The CW: A Network With Identity Issues

In late November, The CW had announced that it was cancelling Emily Owens M.D., after giving full season orders to fellow freshman series Arrow and Beauty and the Beast. The announcement itself didn’t come as much as a surprise, given that Emily Owens wasn’t doing particularly well in the ratings and wasn’t particularly well-received by critics. I myself didn’t make much of the pilot, and for some odd reason, found myself continuing to watch it. The writing wasn’t anything spectacular but sometimes you need some lighter fare amidst heavy drama and not wanting to delve deep into laugh-out-loud comedy (not to mention the onslaught of comedy that was on at the same time?) What honestly struck me about the announcement was reading the comments on the entertainment news websites (EW, TVLine). There were the usual comments, ranging from “Saw it coming, can’t believe it took them this long” to “That sucks! I liked the show!” But then there were a few comments that were along the lines of “What is this show? Never heard of it. Oh right, that’s because it’s on The CW”, which particularly struck me as interesting. Now, I’ve expressed my frustrations with The CW several times over the years, namely when it comes to Nikita, but it’s comments like that that make you realize there’s a bigger issue at hand.

The CW, as a network, is a peculiar case. It is a smaller network, but is included amongst the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX), as opposed to the cable networks (USA, FX, TNT, ABC Family). It is seen as a niche market network, similar to ABC Family, mostly appealing to the 18-34 demo (one could even argue that the demo is more around 18-24). It’s position in the network TV landscape causes it to not be taken seriously by many because it is almost always last in the ratings. On the rare occasion that a CW show actually beats one of the other networks’ shows in the demo, the other show is seen as being in trouble. So how exactly did the network find themselves in this predicament?

When the network launched in the fall of 2006, it was the product of the networks, UPN and The WB, merging, based on a deal between CBS Corporation (which owned UPN) and Warner Brothers Entertainment (which owned The WB). Both of those former networks tended to appeal to the younger female audience, as evidenced by shows like Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, Veronica Mars, and One Tree Hill. But shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, Smallville, and Roswell attempted to lure in other viewers beyond teenage girls. When the 2 networks merged, The CW became a mish-mash of TV shows from both networks, while keeping its core demographic intact. It was the following TV season, in the fall of 2007, that The CW really started to make a name (however small) for itself, with the premiere of Gossip Girl. The show became a hit for the network, a guilty pleasure for some, and a huge target for the Parents’ Television Council for its depiction of teens and their underage drinking and sex.

To this avid TV viewer, with Gossip Girl being such a huge hit, the network seemingly over-relied on the show as a selling point. From that point on, the network became known as a place for TV shows about hot young people with their hot young people problems, as evidenced by shows that both succeeded (the 90210 reboot) and failed (the Melrose Place reboot, The Beautiful Life). When The Vampire Diaries got picked up, it still fit into that category but got the added bonus of being a known entity and cashing in on the teenage vampire craze caused by Twilight – further establishing the network’s demographic, but not really bringing in other viewers. Any other shows that wasn’t already part of the roster, which attempted to be more than just about attractive people hooking up, like Privileged and Life Unexpected, for the most part didn’t see past a first season. So for shows like Hart of Dixie and especially Nikita to be on the air right now, and not being the stereotypical CW show, in their respective 2nd and 3rd seasons is certainly a feat.

Let us not forget the glaring area of The CW’s schedule that is reality TV. The CW has one slightly stable reality show in America’s Next Top Model, brought on from the former UPN days, but has yet to find another reality TV series winner. For what it’s worth, even for a reality show, ANTM still manages to fit the CW mold.

