I can't stand The Apprentice
, and find its frequent intrusions into the rest of NBC's schedule (to say nothing of the self-referential and unfunny SNL bits based thereupon that seem to keep popping up this season) most annoying. This,
therefore, would seem to be a good sign.
Knowing the current market, though, whatever might replace it is likely to be a similarly unwatchable reality show. Why must you forsake me, networks? Have you forgotten the art of the mediocre sitcom? There used to be half a dozen middling-to-mildly-amusing sitcoms on each network, ones like Dharma & Greg
, Just Shoot Me
and Grace Under Fire
; shows that were more rewritten vaudeville than anything else. They weren't brilliant and they weren't often long-lived, but they had heart, in a way. There's something comforting in sitting down to an episode of something with stock characters and plots shuffled ever-so-slightly in a new setting. Now, alas, that position in the schedule hierarchy has been usurped; the only watchable sitcoms left are brave little brilliant-but-doomed shows like Scrubs
or Arrested Development
, and soulless guest-star-of-the-week machines like Will & Grace
I miss the mediocre sitcoms. Until they become the cheapest thing to fill dead air with, however, I somehow doubt they'll be back any time soon. See what you've done, reality television? You've driven a loyal consumer away, and with specialty digital cable channels and TV-on-DVD readily available, I can stay away.