Jay Cronley: Desperately seeking quality TV shows
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, November 04, 2011
11/04/11 at 4:40 AM
The request was simple enough.
What's your favorite television show?
It was on a questionnaire having to do with the entertainment business.
It referred to a program you never missed - live, or recorded, reality, comedy, educational or drama - the nightly national or local newscasts, and sporting events, excluded.
Having a favorite television show is something to anticipate with pleasure.
Over the great years of television, there have been some classic shows never to be missed, "Laugh In" and "M.A.S.H" through "Newhart" and "Law and Order."
The great years were defined by ideas, writing and acting of a high quality.
Junkies and soap operas: "House," a show about a junkie doctor, used to be good.
Now it's about a junkie doctor acting out lousy plots.
House sits around most of the hour berating colleagues, then at five minutes to the end of the program, he looks out the window and a little bird suggests to him a miracle cure.
"The Good Wife" has lost it, as well. It has deteriorated into a primetime soap opera, a lawyer show with bland storylines that fill the time between office mates diving into bed with one another.
It was feared that "The Office" couldn't make it after the departure of Steve Carrel.
It survived to the first commercial break of the new season.
The "Law and Order" spinoff about sex crimes is good but downbeat.
The new comedies are almost indescribably bad, "horrific" coming frequently to mind.
Anybody able to sit through one called "Whitney" deserves a gift certificate.
Spies R Us: It turns out my favorite television show is "Nikita."
It runs Friday night on the CW channel.
And I don't even know what CW means.
"Nikita" stars a woman named Maggie Q, who must weigh about 95 pounds counting her stilettos and can whip many times her weight in moles, rats and other spies.
"Nikita" is about some people who used to be the scourge of humanity and were recruited by a secret government agency, along the lines of the "Dirty Dozen" - save your country and yourself as well.
Once the secret agency turned nasty, Nikita escaped and is on a mission to eradicate her former bosses.
What are you going to do? Everybody has to watch something now and again. I'll put this one up against yours any day now.
Original Print Headline: Well-written TV shows are a lost art