This year's letdowns

It was kind of funny to see someone like Lyle, with whom I have some real taste-and-viewership overlap, post his“TV’s Ten Biggest Disappointements in 2007” and discover that it doesn’t have a single item of overlap with what mine would be. But, then to make that definite, I would have to list what mine would be…

  • 10. Buck Henry hasn’t been recurring on The Daily Show
  • 9. Thank God You’re Here shows that if you take improv comedy and remove the chance for improv, you also remove the chance for comedy.
  • 8. Orville Redenbacher is not allowed to rest in peace but is badly zombified in order to sell popcorn. And to voice his support for Fred Thompson (oh, wait, that part was just a dream.)
  • 7. WKRP in Cincinatti minus the music – the DVD set hits while still missing some of the key music. It’s hardly the first case of vital soundtrack weakness, but it may be the most blatant. I’m not one of those who think the law should be changed to stop this problem, but I do wish the industry could settle on some standard payment structure for such occasions.
  • 6. Rescue Me didn’t remember that it used to be about something. Or maybe that was an illusion.
  • 5. The Black Donnellys – the man behind Due South and E-Z Streets, Million Dollar Baby and Crash, returns to TV… to nobody’s benefit.
  • 4. The Big Bang Theory – the man behind Dharma & Greg and Two-and-a-Half Men takes on the topic of nerds… and despite some good casting, does nothing but play to stereotype and try to derive humor off of that, and fails.
  • 3. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Already disappointing going into this calendar year, fails to sufficiently save itself during the year. Sorkin displays most of his strengths, but all of his weaknesses, and the latter wins.
  • 2. Raines – c’mon, Graham Yost! I mean, after Boomtown, I suspected he could do no wrong. And there’s a good star. And we quickly learn it’s set in the Boomtowniverse. But… it doesn’t gel, it’s sloppy in notable ways, and it disappears quickly.
  • 1. Lack of TV due to the writers’ strike – this is being felt most fiercely in the lack of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (although I expect that lack to continue when the writerless versions of those return to the air shortly), and that’s extra-painful during an election season. In general, well, my ReplayTV is empty of new episodes that need to be watched, and I’m Netflixing as fast as I can.

Published in: on December 31, 2007 at 4:18 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Big Bang Theory is one of the best new sitcoms in years. It was the third highest rated new show of the year when the writer’s strike hit. I love this show, and will take TV Guide’s word over yours any time. TV Guide has it on its best new show of the year list. See here :

  2. Wow, that’s a bizarre response… is it just someone who is trolling the blogosphere looking for things to respond to, or is it a network shill?
    Yes, some people like Big Bang Theory, some of us are disappointed in a show we expected to like. But the silliness of taking TV Guide’s word over mine – on a show they’re already a fan of? Why do you have to take anyone’s word on taste? Feel free to like what you like.

    Me, it disappointed. I’ve tried several episodes, and except for a bit of light trying to shine through when Sara Gilbert guested, it’s been a sad disappointment.

  3. I too enjoy BBT and even stated so here in the past. But if you and others don’t like it, hey, that’s OK too. Unless you’re an official Nielsen viewer, in which case I must not rest until I’ve changed your mind!!!!


    Can’t say I’ve given the topic of the past year’s TV disappointments any thought, but I’d probably agree with the writers’ strike being #1 as that was my first thought immediately upon seeing the link to Lyle’s blog.

    I also think I’d probably have Pushing Daisies at #2. I’ll admit I typically have backlash syndrome over shows universally loved by TV critics in their preview articles. And I’ll also admit that I knew going into it that PD features certain devices that I generally do not care for. Still, for some reason I so wanted to like the show because I thought the premise had promise. Instead I just ended up finding most episodes (and I watched’em all) falling in the high range on my frustration meter. I don’t care if I never hear the phrase “The facts were these…” again. Or how old someone was down to the second at some key point in his/her life. Or hear actors lobbing lines back and forth in rapid-fire monotone.

    I’d forgotten about Raines. I never watched Boomtown and had no big names or reasons to draw me into Raines beyond Jeff Goldblum and the basic concept, but yeah, I might very well have the show in my own list of 10 disappointments.

    …Along with Bionic Woman. I think updating a show like BW could have worked, but they needed to inject some fun and pay more attention to minor details.

    I seem to keep reading a lot about what a great show Journeyman is and how unfairly it got treated by NBC. A friend of mine really loves the show and puts it at the top of his new favorites list. But despite being up my usual TV alley, it just never clicked with me. I watched every episode, kept hoping it would get better, but it never did (for me). I wanted them to bring up and deal with certain aspects of the guy’s situation (stuff I thought they should have been delving into from the start) and they were really only just beginning to do so in the last episode or two. Still, for me it was too little too late. Even if it somehow resurrects from its apparently cancelled status, I doubt that I’ll hop back on board.

    And in ANY season, I’d probably have to place the continued proliferation of “reality” shows right up there.

    Oh, the fizzling of Veronica Mars, both creatively and the way it got treated by the CW (forcing the show to abandon its usual arc storyline and go into self-contained episodes mode) before ultimate cancellation would probably make my list too.

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