We’re in it...
May Sweeps started on Thursday and I’m thrilled. This is my favorite time of the television season – all the stuff you’ve been waiting for since September is coming together – couples get married or break apart, babies are born, someone dies – it’s all so exciting.
It’s also the last big hurrah before the summer doldrums set in. And it’s the time when I start thinking about whether or not my commitment to any current shows will continue into next year. I think I’ll stick it out with a few, but I’m really starting to think seriously about Buffy.
I came to Buffy sometime in Season 3. I caught a few reruns of Season 2 during the summer before Season 3 – we were packing for a big move and I found the reruns were entertaining distractions while packing. And I realized the show wasn’t the tripe I thought it was. Deeps had watched Buffy while I was working nights (mostly) at the Trib. He told me to give it a chance. I did and have been hooked ever since. Well, until part way through Season 4.
I won’t bore non-Buffy fans with the details, but there was a bad plot and the show got painfully dull and I just couldn’t take it anymore. But I hung on and was rewarded with a few choice episodes in Season 5. But it didn’t have the same sparkle or brilliance. Then I got to catch all the previous seasons on FX when Buffy went into syndication. Seriously, the first 3 seasons are very good. They hang together, there’s the odd bad ep but for the most part they’re really good stuff.
Season 4 really pales in comparison as does Season 5. Sure there was the death of Buffy’s mom in Season 5, which I would count among some of the finest hours of television. But season 5 was kinda weak. That is, until I started to watch season 6. So, with the exception of a couple of episodes, I’ve been seriously disappointed. Characters are becoming unlikable and annoying.
The most interesting characters are being ignored and underwritten. And the metaphor of the show is coming unraveled. Tuesday marks the start of the last few eps for the season and I truly hope that something interesting comes of it. I’m not expecting much, despite all the news I can find on the brilliant SpoilerSlayer’s site
. Death, destruction and the end of the world are old hat for the show – I’d like to see a new spin on the old tales.
But if Buffy is a bore, at least I have some new summer viewing to keep me occupied. Summers (for television viewing) aren’t as bad as they used to be. Sure I can go to the beach and chill out on the balcony and stare at my gigantic Basil plants. And read books, but I still like to veg in front of the tube if only for a couple hours when I can bask in the glory of my air conditioning.
I’m not a regular viewer of very many television shows anymore. I abandoned the X-Files about 3 seasons ago. And God only knows when the Sopranos is coming back. Sex and the City is in question since SJP is preggers. I thought it might be a rough summer.
Then I discovered Nero Wolfe
, which is really the perfect show for fun summer viewing. I like the weirdness of Tim Hutton and adore the oddities of Maury Chaykin. It’s not appointment television but I like to think of it as the semi-regular brunch that Deeps and I have on the odd Sunday morning. It’s not mandatory, but it’s quite enjoyable when you get around to it.
And of course there are my old friends over at BBC America – Changing Rooms
and Ground Force, reruns of Cracker and Jonathan Creek
, and the new import Manchild
I’m less thrilled with Manchild, a tawdry show about four 50something men who are trying to retain the last of their youth while pursuing every available babe under 25. I’ve watched two eps and I’ve concluded that these men should wear more clothes on a more regular basis. I’m reminded of an anecdote I once heard about a young man working at the Williamstown Theater Festival. He worked backstage with F. Murray Abraham on a production and F. would regularly walk around backstage between scenes. The first time the young apprentice encountered F. he found that F. was shirtless. Disgusted, the apprentice muttered in frustration – “What are you, like 60? Put on a shirt!”