When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.
More than a full week into 2008 may seem like odd timing for a retrospective. Late in December, I was going to make some predictions, but when I unpacked my crystal ball, I discovered that it had transmogrified into basalt. That's a lie. No transmogrification was necessary, it has always been just that clear.
Then I thought I'd do a retrospective, but it seemed anti-climactic having sat down to write some predictions. So I did nothing. Or maybe I grumbled about my Mac and worked on some stylesheets. Whatever.
Television generally sucks. Reality television is proof that it can get suck more. Here are a few things that didn't suck last year, in no particular order:
- Deadwood. I miss Al.
- Dexter. He's smart and funny, sensitive and vulnerable, and you root for him. He's also a remorseless serial killer, go figure.
- Life on Mars. “Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time?” (It's a British import and, yeah, I know you've all seen the ending. Ssshhh!)
- Lost. The season before last, not so much, but it was pretty good in ’07. We'll find out about ’08 later this month.
- Pushing Daisies. An odd premise and a quirky cast, masterfully executed. The voice-overs are pitch perfect.
- Doctor Who and Torchwood. I watched Dr. Who in the ’70's; it's great to be back. And Captain Jack has a cool spinoff.
- The Big Bang Theory. Possibly the funniest show on commercial television. No, scratch that. The funniest show on commercial television. Given that a fair bit of the humor is actually geeky, I'm amazed it's lasted this long.
I've left out science and nature programs, news, documentaries and such. They're pretty reliable these days. Well, except for the news. If I wanted a longer list, I'd start with Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and Eureka. The New York and Las Vegas branches of the CSI franchise are usually reliable, as are most of the Law and Order properties.
Returning to the predictions theme, if the past is the best predictor for the future, given that I like them, they'll all be cancelled before 2009 rolls around.