Must Read: HuffPost Article on the State of the Network Comedy

Happy-Endings_320This article by Maureen Ryan has been passed around by every TV lover I know today and is a definite must read.  I find the changing TV landscape to be one of the most fascinating things going on in the business world these days.  If I could go back to school, I would study the television business model and how it’s changed and adapted (or not) over time.  Happy Endings is definitely one of my favorite comedies on TV right now and I would be bereft if it disappeared because it’s not well suited to ABC (which is just the truth) so I’m very hopeful that if ABC decides to get rid of it, a cable network will pick it up.  Its worked for Cougartown (another one of my favs that ABC threw away).

Ryan’s article makes some great points about why a show like Happy Endings is flailing – time slot changes, the way that ratings are reported, the fast-paced pop culture references – but I really think that it comes down to the whole Network vs Cable debate.  There are just too many channels producing original material and so much of it is actually worth watching that shows that are even a little less than mainstream tend to just get sucked into the ether of the big 4 networks.  I’ve become more and more picky about the shows that I devote my time to and this is the biggest reason why.  Happy Endings would be great on cable where it can push the limits creatively a little bit and may not have to deal with the spotlight of being on a big network.  When a show isn’t required to “save” a network, it tends to feel more comfortable in its own skin.

End of the Year TV Exhaustion (AKA Sorry so few new posts)

Shane might be an ass, but it was about time someone took care of that barn full of zombies.

The last 4-6 weeks of the year are always a weird time for me and my TV.  First of all, I become exponentially busier around the holidays and secondly, there are so few new episodes of my favorite shows airing (and they air so sporadically) that keeping caught up feels like less of a priority.  This is not a bad problem to have, but it does explain my absence over the last week.  It’s not that I haven’t been watching TV, it’s just that so little of what I’ve watched has made much of an impact.  Yes, I thought last night’s Walking Dead mid-season finale was great (especially compared with the glacially paced episodes that came before it) but to be honest, I wasn’t all that shocked at the ending and had been actively waiting for Sophia to crawl out of that barn for weeks.  Homeland was probably the best show I watched in a week, but I’m so conflicted about the ways that the writers are manipulating Brody’s character (he’s a terrorist, but he has a good reason to be a terrorist) that the show leaves me feeling a little woozy.  And while I still enjoy the travelogue that is The Amazing Race, I am increasingly uninterested in the top four teams (good bye Bill and Cathi.  You will be missed) that I’m kind of just waiting for the season to be over. Continue reading

Fall Preview: File this under “conflicted”

The new Fringe poster. What does it MEAN!?!?!

I love surprises.  Especially from my favorite (or soon-to-be) favorite TV shows.  Which is why I avoid spoilers at pretty much any cost.  But what is considered a spoiler these days?  As we close in on the opening of the Fall TV season (I’m going to say it starts on September 13th since that’s the date of the first new show premiere of the season – Ringer on the CW) there are preview videos, and photos, and interviews with new and old stars going up on every website and in every magazine and I’m conflicted.  There’s a part of me that totally wants to peek.  To watch that new Bones clip (which doesn’t premiere until November) or analyze all of the Vampire Diaries promo photos or read the myriad of show runner interviews.  But I hold myself back.

The truth is, I don’t want to know ahead of time.  I don’t want to find things out without context and then go into a tizzy of excitement only to have my bubble burst when the context of a comment or look or pairing is revealed to be totally innocuous.  What are you going to do?  More importantly, what do you consider a spoiler?  As I make clear in my spoiler policy, after a show airs on TV for the first time, it’s totally fair game in my opinion.  If you don’t watch it live or within that same day, it’s up to you to stay away from any story bombs.  However, I don’t want to know ANYTHING before an episode airs.  I can’t help it.  I like not knowing.  It makes it so much more fun to watch.

Programming Note: Tragedy Strikes The TV Junkie

Ok, not a tragedy.  Just a minor snafu in which my DVR box decided last night would be a good time to implode.  Around 11pm it just stopped working.  It quit temporarily around 9:30, but once I rebooted it everything seemed fine.  It allowed me to finish watching The Voice (although the earlier interruption meant that I missed Dia Frampton’s performance) and Pretty Little Liars (recaps to come) and then that was it.  No more DVR.  Try as I might to revive it, AT&T customer service told me that it was time for a new box.  I think I’ve stated how much I love my AT&T U-Verse cable.  I have never had any problems with the service itself.  However, this is my third DVR box in two years.  They just did a fancy redesign of the menus and On Demand services, but that shouldn’t make my DVR obsolete.  I don’t know what happens to it.  I mean, it’s summer.  I’m not even making it work that hard.  Oh, no.  What if I make my DVR work too hard and that’s why they keep breaking?  God, what a horrible thought.  I mean, it can’t be because I watch TOO MUCH TV can it?  Nah.  That’s definitely not it.  I blame the shoddy equipment.

But that’s not the only bad news.  The other bad news is that I won’t be able to get a new DVR box until tomorrow which means that I will miss So You Think You Can Dance tonight (nothing else that I watch airs on Wednesdays).  My cable is still working so technically I could watch the whole show live, commercials and all, but even I, the TV Junkie, have a life that requires me to miss my favorite TV shows (hence, the DVR).  This is the bigger tragedy for me.  I know that eventually I’ll be able to watch it online, but Fox won’t post the episode for four days.  SYTYCD is my favorite show so missing it is totally sad for me!  (Yes, I am clear that I am talking about a TV program.  Please don’t take this to mean that I don’t have perspective.)  Alas, maybe this is all a sign that I need to take a little mini-break from the recapping and go outside.  Not that I’m going to actually go outside.  I have an appointment to get a new DVR box tomorrow morning and all will be right with the world, but until then I’ll be frantically scouring the internet for pirated episodes of SYTYCD.

Apparently something big happened on Game of Thrones last night. (But don’t tell me what it was!)

I stopped watching Game of Thrones a few weeks ago because I found that my mind was so full of all the lush costumes, incredible sets and weird languages and accents that I was having trouble focusing on what was going on and was just super confused.  It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying the show, I just wasn’t following it very well.  Maybe I wasn’t concentrating on it hard enough.  I’m choosing to believe that my lack of concentration and understanding is because I’m just not that into the fantasy genre.  But this morning, I woke up and the internet is all abuzz about some major twist that happened on last night’s episode and now I’m itching to go back to the beginning and try again just so I can be in on all the excitement (PLEASE!  Don’t tell me what happened!).  Has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever missed a big twist or big moment on a TV show and wished that you had been a part of it?  I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding spoilers so I literally have no clue what happened or to whom, but now, at least I know that when I’m trudging through the first few episodes, trying to understand what’s going on, there’s something interesting to look forward to.