overthinking the idiot box

November 14, 2005

Letter from the editor
Sweeping Through

This is a rough period of time, the November sweeps — a time to say goodbye to the series just not cutting it, and a time to juggle duelling shows, each running new episodes in an effort to show advertisers, yeah, they deserve the money being spent.

A time to live, a time to die. A time to accept that Kitchen Confidential was never going to be a success, and a time to prepare oneself for the looming six-month hiatus of Prison Break (look, Wentworth Miller is pretty).

There ought to be a song.

The biggest tragedy, of course, is that Arrested Development is not long for this world — in fact, it should say its prayers. Of course, since it's a TV show and not an animate object, we here at SMRT-TV have taken up the slack. It'll be sad, this world in which there are no more Bluths. But perhaps they were too good for this world of network television. Perhaps.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart is also not long for this world, though it'll probably survive to finish its first season. And while yes, I am watching it (no one shanks a reality contestant's fame-whore aspirations quite like the Martha), the product placement is slowly driving me insane. But it's okay, because the WGA is on the case! Alan Bloom's dark dirty secret has always been that he writes reality TV — but he also does SMRT-TV the courtesy of covering the realm of sports on TV, and this Episode he has a special report on the WGA's new website spotlighting the worst of the product placement found in reality TV. I just hope it does some good before I'm officially brainwashed into buying that frickin' Tide stick.

M. Brianna Stalling's piece on Grey's Anatomy does a great job of covering that show's main dilemma: specifically, the title character is kinda worthless. But I know more and more people are getting sucked into the world of Squinty McZellweger and her fellow lady doctors, and Brianna's explanation — that the show's slowly begun evolving into a decent ensembel drama — makes me almost interested in giving the show a second chance.

Not during sweeps, though. And certainly not while Martha continues to air. Only so much room on the TiVo, after all.

-Liz Shannon Milller

Return to Season 2, Episode 5.