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Four and a Half Hours of Great Television

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As I sat there watching four and a half hours of TV last night (it was a good night), I had an epiphany. An epiphany of enormous proportions. An epiphany to outlast all other epiphanies. An epiphany that makes the sheer notion of other people having epiphanies utterly foolish. Let me tell you about the epiphany I had.

But, before I get there, I thought I’d throw out how very much I enjoy Extras. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are utterly fantastic. It’s comedy, it’s drama, and it’s nice to see that fame didn’t go to Andy Millman’s head. The guest stars that they have on every week are incredibly funny. Whether it's Orlando Bloom or Diana Rigg or Ian McKellen, the parts are well-written and played over-the-top enough to be ridiculous and believable at the same time. So, I was behind in watching it this week, but Extras was one of the shows I watched during my epiphany.

I, of course, sat down and watched Lost as well. That’s one of those shows you just don’t play around with, it’s so well written and there are always surprises and you just don’t want to go to the office the next morning and hear people talking about the craziness involving Desmond. I don’t care what anyone says, I know that the numbers for the show are down from what they once were, but I don’t think it’s because of content, I think it’s because of marketing. Last season there were so many repeats and recap episodes it all got very frustrating. But if you’ve drifted from the show for any reason I highly recommend you give it another shot; they’re going to be doing the rest of the season repeat-free and I think Abrams and Lindelhof and the guys have a definite plan and I want to be there to see it.

See, 24, which I also watched, is how Lost should’ve been handled from the start of season two on; as the NYPD Blue promos once said — repeats are for wimps. The numbers for 24 went from marginal to solid once they started going for 24 straight episodes, no repeats or missing weeks. As for the content, it’s been a good show this season, but not great. Happily it hasn’t been as utterly dismal as the bobcat episode of season two or season three in its entirety. That was a day I wish I hadn’t had to live through with Jack — the boredom and ridiculousness was stultifying.   

Then there was Boston Legal (I know, I was behind again, it’s how we roll). That show lives and dies by the absurdities and extra-textual references contained within. This week’s episode was carried entirely by the notion of “Uncle Bill” and Buzz Lightyear. They always try and throw serious stuff in too, but it just doesn’t work as well. The show is really pretty solid at this time, but I’m worried it’s headed the way of Ally McBeal — a show that lives and dies based on the absurdities that it creates tends to run out of steam sooner rather than later.

Last on tap was Battlestar Galactica. Call me a nerd, call me a geek, call me a dweeb, just don’t call me a fanboy. BSG is show that does really well at taking present-day problems and placing them into the future. It definitely does its best to funhouse-mirror our world, and some of the reflections it shoots back at us are disturbing in their accuracy and clarity.

Oh, the epiphany, eh, it’s not really relevant. Forget it, don’t worry about, let’s just watch some more TV.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://wisdomandmurder.com Lisa McKay

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