Feature Article

ABC's Fall 2005-2006 Television Season: What Worked and What Sucked

by Justine Manzano

       If you are a big time television watcher, it happens to you every year.  You sit down with your TV Guide in front of you and decide which shows of the new season sound like they are worth your time.  You choose a list, add them to your old faithful shows, and expect to walk out of the whole thing with a couple of spectacular new shows that you love and a few things you wished never aired. 

            In the Fall 2004-2005 season, I walked out with only Lost and Desperate Housewives to call my new favorites.  The year before every favorite of mine had been cancelled and so, I needed a new and good influx of shows this year.  The season turned out to be pretty decent and left me with plenty of shows to wait eagerly for next year.  But, it also had me looking at shows that I had passed up on before and trying to get into them, as if the season wasn’t giving me enough TV to watch.  And it also had me crying over wasting an hour or two of my busy work and school schedule to watch something so crappy.  So, now that the season is at an end, let’s look at what worked, what didn’t, and possibly give you an idea of what to check out next year.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll explore the last television season’s hits and misses, TV station by station.  This week let’s start with The American Broadcasting Channel or, as most humans know it, ABC.  Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: There are, of course, some shows that I haven’t seen that I am sure rocked…but I didn’t see them, so I can’t say anything about them.  This article is only about my experience with TV this season.  If I missed something, and you want it added to the G-Pop annals, send us your article at submissions@g-pop.net and let your word be heard.

Follow the links:  Hey!  You Actually Stayed Good!!!        Where Have You Been All My Life?      

 How Dare You Cancel That Show???        Shows That Made You Want To Peel Your Face Off


Hey!  You Actually Stayed Good!!!

Desperate Housewives: In the sophomore season of this show about a series of…um…desperate women without jobs, one of our main characters, Lynette (Felicity Huffman), got a job and struggled to keep it despite the fact that her husband got the same job.  Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) dumped her gardener/underage boyfriend, lost her baby, adopted a baby, lost that baby, got a housemaid, got her pregnant with her baby (surrogate—nothing that dirty here!) and then lost her husband to the housemaid…as only she could.  Bree (Marcia Cross) became an alcoholic, buried her husband, watched her crazy, murderous boyfriend kill himself, found her other boyfriend in bed with her son had a nervous breakdown and nearly watched her daughter get killed.  Susan (Teri Hatcher) fell a lot, was clumsy, went through three boyfriends, got herself into and out of several misadventures and fell some more, always managing to be incredibly hysterical.  The only black family was run out of town and was gunned down by snipers, but this was still the best of everything a soap opera can have.  It was smart, funny, and just what was needed to unwind on a Sunday night. 

Lost: After a season of fighting to discover the secrets of the island, Lost still managed to stay at its prime.  The series, which promotes supreme paranoia and interesting theories about what exactly the island is and what the fate of it’s new inhabitants will be, managed to introduce a whole new set of people who were on the back end of the plane—the part that ripped off—this season.  We also watched Shannon, Libby and Ana Lucia die while learning what happens if we don’t press the button.  All the while, we got to indulge ourselves in conversations like the one we had here at our very own message board: http://gpopnetwork.proboards31.com/index.cgi?board=Movies&action=display&thread=1127628508.  To learn even more about Lost, check out my season 1 DVD review of Lost at http://www.g-pop.net/Lost.htm.  Don’t be surprised if I do a second season DVD review as well.   


Where Have You Been All My Life?

Grey’s Anatomy: How could I have missed this one for so long?!  I had heard about it and it sounded interesting enough but I had no interest at all in medical dramas and so I avoided it completely until my work buddy, Kimberly Burch, yelled at me.  I still didn’t watch it…I just paid more attention to the commercials.  Then, a recap episode was shown and I watched it, although I had no plans to keep up with yet another show.  I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing!  This show, which follows the misadventures of medical intern Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her fellow interns as they struggle to understand the medical world and struggle with their romantic lives, most potent of all, Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) an attending physician who fell in love with Meredith in the first season of the show but neglected to tell her about his wife.  Learning to balance real life and medicine is not easy and the characters of Grey’s Anatomy make it fun—it’s not the hype that’s worth watching.  I tend to ignore hype too, but don’t ignore this one.  I tried, and it wasn’t worth the hit to your pride.  I even picked up season 1 on DVD…stay tuned for the review in weeks to come. 

How Dare You Cancel That Show????

Night Stalker:  With a cast that included hotties Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union and a story that included werewolves, creatures, and a remake of a cult 80’s drama, this could have been a great series.  Yes, I admit there were some things wrong with it, but the show was fun and dark and had all of the great qualities of an edgier creature feature drama.  Stuart Townsend starred as Carl Kolchak, a journalist who is accused of his wife and unborn child’s murder after they are killed by something dark and scary that nobody believes exists.  After being acquitted due to lack of evidence Carl becomes obsessed with investigating the stranger cases one can come across—anything suspiciously evil.  And we got an interesting little mystery and journalism show that didn’t quite seem to win the love of the network, and got canned the week before they revealed exactly what happened to his wife.  Thanks ABC—you kept Invasion on and cancelled this?  What exactly were you thinking?

In Justice: I know what you’re thinking…aren’t there enough legal shows on television?  Well, there wasn’t too many for this show to stay on television.  The show follows The National Justice Project, an independent group that works to free people who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime.  This group is funded by hotshot political attorney David Swain (Kyle Maclachan) who works with ex-cop Charles Conti (Jason O’Mara) as they and a ton of legal interns fight to reverse the court decisions that put innocent people in jail.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with this show—it had a brilliant cast, a heartwarming story and great character interaction.  Unfortunately, this mid-season replacement never got a fair shake.  If there was ever a procedural drama that deserved to continue, it was this one.  It sucks that ABC didn’t have the foresight.  At least the brilliant Kyle Maclachlan gets to move on to Desperate Housewives for awhile next season.  ABC may know to love him, but they should have loved this show.  It’s a shame…

 Shows That Made You Want To Peel Your Face Off

Invasion: What a strange piece of crap this was!  Invasion sounded pretty interesting at first glance.  During a horrible hurricane, a small town is infested with aliens.  I must admit that as far as this show was concerned, I only stuck it out for the series premiere.  I loved Science Fiction, but this was cheesy Sci-Fi, and I didn’t like that.  Plus, having the hero be some sort of animal control dude just came across as dull.  And his brother as the stereotypical sci-fi guy who finally gets to use his know-how for the good of mankind was just depressing.  Oh, and whatever child is stupid enough to run off in the middle of a hurricane looking for her cat would have deserved to get into big trouble.  She’s lucky she survived at all. 

 Well, that’s it for this television station.  Stay tuned for the next installment and keep your eyes peeled…next season’s gonna be its own kind of interesting.  Enjoy!


Related Links: Lost: Season 1 on DVD

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