Blogging's going to be light over the next few days, owing to the holiday weekend, the relative lack of programming, and my own need to take it (relatively) easy after the crazy week I've just had. Tonight, I'll have an interview with the "Party Down" producers to run after the season finale finishes, Sunday night I'll have a "Breaking Bad" review, and I'll have a column and an "In Treatment" season two post-mortem on Monday, but that's it. (That really doesn't look like I'm taking a break, does it? Sigh...)
But before I go radio silent (or radio quiet), I wanted to throw out a question to you guys, related to what happened this week with "Chuck."
Ever since Tuesday, when Ben Silverman credited me with helping to save "Chuck," first on the upfront conference call, then in another interview, I've been getting some good-natured ribbing from other critics and bloggers (many of whom did more than their own fair share in this). Fienberg took to calling me "The Saviour" for a few days. Joe Flint wondered if Silverman gets to fire me if "Chuck" doesn't succeed next year. Other critics have jokingly wondered why I couldn't save one of their favorite shows from years past, going as far back as Tim Reid on "Frank's Place."
And I've been contacted by fans of "My Name Is Earl" (who want Fox to pick it up) and "Life" (who want USA to pick it up) in hopes I could use my alleged show-saving powers on them.
All of which brings me to my question for the holiday weekend, for those of you who are still around your computers over the next few days: if you had the power to both save one show and only one show, and travel back in time if necessary to do that, what would it be? What one show from seasons past -- or even what show that got canceled this year -- would you expend that power on, even if it was just for another season? Even if it was just for another episode? You can't go with a show where the creators ended it on their own terms ("Sopranos," "The Wire," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"), but anything else is fair game.
Now, I have to assume I used up my own alleged power on "Chuck," and was glad to do it. But if I had a second bullet in this gun? I briefly thought my choice would be "Freaks and Geeks," if only for the chance to see Martin Starr dance like that again. But I think the 18 episodes, which I reviewed a couple of summers ago, are kind of perfect as they are, the ending works as an ending, and I always worry I'd think less of it if it continued and went downhill, even a little.
Then I thought about a show like "Now And Again," which ended on a maddening cliffhanger. But much as I enjoyed that show, and want to know what Glen Gordon Caron would have done with it next, I didn't love it that much.
So I guess I'm going to go with the predictable answer and choose "Deadwood," which is currently in third place in my ranking of HBO's Holy Trinity of Davids, largely because David Milch never got to finish it. Now, there's always the chance that the hypothetical fourth season would have been a mess, as Milch has a tendency to go off the rails at times, and even large parts of season three were problematic (notably the acting troupe and the stuff with Wyatt Earp). But when it was great... man.
So, pick your show and state your case.