On TV: Where are all the reviews?


Typically, this blog feed would be filled with reviews of the latest episodes of network and cable television shows from the previous few nights.

But I’m suffering from a case of anhedonia. It’s a very stressful time at work. I’m just not enjoying TV as much as I have in the past. Some of it has to do with the programing, which is not very good. But some of it is I’m simply depressed and anxious. I don’t want to think about the TV I’m watching or even make fun of it, which I usually do.

So instead of watching shows Tuesday night, I watched the baseball playoff game between the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. What I really did is fall asleep in about the third inning. I woke up and the game was over and a repeat of “Conan” was on. Jennifer Garner was the guest. I used to have a big crush on Jennifer Garner when she was on “Alias.”

TV I didn’t watch on Tuesday night included “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” during which I’m sure Skye would have annoyed me.

I saw a couple minutes of “The Flash.” He was getting beat up, but he ran away. He can run fast, that guy.

I also didn’t watch “Person of Interest” because I don’t like that show anymore.

Monday night, I didn’t watch “The Blacklist,” during which I’m sure Reddington took his hat on and off several times.

I also skipped “Sleepy Hollow.” Boy, I hope I didn’t miss a decapitation.

Maybe I will catch up on Wednesday. The only show I watch on Wednesday is “Black-ish,” which I’ve grown oddly fond of despite being a family comedy with race-based humor.

I used to watch “Red Band Society,” but I hated all the characters, the plot and the writing. I also watched a month’s worth of “The Mysteries of Laura,” but I think that was mostly because Debra Messing is a redhead and I’m a sucker for a ginger.

So, I’m sorry TV fans, I took the night off. And I might take some more nights off, too.

I’m just not feeling that great and not all that interested in thinking or being funny at present.

I did watch some cute cat videos on YouTube, but I won’t review them.

On TV: Review of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 8 premier


The Big Bang Theory” | Season 8, Episodes 1 and 2: “The Locomotion Interruption” and “The Junior Professor Solution” | Date: Sept. 21, 2014

The comedy website Cracked spewed some vitriol on “The Big Bang Theory,” with the critic call the popular situation comedy “a goddamned terrible show.”

That seems a harsh and ill-considered. Certainly the troubled nerds and their beautiful women meme is well-worn into its eighth season. But Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper is one of the great television characters of the 21st century.

When last we saw Sheldon, he was overwhelmed by all the change in his life. He decided to take a train trip to clear his head. We see him in a train station, no pants and one shoe, the victim of a robbery. He babbles incoherently about various scientific theories until he finally calls Leonard (Johnny Galecki) from a police station.

Watching Parsons vamp is a pleasure, even if the other plotlines in the season’s first two episode are rather placid. Long-mocked Howard (Simon Helberg) decided to take a physics course from Sheldon to work toward his TV. They fight about who is smarter.

Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) helps Penny (Kaley Cuoco) get a job as a pharmaceutical representative. Bernadette is put off by Penny’s apparent laziness. Penny is annoyed by Bernadette’s bossyness. Both women confide in Amy (Mayim Bialik), who is delighted to play  her friends anxieties off one another simply for the attention.

“The Big Bang Theory” is the highest-rated show on television. Is it the best? No. But it is enjoyable, largely on the strength of Parsons’ work. It’s also not the worst show on TV. It’s entertaining, which is all that we can ask from a sitcom and much more than most deliver.

On TV: Remembering Joan Rivers on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Mister Rogers


We seem to be saying goodbye to a lot of beloved stars these days. Joan Rivers died today. She was 81. When I was a boy, I sometimes stayed up late to watch Johnny Carson and David Letterman in the summers. I remember this very special, warm interview between Joan and Mister Rogers fondly. The clip is a wonderful juxtaposition. Rivers was a very funny comedian, if sometimes raunchy, wild and mean. But across from the gentle earnestness of Mister Rogers, her stage persona melts away to a friendly woman who fondly remembers her daughter growing up watching Mister Rogers. I fondly remember both of these fine entertainers who brought a lot of joy and smiles into my life in very different ways.