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TV as art? Depends on the program:

The Simpsons: BEST...SATIRE...EVER!

Homicide: Life on the Street: brilliant on every count (at least the early seasons)

Then, you're right, most everything else is mere filler between Toyota and zit cream commercials

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TV as art? Depends on the program:

Then, you're right, most everything else is mere filler between Toyota and zit cream commercials

Early West Wing was wonderful (it went a bit downhill (IMNSHO) when POTUS became such a key character rather than the staff). This season's Six Feet Under was off, but still pretty good. The first episode of Dead Like Me has me hungering for more. I loved Buffy even after the Resurrection. Of course, Now with Bill Moyer hardly counts as TV it is of such quality.

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Hi. "Gilmore Girls." It is what "The West Wing" should be and -- in its earlier days -- largely was. Thank you. And yes, Sheen should be less seen.

"The Simpsons" is an acceptable answer only if you pretend that seasons one, two, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen do not exist. "King of the Hill" hits as many high notes as "The Simpsons" with far fewer low. Also, it has a heart.

"Homicide" is fine. A few isolated episodes of "Buffy" have not impressed me, but perhaps it works better on a macro level.

Television is as much art as film -- that is, not much.

Also, it is true that I saw Jeffrey's tree and pilfered the idea. If anyone deserves an avatar tree, I do.

Dale

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"Sheen should be less seen" -- great line! Would "Sheen but not heard" be a slight improvement?

I enjoyed the early West Wing episodes, too. The "Little Drummer Boy" episode was very moving, in particular.

I partially agree with the Simpsons assessment, in that these last few seasons have much less of the show's original cleverness. I got so fed up with its relative mediocrity that I stopped watching earlier this season. I disagree with your disparagement of seasons 1 and 2, however. I find much to appreciate there -- the very first Christmas special, Bart the exchange student, the Simpsons try family therapy, etc.

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Interesting how many of the shows we mention lose something over time. A notable exception was M*A*S*H, which started off fairly inoccuous and grew into something special, then drifted back to mediocrity toward the end.

Perhaps we should start looking at TV season as sequels. Most sequels don't live up to the first, but on occasion, they far outshine. In the case of long running shows, it gets to be like comparing the various Star Wars episodes.

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I would beg to differ. Even the greatest series have first seasons, that upon retrospect are somewhat weak. They've all got to find their legs. Usually there is something raw and recognizably good, which is why they continue to success. But the first season of the simpson's is truly weak compared to the seasons that contained such classics as:

"Lisa the Vegetarian"

"22 Short Films About Springfield"

"Bart vs. Austrailia"

These were truly the glory days of the series.

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I think it depends on the program:

- Simpsons: Yeah, you may be right, although I think there's plenty of terrific stuff in the first 2 seasons.

- The West Wing: Lost its charm after the first year or two.

- Malcolm in the Middle: Hilariously funny at first. As the kids progressed from pre-adolescence into the hormone-addled teen years, the humor moved from anarchic slapstick into occasional debauchery, losing much of its edge in the process.

To me, it's not surprising that there's no one-size-fits-all template here, as much depends on the brilliance of the original idea, the continuing evidence of the writers, etc.

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TV sucks.

Unless its the Gilmore Girls. I could watch two of those three generations with the sound off.

And the Simpsons i guess. And an occasional "Whose Line is it Anyway?"

But for the most part TV sucks. Its like a dumbed down B-movie.

The Cubs are cool, though. As are the Bears. And yesterday the Cubs won 16-2. And you can't get that kind of good feeling out of a movie.

-s.

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Guest Russell Lucas

TV sucks.  

The Cubs are cool, though.  As are the Bears.  And yesterday the Cubs won 16-2.  And you can't get that kind of good feeling out of a movie.

-s.

Not even from---

user posted image

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Um, no. I mean. probably, yes. I mean...

what was the question again?

-s.

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The first four seasons of "The X-Files" were good, though sometimes I had to discard reason and let my love of atmosphere take over. The fourth season had a few gems that were genuinely funny, like "Small Potatoes":

MULDER: But the baby's father is an alien?

