A lot of newbie readers of TV Squad might not realize that back in 2005, we used to snail mail our blog posts to readers and they'd read them on paper. It's true! Then we decided to use this thing called "the Web" to post the stories when we realized that, with the postal rates going up every few years, it just wasn't cost-effective.
This was my first post on TV Squad, where I talked about how much I was looking forward to the big-screen version of 'Bewitched.' I've learned a lot since then, like you shouldn't say that you're looking forward to a big-screen version of a TV show or it might blow up in your face. Here are five other things I've learned since 2005.
We're splitting this out in a number of different categories; you'll see the posts through Sunday. Today, we start off with a biggie: Dramas. -- Joel
It's weird that an entire decade has gone by already, isn't it? I don't even think we've decided on what to call the 00s exactly. And isn't it amazing how many good shows can be jam-packed into 10 years? Sometimes people moan about the state of television, but there were some fantastic TV shows in the 2000s, including dramas.
Here are our picks for the dramas that stood out since 2000.
Over at Entertainment Weekly, they've chosen the 25 great TV shows that got a quick hook, the shows that got canceled (way) before their time (we're talking really short runs, so Arrested Development and Sports Night aren't on the list). There are several shows on the list that you would expect to see (Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, Firefly), some surprise entries that made me happy to see on there (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, Frank's Place, Karen Sisco, Now & Again), and a few head-scratchers (Malibu Road? Really?). It's slightly heavy on the current side, with Journeyman and Life on Mars on the list. I mean, Life on Mars is still running new episodes.
The company is going to start showing three short-lived shows again: ABC's Eyes and The Nine and CBS' Smith. Specifically, they've made a deal with Warner Brothers to show the three shows on their 101 Network and DirecTV on Demand. They'll be shown in HD, unedited, and episodes you've never seen before will be part of the package too (Eyes has seven unseen episodes, while The Nine and Smith each have four).
Well, not the TV itself. It's not as if Toshiba made a tiny metal and plastic television and you shove it in your eye, but researchers at the Future Laboratory (which will probably be a new show on CBS this fall, right after Criminal Minds) say that the future of television lies in contact lenses. That's right, television you watch via a contact lens on your eye, powered by body heat and maybe a wave of your hand to change the channels. According to the people at FL, like a real contact lens, you'll put it on in the morning and take it out before you go to bed. Unless, of course, you're like a lot of people and you watch TV in bed. If you fall asleep in these, are the dreams more awesome?
Poor Tim Daly. Ever since Wings ended back in 1997 he hasn't had much luck in the television world. Sure, he's had a number of successful guest appearances, and he did have a good run as the voice of Clark Kent/Superman on the WB's Superman: The Animated Series, but those don't really count. Where his luck has been failing is on series where he has had a leading role.
It's not like the shows themselves were bad. Quite the contrary, all three shows that Daly starred in were decent critical successes. In addition, Tim himself was credited by professional and fan alike as having a strong performance in all these shows. The problem was either the fan base wasn't strong enough to keep the shows on the air or the networks just decided they had a more successful show to fill the spot.
Series creator Shonda Rhimes is reportedly planning a spinoff to Grey's Anatomy, starring Kate Walsh, whose character Addison Shepherd is about to leave Seattle Grace Hospital. The spingboard episode is set to air in May.
Paul Adelstein, formerly of Prison Break, is also set to co-star in the two-hour episode though his role is not clear. There will also be a female psychiatrist and a female fertility specialist in the springboard episode and (presumably) the spinoff.
You know how Lewis Black appears on The Daily Show once a week to talk about news stories that have "slipped through the cracks?" Well, consider this one of those "slipped through the cracks" stories that I thought was just too cool not to mention. I trust some of you haven't heard this story, but if you have, then take this time to go do something else. Make yourself a muffin, have a cup of tea. Be good to yourself.
TVShowsOnDVD reports that the supposedly-canceled Mr. Magoo DVD set is now available through Classic Media. "The Mr. Magoo Show Complete DVD Collection" includes 130 cartoons from the '60s animated series. It does not seem to include Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, however, which is kind of a shame. Still, the entire series on DVD is a pretty sweet deal, so I'm certainly not complaining.
