Friday, September 03, 2010

A "10" For All Time

I've been thinking about how much I am going to miss the summer lineup of shows that I have been enjoying over the last few seasons: Warehouse 13, White Collar, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Cake Boss, Haven, and others.

So much so, that I am indifferent to the return of shows that I was crazy about when the season ended.

I wrote earlier this year about being sad about the demise of Law and Order, and yet I am completely indifferent to the return of L&O:Criminal Intent, and L&O: SVU, both previously real favorites.  House? Who cares? 

Wait, what?  House has been one of my favorite shows of all time. What's going on here?

I think USA is on to something that was picked up by the producers of Fringe, and the folks at SyFy:  people would rather see a mini-season of all-new episodes than a whole season of new shows interspersed with repeats.  I have been enjoying a batch of USA summer shows this year, and am looking forward to their winter seasons more than I am the fall crop of  "regular" shows.

Matthew Bomer, who plays ex-con Neil Caffrey in USA's White Collar, is one of the best reasons to watch television since George Clooney left ER.  He is certainly a "10" by anyone's standard.  Many of the other characters in the other USA shows are also attractive.

It is true that eye candy is not enough to keep you watching a show that stinks on every other level, but these shows are smart and funny, and their casts work well together. The "family" dynamic among Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, and the incomparable Henry Winker of Royal Pains is priceless.  The episode of Burn Notice that reunited Cagney (Sharon Gless, a series regular) and Lacey (Tyne Daly) was delightful.

Networks, are you listening?  There is a reason your viewership is dropping off. If you continue in your present format, network television will be deader than the proverbial doornail in just a couple of years.

This all got me to thinking about TV, and so I revisited a place I have not been in quite a while: I was a regular there in 2006, and wrote a number of reviews of shows and episodes, and some blog posts about generically TV-related things.

One of those posts focused on the ratings that they ask you to give to your favorite shows. Entitled, "What is a 10, Anyway?" I talked about the difference between shows that may be your super fave right now, versus shows that were so outstanding for whatever reason that they deserve to be a "10" for all time.

Read the article here: "What is a 10, Anyway?"  What makes a show a "10" to you? Or are any of them good enough for that coveted designation?


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