Season 4, Episode 4 aired February 5, 2001

1. Intro
2. Letters from the viewing audience
3. Slave to the Idiot Box
     -by guest writer William Noetling
4. Don't Miss
5. TV Trivia
6. Favorite quotes of the week
7. A totally unrelated link

1. Intro

I don't have much to say this week, and plus William the Prolific has given us a full treatise on the WB. So I'll just tell everyone that I spent this past weekend in Washington, D.C., staying with two friends who both work for the federal government. I was pleased to see that they were both big fans of "The West Wing," and confirmed my suspicions that the White House drama is actually surprisingly accurate. The one thing that was criticized was how busy the hallways are on the show. I was told that the real west wing offices are actually much quieter and there aren't people running through the halls having four meetings at once on a regular basis. So kudos again to my favorite writer, Aaron Sorkin, for realistically portraying what he can, and livening up what he can't.

Enjoy the newsletter!


2. Letters from the viewing audience

From Michaela:
I remember Class of '96! I really enjoyed it, even though, as with all shows set in college, the dorm rooms were absurdly oversized. I also wanted to point out that Felicity - which is, in theory, returning to the WB after Jack & Jill's run - is also a college-themed show. Second, re: Talk Soup - actually, the most recent host (after John Henson) was Hal Sparks, who has since left to pursue an acting career (he's currently in the cast of Queer as Folk on Showtime).
From Swinsong:
We're trying to remember the name of the cable show Benben starred in. Do you know?

Note from TK: Well, he had his own show a couple years ago called "The Brian Benben Show" which lasted just a few episodes and was pretty terrible. But that was on network TV, not cable.

He's probably most famous for "Dream On." He starred as Martin Tupper, and Wendie Malick, who is now on "Just Shoot Me," was fabulous as his ex-wife. This was a great show. It's a shame I only caught a few episodes when it was on.

Letters from the viewing audience are always welcome. Please email any opinions, questions, comments, or random thoughts to TK at with the subject of "letters." Letters may be edited for length or content.


3. Slave to the Idiot Box by William Noetling

Before I get into part two of my look at the 2000-2001 television season, I'd like to respond to Jason Freidman's assessment that HBO's OZ is the best series on television. Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, as I was taught in journalism class, writing opinions are based on facts. That being the case, OZ wouldn't even come into my top ten best shows of the year, for two reasons and two reasons alone. First and foremost, television should entertain, and OZ certainly doesn't entertain, it turns people off. Secondly, there's NOTHING in OZ that I haven't seen a thousand times before.

I watched OZ religiously from the beginning, four seasons ago. I liked what I saw: it was gritty, and for the most part entertaining, and the acting was incredibly strong. The acting is STILL strong, but the stories have grown to be nothing more than a soap opera set in prison, with some of the most outlandish characters and most unbelievable storylines on television. In addition to that, the show, quite frankly, scares the crap out of me. I can't watch it anymore, and I would venture to guess that most of America can't either. I'm glad such a show exists for those people who get off on that kind of violence and degrading depictions of abnormal and abhorrent behavior, I just don't want to watch it. I'm not in favor of censorship; anyone who knows me knows that I am a very tolerant person, and hold our First Amendment rights to free speech in the highest regard. I don't want OZ to be taken off the air, nor do I wish to censor it. I just won't watch it anymore. And for those who think it's a great show, I feel sorry for them.

NOW, getting back to the review of the fall season. In part one, I looked at Fox and NBC, since I watch those two nets on a consistent basis. Now let's look at the WB.

The WB launched about six years ago, at the same time as UPN, and both mini-nets tried to be the "fifth" major network. I'd say that the WB has succeeded. The network's shows skew towards a younger audience, and the WB should be commended for trying to do something different and for attempting to put something other than young white people on TV.

Mondays seem pretty strong for the WB, with their alternative to football and the CBS comedies. 7th Heaven is a sappy, family oriented show, that is more suited for the 7:00 PM Sunday timeslot, however, I've been known to watch it once in awhile. When I couldn't get cable a few years back, I watched it religiously as my "secret show." It's wholesome with good messages, without being too religious. Pairing 7th Heaven with Roswell doesn't seem to be a smart decision though. I thought the pairing of Roswell with Dawson's Creek would be a MUCH better move, but apparently it's doing OK on Mondays. Roswell also seems to be doing well with radio crossovers, as the opening theme song by Dido has turned into a radio main-stay.

