|Television Collision: Craving Finale Week|
I don’t say this a lot and most days of the week I would deny it, but these days I am a bit bored with television. March isn’t usually the worst month for all the regular shows, because usually the sweeps month of February stirs up quite a few things, but this year – even though the Olympics delayed what should have been some “game changing” episodes – most of the staples of the TV line-up dribble along without anyone really taking notice.
I take my duties as TV columnist very seriously and I have an untamed addiction to serial television, so in an average week I watch about ten to fifteen different shows from all networks and of all flavors. (In a good week I even watch more or catch up on shows I have not yet gotten into or that went off the air a while ago. I am a completist after all.)
And yet the only show that makes me pause for a minute and think “Wow, gutsy move” or “Man, that was cool” or “WTF?” these days is Starz Spartacus Blood and Sand, and this shames me.
Now, only half of the reason is that while I am watching the show I am painfully aware of how it panders to the lowest instincts of us humans (sex and violence). The other half of the reason for my shame is that I always used to be the one defending the brainy shows, the ones that took their time and told their stories well. These days not a lot of shows are really doing that though.
Take one of my favorite shows for years: House. Thank goodness they have laid off Thirteen for now, but making Taub a primary focus is a far worse choice. The small steps House takes toward becoming a more well-adjusted human being (and living with Wilson) still provides some high-jinks, but on the flip side the hilarious Cuddy-House exchanges have been considerably reduced. I have never minded the formulaic nature of the show, the medical mysteries weren’t what kept me watching. But I am losing interest in the characters, because they aren’t going anywhere and it saddens me. House needs a shake-up and in past season finales it has always delivered, so bring on May!
Another show that needs to resolve some underlying and slowly boiling issues is Grey’s Anatomy. Curiously enough I don’t mind the least bit that Katherine Heigl is nowhere to be seen, even though I used to like her character Izzie. I don’t even need a resolution on that front. She lost her job, she survived cancer, so she is moving on. And it sure is nice that Derek and Meredith are finally on even terms, not quarreling, just enjoying each other’s company. The problem with the show is that there are a plethora of characters running around – or at least it feels that way – but none of them get enough attention, screen time or emotional depth to stir the tempers of the viewers. The most exciting thing these days is the kiss Bailey got from the hot new black surgeon and Lexie’s new hair color. How sad is that? Can we go back to Owen being PTSD crazy and people cutting L-Vat wires, please?
And the list goes on: Bones is on basketball-hiatus, Lost is too complicated to understand, How I Met Your Mother isn’t getting any closer to the Mother, Castle’s center relationship isn’t going anywhere, Modern Family stays episodic without further development, The Good Wife is too formulaic to stay groundbreaking…
Not even Project Runway is providing the gossip-rags-filling goods: no one is cheating, no one is fighting, no one is designing pieces so gorgeous or so hideous you remember it for weeks.
It’s about time TV makers take their hearts in their hands again and kill a major character or let someone have vastly inappropriate sex or finally put that center couple together or blow up a wing of a hospital or bring back someone that is dearly missed.
TV doesn’t have to be this boring and I refuse to watch The Jersey Shore or America’s Next Top Model for cheap thrills.
Bring on Finale Week and Summer TV, it can only be better than this lull!
Recommended Collisions with your Television
(combine at will, all times EST, only new programming listed)