“I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.”

Orson Welles said that. I say AMEN.

I haven’t been blogging as much because it’s like a department store in December around here. I’m the TV critic for The Washington Post. That’s my bread, that’s my butter. There is ENTIRELY TOO MUCH to do this time of year. (The rest of the year, there’s only always a little too much to do, which is how I like it.)

This is a very different situation from my previous 20 or so years in the newspaper business. Before, I was always adrift on the sea of possible story ideas, the rogue features writer: What should I write about next? What’s news? What stories can I do that no one else is doing? How long can I dither on one story before my editor loses his mind? How perfect can I make each story? What happens now that the story I was working on has fallen through? What should I write next? Where should I go? (Etc., ad nauseum.)

Welp, I don’t have those problems anymore. The TV critic job is sort of like stepping in front of an open fire hydrant every day. And there is a LOT of bad TV out there.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

fall tv illo_washpost

The Fall TV Preview section of Arts & Style comes out this Sunday. (The illustration above is (c) Stanley Chow, for the Washington Post.) If you’re in Washington, kindly do drop $2 on a Sunday paper. If not, click here. There’s the capsulized brief reviews, which this year I organized according to viewer type, thanks to viewers like you.

There are other pieces in the section, by me:

>> The shit that S#*! My Dad Says is nothing compared to the shit Gloria Bunker Stivic’s dad said — forty fuckin’ TV seasons ago! What happened to Bunker-like versions of old people? We have such anger in America right now — can it not be coalesced into a sitcom about moving back in with your dad? We need the catharsis.

>> Hawaii Five-O: A much-needed vacation for the brain.

>> Outsourced: Oh, those FBPs! (Funny brown people.)

And yes, I’ve opined on the TV event of the season: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. It ran in Style in Friday’s paper, and our original, commissioned illustration, by artist Kako, was quite lovely. See? Newspapers: WORTH IT.


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