I watch a lot of scripted television each week and I have a lot of thoughts on the 2010 season so far. One note to readers, I do not watch any reality television so none of those shows will be discussed in detail. I decided to break my thoughts down by network. So here it goes:
NBC-Poor NBC is still the weakest of all the networks. They have been for a few years now and the trend seems to be contiuing. I can honestly say I only watch 2 shows on NBC- “Chuck” and “Parenthood”. I tried to watch “The Event” and could not get into it. It seems NBC has not had a major hit show in years. Now they have even decided to run all comedy shows on Thursdays, which was once the night of Must See TV for the network and should be anchored by a strong drama at 10pm. The problem is they don’t have one. They realized last year that “Law and Order” was old news yet they just replaced it with another “Law and Order” filmed in a different city. That is not progress or fresh thinking. I am hoping that the news this week that Bob Greenblatt, former head of Showtime will now be at the helm of NBC is a step in the right direction.
ABC- They seem to be a middle of the road network to me. I watch a few ABC shows including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Hosewives”, but in my opinion the best show they have on right now is “Modern Family”. Also, I love “Castle” because of the dynamic and chemistry of the great leads on the show. I would say ABC does not have any huge breakout hits on the air right now, but they do have reliable and steady shows and they are home to the “Dancing with the Stars” juggernaut.
CBS- CBS seems to me the king of formula television. However, it is a formula that works. I watch more CBS shows than any other networks. I am a little upset that they have cancelled “Medium” after only a season and half of saving it from prior death on NBC, yet I do admire what the network has done overall. They have one of the strongest lineups on television right now, not just one night, but every night of the week. I am hooked on the new “Hawaii 50” and “Blue Bloods” is also pretty good. I also enjoy old favorites like “How I Met Your Mother” and one of the best show on television is the “Mentalist”. All in all CBS has earned their number one network ranking in my opinion.
FOX- Fox is a mixed bag for me. I love “Glee” and “Bones”. I used to love “House”, but think that since the show broke one of the golden rules on television and got two main characters together, the show is not as good this season as it once was. I also enjoy “Human Target”, although I think it should have started in October when it was supposed to. I think the best new comedy on television this year is “Raising Hope”. It is exactly the kind of comedy people in America want to see, a comedy about a struggling family. I think that is why it is a hit and “Running Wilde” failed. No one wants to watch a comedy about a rich guy wasting his money for a girl, not in this economy. I don’t watch “Fringe”, but I will say I am in complete agreement with the many fans that the move to Fridays mid season is not a good sign of FOX’s faith in the show. I also would be remiss if I did not mention that I was one of the few who watched the two episodes of” Lonestar” and wish it was given a better shot. Overall, FOX is infuriating and exciting to me at the same time.
The CW- The CW is hands down the most underated network on television. I think because it is not one of the orginal four networks it is treated almost like a stepchild. This is a shame because the CW airs qualitity programming. However, not enough people watch the network or give the shows a chance. Hence a brilliant show like, “Life Unexpected” only received a 13 episode order this season. Other shows on the newtork worth noting are the reboot of “90210” which is tackling some important issues such as homsexuality and rape this season. Also, “Gossip Girl” is a fun romp with one of the best couples on television; Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf. Finally, I will say that hands down “The Vampire Diaries” is the best show on television right now. It has the best ensemble cast on t.v. and their acting puts a lot of other shows on other networks to shame. What other show has the lead actress playing dual roles against herself??? If you think of any, let me know. I have heard it said that if the show was another network it might be even bigger than it is and I don’t doubt it. I am very nervous now that it will be on against American Idol starting in January, but I hoping that the quality of the show and the great fans will not let this become an issue.
Cable TV (HBO/SHO/TNT/USA/FX)- I cannot write this article and not mention that original programming on cable is not just for the summer anymore. There are quality cable shows on against networks shows right now. In fact on Wednesdays at 10, I do not watch any network shows. I watch “Psych” and “Terriers”. (“Terriers” by the way is an awesome show that is very low rated. It is actually way better than a lot of other shows on right now so I was sad to find out it is danger of cancellation.) It should also be mentioned HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” is a compelling new drama. As far as mid season goes almost all the shows I am looking forward to are cable shows- “White Collar”, “Southland”, and “Justified” to name a few.
Overall, I have enjoyed the 2010 season so far and I am looking forward to seeing how things play out for the midseason and if any of my opinions above will be changed by next May.