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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

why does TV suck so much lately?

I’ve given up on Sarah Connor Chronicles and Heroes. Given up on blogging about them on an episode-by-episode basis like I have been doing. I’m still watching… sort of. Because what I really mean when I say that I watch something on TV is that I give it my undivided attention, which means that that show demands my undivided attention. Heroes used to do that. I wanted Sarah Connor to do that, though it never quite did. Now, when I “watch” Heroes and Sarah Connor, I’m doing something else at the same time: answering email, folding laundry, painting my fingernails (yes, I do girly things sometimes).

If a show can’t hold my undivided attention, it means I can’t have anything much to say with regards to it. I’m better off devoting my reviewing time to something actually worth writing about. Maybe I’ll have something to say later in the seasons for these shows. I’m not writing off writing about them forever. Just till they excite me again.
It would be nice if something on TV excited me, demanded my full attention. Pushing Daisies has been doing that, but it’s just been cancelled, and so now we’re on the deathwatch for it, counting down the remaining seven episodes to be aired.

And yet the screechingly awful Life on Mars gets an order for more episodes.

I look at a list of the top-rated shows of last week, and I have to wonder, Who the hell watches this stuff? Who can stand to watch this stuff? Dancing with the Stars? The Amazing Race? Game shows. Desperate Housewives? People really watch that? I swear The Mentalist is designed to make stupid people feel smart by telegraphing everything. Eleventh Hour is yet another lifeless, bloodless ripoff from British TV. I can’t even tolerate House anymore, it’s the same old stuff over and over again.

Sci Fi Friday used to be a reliable night of geeking out for me. But Stargate Atlantis has long since squandered whatever potential it might have had, and we’re on deathwatch for that, too. (And what’s this? We’re on track for yet another spinoff of the franchise, Stargate Universe, which they might as well call Stargate Voyager, that’s how boring it promises to be, unless the SG people get a lot more adventurous with the show than they’ve been.) Sanctuary makes me want to scream, it’s so tedious, so been-there-done-that.

The Christmas episode of Doctor Who — which of course will not air on American TV at all till god knows when — will be like a tiny oasis in this desert.

Things may improve in early 2009. Battlestar Galactica returns on Friday, January 16… for a handful of episodes before that’s done. Lost returns on Wednesday, January 21. Burn Notice returns at an as-yet unspecified date “this winter” (which is a bit weird — it seems like such a summer show to me).

Ooo, and Fox will debut Joss Whedon’s sci-fi mindbender Dollhouse on February 13. But wait: That’s a Friday, and Friday night may work on cable, but it’s a dead zone on the broadcast networks, which means Fox is trying to kill it before it even gets started. Which may be a good thing, since Whedon’s been trying to kill it too, it seems.

Why does TV suck so hard these days? Stupid TV: be more entertaining.



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