We hear you.
You are out there and we hear you. You are saying, "If I read one more word
about Action I will be sick." You are saying, "I've had it with Freaks and
Geeks and I haven't even seen an episode." You are crying, "I
don't care if The West Wing is so great it cures syphilis with only one
viewing, stop touting it already!"
And we hear you. You want to know what's going to happen with the shows you
already watch, the shows you've fallen in love in front of, the shows you've
fed the cats to, the shows you've watched weekly with the sound and your pants
off. Profiler. The X-Files. Buffy. Costello.
Oh, wait. They cancelled Costello. Right. Pants back on.
Herewith, then, is TeeVee's Guide to This Year's Returning Shows, or, as we
around the office like to call it, TVGTYRS. Scrupulously researched,
carefully checked, assiduously proofread, poorly named -- here it is.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson consider an attempt at an
acting career, but instead decide to continue speaking in monotones
and looking dour in reaction shots. Everything remains inadequately
Homer does stupid things. The only new plot twist this season
comes when you decide to watch another show.
That '70s Show
Fashions become so egregious you wish this really was a show
from the '70s.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
More breasts but less Angel, who is now too cool
for this shit.
Law & Order
Exactly the same as every other season but with a new cop, so
you can tell what season you're watching when you catch the reruns
Finally, another season of Mandy Patinkin's contractually
required song-and-dance numbers.
King of the Hill
In an attempt to pull the show out of last year's
ratings slump, Beavis and Butt-head make a cameo appearance. Just
kidding! They become regulars as of Episode 3.
To make the show more easily distinguishable from The Simpsons,
starting this season all the characters will be colored yellow.
The remaining conscious viewers in the audience blearily
wonder why NewsRadio was cancelled before slipping into their
Felicity gives herself a crewcut, thus guaranteeing that she'll spend the
second season single.
Expect stunningly articulate dialogue from a demographic normally known for
embracing idiot rockers like Korn.
Star Trek: Voyager
The intrepid crew continues to bungle its way across the Delta Quadrant;
disgrunted Trekkies continue to bitch about Janeway vs. Kirk, Picard and
Ally has problems with her love life this year, as does everyone else at
her office. Persistent, recurring hallucinations do nothing to solve said
Party of Five
Having exhausted the cancer, addiction, battery and depression storylines,
the Salinger family faces a new terror: Claudia's demonic
possession. Nobody notices.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Those lovable Hillsters still inhabit a world where there's no relationship
between cause and effect; bad hair ahead for Kelly, Donna, Dylan and Steve.
Just Shoot Me
David Spade persists as snarky office boy as his utter lack of talent goes
unnoticed for the third year running; rest of cast bumbles about in
mildly amusing self-centered ways.
Heartwarming drama continues to raise temperature of collective viewing
public's circulatory systems; heat-related brain damage worsens. Expect
hugs in the kitchen, intrafamily cryfests, touching background music.
It's like, you know...
It's like Seinfeld, you know, except with two women and on the wrong coast and
on the wrong network, which will probably continue to ignore it, but only if
we are very lucky.
Two Guys and a Girl and No Pizza Place
Excellent actor chemistry and comedic timing will be squandered by bad
writing, even after the departure of the pizza place.
Touched by an Angel
Scores of guest stars will be convinced of the powers of a monotheistic
Judeo-Christian God, while Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims in need languish.
The homicidal eccentrics of Boston turn to Bobby Donnell's firm after being
turned away from Cage, Fish Associates. Expect continued stubble from
Brandy will struggle to convince everyone she's a flesh-and-blood actress,
as opposed to an advance scout for the impending Anime invasion.
Christian right-wingers and family advocates continue to approve of the
show; viewers continue to watch godless 20/20.
The alleged "actors" on this show will continue to draw breath, paychecks
for at least 13 weeks.
Truth, justice, and the American way will be rescued from assorted swarthy
or unpatriotic types. Old "Top Gun" footage runs out midseason and is
replaced by chase scenes from The Dukes of Hazzard.
3rd Rock from the Sun
French Stewart, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Johnston continue to play wacky
aliens on Earth, but their lines are drowned out by the loud smacks of John
Lithgow chewing the scenery.
Ricky Schroeder will bare his bottom repeatedly; a nation of women still
sitting shivah for Bobby Simone will fail to respond. Dennis Franz reprises
his role as Job.
Unloveable anti-actor Norm Macdonald snarks his way through storylines as
actual trained actors try vainly not to lose concentration in their scenes.
Viewers keep ratings high as they watch, week after week, for the
long-awaited episode "The one where Monica finds out she's adopted, which
explains why she bears no resemblance at all to Ross."
