The Clicker Goes To Hell

Before we get started with this Clicker edition, take a minute and celebrate. The Clicker will now be a weekly column. Thanks to all two of you who have emailed me. I'm afraid if I ever get more than ten readers, Josh and Rafe might insist I write a daily column. So between you and me, let's keep this an intimate gathering.


My wife has a problem. She seems like a normal, sweet gal but don’t let appearances fool you. For all her good qualities, the thing she does on Mondays makes me worry. Yes, my wife watches 7th Heaven. Hopefully by writing about her problem, I can help her and the thousands of other people who battle an obsession with crappy television.

Since getting wireless internet, I don’t have to hide in my office while working on my computer. This is good and bad. Tiffanie doesn’t yell at me nearly as much about hiding from the family. She seems OK with me completely ignoring them as long as I’m in closer proximity. But, being in the same room with her at all times has startled me. We watch LOST, 24, and other great shows together so I know she has some good taste in TV shows. On Mondays, however, she has to watch 7th Heaven and it’s driving me nuts.

Heaven follows Reverend Camden, stay-at-home mom Annie, and the adventures of trying to guide their 7 children on a moral path. Through the ten years of show, Heaven also took in a few kids as some of the original cast moved on. Hey, I have no problem with the concept of the show. I am definitely pro-Jesus. That isn’t an excuse to produce weekly crappy TV though.

The show is horrible on so many levels. I can’t even sugar coat it. The writing is only slightly better than something you’d read on My Space. (Where, coincidentally, The Clicker now has an account. I felt left out. Go here to see it). I can’t tell sometimes if the acting or the writing is the root of the problem. Stephen Collins, aka Reverend Camden, is a good actor. Heck, I remember his role in Brewster’s Millions. (OK, I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate me mentioning that). Mama Camden, Simon, and Lucy are OK but they aren’t going to win any awards for their acting. Besides them, I’m positive that no one else on the show has any business ever working in Hollywood again. Frankly, Lucy’s husband, Kevin (George Stults), might be the worst actor in the history of television if it wasn't for Martin’s (Tyler Hoechlin) ability to suck the life out of every scene he’s in. For God’s sake, show some emotion and stop reading the cue cards, already!

I’ve notice Tiffanie isn’t that responsive to me saying “How can you watch this crap?” I’m not sure why this would bother her. I just assumed she knew it was crap. Once I realized she didn’t know, I thought it was my duty as a responsible American to inform her. I pointed out that all the close-up shots of individual characters were an obvious sign that the actors were so bad, they had to film most of their scenes multiple times. In order to do this more efficiently, they zoom in on the character so that the rest of the scene won’t be ruined. At this point I heard my wife mumble something about ‘damn wireless internet’ but I wasn’t sure what she meant.

To complete the triangle of terror, we have the show's storylines. Ahh, the storylines. A couple of weeks ago, I actually watched a whole episode. It involved one of the kids writing an essay while her black classmate wrote about Martin Luther King. Oh, you clever TV writers! February was Black History Month! Good idea! Anyway, somehow Martin, whose personality must have been surgically removed, got the “N Word” written on his car because his black friend wrote an MLK essay. Eventually, a race riot almost happened before everybody hugged each other and sang Kumbaya over the credits. Maybe that’s not how the show ended exactly, but I was out of the room retching. The moral message is so heavy-handed and poorly executed that I end up cursing at the screen. Thanks producers. You made me curse a man of God. I hope you’re happy.

Thankfully, 7th Heaven is closing up shop this year and maybe I can get my wife off the bad TV kick. Then again, if she ever sees this column, I’ll be cancelled myself.

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What to Watch (3/19 to 3/25)

The Sopranos (HBO) 9:00 pm

Join the Club-I have a confession to make. I’ve never watched one episode of The Sopranos. I just refuse to pay for a year of HBO to see 3 television shows. DVDs are a wonderful thing and I plan on catching up on this one very soon. In this week’s episode, Tony has troubles on the West Coast while the New Jersey crew mourns the loss of an associate.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 10:00 pm

Superstition-A series of deaths at the hospital brings out the superstitious side in many of the doctors, especially Izzie. Great, that’s what I wanted to hear. A doctor rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot across my body before cutting me open. If I see a “Magic 8 Ball,” during my next visit, I’m suing.

