Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mediocre housekeeping

With most of the shows I watch either out of episodes or dormant until sometime in the new year, it's time for a state of the blog address.

I'm going to write about the small handful of shows that have new episodes left this week/year ("Life on Mars," "Journeyman," maybe even "Gossip Girl"). I'll have my Festivus column this Friday, and a couple of Best of '07 columns the following Friday. Beyond that -- and barring some miraculous development with the strike -- things is gonna be slow until '08. Maybe it's time to start linking to funny YouTube videos again?

Also, someone reminded me that the two "Wire" documentaries I mentioned a while back -- "The Wire Odyssey" (about the series as a whole) and "The Wire: The Final Word" (about the state of the media theme of season five) -- are already available via On Demand. (If you don't have that, they're debuting Thursday and Friday night at 10:30. I pop up from time to time in both, though I feel kind of silly with my presence in the latter, where the other talking heads are real reporters and I'm the lone TV critic.

(Note: "The Final Word" mildly gives away some developments in the final season -- I've seen episodes 1-7, and there are scenes in the documentary that were new to me -- so if you want to enter the season unblemished, you may want to stick with "The Wire Odyssey.")

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan, long-time reader, first time poster. Love the column. I just wanted to let anyone who doesn't already know that HBO is re-running season 4 of "The Wire" at 11 pm. The first one was on last night.

MJ said...

I'm also lamenting the slow season. I had to resort to blogging about MOVIES. A friend recommended that I DVD the school series I was too young to watch at the time of their airing like Moonlighting or Remington Steele. I'm considering it.

Karen said...

Sigh. I'll miss you, Alan. As much as I'll miss new, scripted television.

Whatever happened to the DVD set reviews idea? I just got my new set of "Doctor Katz, Professional Therapist," and that ought to keep ME busy for a while (tho' I doubt it's appropriate for your requirements). What about you?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I intend to do some DVD boxed set reviewing in the new year. I just haven't had a chance to watch anything on backlog yet.

PamelaJaye said...

I hear the funny videos on youtube are going on strike in sympathy.

What do you do on your column in times like this?

I got a hulu invite yesterday. watched an ep of WKRP and one of Doogie Howser. Gotta love David E Kelley - after someone on my mailing list telling us there was an off-screen character on Picket Fences named Jimmy Berluti, I found an off-screen Susie Berluti on Doogie.

They did play actual rock songs in the original pilot, right?

Anonymous said...

hey alan, do the two 'wire' documentaries show an excessive amount of season five footage, or talk about it much? i'd rather go into the season as blind as possible but i really want to see these docs too. thanks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The journalism documentary shows an awful lot of stuff from the Clark Johnson portion of the story -- including several scenes that were new to me, and I've already seen the first seven episodes. So if you're spoiler-averse, you may want to avoid that one and just go with "The Wire Odyssey."

Homertojeebus said...

Alan,
just an FYI, I linked to your column and your blog for my WGA story, link below. Hope you get some clicks out of it.
http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2007/12/18/some-late-night-hosts-will-cross-wga-line/#cont

SJ said...

Here is the official trailer for The Wire's 5th season.

SLIGHT SPOILER:
Omg Avon is back!

Marc B. said...

Alan - When you figure out the DVD of old shows situation, let us know what shows you plan to re-warch. I'm craving serialized television and wouldn't mind following along.

Taleena said...

Alan, are you taking any suggestions of which DVDs you'll blog? I for one vote for Magnum PI.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I actually thought that "Cupid" might be a good starting point, since all the episodes are up on YouTube and therefore no one would need to go out and get the DVDs...

...and then I went to start watching the pilot and discovered it's the only episode (I think) where one of the five segments (in this case, the first) is missing.

Sigh... Should I just start with episode two?

Alap said...

i think you should. or just start with the second segment of the pilot. i watched the series that way on youtube and it wasn't like i was lost during the pilot or anything.

Jake said...

Yeah, things are getting pretty dire for tv-lovers. And from what I can tell, there's no real prospect of an agreement anytime soon. Bummer.

Actually, Alan, I was wondering how a long writers' strike would affect you and other people who write tv columns. Is it possible that people will lose their jobs as newspaper/mag writers because of the dearth of material to cover?

Anonymous said...

Alan, I obtained "Cupid" online through other means (bittoreent), and you could always watch it that way. If it is just the first segment of the first show, you could recap it in your post.

marcus said...

Alan- quick question. How were the first 7 episodes of Season 5? I know a detailed reveiew is forthcoming and I don't want to spoil anything...but I'd love to hear a sentence or two of your initial thoughts.

Alan Sepinwall said...

but I'd love to hear a sentence or two of your initial thoughts.

It's brilliant, as always. I'm not sure anything could lead up to season four -- as perfect a season of TV as any ever made -- but the show's going out with a bang, not a whimper.

dcdame said...

Last pm, I watched the two HBO docu-bits on The Wire & was please to see you and hear your commentary. What an honor to be the sole TV Critic on screen! Plus, you have real-life insight into the upheaval taking part in print journalism - a white-collar parallel to S2 in some respects - so you bring verisimilitude to the table.

I am so looking forward to S5, despite the bittersweet feeling that comes with knowing these characters will be no more after these last 10 eps. I will miss them. Then again, just seeing the clips from seasons past made me want to watch the DVDs again (for the 5th or so time). Some of the scenes in them were filmed across the street from my office, as well as in places I drive past daily.

I am delighted that Clark Johnson will be back on screen (great as HLOTS is, I can only imagine how the show would have evolved on HBO).

Blieve, hon.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I know it wasn't your favorite show last fall, but with the strike and everything, whither The Riches? Don't they have season two in the can, or at least most of it? I'm dyin' over here.

AlexR said...

I am easily past the point of being angry; now I have moved to the point of rooting for the Producers to bust open the WGA union & break them for good.

This is beyond ridiculous. The producers have tried to come to the table multiple times and put together extremely generous packages.

The WGA however wants an exaggerated strike to prove their point even further. The WGA, like the evil Baseball Player's Union, is exactly why Unions have a bad name.

Unions were formed originally so that we could ensure certain fair work standards for people in this country at the turn of the 20th century so that we wouldn't say have 8 year olds working 17 hour shifts in smoky factories.

The WGA has nothing to do with this. This union is made up largely of a bunch of pot smoking, slacker idiots, most of whom aren't even that talented. For every "Buffy" or "Lost" writer, there's 200 "Two and a Half Men" or "CSI: Miami" writer types who shouldn't even be employed.

Furthermore, while these single, apartment living slackers continue to hold us, the viewing public hostage, the real losres in this are the blue collar production and technician folks who are in thier 40's and 50's working tirelessly behind the scenes and making about 40K a year while supporting families and a mortgage.

Most writers are either living in a studio apartment and single with no major expenses, or they are Tina Fey or Steve Carrell, who are super rich.

And now what? The rest of us head into 2008 being forced to watch only news and sports for the most part so that we can avoid all of that horrifying Reality TV and Game shows that's about to be shoved down our throats.

I hope the union is destroyed. What a bunch of a self centered bastards.

dez said...

And now what? The rest of us head into 2008 being forced to watch only news and sports for the most part so that we can avoid all of that horrifying Reality TV and Game shows that's about to be shoved down our throats.

To quote one of the villains in The Tick: "Read a book!"

No one's forcing you to watch TV. There are other things to do, you know.

kghakmu said...

my favorite part of the Odyssey doc on The Wire is when they're all talking about their favorite characters. Clark Johnson says he doesn't want to be corny, but his picks the city of Baltimore--cut to a skyline shot of Philadelphia! Way to go HBO editors!