So we come back to what issues The CW faces in becoming a viable network that can be taken seriously by all. Programming is certainly the biggest issue. Where the network is now, is not all that different from when UPN and The WB existed; on the one hand, they have very teenage fare and on the other hand, they have genre fare. The shows that play very well with the teenage crowd (GG, 90210, TVD, the upcoming Carrie Diaries) is what is making the network money. The more genre or non-teen oriented shows (Supernatural, Nikita) is what generally gets better reviews from critics/journalists, but struggle in the ratings. Lucky for the network, they have a bonafide hit in Arrow, which appeals to teens (the marketing dept. certainly knew what they were doing advertising a shirtless Stephen Amell), fanboys/girls, and critics alike. However, not every show gets the luxury of being a known entity and it is seemingly more difficult to find a show that meets every need.

Another big issue The CW has is its scheduling. As a whole, what’s working for them this season is that they held off premiering their shows until October, allowing for there to be less breaks between episodes during the run of the season. However, how the network schedules their shows and what shows get paired up has been a problem. If you look at the past few years, you’ll notice that the only show that has stayed in its time slot is TVD; everything else has changed time slots, same day or otherwise. There’s something to be said about having anchored shows, by which you build your schedule around. That also leads to another problem in that The CW only has 10 hours of original programming a week (2 hours, Monday to Friday), which does make it increasingly difficult. All of this does relate back to the kind of shows that they have which determines how the schedule looks like. Hardcore TV fans will follow their favourite shows anywhere, but the issue is with the casual TV viewer, who could watch one show and might stick around to watch the next show if it is complimentary to the first show. Hart of Dixie, as of right now, is paired with Emily Owens, which works well together. Given the cancellation of Emily Owens, that slot will go to new show Cult in the new year, leading to a big WTF? pairing. Don’t even get me going again on the choice to pair ANTM with Nikita

With the end of Gossip Girl and maybe (hopefully? wishful thinking…) 90210, it’s about time the network truly attempts to revamp their programming or at the very least, their marketing. There is certainly no shame in being the network that has shows the other networks don’t. At the same time though, no one wants to be seen as a joke. The CW really has to get down and really consider what they want to be known as, as a network. On top of that though, the marketing and PR departments have to really make a push and work on getting more exposure for all the shows, not just the ones that are big hits or what they hope will be a big hit (yes, I’m talking about the onslaught of promotion for The Carrie Diaries during the series finale of Gossip Girl). Obviously every network has their own set of issues, but The CW doesn’t have the same clout as the Big4 broadcast networks, and it’s time that they make a serious name for itself.

When Should TV Shows End?: Thoughts of a Concerned TV Fan

When to end TV shows – it’s a topic that gets brought up quite a fair bit. Some shows get cancelled rather prematurely or without notice. Other shows go on for what seems like a REALLY long time.

Last week, when it was announced that NBC’s The Office will be ending after its upcoming 9th season, the topic got brought up again. The Office, while quite successful in the beginning began to falter somewhere between seasons 5+6, and then season 8 was just not there. It led many to question why the show hadn’t just ended when Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left at the end of season 7. Heck, when Carrell announced he was going to be leaving, people were already saying they should end it and wondered if the show could even survive such a big cast departure. So all of it got me thinking (as tends to happens): what other shows on the air right now need an end date? What shows are shockingly still on the air?

SHOWS THAT NEED AN END DATE

[Warning: Spoilers may be ahead if you haven’t caught up on the most recent seasons.]

1.) HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Don’t get me wrong, I love HIMYM. I’m still a huge fan of the show, even if season 7 was a little iffy for me. But if there ever was a show that needed an end date (like Lost when it was on the air), it’d be HIMYM. Yeah, yeah, it’s about the journey, not the destination – but the journey is going into its 8th season, with no real indication as to when we’re actually meeting said ‘mother’. We’ve gotten breadcrumbs along the way: the yellow umbrella, Rachel Bilson as the mother’s former roommate Cindy, Barney & Robin’s wedding. It’s great and all but I think we can all agree that all people involved in the show need a precise end date to work towards.

