Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Praise the idiot box

The only thing I’m liking about this time of year is all the new television shows I’m finding. As a self-proclaimed reality show junkie, I’m pleasantly surprised at the new dramas I’m finding this season. First, the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy last week rocked. After a crappy season finale, I feared for the future of Grey’s, however this year’s first show left me hopeful; and made up for the fact that Kate Walsh’s spin-off show “Private Practice” sucked.

I’m giving “Grey’s” another chance this season. After Meredith was thrown into the water in a slightly pithy three-parter last year (sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven’t seen it by now, give it up. Just start fresh with season 4), I still tuned in even though I was just about over it. This year’s new characters are familiar, the old characters have new problems, and Meredith and McDreamy are still just plain hot together.

Hats off to the CW who is finally channeling their inner WB. I knew it was in there! Just because you became the CW doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good drama in you. I had a hate affair with the WB after “Dawson’s Creek” ended, and have to admit the CW’s “Gossip Girl” is my new guilty pleasure. This is a show from the creators of “The O.C.” and has all the elements of when “The O.C.” was great, before Marissa died, before it sucked. “Gossip Girl” is the classic “Pretty in Pink” dichotomy of rich vs. poor where all the rich kids drink, do drugs and have threesomes and the poor kids are the moralistic salt of the earth. But it’s updated; the guys are beautiful, the clothes are amazing and it’s just something you hate to love. The show is tied all up by a narrator calling herself Gossip Girl who airs the secrets of the characters in her personal blog (kind of like a voyeuristic “Wonder Years”).

What I’m most surprised about this season is the CBS network. When did CBS become almost hip? I’m used to the CBS of oldendays which programmed for “Touched by an Angel”-loving grannies, but CBS has made watching TV on Fridays nearly acceptable by running what I’d like to coin “Freaky Fridays” by showing paranormal delight “Ghost Whisperer” and my new favorite vampire drama, “Moonlight.”

“Moonlight” is about a freaking hot vampire private investigator who uses his powers for good while trying to keep the identities of the “vampires who walk among us” a secret. Sure it’s hokey ("As darkness falls, a hero is born?" who writes that stuff?), but I am who I am, and I am a sucker for a good vampire show. Remember “Kindred: the Embraced” that short-lived Fox show in the mid-90s? It was good, but didn’t catch on, and I’m afraid “Moonlight” will have that same fate. Until it goes away, I will enjoy my Freaky Fridays on CBS, even if I have to tape it. (Yes, “tape.” I’m taking donations for a TiVo, though.)

Two things I didn’t particularly like about my new favorite show “Moonlight.”

1.) The use of an Evanescence song during a particularly “sentimental” scene. I feel the usage of popular (term used loosely because I detest Evanescence) music in an already trendy television show is a very delicate balance. From day one, Grey’s Anatomy found this balance, as did The O.C., however not every show can do it well. Music has to be part of the script, and not just make a cameo appearance just because the director thinks it will “make the show cool.” The best usage of music as part of a TV show script is throughout the series “La Femme Nikita,” God rest its soul. I’m reminded of season 4, before Michael became a total pussy, when Madeline and that chick from Red Cell were trading posses in an empty football field. The whole scene was set in slow-motion to an Enigma song-- and it was beautiful.

2.) Number two isn’t so much something I didn’t like about the show, but more a tip of what not to do during a new television show you’re enjoying. Do not, I repeat, NOT, consume an entire can of fat-free Pringles because you’re so drawn to what you’re watching. The Olean they use to make the things so damn tasty is like colon silicone come 2:34 in the morning.

See what happens when I feel sick and stay home to get better and watch television? I am glad I'm getting over the sickness and my reality tv obsession at the same time.