Just in time for Spring Break: ‘TV time with Bob: Midterms edition’

Robert Taylor

“Veronica Mars”

UPN, Wednesdays at 9

Midterm Grade: A-

This season’s overarching mystery isn’t quite as compelling as last season’s, mostly because there are so many random twists and turns that keeping the story straight from week to week is an impossible task (though it might be easier on DVD). However, when the series takes its focus away from the bus crash and onto the characters and their motivations, the series continues to hit pure gold. It still has the wittiest writing and best acting on the tube, and you really should give it a chance.


Fox, Mondays at 9

Midterm Grade: B-

This season has been fairly scattershot in quality; one week it’s amazing and the next I could care less. The unnecessary killing of longtime fan favorites for no obvious reason (couldn’t they just have let Tony and Michelle live happily ever after?) is making me numb toward the characters who remain. I am happy that Jack is making a mistake every now and then, and that the writers ushered the much-loathed Kim offscreen as quickly as she came on, but the season definitely needs to develop more before viewers can decide whether this is a winner or a wasted day.

“The Amazing Race 9”

CBS, Tuesdays at 10

Midterm Grade: A-

Everything I loved about “The Amazing Race” is back in spades, from the nearly impossible tasks, to the great personalities and breathtaking locations. Phil is even getting a personality! The fratboy team might just be the most annoying team to ever run the race, but other than my intense desire for them to leave the show as soon as possible, I’m hooked and couldn’t be happier.

“America’s Next Top Model Cycle 6”

UPN, Wednesdays at 8

Midterm Grade: B

Like last season, one can tell the producers are tinkering with the judges’ decisions. What other reason can you see for them keeping Jade around after two horrendous pictures? She’s drama in the house, therefore she must stay. Aside from that derision, I’m happy to see the diversity in the house this season, and that many of the girls have interesting personalities that shine through this early in the competition. It’s a great cast, and I can’t wait to see what develops next (oh dear, please excuse the pun).


NBC, Fridays at 10

Midterm Grade: B-

I’ve always been more of a “CSI” man than a “Law and Order” guy, but this newest spin-off isn’t half bad. It has a fair share of clich‚s in every episode, but works through them quickly and with style. The cast is pretty to look at, and, to my great surprise, can all hold their own scenes as well. Give this one a try. You might find yourself addicted.

“Desperate Housewives”

ABC, Sundays at 9

Midterm Grade: D

Does anyone care about this show and its characters anymore? Sure, it’s still a ratings hit, but there hasn’t been a good episode all season, all the girls have become clich‚s of their characters in the first season and the mystery of this season is so dry and laborious it’s a wonder the writers thought it could sustain one episode, let alone an entire season.

“Gilmore Girls”

The WB, Tuesdays at 8

Midterm Grade: B+

Next to most other shows on television, the grade would easily be an “A,” but this is “Gilmore Girls” we are talking about here! While not bad in any way, shape or form, the show is beginning to show its age. There is no way Rory would continue to go back to Logan time and again, or that Lorelei wouldn’t come clean to Luke about her feelings about his daughter. It feels like drama created by the creators, not drama that comes naturally out of the characters. That said, the characters are wittier than ever and their lines funnier than the last two seasons.

“The O.C.”

Fox, Thursdays at 9

Midterm Grade: C

There is no drive to the series. As much as I like seeing stable couples on primetime instead of having them break up for stupid reasons, Summer and Seth have become boring and need something to happen to reinvigorate their chemistry. I could care less about Ryan and Marissa’s tortured relationship, and can’t remember the last time Sandy or Kirsten had a meaningful plot line. The writing is still witty, but that can only take the show so far.

Contact ALL reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected].