Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jumping the Shark

I do not watch much TV and I make no apologies for that.

If I have to relax or just waste time, I would rather do it while reading a book. If I must do something else, then I prefer the computer to the TV. At least playing a video game gives you the illusion of doing something.

I am loyal to just a few shows. At the moment, I am watching Ghost Whisperer, Legend of the Seeker, and Survivor.

Ghost Whisper has jumped the shark, or so it appears. I am withholding actual judgment on this until I see how the latest story line, which involves the death of Melinda's husband and his return as a ghost and now as a ghost in the body of a dead man, is completed.

This is looking pretty shark-worthy, even if this story line has apparently increased the show's audience.

Ghost Whisperer is in its fourth season.

Legend of the Seeker is based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth fantasy series. The show is brought to us courtesy of Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, the Renaissance team that gave us Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess.

I was a great fan of both those shows. I don't know that Hercules ever really jumped the shark although I recall that several of its last seasons were rather dark.

Xena jumped the shark in season 3 by some estimates and for sure in Season 5.

Legend of the Seeker is not staying true to the books, a fact which rankles my husband. We listened to Goodkind's books over the last 10 years on audiobooks and my husband enjoyed them. To my knowledge they are the only works of fiction he has "read" since school.

He has been unhappy with the show's inability to adhere to the books. I told him book readers deal with this all the time when their stories are transformed to screen.

"The books would have made a good series, they didn't have to make all these changes," he growls on the nights we watch the show.

Legend of the Seeker reminds me of Hercules more so than Xena. Xena's music creator, Jo LoDuca, has done the score for this show, and I recognize many of the names from casting and directors when the credits role. It has the same feel as Hercules in its characters.

I guess that is what happens when you are Xena:Warrior Princess fan and you read the credits. There was a time when I could have named a long list of people associated with that particular show though I thankfully have forgotten most of that trivia now.

As best I can tell Legend has only nine episodes created. I suppose if the show has decent ratings it will move forward.

I have always been a fan of fantasy shows (as opposed to SF shows like Star Trek, though I like those, too). There hasn't been a fantasy that I really enjoyed since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena were on so I have been looking forward to this new Legend series. So far it is okay although I am not engaging with the characters as much as I would like. Still, I recommend it to fans of the genre in the hopes it will grow on me.

Survivor has been around forever and I have watched every season although I honestly don't know why I do. The shows are so unremarkable that there are only a very few contestants that I recall with any clarity.

Yet I make a point of watching it every Thursday night, so there must be something to it. It is the only reality show I watch.

This year I am not a fan of any of the contestants, which means I am rooting more for people to get tossed out of the game than I am for someone to win.

I think Survivor probably jumped the shark long ago but I couldn't begin to identify when that was.

Anyway, those are my current TV-watching habits. Three hours a week. I also have the news on when I'm cooking dinner and I sometimes sit down to watch a movie, but not very often.

It takes a very good movie to make me put down my book.


  1. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that we follow only one series on TV and that is "Ugly Betty." It is often very witty and has a good message: that good almost alway prevails in the end and that true beauty is in the heart. That being said, the plot line sometimes is a bit far-fetched. We also occasionally watch nature and music shows on PBS, but that's about it. Like you, we prefer books.

  2. I'm not at all embarrassed to admit that I don't own a TV - I'm proud of it. I do a fair amount of reading, but I also do a lot of research on the Internet - the world's largest library!

  3. I'm not much of a TV watcher either. Haven't even had cable since the early 90s. The only series I follow is The Big Bang Theory because it's well-written and witty.

  4. We watch more movies than T.V. There is just nothing intelligent on T.V. anymore. The only series I watch now are Prison Break and Heroes. Both are very good shows and being a Star Trek fan myself, I lean more to the Sci Fi or mystery types of shows. Sometimes we catch House M.D or Boston Legal, though that is a little sexist for my taste. Mostly, we have cable for the kids. There are lots of educational shows they can watch like Animal Planet for the girls and Nick Jr. for my little guy. We try to limit the junk and keep them from all the adult content on T.V. that seems to be on constantly, even during the day.
    I'll have to try Legend of the Seeker. It sounds right up my alley!

  5. Right now i don't have cable and have been renting some movies. I do like Ghost Whisperer though, as well as Heroes and The Office. And i actually still watched ER before the end of my cable days.....hehe!


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