How I Met Your Mother 8:30 pm

Life Among the Gorillas-Marshall begins the slow, inevitable turn toward the Barney-side as he interns at the corporation where Barney works. I could only pray for such an opportunity. I’m sure Marshall will wuss out before become a full-fledged Barney version 2.0. Ted receives gifts from Victoria but feels guilty that he hasn’t sent her anything. Barney’s respect for Ted falls even lower.

24 (FOX) 9:00 pm

Day 5: 8:00-9:00- Damn you, 24! Who hasn’t been killed this week. I mourn for Edgar. I mourn for Tony. I mourn for anyone not named Kiefer Sutherland who demands a pay raise. Jack and Curtis hunt down leads that Audrey discovers (Audrey?!? useful?!?) while President Sissyboy calls his Mommy.

The Unit (CBS) 9:00 pm

200th Hour-I really wanted to see this last week but I completely forgot about it. Dennis Haysbert of 24 fame stars along with Scott Foley and the T-1000. This week, Jonas attempts to rescue six missionaries in Indonesia. Mack is accidentally shot by Bob while training and Molly, Kim, and Tiffy prepare to host a visiting senator. OK. Red Flag. Did I just type “Tiffy”? I’m concerned that they seem to be forcing character development with silly side plots.

Amazing Race 9 (CBS) 10:00 pm

It’s Not Over Until Phil Sings-Those sneaky CBS execs made last week’s a two-parter with no elimination. Normally I would hate such an obvious ratings ploy but I don’t care. Give me more Team Hippies! This week, the teams head to Germany after spending last week in Moscow. Some teams are stranded when the airport computers crash though. If you watch this show, do me a favor. Notice how many times a team in in certain peril as they head to commercial break only to rectify the problem within 12 seconds once returning from the break. It’s a fun drinking game! I’m planning on writing a television drinking game based on all the nuances I have picked up over the years from watching television. I’ll be a functioning alcoholic in no time!

LOST (ABC) 9:00 pm

The Whole Truth- Well, look what’s back from another rerun spree. Sun finds out something serious which she may or may not tell Jin. Oh joy. Please not another pregnancy. This week is most likely Locke-centric. After Locke had his poor, little ego damaged by the captive Other, he tries to enlist Ana Lucia in efforts to make Henry Gale talk. On a side note, I think Rose and Barney are back this week. I love those guys.

Evidence (ABC) 10:00 pm

Pilot Episode- America’s fascination with crime solving continues with a new show starring Orlando Jones and Rob Estes. Orlando is best known for his “7-up Yours” commercials. Rob is best known for starring in Silk Stalkings back in the early 90s. Advantage Estes. That show was greatness for a teenage boy. Er..not that I am talking about myself or something. In this show, the evidence is shown from the beginning and we watch as these friends and partners put it all together to find a killer. In the pilot, the murder of a beautiful pharmacist causes Cole (Estes) painful memories of his own wife’s unsolved murder.

My Name is Earl (NBC) 9:00pm

Y2K- The description made me laugh so that’s a good sign. Earl reminisces on how he, Randy, and the rest of the gang spent the first day of 2000 believing that computers had taken over the world. We also see how Catalina comes to America. I hope it’s as funny as it sounds

The Office (NBC) 9:30pm

Health Care- I like this show but I end up missing it a lot for various reasons. This week’s show is a rerun but I missed it the first time. Michael promises a surprise to alleviate some of the anger that Dwight’s choice of health care options caused. Office hilarity ensues.

I’m at a loss without Battlestar Galactica. I’m not sure what to recommend. Doctor Who is now on the Sci-Fi Channel so that’s an option. I’m not the biggest basketball fan in the world but the NCAA tournament is in it’s second weekend so that’s probably what I will watch. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Black.White. (FX) 10:00 pm

Originally, I wasn’t that interested in this. However, I have a column to write and there is nothing worth watching on network television on Saturdays. I shall now scourge basic cable in search of quality television. In this show, we have families seeing how being both races live. It sounds interesting but could delve into sappy, melodramatic crap quite easily.


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