TV in Print

The new season of “The Sopranos” began last night and I don’t care. The show’s been on too long and its extended hiatus only made me realize how bored I am with Tony and his extended family. But honestly, I was bored by the fourth season. Great TV shows nowadays only seem to have enough intrigue or drama to last two or three seasons. Because the quality of the art form as a whole has been raised so high, most shows’ writers and producers just don’t have enough tricks in their bag to keep a show going on beyond the first few seasons. A show like “Lost” is going to have to explain its mysteries sooner or later and when it does, we’re all going to be disappointed. Call it the “Twin Peaks” factor; when a show is as good as watching a movie, the time will come when we all realize the movie’s gone on way too long.



Nerve gas leaking through the air ducts at CTU? Bye bye, Edgar, and dozens of extras.

This week, Jack hurried all the important characters into the sealed-off situation room, leaving a panicked staffer outside begging to be let in. “Find another exit,” Jack told her, and that’s after shooting a man’s wife in the knee to get him to talk earlier in the episode. You’re one cold S.O.B., Jack Bauer.


“America’s Next Top Model”

Is there anyone on TV more phony than Tyra Banks? She makes Donald Trump look down to earth. While the silly fashionistas that surround her act cheeky and amused, Tyra can barely crack a smile, so solemn is the task of picking “America’s Next Top Model.” She reminds me more of a cult leader than a supermodel; like a sinister guru, she breaks you down to build you back up.


“My Name Is Earl”

I’ve got a beef with the moral universe of “My Name Is Earl.” Only on a sitcom could karma, if such a thing exists, work so quickly and efficiently. Since Earl does good things, everything works out for him in the end. Since Joy, his ex-wife, is a selfish see-you-next-Tuesday, nothing ever works out for her. But what about Tom Delay or the Enron execs? Karma seems to have given them a free pass, choosing instead to focus on bitchy white trash blondes.


“The War At Home”

Hey “War At Home,” “Married With Children” called, it wants its show back. Of course it may let you slide if you just give poor David Faustino a recurring guest role as the wigga boyfriend of hot daughter Hillary.


“The Simpsons”

Jumped the shark? This show has water-skied over six Orca whales. Hate me if you want, Simpsons devotees, but you know it’s true.


“Free Ride”

Despite what the commercials would have you believe, this show is actually pretty funny. Most of the show’s laughs come from goofy, hair-metal fan Mark Dove (Dave Sheridan), whose “Ghost World” fans may recognize as the shirtless dude in the convenience store parking lot who keeps yelling “freedom of speech!” In fact, considering the similarities between the two characters, it’s possible the shirtless dude was the very inspiration for Dove.