As a TV-loving, movie-adoring, music-loving pop-culture society we kind of love to build things up to a frenzy only to tear it down and launch a backlash attack. It’s how we tend to roll.
The first time I really remember this happening was during the second season of “Friends” when they were embroiled in a Diet Coke ads, plots involving a pet monkey and a way to busy post-Super Bowl episode filled with far too many guest stars. The cast was on the cover of every magazine. Their faces were on t-shirts and coffee mugs. Every where you looked there was something “Friends” related and suddenly the comedy that had been a pleasant surprise and a new discovery for viewers was overexposed and the backlash began. “Friends” survived this, of course, because it was a funny, well-written show and everyone seemed to quickly realize the error of their ways and were more deliberate about promoting the show.
But don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what FOX is doing with “Glee.” The show is in danger of being over-exposed before the season even begins. Only one episode aired in May and yes it was well received (I’m on record as loving it) but I’m beginning to think there’s no way the series can live up to the hype being thrust upon it. Something can’t become a phenomenon after only one episode.
The show will release “Glee: The Music, Volume 1” on November 3 which, of course, means that Volume 2 will be released shortly thereafter. And last week, FOX launched a contest to determine who was the biggest “Glee” fan or “GLEEk” at www.fox.com/glee. While there, fans can also enter the “GLEEk Sweepstakes” to win “Glee” t-shirts, hats and autographed photos and a trip to Los Angeles to meet and have dinner with the GLEE cast.Of course, I think it’s a great idea for the show to release an album – I am one of the people who turns up the volume every time I hear the cast version of “Don’t Stop Believin.'” And I’m totally not against a contest to support the show. I’m just beginning to worry that it’s too much, too soon. Only one episode has aired. I want people to be delighted and surprised when they tune in to the show for the first time — not have unrealistically high expectations. Sometimes the biggest hits are the ones that spread by word of mouth not those that are thrust upon us.
Do you think I’m crazy to worry about the show being over-exposed? Are you excited for the premiere of “Glee?” Talk about it below.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for August 31-September 6
“Greek,” one of my favorite shows, is back with brand new episodes Monday at 9 p.m. on ABC Family. The episode picks up the day after “The End of the World Party” when Casey declared her feelings for Cappie only to be rejected. We won’t be seeing any more of Max (but fret not, you’ll see him on “Melrose Place” starting next Tuesday). And speaking of “Melrose Place,” Thomas Calabro will be back this season as Rebecca’s father. Kadeem Hardison will play Ashleigh’s dad (I do love Dwayne Wayne but I was kind of hoping they would get Amber Stevens real-life dad Shadoe Stevens) and Tom Amandes will play Jordan’s dad. I loved tonight’s episode and let me tell you right now, you definitely need to watch until the final seconds of the episode. There’s a big plot twist that took me by surprise. All this plus, tonight’s episode also pays homage to Sydney Bristow. Such good times.
I talked about the season finale of “Weeds” (Monday, Showtime, 10 p.m.) on Friday. But definitely let me know your thoughts after you’ve watched the finale – I think we are going to need to support each other during these difficult TV times.
CBS will premiere the “NCIS” spin-off “NCIS: Los Angeles” next month. If you missed the episodes that set up the spin-off and introduced Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J’s characters, CBS repeats the episodes this Tuesday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
You know one of my favorite games to play while watching TV is “predict a plot.” I love to see if I can guess what will happen next. And I’ve got to tell you I never predicted what would happen between Lou and Candy on “Rescue Me.” Maybe at first I thought Lou was leading her on in a revenge scheme. But then he married her and didn’t even tell Tommy what he was up to. I was totally waiting for Lou to be scammed again not to exact vengeance. I was just so darn proud of him. That scene was the epitome of the cliché “revenge is a dish best served cold.” (Although, as a side note, now every time I think of that cliché, I think of Tony Soprano saying “revenge is like serving cold cuts.”) In this week’s finale (Tuesday, FX, 10 p.m.), everyone is faced with the consequences of their endless, reckless drinking while the Sheila/Janet/Tommy dysfunctional love triangle reaches some sort of conclusion. The show will return to end its run with 19 more episodes that will air in two chunks in 2010 and 2011.
Speaking of “Glee,” FOX re-airs the pilot this Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. The special start time is because it’s the director’s cut and features previously deleted scenes.
All right people let’s talk about “Leverage” (Wednesday, TNT, 9 p.m.) I’ve received emails and read posts from so many of you who think the show is having a sub-par second season. I do agree that the capers have been goofier than they were last season. And it’s been strange to have these kind of slapsticky capers juxtaposed against the trouble that is clearly brewing with Nate. You know something is going to happen with him before the show takes a break on September 9. I do have this theory as the hair goes, so goes the show so I must once again implore the series to do something about Christian Kane’s hair. I like the actor quite a bit but his hairstyle on “Leverage” makes me crazy. Maybe I should set up a conference call between him and Jerry of “Raising the Bar.” I am still really enjoying the rapport between the group and last week the series did have a strong, but still amusing outing. I’m not ready to give up on the show yet, are you?
FOX repeats the episode of “Bones” that found Booth talking to Stewie from “Family Guy” and Brennan asking Booth to be the father of her child Thursday at 8 p.m. on FOX. This was all leading up to the finale that found Booth undergoing surgery and having a very interesting hallucination. By the way, I’ve seen the season premiere of “Bones.” Executive producer hart Hanson sent out a letter to critics where he acknowledged “a vocal chunk” of the audience wasn’t pleased with the alternate reality season finale. Hanson thinks we will begin to change our minds as the show examines “the consequences of Booth and Brennan’s mind meld.” I’ll talk more about the premiere when we get closer to the show’s September 17 fifth season premiere, but I have to say my immediate reaction is that the premiere still didn’t convince me that the finale was a good thing.
USA kicks off an all day “Monk” marathon Friday beginning at 6 a.m. and concluding at 11 p.m. All the episodes were ones submitted to Academy of Television Arts & Science for Emmy consideration.
Many Sunday night shows are skipping having new episodes Sunday night because of Labor Day (including “True Blood,” “Drop Dead Diva” and “Army Wives”) but “Mad Men” will have a new episodes Sunday at 10 p.m. on AMC. Don clashes with his father-in-law while Pete gets some news about his promotion. But the story lines I’m most interested in this season are Peggy’s and Joan’s. I’m patiently waiting for Joan to get rid of her awful fiancé and realize that he’s not her ticket out of the secretarial pool. And I’m enjoying watching Peggy continue to navigate, often clumsily, her way through the man’s world she works in. All this is to say I think “Mad Men” is having a great third season so far. How about you?
That’s all for today. I’m back on Friday with a review of the new “Melrose Place,” this week’s familiar faces and quotes of the week. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal