Category Archives: Dirty Sexy Money

Abortion on Television

I was watching – don’t ask me why, it’s unexplainable – the ABC drama Private Practice the other day. Here’s a piece of the recap

{My comments in brackets.]
Violet [the therapist] has trouble bonding with her baby boy when feelings from her [brutal, gratuitously shown] attack [removing her baby from her womb] resurface at a rape counseling session [for a couple]. She [Violet] cannot even look at him [her baby]. She is reminder of her attack every time she looks at him. The rape victim wants to keep her child [from her rape] but her husband does not. Violet tells her how she feels about her baby every time she looks at him. The patient decides to abort the baby.

Ah…after she realizes she’s inflicted her own values onto her patient, Violet calls the couple in again, real discussion takes place, as the husband asks his wife what she really wants to do. While it’s not spelled out, it seems pretty clear that the abortion will not happen.

After I watched this, I was reminded of a blogpost a few months ago by Greg Burgas about the now-canceled ABC soapy drama Dirty Sexy Money, where the heiress, Karen Darling, finally hooks up with her childhood sweetheart, but finds herself pregnant by her former finance. She goes to the abortion clinic with her mother, but ends deciding to keep the baby.

It seems that others besides Greg have been asking this question for a while: does anyone actually HAVE an abortion on television anymore? Between this 2004 New York Times piece and this 2005 Village Voice piece, it seems nobody actually gets an abortion on American TV, even if initially think they will. The only exceptions I could find since Maude in the early 1970s were Everwood and Six feet Under, though there may have been some on the daytime or nighttime soap operas.

More likely is what happened on Sex in the City where Carrie plans to accompany Miranda to her abortion, but Miranda ultimately bails. Now some TV characters may have had abortions in the past (Carrie on SITC, Violet on Private Practice), but it was a long time ago. No wonder that New York Times article is titled “Television’s Most Persistent Taboo.”

Please note I’m making an observation about a medium’s treatment of a legal procedure. It’s not that I thought any of the specific characters SHOULD have had abortions – I’m not the TV writer – only that the collective lack of them doesn’t ring true.
ROG

November Ramblin'

After careful consideration, listening to all sides of the issue ad naseum, I’ve decided that I support the bailout of the US automobile industry. There are just too many jobs down the line that depend on those companies. So, Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, et al: pony up. If those auto companies fail, you’ll have only those more fuel efficient foreign cars to fill, and your prices will keep dropping like a stone. Oh, you didn’t think I was coming out in favor of the GOVERNMENT bailout, did you? BTW, the idea’s not original with me – read it somewhere – but it does seem to operate on a win-win basis. Maybe the car makers will actually come up with a PLAN for what they’ll do with the money; at the rate they’re losing cash now, $25 billion will be gone by April Fools’ Day, appropriately.
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The axe has fallen on three shows on ABC-TV prime time schedule, and wouldn’t you know it: two of them are shows I like to watch. I loved both Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money. Daisies was whimsical with an undercurrent of melancholy. DSM was soap opera trash, and I mean that in a good way; Nick George (Peter Krause), the main protagonist, is being sucked more palpably into the dark side. I never saw Eli Stone, mostly as a matter of time, but based on the previews, I think I might have liked it. What is unwatchable is the one show that apparently survived on ABC Wednesday, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice.

But to be fair, all three of the shows would likely have been canceled last season if not for the writer’s strike, based on ratings.

The only thing I have to look forward to on ABC now are Life on Mars, which IS interesting, even if it’s a Brit retread, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and, eventually, the last season of Scrubs.
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Reasons to hate the interregnum. Interregnum: great word, that.
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A scary video that a female friend sent me called Instructional Film for Women:
or here.
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A young woman I “met” through ABC Wednesday named earthlingorgeous, who is 30 but looks 20, is having a blog anniversary giveaway at her site, Earthly Explorations. I’ve never gotten swag from the Philippines before, so by mentioning her contest (and having previously registered), I get “points” towards chances of winning prizes. Or something like that.
ROG

The TV Season


I must admit that it was my intention not to add any new shows to my list of programs to record on my DVR and (presumably) eventually watch. From a DVR at 0% on Labor Day, the machine got filled up to about 77% on Halloween weekend, and currently is is the mid 50% range.

