Twists abound in February sweeps

Robert Taylor

As all your favorite shows enter that infamous time of the year known as February sweeps, there is only one thing that means: stunts. Very soon many of your favorite characters are about to die, get married, contract an illness, kiss or have sex or break into song.

So let’s look at what is going wrong and what is going right on your favorite shows. Perhaps there is a show you’ve dropped that is worth revisiting or one you just shouldn’t bother with anymore.

“Desperate Housewives”

ABC, Sundays at 9

Grade: B+

Wisteria Lane is getting more interesting every week, whereas at this point last season I was about to give up and stop watching. Each one of the ladies has her own compelling storyline that is unique enough to stand on its own but also allows the fab four to cross over into each other’s storylines. Now if only they would officially write Mike and Carlos off the show permanently, it would be back to the quality of Season 1.

“Gilmore Girls”

The CW, Tuesdays at 8

Grade: A

Even if you haven’t been a fan of the new showrunners, how can you turn away from the screen as all these story arcs that have been building for years come to a head? Grandpa is keeling over! Luke or Christopher!? Lane’s baby bump is bigger than Detroit! The show is actually reaching the excellence it had back in Season 2 again, and I’m ecstatic to see the show blossom creatively again.

“Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip”

NBC, Mondays at 10

Grade: C+

“Studio 60” has so much going for it: arguably the best ensemble cast on television, Aaron Sorkin’s writing and a great premise. But still it’s coming apart at the seams. And while I can imagine there being multiple seasons of excellent stories out of this, I can’t sit through any more heavy-handed speeches about reality TV or how crazy Christians are, not to mention the most obvious metaphors on television. What a shame, too, because at this point, I don’t really care if it makes it to Season 2 or not.


NBC, Mondays at 9

Grade: B

The twists keep on coming, and the show is five times more fast-paced than most other mystery thrillers on air (hello “Lost”!). But the epic cast is just becoming too much to handle, and more keep getting added every week. Viewers can only invest so much time and energy into certain characters knowing that they will be marginalized or forgotten for weeks at a time. That said, it’s the most addictive drama to hit the air since “24.” Oh, and if Hiro or Claire dies at the end of sweeps, we are going to have a problem.

“Grey’s Anatomy”

ABC, Thursdays at 9

Grade: A-

I have to give the producers credit. They are sticking with their couplings instead of simply concocting random reasons to split them up as soon as their sexual tension is paid off. And though it’s becoming predictable that every patient who stays for more than one episode will die, the layers of their characterization keep the show top-notch.


Fox, Mondays at 9

Grade: A-

Take away the wholly unnecessary killing of more main characters simply for shock value (Curtis dies because he showed emotion for the first time in his entire life?), the newest season is unfolding phenomenally well. Chloe has a makeover, a nuclear bomb went off and there are frank discussions about how events in the show mirror those in our society. It’s still rollicking action week in and week out, but now a little deeper and more self-aware.

“Veronica Mars”

The CW, Tuesdays at 9

Grade: A-

After an uneven first half of the season, my favorite television detective ever is back in top form, unraveling mystery after mystery, whether it’s about her personal life or who killed the college’s dean. Seriously, buy Season 1. Try an episode. You will be hooked.

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].