Sweeps Week


csi Yeah, must be sweeps week on TV.

How do I know?  Well, the surest sign was the spanning of a story across three different shows in the CSI franchise.  All three of them are having the same story cross over between the three shows over three nights.  Miss a night, you miss the story.  Don’t like the show?  Tough.  Take it like a man and watch anyway.

It’s not a new trick.  I remember comic books doing this most of my life.  As far back as I can remember, comic books ran a single story arc across multiple titles.  Sometimes they’d unify the continuity of the titles.  For instance, Spider-Man had no fewer than three titles back when I first recall reading them.  But none of them were consistent in continuity, so when something came across all three titles, the writers had to huddle up and make the story make sense for the title and where it occurred in their time line.  In the 1990s, things got flat ridiculous.  And when you kill off a character?  Well, that creates mayhem, ala Superman and its multiple titles, circa something like 1992.

But with three separate shows on the same network in the same franchise, nothing has to be so dramatic or difficult.  I’m sure the coordination of the writing is challenging.  I did notice, however, the association of the three franchises with one another did nothing to elevate the suck-factor of the first episode.  (My wife and I stopped watching the Miami version of this show because it became … well, sucky.)  So having the characters cross over didn’t help the show at all; it still sucked.

But it’s all right.  It never helped the comics the way they wanted it to, but maybe it will help the CSI franchise.  It certainly hooked my wife.  She’s watching it right now, as I type this, and there are two more on tap.

What cheap TV tricks do your shows use to keep you tuned in, engaged, involved in the show?  Which ones really burn you up?  Which are you fond of?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
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14 thoughts on “Sweeps Week

  1. Sexual tension. It’s a staple of most shows under all genres, drama and sitcom. Hooking up would ruin it, I know, but I can’t help hoping. Masterfully done on Friends, not so much on How I Met Your Mother, and Castle is best when that sexual tension comes to the forefront, because, let’s face it, the mysteries leave something to be desired. Sexual tension: my favorite cheap ploy.

    Hehehe. Who DOESN’T like sex in some form in their shows or movies? I asks ya, WHO? (Don’t answer.) ;)

    • Whoooh! Hooking up was masterfully done on Friends??? Was I watching a different show than you? The whole on again off again Ross and Rachel thing was awful! Then with Chandler and Monica. YUCK!

      • What were you, 12 when Friends started? Way too young to understand sexual tension. The whole on/off/on thing with Ross and Rachel was the biggest draw of the show. Their first kiss in Central Perk? The unexpected kiss after they watched the old video of pre-prom? The whole “We were on a break!” fiasco? When he said her name in his wedding vows? Yeah, to sustain the tension through ten years was masterful.

        Now Monica and Chandler, I’ll give you that.

        • Sure, I was young, on first run, but I’ve watched a heckuva lotta TV, especially sitcoms. I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject of the situation comedy. There was nothing unexpected from the Ross and Rachel thing. Their first kiss was painful to watch. We all knew it was going to happen. Get it over with! The after the prom video kiss. If you didn’t expect that then you’d probably be surprised by me writing the word “BOO!” Don’t get me started on “We were on a break!” They got one good joke outta the whole thing and that was in the second to last scene in the final episode.

          And my criticism comes from love. I watched that show all the effing time. My female friends who loved the show were awed by my masterful playing of the Friends Trivia game. I still watch the show on DVD.

      • I agree. The way they all passed Rachel around it was as if she was the only woman in town. I quit watching right around when Chandler & Monica got married because those two were the most unlikely couple, but what am I saying, look at her real life marriage.

  2. There used to be a cable channel here that would sometimes show actual surgery footage. The big tease was whether you would get to see things all up close and personal or just the backs of the medical professionals. I was able to be in the surgery suite a few times when I worked at the hospital, amazing!

    When I was young, I could view all that human dicing/slicing with little or no effect on my psyche whatsoever. Now, if I see something like that, I cringe, often look away, and gasp like British royalty at a strip club. I’ve lost my nerve for it all, it seems, and I sometimes miss having it. Sometimes. :)

  3. Loved Law & Order Criminal Intent. Vincent D’Onofrio is the best! But now NBC has ruined the Law & Order series like NBC ruins everything. Not sure who makes the decisions for that network, but they suck as far as knowing anything about the public.

    I remember D’Onofrio on that show. He cracked me up with his antics. What did they do to ruin the show for you? He left, right? Isn’t this the one with Goldblum in it now?

  4. I hate when TV shows have crossover storylines. Like when L&O:SVU had a story that was concluded on L&O:TBJ. Well, TBJ blew donkey balls. SVU, I still watch in reruns and when this episode starts, I feel all donkey balled because I know I won’t be able to see the second part.

    Donkey balled … that’s … that’s an interesting expression. I’m going to have to add that to my repertoire I think.

  5. The Miami CSI is my least favorite also . . . I do however watch both of the others. Thanks for this heads-up. It sounds interesting. I do miss “Grissom.” Thought he was a really cool character!

