Sunday, January 1 1995
In the ever-shorter cycle of entertainment trends, where life-spans are measured in dog years, the fact that a show can survive nearly a decade is exemplary. That 'The Real World' has accomplished this feat on a station whose lifeblood is perpetual youth and of-the-moment trends is incredible.
Sadly, Rove has castrated his own natural humour to please the big bosses, behaving like he's been thrown in the deep end without his floaties.
The message 'Rocket Power' sends seems especially geared toward encouraging a new generation of self-absorbed punks: winning isn't everything, but it's 'way' cooler than losing.
By definition, all this farting and foolishness is one-note.
Ultimately, 'The Real World' is just as conservative as any network sitcom, selecting characters for their exemplary 'blackness' (or 'gayness,' or 'hayseed-ness'), rather than presenting anything approximating diversity.
Reba allows McEntire to develop her comic skills at a reasonable pace, as the pressure is not on her to carry every joke and storyline.
Efforts to develop the characters in season one of 'Queer as Folk' always felt like someone had edited scenes from 'Melrose Place' into a Jeff Stryker porn flick.
These defense attorneys understand that many of their clients are scumbags, and they are caught between doing their job and honoring the principle that the guilty in our society should receive appropriate punishment.
Perhaps the bravest aspect of 'Popular' is that it takes teen concerns seriously but also sets them in context: it's set in a teen-centric universe, where teenagers do cause families to split up, and students actually are under attack by the school administration.
Psych seems an ideal show for its moment, as viewers can disdain its predictability and identify with its cynicism about that predictability at the same time.
Despite critics, 'Providence', now in its third season, has become one of the surprise hits of recent years, and on Friday nights, no less.
With Jiminy Glick, Martin Short seems to have learned how to control his character, instead of letting the character control him.
'The Osbournes' is one big joke about normalcy, a parody of sitcoms and reality shows alike. By now, Ozzy Osbourne is, of course, something of a self-parody.
In Season Two, Michael morphed from clown to sad clown as viewers came to realize his insensitive hi-jinks were driven by his eternal loneliness.
Whatever its faults, I loved the whole Opening Ceremony, every last minute of it. What I didn't love was NBC's coverage of it.
But, still, despite their best of intentions, the four hosts of 'The Other Half' seem far afield from the real experiences or the views of the 'average' American male.