The ongoing writers’ strike turned Sunday night’s Golden Globes, ordinarily a glitzy, boozy affair, into a starless – and even more vacuous – black hole of an awards show.
The flaccid function (hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, ostensibly a serious group of film and television critics but actually 80 or so drunken star-fuckers with media credentials and a questionable grasp of the English language) saw its credibility sink lower than Lindsay Lohan’s box office bankability. As the saying goes, if no one sees your teary-eyed acceptance speech, did you really win an award?
Yet the event did earn my gratitude on one count: its brusque 35-minute length, 60 minutes if you foolishly watched the clips-padded NBC broadcast hosted by Ass-kiss Hollywood meat puppets Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell.
Rumour has it that the Academy Awards don’t want a repeat of this major malfunction, so they’re pushing the ceremony to April in hopes that the strike will be settled by then. (April 1 seems appropriate.)
So in the spirit of the awards that weren’t, I’d like to offer up an acceptance speech of my own.
Just what am I accepting? That the TV season is well and truly dead, and more tellingly, I couldn’t care less.
I’d like to thank the Writers Guild, those furious scribblers who stopped stringing together monosyllabic sentences for Charlie Sheen and Christina Applegate to stumble over.
Thank you to the power-hungry producers, who are deadlocked with the picketing pencil-pushers in the dispute, which is in its 11th week and has something to do with how the online pie is being sliced up.
Hell, thanks to the Internet for being the cause of yet another ham-fisted fight with no clear winner and one big loser: the entertainment-hungry consumer. And while I’m at it, thanks to the big guy himself, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet to begin with.
Because what am I really missing out on? More sudsy McDrama on Grey's Anatomy? More semen-spattered forensic porn on CSI? More has-been and never-quite-were celebrities proving they can sing or dance or skate? Oops, apparently reality and game shows aren’t affected by a lack of scriptwriters. Dammit!
Even shows I really like – 24, How I Met Your Mother, Battlestar Galactica, Pushing Daisies, Californication, Heroes – I can live without. At least until next season.
So what now?
Canadian shows are unaffected by the writers’ strike, and our networks are banking on attracting viewers with homegrown offerings. There’s even hope that broadcasters south of the border may pick up a few episodes to fill out their freshness-deprived prime-time schedules.
Not likely. There’s little out there that warrants our attention, never mind that of anyone in the U.S.
The once-promising Little Mosque On The Prairie has flattened out a ripe comedic premise, while the seventh season of Degrassi: The Next Generation (or at least the first four episodes) are its soapiest yet.
Meanwhile, new shows like The Border, about a team of high-tech super-cops hunting smugglers and terrorists on the Canada-U.S. border, threaten to make me boreder, and the puck bunny opus MVP: The Secret Lives Of Hockey Wives – well, the title pretty much says it all.
But there is good television out there, and I’m not referring to Lost and Prison Break, both back in the game and both of which are well past their best-before dates.
Watch Rome, which has finished its two-season run on HBO and plays on the History Channel (Mondays, 9 pm). Think of it as The Sopranos with swords and sandals, a sweeping sex-and-intrigue-filled drama. The most expensive TV series ever made, it certainly has the look and feel of a Cecil B. DeMille-sized Hollywood epic.
For a hardcore cyborg action fix, check out Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Mondays, 9 pm on CTV). It stars 300’s Lena Headey as a less toned yet somehow tougher version of the character originated by Linda Hamilton, although the real star is the waifish Summer Glau (Firefly) as a killing machine named Cameron (after creator James Cameron, I presume).
Sunday’s winner for best comedy series at the Golden Globes, Extras, premieres on the Comedy Network next week (Tuesdays, 10 pm). The British series was created by and stars Ricky Gervais as a movie extra desperate for a bigger part.
And while it’s not quite as good as Gervais’s The Office, it’s certainly better than Steve Carell’s The Office. Besides, the celebrity cameos alone are worth your time.
And Glenn Close, who also picked up a Golden Globe (well, she won one; I’m assuming it’ll be mailed to her) for her portrayal of a hard-nosed litigator in the legal drama Damages, will see that series make its way to Showcase next month (debuts February 18, 10 pm).