Pop Rocks: 10 Shows the Kardashians Outlasted
Over half a decade of quality programming.
In the course of writing Pop Rocks, I'm often exposed to information so horrific, so atrocious, so...repugnant it defies human comprehension. I first stumbled upon this particular tidbit several months ago, but only now has my sanity recovered from the eldritch horror of it all:
There is about a month before the premiere of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" season 6. To tide fans over the show's return, E! has debuted a trailer for the reality series. There is no big drama in the preview since all the girls are featured in good mood.
Season 6? How in the name of Norman Lear can we have endured six seasons of television revolving around a family whose sole claims to fame are being the progeny of the guy who helped O.J. Simpson get away with murder and filming themselves having sex?
Oh, who am I kidding? None of this is shocking anymore, but just because I like to stoke the fires of misplaced outrage (let's all get irate about an E! show while our federal education budget is slashed), here are a few superior programs that never enjoyed the Kardashians' TV success.
My So-Called Life (1 season) -- I'm employing empirical standards for "good," since I loathed this show like only someone forced to relive his adolescence a scant four years after it was over. Critics seemed to like it, though. Heh, what do they know?
And what's with the angsty blond kid? Lose the white boy 'fro, Art Garfunkel: it's 1994!
Star Trek (The Original Series) (3 seasons) -- They didn't even get a five-year mission, and I never got to practice my own personal form of pon farr.
Any Joss Whedon series not called Buffy: The Buffy Slayer -- A crying shame for Firefly, not so much for Dollhouse. Even the inexplicably popular Angel only made it five seasons, leaving David Boreanaz free to pursue forensics.
Monty Python's Flying Circus (4 seasons) -- Renamed Monty Python after John Cleese left (3rd season)...I'm sorry, I'd write more but just started a Python quote thread on Facebook and have been over there for 45 minutes.
Twin Peaks (2 seasons) -- I was in was college. I didn't have cable. Or a job. Of course I got hooked on Twin Peaks.
Don't judge me, did you see Sherilyn Fenn back then?
Sports Night (2 seasons) -- (see also My So Called Life). I've never been an initiate into the Church of Sorkin, and this is where his TV career kicked off. Smarter people than me seem to love this show, so what can you do? Besides deride conventional means of measuring IQ, I mean?
The Good Guys (1 season) -- This one hurt. I really enjoyed the antics of detectives Dan Stark and Jack Bailey, and said as much on this very blog. Fox obviously heard my pleas, because they canceled it after one season.
Taxi (5 seasons) -- I hadn't seen anything like Taxi when I first watched it during its initial run. Or maybe my preadolescent mind just had trouble grasping the character of Latka.
The Wire/Deadwood/Rome -- I'm not going to argue all three are on an equal plane, quality-wise. Rome never got enough of a head of steam to become really good, Deadwood was good but uneven, and even The Wire -- non-ironically referred to in many circles as the greatest TV show ever -- phoned it in the last season. Having said that, is it really fair you'll be watching Kourtney and Scott skirt the boundaries of credit card fraud and domestic abuse for several years longer than any of these shows -- which actually had something to say -- aired?
Freaks & Geeks (1 season) -- It took a little longer than I expected, but the gild is finally coming off Judd Apatow's lily. You don't have to produce *everything* that's offered to you, Judd. In fact, turning down the occasional project might've spared you the embarrassment of Year Zero and Get Him to the Greek. The whole "From the director of The 40-Year Old Virgin" thing doesn't have quite the same 'oomph' these days.
The Honeymooners (1 season) -- Boy, they knew how to do seasons back then: 39 episodes, spanning almost an entire calendar year. Fortunately, Jackie Gleason stayed active in television into the 1980s. I have my doubts Kim K's popularity will be sustainable once her famous derriere starts to succumb to gravity.
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