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?

  • 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 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. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...