The Week In TV: Lost and Found
I'm tired, hungry, and probably just experiencing all this in a pleasant purgatory of my own making. This was the week in TV Land:
• So, Lost ended. I'd be lying if I said I was completely pleased with the way it went down. I wasn't expecting bursts of exposition to answer every little detail from the past six years, but I was hoping to get a bit more of a balanced emphasis on the mythology and not just a reunion episode, moving though it was. (Come on, Sayid and Shannon? Sawyer and Juliet? I fell hard. I'm not a monster.) Discovering that the flash-sideways timeline was really just a transitional afterlife dimension existing outside of time in which the Oceanic survivors could find each other and reconnect before moving onto, let's call it, Heaven: Well, that was a bit jarring. Maybe the hydrogen bomb made it? Eh, if Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof didn't break a sweat thinking it through, maybe I shouldn't, either. Still, the series had some great moments over the years, and was a fun ride. The pilot episode is one of the best pilots ever, hands-down, and that first season remains a benchmark for action television. If only we'd known back in 2004 that our jokes about purgatory would come back to haunt us.
• The network upfronts concluded last week, with all the usual b.s. about upcoming shows that will be canceled before you learn their names. One news item of note: CBS is moving The Big Bang Theory to Thursdays at 7 p.m. CT, putting it directly against NBC's Community. Now, on one hand, this is kind of a no-brainer: It's like having to choose between Two and a Half Men and Arrested Development. Anyone with a brain and a love for real comedy is going to choose the smarter, quicker, funnier show, the one that plays with conventions and creates indelible characters and is just relentlessly fun to watch. Who wants to see broad jokes and stupid stereotypes? Then again, Arrested got its ass canceled, so I'm not about to delude myself when it comes to long-term survival odds of a good but niche show against a stupid but popular one. Here's hoping Community makes a strong showing in its time slot, and that NBC has the decency to keep its newest hit around.
• Speaking of CBS, they've got a show coming out this fall based on the @shitmydadsays Twitter feed, because this is what we're reduced to as a people. The show's title is, I kid you not, $#*! My Dad Says, with William Shatner as the cantankerous old man. Now, the whole situation is already kind of absurd, especially since network execs were pronouncing the show as Bleep My Dad Says at the upfronts, and any ad for the show that says that will sound idiotic. But the affair got even sadder when the Parents Television Council got involved. The PTC is apparently fine with the number of simulated rapes and murders on TV but will not at all stand for poopy language, going so far as to issue a statement promising to declare war on local affiliates and challenge their broadcast licenses when they air the show. I don't even think the PTC cares about these issues. They just like the press they get for being pissy.
• Because you need another reason to shake your fist at these damn kids today, MTV is giving the go-ahead to a Teen Wolf series. Something like this was inevitable in the wake of the success of Twilight, but is it too much to ask for the network to come up with a new werewolf show, or at least something based on a YA book aimed at the same underachieving reading level that fits the network's demo? Why plunder a 25-year-old movie that's a cornball classic of a generation?
• The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has won the Emmy for outstanding variety, music or comedy series every year since 2003, but this year the category will be a bit more interesting: Both versions of NBC's The Tonight Show are being submitted in the category, meaning Conan and Leno will face off once again. I don't necessarily think Conan's show should win: Stewart is as good as ever, and The Colbert Report has never won so it'd be nice to see Stephen Colbert take the trophy. But if it's gonna go to an NBC show, wouldn't it be great if the Emmy voters issued one final snub and awarded Conan for a show he's not even on any more? That'd be a great message to send.
• Glee has been picked up for a third season. You read that right: The show's first season isn't over yet, and the second doesn't start till this fall, but it's already earned a third one from Fox. It makes sense for Fox to try and plan a new dynasty now that 24 is ending and Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol, so good for them. Glee is also airing after the Super Bowl in January, which will prompt millions of drunk dads across the South to choke on their Keystone before awkwardly changing the channel.
Not a lot else happening this week around the tubes. Most shows are in reruns, though some are airing new eps or finales. (I encourage you once again to check out Friday Night Lights, the latest Best Show You're Not Watching.) What the hell, go outside this week. Briefly.
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