Summer on the tube

June 5, 2008
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Since “The Sopranos” staged its final hit, “Desperate Housewives” became, well, desperate, and “American Idol” lost some of its water-cooler luster, I’m hearing fewer people outside of the media talk about television shows. (Except for kids, who are still gabbing about “High School Musical” and eagerly anticipating “Camp Rock.”)


Sure, we’re still watching TV. But there seems to be less conversation about it. After all, how much is there to say about an episode of “Deal or No Deal”?


If CBS has anything to say about it, “Swingtown” (a much-hyped ‘70s-set new series that involves partner swapping) might get people talking again. And Showtime is still trying to pull more of us in with “Weeds.” Then again, maybe we’ll be too wrapped up in “Celebrity Circus,” “Wipeout,” and “American Gladiators” to care about programs that actually involve writing.


Your thoughts?

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  • I don't have time or inclination to watch much on television, but I make time for Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi. Ron Moore, a veteran of many of the Star Trek series, has applied everything he's learned about what works and doesn't work in sci-fi, and successfully reinvented a cheeseball gem of the late '70s into a gripping serial drama. It's got some of the best writing and acting I've ever seen on TV or anywhere else - Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell headline the show, but the rest of the core cast is uniformly spectacular. Just two more episodes before a long hiatus will once more render my cable box mostly dormant . . . until the return of the rest of the final season, sometime in 2009.

    Meanwhile, you can catch up on DVD, the new way to watch TV. And since Sci-Fi is owned by NBC Universal, NBC might air some episodes, as it has done from time to time to beef up summer schedules.
  • I really enjoy The Closer on TNT. Kyra Sedgwick is wonderful, but I think it's great to see G.W. Bailey in a role that shows his perfect comic timing without being a caricature like those dreadful Police Academy movies. His next-best role was Rizzo on M*A*S*H, but he really shines on The Closer.
  • It is called Swingtown not Swingers. You are right though, it seems to be the only new show that is worth taking a look at.
  • Corrected.
    Thanks, Rich.
  • I loved Entourage for my summer viewing, but due to the writer's strike I don't think it's coming back until September. I'm going to give Swingtown a shot. Mad Men is interesting too if you haven't seen that. I watched a few eps last season and might try it out again this season. It's on AMC on Sunday nights, I think.
  • I have no interest in the celebrity reality shows. Many of the actors are washed up and there is no real value to what they are doing.

    Wipeout looks freaking hilarious. It is a copy cat of a Japanese show that is or was aired on Spike TV. The stunts were great but the english voice overs helped make that show. It will be interesting to see our version.

    Game shows can suck you in when you stop on them while channel surfing, however, enough with the drama. Deal or No Deal seems to take 20 minutes in between picks. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Moment of Truth etc. all play out the drama way to much.

    I did watch Swingtown last night and the Jury is still out. It is going to be interesting where the plot goes from here. We saw it all in one episode and the straight and narrow couple has already been converter to swingers. The kids seem to have more going on in their lives than the parents and for this being a late night show I don't think many adults want to tune in late night for a lesson in how to deal with teenage sex and drugs. One of the kids is shown to be a potential run away at some point during the season. I don't know that it will last so I won't get too attached.
  • I echo the comments about the Closer. It is a very enjoyable series.

    Swingtown - just one more example of how far down the sewer hole TV producers have gone.
  • There is going to be a new reality show on NBC June 25th called Baby Borrowers. I think this could possibly blow away many other reality shows (most of which I don't watch after an initial viewing). I have my own reality - usually one I prefer - so I don't want to watch someone's else's especially when it's been contrived, manipulated, staged...And this one will very well make a difference in lives...it has the potential to change the glorification of young parenthood into something that should be planned - kind of like buying a car or deciding what's for dinner. Gosh, it may even put a dent in the image that single parenthood may not be the best life option - even though these young couples are couples and it will be interesting to see whether they choose to become young parents in real life after their national debuts.

    5 couples, some diversity involved, aged 18-21 say they are ready to be parents. Well, a national audience sees that play out - starting with a 3 day visit of an infant - a break (not reality) 3 day visit of a toddler - a break - 3 day visit of a preteen, etc. Go back and take a look at what you looked like when you became a parent for the first time. Then consider the age of married or single young parents today. The picture of children rearing children most likely isn't as pretty as we'd like to see.

    This reality show may even impact the graduation rate that our city is addressing more recently through Common Goal - which by the way - needs mentors to 9-12th graders so we can enjoy a graduation rate of 80% by the year 2010. SUrely some of the lower rate is due to untimely parenthood.
  • I'm looking forward to Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime. It stars Billie Piper of Dr. Who fame and is based on a popular London blog.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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