Monday, May 24, 2010

Pergament No Longer Lost

This is Alan Pergament, formerly the TV critic at the Buffalo News.

After three weeks of so-called “retirement,” I’m back. My new blog is called “stilltalkintv,” which is the sequel to my Buffalo News blog, Talkin’ TV.

I was inspired to blog by two things.

The first was my annoyance about how my Time Warner Cable system now works. After shutting off the cable, TWC Channel 1 with YNN pops on my screen the next time I turn it on.

This is something that usually happens when you stay in a hotel. If I wanted to watch Channel 1 or YNN, I’d leave my cable box on those channels. I prefer to turn on the TV and watch the channel that I last watched before I shut it off.

You can see I am easily annoyed.

The second inspiration was the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy.” A Facebook friend – Channel 4’s Lisa Flynn – thought it was the best season finale ever. So did many of her other “friends.”

I hated it. I thought it was a bloody mess, an excessively violent car wreck of an episode. In other words, it was intense and almost impossible to turn off despite how unbelievable and predictable it turned out to be.

If you missed it, a crazy guy out for revenge went around Seattle Grace Hospital shooting the surgeons involved in his dead wife’s case. Meanwhile, a Seattle SWAT team stood nearby doing next to nothing while the guy roamed the hospital and shot several staffers. Eventually, the former hospital chief walked in and soon was face-to-face with the shooter.

Seriously? The doctor can find the shooter, but the SWAT team hardly tried?

Predictably, the key characters of the show lived despite severe blood loss and the annoying new characters this season died.

I can’t say I was surprised that show creator Shonda Rhimes went the violent route. She did the same thing last year with “Private Practice” in a disgusting season finale.

I can suspend disbelief as well as anyone and understand why so many “Grey’s” fans were riveted. But it really was as disgusting as it was intense.

Now for something completely different: The series finale of “Lost” was almost everything one hoped it would be – emotional, romantic and spiritual. And when someone (Jack) was knifed, he eventually died.

Sure, not everything was answered or made sense. That isn’t the “Lost” way. I don’t want to give too much away, because it is obvious that many “Lost” fans are going to watch it on time delay. The 2 and a half hour finale only had an 11.0 rating on Channel 7. That means 11 percent of area households were watching the finale on the local ABC affiliate. I suspect the rating after DVR viewing will climb significantly.

The finale also stands to be more enjoyable on a DVR since it will be easier to skip all those darn commercials that extended the show by 30 minutes. Amusingly, several of the commercials were “Lost” parodies.

At 11:30 p.m., Eyewitness News predictably did a fan story that was out-of-date by the time it aired. The fans were interviewed before the end. Time may not matter on in the “Lost" world, but it still matters in the news world. If a station is going to do a story on “Lost” fans, it should at least do the interviews after the show ends and get timely reaction.

I did hear a local sports talk host say that now that “Lost” is over he will never watch reruns. Actually, it would be interesting to see “Lost” reruns just to determine whether they make sense now that the ending is known.


  1. Hey Alan, when is that Lost finale? Did I miss it?

  2. My stomach muscles hurt from clenching after watching Grey's finale. Can I consider watching it a work out ?

  3. I plan on watching all episodes of 'Lost' as I have never watched a single one to date. I know a lot of fans and it does seem interesting enough knowing that I can speed through or relish the moments I adore as they happen...

    As for Grey's Anatomy, I stopped watching when Meredith was tossed aside for the returning ex-wife train wreck and Izzy had her dreamscape with a dying man. Although, I can appreciate her healing bake-a-thon.