2.) PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

It could be a side effect of me growing up or just the fact that I watch too much television, but the teen drama could use an end date. I’ve watched PLL from the beginning and saw it as a guilty pleasure. However, somewhere in the midst of watching this 3rd season, I found myself incredibly bored watching this teen mystery unfold. For some reason, their season splits have made it seem as though the show has been on way longer than it has and one would think that after the reveal that Mona was ‘A’ (or technically, part of an ‘A’ Team) at the end of season 2, things would really kick into gear. Unfortunately, most of season 3 thus far just seems like it was a rehash or like they were cycling around the same prospects of season 1 before revealing that Toby was another member of the ‘A’ team during the summer finale.

3.) DEXTER

I recently caught up on season 6, and at the end of it, all I kept on thinking was: “It seriously took them 6 seasons to get to this point of someone else finding out about what Dexter does?!” I suppose if you put it in perspective, it is the equivalent of 3 seasons on a broadcast network show, which isn’t THAT bad. But 6 seasons with their own story arc and going into season 7 with Deb knowing the big secret, you really can’t help but go “IT TOOK THEM THIS LONG?!” To be fair though, the show was announced late last year to be renewed through an eighth season, and they later announced that season 8 will be the last. So we know the end game is near (sort of).

SHOWS THAT DON’T SEEM TO WANT TO END

Grey’s Anatomy. 90210. NCIS. CSI. Two and a Half Men.

To be honest, I’ve never watched an episode of NCIS and I was never really fond of ‘Men’ so I can’t diss them too much. But seriously, how long have these shows been on the air?! I know, I know…ratings are apparently everything to the studio networks. Though at some point, shouldn’t someone just stand up and say “Ya know, we’ve had a good run. Let’s end the show before we run out of stories to tell, go downhill and start becoming a joke” (or something like that).

BONUS: REALITY EDITION

I love my fair share of reality shows, but even I have to admit that having 2 editions of some shows in one season is starting to take its toll. The Amazing Race. Survivor. Dancing With The Stars. Heck, I’m even so inclined to already include The Voice in here. After watching these shows for SO many years and SO many seasons, I honestly don’t know how the producers of the shows can try to keep it fresh. Obviously I still watch the shows, but I’ve found myself sort of indifferent to what happens, like it’s not as exciting as it used to be. Part of it has to do with casting and who they get to compete, though sometimes you don’t know what kind of “reality personality” you’re gonna get until you start filming. They probably would never do this, but the networks should begin to consider maybe only doing one cycle a season. This is where The Voice comes in and of course, did the opposite and is now airing 2 cycles a season. Just a bad idea…

My general thought is that once a show gets past season 5, talks should be going as to how much longer the show should really be on the air. Yeah, everyone always says on-the-record,  “We’ll keep going as long as the fans and the networks wants us to. We have so many more stories to tell” Let’s be real though, the networks have a bigger say than the fans, and if a show is still bringing in the ratings (and subsequent ad dollars), they’re going to keep the show going until who knows when. Think about it, 5 seasons of a show isn’t bad at all, and do they REALLY have more GOOD stories to tell after that point? Questions to ponder about.

So thoughts on what shows should be given an end date? Which shows are inexplicably still on the air after what seems like forever?

2010 Fall TV Season – Week 1 Roundup

Although some TV shows (namely CW shows and a few here and there) had premiered since early on in the month, this past week (beginning Sept. 20) was truly the official start of the fall TV season. In lieu of posting every day for the past week, this is going to be just one big megapost on the first full week of the new season. [Note: this may just end up being my thoughts on the shows than the particular episode that aired]

