us. aside from increasing temperatures and humidity, the expected season finales and cliff hangers are rapidly approaching. but i must say that for the first time in 28 years, i could care less. tv absolutely sucks. there is only one show that i need to make sure i see, tape, read the about on the internet, etc. and that is 'desperate housewives.'

it seems that we are currently stuck in a world of over-populated and over-played reality tv. i will be the first to admit that i was once a 'reality tv whore' when they first started. i'm talking 3 or 4 shows back-to-back every night. it got so bad that my family actually considered an intervention to try and ween me off the lives of the people i now considered to know personally. my justification for it all was that i enjoyed watching people make complete a**es of themselves, trying to find love with complete strangers, trying to live and work with people completely opposite of themselves and people trying to do outrageous physical challenges all for some cash. but at the end of the day, it made me feel better to see these pathetic people on tv trying to get 15 minutes of fame. their pain, suffering and level of being pathetic made me realize that my life wasn't so bad. they entertained me and made me feel good about myself. that wasn't me sitting in a hot tub making out with a different person for all of the country to see. granted, it has been the scene of a few weekends from my past, but at least millions of people were not viewing it.

the truth of the matter is that there is just not a lot of good writing out there anymore. even the shows that are currently still on air and that i was once faithful to have gone downhill. and fast.

'will & grace' used to be hilarious. finally, for the first time, a gay man was portrayed as a professional who dressed well, had amazing friendships, a beautiful apartment and was intelligent. and there was the flipside in the character of jack, who is a person we all know. point being is that it was good, intelligent writing that was realistic. and then all of a sudden, the character of will is dating a cop who gets fired for trying on a pair of gloves in a department store while covering a robbery. are you kidding me?!

'friends' is over and 'joey' just doesn't cut it. 'friends' is another example in which the show started out amazingly in its writing, did a downward spiral, but bounced back to round out the series. some of the older shows are classic. the only thing that ever bothered me about that show is that there is no way in hell a coffeshop waitress could afford an apartment like that. i don't care whose grandmother's name was on the lease. and i have a friend who is upset that there were never any brown-skinned peeps in nyc. guess guliani had them all removed along with the homeless.

and 'the apprentice.' after 3 seasons, getting old and predictable. however, in my opinion, the smartest of the reality tv shows in which there are no pysical challenges taking place. what we have here are a series of mental challeges and a challenge of 'survival of the fittest' when it comes time to defend yourself in the boardroom.

say what you want about the 80s and 90s, but that was a time of well-written, thought-provoking television. take me back to the days where a character's monologue and summary of the entire episode started with 'picture this. sicily. 1935.' i mean, come on. it doesn't get much better than telling stories of 4 senior citizen woman sharing a house in miami. or 4 southern belles running an interior decorating company in atlanta. and let's not forget the loud-mouthed, hard a** anchorwoman in washington d.c. who faced recovery from alcoholism and became a single mother challenging the then vice-president and his ridiculous comments on the issue. and finally, the overwieght, loud mouth mother of 3 living in landford, illinois. you know, the show that portrayed how american families really are when struggling to deal with family and real life adult issues. ok, she can't sing, but the b*tch kept it real and told the truth for parents everywhere. and there was none of that brady-esque happy ending all the time.

one thing that i have noticed is that the formula for a great, well-wriiten television show is to have the lead character(s) be a woma(e)n. that observation can be traced all the way back to the original comedy duo of lucy and ethel. there was maude, alice, one day at a time, three's company. do we see a pattern here people? the last great female dominated show there was had to be the classic 'sex and the city.' there will never be another like it. love, relationships, friendships and sex all told through the eyes and views of woman. smart, educated women no less. 'desperate housewives' is very well written and entertaining. but is not old enough yet to be held up to the flame that the previous shows mentioned hold.

i know that when i get horizontal on the couch and flip through the 600 channels i have of crap, there is always two places i can land to be reminded that there was once a time of great tv. that would be nick at nite and tv land. there, i can find strong, thought provoking characters telling interesting, true stories. with the click of my remote, i am transported back to miami, atlanta, landford, washington d.c. and even boston. forgot to mention 'cheers.' not female dominated, but a great show.

it's either that or pop in my dvds of 'sex,' 'golden girls' or 'murphy.' much better to laugh at the truth than watch people have scorpions hanging from their crotch.


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