Mid Season TV Report Card

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January 16, 2009 by MK

House = D+

house1

This show used to merit an “A”… until they completely went and changed/ruined something that didn’t need changing/ruining.  The demotion of Foreman, Chase and Cameron was completely unfounded.  As if that weren’t bad enough, they go and replace them with three pointless characters (Kumar, Alien Girl and Napoleon).  I hope Kumar returns to pot-smoking with Harold, Alien Girl dies (along with Lori Petty) a quicker death than Huntington’s could give and Napoleon suddenly finds himself in a show I don’t watch, like NCIS.  Show savior:  Robert Sean Leonard as the trusty Wilson.

Celebrity Rehab = A+

celeb-rehab

The title screams “exploitation.”  And then you watch it.  Dr. Drew Pinsky actually gives a shit about these children.  And before you know it, you do too.  I could say it’s as addictive as crack, but then I’d be, well, an asshole.  Though I don’t think I’d be willing to stand Jeff Conaway for more than 10 seconds.  He makes Gary Busey look like Warren Christopher.

The Office = A-

office

Five years and counting, the most consistently funny show on television.  Just when you think you might tire of the same characters, they find fresh ways of presenting them.  Case in point, the Cornell grad himself, Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms).  Whereas he started out the angry guy, he has developed quite nicely into a character invested with pathos.

30 Rock = B-

30rock

The show hasn’t necessarily fallen off a cliff this season (thanks to the perfect Alec Baldwin) so much as taken a wrong turn.  I liked it better when it was more of a workplace comedy in which all the characters were involved.  Now, it’s “The Liz Lemon Show” and insert-guest-star here.  It makes me want to “flee to the Cleve.”  Only guest-star worth a damn:  Elaine Stritch as Alec Baldwin’s wily, domineering mother.

Entourage = B

entourage

If you don’t expect too much from this show and just live vicariously, you’ll get what it delivers — a fun ride.  Except for the “mushrooms” episode.  I know they were trying to break up the format a bit, but guys in the desert on mushrooms is only funny to guys in the desert on mushrooms.  Best Guest Star:  Jason Patric.

Dexter = B+

dexter

Most of the credit for this letter grade goes to journeyman-for-hire Jimmy Smits and his ultra-charismatic turn as Miguel Prado, Dexter’s new best friend.  As usual, the show’s B and C plotlines went bust, but it had the juice of the main narrative to keep it going.  Bonus points for not having that horrible British actress from last season f’ing things up.  Should eliminate from show:  Any plotlines involving Lt. Maria Laguerta.

The Election = A+

bo

The best reality television bar none.  Christ, that was invigorating.  An election that let you consume on so many different levels.  Now, I turn on a political show and it just ain’t the same.  There was drama and urgency like never before.  Here’s to 8 years of someone with a brain.

Absolutely, Positively Can’t Wait For: Lost.  The best show on television returns next week.

Best Piece of Television: A Colbert Christmas

Show You’re Not Watching But Should If You Like Music At All and Have the Sundance Channel: Elvis Costello’s “Spectacle”

Best SNL Host: Paul Rudd

The Shark Has Been Jumped: Grey’s Anatomy

Encouraged By: The first installments of 24.  They’ve seemingly come up with a fresh (though preposterous) way of bringing it back to the characters we love.  Here’s hoping they can keep it going without turning into Torture-of-the-Week.

Guiltiest of Pleasures: VH-1

Still Won’t Be Watching 5 Nights a Week: Jay Leno

Other Writers Strike Casualties to Welcome on Return: Friday Night Lights (January 16), Big Love (January 18), Rescue Me (April).

Drug Deterrent of the Year: A&E’s Intervention

Need Murderous Rage in Your Life?  Then Watch: Real Housewives of Orange County

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4 thoughts on “Mid Season TV Report Card

  1. AD says:

    Couldn’t agree more and I don’t even watch Dexter! Only quibble – Jon Hamm was a better host than Paul Rudd

  2. mikey d says:

    Tim, cool list. Have to disagree re: best host of SNL. Jon Hamm was outstanding–self deprecating, funny, talented, at ease in his own skin, and didn’t read off a single cue card. The Jon Hamm’s John Ham, Vincent Price, & How to be Like Don Draper skits were classics.

  3. Jerry MaDick says:

    What about the new 90210?

  4. […] House Makes Me Wanna Drink 28 01 2009 Previously, I extolled the virtues of Celebrity Rehab. Reality TV at its finest. Now comes Sober House – the […]

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