Where's all the good TV going?

Considering the horrific way Men in Trees, the recently canceled ABC sitcom, was shuffled through time slots and then paused during the lengthy writers' strike and then shuffled through even more time slots, I have to assume I am the only person who cared whether this great series lived or died. Don't get me wrong, I still love Grey's and, like any relationship teetering upon happily-ever-after and splitsville, I have too much invested in the Housewives to walk away. But, let's be real -- both shows have flirted with the ridicules to keep their ratings and try to outdo their earlier seasons. Clearly, Housewives has gone far, far further over the edge than Grey's, but they both are in the mid-series slumps.
Men in Trees was still new, fresh and exciting. I know Anne Heche was abducted by aliens or whatever, but she was brilliant in this show. And Jack, played by James Tupper, is so hot that the sitcom could have literally had only men sitting in trees and I would've tuned in forever. I mean, seriously. The plots were good and believable, as was the acting. I know many shows have been either lost or are reeling after the strike, but this was a good one. This Wednesday ABC aired its final episode. It was good, but there was still too much to offer. I mean, how the hell could this show be gone and the American public still be buying Horatio Cain has a legitimate redheaded, Cuban-American detective? I only know one person who talks like that in real life and he's schmo.
I was sad then, but who could've known the heartbreak the rest of the week would hold. Two days ago, as I was checking my myspace (I'm a total fiend), I noticed that the brilliant blogger Allison Kilkenny had changed her update to "RIP Tim." I then saw that she had posted a bulletin explaining that Tim Russert had just suffered a fatal heart attack. Since 1991, Tim has been grilling each important political candidate and pundit that's come on the scene on the weekly show Meet the Press. I mean, who could forget Tim and his dry erase marker board on Election Night 2000, the unorganized chaos that was, writing his hand count-outs. Earlier in the day, before all state totals were in, he told us that was all going to come down to Florida. Actually he said, "Florida, Florida, Florida." Later that night, when that prediction came so painfully true, I think even Tim was shocked by how brilliant he now appeared.
This upcoming election is going to be a pop culture extravaganza. Whether John wins in the fall or Barack does, history will be made and Tim definitely deserved to see it. Political junkies like me will think of him in November. This would be like John Madden dying a few months before the first woman quarterback throws in the SuperBowl. Maybe that's a bad analogy. Tim would have had a better one.
Meet the Press is the longest running show on television and it will no doubt continue on. That's how Tim would want it and that's how it must be. After all, if Tim did anything, he explained to us that the whole is bigger than the parts.
Rest in Peace, Tim Russert.


Jennifer said...

I too am saddened by the recent death of Tim. I started each Sunday with Meet the Press and either a bowl of cereal or a Panera pastry. I enjoyed this time and am terribly sad Tim will no longer be part of my Sunday routine. It's hard to lose something or someone suddenly when they/its become such an important part of your life. I know it's not fair to compare Tim to a TV show, but since I didn't know him personally and only connected with him through his political commentary, I think it's ok to say that I'm sad about him not being part of my TV viewing like I was sad when HBO's Six Feet Under ended, and Sex and the City, and Felicity. Yes, Felicity. You really hit the nail on the head here . . . losing good TV totally sucks!

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