Thursday, November 15, 2007

State of TV: Thursdays

Lordy. Thursday is another ridiculously crowded night of television. To wit:

At 8 there's "Ugly Betty," which I continue to watch with much indifference. In fact, I just realized I haven't watched last week's episode yet, and that's not a good sign. "Survivor: China" has the problem I knew it would have the minute the location was announced: the show's not nearly as watchable when it's not set on a deserted island surrounded by clear blue water. A camp next to a dingy lake in China just isn't quite as picturesque, so there's nothing to distract from the annoying castaways. Lastly there's "My Name Is Earl," which I continue to watch to just to hear lines like, "The only reason I haven't cut this baby out myself is because the Cesarean scar and my prom scar would make a weird little crucifix right above my landing strip!" come out of the mouth of Jamie Pressley.

At 8:30 is probably the only show this season I eagerly look forward to week after week, and the only show I will be truly sad to see go on hiatus because of the writer's strike. I am speaking, of course, of "30 Rock." If you aren't watching this show I just don't know what's wrong with you, but perhaps this clip can help persuade you to give it a go. I think it will be hard to top that moment this season, although the aftermath of Kenneth's party last week came damn close.

Which brings us to 9:00 and "Grey's Anatomy." I find it hard to talk about this show without filling with rage at the whole Gizzie fiasco. I just hate that they put Callie through such hell just to have that stupid George and Izzie relationship crash and burn. But I probably feel that way because I think the actress who plays Callie, Sara Ramirez, is fracking awesome. Have you seen any of her songs from "Spamalot"? Wow.

I can't wait until "Grey's" starts to tank in the ratings and they do a musical episode, so Sara Ramirez can just blow all those whiny twits out of the hospital.

Also at 9 is "CSI," but there's not much to say about that. It's the same as it ever was, with or without the presence of Jorja Fox. Which brings us to "The Office." I'm still digging it, but am especially pleased that they haven't (as of yet) tried to drive some kind of contrived wedge between Pam and Jim, instead allowing the workplace stuff be the center of the show, and letting Pam and Jim just be a happy couple. It's awfully refreshing. Alas, the writer's strike seems to be hitting this show first, and there aren't any more new episodes to look forward to after tonight...

Another show that might get hit kind of hard by the strike is "Scrubs," which is on at 9:30. This is its final season, and NBC wants to end the series a lot sooner than the writers of the show do, and I think they even had some non-union people edit the last show that had been shot, and want to use it as the series finale. That's pretty sad.

Moving on to the 10 o'clock hour and "ER." They're putting Abby through the ringer again, having her fall back into alcoholism and a really, really bad one night stand with her boss. This will probably prove disastrous for her marriage to Kovach, which is a shame because I was really hoping she'd finally found some peace. But, this is a drama, and "dramatic" things must happen. Doesn't mean I like it, though.

Finally, there's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." And am I missing something or have they not mentioned at all yet this season the fact that Goren's dad might be a serial killer? That was revealed at the end of last season, wasn't it? Regardless, the show hasn't really changed much since moving to the USA Network, which is good. Although I would be much happier if Vincent D'Onofrio got some kind of spin-off that just featured him walking around crime scenes making impossibly accurate deductions. For an entire hour.

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