By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This time of year can be especially depressing for serious students of TV series that are reaching the end of their first production cycle. Some of your favorite broadcast series are being canceled even as you read.
Still other struggling shows are being sent to Broadcast Purgatory, while the producers decide whether they are willing, in the interest of keeping their show alive, to add a love interest who happens to live in her talking Ford Focus, works at Target and is on a very strict all-Tostitos diet.
Sadly, even this kind of 2.0 thinking could not save such classics of creativity as NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" and "Lipstick Jungle," CBS's "The Ex List," CW's "Valentine" and Fox's "Do Not Disturb," to name some of this season's fallen. But if your favorite shows are among them, do not despair -- we are here to help.
"My Own Worst Enemy": NBC, Stupid premise.
Emergency Backup Show: "24," (Fox, returns Jan. 11). Equally stupid premise saved by really bad acting and really good pyrotechnics.
"Lipstick Jungle": NBC, Shocking lack of size-zero blond lead.
Emergency Backup Show: "Sex and the City," reruns (TBS). Better shoes, better writing, more blond.
"Opportunity Knocks": ABC, Quiz show starred precocious moppets and parentzzzz . . .
Emergency Backup Show: "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (Fox). Precocious moppets humiliate occasional celebrity -- now you're talking.
"Do Not Disturb": Fox, Retro without the funny.
Emergency Backup Show: "Gary Unmarried" (CBS). Retro w/o funny + Male Pattern Optimism = Winning CBS sitcom formula.
"The Ex List": CBS, 20-something pals still lounged in baby pool? Really?
Emergency Backup Show: "Samantha Who?" (ABC). 20-something pals hang in bars, as God intended.
"Valentine": CW, CW promised a chick-drama based on "Greek" mythology -- teen viewers naturally assumed that meant "fraternity" soap.
Emergency Backup Show: " Gossip Girl" (CW). Ultra-chick-drama w/o taxing Hellenistic references.
"Easy Money": CW, Loan-shark drama too skanky for the "Gossip Girl"/"90210" crowd.
Emergency Backup Show: "Sons of Anarchy" (FX). Motorcycle gangs are the new Mafia -- skanky-chic.