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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Major TV Detour Ahead
2006-05-05 08:15
by Jon Weisman

Stuart Levine is Senior Editor for the features section of Variety - aka, my boss when it comes to my freelancing over there. With the 2005-06 television season close to wrapping up, we decided it might be fun if we did a Roeper and Ebert number on the past year. Stu didn't seem to think we should get paid for this, so it's running on Dodger Thoughts. Here's how it went:

Jon: Well, since you're in the thick of this stuff year round, why don't you start us off with what you saw as the overriding story of the '05-'06 season?

Stu: From a programming standpoint, I'd say it was the dominance once again of American Idol. Shows just aren't supposed to find bigger audiences as they get older but Idol defies the odds. Idol just crushes the competition the way the 1977 and 1978 Yankees crushed the Dodgers -- as I'm a big Bombers fan and this is on Jon's Dodger site, I thought you'd enjoy the analogy. Wednesday night's Idol elimination show drew 28.5 million viewers, unheard of in the 500-channel universe.

The other networks are dumbstruck about how to counterprogram against it and the best strategy seems to get away from it as far as possible.

Jon: Or wait three years and reverse the crushing. Perhaps the other networks need to cast Pedro Guerrero and Fernando in something.

As far as dramas go, there were plenty of great shows to fill our Tivos this year. Good watercooler shows, like Lost and The Sopranos, which are compelling at worst and usually brilliant. (I don't buy into the theory that Lost is spinning its wheels - I think it is doing well to take its time.) Big Love - surprisingly unconcerned with soap opera plot twists given its premise - is finding itself. The recent House two-parter was some of the best television I've seen this year. Veronica Mars is clever and entertaining each week, and I can't wait to see if this year's season finale lives up to the awesomity of last years. Those are some of my favorites.

Stu: You're right. There's never been as many great dramas as there are right now. My Tivo is bursting with 'em. Just on Sunday nights you have West Wing, Sopranos, Big Love and Grey's Anatomy. Then there's Lost, which -- to its credit never plays it safe, and House. Those are just the ones on the air right now.

And starting soon is my favorite show of 'em all, Deadwood, with my second choice The Wire to begin in the fall. And what about all the FX stuff: The Shield, Rescue Me and the recently ended Thief, which got killed in the ratings but was intriguing nonetheless.

I'm surprised I still have to time to sleep and eat after catching up on all these.

Jon: Is Thief done already? I've got three of them waiting for me to watch after enjoying the first two. Over There was another worthwhile FX show that died a quiet death. I might add ... as a segue to comedy .. that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX deserved more attention - any attention, really. It had a great sensibility - twentysomething adults with just the right touch of stupidity.

Stu: Yeah, Thief just tanked in the ratings, even though the reviews were glowing. My feeling is that people got it confused with AMC's Hustle and the far inferior Heist on NBC. You know, Heist ... Thief.... five letters each, cops and robbers series... Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either but it's a theory.

Jon: Actually, that makes a lot of sense. Scary.

Stu: Philadelphia did have some moments but you definitely liked it more than me. I've never been a huge fan of the traditional sitcom, except for Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond, which was great 'til the very end. But I have to give props to the sweet and enduring "How I Met Your Mother" and segueing back to Seinfeld, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle The New Adventures of Old Christine. Check that one out. In every episode there's 1 or 2 laugh-out loud funny scenes.

Jon: Well, this will get interesting now. I gave up on Mother and Christine pretty quickly - not that they didn't have their moments, but with so many things that were better on, I just couldn't carve out any time for those and have any semblance of a life. I like Neil Patrick Harris okay, but I don't buy him in that role on Mother at all. And the voiceovers by Bob Saget are useless - really, I find them insulting. We disagree about Raymond remaining good until the end, but that's a story from another year.

Talk about laugh-out-loud moments this year, I don't think anything can top The Office. That show has really taken off. It has hilarious premises and executes them almost perfectly. It has the almost effortlessly funny Steve Carrell at the lead and a deep supporting cast. And it has, bar none, the sweetest romance on TV in Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer).