MONDAY

  • Dancing With The Stars: The 11th season started…and I don’t really care. I think it has a lot to do with the cast this season, which sure, got a lot of people talking but I’m not that excited to be watching it every week. If it wasn’t for the fact that we watch this sort of as a family over dinner, then I’d probably just watch it later and watch my other Monday shows in their actual time.
  • Chuck: It’s so nice to have Chuck back! So at the end of last season, Chuck promised Ellie that he was quitting the spy game for good, but that was before he was sent on a mission from his dad to search for his mom. With this first episode, it really set the story of the season. The Buy More has been rebuilt and is now CIA-operated. Chuck and Morgan are on the search for Chuck’s mom. Sarah and Casey are now on missions without Chuck, but of course, it didn’t take long for Team Bartowski to be reunited. While the quality of some shows suffer as they continue, Chuck just keeps getting better. Constant fear of cancellation assures that the writers are always on their A-game?
  • How I Met Your Mother: We’re back to actually looking for the mother! It’s an interesting dynamic to consider that the show’s about looking for the “mother” and logically speaking, when we meet the mother and Ted gets married for real, the show will be over. We want to know who the mother is, but we don’t want the show to end. With shows like this, I almost feel like they should set an end date (like Lost did), so we know it’s coming and the writers can work on getting to that end point.
  • The Event: I wanted to watch this new NBC show because of the overlying mystery surrounding it. I love watching mystery thrillers. That’s why I watched FlashForward last season…and then it got increasingly worse and eventually cancelled. It’s hard to explain the show, because the show is about finding out “What is the Event?” The style of the show is slightly different as well, in that they show what is happening in the present, and then they jump the story back to show something that led to what is happening now. With a lot of characters and individual stories, jumping back for all of them seemed like overkill. It could take some getting used to. Plus I don’t feel much for the characters. The only one that’s connected is Jason Ritter’s character, Sean. Everyone else is more like caricatures or just structures of characters; there’s no sense of character development. I’ll continue watching for a couple weeks to see if it hits its stride, but if it doesn’t pick it up and make us care, I’m gonna have to leave by the wayside.
  • Hawaii Five-O: There’s action and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I don’t watch a lot of the other CBS cop shows, so I can’t really judge them fairly. But the look and tone of the other shows seem so serious. With this show, maybe it’s the fact that it’s located in Hawaii so it gives it a more vibe-y, less serious feel, but there’s a natural humour/lightness with the chemistry of its stars, which makes the show fun to watch.
  • Gossip Girl/90210: It’s kinda hard to believe that already, in their 4th and 3rd seasons, these shows are now shows I watch out of habit. I think the thing that’s getting me to come back right now are the guest stars – Katie Cassidy on GG, Kyle Riabko on 90210.

TUESDAY

  • Glee: I’ll write more on Glee later when I discuss the Britney episode, but I’m happy it’s back. New music every week. Ryan Murphy did say that this season will go back to learning more about the characters and I really hope that’s true. But at least in the first episode back, they had a sense of humour and poked fun at themselves by addressing what others have critiqued them on (i.e. Mr. Schue’s rapping).
  • One Tree Hill: Only in the world of OTH do two people get shot, don’t get discovered for 2 days and still survive. It’s one of those things that fans of the show have come to love about it – the sometimes ridiculousness that comes with a lot of heart. Speaking of the heart of the show, the theme song’s back! I honestly forgot how much I missed hearing Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” during the opening credits. And now as much as it pains me to say it, I kind of hope this season’s the last one. I love OTH, I really do, but I sort of feel like it’s time to move on. I’ll still watch if it continues obviously, but the thought of it getting a nice send-off lingers in the back of my brain.
  • Life Unexpected: The thing that gets me watching this show are the relationships. Said it before when it first premiered, but it’s like a throwback to the old WB days with shows like Felicity and Gilmore Girls. You don’t get those types of shows that often anymore. It also helps a little that Shaun Sipos is a recurring guest star this season. Melrose Place might have been predictable at times, writing decent at best, but it was a guilty pleasure.
  • Running Wilde: Will Arnett + Keri Russell + the creator of Arrested Development = comedy gold? It wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, but I’m willing to stick it out for a while and see if it gets better. Community was hit and miss for the first half of its freshman season, and then it hit its stride and was so consistently funny for the rest of the season. I’m holding out hope.
  • No Ordinary Family: So it didn’t premiere until last night but I look forward to watching more of it. The big thing with this show is how they find the right balance between family drama and superhero concept. And we’ve got more O.C. people back on TV; this time, Autumn Reeser aka Taylor Townsend!
  • Parenthood: Great writing, great acting, great to see it come back for a second season. Tuesday’s really become a night for some great family dramas.

