TV in Print

This is week four of TV in Print and I’m beginning to really enjoy the ability to respond to terrible television in print. Shows like “Love Monkey” and “South Beach” are so cliched and obvious that it can be literally painful to watch them. But there’s a baby swimming in that bathwater, so it’s important not get so snobby and snarky that we forget there are a number of really good shows on network television. Shows like “24,” “The Office,” “My Name Is Earl,” and “Veronica Mars” are great shows that get easily forgotten in sweeping generalizations about what crap TV is nowadays.


Why exactly do I trust Jack Bauer so much? It’s not like this show isn’t full of people working six different sides, and yet I never question Jack’s judgment. This week, he shot an innocent lobby guard in a hotel to get entry into this Russian computer technician’s penthouse. Of course, the guard was armed with an automatic weapon, which begs the question: What hotel arms their security with automatic weapons? Anyway, Jack took down the guard, stormed the penthouse, shot the computer technician in the leg, then gave the order that he not be given pain medication. Which means if Jack Bauer or the Counter-Terrorism Unit think you’re collaborating with terrorists, they’ll use the Bill of Rights as toilet paper. Isn’t that comforting?

“American Idol”

That’s it, folks. Show’s over. The auditions are done, which means now you actually have to listen to “good” singers sing popular songs in the most banal fashion imaginable. This week, a girl sang “Mon Cherie Amour” wonderfully, hitting all the notes perfectly, and the judges told her she was too old fashioned. What “old fashioned” means in “American Idol” talk is that she didn’t use enough vibrato when she hit certain notes. So basically the lesson to learn here is that if you don’t show off, you’re not a good singer. Great lesson, huh?

“Love Monkey”

Last Friday, CBS announced this show was going “on hiatus,” but that’s just a nice way of saying the show’s been canceled. I can’t describe to you the joy in my heart knowing this awful show will be quickly replaced by a CSI rerun. Too bad for Teddy Geiger, the singer-songwriter who thought this show was his meal ticket. But then again maybe if the show’s producers hadn’t picked such a lame artist to tout as the Next Big Thing, maybe the show wouldn’t have gotten canceled.

“South Beach”

This show is growing on me, or something on me is growing when I watch this show. Despite the bad acting, the cliched dialogue, the retread plots, the fact remains that this show is full of some of the hottest people I’ve ever seen. This week, Ariel took a job as a waitress because she’s too proud to take money from her club-manager boyfriend. If the porn industry proves anything, it’s that model-actresses aren’t too proud to do anything.

“The 48th Annual Grammy Awards”

I’m so glad I caught enough of this show to see a Mohawked Sly Stone walk on stage during his musical tribute, bang at his keyboard a couple of times, sing back up on “I Wanna Take You Higher” weakly and walk off in disgust. Because that’s really the only thing you can do when such musical luminaries as Joss Stone and the rapping dude from Black Eyed Peas butcher your music beyond comprehension.