January 7, 2008

New Television Programming, Hallelujiah!

Cinecultist with an empty DVR and only reruns on primetime is a sad Cinecultist. On Sunday we even found ourselves back at the Union Square Virgin Megastore this afternoon trolling the $10 sale bins, after already dropping quite a tidy sum there just before the holidays. Fortunately, there was a little new programming on the boob tube that night to distract—the season premieres of The Wire on HBO and a series preview of Cashmere Mafia on ABC. It was a mixed bag, but it at least it was something. Damn you media conglomerates, sit down and hammer out a deal with the writers union already!

thewireep38_01.jpgThe good news first: we think we could fall for The Wire. Despite the fact that the critical consensus for a while now has been that this show is one of the best on television (some even say, best show ever) Cinecultist never got hooked on this Baltimore cops/drug dealers/politicians/media show. Fortunately HBO offered a series recap program before the new episode, so that whet our whistle and filled in a few character arcs. All of the talking heads on the special, from the series regulars to critics, are over the moon for writer/producer David Simon's creation. With that much love showered on this program, and the "Dickensian" adjective batted around, CC will record it for the season. Though the zillions of characters and at times confusing, jargon heavy dialog in the first episode was daunting.

The bad news: Cashmere Mafia, Cinecultist knows our Sex and the City and you madam, are no Sex and the City. Sure, the program has four beautiful, high powered women stalking around Manhattan, tapping away on BlackBerries and plotting affairs, but the dialog and plot is so wooden its laughable. Also, the director has taken a page from Aaron Sorkin and has the cast practically sprinting around the sets. It's off putting. Not to mention that in the face of The Wire's social agenda, a show this fluffy and done badly no less, seems insulting. CC doesn't mind fluffy, in fact we like it, if its done with original characters and just a few witty lines. During the commercial break as we washed the dishes, Cinecultist felt compelled to coin a new (nonsensical) phrase to describe this show: kstupid. So insipid and annoying, that it's beyond stupid into kstupid. Avoid at all cost is our advice, even if you have a soft spot for Lucy Liu and the concept of an Asian romantic lead on TV .

Frankly, it wasn't an encouraging evening for Cinecultist's TV loving heart. Here's hoping one of three things happens—the strike ends soon, Jon Stewart can return funny without his writers tonight or that new Gabriel Byrne series In Treatment which starts in a few weeks is worth regularly watching. Cancel that, Cinecultist is an optimist, let's hope all three things happen.

Posted by karen at January 7, 2008 9:00 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?