WEDNESDAY

  • Survivor: It’s gonna be hard for this season to beat the Heroes vs. Villains season, but they’re trying. 2 weeks, and 2 people who got sent packing because they dug their own grave by not shutting up. Self-destruction, bad for the person, great for the game.
  • Undercovers: It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with more humour. Well, this is JJ Abrams, so let’s rephrase that. It’s like the next chapter of Sydney & Vaughn. The pilot was a little all over the place, but it’ll get better hopefully.
  • Better With You: New ABC comedy starring Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan. I want to like the show, honestly, because of the actors involved. And again, I hope it gets better because judging by the pilot alone, for one thing, they overdo the laugh track. It’s really noticeable. The writing is pretty standard relationship comedy; there’s nothing really new to it.
  • Modern Family: So full of laughter and heart, with amazing writing and acting. I mean seriously, the show completely deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy. Gloria the protective Colombian mother. Mitchell, the not-so-handy man. Cameron reading celebrity gossip to Lily because he’s tired of reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Too funny.
  • Cougar Town: A show that has become something more than what it started out to be. One-two punch of Modern Family and Cougar Town is so perfect for Wednesday night. There’s just nothing else to really say about it.
  • Hellcats: I talked about the premiere and now I can honestly say, I’ve really enjoyed watching it so far. After seeing so many high school shows, it is sort of nice to have a show set in college, and to give it a different depth, set in the world of cheerleading. I think that’s what makes college-set shows stand out a little because there’s so many options as to what the back ground can be. Like Greek is settled in the world of frats and sororities, along with the usual relationships and what not. So yeah, Hellcats, will definitely keep watching.

THURSDAY

  • The Vampire Diaries: Definitely keeping things interesting with not only the return of Katherine but Caroline’s now a vampire too. Plus the werewolf storyline.
  • Nikita: I love the show for the fact that we’ve got Maggie Q kicking ass every week. My only concern is the style of the episodes. For 3 consecutive episodes, it seems like the episodes are very procedural-like. Alex finds out the mission for the week, feeds it to Nikita, Nikita attempts to beat Division to the punch, some sort of altercation between Nikita and Michael, and end. There’s bits here and there of development, but I’m hoping they get further along in the storytelling.
  • Fringe: Fringe is back and soooo good. The first episode back was set “Over There” with our Olivia trying get back to our world. Our Olivia has been dosed with the memories of Other Olivia, so now she’s not entirely sure who she is. The ending minutes showed our world with Peter kissing the Alt-Olivia, so obviously he has no idea that she’s not the right Olivia. Oh Fringe, and all you’re mind-twisting and alternate universes. Just awesome.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Continuing the nerdiness of Thursdays, Big Bang is back and still funny. The awkward “date” between Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler, with Penny ‘chaperoning.’ Wolowitz’s robot arm used for something that it shouldn’t be used for, which resulted in a slightly overdone but still funny sight gag. The one thing I enjoy most about BBT is the slight references to things that have been mentioned in the past (i.e. the Check Engine light in Penny’s car).
  • Community: I kind of hate that Community and Big Bang are on at the same time, but thinking positively, maybe that’ll make writers of both shows stay on their A-game to see who can be funnier. Which is really hard to determine because BBT is funny for all its nerdiness and Community is funny for all its snarkiness and constant pop culture references. The premiere featured Betty White as the anthropology professor (who by the way, would also make a fantastic memaw for Sheldon) and again the ending bit during the closing credits just is so funny on so many levels.
  • The Office: It’s Steve Carrell’s last season but you couldn’t tell by the premiere that that was happening. Same old Office shenanigans with new pranks by Jim and Pam. Like OTH, I kind of hope Office ends this season. Because again, as much as I love it, it has sort of run its course. And whoever ends up replacing Michael Scott, it just won’t be the same.