    What I found interesting is how they dump Grissom and hook him up with Sidel (sp.?), then bring HER back to the show. (I guess in Las Vegas it’s perfectly acceptable for people to perform governmental job functions if they’ve done it sometime in the past without having to clear any sort of regulatory commission, so she can just get back to work as a CSI without any red tape. Isn’t Nevada’s government awesome?)

  6. Oh, and comic cross-overs got really stupid. I don’t think I need to tell you about the Wolverine/Batman crossover. What was up with that? Batman with claws???

    Okay, technically, that wasn’t a “cross over” that was an “amalgam”. But yeah, I know … wtf? Comic cross overs … disasters all. Or how about ZOMBIE superhero stories? Yeah, whoever had THAT idea deserves a raise, right?

  7. I really don’t mind when shows cross over or whatever. Like anything else, some do it well, others don’t. I didn’t watch Friends, so I can’t speak to that, but it seems to me that in any romantic situation ever seen on film some people in the audience will be all–get-it-over-with and some people will believe in the romance. I don’t care if they use a cheap trick either if I already like the show and the characters. But I will suspend disbelief for just about anything I commit time to.

    Ah, suspension of disbelief! How I miss it! :)

    I wish I had time to rattle on more about it, but I’ve got to go.

    I’m glad you stopped by, thanks. :) I know how busy November is for folks, so having them stop by to say something means a lot.

  8. Lately I’ve been a little annoyed with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

    Last season it was widely known that Katherine Heigl & T.R. Knight wanted to leave the show. Izzy came down with brain cancer so bad she hallucinated having sex with her dead boyfriend Denny. That was fine with me since any reason to see Jeffery Dean Morgan (I’m going to marry him someday. He doesn’t know it yet.) works for me. George was all set to join the Army so it seemed like they were both going to go. The season ended with Izzy flatlining and George getting hit by a bus and dragged under it to the point he was unrecognizable by his peers.

    This season George is, of course, dead, but Izzy is alive. And not only alive, but standing through 8-10 hour surgeries. I had gall bladder surgery and it took me nearly a month before I thought I might live. I didn’t have people poking around in my brain and shooting me up with all sorts of experimental chemicals either. Oh, and if you think maybe there was a time lapse thing, there wasn’t. Izzie was back in the operating room as a doctor right after they planted George.

    Add to this, Ellen Pompeo gave birth just after this season started. They wrote in that she gave her father part of her liver so she would be on bed rest. She’s been in bed from a partial liver donation longer than Izzy was after she flatlined. Give it a break Ellen. Nobody cares if you have some baby fat left over since you looked like a cadaver before. Get out of that bed and get back to the hospital. The show *is* named after you.

    That’s funny, Holls. Hysterical. You’ve touched on so many things in this all I can say is, GOLD, baby, GOLD!

  9. I’m going to go back a little on this since I just watched it. The 3rd season finale of ‘Bones’ really irked me too.

    The team pursued the Gormagon killer and his apprentice all of season 3 then in the last episode it turned out the apprentice was Zach Addy, a member of the team. AND NO ONE SAW THIS COMING?! The brilliant psychiatrist didn’t. The kick butt FBI agent didn’t. The genius forensic anthropologist didn’t.

    What’s more, Zach was always teased for being robotic since he was so intelligent. You expect me to believe someone that smart and logical would fall for the conspiracy theory ravings of a lunatic, one who ATE his victims? I realize most serial killers are of above average intelligence, but the story was presented that Zach listened to this guy talk and suddenly said, “Okay, I’ll kill for you because the government is out to get us.” BS!! Someone who worked in a top notch lab designed to identify unidentifiable bodies and find their killers would LOGICALLY know he was going to get caught.

    Whatever the reason the producers wanted him off the show, they should have given him a job elsewhere rather than insult my intelligence with the whole Zach Addy, late blooming psychopath story.

    Yeah, sometimes getting a character off the show seems to take a long, dramatic turn. I remember in the late 90s early this decade with NYPD BLUE, the way they slloooooooowwwwwly killed off Jimmy Smits. But to get rid of his replacement, Rick Schroeder, it happened in the most implausible and IMMEDIATE fashion possible. We never see the guy get into trouble; we come back from a mid-season break of a couple weeks and suddenly he’s missing, only to be found dead later. The tough, street-wise young up and comer dies shortly after nailing the OLD heart-throb’s wife. Huh. Mandy Patinkin pulled his usual diva crap on CRIMINAL MINDS and they come up with some horsesh*t, cock-and-bull story for THAT character too. It’s sad, really. But hey — they don’t wanna hire me, that’s their loss. ;)

  10. You folks are making me glad I scarcely watch TV anymore. The demands of a TV series are too great. A show gets good rating so they keep making it even though they run out of story. Good writing means knowing when to stop. And maybe that means there would be no TV series that runs five years or whatever, but maybe there would be better TV?

    I’ve felt that way about a lot of shows. Some I’ve watched recently seem to have run their course story-wise and just haven’t gotten the word yet. And maybe it would make for better TV to have a more limited run.

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