You know that old saying "you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone."
That’s totally how I’m feeling. Just weeks ago I discussed the stress of keeping up with all the new shows and now, five days into the writer’s strike, TV (and in my case life) as we know it, is about to come to a screeching halt.
I think I was in a little bit of denial that the strike would actually happen. Those of you familiar with my column know that I can often wallow in this state denial — that’s why sometimes I still turn on the TV hoping to find a new episode of Arrested Development.
The changes to the schedule are coming fast. The season premiere of 24 has been pulled. Now I know I complained about the show last season but I would rather have a 24 to complain about than no 24 at all. See? You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Seriously I think I would even take a Kim-centric plot on 24 than no 24 at all.
This week I’ve been thinking about what we will do when we are plunged into the land of repeats. Will we only discuss reality shows? Should we form a book club? A movie club? Should we all rent DVDs of shows we always wanted to watch and didn’t?
But before we panic, let’s keep thinking good thoughts that the strike is resolved soon and savor the remaining new episodes. Therefore, this week in the wake of the writer’s strike and the fog of the flu, I revisited two of this season’s new shows.
Gossip Girl (Wednesday, CW, 9 p.m.): So many of you have been writing me about Gossip Girl and who am I to ignore a pending pop-cultural phenomenon? Especially one that Kristen Bell is narrating. Plus I hate it when I read US Weekly and don’t know what’s going on. When this series about very rich teens in Manhattan first premiered, I was unsettled by their behavior. I know times have changed Natalie slept with Snake on The Facts of Life, but sometimes I’m still a little shocked by how teens are portrayed on TV. Remember all the uproar when Dawson’s Creek premiered? The Beek and his buddies were so tame in comparison. But after catching up with the show this week, I can’t deny the show is campy, over-the-top fun. These teens are making business deals and spending more times going to swank soirees than studying. They’re all impossibly pretty and impossibly self-centered. And, let’s be honest, the level of acting varies somewhere between a late addition to the Camden clan on 7th Heaven to the best The O.C. had to offer. But, you know what? Gossip Girl is totally entertaining. I particularly like that, in true Josh Schwartz fashion, the parents’ antics are just as over-the-top and fraught with drama. And it’s a nice twist on a standard teen drama storyline, to have the dad not the son be the drug addict. So I have two questions for you — 1) I want to hear from any teens who live in Manhattan or anyone who knows teens in Manhattan. Is this show based in reality at all? If so, I may need to lie down. And 2) What do you think of the show? Are you a fan? Are you shocked by it? Post your comments below.
Life (Wednesday, NBC, 10 p.m.): I can’t ignore you, my people. And you kept telling me that Life was really really good. And after watching the last two episodes and next week’s episode, I think I’ve decided that this is a show where the whole is better than its parts. The crime of the week is usually moderately interesting,I can’t quite get into Dani’s self-destructive story line and I wish they’d find more for Adam Arkin to do. But I’m finding Damian Lewis’ Charlie Crews more and more charming and am bemused by the different ways they have him eating fruit in each episode. But, like you, what I’m really into is the Crews mystery. Who set Charlie up? Who really committed the murder? How is it all tied to the money missing from the Bank of Los Angeles robbery? In next Wednesday’s episode, Charlie discovers another surprising connection and it definitely raised my curiosity. I’m still not totally on the show’s bandwagon, but I’m on the curb waiting to go for a ride. What do you think of Life? Post your comments below.
What other new shows do you want me to check in on while I still can? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Quotes of the Week
"Turns out it’s a pretty easy gig when your boss isn’t an idiot and your boyfriend isn’t in love with somebody else." Karen about working for Dunder-Mifflin on The Office.
"That concludes our Halloween show for this year. I just want to say that for watching this network, you’re all going to hell. That includes FX, Fox Sports and our newest devil’s portal, the Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the club." Ned Flanders on the Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons.
"So basically you’re taking money to sleep with a man you don’t love. Gee if that were a job what would you call it." Carlos to Gabby on Desperate Housewives.
""Ted, how many times have I asked you to put the lid back on the peanut butter jar? It’s this sort of inconsiderate, immature, jackassery that makes me feel like I’m living in the Real World house. And not the early years when they had jobs and social consciences. I’m talking about Hawaii and after!" Marshall to Ted on How I Met Your Mother. I loved this line because it is so true. Thanks to Michelle for the quote.
"I think I am sick of having my face shoved in death every day." Sara to Eric on CSI.
"Oh MY Goth, where are we going?" Goth contestant Kynt on The Amazing Race. Thanks to Jeff for the quote.
"And you’re wrong about me being alone. I’ve hundreds of back-stabbing, two-faced, superficial friends pouring in from all over the globe to be a part of this wedding!" Wilhemnia to Marc about finding a maid of honor on Ugly Betty. Thanks to Shella for the quote.
"What about pretty and prettier? Do they run all their surgeries by you?" Erica to Richard about Derek and Mark on Grey’s Anatomy. Thanks to Rob for the quote.
"There’s a reason your name is Robin, not Batman." Ted to Robin on How I Met Your Mother. Thanks to Mark for the quote.
"Looks a lot better on 24." House upon entering the CIA on House.
Highlights for November 9-11
Well thank goodness The Amazing Race has returned (Sunday, CBS, 8 p.m.). I do have one request for the show. I really wish they would stop casting couples who are so verbally abusive to each other. Thanks. Also, I think it’s time to pick our early favorites and even before they came in first last week, I had Hendekea and Azaria picked as my favorites. How about you?
So I have a little something to tell you about Brothers & Sisters (Sunday, ABC, 10 p.m.). Patty Wettig’s real life husband Ken Olin, who is also an executive producer on the show, will soon guest star on the show. Just guess who he’ll be playing?
That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week to talk about the new episode of Heroes called "Four Months Ago," to finally talk about some of favorite cross-over episodes, and much much more. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at email@example.com. Thanks and have a great weekend.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal