Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
May 17, 2011
TV? Who watches network TV anymore?
Kim Hollis: With the 2010-2011 network television season winding down, what are your lingering impressions? Also, do you have any early thoughts about the announced new series for 2011-2012?
Tom Houseman: Can Ted just meet the mother already? Seriously! Come on!
Josh Spiegel: For the networks, they stay the same even though everything is changing. If you look at the ratings from shows this year, it couldn't be clearer that they don't matter anymore. While the highest-rated show on TV remains American Idol, shows aren't doing nearly as well as they used to. Some of my favorite shows - Community, Parks and Recreation, and Fringe - are returning next season with ratings that, in 2001, would be laughable. Hell, they're pretty laughable now. The point is, when I see networks fret about getting big ratings, I wonder when they'll all embrace the cable sensibility that's becoming the norm. In terms of the past year's shows, the previously mentioned network shows all had excellent seasons (though Fringe's finale was a bit shaky), as did Parenthood (again, despite a shaky finale), Friday Night Lights, and so on. Still, a lot of the best shows on TV (in my opinion, of course) are on cable. Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead....these are the buzz-worthy shows worth talking about.
For next season, I'm very excited about the new NBC drama (scheduled, vaguely, for midseason) Awake, which was created by the same guy who created Lone Star - you know, that one FOX show that lasted two episodes? I watched both of them, at least. I'm curious to see what the new Christina Applegate-Will Arnett sitcom looks like, and I'm sure I'm not alone in being at least curious about Terra Nova. Oh, and I'd be remiss in not mentioning J.J. Abrams' two new series, both of which feature Lost alumni; his new show on CBS was created by Jonathan Nolan (aka Christopher Nolan's brother, who co-wrote Dark Knight) and co-stars Michael Emerson. So, I'm actually watching a CBS show next year. They finally cracked the code!
Edwin Davies: My main impression will be of great comedies - namely Parks and Recreation and Community - beating the odds by coming back with, in my opinion, their best seasons yet and even managing to get renewed, something that looked unlikely for both early in the year. (I know Community has only been on for two seasons, but expecting them to top their stellar first was a big ask.) Elsewhere, Breaking Bad went from being just one of the best shows on television to THE best show on television, Friday Night Lights bowed out with style and grace, much as it had comported itself through the previous four years, and more people became aware of how thoroughly awesome Peter Dinklage is. That's one damn fine year.
Jim Van Nest: My lingering impressions are that it would seem I am the kiss of death to TV shows. If I like it, it will likely get canceled. The one exception, is the one that probably should have gotten the axe, Harry's Law. Is it a great show? No. But Kathy Bates is fantastic and I'll watch her in anything. Sue me. The one that really pisses me off is Fox's cancellation of The Good Guys. Sure, it frees Colin Hanks to join Dexter, but The Good Guys was a rare find on TV. A show that was just made for the fun of it. There were no underlying messages and no social commentary. It was what the Dukes of Hazard would have been, had they been cops instead of 'shine runners. Stupid Fox...I just hope they replace it with another crappy reality show.
Next season, I'm pretty pumped about the Abrams Alcatraz show.