2002.10.16 The more I watch television, the more I wish I didn't

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

The new television season is upon us and I’ve had a chance to watch many of the new and returning shows. Even though you’re not reading “TV Guide,” you didn’t think I’d keep my opinions to myself, did you?

After literally months of promos, the first episode of “Fastlane” finally hit the airwaves. I was looking forward to this show because the ads featured Jennifer Sky, formerly of “Cleopatra 2525.” Don’t worry if you don’t recall that program, I’m quite sure I was the only person to ever watch it.

And unlike many heavily promoted new shows, I actually liked “Fastlane.” But Jennifer’s character was written out at the end of the first episode. That was pretty disappointing. But that enabled me to watch the season premiere of “The West Wing” the following week, instead of having to choose between the two shows.

I was happy to see John Amos back on the show in his role as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sometimes he’s not there and they only mention his character. For awhile, he was also playing the mayor of Washington, D.C. on “The District.” I suppose that would make John one of the most powerful men in America if the shows weren’t make believe.

But I’m really glad “The West Wing” isn’t real. The idea of Martin Sheen as the President is both scary and hilarious. I’m probably one of the few people who consider the show to be a comedy.

Now for a few commercial announcements. Just when I thought Jared, the Subway nerd, was finally gone, he’s back. And this time, he’s supposedly married. I think Jared’s wife is probably fictional, in the same way that Martin Sheen is president.

And NBC is still running promos for “Providence” that show the curly hair of that large-nosed woman (can you tell I never watch the show?) blowing in the breeze. Did you ever notice that? Every ad for the show ends with her in near-gale winds. Is it always hurricane season in Providence?

Now it’s on to “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” I watched this one only because Sharon Lawrence, another of my favorite actresses, was a guest star. Normally, I avoid the show because I think the police on it are creepier than most of the criminals. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed.

Speaking of creepy cops, I can’t believe David Caruso has another show. When he left “NYPD Blue” after its first season, I figured his movie career would fizzle and we’d never hear from him again. His movie career fizzled, all right, but the networks seem to want to put familiar names in shows whether we want to see them or not, His new show, “CSI: Miami,” also stars Kim Delaney, another refugee from Caruso’s former series.

Even though I don’t like the idea of Caruso or Delaney still being on television, I like them being on the same show. It allows me to ignore both of them at the same time.  

On to more commercials. Not only is Jared the nerd back, but Subway has brought back fireman Clay Henry and his stupid jingle. Every time I see it, it makes me want to go to Rally’s instead.

I enjoy watching the UPS ads with Joe Walsh, but time seems to have taken its toll on him. If it weren’t for recognizing the tune he was singing the commercial to, I probably wouldn’t have realized it was him.

If you haven’t already watched “Push, Nevada,” better hurry, or better yet, don’t waste the time. Cancellation should be just around the corner if it hasn’t already happened by the time you read this. The star’s car, an ancient Rambler, is the best part of an otherwise pretty strange and creepy show. In fact, it’s so bad, it should have starred David Caruso.

Enough of this new stuff, how long until the season premiere of “The Simpsons?”

    – Oct. 16, 2002 
  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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