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Tuning Out: Why I Stopped Watching "Alias"

Let me start by saying that I was originally obsessed with Alias with a zeal that approached my current love of fellow J.J. Abrams series Lost . I loved that at the heart of this spy drama there was a story about a deeply dysfunctional family (distant dad, dead mother) all of whom happened to be in the deadly business of high stakes espionage. While there were crazy costumes, wacky wigs, and fierce fights each week, I kept coming back because I cared deeply for Sydney Bristow ( Jennifer Garner ) and her colorful cast of co-workers. But then something happened... Before we get to that, let's recap first. Alias launched in the fall of 2001, shortly after the events of 9/11 and around the same time that a similarly spy-themed show was launching over on competitor Fox (that would be 24 , natch). I instantly found 24 to be too eerily realistic, too stressful in a world that had just seen a real life terrorist attack. Alias , on the other hand, had a certain gleeful campiness along w

Tuning Out: Why I Stopped Watching "The OC"

Networks sometimes use the summer to launch new shows. Oftentimes these shows are complete and utter dreck--leftover episodes of now cancelled shows "burned off" in the primetime wasteland of the summer months--or new reality programs that soon spawn huge franchises( Survivor , Amazing Race , Beauty and the Geek , etc.). But every now and then, a network will throw a drama on during the summer in the hopes that, with little else on, an audience will find the show and nurture it and give it the strength to make it through the regular, primetime season. One such show was The OC . Created by twenty-something wunderkind Josh Schwartz and launched in the summer of 2003, The OC seemed like it would merely be a retread of Beverly Hills 90210 , just set slightly further down the California coastline. When it premiered, however, even I was surprised by how much I liked the show, despite wanting to dislike it. Instead of embracing those familiar teen drama tropes, the show toyed wi

Tuning Out: Why I Stopped Watching "Desperate Housewives"

Every now and then I find myself wondering why I continue to watch a particular show, given the lack of satisfaction I get from watching it. Think of it as: When Good Shows Go Bad. For a number of reasons, I find my willing suspension of disbelief nearly impossible and I begin to take fault with tinny dialogue or the believability of characters' actions, and entire storylines begin to become incomprehensible to me. Such is the case with Desperate Housewives , a show I once tuned in to watch with relish every Sunday evening. Picture it: Autumn 2004, a time filled with the promise of new and exciting shows like Lost , Veronica Mars , and Desperate Housewives , two of which had energized the stagnant ABC and got people talking around watercoolers or coffee pots or wherever people gather nowadays in offices. At first, Desperate Housewives was a delicious hodgepotch of elements: soapy female-driven domestic drama on one hand, but also a given to pratfalls, arson, same-sex shenanigans