Monday, May 07, 2007

They killed Homicide: Life on The Street, Arrested Development and NOW! Friday Night Lights OR What is wrong with TV today?

The wailing you heard coming from the East end of Toronto last Thursday night was my husband and I learning that Friday Night Lights is being cancelled. Sort of. They are commissioning 6 more episodes and after that "we'll see." But we all know what that means - it means the best show no one watched is going to be off the air.

That same night we saw a preview for a reality tv show with a bunch of people stuck together on a "pirate ship"!!! What is wrong with TV today? Are we so brain dead at the end of the day - so longing for easily digested mush that we actually want to see Deal or No Deal several nights a week? Do we need two different nanny shows to show us over and over again that kids want to be talked to and disciplined and played with and fed good food - at the cost of such seriously quality television as Arrested Development? Does everyone in the world need to be likable (which is my theory why they cut Arrested Development because the Bluth family was simply too unlikeable - which doesn't explain why every other comedy out there makes marriage seem like misery for the sake of tired laughs) and if that's the case explain to me the total unleashing of asshole qualities from the judges and host of American Idol this year? Thank God HOUSE is saving lives or we'd lose that fantastic character from the Tuesday night line up and we'd all be watching - Are You As Smart As A 5th Grader?

Why do we need seven thousand CSI's when they took the only good Crime Drama off the air - Homicide: Life on the Streets. The only crime drama that didn't somehow make everything over the top sexy. Or ridiculously formulaic as in Law and Order. And actually touched on why crime happens. Not to mention the fact Bayliss was just getting in touch with his homosexuality!!!

And this is what kills me -- Friday Night Lights was Americana Soap Opera -- how does that not work? Sopranos is ending - but GOOD GOD was last night a good one. Rumors of Dexter's demise are circulating. Rome is gone. I am going to have to actually get some work done in the evenings now -- that's how sad things are.

What shows do you miss? Bonus points to anyone who says they watched Friday Night Lights.


Sinead M said...

Sad to say, I did not watch Friday night lights, because by the time I'd learned of its brilliance, it was into the season and I figured, easier to get on DVD..

I wailed as well when they cancelled Arrested Development. We bought the entire three seasons on DVD, as well as everything they've released for Battlestar G... because good TV needs to be rewarded and sometimes, good DVD sales can bring a series to life.

Check out the excellent Firefly series, which saw a brief reincarnation as a movie..
Where has Joss Whedon gone by the way?

Abby said...

Agh - don't mention Homicide to me. The pain of cancellation heartbreak is still too raw.

I was in love with Bayliss for YEARS. I just shut my eyes and covered my ears at the end there :) And Andre Braugher has never found a script half as good.

But I work in television, so I'll break it to you - it's all about money, just like publishing. Ad revenue weighed against the cost of production. And those good dramas are VERY expensive - several hundred thousand per episode if you don't have a lot of special effects. They shoot 5 or 6 Deal or No Deal episodes in a single day.

Just like writing. You could have the best book in the world, but who's gonna publish it if it's not gonna sell over X number?


Christyne Butler said...

See? This is why I don't fall in love with tv shows anymore! (Anyone remember BROOKLYN BRIDGE with Marion Ross --- set in the early 50's in NYC? Loved it --- lasted 2 years!)

And now FNL?? My heart is breaking.

This is one of the best shows on tv and I pray the six new episodes keep it alive. The characters are real (according to my high schooler more real than alot of those people on the realty shows) and its about so much more than football --- its about relationships.

Excuse me, this calls for massive doses of ice cream.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Amen Christyne! May I recommend Peanut Butter Tracks for this particular tragedy.

And Abby -- what happened to Andre Braugher? I've seen him a few places but it seems like he was ready to be launched after that show -- he was AMAZING

Maureen McGowan said...

Of course Abby's right that it's about the money... but what's wrong with people for not watching the quality shows and thereby allowing the networks to charge more for ads on those channels?

Especially new dramas. By the time word gets around that a show is good, its already cancelled. I, like Sinead, figured there wasn't much point in starting to watch that show midseason and was going to wait for the reruns or DVD's.

Christine said...

I miss Firefly - another great show cut way too early. There are a lot of shows that are also losing me because they are simply rehashing old plots (I posted about 24 today for that very reason).

I refuse to watch a lot of TV because I have better things to do with my life than find out how dumb people are, how smart kids are, or how random change becomes entertainment.

And my husband will cry if they kill off Dexter. No pun intended!

Joanne said...

I can't speak to FNL but I SO miss Arrested Development (although in reruns it's on CBC at 5:30 pm).

I think it was just to satirical and dry for the general public (but what a brilliant show!)

Oh and I also miss WKRP)

Maya said...

Sigh. I only just discovered 'Arrested Development' - and now it will be plucked from my life again. I've loved/been repelled by the Dad since 'The Larry Sanders Show', and he is equally brilliant here. Even Portia de Rossi is good - and I really didn't like her on 'Ally McBeal'. And how funny is that pickup truck with airplane stairs in the back that the whole family drives around in ? Sigh.

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