Monday, January 10, 2005

Bad Weather, And Other Sources of Depression...

As I sit here writing this gibberish, sunny California is enjoying its fourth straight day of inclement weather. But you can tell this is California ~ The rain is lovely and warm.

While we're on the subject of sources of terminal depression, let's mention the new Fall Season....Or perhaps I should just save myself the trouble and skip straight to the part where I open a vein??

As many people feared, most of the networks' current favorite mind-fodder - Reality shows - are returning to atrophy what few remaining brain cells their viewers might still possess. Among these new weapons of mass deception are “"Extreme Home Makeover”." I've never seen this, but it sounds like a riot! Desperate Housewives? Ditto. Never even seen a trailer. The critics are running out of superlatives for it and it would be wonderful to see Teri Hatcher in something new, but I have to confess I have yet to count myself among the rabid throng that seems to comprise its audience. Wrong plumbing, perhaps? Everyone I know who's a fan is of the opposite...er, voltage!? Could this be the first TV equivalent of a chick-flick?

The current season must be even more depressing for those of you who enjoy the more romantic strain of Reality TV. Where's "The Bachelor"? Or "Who Wants to Bury A Millionaire?" Nowhere to be seen! What do they give you instead? Jennifer gets a second chance at finding love after her fling with Andrew went down in, apparently rather unimpressive flames. I've never seen either show but I'd be happy to bet this stands as a very poor substitute.

If you want my idea of TV-narcotics, it would still be West Wing. Or Carson Kressley and the posse over at "Queer Eye..." It's now in Season Three but still never fails to prove just how weird, lonely and sartorially clueless a lot of us guys really are. And Mr. Kressley was clearly born to be a star. Sometimes (very, very rarely) television focuses its beady glass eye on an unknown and gives birth to a true original. Mr. Kressley is undoubtedly among them.

With so much competition from video, cable, satellite, Pay-Per-View and TiVo, you would think the suits who manage network television would try somewhat harder to attract and hold an audience. Apparently, you'd be wrong. Instead their philosophy appears to be, why try?? Why make an effort to step out from the comfort zone of this tried-and-(de)tested cranial chewing gum and make something that might actually have to potential to become at least vaguely interesting??

The breadth of creative imagination implicit in this new schedule is positively underwhelming. When you consider that it emanates from the minds of those in charge of what is intended to be a 'creative' industry, it's nothing less than frightening.

And when this pitiful season is complete and the ratings come in you can safely bet they will all gather around a boardroom table as they have done many times before and scratch their heads in collective bewilderment, desperately trying to divine why people won't watch...