Monday, April 27, 2009

TV Shows that need saving

I was just browsing around CNN.com, when I found a list of currently running network TV shows that have yet to be renewed for next season. That doesn't mean they're canceled, but it means that they are possibly on the brink of death, and the head jerks at each network are mulling over their futures. Here is the entire list as it appears on CNN.com:

“Better Off Ted”, ABC

“Castle”, ABC

“Chuck”, NBC

“Cold Case”, CBS

“Dollhouse”, Fox

“Eleventh Hour”, CBS

“Everybody Hates Chris”, CW

“My Name is Earl”, NBC

“Privileged”, CW

“Samantha Who?”, ABC

“Sit Down, Shut Up”, Fox

“Southland”, NBC

“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, Fox

“The Unit”, CBS

“The Unusuals”, ABC

“Without a Trace”, CBS


Honestly, I am truly surprised by a few of these, especially the lot of CBS "action-dramas" that could be on the chopping block. Of course, that ghastly "Sarah Conner Chronicles" has to go. I can't say I even heard of the rest of them.

"Without a Trace" and "Cold Case" have been two of my favorite shows for awhile. Unfortunately, these two Bruckheimer-produced cop/FBI dramas have gotten a little stale. People are a little sick of the same formula. It's always some case presented, the team tries to solve it, everyone's always too attractive, then the case gets solved with seconds to spare! Another 46 minute miracle! At least with these two shows, there's not always a happy ending, you know, sometimes there's a dead body at the end.

Both these shows have had nice runs, but they definitely still have followings and it might be unwise to terminate them at this point. It's tough to start up new shows these days. But in an effort to save money, the networks may go after more reality programming. Sure as hell cheaper than producing a Bruckheimer show with 6-8 person casts.

With "Cold Case" what did they expect the ratings to do? They banished it to 9pm on Sundays. This new time slot will always lose out to FOX and its cartoons. Dumb. Despite this, the veteran Philadelphia-set detective show is nearly on par with "24" in the ratings game.

"Without a Trace" is my pick between these two to be saved. Badass characters like Jack Malone and the extremely hot Elena Delgado (Rosalyn Sanchez) are well liked. Besides, it drew 13.2 million viewers last Tuesday, good for 9th on the Nielsen list.

Also surprising about this list is CBS's "The Unit". I haven't watched this since season one, but I remember it being pretty badass. They did some cool stuff and killed a lot of bad guys. Plus, how can you not be a Dennis Haysbert fan? He's the man. Unfortunately people are no longer watching it. This one could be a casualty.

Why I really started to write this though is in support of NBC's "Southland".

This is truly the best show to come out of network TV since "Criminal Minds". It is raw, uncut, and is half reality show, half "The Shield".

It stars the dude from the "O.C", Regina King, Kevin Alejandro, and a cast of other slightly recognizable character actors. It focuses on Los Angeles city police officers as they deal with inevitable heinousness that goes with patrolling the most disgusting streets in America.

My severe dislike of Los Angeles is perhaps why I love this show so much. It is the most disturbingly gross city in this great union of ours, and it is constantly glamorized-- perhaps because every show, movie, and Kelly Clarkson single is written, produced, and recorded somewhere in LA. It's truly ridiculous.

And while the CSI series only dwells on hot housewives in white pants while city employees drive $55,000 Hummers and Denalis, "Southland" attempts to portray things the way they really are.

Of course not all police officers are chauvinist jerks, racists, or inappropriate to the city's population as some have been in several episodes so far, but that's what makes this a drama and not a reality program-- or perhaps vice versa...

What I love about this show though is that they deal with real stuff. They respond to gang warfare in Highland Park and South Central, this is a world where Mexicans and Blacks really do kill each other for no reason other than the color of their skin. While Horatio Caine has never once driven into Little Havana on CSI Miami, these cops on Southland are shooting gangbangers on 135th and Figueroa.

Another nice touch is that the characters on the show will use foul language that is bleeped out. It really adds to the grittiness of it. Real people swear, you know? Also, I noticed that there is zero soundtrack. No dramatic nonsense music in the background, no absurd dialogue-less montages. I don't remember the last time I did my job to an MGMT soundtracked montage... do you?

I sincerely hope NBC brings back "Southland". They have very little going for themselves over there other than "Law & Order: SVU" and people will get into this show. It might take them a little while, but they will love it.

In other news, RIP Pontiac. It's not your fault. We will never forget the GTOs and Trans Ams of yesterday's lore. Also, if you're looking for a car, the 361 horsepower Pontiac G8 is one sweet ride that should be deeply discounted.

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1 Comments:

OpenID audreythewench said...

I've heard good things about Southland--beyond what you've said, I've been told that it's less about the cases ('another 46-minute miracle,' indeed) and more about the characters themselves, which makes me more inclined to watch it. I think I'll check it out.
Of the shows listed, I've seen Castle, Chuck and Dollhouse, and I've enjoyed them all. I've heard both Castle and Chuck classified as 'dramedies,' which is a stupid word that I assume is supposed to mean alternating between intense and hilarious--a mix that happens to work for me, since I find shows like 24 put me at risk for heart failure even if I am interested. Castle is honestly funny, if another quirky cop show. I'd be disappointed to see it go. Chuck is finishing up its 2nd season a lot stronger than it did its first. I personally think it is one of the most hilarious shows on television, mostly because of the side characters. Dollhouse is a Joss Whedon creation and one of my favorite shows. They'd better not cancel this mofo before I find out what in the hell is going on! Besides having a really interesting premise, it's got a hot leading lady so I'm sure you'd love it.
I also heard that Life and Kings, both on NBC, might get cancelled. Life is by far the best show I've seen in a long time. It would take me too long to tell you why it is as amazing as it is, so instead I'll link to the blog of a like-minded friend: http://cowtowncool.blogspot.com/2009/04/life-much_13.html. And I watched the first 5 episodes of Kings, which is a modern retelling of the Biblical book of Kings, and I am really impressed with two actors: Ian McShane (as the Saul-character) is probably the strongest part of the whole show; his acting really carries everything else. Brian Cox has only shown up twice in a relatively minor role, but even his brief appearances left big impressions. The rest of the show is pretty good, but it would be nothing without those two.
Wow--I guess I'm pretty enthusiastic about TV. I like all those shows, though. They're a lot better than most of the shit on television, and it would be a travesty if they were all cancelled and all the crap reality programming gets to stay on.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009  

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