15 Quick Observations on TV Programming in 2005
1) The Boondocks is much better than you've heard. Some dude on NPR said he didn't like the show, but wondered aloud whether it was because he was a politically correct white guy. Word.
2) No fibbing, Breaking Bonaduce has been one of the most amazing reality tv shows of all time. The night in which Danny goes ballistic and the producers are all scattering around, dropping their cameras, and trying to prevent him from killing himself or others -- it's that Man Bites Dog moment you wished would happen on every show. The fourth wall has fallen.
3) Talking about Lost is better than watching Lost.
4) Prison Break is less believable than Harry Potter, but ya gotta love these kinds of confined structural puzzles. Marti Noxon of Buffy fame is a producer on the show, and I credit her with every harrowingly claustrophobic moment.
5) Did you watch the short movie that the kids on the Real World created at SXSW? It sucked so hard that they only put it on the internet.
6) There was the briefest moment in the last episode of The Girls Next Door where the lead hen quit playing her role and blurted out something about being a clone who was probably too smart for Hef's taste. Then she cocked her Stepford head back into place, and with a quick giggle was a blonde bimbo again. Those two seconds have made the show the most important reality tv show of the year. It is the definition of simulacra.
7) Because America isn't as classist as Britain, The Office isn't quite as good here in the States.
8) With Bree on the show, I'll watch Desperate Housewives until I'm 137.
9) Did you see that episode of Veronica Mars where Joss Whedon and the lesbian chick from America's Next Top Model guest starred as coworkers in a car rental shop? More of that, please.
10) Invasion is still on the TiVo sked -- just barely. At any second it could take a red state turn, and it's bye-bye baby squid martians.
11) Though it took a while to get used to, shows like Politically Incorrect and The Daily Show have made us accustomed to this kind of joke interview where media celebs are asked a mix of funny and serious questions. The Colbert Report has extended that idea into some sort of hyperreal fantasy of what talk shows are like in another dimension. Let's get this straight: Colbert interviews serious people in character -- and not only that, but pretending to be a real character from another show (Bill O'Reilly). Yes, we live in an era in which no one finds anything odd in what is effectively Space Ghost: Coast To Coast for the Charlie Rose set. Can he possibly do this 200 times per year? I hope so.
12) When did Letterman stop mattering? And why can't Conan stop that humility shtick? And can we possibly say that Jimmy Kimmel is the best thing on late night network tv? Is there any chance Chappelle comes home and saves us?
13) I told you that the new Daily Show set would eventually grow on you.
14) What the hell happened to Wonder Showzen?
15) Fuck you, Fox, for canceling Arrested Development, which actually might have been the best sitcom of all time.