TV Watch: Spring season’s midterm report card

Robert Taylor

Welcome to the TV Watch’s Big-Ass, Pre-Spring Break Round-Up. Instead of just three shows, I’m covering every single network show (except the CSI trilogy) I’ve been following this season with their midterm grades attached.



ABC, Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Well, we finally got a few mythology episodes back-to-back, but in comparison with the series as a whole, they aren’t showing any improvement over the tepid state of the entire season. Last week’s episode was a carbon copy of the season one episode where Sydney had to break into Sloane’s house to get information at a dinner party. If what was such an original series is now ripping itself off, I’m not sure how much life it has left in it, or how much more patience I can have with its inability to wow.

Midterm Grade: C-


“The Amazing Race”

CBS, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

I need to write up a long summation of my feelings on all the teams after spring break, but for now I’ll just write in broad strokes. For the most part, the characters aren’t as endearing as last season, nor are the challenges, but when the show fires on all cylinders it’s amazing (pardon the pun).

Midterm Grade: B


“Desperate Housewives”

ABC, Sundays at 9 p.m.

No new episodes since my last TV Watch, so nothing new here. The characters are still more engaging than the mythology and mysteries, but that isn’t a bad thing.

Midterm Grade: A-


“Arrested Development”

Fox, Sundays at 8:30 p.m.

I recently became addicted to the boxed set of the first season (a must-buy for anyone who has a family and likes to laugh) and turned on the second season to find that, impossibly, it has actually improved from the greatness of what came before. The zany saga of the Bluth family is full of a menagerie of characters so eccentric you just have to recognize at least one as a not-so-distant cousin of your Uncle Bubba. I recommend watching this instead of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” because the prospect of a group of six hot construction workers sending you to Disney World while they rebuild your house is just too farfetched next to this.

Midterm Grade: A+



The WB, Mondays at 9 p.m.

I haven’t watched “Everwood” much this season (not since they changed the titles and got rid of the magical narration), but I did catch the last two episodes where Amy finally found out the secret, and Ephram was on his way to learn that he may be a daddy. And I’m once again completely hooked to the mythology of the show without even realizing it. The cliffhanger was the best I’ve seen on a show this year: Ephram and Andy have finally gotten their relationship back on track only to have him run into Madison in New York City! April cannot come fast enough, because I’m beginning to daydream in class about what could happen next.

Midterm Grade: A+


“The O.C.”

Fox, Thursdays at 8 p.m.

The storm episode was surprisingly strong (how could you not love the ode to Spider-Man at the end?), but now that Seth and Summer are back together I’m wondering why I liked them as a couple in the first place. Did they always bicker this much? Note to producers: It’s not a good idea to tease us with a possible reunion of the power couple of Ryarissa just when Marissalex are finally clicking: It takes any chances of us rooting for the Alex and throws them in the toilet. Possibly the most random plot development in the show’s history happened last week with Julie’s big secret. It seems like the producers sat around trying to think of something to do with her character and then sat up and screamed in unison, “Let’s make her a porn star for no apparent reason!” And, why must Kirsten suddenly get a love interest now that Sandy’s is gone? This isn’t “hot potato,” people!

Midterm Grade: B-

“Point Pleasant”

Fox, Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Let me get this straight, they pulled “Tru Calling” for this trash? I will never again put my trust in “Buffy”’s former producer Marti Noxon, who has created the most unoriginal, trashy, uninteresting horror show since…“Glory Days!” The actors couldn’t be more wooden, or the mythology any more convoluted. I’m dropping the show and praying it is put out of my misery sooner rather than later.

Midterm Grade: F



Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m.

Forget the Islamic community — African-American women should be lodging a complaint against the producers of “24.” Has there ever been a trustworthy black woman on this show, or for that matter one who didn’t end up getting shot? But I digress. The overarching plot is still mind-numbing, and I cannot believe the producers would stoop so low as to have Erin Driscoll’s daughter commit suicide to get Erin out of the picture, but all of that seems unimportant now because of one simple fact: Michelle (or, as I like to refer to her, my future wife) is back!!!

Midterm Grade: C


“Veronica Mars”

UPN, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

The only quality UPN show (and please don’t send me any nasty e-mails about how great “Top Model” is) on air is an amazing mix of mystery, character development and suspense. The producers are creating a season-long mystery with perfectly-timed payoffs and clues (it’s even better than “Desperate Housewives”’ mysteries) yet still able to remain fresh and innovative for new viewers. Kristen Bell embodies Veronica and gives one of the best performances on the tube. This is a must-view for everyone reading this paper, and if you are afraid you’ll be lost in the mythology, don’t be. Check the series out, if only during the commercial breaks for “Amazing Race.” I promise you’ll be hooked.

Midterm Grade: A+

Contact Pop Arts reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected].