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All Those Channels and Nothing On ...

This is going to be one of those articles where I show my age. Monday night I was sitting at home with the family and we were watching "CSI:Miami". And saw what is arguably the lamest episode they ever put out. In a nutshell, we found out that Wolf, who was kicked off the team in an earlier episode, decides he wants to be a cop after all, makes a predictable speech and comes back and makes another predictable speech to Horatio "Strike a Pose" Cain, who takes him back, all is forgiven. Yawn. But the real issue I had, was the case where the team is able to find a few trace amounts of blood on a boat, and from that are somehow able to get the Coast Guard to help them intercept a drug kingpin. No explanation of how they do that, shoot they don't even explain how they knew where he was, but oh well. The real problem is that this 'kingpin', as soon as they say they know the victim was on his boat, gives up and confesses, not only that he is in fact a drug kingpin, but also that he murdered the victim. I guess Cain gave the guy one of those 'Perry Mason' type stares; you know, how Mason was able to get his client off by somehow arranging for The Real KillerTM to take the stand in court, where the right tone of voice and a hard stare would produce a confession? David Caruso steals the act without so much as a nod to Raymond Burr.

So yeah, there's a lot of shows where it's obvious the writers just mail it in, and the same can be said for network news, but the whole thing about CSI was supposed to be all the cool ways forensics could solve cases. No need for soap opera storylines, car chases, ridiculous poses - well, OK, Caruso has always been big on posing whenever he saw a camera, but most of the people on the show don't do that - the lab and Science were supposed to tell the story. No Science in this episode. Not much acting either, but oh well.

It seems that broadcast television in general has become as drab and low-quality as, say, the New York Times. According to AOL, the top shows right now are:

American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
The Sopranos

Let's see now, two of the five have no plots whatsoever, one is available only on cable, and of the other 2, even their fans are saying the shows aren't what they used to be.


Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?


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Comments (38)

"...CSI was supposed to... (Below threshold)

"...CSI was supposed to be all the cool ways forensics could solve cases. No need for soap opera storylines, car chases, ridiculous poses."

Are you kidding?


Is it just me, or does T... (Below threshold)

Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?

In general, yes. The most popular shows, yes. But there's still a lot of good stuff on.

Penn & Teller's Bullshit (Showtime) - They are kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of topics, but it's still good.
Planet Earth (Discovery & Discovery HD) - Amazing in HD)
Frontline (PBS)
South Park (CC) - They've been on fire this season and the last.
The Office (NBC) - The only network show worth watching, surprisingly still good despite living beyond the BBC length.

As for plots, if you want those, watch a movie! (or read a book)

CSI Miami has gone from lam... (Below threshold)

CSI Miami has gone from lame to lamer.

I really like CSI but CSI:M... (Below threshold)

I really like CSI but CSI:Miami is nearly unwatchable. That this episode was worse than usual is saying a lot.

Season's over but Dresden Files on Sci-Fi was very good.

Granddaddy, that's just too... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Granddaddy, that's just too funny!

OK, I'll have to admit that... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

OK, I'll have to admit that I like DWTS but that's because I'm a ballroom dancer myself. And I used to like Idol, but it has jumped the shark this year. I never got into The Sopranos, and I agree that the bloom seems to be off the rose at 24. As for Lost, there was one scene in the pilot that was so preposterous that it put me off the show right away. That's the scene on the beach, after the crash, where the jet engine broken away from the plane is sitting there running full bore with no possible source of fuel! I'm sorry, but when the writers demand suspension of disbelief right off the bat...

The real problem is that... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The real problem is that this 'kingpin', as soon as they say they know the victim was on his boat, gives up and confesses

It's the "Sunglasses of Justice"®. They scared the man into confessing.

I've actually been enjoying... (Below threshold)

I've actually been enjoying this silly little vampire/cop/soap opera on Lifetime called "Blood Ties."

Generally, the plots aren't exactly amazing (monster of the week, mostly), but the lead actress is doing a good job, and a lot of the writing is actually pretty clever.

From regular primetime, I still watch Heroes, NCIS, and Criminal Minds pretty regularly, but almost everything else in my DVR schedule is from the rest of the cable lineup (Sci-Fi, Discovery, History, Cartoon, and a bunch of stuff from the premium channels).