Stu: I definitely need to give another look at The Office. After enjoying the Ricky Gervais series on which it's based, I tuned in last season and was underwhelmed. But you, and everyone else it seems, has told me to give it another try. And I will. I'll make it a priority during the summer when NBC repeats it.

Getting back to dramas for a sec, I have a contrarian viewpoint on House. I like it -- it's getting raves and huge ratings -- but am getting bothered by the same dramatic form every week. Person with near-death malady checks into hospital, everyone misdiagnoses for a half-hour, in final 10 minutes lightbulb goes off in House's head and he astonishingly diagnoses patient by thinking about a completely unrelatable event or case. Problem solved.

Sure that changes sometimes, but it's starting to get a bit old for me. Sorry to digress....

Jon: No, I actually agree with that critique. House (which I assume owes a good portion of its ratings to the Idol lead-in) sometimes falls into that trap. I think that tumors took the prize for like three weeks in a row. I also think that the role of Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) is a cipher - she exists mostly as a foil to Dr. House and can be remarkably slow on the uptake. But I do think that the other House characters are sharply defined. The recent two-parter also gave the show the time to really make House and the staff work to solve the mystery, right until the end.

Years ago, I used to watch ER and Law and Order, but they got old for me, and I never picked up any members of the CSI family. I regret missing out on Maura Tierney, Parminder Nagra and Linda Cardellini, because I've liked them so much in other things, but nothing feels more tired to me than the heavily promoted "very special" ER that seems to come every other week. Am I missing anything?

Stu: Whenever someone mentions Linda Cardellini, I immediately think of the underrated NBC gem Freaks and Geeks of many years ago. It was based on those awkward high school years, circa 1980 Michigan. I grew up on Long Island but that's when I graduated high school and the show hit all the right notes. Check that one out on Netflix now. Now!

Jon: You don't need to tell me about Freaks and Geeks! Its cancellation was perhaps the biggest television crime of the past decade.

Stu: And May 14 marks the final episode of The West Wing, which except for a few episodes here and there, might justly be considered one of the greatest dramas ever. Besides winning four straight Emmys, it perfectly balanced the fine line between intelligent political discussion and broad entertainment - Josh and Donna's romance, Zoe getting kidnapped, the president's creepy son-in-law. I'm really gonna miss it.

Speaking of which, Aaron Sorkin and his consigliere, Tommy Schlamme, have a new show this fall about the behind-the-scenes look at a Saturday Night Live-type variety show. I'm anxiously awaiting to see the pilot and hope it can match my high expectations.

Jon: That seems like a good place to begin wrapping up - by looking ahead. What else should we keep our eyes on? (Or is it too soon to say?)

Stu: A bit tough to say at this point until the fall lineups are announced the week of May 15. Among the nearly hundred pilots shot, the network chieftains will have to decide which shows look best and have the greatest chance to succeed. They often don't make those decisions until the last minute, literally. So I'll get a better sense at that point.

But until September rolls around, do tune in to Deadwood at the beginning of June. I don't mean to sound like an HBO flack but the show is the best written series ever on television. And that's not a fact I throw around lightly.

And speaking of throwing it around lightly, what's up with Eric Gagne? How's that for bringing it back to our regularly scheduled Dodger blogging...

Jon: Um, we're still waiting for the programmers to decide whether Gagne gets canceled or is just on hiatus.

Thanks for doing this, Stu. I can't let you go without asking these final questions:

1) Who should win American Idol, and who will win?
2) Can you pick a single favorite moment from the past TV season?

Stu: 1) I see the final two between Katharine and Chris. Very tough call on who triumphs but by the slightest of margins I say Chris. She's got a better voice but he seems to have more of a following.

2) Almost impossible to pinpoint hundreds of hours of viewing but the final 10 minutes of the last episode of Six Feet Under stands out as a great moment, when we see how and when all the characters will die. And watching Tony Soprano get gunned down by his own Uncle Junior was both shocking and exhilarating.

