Tuesday, March 28, 2006

When Bad Things Happen to Good TV Shows

Now that Entertainment Weekly has officially named “Everwood” one of the Ten Best Hours on Television, I feel it’s safe to admit that I watch this show.

I like that the kids aren’t always smarter than the parents. That conflicts go unresolved. That none of the characters are caricatures. That actors over the age of 35 are given storylines equally as compelling as those of their younger counterparts.

Curiously, “Everwood” has been absent the past four months from The WB (soon to morph into the CW), home to such drivel as “Modern Men” and “Life with Fran.” But the show came off the bench last night with back-to-back episodes.

Would charmingly/annoyingly moody Ephram find his passion in life? Would the gulf between college and high school prove too wide for friends Amy and Hannah to bridge? Would the empty-nesting Abbotts follow through with their plans to adopt? The genius of this show is that aside from Ephram (a big fat “yes”), the other issues remain “maybes.” If you like your solutions neatly packaged and tied up in a ribbon, go watch “CSI.”

The finest moment in the two-hour block: Resident asshole with a heart of gold Dr. Andy Brown revealed that his wife cheated on him (not, as we always suspected, the other way around) shortly before she died. His telling of the discovery of the affair was masterful in its understated heartbreak—he saw another man hand her a drink, and he knew.

But the distractions, oh the distractions.

I couldn’t help but notice that Amy never wore the same coat twice. I mean, I know she decided not to go to Princeton so she could stay home and care for her cancer-stricken mother, but is she spending the equivalent tuition, room and board on outerwear?

Ephram, my friend, you are cute in a looks-like-he-plays-guitar-in-a-garage-band kind of way. But do not think you can pull off that newsboy cap ever again. Seriously, without your cowlicks to distract me, I fixated on your eyebrows. The view wasn’t pretty.

And Hannah, what can I say. Kudos on the new spectacles (could contacts be next?!). Sorry that you were stuck with the most blatantly inappropriate product placement ever witnessed on network television.

Pity poor Sarah Drew, who portrays our not-so-plain-Jane cock-eyed optimist. She deserves an Emmy for acting enthused about her new Mercury Milan. Yes, the script actually called for her to utter the name of the car on air and rave about its headlights and cupholders.

Mind you, Hannah is a teenager. A VW Beetle or Mini Cooper I could almost swallow. But a Mercury? My friend Bill drove a Mercury Cougar back in high school. It was a hand-me-down from his parents. The front passenger seat was tilted in permanent recline. Cupholders had not yet been invented. We did not enthuse over its V-8 engine.

I can’t imagine that Mercury believes it has found a target market for this oh-so-sedate sedan among teenage girls. Worse, I can’t believe “Everwood” pimped itself for this ride. I have to believe that the show’s producers sold their souls for a slot on the CW’s 2006 fall schedule.

What’s next?

  • The Abbotts decide to adopt and go on a shopping spree at Babies ‘R Us

  • Hannah and Bright concur that TGI Fridays really does have the best mozzarella sticks

  • Amy forgets to cut the Old Navy tag off her, you guessed it, new coat

  • Andy prescribes Levitra for all his patients

Which, come to think of it, sounds suspiciously like an episode of “Reba.”


Post a Comment

<< Home