Jesse loses a family, gains a career, discovers that it's still not a
decent substitute for a compelling sitcom premise.
Niles yearns after Daphne; scores of well-dressed male viewers murmur, "I
can think of one reason they won't get together, honey..."
Alyssa Milano checks her slide into Red Shoe Diaries territory for another
season as she and fellow cable-bound actresses provide hours of entertainment
for people turned off by Sabrina, yet scared by Wicca.
Producers continue to fling actors and actresses at the show in desperate
hopes that one of them sticks; expect to see the fired Chicago Hope
actors hired at County General during fall sweeps.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
Melissa Joan Hart attempts to revamp wholesome witch as beguiling jailbait.
For Your Love
Deedee Pfeiffer wonders why nepotism hasn't done a damn thing for her
television career; lame plots and one-line jokes swirl over her head
Producer exultation over winning ratings war with critical favorite
Homicide does nothing to improve quality of plots, acting.
Jamie Luner takes over for the opthamalogically challenged Ally Walker.
Television gods confirm that Luner is kiss of death incarnate and cancel
The Drew Carey Show
Further attempts to replace actual humor with gag episodes backfire when
Christa Miller drowns during filming of all-underwater show; Craig Ferguson and
Kathy Kinney actually find depths of irritation previously unplumbed.
Dharma & Greg
Too much Greg, not enough Dharma. Still.
The aging former king of family sitcoms pins his hopes on a ratings spike
accompanying Lisa Bonet's return to television; audience continues to mistake
the show for reruns and tunes to yet another edition of Dateline.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Second bananas Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady, and Greg Proops
spend another season proving that they are vastly more talented than Drew
Carey, even though he has the power to put on any show he wants, even a
silly one stolen from the BBC.
Dick Van Dyke and company continue to provide the kind of linear plotting
the elderly find missing from their everyday pointless lives.
The Jamie Foxx Show
Professional irritant Jamie Foxx attempts to set the cause of race relations
back thirty years after only managing fifteen years last season.
Walker, Texas Ranger
Chuck Norris and company continue to provide the kind of linear plotting
too shameless even for Diagnosis Murder. Elderly Chuck kicks ass,
thus fulfilling major fantasies of Social Security crowd.
Jarod poses as a TV programming executive who green-lights further seasons
of insipid action-adventure slop.
In a fit of pique, the ample Sammo Hung eats his remaining costars; Arsenio
Hall proves indigestible.
Baby Stewie murders his dimwitted brother in a midseason two-parter;
the family dog has the house torched with the family still inside,
and goes on a mad bitch-humping spree with the insurance money. Oh,
and lots of strange non sequitur tangents.
In a very special episode, Gary has his subscription cancelled.
In a very special episode, Parker goes back in time 7 days and
cancels Gary's newspaper subscription.
The King of Queens
In a controversial cross-over episode for November
sweeps, Doug and Ray Barrone agree to swap wives.
Everybody Loves Raymond
In a controversial episode for November sweeps, Frank
and Marie agree to an open marriage. Special guest stars:
Bea Arthur, Abe Vigoda.
The series scores its highest rating ever when one fan
of the comic strip accidentally surfs by UPN while
the show is on. "Hey, it's a TV show about Dilbert," the
fan will say. "But how come he has a mouth?"
Scandal hits city hall when the mayor is
caught en flagrante delicto with a zäftig intern played by special guest
star Mindy Cohn. Mike continues to, gallingly,
score better-looking chicks than he has any right to in
Will & Grace
After inadvertently stumbling into a meeting of Promise
Keepers, Will decides he's "through with this gay crap." In
a gripping two parter, Grace combs her hair.
During sweeps, Ted Danson breaks character, announces he is a
"narcissistic hack" and attempts to euthanize himself with a bottle of
Boy Meets World
In a 12-part story arc called "Boy Kills World", Cory, angry after
after Topanga refuses to marry him, begins murdering, with ruthless
precision, every character on the show.
ABC, realizing it inadvertently renewed a high-quality show, delays the second
season premiere while it figures out a way to kill off the program.
Malcolm & Eddie
Bill Cosby makes an appearance and gives Malcolm a stern talking to. Lisa
Bonet makes an appearance and gives Malcolm an ugly shirt. Viewers
suffering from extreme deja vu go out and vote for George Bush.
Eric Stoltz joins the cast as a mentally-challenged klansman who
moves into the Hughleys' garage and brings a new perspective to this
interracial suburban sitcom. Expect guest appearances by Louis
Farrakhan and Martin Luther King III.
The Steve Harvey Show
Steve Harvey keeps right on doing, uh, whatever exactly it is he does
on his show. Viewership remains at precisely zero.