Jon: Wow - you stole mine. Even though it was last August (I looked up the date and can't believe so much time has passed), when I think of indelible moments from 2005-06, nothing stands out like that closing montage. Six Feet Under had its detractors, but I'm still haunted by that finale.

As for Idol - which I became sucked into against my will during its second season out of loyalty to my wife, but I guess I should take responsibility for my actions - I have also seen Chris and Kat in the final two. I'd like to see Kat win, though Chris is deserving enough that I think he could have lost weeks ago and still done fine with his career. But the wild card is Taylor, who has been something of a high quality novelty act all along, but whose support has never faltered. And wild cards often win the big one, as baseball keeps reminding us ...

Comments (56)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-05 08:45:21
1.   Vishal
this post makes me want to get your thoughts on the dodgers' OTHER historic rivalry, the one with the yanks. you should write about it sometime.
2006-05-05 09:02:45
2.   CanuckDodger
Looking at the slate of network pilots for the '06-'07 season, next season could be pretty special -- provided the right shows are chosen. I am seeing a lot of "high-concept" dramas (in the wake of the success of series like 24, Lost, and Prison Break), and a lot of "single camera, no laugh track" comedies (in the wake of at least the CRITICAL success of series like Scrubs, Arrested Development, The Office, and My Name Is Earl) among the pilots. The network executives just have to have the guts to greenlight these pilots for series instead of going with the more traditional doctor-lawyer-police procedurals and multi-camera/articial-laugh-infested "comedy" abominations that all too much of the American TV audience loves.
2006-05-05 09:06:03
3.   Jon Weisman
These things are always cyclical, and right now it's the procedurals turn to take a back seat.
2006-05-05 09:20:20
4.   Fletch
Shocked that there was no mention of the disappearnce(refuse to call it cancellation) of Arrested Development. That crime may be greater than Freaks & Geek. I also was surprised Prison Break was not mentioned.

Question- Do you think we will see more reality TV or less going forward?

2006-05-05 09:29:24
5.   Jon Weisman
4 - Yeah, that is weird. I didn't mean to snub AD.

It seems that networks will always try to catch the Millionaire/Idol/Dancing with the Stars magic, but it's a very hit-and-miss field.

2006-05-05 09:41:37
6.   Bob Timmermann
In May, it's always hard to keep enough space on my DVR to hold the stuff I miss while I'm watching baseball games. Stupid sweeps.
2006-05-05 10:06:59
7.   Telemachos
Wonderful article, Jon... but you missed one of my faves -- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Yeah, it's on a niche channel but it's been getting some deserved critical buzz. Go BSG! :)

(I also suspect people have stopped saying LOST is spinning its wheels... hehe)

2006-05-05 10:10:16
8.   Scott Long
What does this have to do with the Dodgers! Why aren't we discussing more important things like the fielding percentages for minor leaguers playing in the Sally League.

(Sorry, but I just wanted to share the typical comment we get at the Juice when Will and I write on a subject like this.)

Good stuff and I would agree completely with Stu that Deadwood is the greatest written show in TV history and that West Wing is not too far behind.

2006-05-05 10:15:37
9.   MJW101
You guys talked about a lot of shows, but failed to mention, pro or con, the OTHER FOX network hit show BONES. I enjoy it for the fantastic technical aspects and of course the beautiful Bones and the ensemble cast interplay.

Also, for math aficionados NUMBERS is an interesting amalgamation of the traditional cop show and intellectual analysis.

Not all of us have acess to pay channels so your reflections on their shows go over our heads.

