Saturday, January 10, 2009

Weekend Rant - Starting off the New Year

The arrival of the New Year heralded the beginning of new and exciting things, but unfortunately it also signaled the end of a few of my favorite series.

Just leaving the airwaves on New Year's Eve and after an incredible 16 years on the air and a total of 35 years of history,  The Royal Canadian Air Farce (a fun play on words of our air force) finished things up and it was a bittersweet finale. I will miss their parodies and political mischief and hope that some of the comedians will be seen in other shows or maybe another weekly variety show. It's always hard when you lose an institution like Air Farce and I will miss seeing Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Luba Goy, Jessica Holmes, Craig Lauzon, Alan Park and Penelope Corrin each week. There has rarely been a week that has gone by that they have not had a scathing commentary on the current political scene or some brilliant insight to Canadian Issues. They are as important to culture as Second City Television (SCTV). May the Farce always be with us!

It was also announced that MADtv is ending it's run after an impressive 14 seasons, surviving in a time slot that has seen many a pretender come and go and it has been the only viable competition to the long running SNL. I have been a huge fan of the show since day one, and have marveled at the brilliant parodies that they have pulled off over the years. No other show has been as biting and sarcastic as this crew, and they have had some very funny people that have stayed on for multiple seasons. The list of favorites is practically endless, but Mary Scheer, Orlando Jones, Bryan Callen, Michael McDonald, Aries Spears, Debra Wilson, Mo Collins ,Bobby Lee, Nicole Sullivan, Alex Borstein,Will Sasso, Stephnie Weir, Frank Caliendo, Phil LaMarr, Ike Barinholtz, Nicole Parker, Paul Vogt, Crista Flanagan,  Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Arden Myrin and Josh Meyers all made me laugh my ass off at some time and I will really miss having this show around. I always found it to be consistently funny and edgier than the last decade of SNL. They have also done some of the best music video spoofs out there, and I hope the rumors are true that they are trying to shop the show around to some other networks. If anything, I would just like to thank all the cast and crew for many years of funny stuff and hope to see them around in some form or another.

Wrapping things up, Stargate Atlantis ended with a whimper (not even close to a bang) and I am just happy that it is finally over. It's unfortunate that the series lost direction (and I have never liked it as much since the Doctor Elizabeth Weir character was written out of the series), and they really lost their direction with casting and interaction between the characters. I just hope the next series that the spin off of SG1 will fare better. I will miss  Joe Flanigan but imagine that he will pop up elsewhere (or so I hope).

Sanctuary finished up it's first season and I still keep waiting to get really interested. I haven't found the characters that interesting or enthralling and I am completely on the fence about future episodes. The concept is great, it is once more a question of writing, and getting some interesting and gripping story lines down.

I heard over the holidays that NBC has decided to pull the plug on American Gladiators and I am heartbroken. I was really enjoying the series and the herd of new Gladiators (there go favorites like Hellga, Crush and Toa) and still hold out hope that it might be picked up as a summer series .... one can dream. I can't believe that they keep Knight Rider and not this.

Starting back up this month are Battlestar Galactica and Lost, two of my favorite series and I am waiting with much ... (say it!) ...  anticipation to the series premiere this Friday of Galactica. I absolutely love the series and can hardly wait to see where it takes us in the final 10 episodes. The big reveal of the final Cylon model should be something, I bet the writers have been making us think that it is Starbuck but it will turn out to be Roslin. Lost has left a ton of questions in the air since last spring (it's a long time in between seasons of Lost), and I can hardly wait to see how things develop and I am thrilled that Bones is back this week, but hate the fact that it seems that almost everything is on Thursday night. Thank god for technology that enables you to record 2 things at the same time, but it means that I have to play catch up on the weekend to see some of my favorite shows.

Thursday is going to busy with Smallville and Supernatural coming back this week (I can hardly wait, both series have been great so far this year) and then the big return of America's Best Dance Crew, which is better than the almost tolerable ( I question the judging and what they qualify as dance) Superstars of Dance, which is filling a hole in the schedule and has enough good content to counteract the bland hosting and bizarre format. I have no idea who that South African Judge is, but I just want to reach out to my HD TV and smack him. Damn that man is irritating.

I will check out the season opener of 24, but if it is as dismal as the TV movie last month (24 - Redemption) that didn't really bridge the time span and missed season due to the strike last year. The end of the previous season (from a couple of years ago) had Jack taken hostage by the Chinese and the storyline was not really resolved. It was a crappy season anyways and is the reason I am looking at the big debut this week with a bit of trepidation. If the storyline is not gripping or interesting enough (or just plain stupid), I will not be continuing. The only thing that I have seen that was good and  24 related over the past while was a part of the Les Parent this past week on Radio-Canada. The whole real time feeling and incredible multi tasking done by mom, all while ranting about the impossible amount of things done by Jack Bauer in one hour was hilarious and great use of a camera. The writers have really been impressing me on this series and they deserves a shout out for that sketch.