AMANDA: No, no, I didn't say he was an alien, I said he was from another planet. His name is Luke Skywalker. He's what's known as a Jedi Knight.

SCULLY: Did he have a light saber?

And anyone that has ever seen an episode of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" cannot deny that it is high art at its finest.

Oh, and what about "The Animaniacs", the best kid show ever??

M. Dale Prins wrote:

Hi. "Gilmore Girls." It is what "The West Wing" should be and -- in its earlier days -- largely was.

I have yet to see this show. The WB frightens me.

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Ummm...I'm gonna watch "Last Comic Standing" tonight.

Any reality TV watchers out there? C'mon. Fess up.

I'm unapologetic. I watch "LCS," "The Amazing Race," and yes, "Survivor."

And I'll duke it out with anyone who dares to tell me I'm less of man because of it!! :x

I mean, "Gilmore Girls"?? Sheesh... laugh.gif

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Alias is cool. Or at least it was until the last ten minutes or so of season two, when it suddenly took a left turn into Plots that Don't Make Any Sense At All Land.

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Alias is cool. Or at least it was until the last ten minutes or so of season two, when it suddenly took a left turn into Plots that Don't Make Any Sense At All Land.
Have faith my friend.

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OK OK OK...

I watched, like, the first four seasons of "Survivor." :oops: Even taped 'em when i couldn't make it home early enough to see 'em. But it got worse and worse and the last one was

SO STOO-pid so i quit about three episodes into it.

My advice? Get out while you can. There's a hole in the bottom and the boat's sinking fast.

-s.

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I am down with Conan O'Briiiiiiiiiiiian! Good TV.

Recently I think Smallville has a very cool kind of campy feel and from what I understand it follows the Superboy comic pretty well.

The Simpsons - as always

I enjoy several PBS programs - Image Union, Wild Chicago,

But I have to say there isn't anything on TV that I must see.

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OK OK OK...

I watched, like, the first four seasons of "Survivor." :oops: Even taped 'em when i couldn't make it home early enough to see 'em. But it got worse and worse and the last one was

SO STOO-pid so i quit about three episodes into it. -s.

The first season was definitely an interesting watch and I wanted to see every episode I had the chance to BUT come on Stef 3 more seasons of it? Now you are just pushing it! You may as well be watching "I'm a celebrity get me out of here!"

Oh Stef....

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My TV radar

ALIAS

First Season: Superb

Second Season Alias: Pretty darn good at first, slowly losing focus, great characters devolving into cliches

Most recent plot twist: Rash, insane, and bloody brilliant.

WEST WING

First couple of seasons: Brilliant

Since then, hit and miss and I've pretty much quit watching.

Don't have cable.

Malcolm in the Middle: Occasionally brilliant

The Gilmore Girls: I wish I had more time to watch it because I love it, and that's not just because my FAVORITE SINGER/SONGWRITER IN THE WHOLE WORLD does the soundtrack.

Simpsons: When it's good, it's very very good.

That 70s Show: Funnier than Friends ever was. Mom's my favorite character... they're my favorite married couple on TV, next to Malcolm's.

King of the Hill: Never reaches the peaks of hilarity that the Simpsons does, but it is more consistently worth watching than Simpsons, definitely.

Dave Letterman: I'd still rather have him on my TV screen than any other entertainer. Can't think of anyone else more "born for the format" than him. Still a genius.

Buffy: Never really got into it.

Twin Peaks: Will never be surpassed as the most compelling television ever conceived (especially that first season... and any episode directed by Mark Frost or David Lynch.) My greatest TV wish is that Lynch would cash in on the legendary status of the show and bring it back for Twin Peaks 2005 with a new cast of characters (the rest of the cast is too far gone to bother with.)

Newsradio: The greatest short-lived comedy ever.

The death of Phil Hartman: Too painful a subject to discuss.

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I am shocked no one has mentioned Boomtown here. That is far and away the best thing on television last year. Great storytelling, stellar acting, and beautiful camerawork. That was the most creative thing I have seen on TV since Twin Peaks. And I don't think it has been picked up again yet.