As always, we have shows that are hers, hers, theirs, mine and ours.

HERS (the wife):
Skating. Unfortunately, the ISU series, save for Skate America, is not airing on any TV network, broadcast or cable. Apparently, this is a particularly big deal since we’re leading into an Olympic year and it’ll be easier to handicap the skaters once you’ve seen them on the Grand Prix circuit.
Also one of those home improvement shows on HGTV.

HERS (the daughter):
Little Bear. A nice show on Noggin co-created by Maurice Sendak.

THEIRS:
Dancing with the Stars. Even I know that 82-year-old Cloris Leachman stuck around longer than her talent would suggest based on her bawdy charm.

MINE:
This Week/Meet the Press/ABC World News – current.
Everything else is at least a week behind, including JEOPARDY!, CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes. Also watching:
Boston Legal: yes, I know, but it’s the last season. There was actually a pretty good episode, one lacking with most of the supporting cast, in which Kyle Secor (Homicide) played the accused murderer and husband of Alan Shore’s former loves.
Pushing Daisies: frankly, I thought this show was too whimsical last season to survive, but ABC brought back virtually everything except Men in Trees. I expect it to get canceled THIS season. BTW, some kind person sent me this link to video content they had received directly from ABC, a new “Inside with the Stars” of Pushing Daisies
or here.
Dirty Sexy Money: my unapologetic soap opera trash, and I liked Peter Krause from Sports Night and Donald Sutherland from so many things, most recently, Commander in Chief.
Grey’s Anatomy: more tolerable since Grey and McDreamy have decided to actually have their damn relationship.
Life on Mars: One of the adds to the list. Jason O’Mara has intrigued me going back to a short-lived show called In Justice in 2006. Since then he was a love interest in Men in Trees and an arsonist on The Closer. Additionally, I lived in NYC albeit in 1977, not 1973, but it feels right. Interestingly, this is a short-lived British show that moved to a Los Angeles setting with the cast above to a disastrous result. It now has the cast pictured here and a different venue.
Brothers and Sisters: if you’ve ever had siblings…

OURS:
With the exception of one Earl and one Office, we’ve watched NOTHING on this list- My Name Is Earl, The Office, and at the suggestion of my wife, an add, 30 Rock.

So I never complain about TV shows being pre-empted. There’s always something in the queue. Frankly, I looked forward to November 12, when the CMA Music Awards scuttled the entire ABC lineup for Wednesday.

And no, I’m not adding anything else. I’m sure there are perfectly good shows out there, like How I Met Your Mother (saw once) or Eli Stone or those geeky guys on that CBS Monday sitcom. I’m not going to get invested in Lost or Heroes or Desperate Housewives at this point. Hey, I added 30 Rock.

ROG

TV Observations

Being sick has allowed me to slowly catch up with the backlog of TV shows I’ve been recording but not watching. The DVR’s gone from 80% full Thursday night to 40% full after last night’s JEOPARDY!
SUNDAY
I’ve watched The Sunday morning news programs. Meet the Press (or was it the Today show?) showed a dapper Brian Williams in James Bondian mode, probably a segment from Saturday Night Live, which I didn’t see, but now wish I did.
That recent 60 Minutes (CBS) segment about French President Nicolas Sarkozy I’d seen before, on one of those 90-minute 60 Minutes shows earlier in the season – strange.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Yes, it’s a soap opera, but a good one. This Sunday’s show, featuring the confrontation of Justin’s post-Iraq drug addictions, has gotten kudos already from TV Guide.
MONDAY
Carol and I are loving Aliens in America (CW). She is an ESL teacher with many Pakistani students, but I’m liking it on its recognizably painful humor built on adolescence.
Samantha Who? (ABC) is funny in parts. I like Jean Smart, e.g. as the mom, but it’s just not holding together for me.
TUESDAY
Boston Legal (ABC), a bad habit.
WEDNESDAY
Whatever that sitcom is with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton on FOX; oh, yeah, Back to You. Subsequent shows were better than the pilot, but not good enough to keep watching.
Pushing Daisies (ABC) I like it, but I swear I’ve seen Ned and Chuck graze each other. Right on the edge of too quirky and cloying, but hasn’t crossed it yet.
Private Practice (ABC): the side plots, involving the medical issues are OK, even compelling at times, but the stories surrounding the characters’ personal lives are AWFUL, just awful.
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC): I was afraid it was going to go all Dynasty on me, but the murder mystery is engaging enough. I really enjoy Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland working together.
THURSDAY
My Name Is Earl (NBC) – the prison stories are surprisingly effective.
The Office (NBC) – good, but those hour-long stories were overloaded. Also, I’m now seeing those Bee Movie promos many people ODed on. There was one, actually the first one I saw, that I actually enjoyed, because I had the exact same conversation with my wife about Super Chicken. It seems that the only people who remember SC are me, Seinfeld, and the writers of JEOPARDY! who have posed the question at least twice in recent years with no one even GUESSING at the question:
April 6, 2001 LET’S PLAY CHICKEN, $500 Created by Jay Ward & Bill Scott, his secret identity was Henry Cabot Henhaus III
December 11, 1998 TV THEME SONGS, $500: “When it looks like you will take a lickin’….just callllll for” him.
Scrubs (NBC)- I said was catching up, not that I’m caught up.
FRIDAY: nothing.
SATURDAY: nothing.

