Viewing habits, or lack thereof

I’ve seen a lot of press in the news about the effects of the writer’s strike. The break in production resulted in a loss of viewership from which the networks have yet to recover. It’s tough to keep up with appointment viewing when the appointments have been canceled.

I have to say the break made me re-evaluate my viewing habits. With nothing to watch during the strike, it was easy for me to focus my attention on other endeavors. TiVo also has made it easier to wean myself from anything that isn’t absolutely essential, which these days means Battlestar Galactica.

I just spent today catching up on the last four episodes of Brothers & Sisters. The shows have been waiting on my TiVo for a good month now.

Being a TV whore was a lot easier when I didn’t have a TiVo to unshackle me from the futon, nor a lengthy hiatus that made me not miss anything at all.

The summer premieres of shows I like don’t happen till the middle of July, and I’m now caught up on the fall shows. So it’s a good time to review and preview in bullet points.

  • Kevin’s proposal to Scotty on Brothers & Sisters is the most moving scene I’ve viewed all season. Given the content, perhaps ever. Not too sound hyperbolic, but it felt historic too. Gay marriage proposal on network television? And it causes barely a ripple? It’s either an indication of how far network television audiences have come, or that nobody’s watching because they’re too busy with video games, movies and the Internet. Yes, there’s a gay wedding that follows the next week, but that proposal left me, to use the words of Linda Richman, verklempt.
  • Between the season wrap-up of Lost and the season start of Battlestar Galactica, I had to get the sci-fi stuff in and out of my system before I could take in the family drama of Brothers & Sisters, which is the only explanation I can muster whenever I would pass up watching those episodes week to week.
  • Oh man, was I glad to hear Adam Beach was leaving Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He’s the Serena Southerlyn of that particular "brand" (to use Dick Wolf’s term.) I wasn’t too surprised to learn about Diane Neal’s departure, although I didn’t think she was doing badly. L&O: SVU, like the mothership show, is also getting quite long in the tooth, and I’m wondering if Beach’s tenure marks the same turning point in the show as Elisabeth Röhm’s three-year debacle. I just know this season, I had little incentive to watch. I did notice whenever Mike Doyle, who place CSU tech Ryan O’Hallaran, made a guest appearance, he was given lots of screen time. There can never be enough Mike Doyle screen time.
  • What the frak? I have to wait till 2009 for the second half of Battlestar Galactica’s final season? Frak that!
  • Lost has been trying my patience from time to time, but even I have to admit the season four finale makes me enthusiastic for the next season.
  • The new story arc of Bleach now airing on [adult swim] has been annoying. It’s obvious the story isn’t one in which Tite Kubo had any hand. I’m hoping the episode just aired (June 14) marks a point where the story gets interesting.
  • Summer shows to which I’m looking forward: Burn Notice and Eureka. Burn Notice struck a really nice balance of mystery, humor and action, and Jeffrey Donovan is just so good with steely coolness. I’m also looking forward to Colin Ferguson’s impeccable comic timing on Eureka.
  • Summer show I’ll watch but don’t have the same kind of love: The Closer. Last season seemed like everyone involved was just phoning it in.
  • Summer show I’m watching more out curiosity than actual fandom: Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It’s move to USA Network has given the show more of a character emphasis, which is anathema to the plot-driven template of its sister shows.
  • I’ll probably also be watching Project Runway when it starts up, if only because I know my friends here at work will be dishing. I’m ready to jump off the ship sooner than they are, and I’m definitely jumping off the ship when the show moves to Lifetime. I’m not the target audience for the woman-in-peril network.
  • Steve Wozniak + Kathy Griffin = FTW? Honestly, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List is really an ensemble show in disguise. Yeah, yeah, it’s all about Miss Kathy, but it wouldn’t be as compelling without Team Griffin to be her foil or Griffin’s mom to upstage her.