SUNDAY

  • The Amazing Race: Still entertaining because you never know what’s gonna happen to these racers. First of all, producers, you gave them SMART cars to race out of Boston?! Seriously?! LOL. SMART cars are not a very smart choice for RACING. Just no. Second of all, did you see that girl get hit by the watermelon? And then she picked right up and finished the task. Crazy awesome. If the rest of the season is as good as this leg of the race, we’re in for a very fun ride.
  • Brothers and Sisters: Back to the drama of the Walker clan. Still watch this show out of habit but it was a return to form with the first episode back. We jumped forward a year after last season’s car accident and everyone’s lives has changed. And you know it had been a rough year full of change when Nora’s house had not a single bottle of wine. Walkers with no alcohol? As Justin pointed out, they were not the same Walkers. I don’t know how this season will hold up, but it was kinda nice to see the whole Walker clan back on my TV.

Other notes:

  • I forgot to watch Blue Bloods on Friday. Seriously, new show, on a Friday? That’s hard man.
  • Didn’t watch Lonestar. Didn’t intend to. Reviews were good. Ratings were weak. First cancellation of the season.
  • On the other hand, $#*! My Dad Says got good ratings, which is a little hard to believe. I guess the return of Shatner does wonders for a show that doesn’t look all that good?
  • After passing on the majority of last season, Desperate Housewives might be able to pull me back in, what with Vanessa Williams moving onto Wisteria Lane, plus Brian Austin Green romancing Marcia Cross (original 90210/Melrose Place, what what? ahaha).

CW 2010-2011 Primetime Schedule

The last of the major network upfronts, the CW announced its new schedule for next season, which includes a lot of shows being moved around the schedule and 2 new shows.

  • HELLCATS [Dramedy? – Wednesdays @ 9] – The show is about a pre-law student who loses her scholarship, and is forced to enter the world of cheerleading. It stars Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale. I’m ready for the Bring It On references that are bound to come up in the show. I think this is another show where I’ll have to wait and see.
  • NIKITA [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – A reboot/remake of La Femme Nikita. I am so ready to watch this. For one, Maggie Q is starring as the title character and she is awesome. And come on, an Asian actress in the lead role of a TV show? Finally some diversity! Also, Shane West in the show is a plus.

So as previously mentioned, the CW moved some of the shows around the schedule. 90210 is now on Mondays, One Tree Hill (YAY for season 8!) and Life Unexpected will be on Tuesdays, and Supernatural will now be paired with Smallville on Fridays.

Complete schedule, plus full descriptions on the new and returning shows (which include some spoilers) can be found here.

Random TV Watching Thoughts #5

So much good (and bad) stuff on tv this week so its good to end the week with a random recap post…

