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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Good TV Gone Bad

I've got a new theory. It goes a little something like this: there's a finite amount of good television in the universe. All of the programs in existence are sharing the same amount of goodness. So, if a show gets much better in the second season (like, say, season 2 of the American version of The Office) another show starts to be just a little bit lamer (for example, My Name Is Earl.) In other words, television goodness can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be redistributed.

I came up with this notion three weeks into the current television season, when I realized that, while I was getting totally caught up in Journeyman, I was having to force myself to watch Heroes.

This baffled me. Last year, Heroes was my absolute favorite show. Yes, I'm enough of a geek to realize that the vast majority of their storylines were ripped off from classic comic book arcs of the past, but I still enjoyed the living hell out of it. Now, though...blerg.

Parkman and Dr. Suresh have become a gay couple and adopted the moppet whose power is Superbad Acting? Hiro is starring in a road company show that combines the worst elements of Shogun and My Favorite Year? Peter lost his memory, moved to Ireland and took up with a gang of thieves so pathetic they induct a naked American dude into their club after knowing him twenty minutes? Don't even get me started on the uber-repetitive X-File Wonder Twins or Micah's even lamer cousin who can magically slice tomatoes.

This show has suffered a more precipitous decline than Lindsay Lohan's career. If it doesn't stop sucking so much ass in a hurry, I hope to god an NBC exec has the balls for a mercy killing.
Meanwhile, all the television goodness that used to reside in Heroes seems to have drifted an hour later. Journeyman--while sporting a premise at least as old as the Meeno Peluce/Jon-Erik Hexum one season wonder Voyagers (which I, sadly, didn't have to look up)--is actually kind of interesting. Oh, it's far from perfect. But I love it, if for nothing else, for the simple fact that it looks on the ability to randomly travel through time as a giant pain in the ass which threatens to tear one's life apart instead of as a great gift from Baby Jesus. Additionally, it stars the dude from the late, lamented HBO series Rome. So it's got that going for it. Which is nice.

To sum up, then: Heroes bad; Journeyman good. The balance of television goodness has been maintained.

Journeyman is good. It reminds me of Quantum Leap.
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