Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reader mail: Ted Danson, repeats and unreviewed series

Today's column is another reader mailbag, including comments/questions about Ted Danson (this will come up again in another post later today), why networks don't rerun shows as often as cable channels do, and also why I don't write as much (or at all) about shows like "It's Always Sunny," "Entourage" and "Medium."


Beth M. said...

Thanks for answering about why the major networks don't re-run shows like the cable networks do. I'd be happy if they re-ran them after midnight just to be able to clear up some DVR conflicts on nights like Thursdays. But I guess all that infomercial revenue would be hard to give up.

Eric said...

And that infomercial revenue goes to the affiliates, not the network.

Tony M said...

Thanks for answering the question about Medium - I get that. There are only so many shows you can write about and everyone, even critics, have their personal preferences. I also appreciate that you didn't go the "it's all bs!" route that I've seen so many times.

But I do feel that Medium is a victim of its premise. Why are some critics willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to, say, Sci-Fi shows or the ridiculous super hero antics of any number of television tough guys. But they stumble over themselves to be the first to scoff at something with a paranormal premise. I just don't get it - I don't have to really believe islands can jump in times to enjoy Lost. I don't have to really believe Angie Harmon got through law school to watch Law & Order. So why can't Medium be viewed on its own merits?

Who cares that there is a real Alison DuBois out there and who cares whether or not she can do what she claims. This is ENTERTAINMENT folks, and when Medium is on its game it is one of the most intelligently done shows out there.

Okay - rant over.

Billiam said...

The "why don't you talk about (insert show name here)?" questions always bug me a bit, because there are plenty of other TV bloggers out there.
"TVGal" is a fan of medium. And Zap2It's "It Happened Last Night" section offers recaps/reviews of many shows, Medium included. I'm blanking on what bloggers talk about Sunny or Entourage: I think "IGN TV" might do reviews of Sunny.

bsangs said...

Since "Cheers" is my favorite show of all time - and Sam Malone my favorite character - you've touched on a soft spot with Danson.

Maybe it's because I'll always see him as Sam, but I've had a hard time watching any of the shows he's been on since "Cheers" went off the air in '93.

Hated the short-lived one with him and his wife ("Ink" I think?). "Becker" just seemed like he was trying to play too much against type and I never got into "Damages" after the first few episodes.

However, his appearances on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" usually leave me in stitches. I'm trying to watch "Bored to Death," but so far, that show has left me feeling too much like the title. And I can't stand Schwartzman, so that doesn't help.

Luckily, I have my trusty "Cheers" DVD set to turn to - or WGN these days - whenever I want a dose of vitamin Sammy!

renton said...

I don't think it's obnoxious when an actor says he/she is a character actor with the looks of a lead.

I think it's a perfect description of Brad Pitt, judging from the fun he has with oddball minor characters. (12 Monkeys, Burn After Reading, etc.)

Rob S. said...

I think part of the difference between use of the paranormal in Medium and use of the paranormal in Lost is that no one's making a living bilking people by *pretending* to move an island. Whereas there are plenty of so-called psychics that are taking money from grieving people... and the existence of a show like Medium makes true psychic powers seem more plausible, and gives the fakes/crooks more in the zeitgeist to work with.

Which is a long way around to get to agreeing with you, Tony, that the show is a victim of its premise. I've never seen it, and it's premise is part of the reason why. (When I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be, essentially, The Mentalist, and thought "cool!" Then when I learned that she was *really* psychic, I just turned off to it. Which is strange, because I love superheroes of almost every stripe -- except, it seems, this one.)

Mike F said...

Never have watched an episode of NCIS, Medium, or even CSI...just don't care to see more of these types of shows, but I'm sure I'd enjoy them enough to watch them regularly if I got into it

Ted Danson is just terrific.

This season of Entourage has been very solid, IMO...and I enjoy the show...but nothing too different than other seasons. Its probably the easiest watch on my DVR and that's not a bad thing.

Its Always Sunny is funny, but limited...I poured through a couple of seasons of it a couple years ago. Once in a while, it hits genius-level, but mostly its the same kind of feel over and over again.

Chuchundra said...

Alan, I'm a little curious about what you think of Supernatural. It's one of my favorite shows and it seems like it would be right in your wheelhouse. No love for the Winchester boys?

OTOH, I don't know why anyone would ask why you don't watch Entourage. I think the bigger question is why does anyone still watch it, including me.

I keep hoping the show will get better, but every episode is the same old boring crap. Even the wacky Hollywood nonsense is gone. I want to delete it from my DVR list, but I haven't been able to yet.

LA said...

I have to give Entourage props for at least one thing this season. They took the focus off Vince, and all he's done all season is have sex. Like literally, every episode, they show him having sex with a different girl, and that's been the extent of his arc. So I give the producers a nod for having a sense of humor about their "star."

Anna said...

I'm also curious about your thoughts on Supernatural, Alan. I've seen a few people mention it here before, but I've always missed your answer if you've ever given one. I don't care if you ever write about it or not, but I'd just be interested to know whether or not you've even seen it and/or what you think of it.

(Because, if you ask me, what started out as a pretty mediocre genre show eventually grabbed a hold of it's own mythology, took it to some really dark and ballsy places, and, especially through last year's season, has finally become something legitimately great. It actually reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a lot of ways.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

The oft-repeated Supernatural explanation: show's been on too long for me to jump on the train now, even though I've enjoyed the handful of episodes I've seen over the years. Maybe something to dive into one summer when all the seasons are on DVD.

Anna said...

Sorry, it must get annoying.

JanieJones said...

Thanks Alan for answering the question about Medium. Billiam, you are correct, TVGal is a big fan of Medium. I agree with Tony and Rob S regarding Medium being a victim of it's own premise. One of the reasons I like the show is because it shows a somewhat realistic loving relationship between a husband and wife and their kids. I think those kids are some of the finer child actors I've seen in some time.
The psychic/supernatural part is a just a bonus as a detective piece, imho.

Ted Danson-loved him on Cheers, Becker was a bit blah (I've only seen reruns on USA in the early morning), CYE, loved his turn in Damages S1 and he is definitely the scene stealer thus far on BTD.

Also, Mo Ryan of the Chicago Tribune is a Supernatural fan and discusses the episodes if anyone is interested.

Tyroc said...

Also on why the major networks don't repeat the shows more but cable does is business. The networks pay the studio for the rights to play it twice. And a little more if they want a third prime time run. More than that isn't paid for.

The studios feel that more play on prime time would hurt their syndication money.

This is all changing of course.

Jason Treit said...

I find that there's plenty to criticize about Sunny but little else on TV today gets big laughs from me. This season's premiere, "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis", was wall-to-wall stupid genius.

For fans, The Onion AV Club has weekly recaps and discussion.