Monday, September 19, 2005

500 channels and...

Subject: TV
So another TV season has started up. It must have, because there was a couple of "Simpsons" episodes and a "King of the Hill" on my DVR.

I've always liked "King of the Hill" a lot. Mike Judge really captures a great "slice of life" setting and a funny tone with the whole thing. Though I'm finding as the years go by, the characters are becoming more and more like parodies of themselves. Getting a little more absurd and a little less multifaceted.

"The Simpsons" has unfortunately caught that syndrome in spades. And has for a number of years now. There's still wit to be found, and it beats most any other comedy program out there as far as what makes me laugh, but compared to the classics, it's getting harder and harder for me to make it through an episode without fidgiting a little. My attention starts to wander. Oh well.

The other shows I'm watching are "Battlestar Galactica" (of course!), "Stargate SG-1", and HBO's "Rome". All of which I've mentioned at some point or other. "Galactica" is doing pretty well, though it hasn't been quite as great as that one episode I PWI'ed about a few weeks back. "Stargate" just isn't capturing the magic that they had early on. I think I might be dropping it once and for all.

"Rome" is interesting on a few levels, not the least of which is the historical details they work in to all the scenes and settings. The performances and characters are so-so -- not awful, but not particularly compelling either. There's a lot of gratuitious... well, gratuitiousness. All kinds of nudity, violence, butchering animals; you name it, it's in there. Yeah, the excuse (like in Deadwood) is that it's all part of the gritty realism. But really, it's mostly meant to shock you. But it's not being all that obnoxious about it, and the attention to detail really does carry the show. Anyway, I'll see it through to the end.

Beyond that, there's supposedly some halfway-decent network series starting up, but I really can't bring myself to care. The last one I used to watch regularly was "The West Wing", but when Aaron Sorkin left, it became a hollow farce of itself, and totally missed its own point, so I dropped it. Even though I could start watching it in HDTV, it just wasn't worth it anymore.

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