Monday, June 20, 2011

A TV Rant (of sorts)

A few months ago my television died. Personally I think poor old Sammy Sony was heartbroken by a lack of decent viewing options. There just isn't anything on TV that doesn't get over shadowed by sporting events, reality TV and various revolutions.

I don't really miss old Sammy. Most of what I was watching I can find online for free on various network websites. What I can't find I don't seem to miss. I can also get DVDs from the public library for free. I just finished watching The Big Bang Theory Season 1. I'm beginning to wonder why I ever paid an internet bill and a cable bill. Internet one. Television zero.

Now, if the internet companies are allowed to change to user based billing I'll be getting rid of my internet too. After that I guess I'll read a lot more. Until the library starts per book lending fees anyway.

The past couple of months I've been watching all the “season finale” episodes of my shows. You know what? I hate cliffhangers.* They are just a trick to try to make you come back next season to see what happens. If the show isn't good enough to make me want to continue watching it, a cliffhanger is just going to piss me off. Chances are very good that I will not be back. You hear that you people at Flashpoint? Threaten to kill off my favorite character and see what happens... um... There are a kazillion blogs like this one that will tell me how whatever cliffhanger I just have to know about turned out. Internet two. Television zero.

Another thing that happens all too often on television is character attrition. I've got a rule that once half of the original actors are gone from a show so am I. So I said good-bye to CSI last season. I caught a couple of episodes with Mr. Fishburne but I wasn't all that impressed with Dr. Ray. I feel like burning my CSI t-shirt. I don't want to advertise a show I don't watch.


I recently read online that Laurence Fishburne is not returning next season. I've also read the Chris Meloni will not be back to Manhattan SVU. I'm not sure I want to watch SVU without him. I adore Ice-T and Richard Belzer. Mariska Hargitay is a fine actress but it was Meloni's oh so Catholic, ex-Marine, family man, Elliot Stabler, who really brought the show together for me. I'm just glad that this season did not end in a cliffhanger with Stabler in jeopardy. I guess the cat was out of the bag online so there was no point in stringing the audience along with a “will he/won't he”. Internet three. Television zero.

I have a really big problem when shows that have been canceled end with a cliffhanger. Just last night I watched the season finale of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior only to read this morning that CBS canceled it back in May. Now I'll never know if Janeane Garofolo's character survives or not.

I don't get why networks spend all kinds of money to make 13 or so episodes of a show and then cancel it before even half of them have aired. Is it some kind of tax write off? Some of those shows are damn good. Endgame for instance. The ratings system has to change. People are watching television in a different way now. People TIVO or whatever or watch shows online. Those people are not counted. When a show is posted online people from all over the world can watch it. Internet four. Television zero.

I also hate when shows do away with perfectly good characters. Take the show Bones** for instance. I love the books and I'm glad that the show has very little in common with them. They are two separate animals I can enjoy. I'm beginning to think they should make Dr. Brennan's interns wear red shirts. They're getting rid of them at an alarming rate. I never believed that a person as smart as Zack Addy would fall in with a serial killer/conspiracy nut.


A few weeks ago they killed off Vincent Nigel-Murray. They warned us that one character was going to die but Vincent's death pissed me off. It made no sense. He was supposedly “collateral damage.” I guess the bad guy, Jacob Broadsky, has magical powers. We are expected to believe that he would set up a shot at a certain time, through a certain window because he knew Booth would be there at that time.

All this from more than a mile away. Magic. From where he was perched, there is no way Broadsky would even know Booth was in the Jeffersonian let alone that he was in that particular lab. There was also no way of knowing that Booth would answer the phone. Broadsky had no way of knowing where the phone he'd left for Booth was.


It made no sense. Except as a catalyst for sex between Booth and Brennan. Booth felt badly because he told Vincent to answer the phone. Brennan felt badly because she thought Vincent was asking her to let him stay in the lab as he lay there dying. Booth had to protect Brennan at his house. Another thing that made no sense since Broadsky had been to Booth's apartment before. If he'd really wanted to kill Booth he would have waited for him to come home and get him then.

Vincent's death was simply a set up for “guilt sex” between Booth and Brennan. I know that Emily Deschanel is pregnant so they had to write it into the script somehow. I don't think they had to kill of a perfectly good character for Booth to get Brennan preggers.

I have half a mind not to watch when the show comes back. We'll see. I might not be the only one who doesn't go back.

*For the record, I have hated cliffhangers ever since the summer of “Who Shot J.R.?” I had a special t-shirt made and on the front it said, “I don't care who shot J.R.” and on the back it said “I Shot J.R.”

**I was going to write a post about how Bones  jumped the shark a few episodes back with the “Jersey Shore” episode where Brennan supposedly mistakes the reality TV show for a documentary. Embarrassing. I guess that post will have to wait.

About the images: left - a screenscap from Flashpoint featuring Hugh Dillon as Ed Lane. Right top - a screencap from Bones featuring Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance Brennan and Eric Milligan as Zack Addy. Right bottom -  a screencap from Bones featuring David Boreanaz as Agent Seeley Booth and Ryan Cartwright as Vincent Nigel-Murray.


  1. Here from ICLW!!

    I hear you on nothing on TV. I work for a cable company so I get my TV for dirt cheap but let me tell you there are days that I have 400 channels and there is still nothing but CRAP to watch!!!

    ICLW #96

  2. I really am not all that impressed with the shows aired on my cable provider either. At this point the only time the TV is on is when my daughter wants to watch it. I watch all my favorite shows online from Hulu or Netflix which I love!.

    I love watching Bones as well! Actually right now I have almost worked my way through season 1 on Netflix since I started watching the series only within the past year or so I wanted to know the rest of the back story.

  3. You've got some interesting view points. I find myself watching more and more shows that are not on the major networks. I love Warehouse 13, Eureka, and I'm looking forward to checking out The Alphas.

    ICLW #10

  4. I hear you about paying for cable AND internet. I haven't made the jump to cancel cable yet because watching shows on the computer gives me headaches. But I remember living without cable quite recently and I seem to have survived it fine.
    Oh, and Chris Meloni not coming back to SVU? Tragic. That man is my favorite celebrity crush ;)
    Happy ICLW!

  5. I haven't watched much television since we left the U.S., but I have to agree with you about Law & Order SVU. It just won't be the same without Elliot.

  6. ICLW #56

    Ooooh, I Like your rule of attrition and I think it's very accurate on the status of how good a show is (or how much it start to tanks).