Sunday, January 1 1995
The truth is that a typical Simpsons episode today does not stack up to one picked at random from a decade ago.
'Survivor' redux is very similar to 'Survivor' number one, meaning that it features a cast of predominantly white, semi-attractive adults engaged in a bizarre mix of 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Days of Our Lives'.
Survivor's tone is very difficult to locate, and while this elusiveness may be more than the producers intend, it's just as possible to surmise that they know what they're doing and that teasing the audience with its own naivete is their way of undermining the medium even as they exploit it so well.
'Grosse Pointe' is a mean, mean show -- and nobody escapes the knife. For me, mean is good.
The overwhelming theme of 'Star Trek' is 'Yay, us!'
The series premiere of 'Some of My Best Friends' was like a 'Reader's Digest' version of 'Kiss Me, Guido', with a few changes so that the writers couldn't be accused of total plagiarism.
Fearful of being 'freaks' themselves, the Winchester brothers find solace in saving others from that same fate.
'Six Feet Under' makes us think about death's implications and how to deal with it, and, more importantly, it helps us to realize what a tragedy a life wasted or spent in conflict can be.
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.