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Thursday, May 14, 2009
Adam Lambert may have all the buzz, but there's just something about underdog Kris Allen.

Channel Surfing readers: you owe me. I haven’t watched an entire American Idol results show in years, but last night I suffered through it in order to properly weigh in on next week’s Final Two showdown.


I hate the results shows. They represent everything loathsome about American Idol: excruciating chatter by the judges; shameless product placements for Ford and Coke; and Ryan Seacrest torturing the contestants by dragging out the two minutes we actually care about—who stays and who goes home.


But never have I had so much invested in the next American Idol. No I’m not talking about the debate over Adam Lambert’s sexuality or Danny Gokey’s personality flaws. I like Adam and dislike Danny but the contestant I really cared about this season was underdog Kris Allen.


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Monday, May 11, 2009
Bravo fails to capture 'Runway' magic with The Fashion Show.

Memo to Isaac Mizrahi: I know Tim Gunn. Tim Gunn is a friend of mine. And you sir, are no Tim Gunn.


And therein lies key failing of The Fashion Show, Bravo’s attempt to recover from Project Runway’s flight to Lifetime. Anyone who’s seen the real deal will recognize the show and all of its moving parts as a limp imitation.


Instead of the glorious Gunn and snarky Heidi Klum, we’re stuck with the middling Mizrahi and former Destiny’s Child second banana Kelly Rowland. As Bravo reality hosts go, the stiff Rowland is deep in Katie Lee Joel territory.


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Thursday, May 7, 2009
GM's new "Total Confidence" ad campaign doesn't inspire much confidence in this viewer.

Like most people in Corporate America, back in my suit-guy days I attended my share of ‘change management’ seminars (corpo-speak for a half-day’s brainwashing on how getting schtupped by the boss is good for you). Invariably the session leader would make a statement about how the railroad companies lost out to the private automobile in the early 1900s because they couldn’t think outside box: they thought they were in the train business and didn’t realize that they were in transportation business, the refrain typically went.


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Monday, May 4, 2009

There are plenty of reasons why Chuck is currently on the verge of cancellation. Its location on Monday nights leading into Heroes was supposed to be a great idea, but as Chuck began its first season, Heroes embarked on what would go on to be a universally derided sophomore slump of a season and unfortunately, Chuck seemed to be one of its casualties. In addition, the series has had to contend with the Dancing With the Stars juggernaut, the very established House, and CBS’s run of successful half-hour comedies. 


What should be just as obvious as all the obstacles facing Chuck in the ratings war is that this is a series that has managed to meld comedy, drama, romance, intrigue, and action with just the right balance to keep the story fresh and the audience it does have invested. This season’s final two episodes showcased brilliantly just how deftly it’s kept all these elements alive while creating a story with just as much over-the-top silliness as subtle emotional depth to keep fans rooting for its return. Oh, and there’s also that cliffhanger it ended on.


Tagged as: chuck, nbc
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Friday, May 1, 2009
Every Spring there are a handful of quality shows on the brink of cancellation by the major networks. Here is this year's crop of worthy programs that may not live to see another Fall.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The network television season is wrapping up, and season finales begin to fly at us almost daily throughout the month of May. Along with the end of the tv season comes the network “upfronts”, when the five broadcast networks reveal their schedules for next Fall and set rates for their advertisers. It’s become tradition in the couple of weeks before the upfronts for tv critics and fans across the U.S. to mount campaigns to save shows that are “on the bubble”. There are always low-to-middlingly-rated shows that are of high quality, and many of these shows develop small but passionate followings. The tv junkies here at PopMatters are no exception. So here are five good shows on the edge of cancellation that could really use the help, but be forewarned, there are some mild spoilers contained within:


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