Television, is there anything more joyful and yet so painful? I think not. Allow me to explain… I have a knack for getting into a tv show only to have it canceled. It happens over and over and over again. I can’t help it, I know that I’m going to get heart ripped out but I still willingly throw my hat into the ring of doom. The reason for this rant is simple, some of my favorite shows have just met the deadly axe known as cancelation. These shows are Angel, Karen Sisco and Wonderfalls. The latter two have barely started into their seasons before they were kicked off the network train.
Let me start with Karen Sisco… a great little show starring Carla Gugino from the Spy Kids movies and based on the character from Elmore Leonards book (Out of Sight… also a movie with George Clooney and J-Lo). Karen is a US Marshall in Miami who is trying to figure out her love life while dealing with catching the criminals. It’s funny, smart and exciting… plus it co-stars Robert Forster as Karen’s dad who is always offering advice (and playing poker with some ex cons that he busted long before). It’s probably one of the smartest shows on tv and yet it dies a horrible death at the hands of reality tv… the spawn of satan (more on this later).
Wonderfalls… a quirky show from Tim Minear (a great writer for Angel, Buffy and Firefly) about a girl who works at a souvenir shop at Niagra Falls. The catch is, the souvenirs start talking to her and telling her to help people. Sound strange? Well yeah, it is… but that’s the beauty of it… it’s original, extremely well written and stars some great character actors. It’s just a really fun show that keeps you guessing… and I guess for that it gets canceled after 3 episodes.
Last but not least is the most painful of the cancelations… Angel. Now, I’ve been watching Angel since the beginning (and Buffy, from which it’s spun off, since it’s first episode). This is possibly one of the best written shows on tv in years. Angel is a vampire with a soul and is always in the pursuit of redemption for his deeds pre-soul (it’s a long story). The show has been on for five years and has kept me enthralled every year. It’s scary and funny all at once with an amazing cast. The brutal part of this is that this seems to be the best year of the show yet… it’s hit it’s stride and has opened up all kinds of doors. Alas, the Wb (or as I call it… the Dawson network) feels it’s not performing well enough and has pulled the plug.
So what does this leave me to watch… well, there’s still Alias, The Simpson’s, CSI and Smallville (The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm on pay tv). The rest is an angry sea of reality tv… I mean, what kind of world do we live in when The Swan or Paradise Island of Moles being watched by Big Brother during an Amazing Race take the place of quality scripted television? I’ll tell you what kind of world… Bizarro world. My only hope is that we colonize Mars and only people who don’t watch reality tv are allowed to live there. On that day, I will turn on the tv and watch Knight Rider and The Greatest American Hero with the knowledge that all is right on the red planet.
My challenge to you is this… watch good tv, take a stand and don’t let The Man tell you what to watch. In a world where MTV doesn’t actually show music videos, we must fight for what is right. That right… is to party… and watch good tv.
grace and peace
Joe (still mourning the loss of Mystery Science Theater 3000)