TV Time with Bob: Grading the good, the bad and the ugly from fall

Robert Taylor

The TV season is half over, and before this column takes its winter break, I’m assigning all my favorite shows a midterm grade. What’s been good, what should be improved and what I want to see in the final half of the season.

“The Amazing Race: Family Edition”

Midterm Grade: D

So you take the very best reality show ever created, strip it of everything that made it different and special, and you have this season of “The Amazing Race.”

None of the teams are memorable, they can’t mix with weird locals or hit language barriers because they stay in America, and the most memorable location they’ve been to is a huge office chair. Fix it now – before I drop the show.

“America’s Next Top Model”

Midterm Grade: B+

This season of “Top Model” has felt more like a reality television show than previous installments. You feel the producer is tinkering much more with the random cameos by MTV personalities. Terrible contestants like Kim and Jayla stick around while jewels like Lisa and Kyle fell by the wayside because they weren’t causing enough drama.

Not that I’ve minded all the drama this season. It’s built to some of my favorite reality moments ever (Cousin It, the granola incident), and I’m happy with the final three (Bre, Nicole and Nic).

I’m putting my money on Nic for the win, but part of me is still rooting for dark horse and queen of the sound byte, Bre, to come from behind and wow everyone.

“The O.C.”

Midterm Grade: B-

The characters are still witty and the writing is still crackerjack, but this season is missing something that made the first two seasons so memorable: a good hook. We had fish-out-of-water in the first season and Trey in the second, but here we get nothing.

Both couples are together and fairly stable, and the Cohen marriage seems to be out of the emergency ward, so we know any drama of the week that happens to come along can be easily solved before the close of the hour.

“Veronica Mars”

Midterm Grade: A+

Why aren’t you watching this show? I’ve been begging you for two years to give the show one try and then you would be hooked. The second season has been even better than the first, with multiple mysteries unfolding at a quick pace and more twists than a ’50s dance floor.

Take last week’s last minute, which had not one, but two major twists that will affect the “Veronica Mars” universe for years to come. Yet, they felt completely natural and fluid. Plus, I never saw it coming. Me! The most jaded television watcher ever!

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].