Sunday, August 14, 2005

Rescue Me Rocks, The Inside Chopped (Maybe): Cathode Ray Fray, the Week in TV, Returns

It may well be that events have conspired to bring me out of the television wilderness and back into oh glory be the TV Light. Whether or not it was a week in which both Al Gore and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame angled to get inside the confines of that screen that shows us pictures and colors and lights, it’s only important to report that The Ray has been awakened and is once again bright and strong and pure after a summer spent recuperating (with the Rayettes, allegedly) on a beach most tropical under French Riviera climes.

That is to say, it’s once again time to Obey the Ray.

And I have, or at least I’ve tried. There’s been a goodly amount of retooling going on to keep the C Ray Fray going strong well into the autumn’s spicy new season offerings. Instead of breaking down every show I watch each week, I (with the helpful guidance of the Ray, all hail thee and so forth) will cruise through television’s bountiful and poisonous offerings in my eclectic yet ultimately compelling and propulsive manner, with ample linkage to all the fine TV related work going on at the

As I look back at the summer, I realize – for better or illest ill – that my television viewing has hardly slackened from the Himalayan peaks of the May Sweeps period.

Cruelly chopped at the knees
If the likely cancellation of the atmospheric procedural, The Inside, hurts me, what must it be doing to Executive Producer Tim Minear? Minear was an essential part of (Grand Maestro of Television, Oh Please Come Back to Us, the Ray Beseeches Thee) Joss Whedon’s Angel (unfairly cancelled after a brilliant fifth season) and Firefly, perhaps the worst cancellation of a great show of all time.

What’s cruelest and choppiest (chopped and screwed, as the hippest of the hip hop cats like to say) is that it was pre-empted during its summer run for some reality show about people dancing, the latest and certainly not greatest Reality Insani-Craze.

The best hour on television this summer, and perhaps more
Rescue Me on FX, Tuesday nights at 10:00. The Ray commands: watch this show. Watch it and laugh, watch it and weep. It’s as dark and hilarious and realistic and interesting a show as you're ever likely to see. It’s got a New York heart through and through and all the sadness and humor and strangeness of living on this planet will ever reveal to you.

Just watch it.

Whither reality?
Speaking of reality, no surprise that reality television fare glutted the small screen like a man of oversized carriage on a Southwest flight.

While many were unthinkably awful (Hell’s Kitchen, anyone? I’d rather go to hell and starve, thanks) there were several that caught my attention and, under the Ray’s patient tutelage, keep a vigilant eye upon still. Blow Out is a frilly yet somehow rewarding trip into the American Dream, if by way of a Beverly Hills hair empire wannabe. Situation: Comedy offers up a sitcom writer’s version of the brilliant Project Greenlight, to overall good and engaging effect. The Real World, now in its 800th season, just keeps on trucking with an Austin cast that seems to be a lightning rod for lots of lovin’ and, most recently, tragedy.

Meanwhile, I’m watching Pauley Shore’s Minding the Store over on TBS, and feel an enormous amount of nothing about the experience. I’ll have to check in with the Ray and get back to you on that one, but the ennui at the moment is crushing me to my very soul.

Movin’ on, movin’ out
The week ended on a flash of brilliance, as it was announced that eight new glorious episodes of The Sopranos will be tacked onto the sixth and (maybe not?) final season.

Dial up another Lost Weekend in front of the television in 2007, DVDs via Netflix at my side, with the Ray as my guide.

Until next time…


DAVE ( said...

The gutting of the inside was another Fox blunder of blunders.

Eric Berlin said...

Yep -- I'll never forgive Fox for cancelling Firefly, and the move on The Inside certainly doesn't help.