2006-05-05 10:23:51
10.   Jon Weisman
I just like saying in a low drone, "Bones."
2006-05-05 10:32:36
11.   Bob Timmermann
I tried to watch one episode of "Bones" and was disappointed because the show involved me having to do something other than just looking at Emily Deschanel.
2006-05-05 10:36:59
12.   Marty
Seeing Neil Patrick Harris' name reminds me that in the Sopranos, the mafia guy that Artie beats up was Doogie Howser's best friend. See what happens when you start crawling into people's windows. Next thing you know, your'e in the mafia.
2006-05-05 10:38:24
13.   Stu
Regarding Fletch's comment about Arrested Development... Yes, it was a great show but nobody watched it. You can't blame Fox on this one. They gave it every chance to succeed. I'm all for blaming the networks but sometimes, no matter how good a show, people just don't tune in.
2006-05-05 10:38:45
14.   Underbruin
Interesting and fun write-up, Jon. Couple of comments -

1) Thief was -very- interesting, and the show ended right as it seemed to be picking up steam. I think it's a real shame. I'm especially surprised as FX seems to be a bit more of a risk-taker than a lot of the other channels, but canned Thief awfully fast.

2) Any comments on Hustle? I've only seen it once, and was moderately interested, but not overly so.

3) No mention of Bonds on Bonds? =P

2006-05-05 10:40:38
15.   CanuckDodger
Just out of curiosity, did any Dodger Thoughts people ever check out a Canadian comedy series called "Trailer Park Boys" when it aired on your BBC America cable channel a couple years ago? BBC America didn't air any episodes past the second season, because the FCC started cracking down on content that violated the sense of decency of people in certain quarters, but a lot of Americans are in love with the series, and I send tapes to an American friend who makes copies and sends them out to a lot of his friends around the United States.
2006-05-05 10:42:43
16.   Jon Weisman
Defamer has a funny bit about the upcoming TV movie on American Idol winner Fantasia.

(Former Lisa Bonet co-star Kadeem Hardison plays her dad, and Debbie Allen is directing.)

"Reenacting a life of hardship will be no simple task for the singer. It can't be easy to reopen old wounds such as the pivotal scene opposite Dwayne Wayne, where Fantasia tearfully tells her father of the love child growing within--especially with Debbie Allen screaming "Cut!" every few seconds, slamming a counting stick against the floor and insisting that this is where Fantasia starts paying--in sweat."

2006-05-05 10:43:19
17.   Bob Timmermann
I reviewed "Bonds on Bonds" for the Griddle a couple of weeks ago.

I did my part for humanity.

2006-05-05 10:47:02
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - If you haven't seen the movie "Fame" 20 times, you might not appreciate the humor, though.
2006-05-05 10:50:25
19.   Bob Timmermann

You've sat through "Fame" 20 times.

Albert Hague, who pretty much played himself, in that movie, is the man who wrote "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch" one of the greatest Christmas songs.....


2006-05-05 11:25:34
20.   Stu
As much as I detest Barry Bonds, I've watched every episode of the show. I think he partcipated in it to try and improve his image but he doesn't come off well at all. More egotistical than ever. He's always blaming everyone else for all that has gone wrong in his life and never looks at himself, never addresses the steroid issue head on.
2006-05-05 11:30:33
21.   Stu
I spoke with Andre Braugher yesterday about the quick demise of "Thief" and he thought that if maybe the series was 13 episodes instead of 6, and that if FX promoted the more family aspect of it -- Braugher is forced to care for his stepdaughter after his wife is killed -- it might have done better.

I don't necessarily by that but it's a shame it went off the air so fast. Braugher, in my opinion, is one of the top 2 or 3 best TV actors around. His Frank Pembleton from "Homicide" may be the greatest cop character ever. "Deadwood's" Ian McShane is also up there

2006-05-05 11:32:31
22.   Jon Weisman
Andre is absolutely the best.
2006-05-05 11:33:30
23.   Voxter
Well, no one else took the bait, so I'll say it . . .

"Lost" is still spinning its wheels. Killing off unpopular characters does not equal forward progress. Does anything ever actually happen on that stupid island? Because I think I've figured out its evil magic: It bores you to death with endless teases that go nowhere, and every 42 mintues there's a "gotcha!" moment. Bah.

