Thursday, November 18, 2004

The boob tube

If I've got one vice, it's how easily I get sucked in to TV. I can get absorbed in almost any show and anything sports, so I do my best to avoid watching TV if there isn't something specific I want to watch so I don't start flipping around and end up watching some crappy show like The Real World or The Swan. And up until this season, there hasn't been too much of value new put out (reality TV is crap. I'm over it), so I've stuck to my favorites ER and CSI (the original only, so far the spin-offs are lame). But this season has been in my opinion the best in recent memory for new shows.

First I don't think I could continue without some comment on the latest version of Janet's boob-gate, the MondayNight Football promo for Desperate Housewives where the actress drops her towel and jumps into Terrell Owens arms. Is it the huge controversy that boob-gate was? No, but people are all up in arms about it. I think the best explanation I've heard of this so far is that ABC did a cost evaluation of the possible fees incured from the FCC and the tons of free advertising they would get from the controversy this created. I don't think it's more complicated than that. Some people are trying to throw all these racial overtones into it, but I don't think those come into play here. The white woman threw herself at the black man, what's to be concerned about there? Post Kobe Bryant assault paranoia doesn't apply because roles here are reversed. I can see why some parents would be perturbed, expecting to watch sports with their kids and they get a little strip tease, and for those who say it's no worse than soap operas and other daytime TV, well not a lot of 10 year olds watch soaps during the middle of the day at their kindergarten. I think it's all about the free press.

OK, back to my TV recommendations. One of my new favorites is the WB's Jack and Bobby. It's a family drama where one of the two brothers becomes the President in 40 some years. Now the show is full of liberal agendas and propoganda (I mean just look at the title. It screams Kennedy's). Christine Lahti's character is a self-pronounced, liberal, feminist, college professor, who in their episode right around the election wore a Kerry button to the college pub's election party. And the show's Republicans are so stereotypical: the homophobic evangelical minister and the wealthy, step on the poor, school president. But I can overlook all that crap because this show as opposed to dramas that are dramatic just for shock/entertainment value, does drama for the purpose of teaching the future president an important lesson. Yes that is correct there are actual morals to the story that Bobby learns that come into play in his presidency. Yeah some are stupid, like last night's where Bobby learns that soldiers that die in combat are his fault and that he has to go and personally apologize to the parents of each one (maybe Michael Moore wrote that episode). But trust me most are better than that, and it's fun watching the liberal agenda impale itself on its own stupidity (feminism for feminism sake, Bush bashing, etc, etc). But drama that actually reflects character growth I find more appealing than drama for the sake of creating drama. There are some other great new shows; Lost is really cool, and though I've only seen one episode, House MD looks good as well, but there is no greater point to them; nothing to learn (just fun to watch). While Jack and Bobby falls into its own liberal traps every so often, it is putting forth the right effort. Give it a watch, I think it's worth it. Plus anything that kills the ratings of those bug eating, spouse swapping, psycho, control freak filled reality shows has to be worthwhile.