I also watch NYPD Blue for the same reasons. Anymore my wife often comments on how many actors and directors are losers because it takes them two years to make a two hour movie, but it takes NYPD Blue one year to kick out 8 hour long episodes that are at least the same quality and often much better than anything you will see in the theater.

I really have a problem with the whole CSI-gross-everyone-out-to-get-ratings shtick. Last year the TV was packed with this nasty stuff one so many shows trying to cash in on the gross factor. I actually just caught the first episode of Nip-Tuck, a new FX series about two plastic surgeons. One is single and over-sexed and in it for the money (and secretly in love with his partner's wife), the other is married and ethical, etc...

Both of them are slime, and the show is high on the gross factor. In one scene a liposuction goes awry and the suction machine begins to spit out geysers of liquid fat on everyone in the room. Yeah, thanks for that FX.

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I thought we were talking current.

Yes to Twin Peaks!! Loved it.

First season of Alias

But I would then add All in the Family and Sanford and Son to the mix. What great social commentary shoved into a sitcom!! One of our local stations had it right when they played them one right after the other. They were opposite cultural perspectives addressing the same issues.

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Well, now that Buffy's over, Alias may the only TV show I'll watch regularly come fall. I was starting to get a little tired of Alias, but the last five minutes of the season finale blew my mind enough that I'm eager for the new season to begin.

I do tune in the Simpsons now and then. It's not as consistently funny as it used to be, but it's decline doesn't frustrate me nearlyas much as the decline of the West Wing, which IMO became unwatchable this season--and not just because Rob Lowe left (though I liked his character very much)--the show was going downhill before that--but for a while I still liked it better than almost anything else on TV.

I'll occassionally watch Law and Order because it's the best thing on at a time when I'm often in the mood for TV. Scrubs sometimes makes me laugh out loud, but it's not appointment TV for me by any means.

I'm also planning to tune in to Angel, the Buffy spinoff, this fall. I've only been an occassional watcher in the past because I find it to be terribly slow and too serious, but one of my favorite Buffy characters is supposed to be a regular this season and the pace might pick up a bit with him there.

As for past shows, I was a HUGE X-Files fan once upon a time--and then grew to hate it and am only now beginning to enjoy episodes from the first few seasons.

AlanW, I'm totally with you on the whole cable thing. I would much rather spend the money to rent DVDs. I jsut get the most basic, basic package--the one my cable company doesn't tell people about--so I can get the networks. I know there are a few cable shows I'd like (Monk, the Sopranos), but if they're any good--and often even if they're not--they'll come out on DVD anyway.

One of these days, I'm going to rent Twin Peaks from Netflix--I just know that's the kind of thing I'd like.

And yes, I'll admit to having watched four or so seasons of Survivor, the first two and the two most recent, I think. I actually liked the most recent season in a guilty pleasure sort of way. The rules kept changing, and the outcome was much less predictable than it had been in the previous season. But I really, really, really don't want to get sucked into it again. (I know, just don't turn the TV on, but that's sometimes easier said than done :roll: )

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Well, now that Buffy's over, Alias may the only TV show I'll watch regularly come fall. I was starting to get a little tired of Alias, but the last five minutes of the season finale blew my mind enough that I'm eager for the new season to begin.

Whoever came up with that plot twist was absolutely brilliant. And they should be shot.

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Well, now that Buffy's over, Alias may the only TV show I'll watch regularly come fall. I was starting to get a little tired of Alias, but the last five minutes of the season finale blew my mind enough that I'm eager for the new season to begin.

Whoever came up with that plot twist was absolutely brilliant. And they should be shot.

I don't watch Alias, and I probably won't, but I did tune in to the season finale for some reason (don't ask how I figured out what was going on). Quite a stunner. Now they're going to have to spend the whole season explaining it and fixing it.

Or maybe it will all be a dream! :wink:

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: Scrubs sometimes makes me laugh out loud, but it's not

: appointment TV for me by any means.

Scrubs would be one of the three or four best shows on television if it'd just ditch that ubiquitous moralistic voiceover by Dr. U.M. Voiceover.

After Paris on the Gilmore Girls, Dr. Cox is the greatest supporting character on television.

Dale

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