Monday, December 30, 2013

The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #106

Not too many new or original fiction shows on TV this week.... lots of re-runs, reality shows, and Christmas stuff.

Good thing I have a DVR full of TV to catch up on (not to mention DVD's)!

We've been watching the Korean drama "Mystery Housemaid" and this week is the end! Oh, no!!  We enjoyed it a lot, though. I doubt we will find anything else that interesting. Like most American shows, they kind of dragged out the ending, which was somewhat predictable.

I guess they figure we're all too busy with holiday things to watch TV. I don't know if that's true or not, especially not since people don't always watch on their "TV sets" any more, anyway.

I really enjoyed the "Doctor Who" Christmas special this week.  It's always good to see that show. I don't know if I like this new doctor - he's older and not that cute. I still miss David Tennant! He was the best Doctor.  Really, though, I miss the best writer, Russell T. Davies.  The show has not been nearly as good since he and Tennant left.  This special was enjoyable but it didn't make much sense at times.

I have to point this following thing out because there are a lot of people who think they know better.  The cable and satellite companies are not keeping track of what you watch or what you record on your DVR. Stop being paranoid!  For one thing, they don't yet have the technology for it.  Secondly, have you met the people at your local cable company? They barely know how to operate the equipment.  Thirdly, that would be a huge privacy violation and we would not stand for it.  They couldn't get away with doing that without letting us know they do it and giving us the choice to opt out of it.  Here's an article that will prove that. It's from July but still works.   This comes up periodically in conversations I've had on the net. Recently someone suggested boycotting The Young & The Restless next month to protest Michael Muhney's firing. Unless you're a Nielsen family, a boycott is a meaningless, empty gesture. It might make you feel good, but it won't hurt the show or let them know that it was a bad idea.  It's better to write a letter, phone them and send an email!  I know people don't like to hear that a boycott is not effective, but, sorry, it's not. Unless you're a Nielsen viewer or you watch the show on their website. Those are two ways they track your viewing.  If you just watch the show or DVR it, otherwise, they don't know.

Speaking of Y&R, I'm not sure I agree with the soap columnists that say that it's been depressing the past few months. They claim that because of Katherine's death, followed by Delia's death, it's too sad. Well, I'm not sure I agree with that. I did NOT agree with Delia's death, for many other reasons, but story-wise and acting-wise it's been great.  Soaps are good when they have tragic or dramatic stuff going on. Sure, there does need to be a balance, and I think in most ways, they have done a good job with that.  Katherine's death was shown in a very positive, uplifting way. Sure, the actress' death was sad, especially for her friends and family. They handled the character's death very well, for the most part. Besides Jill, who's always carrying on anyway, I thought most of the episodes were about how Katherine was such a great person and how they will miss her. She was very old, and it's not the same thing as a little girl being tragically killed before her time.  Also, they didn't really have any control over when the actress died, so they had to scramble to write about Katherine's death, and then I'm sure the Delia car accident was already planned.  I don't really think the show was all that depressing, other than Delia's death.  Now, having Michael and Fen in jail is very dramatic, but I don't think it's "sad" or depressing.  They had a lot of good stories for the other characters, like Cane and Lily, and Devon, and the fight between Jack and Victor, and the relationship between Nick, Sharon, Dylan and Avery. Lots of good stories came out of Katherine's death, like Nikki's search for her son, Victor's control of Chancellor (and fight with Jack and Jill), Devon's sudden wealth, and Jill's search for clues.  Now, I'm not saying all of the writing is perfect, but I think they have made a good effort here.  My main complaint about Delia's death is that I don't like it when they kill off children, and they already did this same story with Nick and Sharon. It's kind of a repeat of that same story.  The other problem I have with the show right now is that there are too many new faces and a lot of them are people I just don't care about.  Now we're also losing Billy and Adam.  Not good!

I've been reading Bill Bell's biography lately (he's the guy who created Y&R and wrote it for many years). All of the soap writers should read the book, and particularly this part on page 80 where John Conboy, who worked with Bell, talked about him: "It's a very viable story, which doesn't rely on sensationalism," he said of Bill's show. "The story comes out of people reacting to each other, and the emphasis is on character and relationship.  The story is not built on incidents. This is one of the best serials I've come across as far as the way it's constructed."  The suits should note that Y&R was not a hit at first because the viewers had 14 soaps that they were already watching! It took 4 years for it to move up to the #3 spot. Not only that, but Bell was also writing some of "Days of Our Lives" at the same time! Amazing.

I watched quite a few soaps on my DVR this week, and now I'm enjoying the Perry Mason Movie Collection Volume 1. It's from the mid-80's and quite enjoyable. I love seeing William Katt when he was young and pretty, playing Paul Drake Jr. Also, there are so many other recognizable actors as guest stars. That's the fun thing about watching older shows.  I always loved Perry Mason in any form. I will be reviewing this on our Primetime Reviews Page.

Speaking of lawyer shows, I see that "L.A. Law" is finally out on DVD! That's great. It was a really good legal soap opera. Corbin Bernsen, Harry Hamlin and the rest were great.

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I hope you had a great Christmas, and Happy New Year!  The re-runs pretty much stop on Thursday with the return of "Community" on NBC and many other shows. Yay!