I am SO comfortable in my o... (Below threshold)

I am SO comfortable in my own skin, I admit to watching the following (sometimes over and over):

Shear Genius
Project Runway
Top Chef
My Life On the D-List
Hell's Kitchen
Top Model reruns (Shandy/Catie season especially!)
Little People, Big World
No Reservations
Lonely Planet (Ian Wright episodes)
Even Stevens (great sitcom, Ren and Tawny: A-1 bods)

There are very few tv shows... (Below threshold)

There are very few tv shows on worth watching, this year I dropped cable/satellite channels just to keep the local channels, and I have to admit that I barely noticed the change. The "news" is just daily liberal talking points repeated ad nauseum. Even with local channels, there aren't any broadcast shows worth watching. Even with PBS, shows like Lonely Planet have seriously deteriorated (since Megan went native). I had two TVs and I unplugged one last February and didn't notice until last week. I'm grateful to have dvd/tapes, otherwise I'd unplug the other one too.

South ParkBattlest... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

South Park

Battlestar Galactica - no new episodes 'till next year though :(...



Otherwise, a movie...

I vote for, doesn't suck.</... (Below threshold)

I vote for, doesn't suck.

An awful lot of filler, but there are also more shows that I've wanted to watch than I can remember in years.

The Sopranos
The Shield
Big Love
Battlestar Galactica

Just wish they hadn't cancelled 'Deadwood'...

Is it just me, or does T... (Below threshold)

Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?

I might be showing my age, but I think when Dallas turned an entire season into a dream in order to bring Bobby back was one of the lamest plot twist ever on TV, so it's sucked for a long time :).

For me, the only programs I watch semi-regularly:

in that order.

Is it just me, or does T... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?

Watch The Office and your faith in finding good, network TV will be slightly renewed, I promise.

Or my name isn't Dwight Schrute.

David Caruso is *so* in lov... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

David Caruso is *so* in love with himself that I gave up on the show midway last season. There is only so much preening and posturing that a person can stand.

OK, I'm confused. You say... (Below threshold)

OK, I'm confused. You say that 2 of the 5 have no plot whatsoever. I don't watch much TV these , but I know Lost has no plot. So which one of the others actually has a plot, Does American Idol or Dancing with the Stars?

DJ:Come on, my fri... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


Come on, my friend! David Caruso's over-acting, the lousy support cast, the soap opera-esque plot lines (Eric's miraculous recovery after being shot just-so-perfectly in the head without dying), the headache-inducing editing, the MTV-reject soundtracks, scenes obviosuly done in SoCal and not Miami, all make "CSI:Miami" winner of The Best Unintentional Comedy on TV award. (My wife and I, just for fun, like to guess at what bad pun Caruso will use when he summizes the first murder and sends us off to commercial.) Great (bad) stuff!

My other faves (inlcuding non-network):
CSI: Crime Scene Investigators (The first and still the best.)
Planet Earth (Utterly stunning. Even my wife's connvinced we now need a plasma with HD.)
Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations
Top Chef
The Simpsons
Baseball Tonight (Watch it like it was a religion. Because it is...)

Wow, I can't believe that o... (Below threshold)

Wow, I can't believe that only one person mentioned "Heroes".

This is by far one of the best T.V. shows out there right now. Want to talk about plot lines... Oh My God.

Re: DJ's list of the five t... (Below threshold)

Re: DJ's list of the five top shows
I don't think any of these shows push the hard left or liberal line (although I haven't seen Lost or Sopranos, so I'm making a judgment based partly on hearsay reports). One show, in fact, is wildly popular with the right for its anti-war, name the enemy, fight tough storyline. Perhaps the American people are showing their rejection of leftist themes by choosing these shows to watch instead.

And then there are those truly enlightened ones, like me!, who watch Turner Classic Movies almost exclusively.

...take the TV, turn it off... (Below threshold)

...take the TV, turn it off. Find a book. Sit down and read. Or have a conversation with your family. Or go to a baseball game. Do something to excite your life, and stop living vicariously through someone else's. TV sucks out loud!!

Even my use of The History ... (Below threshold)

Even my use of The History Channel, Discovery Channel, and similar are falling into chasms of idiocy.

The much-acclaimed, and admittedly beautifully filmed "The Planet" is an example.....the narrators cannot possibly resist adding such trite phrases as "if they are allowed to continue to exist"; "if man admits he needs to leave them alone", etc.....

I spend a lot of time on blogs, and reading news features on the net.

Most mornings my local paper (yes, we take it for the sports and funnies) is full of items I read the day before, or things of no actual news value.


Heroes and Friday Night Lig... (Below threshold)

Heroes and Friday Night Lights are the two best new network shows of the current season. Neither appealed to me on paper but they have both bolstered my lagging faith in the quality of American TV.