  • CHUCK: This week’s episode, Chuck vs. the Beard, was definitely a game-changer. Now Morgan also knows (that is, along with Captain Awesome) that Chuck is a spy. Josh Schwartz and co. have done a great job this season keeping the essence of Chuck (meaning the nerdiness of the show) firmly in balance with this new reality of Chuck fully being a spy. And I absolutely loved Morgan’s reaction to finding out that Chuck’s a spy: “My best friend a spy?…This is the best news ever!”
  • HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: Jennifer Lopez guest starred in the episode as the author of a “He’s Just Not That Into You” type book. She was funny I guess. But the best part was Marshall’s “bang, bang, bangity bang, bang, bang, bang, bangity bang…”
  • THE BIG BANG THEORY: One of the best episodes EVER! They one-upped their geekiness from last week (comic books + Stan Lee = pure geekiness) with an episode revolving around the guys fighting for possession of a Lord of the Rings ring. It’s nice to have an episode where all the characters are equally involved in the story, as opposed to having it be Sheldon-centric most of the time.
  • GOSSIP GIRL/90210/MELROSE PLACE: All three shows were back after quite a lengthy hiatus (about 3 months). Nice to see them back because it means I have something else to watch Tuesday nights (re: 90210 & MP). I don’t know but Gossip Girl and 90210 didn’t really do much for me. Well, neither did Melrose really, but at least with Melrose we finally got to see Auggie & Violet (Colin Egglesfield & Ashlee Simpson’s characters) leave. And David’s storyline for the episode was soooo predictable. Right after Lauren said (paraphrasing), “Just let it go, please” at the hospital, you just knew he was gonna go straight to her phone and find out who the guy who drugged her was.
  • MODERN FAMILY: Before this week’s episode, there was a promo that aired during the Oscars and it was just HILARIOUS. The gist of the promo is that they’re playing charades and naturally, Cam & Mitchell are awesome at it. This week’s episode was just a continuation of the show getting consistently funnier. I just love this show. If you haven’t watched it yet, you are missing out.
  • THE OFFICE: One word – Megadesk. While Jim and Pam were on leave, Dwight reorganized all 3 desks to make a command station – surveillance, gaming, business. At the end of the episode, Jim (in classic prank/retribution mode) converted the desks into Quad-desk, where 2 desks served as a base for the third one on top and between the 3 is a small mini desk. Also great, Andy’s shout-out to HIMYM!
  • COMMUNITY: Another show which references a current show that I also love. Jeff (Joel McHale’s character): “We always watched shows that she wanted to watch! I hate Glee! I hate it! I don’t understand the appeal at all!” I love Glee, but the line was just too funny. Also hilarious? Senor Chang has a brother who’s a rabbi!
  • SURVIVOR: This season is so great…but also so frustrating. We have the supposedly best players ever, but a lot of them are being idiots! The Heroes, for one, need to get their act together and learn how to beat Boston Rob at puzzles, because clearly, the Villains keep winning due to Rob’s awesome skills in figuring out puzzles. The Heroes are just making it really hard to root for them. Voting out Tom instead of James, who is INJURED?! J.T. this season is seriously making me re-consider his game in Tocantins. I mean sure we saw J.T. in the forefront that season, but was Stephen maybe the one who was the true strategist? Is this how he would have played had Stephen not been there? Oy vey. Oh, and Russell found the hidden immunity idol. Somehow, this time doesn’t feel as good as when he found it the other times last season – maybe ’cause last season he found them without clues (that’s still impressive). Another thought…Courtney is utterly useless. She’s sat out like half of all the challenges so far. She’s just lucky that the Villains keep winning.
  • AMERICAN IDOL: Idol is lucky that I have nothing else to watch from 8-10 on Tuesdays (I don’t have CW, so I watch 90210/MP online later on that night) or else I would be pretty damn close to not watching it. This season is soooo…lackluster?  That’s not even the right word. Last season as it was, would have been pretty sucky had it not been for Kris Allen, Adam Lambert & Allison Iraheta (also to a lesser extent Matt Giraud – I still love his version of Part Time Lover). But this season has been ridiculous in a bad way. Why is Katelyn Epperly and Lilly Scott gone, when Paige Miles and Katie Stevens have done nothing special? Why is Tim Urban, the guy who has ruined Apologize/Come On Get Higher/Hallelujah, still here? I’m only still watching because of Crystal Bowersox & Siobhan Magnus, and to a lesser extent Andrew Garcia, Didi Benami, Lee Dewyze, Big Mike. Those are my top 6; if any of them get the boot early, this season will be an even bigger travesty than it already is. [I am so ready for the summer when all this is over and I can get back to my regular SYTYCD in its rightful summer place]. Final note: after 3 weeks of performances, can we add to the list of “songs that should never be sung again on Idol unless by the original artist,” anything by Kelly Clarkson or James Morrison.
  • FRINGE: So it’s not on again until April 1st, but it got picked up last weekend for a third season. BEST. TV. NEWS. EVER! Now, if we could do something about the show’s timeslot for next season…

That’s all for this week. Next week, most of the CBS shows are either in re-runs or not airing at all due to March Madness. FlashForward will be back on Thursday. On Greek, we meet Cappie’s parents! (I feel like this part should have prefaced with Jeff Probst or Phil Keoghan saying, “Next time on…” ahaha)