A few comments on the (some of the) MOST ANTICIPATED SEASON FINALES OF THE YEAR last night on ABC. (This must have killed them to have “Desperate Housewives” on one night and “Lost” on another night. Do you think anyone pointed out that they couldn’t call both those shows “The Most Anticipated Season Finale of the Year?” Maybe the batted around a few idea – like “The Two Most Anticipated Season Finales Of The Year, One On Sunday Night At 9:00pm Eastern Time And The Other On Wednesday At 9:00 Eastern Time!”? or “The Most Anticipated Finale Of The Year On One Night And The Most Looked Forward To Finale Of The Year On Another Night!”? Then they break down into laughter and realize they don’t give a shit because they’re making so much money.)
First there was “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which was only anticipated in the traditional sense of the word, as in, “Yeah, we anticipated that there would be a season finale at some point, so what?” As with all season finales, this one had to be bigger and better than the other episodes of the season, so there was one big twist this time: They built a house on a piece of vacant land! Vacant land!!!
Personally, I think they should have staged some kind of accident, like Ty getting caught under a bulkhead and the rest of the crew having to design a mechanism to use to get him out, and still stay on schedule to give a deserving family a multi-million dollar home. But instead the producers built a house on a five acre plot of desert land for a Native American family and juiced up the episode with Native American music, dance and tradition.
The surprising thing? Even when the show sucks, it’s still the “Best Reality Television Show That Doesn’t Have To Make Fun Of Itself To Be Good.” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” used to be up there on the list before they started giving away plasma televisions to guys simply because they kept food until it grew mold and wore pleated pants. After a while, I started having this self-loathing, knowing they would never give me a $2000 leather chair because I used a face wash. At least with “Extreme Makeover” you never get the feeling that you deserve it more than the people who are getting it. It’s the same reason you hate watching a movie with Aston Kutcher in it – because he’s getting paid millions of dollars and you know you could do a better job.
Next there was “Desperate Housewives”, inexplicably the most popular show in America.
This show just doesn’t draw me in. I tried a few times to get wrapped up in it and every time I just forgot that it was on or, during a commercial break in the show, switched over to a horror movie on Showtime and never switched back.
Here’s it's fatal flaw: Is it a comedy or a drama? Neither – it’s a dramedy, and I hate those. That’s not to say that you can’t have comedy and drama in the same show. You definitely can (one of my Top Three shows, “Nip/Tuck," can be very funny), but there has to be a line drawn. A good drama needs to be, first and foremost, a drama. Then it can have some comedy on the side. But it can't work the other way around, which I think is what "Desperate Housewives" is trying to do. Think back to every comedy you’ve ever seen that had a “special episode” that dealt with a dramatic event. Do you remember how much you cringed at it for being so awkward? That’s kind of how I feel when I watch “Desperate Housewives." Not quite funny enough and not quite dramatic enough, they try to walk the line and it ends up being all around uncomfortable. The only show I can think of that pulled off this type of dramedy successfully was “Picket Fences,” and that was because it wasn’t afraid to acknowledge it’s awkwardness and let itself and its characters be weird.
I also dislike the show because it castrates men on a weekly basis. At least "Sex and the City" protrayed men as being good for sex. Here I wouldn't be surprised if their Season 3 gimmick was to replace all the men in the show with 6' talking dildos.
Plus, the most interesting thing that happened in the episode was COMPLETELY overlooked by the end of the show, that being the suspicious black woman and her son who move into the neighborhood. Right away there is the feeling that something isn’t right (besides the collective pang of social consciousness when 10 million viewers realize there hasn’t been a black person on the show yet), and through the last 15 minutes of the show, right up until the final 30 seconds, I kept hoping they would go into that house and see what she was being so secretive about. But they blew it and left it with Teri Hatcher and the “boy with gun,” which was SO anti-dramatic (he’s holding a gun to her and she asks if she can get him a soda?) that I never, ever thought anything extraordinary was going to happen.
Then there was the new hit show “Grey’s Anatomy”, which I haven’t watched before and still haven’t watched. What does it say about a show that can have such hot people, yet still be so uninteresting? Instead, I watched a repeat of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," which I had seen before but, oddly, I was still lost by the middle of the episode. Is there a more challenging show on TV than "Criminal Intent"? It’s getting to the point where the only reason I watch it anymore is because I feel smart when I try, like the Thursday NY Times crossword puzzle. (OK, Wednesday.)
All in all, it was an uninspiring night of TV. ABC should have called it “The Second Most Anticipated Season Finales, But Only Because There’s Such Crap On Every Other Channel.”
And if I haven’t made it clear before, I am positively giddy about the season finale of “Lost” on Wednesday. This might be the closest I’ve come to that “Christmas When You Were 10” feeling since I officially became an adult. And I've had sex at least 10-15 times since then.
Best news item of the day:
Futa, a lesser panda, is proving a hit at a zoo near Tokyo as it can stand on two legs like a human being for about 10 seconds, an unusual feat for the species, zoo officials said.
Surprisingly, zoo officials did not comment on how the panda obtained the black jumpsuit. But rumors were swirling around the panda pavilion that Futa had become enraged when a janitor referred to him as “lesser” and killed him and now is wearing his jumpsuit as a warning to all other zoo workers.