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Posts Tagged "TV"

Thoughts on the end of Rescue Me

Note, there are spoilers of the finale in here.

Rescue Me was a frustrating show to watch. It had such great promise and reached such great highs. But it was also hard to watch when it sunk about as low as a drama could go.

The women were written badly. People were forgotten within half a season of dying. Plots were forgotten even quicker.

But, man, when the show was on, it was on. The scenes in fires? Nearly anything with Lou giving a monologue?  The guys giving each other crap around the table or in the truck or, well, anywhere two or more of them gathered? Great TV.

The show was true to Rescue Me.

It had the good (who didn’t tear up at Lou’s monologue in the beginning or smile at the BSing around the table in the firehouse?), the bad (Shiela taunting Tommy with drinks?) and the ugly (the whole playground scene, from the homophobia to, well, Tommy being Tommy). But it was true to the series. And there was more good in the finale than bad or ugly, which was a pleasant way to end.

The finale was true to Rescue Me. It had great scenes, it had good scenes, it had ridiculous scenes, it had bad scenes and it had ridiculously bad scenes. But almost all the scenes had some sort of redeeming value.

The scene with Lou giving his monologue in the beginning? Lump in the throat from beginning to end. The scene at the playground? Cringe-inducing from beginning to end.

Subtlety was never the show’s strong suit. A couple of things were almost too-on-the-nose in the finale. Like when the guys were sitting around the table, all beat up, nursing injuries but still just giving each other crap.

"This is what I’m gonna miss right here," Mike said. "I mean, us busting each other’s balls around the table. These were some of the best times, guys."

Yeah, those were some of the best times. 

But another line, one where Tommy was reading from Lou’s letter, struck me as more on-the-nose for how I feel about the show. It wasn’t intended as such, but it worked.

"With you," Lou wrote to Tommy but it could have been me writing to the show, "the goods are up enough that I’ll take the downs."

That’s what kept me coming back.

I couldn’t help but tear up several times during the episode, some of which were because I knew this was the last time I’d see these idiotic, brave, hurtful, valiant firefighters.

I’ll miss you Rescue Me. But, man, part of me can’t help but think you could have been one of the all-time greats.

Old people like watching CBS, Dancing With the Stars

The Hollywood Reporter runs down the list of the shows with the oldest median-age according to Nielsen numbers. Not surprisingly, CBS dominates the list and Fox is nowhere to be found.

1. CBS’ Blue Bloods - Median Age: 60.6

2. CBS’ Chaos* - Median Age: 59.8

3. CBS’ CSI: NY - Median Age: 59.5

4. CBS’ The Good Wife - Median Age: 59

5. NBC’s Harry’s Law - Median Age: 58.7

6. CBS’ NCIS - Median Age: 58.3 (TIE)

6. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars** - Median Age: 58.3 (TIE)

8. CBS’ The Mentalist - Median Age: 58.2

9. NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? - Median Age: 58

10. CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles - Median Age: 57.6

11. ABC’s Body of Proof - Median Age: 57.5 (TIE)

11. CBS’s The Defenders* - Median Age: 57.5 (TIE)

13. ABC’s Dancing With the Stars: Results - Median Age: 57.4 (TIE)

14. NBC’s Outlaw* - Median Age: 57.2

15. CBS’ Medium* - Median Age: 57 (TIE)

15. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars*** - Median Age: 57 (TIE)

Note: Estimates include live plus same day viewing. *Since Canceled. **Tuesday, 8 p.m. airings. ***Monday, 8 p.m. airings.

News magazines and sports were excluded from this. Of the shows on the list, there are two that I watched this last season: NCIS and The Defenders.

Pop Up Video is coming back to VH1

Hell yeah. 

What is possibly VH1’s most iconic show* is coming back. VH1 is bringing back Pop Up video.

This iteration will add hip-hop videos to the mix, something that was off-limits in the old days, because hip-hop was considered MTV’s domain. (And also, what is there to make fun of in hip-hop videos?) In bringing back his baby, co-creator and executive producer Woody Thompson says he hopes to reclaim “snarky, pithy text” from the bowels of Twitter and the Internet, both of which Thompson believes has been totally ripping him off for the past decade. (Bloop. “Narcissism” is named for the Greek myth of Narcissus, who died staring at his own reflection. Bloop.) 

Anyway, all I can say is hell yeah.

* Of course I’m kidding. VH1’s iconic show has to be something about loving the 80s or involving Flava Flav, right?

HBO gives Game of Thrones a second season

One episode of the fantasy epic Game of Thrones was all that HBO needed to see, as the pay-cable channel gave the show a second season.

HBO was coy with the ratings, not releasing the ratings from the Sunday premiere until this morning. But they announced that 4.2 million people watched the show on Sunday night on HBO’s primary channel.

This probably includes the replays of the show later Sunday night.

Anyway, president of HBO programming Michael Lombardo had this to say in the press release:

“We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers,” said Lombardo.  “This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”

I found the show to be pretty good — no surprises to anyone who has read the books and it had astonishingly great production levels. I don’t think that it is in the top-five shows on TV right now, but it is definitely worth watching if you have HBO.

Chinese censors say no more time travel on TV

A lot of people were pissed off at the end of Lost. Apparently, the Chinese government didn’t like the time travel elements of the show, as they “have issued new guidelines that all but ban TV dramas featuring time travel” according to The New York Times.

In a statement (available here in Chinese) dated March 31, the State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that TV dramas that involve characters traveling back in time “lack positive thoughts and meaning.” The guidelines discouraging this type of show said that some “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”

I guess no TV adaptations of Back to the Future for China.

Calculating Law and Order’s conviction rate

People that have way too much time on their hands are going through the entire run of Law and Order (456 episodes) and finding out the outcome of the cases in every episode.

The project is currently halfway through the 19-year run of the show.

If you watch the show, you won’t be surprised that “Plea bargain” is the most common outcome. What might surprise you is that in the real world, over 95% of felony convictions come from plea bargains. You could argue that this makes L&O unrealistic. But who says that Jack McCoy doesn’t settle 95% of his cases? The series is only a record of his most interestingcases, so naturally we get a lot of trials. I’m sure Sherlock Holmes had a lot of boring cases, but Watson didn’t bother writing about those.

Read the link above the excerpt for the entire post including graphs of the year-by-year conviction rates.

CBS entering larger cable sports fray

ESPN is the most dominant sports entity in the United States. The New York Times recently wrote about this dominance in a profile in the (oddly enough) Fashion & Style section.

Besides ESPN, there are the niche networks for each sports (led by NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network and whatever the NHL channel is called), Versus (which still features lots of rodeos and hunting shows), the Fox Sports Net regional channels (buoyed by local sports contracts with teams and colleges) and, somewhere in there, CBS College Sports. 

Well CBS College Sports is about to rebrand and expand its portfolio. Variety reports that it will change its name to the CBS Sports Network.

While making no claim to challenge ESPN at this point, CBS is undoubtedly keen on building the relationship between its flagship network sports properties — which include the NFL, the PGA Tour and NCAA football and basketball — and those of its sports cable outlet, similar to the synergy shared by ABC and ESPN.

"That’s a pretty tall order," said Berson of competing directly with ESPN. "That’s a pretty lofty goal. I wouldn’t say that right now, but I do think there’s tons of sport content out there (and) tons of ideas to generate more sports content. … There’s plenty of room for a lot of folks out there.

Eventually this may be a challenger to the ESPN throne, but I think that the CBS Sports Network could leapfrog the patchwork Fox Sports Network entity and Versus to be the largest of the second-tier sports networks.