2006-05-05 11:41:13
24.   DXMachina
Another Bones fan here, although I started watching because I was a big fan of Angel and David Boreanaz. Emily Deschannel is just icing on the cake.

I think this week cured me of Lost. Lost is hours of boredom punctuated by seconds of sheer "OMGWTF?!?"

2006-05-05 11:41:38
25.   Jon Weisman
23 - It's a character study disguised as a mystery/thriller. I find compelling character stories in almost every episode.

If you're in it only for the action, yes, you aren't going to be satisfied. But then you're not seeing the whole show.

2006-05-05 11:45:11
26.   Stu
I agree with Jon. It's a terrific show that doesn't lazily tie up loose ends at the conclusion of every episode. You're forced to look at the big picture nature of things.

It requires out of the box thinking that many TV viewers don't have the patience for.

2006-05-05 11:49:04
27.   Voxter
25 - I think it's partly that I would find it more compelling if there were, like, half as many characters. I can't bring myself to care about any of the new Lostaways other than Eko, who has had precious little screen-time of late; I also find myself wishing Locke would just go away, which is a shame, cos I used to think he was one of the most interesting characters on TV.

It's also left-over "Veronica Mars" partisanship. They used to go head-to-head, so I was obliged to talk smack about "Lost" in every public forum I could find -- which resulted in my being way more critical when watching it. Now, in service of that same cause, I have to say that I have found "House" to be profoundly tedious since it first showed up two years ago. Every episode is the same: House makes a brilliant save in the last ten minutes, and Laurie's accent gets wobbly once or twice.

I'll stop now.

2006-05-05 11:57:11
28.   DXMachina
I get that it's a character piece, but the characters they seem to concentrate on the most (Jack, Kate, and Sawyer) just aren't all that interesting to me.
2006-05-05 12:05:07
29.   Jon Weisman
I don't think Jack, Kate and Sawyer have gotten all that much screen time at all this year. Locke, Sun/Jin, Hurley, Ana Lucia, Sayid have easily gotten as much.

There are many characters, so they all tend to take a backseat for weeks at a time. Charlie's in that boat now. Michael's just coming back. Jack and Kate were definitely in the background for long stretches.

2006-05-05 12:10:55
30.   stevo
For some reason, I cannot wrap my head around the concept of people being bored while watching Lost. Every episode, I find myself legitimately angry at the end credits. I just don't want it to end. I am actually really glad they are taking their time explaining everything, think how boring it would be if you knew all the answers already. I guess I'm just a sucker for intelligent sci-fi(especially of the wierd and mysterious variety.)
2006-05-05 12:16:00
31.   Voxter
Okay, I won't stop, but then I will.

Another problem I have is that this year, many of the characters have gotten one-note: Locke is the old ninny who keeps getting conned; Jack is the self-righteous jerk just brimming with bad ideas; Kate's become a cipher, as far as I can tell; Sawyer's a name-calling badbow; Hugo's a fat guy who makes jokes . . . and so on. And now they've brought back the one-note character to end all one-note characters, Michael. ("I've got to get my boy!" Shut up already!)

26 - I have plenty of patience, and I'm prefectly capable of thinking outside the box, thank you very much. It just seems to me that a lot of "Lost"'s revelations are cheap tricks designed to keep you interested at times when your attention might be wandering. Clearly, other people feel otherwise about it, but I'm starting to feel manipulated, which is usually a precursor to my not watching something anymore. I don't care for having my buttons pushed.

2006-05-05 12:16:33
32.   Linkmeister
Well, we in Hawai'i have an advantage with "Lost;" even if the week's episode isn't scintillating we have lots of fun identifying locations. "Where's that house that Jack's father visited in the rainstorm" was a middling topic over on one of the Hawai'i message boards.

The airport scenes are shot at the Convention Center, in case you wondered. ;)

2006-05-05 12:22:34
33.   Jon Weisman
31 - What makes them cheap tricks? When from the moment the show began, it was clear we were in some sort of Twilight Zone, which plot twists aren't earned?

