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Fred's Views

The Memmy Awards

I watch a lot of television. Sometimes I give it my full attention, and sometimes I listen more than watch as I do other work on my computer, etc. I hate it when someone asks me what is my "favorite" show. I don't have one favorite show. I have several. So, without further ado, actually there is some further ado, whatever that is, I present the 2001 edition of the "Memmys". (That's a contraction for "My Emmys")

First, a little more ado: I've divided the programs into two broad groups representing the two broad groups I usually watch: comedies and action/dramas. I broke these broad categories down into the headings:

Must SeeUsually ViewPretty GoodWell, if I have to
no entries this year.Spin City
My Wife and Kids
According to Jim
Will & Grace
Yes, Dear
Drew Carey
Whose Line is it, Anyway
Just Shoot Me

If I failed to mention a show, it's because I either don't watch it or it didn't rate high enough for this chart. Emeril and Three Sisters would be in the latter category. Not that there is anything extra bad about them, they're just "ok".

Must SeeUsually ViewPretty GoodWell, if I have to
The West Wing
The Practice
Boston Public
Law & Order (all 3)
Crossing Jordan
Dark Angel
The Agency
The District
Mysterious Ways
Third Watch

I've always enjoyed sitcoms, but, at the moment, none of them "grab me" enough to warrant my highest rating. There are a number of excellent dramas currently on the air. There are some programs that deserve a higher ranking, especially ER, but I'm just not that interested in medical shows in general (or "rescue" shows).

And now, let's tear a few shows apart.

My wife watches two soap operas: Days of Our Lives which I will refer to as "DroOL" and Passions which I'd rather not refer to at all. It would be hard to fault the acting, especially in view of what little they have to work with. But that's about it. The writing is horrid. Totally predictable and utterly unrealistic. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a story line that didn't involve someone returning from the dead (or presumed dead), amnesia, long lost spouses, or contrived love triangles? Wouldn't it be nice not to have to contend with witches, ghosts, and the minions of hell? I watch because my wife has them on. Occasionally, they are good for a laugh - usually when they are trying to be most dramatic. The rest of the time I get my kicks by anticipating the dialogue with pretty fair accuracy.

I don't watch the quiz shows: mainly Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The Weakest Link. I have watched Millionaire, and I enjoy trying to figure out the answers before the contestants. But the pace of the show is soooooo slooooow! I have not watched Link. I was first put off by the dumb anticipatory commercials. It took me at least two weeks to figure out what she was saying. In general, I don't like programs that put people down. There's enough of that in real life. I still like the Family Feud concept, but I don't care for the current host. Richard Dawson, for all his schmoozing, will always be the host for me. Perhaps the most interesting of the syndicated games shows is Hollywood Squares. I only get to see bits and pieces of it, but it's usually good for a laugh or chuckle.

Canadian shows. Until recently, we virtually never watched Canadian TV channels. That's primarily because we were on an antenna system and when the antenna was set up to get Buffalo stations, the Canadian stations didn't come in very clear. Since all the programs we wanted to view (with about one exception) were on the Buffalo channels, that's where the antenna pointed. Recently, we purchased a little dish - from my dreaded nemesis, Bell. Now we do tend to watch more Canadian channels, but still not many Canadian shows (excepting sports, of course). In fact, we'd see far more Canadian content watching one of the U.S. "snake" channels (Discovery,Learning Channel,Animal Planet, etc.) than we ever watched on Canadian stations. Someday, we'll spend more time trying out the Canadian product.

I don't watch the "news" shows such as Dateline or 20/20 all that much. Sometimes a story will intrigue me, but not often.

I have never been a big fan of Saturday Night Live. I used to watch it sometimes back in the early years. However, once the "news" with Kevin Nieland (if that's his name) was taken over by another actor, there was little point in watching. The "news" bit was for many years the best part of the show. The last time I did watch SNL, there wasn't anything funny at all.

And I've saved the worst for last! My "Will you please take this show off the air already" award goes to ... It's a tie! The winners are all the so-called reality shows! Okay, I've never actually watched one of these shows all the way through. I've caught glimpses when I was visiting my in-laws and my son watches one of them, so I got to see some excerpts that way. What I did see, certainly didn't interest me. What is so wonderful about listening to someone relate how they tried to accomplish some insignificant task as if they were attempting something important - like putting on their boots in the morning. I just don't see what is interesting about these shows, and I certainly don't see any "reality"! As long as it isn't me with a shot at winning a million dollars, who cares!

Copyright © 2001 by Fred Oldfield. All rights reserved.

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