Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 15, 2001

Prime time television is getting creative


Sweeps week has finally come and gone, and now we have an idea of what's happening with our favorite TV shows this year.

What a long wait we've had to endure from the end of the season last year to the new season beginning now. I'm not much of a TV watcher, but there are a few that I really enjoy.

I was surprised to hear of so many new shows this year. Sure seems like there are a lot of them this time around.

There was one in particular that caught my eye, but not because I was interested in it as much, but because it so shamelessly tried to capture both the male and female audiences. I'll give them credit for creativity, because it is different.

The show I'm talking about is "Inside Schwartz." It's your standard, run of the mill sit-com, but incorporates play-by-plays from sports announcers, complete with a very "ESPN-like" set.

I almost turned the channel, thinking my husband switched on a game again. This time, NBC was the culprit.

There are quite a few good lines in the show, but it was still a sit-com. It had all the normal stuff, along with scenes that seriously looked like ESPN, with sports lingo to go along with it.

Basically the show is about a guy who is really into sports. He is also really into his ex-girlfriend, who appears in all the right places to keep the show interesting.

It masks itself to look like a sports show, but it's really a love-story of the "hoping to get back together" variety. Like I said, sit-com.

Sequels to the more controversial shows like Temptation Island have been advertised lately. I think that show is disgusting. You will find no sugar-coating of my opinion on this one.

Some things should not be glorified. If you feel that you need to be tempted to see if you will be faithful to your mate, you don't really need to be tempted - you already know that it isn't going to work out.

I can't imagine that the people who star on that show get much positive feedback when they get back into real life.

Needless to say, Temptation Island is not on my list of must-watch television.

There are two shows that I am looking forward to getting into again this year, although I see that they are opposite each other once more - Survivor and Friends. I have had such a difficult time deciding which to watch and which to tape.

Last year, Survivor seemed to take precedence, but I have a feeling Friends will take over that honor this year, since the rumor is that it is the last season for the cast.

I'm sure the reruns will continue for quite some time, so that is some consultation. I'm really gonna miss it, though.

It seems that Thursday night is really the only important TV night for me. The rest I could take or leave.

Any show that allows me to do laundry and vacuum at the same time obviously doesn't hold my attention well enough to merit regular watching. If I surf the internet only on commercial breaks, however, I know it's for me.

At least with the season premiers beginning, it makes the onset of fall, and soon winter, a lot more tolerable. I personally think that the reason the TV season begins in September and October is because us "snowbirds" in the northern part of the United States have to have some warm way to entertain ourselves that doesn't require a shovel.

What else will we have to do, after all, when we are covered in snow?

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