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Watching Ellie (2002)
What makes a TV show REALLY good? What do viewers RECEIVE in return for watching it?
I suspect that the main problem here is that most of the people who are trying to make TV shows these days just don't watch enough actual TV to understand what makes a good TV show Really Good. What would make people want to use up some of their own Prime Time watching it? Oh, let's see, how about overflowing toilets....pure 21st century comedic genius!
As one of the countless Julia Louis-Dreyfus fans in this world, I could only watch in awe as the premiere episode of this show unraveled before my eyes - I felt a strange sense of camaraderie with the rest of the USA as I imagined millions of stunned folks staring at their TV screens thinking "What the......?"
Earlier tonight one of our local stations showed the syndicated episode of Seinfeld that exists solely while three of the four main characters wait to be seated in the Chinese restaurant. Oh, those were the days - Brad, Julia, you see, the core of that classic "22 minutes" was the realistically entertaining conversation between three good friends who happen to be intelligent people who are fond of each other and know each other pretty well. It is hilarious, and I'm glad I finally got a chance to tape it.
I tried to watch tonight's episode of "Watching Ellie" (it starts with a minor earthquake) but I only made it as far as the moment when you see the vet trapped in a pet carrier under his piano. Such unbridled hilarity merely forced me to hit mute, go into the other room, and make some trivial phone calls that I had been putting off for most of the evening. Luckily I got back in time for the virtually perfect repeat episode of Scrubs that came on after Frasier. Julia, Brad, can you see why Scrubs is often excellent, with many episodes already instant classics? Hey, why not sit down and watch some good TV with the rest of us for awhile?
P.S. I think even Louis-Dreyfus' Nice'n'Easy commercial (that takes place on the city bus) was much funnier than "Watching Ellie" so far. Bring that one back for awhile! Maybe even base a series on it!!