Commentary

Media X: Show Stoppers

Damn, it's good to have Alex O'Loughlin back on television, isn't it? And don't you think it's fabulous that "Melrose Place" is returning?

Me neither.

I am so bored.

But look -- midseason "Chuck!" No doubt wearing a Subway cap, sleeping in a Subway blanket on a Subway pillow. And the hot blonde CIA chick will be wearing a Subway thong.

And in a nod to television's glorious past, we'll never see the thong; we'll only hear it, like Carlton, the doorman on "Rhoda."

Cheech Marin will play the thong.

How do they make decisions at the networks -- Ouija boards?

Why keep "Dollhouse" -- hardly Whedon's finest hour -- but execute "Life," which clearly was too good not to have caught on eventually? Why terminate "The Unit?" It was on Sunday night, for chrissakes. You could air a cockroach walking across a countertop for an hour, and people would watch. (Maybe that's your answer right there.)

Still, what an anticlimactic waste of bandwidth last week was. So much heat, so little light.

When did your business get so boring? And does anybody complain? Try to stir up a little trouble?

Hell, no.

When Les Moonves said it's one thing to have hit shows, it's another thing for the model to be broken, why didn't you tell him: "Yeah, and you couldn't recognize which was which if it hit you with a stick?"

I know why. Because it doesn't matter what any of those ego meat balloons that run the networks ever say. You're not walking away from the broadcast table, and you're not getting anywhere near the 15% off last year's upfront that you goosed the press to predict in the past month.

And yes, I know I wrote it, too. But that's the point -- we're all on automatic.

That's how I know that the meat balloons will tighten their expensive ties, grin wide so you can see every one of their really white teeth and in that cute, frenemy way of theirs, tell you behind closed doors the same thing they tell you every year: "We have mass you can't get anywhere else; which means, we have your balls in a basket. So fuck your 15% and fuck you."

Look, buyers and sellers are not frenemies. You're enemies. Act accordingly.

Ah, who cares? It's not HBO. It's TV. "Burn Notice" and "Leverage" and the rest of the really good television will soon be back, and we can wash the sour taste of a boring upfront out of our mouths.

Besides, now that you've been outmaneuvered by the networks -- again -- you can go back to being bitch-slapped by the digerati. (That's one positive aspect of the upfront -- it dominates the media industry news cycle, so for one blessed week, it's as if they unplugged the Internet.)

The networks are still large, and they're still in charge. Not only that, now they're not even pretending to try and make good shows. No wonder I'm bored.

I mean, "NCIS: Los Angeles?"

Christ on a crutch.

At least they finally cancelled "According to Jim."

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