The Daily's prime-time TV guide
Is TV starting to settle into a newer, more globalized market? Hulu, megavideo, YouTube, DVR—all are formats of the digital age we can now settle for, and we can be more active viewers and consumers. If we don’t want to watch a commercial on TV, we simply mute or change the channel; if we don’t want to watch a commercial online, we simply mute or open another window, but we can pause or stop at our will. Needless to say, we’re not in Kansas anymore—we’re online instead.
Season six’s tagline was, “Never underestimate a housewife.” Don’t underestimate this show either. Though it’s true this campy, soapy comedy will probably never meet its hey-day back when it premiered in 2004—who can forget the dirty laundry of Mary Alice’s suicide, Gaby’s affair with her teenage gardener or Bree’s baskets of muffins—season six has brought “Housewives” out of the sloppiness of the five-year jump. This year’s sharper writing, better character interaction and intriguing new neighbors of Wisteria Lane—“The Sopranos’” Drea de Matteo and a mystery strangler—show promise now that we have no more Edie Britt (Nicolette Sheridan) for our guilty pleasure.
Alex Ewald is a University College freshman.
"What is … the most compelling show currently on television and possibly of all time?" Lost commences its highly-anticipated sixth and final act Tuesday, February 2nd as I’m sure all you DVD-purchasing, Hulu-reviewing fanatics are well aware. The reason to continue watching? Simple: Innovative storytelling that provokes limitless deconstruction. Time travel, intricate narrative framework, existential crises, take your pick. This show has ingrained itself so deeply within the nature of storytelling and drama in America that it will be analyzed and reconsidered for decades and this is your chance to be a part of it. Hydrogen bombs have been detonated on a time-traveling island, people. Questions must and will be answered.
Matt Carney is a professional writing junior.
Yes, last week’s clip show was a complete lazy disappointment. But “The Office” in season six is worth watching, not only because of the cast’s lovable quirks, Michael Scott’s antics and the true hero of the show (Creed), but because it’s a study case on the human condition, capturing real emotion better than any drama on television right now.
Joshua Boydston is a psychology sophomore.
Take A Raincheck
Now in its second season, this slick crime drama has something that tops every other off-the-wall police story out there: simply, Simon Baker. If it weren’t for this Aussie heartthrob’s charm and knack to make his mentalist abilities seem like child’s play—a modern Sherlock Holmes, if you will—there would be no reason to go on. This man has gotten nominations at every awards show, so do you need any further proof?
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Over the course of its 35 seasons, SNL’s endured many a dry spell (post-Will Ferrell, the 1980 season where only Eddie Murphy brought the funny) and danced in thick comedy rainstorms (any time Norm MacDonald hosted Weekend Update, the early years of Bill Murray), but it’s always had its finger on the pulse of American comedy (see: Tina Fey’s returning guest spots as Sarah Palin). Now in the age of Samberg, SNL Digital Shorts are part of every weekend’s highlight reel and Kristen Wiig’s range almost stretches over the void left by Fey. Final verdict: SNL’s worthy to occupy 90 minutes of memory on your DVR.
Dare I say it after all that praise, Mrs. Fey? But have you considered that your brainchild might be reaching meh-status? Tracy Jordan’s non sequiturs don’t elicit the same goofball smiles they used to (from Season One: “Sue me? Who do you think you are? The San Diego Zoo?”) and Kenneth the Page was much more fun when our imaginations were left to ponder his origins deep in the chicken-fried Appalachians of Kentucky. With Alec Baldwin’s announcement of his intention to retire from acting after this season, 30 Rock could be headed into a comedy recession.
Not Worth Your While
There is no doubt that “American Idol” is a cultural phenomenon, a factory of pop TV and music that churns out the best and the brightest once a year for America’s enjoyment. This show hit its peak probably five years too late, when it was just the three judges, when people still bought music from Carrie Underwood and Daughtry, and when Paula was gleefully white-knuckling it at the half-hour mark. Now, people don’t care enough to see someone other than that “Pants on the Ground” singer Larry Platt actually make it to the final round. While the ratings may show otherwise, “Idol” has overstayed its welcome.
The Tonight Show
For the past seven months, “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” was one of the most exciting things on television.
When it returns in March with former host Jay Leno back behind the desk, the most exciting thing you will see are misspelled headlines.
NBC might have Leno back, but they also lost the funny.
Keep An Eye Out For...
It’s an earnest, teen comedy about the dramas of high school existence. Characters laugh, cry and sing—gleeful, indeed.
There is no doubt that there’s more this show has to offer. Whether that may be more heartstrings-tugging musical numbers, more razor-sharp, offbeat writing, or simply more Sue Sylvester, “Glee’s” Gleeks are willing to wait.
Some brilliant casting decisions have made what could have been a one-and-done comedy sitcom about a community college into a hilarious romp.
Joel McHale riffing with Chevy Chase has this hilarious then-and-now flavor, while newcomers like Donald Glover (a former “30 Rock” writer) are given their chance to shine too.
There really is no reason to change the channel on NBC’s Thursday nights.
The Good Wife
Marking TV veteran Julianna Margulies’ return to the primetime drama, “The Good Wife” depicts arguably the hottest topic of today: the corrupt politician often paired with a freaky sex scandal. While there seem to be too many to count, our hearts always go out to the suffering wives of these cheaters. Margulies, who first struck a chord with “ER” fan-favorite and nurse Carol Hathaway (she was saved from dying in the pilot because audiences loved her character), this time brings her doe eyes to the cutthroat legal world, as former lawyer Alicia Florrick tries to support her family while her husband does time. After winning a Golden Globe and a SAG award, we plan to stay tuned as this show easily moves from earnestness to heartbreak with its understated performances and writing.