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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, August 15

TV Madness

Tv watching is so different now than it used to be. Way back, nearly all shows were either comedies or dramas. Now, at least half are reality shows, most of which stink. Way back, we had access to the three major networks—CBS, NBC, and ABC (although, did anyone ever watch stuff on ABC?). The series usually ran for twenty-four weeks before going on their summer hiatus, and we always knew the summer would be nothing but reruns. Now, the mini-series run for five or six episodes, the maxi-series for ten to fourteen. And the viewer seldom knows when a series in concluding or beginning, or if it is or isn’t canceled, with hardly a clue when a rerun will be mixed in among the new episodes. We now have so many networks we can’t keep up with them all. And so much to choose from we can't do it all justice, just not enough hours in a day. And they’re all making their own series and movies and documentaries. How can they all afford to spend the money for all these projects?

The viewer invests in the stories and characters, and then the season ends, with either more seasons coming or the show is canceled. I remember how devastated I was when I heard that Ray Romano's really good show Men of a Certain Age was being canceled. Another case in point, TNT’s King and Maxwell gave us ten episodes, with the usual cliff-hanger conclusion about a possible romantic connection between the two pi’s and King’s continued investigation into the identity of the plotters leading to the assasination of the senator that led to King’s exit from the Secret Service. Whew! But now I find that the show may not be renewed. What happens to my investment? Third case in point: FX’s The Americans is excellent and I’m fully invested in these two Russian Cold War spies—thirteen episodes from January 30 to May 1. Then an eight month absence until January 2014. Eight months! That’s too long. I’ll probably have forgotten the characters and their story by January next year. Same thing with A&E’s The Bates Hotel (10 episodes from March 8 to May 10, then nothing until January 2014). I probably won’t forget Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates nor her really strange son Norman, but I’ll have lost all trace of the first season. We should have more mini-series that begin at point A and end at point Z. Done. Fini. Sundance’s Top of the Lake was such a series, and what a great series it was. A&E’s The Bridge has begun to rave reviews, but it should be limited to its twelve episodes and then end. Done. Fini. What’s good about most of the series that we and lots of others watch is that we see self-contained episodes that don’t much rely on what came before, like Person of Interest, The Mentalist, Major Crimes, Perception, Blue Bloods, and Rizzoli and Isles, to name only a few. And while I’m at it, whom do I consider the most beautiful women in all of television? Bridget Moynahan on Blue Bloods and Angie Harmon on Rizzoli and Isles. They win, hands down.
Okay, network bigwigs, let’s bring some order to this current tv madness.
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