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State of the Networks: Mid-season

"State of the Networks" began last winter, when President Bush was giving his State of the Union address.  While I love Bush, I do not love him enough to listen to a long and boring political speech.  And so I wrote a far more interesting entry in my journal about where my opinions currently stood on all the TV shows on my watchlist, ranking them by grade.  And thus tradition was born.

As my school gives half grades instead a plus or a minus, (i.e. A, A/B, B), I do the same here.

And TV got really awesome in the second part of sweeps, hence why my list of grades is top heavy and goes no lower than a C/D.

A: Full-steam-ahead, most exciting shows:

CSI: New York: I have found very little to complain seriously about this season.  Most of the cases have been interesting (at least the first time around), I've been watching parts of episodes several times over, and can't bear to erase hardly any of them.  This is 100% completely due to the character development this season.  Character storylines share the spotlight with their cases, and that can only be a good thing.  I'm riveted every week.  New York, you ARE the best CSI show; congratulations!

Standoff: Laugh all you want, but this is one of the shows I most look forward to every week, just because I'm guranteed some form of cute.  Plus I just I really, really, really love the characters of Matt and Emily in their own right.  I actually get enjoyment out of watching them do their jobs. 

NCIS: Really, it's going back to that stellar place.  It lost it for a couple of episodes, and I'm not pleased with the Tony/Jeanette thing (*shudders*), but overall, it's been pretty good.  I think I still like season 3 better, more humor and less creepy romance, but season 4 has been very good.  Generally rather entertaining. 

Bones: Because Jack/Angela WINS AT LIFE.

No, actually, because the Squints as a whole rock my socks off whenever they work together to come up with their brilliant theories. And I'm starting to like Bones' social awkwardness, plus Booth is the coolest FBI guy since Fox Mulder. (take that, Without a Trace team!) This is a show that I honestly look forward to every week.  Who could have predicted this back in September, when I couldn't even remember what time it was on?  "The Grave Digger" was seriously life changing. 

The Class: YES IT'S A COMEDY.  But it's so damn cute and so marvelously entertaining (I *always* watch episodes 2 or 3 times - in full!) that it goes in the coveted top section.

A/B: Not perfect, but still pretty dang good:
CSI:
As a whole, this season has been FIFTY TIMES BETTER than last season.  Good cases, and of course the  GSR.  However, it's been slipping a little in recent weeks, not able to keep my interest as easily.  Word to the wise: now that Sofia is a full-time cast member, and lab results all star Hodges instead of Greg, meaning that the good characters all get less screentime...GSR = V.V. IMPORTANT.  And it is just going to keep sinking as Grissom leaves and is replaced with Liev Schrieber for four episodes.  Four bloody episodes (last I heard, anyway).  I can't stand the guy.  For February sweeps, I expect Vegas and Miami are going to completely trade interest levels.

Lost: The truth is that as it stands, it rocks, but this is only about a quarter season so far.  And really...where do you go from here?  There's nothing left to do but go back to the storylines of all those other characters they've been conveniently ignoring. And most fans think this is a good thing, but the only other characters I care about are Charlie and Claire.  I'm not even sure I'm that interested in Sayid anymore, though he's still better than most.  I definitely know that I hate the backstories of Sun-and-Jin, Locke, Hurley, and any new characters that pop up including Desmond...

However, as some of the nearest episodes feature Charlie, Claire, and Sayid, I assume the show will be good for a bit longer.  And I do kind of like the evil Others, so I want to hear more about them.  There, I've talked myself into why Lost deserves an "A."

How I Met Your Mother: I usually watch it twice, because it's so darn quotable and the characters are so endearing.  I don't laugh quite as hard at this one as at "The Class," however. 

ER: This time last year, the show was sitting at a D level and I was begging for its euthanasia, which just shows you how far it's come.  The Luby Love storyline is pretty much making up for everything on this show, with Gates and Neela (but not Gates/Neela) fixing whatever problems they can't.  Also, of the three medical shows on the list, the cases in this one are BY FAR the most fun to watch.

Grey's Anatomy: I never got around to actually watching the last three episodes with my own eyes.  The number of bad things on this show is outweighing the good.  For example, the Bailey, the Cristina, the Burke, and the Burke-and-Cristina?  These are all generally quite amazing. The only reason this show has nailed a an A/B is because it used to be an A, and I really, really love those characters and their storylines.  They make up for all the other stuff.  If not for them, this show would be sitting on C level at best.
   