I don't get the manipulation comment. The show tells a story, and you either buy into it or not. Clearly, it is pushing your buttons in the bad sense, and you're mostly bored by it now - but I don't see that as a manipulation thing. I don't think there's any mystery as far as what kind of show Lost is and what to expect from a storytelling standpoint.

2006-05-05 12:24:49
34.   Stu
Damon Lindelof and his team write the show's main premises in thirds, for the most part: The first third of this season was the exploration of the hatch, the second third was about the prisoner and the final third about Michael and a brewing conflict with the Others.

Lindelof was very influenced by The Twilight Zone growing up and that's what Lost is: Sci-fi wrapped up in character study and nuance.

It's also a major watercooler show today, and there's not many of those around. Love it or hate, everybody talks about and that's an accomplishment.

2006-05-05 12:25:37
35.   stevo
There's no way you saw Hurley's backstory episode called "Dave" and just think of his character as a "fat guy who tells jokes". And Michael had his son taken from him a few weeks ago (in Lost time), if he thought about anything else but getting his boy back, it would be a terrible, terrible unrealistic show.
2006-05-05 12:31:15
36.   Stu
And as far as being manipulative, as much as I like "Grey's Anatomy," that show is far more manipulative that "Lost." Laugh here, cry here, serious drama here... You're not allowed to go outside the moment, to think your own thoughts.
2006-05-05 12:45:09
37.   Bob Timmermann
Isn't every TV show supposed to be manipulative? Who tells a story without wanting to get a reaction?
2006-05-05 12:45:52
38.   Voxter
108 minutes. Better push the button. Oops, we almost didn't push it! There were red pictograms! Oh, well, we got the button pushed. Whew. Everything's back to normal now.

Tension? Fake. Me? Feeling manipulated. There you go.

Anyway. I'm not trying to say "Lost" is a terrible show or anything; clearly, I'm still watching it, which is more than any show other than "Veronica Mars" can say. I've just grown a little disenchanted this season, and I'm starting to think I'm not going to watch anymore after this season is up. Of course, there will be a gigantic cliffhanger -- see Hatch, The -- that may or may not have a very interesting resolution next season.

And on the subject of Michael, of course it's understandable that he was obsessed with getting Walt back. He didn't have to say it so often, is all. Before he disappeared, it had started to feel like he would occasionally storm onto the scene and shout, "I have to get my boy!" and that would be all there was to him. I found myself thinking, "Shut up and do it, then!"

2006-05-05 13:02:41
39.   Bob Timmermann
I've given up on some shows which I loved, such as "Law & Order" (thanks to Elisabeth Rohm) and "The West Wing" (thanks to Jimmy Smits).

So, I can understand getting fed up with a show. It's a challenge for the writers of any show to keep up the interest.

2006-05-05 13:04:17
40.   Jon Weisman
Oh, believe me, I've gave up on many shows which I once loved.

Becker is not on that list.

2006-05-05 13:30:42
41.   underdog
Speaking of Freaks and Geeks - Jon and Stu, either of you catch Undeclared? The DVDs are a fun rent, with some great commentary by the cast and crew, which includes F&G's creator Judd Apatow and Paul Feig and Seth Rogen, with appearances by Jason Segal (hilarious as very jealous, paranoid ex boyfriend of one of the girls). Great recreation of dorm life, being a freshman and all that. A little sillier and more uneven than F&G but really enjoyable. Disc 2 in particular has some choice episodes.
2006-05-05 13:39:16
42.   Vishal
11 - zooey > emily
2006-05-05 13:40:51
43.   Jon Weisman
I saw every Undeclared while it aired. Enjoyed it - it was good but not great.
2006-05-05 13:56:19
44.   stevo
Especially after I saw Hitchiker"s Guide.
2006-05-05 14:18:15
45.   Jon Weisman
It astonished me when Elizabeth Smart turned up alive, so I tend to read interviews with her.

That being said, the ability for Larry King to draw out meaningful responses has to be seen to be believed.