There are TV shows I enj... (Below threshold)

There are TV shows I enjoy.
The Shield
I still like Lost. I don't worry about it making sense anymore. It's just fun to watch.
The Sopranos
South Park (like the other guy said, it was ON FIRE this season)
Death Note

But CSI Miami is wildly pop... (Below threshold)

But CSI Miami is wildly popular, here and overseas. Isn't that depressing? Who could take such a show seriously--or even sit through it to mock it? The Law & Order franchise is circling the drain, too, in terms of quality. Next week, on all three L&O's, white supremicists commit a crime and try to blame it on innocent Muslim immigrants! With the governments's help!! Oy.

Ditto on Battlestar Galacti... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Ditto on Battlestar Galactica and The Shield.

I like many of the educational shows as well. Future Weapons, The History Channel, Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, City Confidential, MythBusters is pretty decent sometimes, & Dirty Jobs is a hoot.

Then there is Cris Angel, whose show is pretty fascinating.

P.S. Almost forgot. I am a ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

P.S. Almost forgot. I am a (retired) martial artist and somewhat of a UFC/Pride fanatic. I could expound on the needed resurgence of a warrior culture here where men are men...

At our place, we call that ... (Below threshold)

At our place, we call that a Scooby Doo ending.

I catch stand to watch CSI:Miami (Grissom rules however) but I gather the kingpin would have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky kids?

Criminal Intent used to be good before relying too much on the same.

My kids watch never ending ... (Below threshold)

My kids watch never ending repeats of MythBusters, Dirty Jobs, and Good Eats.

That and Anime.

I just had my cable disconn... (Below threshold)

I just had my cable disconnected when they wouldn't offer me a reasonable price. I hardly watch t.v. so why pay $51.00 for nothing!

well, since this seems to h... (Below threshold)

well, since this seems to have turned into an informal poll of favorite shows this season...

Dredsen Files (the books are awesome too)
Battlestar Galactica
Balck Donnelly's (canceled by those rat bastards)
Almost anything on the History Channel.
What not to wear....some people out there are just seriously scary

okay, maybe i watch too much tv.....

ke, who is the author of th... (Below threshold)

ke, who is the author of the Dresden Files books?

I'd heard fans weren't happy about the series so I knew there were books and I wanted to check them out. (Not having read the books, I think the series rocks.)

I don't think I've seen any new Eureka episodes, but that is a great show too.

Piss poor excuse "they really ought to hire *me* to write" for a show... Pain Killer Jane... Please, put me out of my misery NOW.

Hurley says, "Lost has a pl... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Hurley says, "Lost has a plot dude." Tonight's show was the best ever.

Frakkin' A on Battlestar Ga... (Below threshold)

Frakkin' A on Battlestar Galactica!

I might be showing my ag... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I might be showing my age, but I think when Dallas turned an entire season into a dream in order to bring Bobby back was one of the lamest plot twist ever on TV, so it's sucked for a long time :).

Only to be topped by "Rosanne"s final year, where the entire "win the lottery" storyline was nothing but the furtive pen-scratchings of a hack writer in the basement.

Try "The Riches" on IFX on ... (Below threshold)

Try "The Riches" on IFX on Monday nights instead of CSI/Miami.

It's different!

I used to like Heroes.... (Below threshold)

I used to like Heroes.

Who can keep track of that plot anymore. For that matter, who can keep track of when it is on or which episodes are the new ones.

Eureka, I like. Unpretensious and quirky.

Battlestar Gallactica I liked until this season. It started on an amazing high, but meandered so the rest of the season that I eventually forgot to watch the finale.

I still enjoy the Stargate franchise although the original only has about 6 new episodes left to air. (OK, I actually didn't start watching that one until season 7 of the original and did that largely because I couldn't find anything else to watch.)

House I watch occasionally for the sheer brilliance of the lead actor, but the plots there are sometimes questionable as well. After 40 minutes of medical babble, an off comment will suddenly yield a miracle diagnosis that doesn't always explain the symptoms previously discussed.

Project Runway is my guilty pleasure - even odder since I have zero interest in high fashion otherwise. (If you watch it, you have to read the unofficial companion blog "Project Rungay" thoughout the competition.)

Other than that, nature shows and old movies are what I watch.

I admit to watching the ... (Below threshold)
Who's John Galt?:

I admit to watching the following (sometimes over and over):
I no longer worry about bryanD. Hell, he's not even old enough to vote.

For what it's worth, I stopped watching TV last year. It's freed up alot of time.

Is it just me, or does T... (Below threshold)

Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?

No, it's not just you, TV sucks too.
Possibly even more than you.






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