After Columbia Pictures picked up United Productions of America (UPA) to create theatrical shorts, the third short created was Ragtime Bear, which contained the first appearance of Mr. Magoo. When cartoons made the transition from theater screens to television, the company created The Mr. Magoo Show, which ran from 1960 to 1962. Magoo then returned yet again for two more series: The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo and What's New, Mr. Magoo?
Every year at this time, we here at TV Squad give our lists of what we want for Festivus. The shows we'd like to see renewed, the shows we'd like to see canceled, the TV-related DVDs and books and toys that we want, etc. Here's my list of stuff I want as 2007 rapidly approaches. A couple of things I doubt I'll ever see, a few I suspect I will see, and a couple I might have to do myself, like buying that new deluxe Alias DVD set.
But as I said last week, if someone who reads TV Squad bought me that, I'd be a happy camper.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Eyes stars Tim Daly (Wings, The Nine) as the owner of a private investigation company that uses barely legal tactics to investigate crimes and individuals. His character, Harlan Judd, was so great. He was sarcastic as hell, witty, and self destructive. The storylines were quick and entertaining and supporting characters were a hoot. I always think of how great Eyes was whenever I watch Tim Daly on the far inferior, The Nine.
Supposedly, 13 episodes of Eyes were in the can when ABC canceled the show. Not sure whether we'll ever get to see the final five, either on DVD or online.
(S02E14) If you check out the Adult Swim schedule grid, the words "Worst episode ever" are written next to this particular episode. The men and monkeys who run Adult Swim have never been above a bit of self deprecation, but I actually thought this episode was pretty damn hilarious.
The show opens with the Mayor poking Tom in the eye with a sharp metal rod. It's okay, though, because Tom's eye is made of glass. It seems he had an accident while playing with his step-sons. Tom, however, isn't there just to have his eye poked buy the inquisitive Mayor, he's there to sell hoagies for the annual Father/Son Barrel Goat Hunt, in which the father/son teams hunt the dreaded barrel goat, a creature that is driven insane by the scent of pickle barrels. The Mayor has never heard of a hoagie (he pronounces it "hoogie") before, and he can't get enough of the sandwiches. He also takes a liking to Tom's glass eye and buys two for himself, which of course makes it difficult for him to see and move around.
(S05E04) In this episode, Monk must investigate a murder by arson, despite being blinded by the man who committed the crime.
While visiting the local fire station to have his thirty smoke alarms tested, a man from the street walks in. The fire chief tells the man he's not supposed to be there, and then he tries to apprehend him, the man beans the fire chief with a shovel and throws liquid solvent into Monk's eyes, blinding him. The doctor tells Monk it's uncertain whether or not his eyesight will return, and Monk's colleagues do their best to help him out. Disher tries to help out, too, though his idea of helping is to explain everything he's doing, whether it's relevant or not. There's a funny scene later in the episode when Disher is looking for his notebook and tells Monk which pockets he's looking in, as if that even matters. I also laughed when he tells Monk he's going to work 24/7 to figure out who blinded him, except for May 11 because that's when his niece is getting confirmed.
He was just added to an ensemble cast of an ABC drama called Nine Lives, about nine people whose lives collide when they are all part of a botched bank robbery. Daly is a terrific comedic actor, but his IMDB bio shows he has quite an extensive acting resume in dramatic roles. Co-stars include Dana Davis (aka Cora Briggs on Veronica Mars) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five).
- Eyes: One of the smartest, most stylish private eye shows to come along in years. So ABC cancels it quickly and doesn't even run the remaining episodes.
- Surface: The best of the sci-fi/horror shows (Threshold, Invasion, Supernatural) that debuted this year.
- The Daily Show: Always dead-on, always funny.
- Arrested Development: I don't know if this show is as funny as it used to be, but even at 90% strength it's better than most other comedies.
- Lost: I don't know if they'll ever have answers for all the questions, but the ride so far has been great.
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