KING: You're now, what? You're going to graduate high school?


KING: Working in a bank?


KING: A teller?


KING: Outside and inside?


KING: Just I like to know where you are positioned in the bank. And you're going to go to Brigham Young University?


KING: And you have a boyfriend?


KING: ... You don't have to name him and he's going on a mission right?


KING: Are you a devout Mormon?


2006-05-05 14:20:02
46.   Marty
King is the King.
2006-05-05 14:24:42
47.   mikethinksblue
I've got to agree with Vox on this one. I watched a few episodes of Lost, but somehow got the feeling that nothing was ever actually going to "happen" so I gave up. I was late watching the show too, so I never really cared about the characters or their development.

It's the same reaction I have to 24. I'll watch three episodes, and then think to myself, "wait I've got 21 more hours of this before it ends? Ah, forget it."

2006-05-05 14:42:33
48.   Penarol1916
I'm not going to go into all of my problems with Lost, there are some good storylines, Sun/Jin, Locke's backstory is pretty interesting, and the way they are trying to tie them together, but then are frustrating aspects as well, like what was the point of even having the Boone/Shannon dynamic and backstory if you were just going to kill them both off so early in the show? Why is Hurley sometimes obsessed with the numbers being bad luck, but other times it just doesn't seem to bother him (which just seems like lazy writing to me, the same with how using the numbers causes bad luck to the people around him, but the day he spends with DJ Qualls after he uses the numbers sees nothing bad to anyone around him).
2006-05-05 14:49:16
49.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm really surprised there are people still arguing that West Wing is a great t.v. show. It was excellent for the first three or four years, and then it turned in to absolute crap. I thank G-d for baseball season, in part, because it's lets me out of my co-dependant cycle with bad television. Law and Order and ER included.

The whole Noah Wiley thing makes me uneasy about West Wing. What it the whole, "We're canceling it," thing is a put on, to trick me in to watching two more episodes? What if it really won't be ending?

2006-05-05 14:55:50
50.   Jon Weisman
48 - Are they allowed to have any regulars killed off?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-05 14:59:30
51.   Jon Weisman
It's not like the deaths were capricious. Boone was the one series regular killed off in pursuit of solving the mysteries of the island in the first season. Shannon was killed off to move forward the conflict between the two groups from the plane. Until last week, in about 40 episodes, only two main character deaths. Stranded on an island with threats and desperation anywhere, that seems reasonable.
2006-05-05 15:11:52
52.   Stu
If you gave up on West Wing several years ago, you missed out on these last two great seasons. Not many shows go off the air as strong as West Wing will: Everybody Loves Raymond and NYPD Blue come to mind.
2006-05-05 15:33:06
53.   Bob Timmermann
I think I gave up on the West Wing in the middle of last season as the presidential campaign was going on.

Some shows you have to suspend disbelief quite often, "Lost" or "24". But "The West Wing" had been trying to explore real topics.

The whole machinations of the Democratic convention last year made me laugh because they were pretty hard to believe.

2006-05-05 15:34:54
54.   Andrew Shimmin
I didn't give up on it; that's the problem. I kept watching, and it kept sucking. The big Live Debate episode was Law and Order: SVU bad. The entire campagin has been silly. A pro-choice Republican who can win California wins the election; oh but wait! I know, let's melt down a nuclear power plant! That'll do him in. The whole Toby thing was boring and dumb. The make-believe Arafat thing was silly.

After Sorkin left, the show stopped being smart and funny and started being angsty and shouty.

2006-05-05 15:46:25
55.   Bob Timmermann
Don't forget that the pro-choice Republican not only won the nomination, no one knew what his religious beliefs were until after he was chosen.

A Republican running for president can't get away with that. He would have no base.

2006-05-06 00:22:14
56.   Jim Beaver
I wholeheartedly agree with every good thing you said about Deadwood. Don't confuse my being on the show with bias.

Jim Beaver

P.S. Thanks!

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