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 

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