I’m actually glad the Country Music Awards were on last night so I can forgo the ABC shows in favor of trying to catch up on the backlog.
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Ken Levine picks the worst TV shows ever. He’s right about Life with Lucy. But my #1 worst show, because it had such a fine lineage, is AfterMASH, the spinoff of M*A*S*H, that was boring as all get out. At least Cop Rock tried to be interesting.
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I missed recording the Carol Burnett American Masters on my local PBS station (WMHT) this week but it’s being rebroadcast on WMHT2 (cable) Saturday at 9 pm. The Charles Schulz episode – which I enjoyed – is rebroadcasting thrice more on the WMHT HD. So check here to see if either is being rebroadcast in your area.

ROG

The New Television Season QUESTIONS

1. What new shows are you most looking forward to checking out?

For me, it’s that nighttime soapy-looking Dirty Sexy Money on Wednesday nights on ABC, not because of the premise, but because of the cast: Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, and Jill Clayburgh.

The show with the most buzz: Pushing Daisies, also on Wednesdays on ABC. Of course, “buzz” doesn’t always equal quality.

What else is on Wednesdays on ABC, anyway? Oh, yeah, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice, which has a buzz too, but not such a good one. I’ll have to watch it at least once, because of the luminescent Audra McDonald, pictured, before I bail; I’ll probably end up watching Bionic Woman on NBC, if anything.

There’s a show on Mondays on the CW (The CW?!) called Aliens in America, about a Pakistani Muslim exchange student, which will either be very good or very bad, but which I’ll at least try. It has reviewed surprisingly well, so far, and it’s got to be better than a show about the Geico Cavemen.

Finally, there’s Back to You,b Wednesday on FOX. It actually started last week, and Ken Levine liked it, though Tom the Dog did not. I’ll have to at least watch the premiere episode

There are probably others – better check my TV listings for the time and channel in my area.

2. What returning shows are you looking forward to seeing?

NBC Thursday night comedies: Earl, Scrubs, The Office. I’ll probably even give 30 Rock another go. Last year I wrote: Watching Tracy Morgan on the second or third episode of 30 Rock doing some jivin’ riff, I said, “I don’t need this,” shut it off in mid-episode, deleted it, deleted the next yet unwatched episode, and removed it from the DVR recording schedule. But I also noted that lots of people whose opinion I respect like it. And it did get some Emmy love.

Oh, and that dysfunctional family – I relate to dysfunctional families – on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters Sunday nights. I’m not saying Sally Field deserved the Emmy more than, say, Edie Falco from The Sopranos, but I like her, I really like her in this show.
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Upright Citizens Brigade on DVD, “The Return of America’s Best Sketch Comedy Group”.
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Mr. Brown posed his own three TV questions, one of which hit on one of mine: What show will be canceled first? Entertainment Weekly picked Viva Laughlin, a “musical-dramedy”, and I’m thinking it’ll go early, but it’s not even premiering until October 21, by which time that show with the Geico cavemen, I’m hoping, will have bitten the dust.

ROG