I LOVE TELEVISION 


;"America is getting what it deserves — crappy, stupid, artificial reality TV." So says Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights, which is also a new and very unsuccessful TV program. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bissinger was ragging on the show opposite his, the ABC megahit Dancing With the Stars, claiming, "It's distressing that so many people are flocking to a show that's obviously contrived and ridiculous. We talk all the time about how there's nothing good on TV, and here's a damn good show, and very few people are watching it."

;

;Dear Mr. Bissinger: WHOOOOO! WHOOOOO! Here comes the "Clue Train"! Allllllllll aboard!

;

;While the obvious may be skirting just above Mr. Bissinger's head, the rest of us recognize the basic fallacy of this ego-driven author's premise, right? According to him, if no one is watching his weekly drama about high-school football — then the problem must be with YOU and your ridiculously low standards. There's absolutely no way an idiotic trifle like Dancing With the Stars can be entertaining, right? Well, 18 million people disagree (which is the average viewership of this "crappy, stupid, artificial reality TV," as opposed to the 6.5 million viewers who barely endure Friday Night Lights).

;;Now, I'm certainly not defending Dancing against any accusations of it being tripe. I'm just sick of "arteests" like this breathing bung-hole declaring themselves the Czar of Television Entertainment™ (a post I've clearly held for the past three elections).

;;The reason why Friday Night Lights can't bring in more viewers can be reduced to a 27-letter review: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Say what you want about Bissinger's interpretation of "real issues," but they have a tough time holding a candle to Mario Lopez from Saved by the Bell doing the splits in a pair of tight polyester pants. Hey, if that was my taint being stretched to the limit? I'd consider that a REAL ISSUE.

;;And speaking of taints being stretched, this week we welcome the return of The O.C. (Fox, 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2) — how's that for a segue? Believe it or not, it's the show's fourth season, and remember how we danced in the streets after learning Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) died? And how we promised God we would never ask for anything again if he killed her? Welllll … it's time to drop back down on our knees, because I really want The O.C. to be great again!

;;So far, things are looking good: According to insiders at Fox, Ryan has a marijuana freakout over Marissa's death and starts fighting again (YAY!). Meanwhile, Summer is at Brown University and has given up shopping and reading Elle to become a tree-hugging activist (BOOOO!). And while Seth will get a job in a comic-book store (YAWN!), a large part of the show's focus will be directed at Marissa's hot li'l sis Kaitlin (Willa Holland), who has already taken big sis' place as the worst kid at Harbor High! (Hooo-RAH!)

;;So don't miss this week's debut of The O.C. — unless, of course, author Buzz Bissinger can direct you to something more "entertaining"… like a video of his colonoscopy?

;;Whooo! Whooo! Clue train comin'!

;

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

;

;THURSDAY, NOV. 2

;;8 p.m. CW SMALLVILLE

;

;Another murderer escapes from the Phantom Zone (again??), but this time it's Lil' Bow Wow! AWESOME!

;;

;9 p.m. FOX THE O.C.

;;Season premiere! Marissa's dead … so why is everybody acting so goddamn morose?

;;

;FRIDAY, NOV. 3

;;9 p.m. SCI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

;

;A deadly virus puts the entire Cylon race in danger. Even the sexy ones??

;;

;SATURDAY, NOV. 4

;;8 p.m. SPIKE WHEN GOOD PETS GO BAD

;

;Video clips of snappy alligators, rampaging elephants and killer whales beating the crap out of their trainers.

;;

;9 p.m. VH1 TOTALLY AWESOME

;

;(Movie, 2006) Two Pennsylvania nobodies try to fit in with tubular California kids in this parody of '80s-style teen comedies.

;;

;SUNDAY, NOV. 5

;;8 p.m. FOX THE SIMPSONS

;

;It's the 17th annual "Treehouse of Horror," featuring an alien invasion not unlike a certain other invasion we won't mention. Which is to say … Iraq.

;;

;9 p.m. ABC DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

;

;A hostage situation in the supermarket causes panic; as does a sale on Totino's Pizza Rolls.

;;

;MONDAY, NOV. 6

;;9 p.m. NBC HEROES

;

;Hiro questions his ability to be a superhero. (Wearing something besides that hideous tracksuit might help.)

;;

;10:30 TVLAND I PITY THE FOOL

;

;Mr. T helps a controlling dance teacher. This may be our only opportunity to see Mr. T in a tutu!

;;

;TUESDAY, NOV. 7

;;10 p.m. CW VERONICA MARS

;

;Veronica gets accused of plagiarizing her criminology paper. Oh no, they didn't!

;;

;9 p.m. FOX HOUSE

;

;Dr. House is sent to jail overnight for a number of ;violations (including faking an American accent).

;;

;WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8

;;9 p.m. ABC LOST

;;Fall finale! Lost is going on vacation for 13 WEEKS?! ;I'm in the wrong freaking business.

;;

;10 p.m. BRAVO TOP CHEF

;

;The chefs are instructed to make an entirely vegan meal — wait. Bacon's vegan, right?

;; steve@portlandmercury.com

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