Because everything else is generally quite horrible to witness.  McDreamy-and-Meredith have actually ascended to middle ground simply by virtue of all the horrible other characters and pairings that have sunk to previously unattained lows.  Sloan, Alex, Izzie, everyone who constitutes "Meredith's family" as related by blood, George-and-Callie...I HATE THEM.  Well, I like Addison, but God, she has the worse taste in men.  It sounds like it's only going to get worse in upcoming eps, so I may have to hate her again.

B: Consistently above average, but not stellar
Numb3rs:
Because I never know what it will do from week to week.  It's usually pretty good, but when it has a bum episode, man, it crashes.  That being said, I really do enjoy this show.  That's why I listed it first in this section, see?  Charlie and Amita are fun, Don's team is fun, Megan-and-Larry are fun (whoops...); in short, everything is fun except scenes with Alan.  Those still bore me.

Law & Order: SVU: And as much as I love it, this show will probably never rise above a B, simply because...it is a procedural.  There are relationships, but not on the level of CSI.  And yes - there are too many reruns.  They kill the joy of new episodes.  I really do like it, though.  Elliot, Olivia, Munch, Finn...great characters.   

House: I'm loving where the storylines are going this year.  Tritter might be a jerk, but it's still fun to watch him antagonize House (and vice versa). I'm still waiting to hear about Cuddy and the baby plan, if it goes anywhere.  The cases themselves, however, I am finding increasingly unlikable.  By which I especially mean, EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP SPITTING UP BLOOD.  It's happening every episode, and while blood pools and spatter and the like on crime shows don't bother me, blood actually pouring from human orifices makes me sick to my stomach.      

Survivor: Here on a guess, because every season is different, and utterly dependent upon the people.  At the beginning of each season, I think I only watch it so I can get the full amusement mileage out of TWoP (they recap so few shows I like nowadays...)

B/C: Fair to middling
Cold Case:
This show's slipped a notch, just because I can't get excited about it every week to work up the will to watch it.  As always, I love the camaraderie among the whole ensemble, no character is inherently annoying, but sometimes the flashbacks seem like they're getting longer and longer. 

Reba: Am losing my patience with Barbara Jean's thinness and the excruciatingly slow way Kira is easing back into a starring role.  Also, Elizabeth needs to have a bigger role (I tend to forget she exists.  She never looks the same twice, that's how rarely she appears.  Hard to believe she's, what, 5 already?).  And Cheyenne being pregnant again...huh.  On the one hand, I like that she and Van are starting a real family, but on the other, does this show not have ENOUGH children?  

OC: Despite the massive amounts of amusement I get out of it every week, the icky Rylor stuff and the boring Kaitlin stuff is very off-putting.  That being said, YAY SETH, SUMMER, AND PANCAKES.  And a tiny yay for Taylor just because it's kind of funny to see how she puts me into a Tailspin of Rage just by appearing on screen.  

C: Half and half
CSI Miami:
I loved this show once.  I love seasons 1-4 still.  But SotN is based solely upon the current season, and at the moment, it is broken.  New episodes no longer bring me even a semblance of pleasure.  The storylines are either DULL or RIDICULOUS, the dialogue is PATHETIC, the character development is slim to nil, and the editing tricks DRIVE ME INSANE.  The only reason this isn't a step lower is because I like watching Horatio. And to be perfectly honest, I have high hopes that it will take a serious turn for the better in the second half.  Spoilers for the February sweeps are more promising than anything since "Rio."  

Without a Trace: Thanks to last week, I bumped it up a notch from where it had been festering for the last two years.  But it's going to have to get some great cases real fast if it wants to stay here (I doubt it will improve), and also DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT STARTING UP THE JACK/SAM AGAIN.  The personal relationships on this show are at least 20 kinds of messed up, and I think this is one of the rare few that would be better if it just...backed away from the romantic entanglements for a bit, and focused in on the cases instead.    

Two and a Half Men: Yeah...eh...it's not that spectacular, to be honest.  If not for Candy's random appearances, I would say it's getting less humorous by the week.

C/D: Fading from my pleasure...
Law & Order:
Because, yawn-fest.  Honestly.  I think I sleep through the episodes, if I remember to watch them at all. 

'Til Death: I've stopped watching the new episodes because...I just can't get that excited about them. The actors are great, but the plots are not.  What can I say?  It's a FOX comedy.  All the good ones have died out.  

New Adventures of Old Christine: Because sitting through the episodes is becoming the equivalent of torture.  There's just nothing very funny.  Yeah, I laugh, but it's just a gut reaction.  I'm not like "ZOMG this show is so HILARIOUS!"  I love Julia Louis Dreyfus, but her show is about as exciting as a quilting bee. (apologies to those who like that sort of thing)

 

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