TV Doesn't Suck Anymore, Comparatively: 1.05
"Television is a new medium. It's called a medium because nothing is well-done."
-Fred Allen [on a radio program in 1950]
Look at the latest box office Top Ten:
1) Sin City [cool, noir and pulpy-- and, surprise, required bucking the system to get made]
2) Beauty Shop [Crap. Queen Latifah, in her most empowered role since "Bringing Down the House"]
3) Guess Who [Who the hell thought this would be a good idea? What really pisses me off is that it's not a huge flop. Damn you and your dimples, Ashton Kutcher.]
4) Robots [Yeah, don't we all wish we were Pixar]
5) Miss Congeniality 2 [I hate you Sandra Bullock, I hate your stupid ass face and I hate the fact that I secretly like Miss Congeniality 1]
6) The Pacifier [Hey, remember when our Governor did this movie and it was called Kindergarten Cop?]
7) The Ring Two [I just hope Naomi Watts made out like a bandit on this one, so she doesn't have to do any more sequels]
8) The Upside of Anger [Proof that even Joan Allen can't save a movie-- provided Kevin Costner is in it]
9) Hitch [Officially, this is a guy-oriented romantic comedy. 'Nuf said]
10) Ice Princess [Michelle Trachtenberg has just wasted whatever cool points she may have earned on 'Buffy'...well, that she didn't squander on 'EuroTrip']
So that's it. There's your box office. One good movie out of 10. Add this to the year's lackluster Oscar crop and you're approaching crisis mode in film. It's only thanks to international markets that box office is growing at all. No wonder.
But take a look at TV. In the past two years, we've had an amazing crop of new shows that if not hugely popular, are at least innovative. And there are a lot of 'em, too: FX's "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me", ABC's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives",[and friggin' Extreme Home Makeover, which has made me cry every time I watched it- bastards], Fox's "Arrested Development" and "House", CBS' "Numbers", Showtime's "Fat Actress" [Rachel Harris, please marry me] and "The L Word", everything on HBO-- even UPN has a critically-acclaimed show in "Veronica Mars".
So UPN has a good show-- I think that, more than anything else, shows that TV has arrived.