TV on the Television

I just realized that one of my advertisers is apparently one of those outfits that tries to convince people that television is bad. Well, most shows are pretty bad, but fortunately with hundreds of channels there are lots of options. Sports are always a solid one. But the current TV season has also given us the fun-if-a-bit-rambling Heroes along with Friday Night Lights. The latter has, I think, clearly displaced Veronica Mars as the best show on network television since season three of VM has been pretty terrible. The worst thing, to me, about watching season three is recognizing that the show was made bad intentionally. You read a lot before it aired about how the creators were hoping to boost its popularity by making the plots more accessible, more atomic, blah, blah and basically dumbing the show down. And — guess what? — they succeeded!

That said, I watched the premiere of Rome last night. I hadn’t been looking forward to season two of Rome the way I looked forward to season four of The Wire or season three of Deadwood but it’s actually a really good show. The fact that you already know the broad direction of the story if you’re familiar with the history and Shakespeare’s play makes it less gripping than it might be, but it’s still pretty excellent. Some people tell me they find the British accents annoying, but I think it’s actually done to good effect since it establishes a class hierarchy among the characters in a way that would be hard to pull off with American idioms.