As ‘Raymond,’ ‘NYPD’ pass on, save your tears

Tim Goodman writes in the SFChron about shows staying on TV past their prime. He’s obviously, as a TV critic, completely over the strange attachment we feel to characters and their lives, dismissing our desire to cry and even mourn their depature, regardless of how overdue it is. He presents an interesting perspective on what TV programming could/should be like.

It’s not enough to be liked. It’s not enough to be a successful place- holder. There should be an attempt to uphold standards. Be as good as your best episode — regularly. You shouldn’t get a free pass just to tell ongoing stories to a nation afraid of change.

OK, so rolling out new shows is often an exercise in failure. A network wants to hold onto a proven commodity and the viewer, presumably, has tired through the years of watching 44 shows in September in hopes of keeping five. It’s easier not to break up than to break out.

But without change, you don’t get growth. You don’t get ‘Desperate Housewives’ or ‘Lost’ or … or … even something that’s merely good, not quantifiably great. Isn’t good better than stale? Isn’t stale greatness bad? Yes, as a matter of fact it is, Mr. Don’t Touch My Calcified Favorites.

Television needs to be more fluid. It shouldn’t be about gold watches and sad farewells. You want a never-ending story? Watch the daytime soaps.”


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