Monday, May 16, 2005

BYE BYE RAYMOND

It's been a memorable week with a lot of long-running and memorable TV series saying their final goodbyes. On Friday UPN bid farewell/gave the boot to Star Trek: Enterprise, which knocked Star Trek off of TV for the first time in 18 years. When you saw the final scene with the montage of the various images of the various Enterprise ships depicted on the show over the last 40 years, and the final shot of the Enterprise flying off into the stars, I literally had a lump in my throat. The Trekkies must be all in tears.

Don't worry, I predict Star Trek will be back soon. They just need a cooling off period, then maybe they'll be brought back in a movie or something.

It always seems as if every year there are one or two must-see final shows for long-running series. NYPD Blue was another one that had its farewell several weeks ago. Last year was a big year for final farewells, with Friends and Frasier going off, along with Sex and the City.

Tonight marks another ending, as the last old-school situation comedy on TV goes off the air. That's what they all say "Everybody Loves Raymond" is. But it really isn't the last sitcom on TV. What about "That 70s Show?" And "Will and Grace"?! "Joey" is also still on. There's also lots of other sitcoms on the WB and UPN and elsewhere. Maybe what they really mean to say is this was the last good sitcom on TV; everything else is either weird no-laugh-track stuff like Arrested Development or Malcolm in the Middle, or improvised stuff like Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise, it's total garbage, what's on these days.

The situation comedy genre is really down in the dumps. If you really want to laugh you have to tune into the cartoons. Shows like Family Guy are all the rage these days and where the cutting-edge material is being churned out. If you're a comedy writer, you want to work for one of these cartoon shows. You do NOT want to be stuck writing crummy lines for Ashton Kutcher or Reba McIntyre or any of these no-talents who populate TV sitcoms these days. Sitcoms like "That 70s Show" and "Will and Grace" are sinking ships that will end up getting themselves cancelled next year. The ratings for both these shows are going downhill fast, and those shows are not only unfunny but increasingly boring and stupid. Those shows are DONE. Forget writing for them, your career will be in the tank.

This was a first-rate sitcom, Raymond. Ray Romano is a funny comedian and this show had a lot of laughs, and you could tell the people put an effort into this show--- unlike most of the rest of the stuff on the air today.

But despite that I must say I never really watched the show regularly. Frankly, I liked shows like Seinfeld and Frasier a lot more than this one- I'm actually a huge Seinfeld fan. I could watch those shows over and over again because of the characters. I even liked Spin City more, probably because I liked the fact that it was about politics.

But I never really tuned into Romano's show, and it seems I share this mixed opinion: here's another critic who thinks Raymond wasn't that great.

Ouch.

Anyway the last show is tonight and goes 90 minutes. I'm definitely tuning in. For once.

No comments: