friday five, the television edition (minor spoilers possible)

Some random thoughts about things I’ve been watching on the idiot box:

Two and a Half Men

I liked this show when it first came on, but these days not so much.  It’s not the addition of Ashton Kutcher or the removal of Charlie Sheen that lost me, it’s that they’ve made the Alan Harper character into a douchebag, which process began well before Charlie left.  At first, Alan was likable, if a doofus.  It didn’t take long for me to grow weary of listening to Walden rag on Alan about him living their for free.  If he doesn’t like it, kick him out.  The Jake character has grown terribly unappealing also.  In fact, Walden, kick out Alan and Jake and hang out with Alan’s ex-wife’s husband Herb more.  Bring back Rose and Evelyn Harper…and give Berta a lot more air time.

Or her own show.

Walden has improved a little since his debut, becoming more consistent, and the haircut didn’t hurt matters at all.  He had the funniest line in a comedy for this entire comedy season, but I’m not going to tell you what it was.  I will say it was on Season 19, episode 19, “Big Episode: Someone Stole a Spoon.”

One more thing.  If they were going to rebuild this show from scratch to my specifications, they should convince Jaime Pressly to stay.  The way they have allowed the female characters to dissolve into the background is a huge part of my disaffection for this series these days.

The Middle

I hated this show at first.  If I have to have Patricia Heaton as not Debra Barone, I want her as Kelly Carr on Back to You, a program on the list of cancellations that tick me off right after Whoopi and somewhere before $h*! My Dad Says and Family Law.

Somehow, even though I only watched it if I was excruciatingly bored, it grew on me.  It’s the characters here more than the story line.  The Hecks are a little bit like a skinny Conner family, and–if you can wrap your mind around this–even quirkier.  Unlike Two and a Half Men wherethe characters seem likable until you realize how obnoxious they are, all the characters on The Middle are sweet weirdos. Even horrible teenage son Axl is actually adorable.  Kinda how I hope we are.  Which is probably the appeal.

One other downside of this show is when mom Frankie Heck (Heaton) went back to school and I thought, “Whee, a character is doing something relevant to my life!” but she graduated in about two episodes.  Bummer, that.  I would have liked to cheer her on longer.

The Walking Dead

This program stresses me out!  I’m glad the season is over.  The nine p.m. Sunday timeslot doesn’t really work for me because that’s Mr Moth’s bedtime, and I’m always worried some nimrod will tell me something I’d rather not know before I get a chance to watch.  I don’t really believe in spoilers, but I do believe in surprises, or reversals if you prefer, and I actually had to “unlike” The Walking Dead’s fan page because they post their own spoilers the day after the original airing.  Furthermore–and perhaps unsurprisingly–the person on Facebook who screams the loudest about film and book spoilers has decided there’s no such thing as series spoilers, and even though he allegedly doesn’t watch TWD, he discusses it in detail with his friends.

He’s on haitus from my Facebook feed until the season and my annoyance have passed.

Bates Motel

This is a new one, and the cosmos knows I wasn’t looking for a new show to watch.  It’s a prequel of sorts, showing the teenage years of Norman Bates of Psycho fame, his mother Norma, and his heretofore unsuspected brother by another daddy Dylan Massett.

I wish someone could explain the allure of this program.  It’s all mood.  There are maybe two likable characters, and they are in the supporting cast.  (Dylan has some potential, but he’s not living up to it yet.)  Everyone in the town is either crazy or dying or both.  They all drive ancient automobiles yet text on iphones.

Yet, whenever I see this show waiting on my dvr, I drop everything and watch it.  The entire time it’s on I ask myself, why?  why?  what is the hold it has on me?

And I don’t know the answer.

 Whose Line is it Anyway?, last on this list, but definitely not least.

I love this show and all its predecessors and clones (BBC Version,Green Screen, Drew Carey’s Improvaganza*) and I still mourn its passing.  My love for this show is so well known that a friend I had not heard from in years dropped me a line to let me know it was coming back!  

True this return will be sans Drew Carey because he is tied up with The Price is Right.  I mean to try not to let that bum me out; maybe he can be the fourth performer during his off seasons.  The new host will be someone named Aisha Tyler, who I had never heard of until she showed up on an episode of The Talking Dead.  All I can say is, I hope she’s funny.

Whose Line.  Everybody watch it so it doesn’t get cancelled!  I’m so excited.  😀

*I tried to watch Trust Us With Your Life, but it wasn’t on long enough for me to get used to it and I never ended up liking it much, and in fact forgot about it until just now.

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