Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Hoping Against Hope
2006-09-26 08:30
by Jon Weisman

Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of my attitude toward television is that when I watch a new show, I almost root for it to be bad, because I watch so much TV already that I would gladly not commit to anything more. I like being able to knock a show off my list and knowing I'll have that much more of my life to myself.

'Til Death got perhaps my quickest hook ever - it wasn't more than a minute into the show or even through the first scene when I saw Joely Fisher trying to get Brad Garrett to look at some bad cut on her foot or something, and I decided I am not interested in what this show has to offer.

At the same time, though, television still gets to me. When I see something original when so much has been done before, when a show really gets me to think, when something comes on the screen and speaks to me as if it's been listening to what's inside my head or knows my own worries before I know them myself... what can I tell you? I like being heard that way.

2006-09-26 11:02:56
1.   DXMachina
I seem to have stopped watching sitcoms. I'm not sure why. (The last new sitcom that I actually made a point to watch was, I hate to say it, Becker.) Even if I was still watching them, the promos for 'Til Death would've kept me from watching it.
2006-09-26 16:39:39
2.   aloofman
You're right, when something grabs you, it feels (temporarily) like the whole TV industry is worth keeping.

The latest show to grab me that way is "Rescue Me," which I discovered on DVD a few weeks ago. I find myself scouring the online listings to see when Season 3 will be replayed so I can catch up. This is teenage behavior at best. Isn't it?

2006-09-26 18:52:41
3.   dzzrtRatt
I don't even feel like they're trying to get me interested in sitcoms anymore. I have a hard time imagining the audience for these shows, but from the marketing to the actual shows (the few minutes I am willing to tolerate them) for sure they don't mean them for me.

I'm 50, but it's unclear whether I'm too old or too young. I'm just wrong for them.

I think "Seinfeld" was a category-killer. The post-sitcom shows like "The Office," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "South Park," and "Entourage" also make anyone who tries the old formula seem out of touch.

When I think of the truly classic sitcoms I'll still watch now when I have the chance -- "Lucy," "Dick Van Dyke," "Taxi" "Cheers" "Mary Tyler Moore" the two "Newhart" shows -- it's pretty clear you couldn't just replicate those shows and put them on now. You need something even more original than those shows. A high bar.

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