Thursday, May 24, 2007

TV: My Unfair Previews, Fall 2007: The CW


Now we come to The CW, which is looking less and less like a viable network with every passing day. They've gotten rid of two of their longest-running and highest-rated shows, 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls, they've failed to renew their most critically-acclaimed show, Veronica Mars... pretty much their only watchable show is Everybody Hates Chris, and I don't even watch that. There isn't one second of programming that interests me anymore on The CW (I've officially given up on Smallville), and that's not going to change with this new crop.

Following Chris on Monday is Aliens in America, about an awkward high schooler whose family takes in a foreign exchange student, who turns out to be a Muslim from Pakistan. Hilarity and racial harmony ensue. No, wait, pardon me, I meant "phoniness and ignorance." Too bad, because judging from the clip, it looks like The CW must've spent upward of $2,000 making this show. Pass.

Kevin Smith executive produced and directed the pilot for Tuesday's Reaper. I wonder if the main characters will discuss pop culture much? The show is about a slacker (surprise, surprise) who discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil. Lo and behold, Satan himself shows up to collect, by enlisting the slacker to hunt down and return escaped evil souls to Hell. Points for casting Ray Wise as Satan, and a couple of the other actors are entertaining, but most everything about this indicates disaster, beginning with whoever thought Kevin Smith could direct an action scene. I'll probably give this a chance, but I'm not expecting to have my socks knocked off.

I'll tell you where Wednesday's Gossip Girl lost me. The show description begins, "The privileged prep school teens...." There. Right there. That's where it lost me. The show centers around the mysterious Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger who reports on all the petty drama at the prep school. Even the presence of Kristen Bell (in voice only) as Gossip Girl wasn't near enough to interest me for one second in yet another show about shallow, stupid, shitty teens. That's a big no.

I'm not going to take any more note of CW Now and Online Nation, the shows leading off Sunday night, other than to say the former is a youth-oriented pop culture infotainment program, the latter is a youth-oriented harvester of You Tube videos, and that I will never watch them or, hopefully, think about them ever again.

The other new show on Sunday night is Life Is Wild, which looks like the typical teen drama The CW specializes in -- only set in Africa. But moving the same old bratty, spoiled teens from New York to a game reserve in South Africa doesn't make them any more appealing to me.

That's six new shows, only one of which I would consider to have the slightest potential of being better than awful, and that one just barely. I know I'm no longer in The CW's target demographic, but I still like to think I could recognize quality in a youth-oriented program, if it had any, and I like to think that the TV-watching youth want something better than what The CW is offering them. Maybe I'm wrong on both counts. But I think it's far more likely that this is just a bunch of crappy, crappy shows.

Tune in tomorrow for a look at Fox, and the end of Unfair Previews Week!

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