While I appreciate a literate show and Mr. Sorkin's banterfests, I think a handful of problems persist over at Studio 60. Starting with, does anyone really care about the Harriet-Matt relationship? I'd much rather see "Josh Lyman" and "the guy from Friends" at the core of the show. They've got better chemistry, and the show is much more fun when they're on the screen together.
Modern TV, according to Newsweek, has lost its edge. "The most popular shows are still crime procedurals (CSI) or soaps (Grey's Anatomy) - slick and sexy, but not about much. The reality shows American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are so retro, they're practically The Lawrence Welk Show. When The Unit or 24 does dare to focus on something like the war on terror, their take is uncritically gung-ho - no network today would risk satire on the level of M*A*S*H."
- Ark II - Complete Series
- Beverly Hills, 90210 - Season 1
- Doctor Who - The Hand of Fear and The Mark of the Rani
- The Electric Company - Best of Vol. 2
- Grosse Pointe - Complete Series
- Grounded For Life - Season 4
- Inside the Actors Studio - Dave Chappelle and Icons
- JAG - Season 2
- M*A*S*H* - Season 11 and Martinis and Medicine set
- Melrose Place - Season 1
- Police Squad! - Complete Series
- The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 1
- Ultraman - Vol. 2
- The West Wing - Season 7 and Complete Series set
In the past few weeks, we've had "Johnny Knoxville's Letters to His Brother" and "Ten Reasons Why You, Audrey Tautou, Gamine French Star of Amelie, Should Date Me, Teddy Wayne." Yesterday brought a real gem, however, in the form of "Aaron Sorkin Visits a Dental Hygienist."
Giving Ken Levine's "If Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball..." post a run for its money, author Jack Pendarvis unpacks the Sorkin banter tactics with an extended Poulenc reference. A sample exchange:
If the comments section here is any indication, even though Smith was canceled rather quickly by CBS, it actually had a lot of fans. Of course, we didn't get 10 million comments, so "a lot" wasn't really enough.
TV Guide has a breakdown on why the show was canceled. It seemed like it could be a hit: West Wing/ER producer John Wells, big stars like Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen, and lots of hype by CBS, but what happened? People have speculated that it was because the gang of crooks on the show weren't likable, but the magazine says that it was more the price of the show. Each episode cost about $3 million dollars!
I wonder how much that awful motorcycle chase with Simon Baker cost to film?
For twelve seasons, ER used some of the most memorable and intense theme music heard during the last decade or so; it started soft, then pulsated to a climax that matched the frantic pace of a big-city emergency room and of the show itself. And the climax was usually punctuated visually, either by Eriq LaSalle's Benton punching the air after a surgery or Laura Innes' Weaver bursting through the door with her cane.
But for season thirteen? It's gone. We've got the cold open, a title card with generic music, and then a commercial. The credits are shown over the first act. It's the most glaring example of a trend that's been going on since the late '90s. Erin Carlson of the AP is the latest person to write about the death of the theme song. The article cites all the same reasons cited for years: an increase of commercials, a desire from networks and show-runners to keep people's attention, etc., etc.
The interesting thing to me about this list is that these five shows are NOT my five favorite TV shows of all-time. They're in the top 10, sure, but I found making that list that I know only looked at the ones I liked, the quality, but since these were the only five shows I could have (and I'm trapped on that damn island - hope there's electricity), then I'd want a mix of shows to entertain me. A balance of comedy and drama.
What shows would you pick? Remember, you can never watch any other shows ever again.
1. The Dick Van Dyke Show: OK, so the first show on my list just so happens to also be my favorite TV show of all-time. This show is timeless, it's extremely well done, and Rob Petrie is the reason I became a writer, so it has to be number one.
Many of you reading our complete listing of fall premiere dates have been posting questions on the whereabouts of some of your favorite shows. For example, poster rach asks 'What happened to the show "Related" on the WB? Is there a premiere?'', while reader Jim asks 'What? No "Invasion"? How does it end? Is this a new trend ... to just terminate an ongoing series?' .
So, as a public service to you, the omnipotent readers of TV Squad, here is the complete list of shows that will NOT be returning to the network schedules this season.