The WB's strongest night is Tuesday with the double tandem of Buffy and Angel. The WB has a problem though: they claim that Buffy doesn't make any money for them, and in fact they run the show at a loss. 20th Century Fox, which produces the show (and Angel) charges about $1 million to the WB to air each episode and are asking for more next season. We'll see what happens to the WB's flagship.

Wednesdays bring us the trials and tribulations of Dawson Leery and his up the Creek buddies. I hear that next season the show will switch to Boston and follow Dawson in college. Oh boy. Oh wait, damn, I actually try to watch that show every now and then. It's a guilty pleasure, it's so cheeky! Currently paired with Dawson is Jack and Jill, starring Ivan Sergei and Amanda Peet, both of which are doing LOTS of movies these days. I've only seen one episode of the romantic comedy, but I can't imagine that these two up-and-comers in Hollywood will be doing it much longer.

Thursday is time for Gilmore Girls and Charmed, neither of which interest me in the least and neither of which I have ever seen. Gilmore Girls, in fact, scares me, since it's touted as being entirely wholesome and non-threatening. The WB already has one show like that on Mondays, why did they need another? Charmed always seemed like a low-rent Buffy/The Craft clone, though it has some of the hottest actresses on the planet. Both shows are doing well though, so I guess they'll be around for awhile at least.

It's still a fact, that at 30 years old, I still have no idea what comes on Friday nights, or Saturday nights for that matter. I haven't spent a Friday at home watching television in almost a decade, and don't plan on doing so anytime soon. I see that WB picked up the ABC cast-off Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and threw her in college. Whoopee. No, actually, I catch a re-run here and there in syndication, and the best thing I can say about Sabrina is that it's non-offensive.

After Sabrina, we get the WB's entry into the real-life sweepstakes, Popstars, which I can say is just a female version of Making the Band. Hey look, people, the Monkees were a fluke in that they were manufactured, but actually put out decent pop music. Since then, every few years we get a manufactured music group, and they all suck, even the Partridge Family. Give us a break. Popular is on after Popstars, and since Boston Public is kicking ass over at Fox, I don't have anything to say about the WB's longer-running high-school show, other than I've never seen it either.

The WB doesn't program Saturday nights, and that's probably a good thing.

Sundays we get a hodge-podge of sitcoms and other dreck. The Jamie Foxx Show is on its last legs, as is Steve Harvey. Fox already cancelled The PJs once, but the WB stupidly picked it up. You know, if a crap show like The PJs can get resurrected, why can't Sports Night? The Hype, which is the WB's answer to Fox's Mad TV, can be funny on occasion, but it can't stand up to the pounding it's taking from the other networks' ratings giants. The best part about Unhappily Ever After was Nikki Cox, and now she has her own show. You'd think I'd be watching it, too, since it's nominally about wrestling and wrestlers show up on it, but I don't. For that matter I've never seen Grosse Pointe either.

Note from TK: Grosse Pointe is still one of my favorite new shows of the season.

Wrapping up the WB, we get a couple of really strong nights in Monday and Tuesday, then a bunch of crap strewn over the rest of the week. WB seems a lot stronger than its fifth net competition though. More on UPN next week.

TKTV is always looking for new guest writers. Do you have an idea for an article? Write to TK with the subject of "guestwriter."


4. Don't Miss

Sweeps guest stars galore
For details and lots more fun TV to look forward to, see


5. TV Trivia

Last week's question was: what current NBC drama actor, who now plays a cop, played a criminal helping out the FBI in another short-lived NBC drama in 1997?

First prize goes to Storm. Congratulations!

Honorable mentions go to Barbara B. and Allan J.

The correct answer was Ice-T, who is currently on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and used to be on "Players."

This week's question is: Michael Weatherly ("Dark Angel") used to be on a short-lived series on Fox from the creators of "Party of Five." What was the name of this series? Bonus if you remember Weatherly's character's name.

Send answers to TK at with the subject of tvtrivia. Winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers.


6. Favorite quotes of the week

From The King of Queens
Doug: Oh, man, if bologna smelt any better I'd wear it.

From Judging Amy
Tom: I would have just called but I figured stalking is more romantic.

From The Geena Davis Show
Max (suffering from the flu): There isn't anything in me that isn't trying to get out.


7. A totally unrelated link

School Suspends Girl for Casting Spell


You are not a kid anymore when you are obsessed with the thermostat. -Jeff Foxworthy