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Couch Potatoes Anonymous: TV Christmas Wishlist

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Dec 15, 2011 | 11:49am EST

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Community Christmas GleeI already have my two front teeth, video games, and DVDs, so all I want for Christmas is for TV to make some tweaks here and there to optimize the viewing experience. I’m sure some of you will think I’m complaining, but as the saying goes, there’s always room for improvement and in some cases, outright changes.

A Quality Show to Fill Fox’s 8:30 Timeslot on Sunday Nights

Say what you will about their quality at times, but The Simpsons and Family Guy are Sunday night staples. For 23 and 10 years respectively, both the Simpson and Griffin families have provided countless hours of memorable laughs. If I was a programming executive at Fox, I would certainly want to try and introduce new animated shows at 8:30, right smack in the middle of both of the aforementioned shows. It’s TV Programming 101; take a new show that you want to catch on and place it between ratings winners. However, Fox has had a hard time trying to find a show that’s worth watching at 8:30. Last season, they tried Bob’s Burgers, and I think the audience had a collective aneurism. This season, Jonah Hill’s Allen Gregory might have given fans and embolism. We all know TV can be mindless at times, but to feel as if you’re actually losing brain cells while watching a TV show is a crime – a crime that Fox continues to commit. So, Fox, please find something worth your viewers’ and advertisers’ money.

Please Give Shows (like Community) a Fighting Chance

Speaking of programmers, I think the NBC programming staff needs a complete overhaul. After all, someone over at the Peacock thinks it’s a good idea to bench Community. Mind you, the show and its humor aren’t for everyone – though the series’ post-modern and self-referential plotlines could make it a hard bandwagon to jump onto. However, the geektastic show does have its audience. Unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say that the Community of the series’ fans may also love The Big Bang Theory, which along with those fans also has gained a mainstream audience thanks in part to Jim Parsons’ back-to-back award-winning seasons. Oftentimes, the next step for a show that is benched is cancellation, so I’m starting the Save Greendale Now Campaign, in hopes NBC will get the message. After all, a long time ago, NBC had another quirky show on its plate that didn’t have great ratings and was on the verge of being cancelled: it began with a Sein and ended with a feld.

Please Give Shows a Fighting Chance, Round 2

Yes, Community is so good that it gets its own entry, but its hiatus is indicative of a big problem networks have: ending a show before it really finds its audience. Case in point: Light’s Out, an FX drama that debuted early this year and ran for one season. The Rocky-meets-Sopranos series surely could have found its footing if given a second season. But the show’s ratings were poor throughout the first season and word of mouth (not to mention a boxing expedition held in New York’s Grand Central Station) wasn’t enough to generate viewership. But just like Arrested Development, The Critic, Chase, Freaks and Geeks, and Kitchen Confidential before it, Lights Out was ahead of its time while trying to be relevant and shows like that tend to land on the chopping block no matter how great they are or could be.

Can Someone Remind the Disney-Owned Network That They Also Own Marvel Comics?

Sure, last season ABC aired their own version of the Fantastic Four – No Ordinary Family (which lasted only a season) – and this season’s Once Upon a Time closely resembles DC Comics’ Fables, but now that the alphabet network has a whole slew of geek-tastic characters to play with, they should use them. It’s not an attack on the network; it’s just something that this couch potato would love to see. So far, the Incredible Hulk is being prepped for a series, but other properties that didn’t quite fair well at the box office, such as Daredevil or the Punisher could work wonders in episodic form.

Two and a Half Men ChristmasJust Keep the Train A-rolling at the Eye Network

Trust me; I am not the biggest fan of CBS shows. Other than a few comedies and Person of Interest I do not watch the network all that much. That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of the eye’s dominance over the other networks in this era of television. There are not a lot of holes in CBS’ arsenal, with its acronym-laden procedurals, and whip smart (albeit foul--mouthed) comedies. You want proof? They’re benching Rules of Engagement, a formulaic, but sweet and funny sitcom and Rules is tied in ratings with one of NBC’s highest rated shows, The Office. Other than selfishly holding out hope for a reunion with Charlie Sheen or even more HIMYM,The Big Bang Theory, or Rules of Engagement, I can’t really think of a weak link in the network’s chain. Feel free to correct me in the comments section.

Please Figure Out When To End a TV Series

While it would be nice if networks did give certain shows a better chance (like the aforementioned Community), it would be equally nice in networks knew when to the pull the plug. House is prime example. While I do think the series is still a fun hour of television, it’s also easy to see that House is now limping along with its titular character. You could make a drinking game out of how many times in an episode any doctor offers Lupus as a diagnosis. Then there, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which lost Detective Elliot Stabler last season and has tried to carry on with not one, but two detectives to fill the void. And as we have seen time and time again, swapping out main characters usually spells doom for a series, or at least the bulk of fans tuning out. The Office used to have a heart, but now it’s just a bunch of characters being weird for weird’s sake. Even though it has thankfully ended, can someone tell HBO to not run shows like Entourage into the ground? Plus, Jack Bauer had one too many bad days and Heroes wasn’t worth anyone’s time past their “Days of Future Past”-inspired episode in the first season. But, let’s get back to those still kicking. Weeds on Showtime went from a quick-witted satirical look at the underbelly of suburbia and replaced it with completely asinine Botwin family mischief.

Pay No Mind To Internet Naysayers

From perusing the message boards, it seems as if more than several fans were not pleased with the first half of season two of The Walking Dead. Fans and critics alike all lamented Rick Grimes and company simply lounging around Hershel’s farm, while looking for Sophia and licking their wounds. Those people might be right about the lack of brain-eating action, but I for one disagree that the first half of the season was a wash. It’s called character development, people; and it’s hard to develop that when our heroes are shooting zombies. All of the hoopla surrounding finding Sophia and Rick’s ability to make tough decisions, combined with Shane’s passionate speech about the survivors’ new world, made for one hell of a heartbreaking reveal to close the first half of the season out. You may call it boring, but I think the lack of action made for compelling television. It forced viewers to think about the life these people now live and what would they, the viewers, might do in the survivors’ position. Some people have compared The Walking Dead to Lost and I think that’s a fair comparison – after all, Season Two of Lost didn’t have a lot going on either, just a lot of button-pushing and looking for Waaaaallllttt!

So, unless one of you guys wants to buy me the complete collection of The Twilight Zone or Batman Beyond, pay off my student loan or maybe even get me an X-Box Live Gold membership complete with NHL ’12 and Gears of War 3 -maybe even a Kinect - I guess that’s my Christmas list for this year.

What do you guys want from TV Santa this year? Sound off below, Merry Chrismahanukwanza, Happy Festivus, and a Jolly Express Christmas to everyone. And I have one last Christmas wish: follow me on Twitter @CouchForceOne.

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