Thursday, November 08, 2007

The State of the Fall TV Season - Part Three

Time to wrap up my complaining about everything on TV... here's a look at the last batch of shows I've been watching.

Survivor: China

I used to be a HUGE Survivor fan. When it premiered back in 2000, I was swept up in the craze like the majority of the country. I went to see Rudy (remember him, the old cranky ex-Navy SEAL?) once at a book signing, dressed up as a contestant for Halloween and hosted Survivor nights in my grad school apartment--I was really into it. Even if you hate the fact that the airwaves are now swamped with crappy reality TV at every hour and on nearly every channel, you have to admit that Survivor truly was ground-breaking seven years ago.

Somewhere along the way, however, I stopped tuning in (how in the hell did they get to fifteen seasons already?!?!). But a few weeks ago when my parents came to visit, I Tivoed the latest installment (now in China) because I knew they continued to follow it. It's hard to put into words, but I felt an odd sense of comfort watching Jeff Probst say the exact same thing he's been saying at Tribal Council since Season One. I still had his spiel memorized--he must recite it in his sleep! Anyway, I was sucked in again, because there are definitely some interesting characters this year and the show is incredibly easy to pick up at any point in time. So, it's on my Season Pass list once again. If you are like me and used to watch this show but got sick of it maybe three or four years ago, you should give Survivor: China a chance and see what you think.

Survivors ready... go!

Saturday Night Live

Here is how I watch SNL. I watch the opening "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" skit, the monologue and the first full skit. If I have not been entertained by that point, then I will forward through to see if there are any SNL Digital Shorts. I always watch "the news" sketch no matter what, even though I don't like Amy and Seth nearly as much as I did the faux anchors of the past. If the musical guest is good, I'll watch their performance. Done!

I feel like this season has been pretty dismal with the exception of some of the Bon Jovi-related skits, the "I Ran" short and the "Andy Punches" short. The "I Ran" short has been pulled down of all sites that I could find (and was never on SNL's site because they failed to secure the digital rights), but the "Andy Punches" short is here -- the page takes a while to load and then you may need to sit through a quick ad, but trust me, it's worth it. It's one of those clips where you start off thinking "What in the hell is this?" but then thirty seconds later you are completely engrossed. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Best Week Ever

Since I am completely nerdy and am home by and large every Friday night, I always look forward to Best Week Ever to recap the week in pop culture. I've been watching this show since it started years ago, and I love how it's retained its B-movie quality and goofiness. I also appreciate how the featured commentators voice what most people really think about the majority of celebrities--they go a little bit further than most magazines or web sites dare. I do not, however, like how they have added in special effects for "The Sizzler" segment to try and better spoof the likes of Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, but that's a small nitpick in the whole scheme of things. I will watch this show until it goes off the air, which is hopefully never.

The Amazing Race

I love, love, love The Amazing Race! Props to AT and Miss M, who both tried to convince me for years to start watching this show (which I did a few seasons ago), because I am indeed captivated by it. As you may know, The Amazing Race is a totally different level of reality TV--it's five for five in the Emmy wins for "Outstanding Reality-Competition Program." If you love to travel, or if you wish you could travel, or if you like to see and learn about places around the world, this is definitely the show for you. Eleven teams race 30,000 miles around the world in the quest to win $1 million. I seriously tear up every episode because the places they go are so awesome and beautiful and I get all jealous. The show has often been called "a love letter to the planet," and I think that's a perfect description. Plus, its unassuming host, Phil, is a very cool guy (probably because he's from New Zealand). If you have never watched this show, you owe it to yourself to watch it once and see what you think. I am so excited that it's on again (it just premiered last Sunday, so you haven't missed much...), I can barely contain myself.

The only complaint I have about the show isn't the show's fault. Since it is on Sunday nights, it often gets pushed back drastically. It airs after 60 Minutes, and I have set up the Tivo to record a full hour after the show is supposed to end because often football games run late, then 60 Minutes is pushed back, and then TAR gets cut off if those adjustments aren't made.

I started watching in Season 9 (it is now Season 12), which I highly recommend if you want to get it on DVD. But from what I've heard, all seasons except 8 (the "family" season) have been awesome.

So there you have it, my assessment of the shows I'm watching this fall. Now that both 24 and Lost are in serious jeopardy and may not premiere as planned in the winter because of the strike in Hollywood, I probably need to start writing reviews of my freaking magazines because we're all going to have to find something else to occupy our time!

- e

No comments: