"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bland People, Mysterious Forces

Years ago, before embarking on a lackluster career in show business, I was a TV critic for a newspaper in my home town of Portland, Oregon. It was a job well-suited to me because I love TV and I have a college education -- two things most TV critics apparently lack. Though I'm no longer a critic, I do have this blog, and a lot of opinions about the new TV season, so, even though no one asked....

One of my favorite TV series when I was a kid was "Night Stalker." Not only was it scary, its main character, Carl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin) was offbeat, funny and incorrigible. In this season's updated version of that show, they decided to take these characteristics away from Kolchak, and replace them with... nothing. Really, can anybody who's seen this series describe the main character to me? Yes, he's physically attractive, but what else, besides boring and predictable, could you possibly say about the guy?

Last season there were two break-out hits, "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." Network executives immediately took this as a sign that people wanted more shows about slutty women and people surrounded by mysterious forces (it's no wonder they thought this, as these are the two main ingredients found in their own lives).

What they failed to realize is that people liked these shows because they have quirky, interesting characters. Look at the show that now immediately follows "Lost." It's called "Invasion," and it, too, is about people surrounded by mysterious forces. Unfortunately, it's about bland people surrounded by mysterious forces. Which is surprising, given that it was created -- and is often written -- by Shaun Cassidy, who we all remember from his cutting-edge work in the field of Rock & Roll.