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October 13, 2015

What Brad is thankful for

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 23rd 2008 9:02AM
Thanksgiving at TVSquadIn an attempt to do something a little different this year, I'm going to list the television shows past and present (and even future) that I am most thankful for at this time. Some I review for TV Squad and some I don't. Some I used to and some I would if I were asked. Some I will never review because government agents have come to my house and pretty much told me forthright that if I reviewed them, they would have me detained. So, here goes:

South Park - The most insightful show on television. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are willing to take issues that the rest of the more liberal Hollywood view as simple and show their complexity by taking other sides. I don't think they're invited to a lot of Hollywood parties as a result, but it makes for great television.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles - it's been hit and miss story-wise, but the overall arc has been satisfying. Hopefully, the series will develop a reasonable ending to satisfy the fans once it is canceled due to poor ratings as a result of Fox moving it to the Friday Night Death Slot.

Chuck - The whole "nerd as a secret agent" schtick has been done before, but it's the lighthearted tone of the show that I'm digging. It balances out the credibility-straining plot-lines with the inane behavior of Chuck's friends in the Buy More, almost like it doesn't take itself completely seriously. I view that as a good thing.

Doctor Who - A show that can essentially continue forever. Even if it is canceled, it can return in another form and simply pick up the story where it left off. As a result, it can tell pretty much any kind of story without concern for such trivialities as continuity. All that's needed is the Doctor and his (or her) trusty blue box.

Star Trek - Love it or hate it, it broke new ground with regards to television and has been copied by a myriad of other shows ever since. Including:

Battlestar Galactica - The new one and not the one from the 70's. The most mature treatment of the science fiction genre to date.

Babylon 5 - The first drama on television to really make use of the Internet. No series (to my knowledge) had ever tried the continuous story before to such a large degree (and very few have since). By starting around the time the Internet became huge (mid-90's), people were able to keep up with the storyline even if they missed an episode. It also helped that the majority of the shows were written by a single writer (creator J. Michael Straczynski), a practice that isn't done on American television, but done on a few British shows.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel - Excellent philosophical writing without seeming pretentious. Spawned a bunch of copycats (including Smallville, which copied Buffy's style and managed to stay on the air even longer than the original). I loved the fact that Buffy never really strayed from its central theme of female empowerment, just as Angel never strayed from its theme of redemption.

Invader Zim - I've just discovered this Nickelodeon cartoon series from 2001 and love it. It's geared toward kids but has an adult, snarky air to it that some adults can appreciate. It probably would have lasted longer as a series on Adult Swim.

Dollhouse - It hasn't even been broadcast yet, but expectations are sky-high. See The Sarah Connor Chronicles with regards to Fox's choice of broadcast night.

By my selections, you can somewhat determine my tastes regarding shows. Overall, I'm thankful for television, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to write about television for TV Squad. Here's to another year. Now go eat some turkey.

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Good news: networks know they've got themselves a Friday night death slot, so they're likely to have lower expectations for these shows. Fox has taken the initiative to make it a genre night, which will mean they're less dependent on fickle casual viewers to stay afloat. I'm cautiously optimistic and if this doesn't work, I think Fridays will never work.

November 23 2008 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe's comment

Friday hasn't worked as "genre night" since the X-Files. And they moved it to sunday as soon as they realized it was a hit. Many interesting shows have been the victim of the Friday night time slot of death.

November 24 2008 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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