Yet Another TV Review Podcast

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Grading Current Shows

I had a go at Grading Currently Airing TV Shows and I posted the list at a few places.

One of the responses was full of questions, so I posted a reply:

I took "currently airing" to mean anything not cancelled. At some point there will be a new episode. Therefore it is "currently airing". Lost hasn't been on for months, true. But it pops up in conversations nearly every week. It's very current for people that I know.

My first draft didn't include Burn Notice, The Closer or My Boys, because they are not on TV right now. But I hated that list. They are three of my favourit shows. And they are not cancelled. So I re-drafted and in they went.

I left cancelled Viva Laughlin in for three reasons. (1) It's new and fresh in everyone's mind. (2) I still have episode 2 and I may watch it, so - for me - it is "currenly airing". And (3) this is list to be used on my own TV Review website, so there will a related article behind Viva Laughlin, and it makes sense to leave it on the list so visitors can find the review by clicking on the link.

I didn't include reality shows because I don't watch them. I use my TV to provide me with fiction. Nothing else. I don't watch reality shows, documentaries, news, MTV. I read fiction, I write fiction. I like fiction. Fiction is my thing. It's a profession and a hobby. To me, the television (like books, radio or comic books) is a great way to bring more fiction into my life.

I didn't include anything that I haven't seen in years. For the record, I thought Supernatural was wonderful (Grade: A). Ditto: 4400, Medium, ReGenesis. But, I just haven't seen any of them in years. No point rating something I'm not up-to-date with. We live in the DVD age. I'll catch up eventually. Maybe. And this list will be posted in a few places, I don't want to be defending a rating based on something I saw in 2005. I might be a fanboy, but I don't always want to come off as one: "Supernatural is awesome, I saw the first 8 episodes and they rock!"

Why would I stop watching some of the best shows on TV? Not enough time (sometimes I teach night classes, maybe four a week!) and I believe there's always a way to see most shows eventually. So, I don't fret when something slips off the watch-this-week-list. I finished thirtysomething years after everyone else. It was still wonderful.

I've never seen Eureka. I have the pilot on VHS. And the pilot for Cold Case, too. And Gilmore Girls. And lots more pilots I've never seen. One day, I'll dig one out. Possibly like it, and then I'll go about getting the show somewhere. DVD ideally. I might buy the set. Borrow the set.

As for CSI Miami... that's a special case. I gave up on it after the first episodes, but one of my friends watches it every night in re-runs. Every night. He watches re-runs of the CSI and Law & Order shows all the time, so I often see bits and pieces. The sheer stupidity of what I see on CSI Miami every time I see ten minutes of it staggers me so so much that I just had to include it on the list. I just had to. I haven't seen a full new episode, but I've seen bits of various ones and I honestly think it is a very stupid show.

No Grade D? Nope. I've seen bad stuff. Genuine bad stuff. I make short movies, and I see lots of them, too. I know what it's like to see something geuinely bad. Bad on all levels. Talent, production values, whatever. Although I might rant about Gossip Girl or Bionic Woman, I never lose sight of where it fits into the bigger picture of visual fiction.

Even the worst television has a level of professionalism that deserves respect. I haven't the heart to bash it completely. I know about best writing and acting. So I write about them. I also know a little about what goes on behind the scenes, the work that goes into lighting, editing, audio recording a scene. I've been on set, and I've been behind the scenes for a few studio sit-com recordings. I have respect for the whole operation, even when I hate the writing/acting. One of my friends worked on Mystic Knights. She hated it, but she sure as heck worked hard on the thing.

Also, I have an open and unabashed love affair with television. I think it deliveres the best fiction available today. I prefer the long-term relationships we get with TV, radio and comic-books, over the one-night-stands we get from movies, radio and novels. I've seen some powerful movies, read some profound books, but none have impacted on me the way Veronica Mars did. None.

Leaving her off the list (an A+, of course) was the toughest part of that silly little list. Sigh.

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