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Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Nothing could have lived up to the hype that we (especially baseball fans) have been subjected to by Fox on behalf of 24. Over the last three weeks, I saw more of Kiefer Sutherland than I saw of Derek Jeter. But I didn't watch the premiere episode last night because of the hype. I watched it to prove that I wouldn't let my resentment of the hype keep me from watching a show I'd been interested in seeing long before the overselling started.

And the show, while not quite as great as the marketing campaign, was pretty good. It was good enough to get me to come back next week and see what happens in the second hour. Hype has nothing to do with watching it the second time, except that it gets viewers to watch the first time. From then on, it's all in the product.

In general, the television product has fallen off even more this season, and it didn't have far to drop after last year. I had high hopes when it started. Well, moderately elevated hopes. But since September I've canceled almost every TiVo Season Pass. Citizen Baines and Wolf Lake no longer clog my hard drive. Even Philly, though I adore Kim Delaney, couldn't keep me watching. Survivor: Africa has been a disappointment, though I'm still on board. I only lasted twenty minutes into the first episode of Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage, though.

Even Buffy, the Vampire Slayer seemed to have descended into another morose season of forlorn droopiness - until last night's musical episode. Wow! I'm totally in awe of what Joss Whedon did. Not only did he write and direct the episode, but he wrote all the songs, too. Words and music! And they were amazing, in various styles and genres, and all advancing the plot. I think if you loved Buffy and Broadway both, you probably appreciated the show more, but you could like either one and enjoy it.

My well-known and longstanding disgust with California's governor, a Mr. Gray Davis, rose to a new level this week. It's the bridge thing. I never believed it in the first place, simply because it came out of Davis's mouth. Then yesterday the FBI informed us that it wasn't a credible threat, which they'd been saying all along but waited until the last day to confirm (thanks, FBI).

The trouble is, because Davis made such a big deal about this vague, unsubstantiated rumor, he accomplished what the terrorists would have been trying to do if there actually had been a threat. Two things really: He identified West Coast suspension bridges as targets, and he scared the holy crap out of thousands of local commuters (and non-commuters who made the mistake of listening to him).

So now we have permanent police and National Guard presence at the bridges, and let's hope we don't need those people somewhere that really is threatened. And we have Davis defending himself, saying that it's better to spread a rumor, just in case it might be true, than it would be to let someone who knows what they're doing check it out, to see if maybe it's a big pile of hooey.

I do believe we get to vote for governor again next year, don't we? Can't wait.

looking east

The view from my back yard, looking east at sunset.

Man, I have no right to complain about anything. I have deer bounding through my garden, and hawks soaring overhead. It's like living in a Disney cartoon. And here I am griping that it's not Warner Brothers. (On the other hand, I do have gophers digging up the yard and buzzards circling above. No bunnies, though.)

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Latest recommendation:

Well, I have a long way to go to catch up with Monique (but I get a lousy picture on UPN44, so my Buffy tape isn't very good).

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: Do We Have Enough Lifeboats?

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