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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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The Television Escape Route 3.8.2006

By Nick Colin

Television programming is an essential ingredient in my winter life. Confined to a 9 to 5 Monday thru Friday job, there is no escape from the Cape May County desolation and the icy winter air. The struggle lies in weeding through all the junk on television, a daunting task that leaves many to just settle.
Monday nights are pretty rough. Reality-show fiends will always have a zillion options, while those seeking quality fiction shows don’t have many choices. Las Vegas is a quality show that keeps it interesting. Now that Monday Night Football is done, Las Vegas is my go to show, but I’m lost due to all those nights of flicking back and forth.
Tuesday night programming is where it’s at. Come 10 o’clock everything and everyone else disappears. I wouldn’t take a call from the president, the pope, or Mischa Barton. Once The Shield comes on, my attention is consumed by the best show on television.
Michael Chiklis’ Detective Vic Mackey has done for the bald look what Mr. T did for the Mohawk and what Kurt Cobain did for long greasy hair. The Shield is the grittiest and best-acted cop drama on television. CSI and NYPD Blue are more mainstream, but The Shield is on a different level.
After falling off a little during seasons three and four, the addition of Forrest Whitaker along with a script that reincorporated characters and plots dating all the way back from the pilot episode, this season is on par with season two when the strike team robbed the Armenian money train. It is too late to catch up now, but get the DVD. It is the best cop show since 21 Jump Street.
Wednesday nights are perhaps the most popular television night for many. Lost is a cultural phenomenon that has a death grip on American audiences. It is one of the cleverest and suspenseful shows I have ever seen. The characters are complex and the script keeps you guessing.
 At first I watched it to fit in and because of Evangeline Lilly (Kate), who graced a cover of Rolling Stone magazine last fall and soon after became commonplace in my brain. After watching the first season on DVD (sometimes for five hours at a time) my mind was on that island. I would wade through the woods in “deserted island, survival mode.”
Thursday nights are difficult. They are packed with quality shows that all happen to be on at the same time. I usually go with The O.C., a guilty pleasure that can hook even the most macho of men.
I was watching it at my friend Duke “One Lame” Fontaine’s house one day. At first he berated me with a consistent stream of insults, but by the end he was eating his words. You’d have to watch an episode to understand.
Ryan is a ruffian from Chino who is plucked out of a juvenile detention center by his bleeding heart lawyer who brings him home to live with his family in Ocean County, California. Needless to say, Ryan doesn’t fit in, especially when he has his new brother, emo-weeny Seth tagging along.
Watch Ryan brood for extended periods of time and punch people out every other episode for no good reason at all, while landing the prettiest girl in school. The women of The O.C. make the show appealing to guys. They are all incredibly beautiful from the girls, Mischa Barton’s Marissa specifically, to the women that are supposed to be my parent’s age. It is a fun time, full of wit, humor, and undeniable charisma. Don’t knock it till you try it!
Fridays aren’t spent in front of the television, but out setting the world a blaze. Not really, but it sounds likely a really “trill” thing to say and there really isn’t anything on during the weekends anyway.

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