The Final Countdown
Is there a better time of the year than May sweeps? October/November provides close competition, between the World Series and the beginning of the fall season, as does any Olympics season. But May sweeps has a special excitement--all of my hard work watching television pays off, as each show's season ends, with revelations and resolution (and, for some shows, some great cliffhangers).
Last year I had the extreme misfortune of being away for the month of May--from the first weekend through two days before Memorial Day, I lived in a hotel room half a country away from my DVR. I brought a VCR with me to the hotel, but it couldn't be hooked up. So I completely avoided the news in every form, for fear that I would see some spoiler.
This past week wasn't close to as bad as last year's ordeal, but was still stressful. I was away from Wednesday through Sunday. Moreover, I was busy before I left town, so I hadn't had a chance to watch some shows that had already aired. As a result, when I got home today, I had the following waiting for me on my DVR: American Idol (Tuesday's performances and Wednesday's results), The Amazing Race, Alias, Lost, Big Love (last week's and today's new episode), The Sopranos (the last two weeks, plus today's episode), The Apprentice, Las Vegas, two episodes of Ed v. Spencer, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and two episodes of The Iron Chef featuring local chef Roberto Donna.
Obviously, I had to prioritize. I had time for five shows before going to bed. So I chose Idol first, followed by Alias, the Race, the Apprentice and Big Love. There is method to this madness: I knew that Idol would be ruined for me soon--it was hard enough to keep away from news about it, and everyone kept telling me "everyone was talking about it" after I said I didn't want any spoilers. I'm sure these well-meaning folk didn't think they were ruining anything, but even that tidbit led me to believe Chris was out (what else would have been so shocking?), which of course was right. I watched Alias because I wanted at least one action show, but had decided to wait to watch both episodes of Lost (the other action show available) together on Wednesday. I watched the Race because I knew the two-hour finale was coming up on Wednesday and didn't want to be behind at that point. Gobo chose the Apprentice, and Big Love is a good way to end the night--it isn't too stressful to get to sleep once it is over.
My thoughts on what I saw:
Idol: I don't really care who wins this season anymore, and I have never said that about any Idol season in the past. I just don't see any of the three who are left really sustaining a long-term singing career. Taylor isn't talented enough, Elliott doesn't have enough charisma (although he finally showed some signs of it in the last episode, despite the fact that I couldn't buy him as "evil") and Katharine over-sings every song, trying to make everything a glory note despite the fact that her voice just can't carry it. Katharine is just not Whitney, Mariah or even Kelly, and each week that becomes more obvious. For all of his credibility flaws, Chris was the only one who seemed like he could be a real act on a real stage for an extended period of time. And I liked his rendition of "Suspicious Minds."
Alias: I squealed with delight like a seven year old at the American Girl shop in Chicago (where I was this weekend) when I saw Sark return!!!! I haven't been reading spoilers on the last episodes of the season so I wasn't sure he would be back. This week's coming episode looks really great--Sark and Sloane together again, Syd pretending to be Anna pretending to be Syd, Vaughn back...it's going to be tough to see this end. But can we please do away with the Rachel/Tom storyline? NOBODY CARES.
The Amazing Race: It was just so great to see what I wanted to happen actually happen. I wanted MoJo out so badly, and I got my wish. And I did pretty well in our Amazing Pool as well, finally nudging Bailey out of her top spot. It is between the two of us on Wednesday for the money and the glory (minimum for anyone is three points, max is 12, so it's a two-woman race for the top spot). From the clips it looked like it will be a great show.
Pool Results This Week:
Red: 82(total after last week) + 10(this week) = 92
Bailey: 89 + 2 = 91
Diane: 75 + 2 = 77
Laura H.: 74 + 2 = 76
Laura I.W.: 59 + 2 = 61
The Apprentice was fairly interesting, although there isn't much to say and no one other than Isaac cares, and Big Love was another typically great episode. The last scene when Nikki pulled out her hotel bill was classic.
I still have so much to watch this next week! I almost feel like I am going to OD on television.