ABC: Invasion (sorry Jim), Sons & Daughters, Less Than Perfect, Hope & Faith, Rodney, Commander-In-Chief (although a two-hour movie may be produced to tie up any loose ends), Freddie, In Justice, Emily's Reasons Why Not, Crumbs, Hot Properties, Jake in Progress (yes, one episode actually aired last season. John Stamos joins the cast of ER this season), Alias, The Evidence and Miracle Workers.
But from talking to her in the past couple of years, here are the shows she says she has never seen.
1. Seinfeld. Can you believe it? How do you avoid a show like Seinfeld? It's not just one of the most popular shows of all-time, it's also a cultural touchstone. It was watercooler talk for many years in the 90s. But she hasn't seen one second of it and has no desire to.
- "Thank you. If you'd like to receive e-mails about upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer." - Phoebe, to her Central Perk audience, on Friends.
- "You're amazing! If you ever brushed your teeth, I'd kiss you." - Reese, to his grandmother, on Malcolm in the Middle.
- "What's next?" - President Santos, to Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, on The West Wing.
- "God, I hope so." - Alan, to Denny, toasting to a new season, with Denny hoping for the "same night," on Boston Legal.
- "I saw them when I was his age, as my father did before me." - Richard, trying to talk Christine into letting Richie go to the Rolling Stones concert, on The New Adventures of Old Christine.
- "You never have." - Grace, to Will, who said he didn't like the the "trim" on her daughter's wedding dress, on the finale of Will and Grace.
- This week you can get four different covers. Actually, each issue comes with all four covers, the one on the front and then the other covers are inside. Also inside: secrets of the Lost finale. Don't read if you don't want to be spoiled.
- EW lists the Top 5 Theories on what's happening on Lost.
- Chris Daughtry says his exit from Idol doesn't make sense, logically.
- Aaron Sorkin reminisces about The West Wing.
- The mag gives The Loop co-creator Will Gluck 30 seconds to convince FOX to renew his show.
- In the print edition only: a guide to the Wisteria Lane neighborhood; Josh Schwartz explains how he intends to save The O.C.; and why did Commander-In-Chief crash and burn after such a promising start?
- On the cover: a rundown of all the season and series finales, including an interview with CSI: Miami star David Caruso.
- Matt Roush loves this season of The Sopranos, but NBC's 10.5: Apocalypse? Not so much.
- A look back at Malcolm in the Middle.
- In the print edition: a visit to the set of How I Met Your Mother as they tape the season finale; a guest column from Megan Mullally; another guest column, this time from writer David Mamet (The Unit); and a visit to the set of That 70s Show, which is ending after eight years.
- "It was reported last week that Rosie O'Donnell will take over for Meredith Viera on The View. It will now be called The Obstructed View." - Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live.
- "Senioritis. I'm having trouble getting motivated, though I guess I shouldn't tell that to the boss." - Will, explaining to C.J. why he's just walking around the White House, on The West Wing.
- "It's like Steve is America and you're Arrested Development. It doesn't mean you're bad, it just means he's not interested in you." - Fran, explaining her son's disinterest in his father, on American Dad.
- "Like they say, a man's reach must exceed his grasp, for what's a penis for?" - Charlie, to Alan, about the smartest girl in class calling Jake, on Two and a Half Men.
- "The resemblence is uncanny. And by that I mean you both have gigantic cans." - Jack, to Karen and her sister, on Will and Grace.
- "Thanks. First time today. I've gotten three Matthew McConaugheys, two Aaron Eckharts, and one Thomas Jane. Whoever that is." - Josh Lucas, to Jack, who knew who he was, on Will and Grace.
- "Doing things on the list without money was starting to feel like surfing TV channels without a clicker. It can be done, but your legs will get awful tired." - Earl, who gave away all his money, on My Name Is Earl.
- "Comedies are very much alive. As are homeless people." - Michael, who wants to give gambling winnings to Comic Relief, which doesn't exist anymore, on The Office.
- "Actually, I didn't think it was appropriate to invite children, since there's, you know, gambling and alcohol and it's in our dangerous warehouse and it's a school night and you know, Hooters is catering. Is that enough? Should I keep going?" - Toby, on why he didn't want Boy Scouts at casino night, on The Office.
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