Here’s a little bit about shows we’ve all seen, and will be seeing again next season…

First, Lost: Lost has not quite lost the plot, so to speak, but it is getting there. True, creator JJ Abrams is more self-indulgent than Mr Creosote; true, Matthew Fox needs a great big smack in the face – almost as much as the character he plays; and yes true, the plot has become so convoluted that, unless you’ve watched every episode ever made, you won’t be able to tell your Dharma from your Others. But it hasn’t yet left behind all that made it great: Lost’s best technique is borrowed from the Jewish approach to discourse – answer every question with a question. The problem now is JJ Abrams’/Carlton Cuse’s/Damon Lindelof’s unrelenting appetites for nonsense; (more…)

So Visage has kicked off with musical beginnings, but Dr Cranium’s domain is the small screen. Beginnings will be covered, but I’d like to start at the end and lament (or rejoice in) the shows that have recently been cancelled. By the way, Dr Cranium hates spoilers, and so will endeavour not to reveal anything that hasn’t yet been aired in the UK.

The world of American television is cutthroat and often unfair, but let’s start with a decision that Dr Cranium thoroughly approves of. First on the list is Prison Break. Dr Cranium has no problem recognising when a man is more attractive than he is, but Wentworth Miller? Really? Get a haircut. Prison Break started with a bang but, as the saying goes, ended with a whimper. Like a prize horse that has stumbled it gets no second chance; it gets shot and made into glue. Or a delicious dish which Dr Cranium had while on a weekend break in Palermo. Once the first season ended and Prison Break became Prison Broken Out, it was over – Prison Broke. Moving from Fox River to Sona for the third season solved nothing, and everyone switched off; literally. If you miss it, they will be releasing a couple more features soon – one is a movie comprising two episodes from the end that never aired. Yawn. There is also talk of another series, this time focusing on a housewife falsely imprisoned for blah blah YAWN.

And then the cop shows. The Shield, that mighty Kodiak bear of a cop show, ended after 7 years. This was just the right time. Watching the beginning of the Shield was like the beginning of Spooks – they made the audience understand right from the beginning that they weren’t playing by anybody’s rules; not even their own. But there’s only so long you can screw whores, beat up Latinos, and steal from Armenians before you get tired and have to nap. The finale was excellent: watch the superb final credits with an awesome tune playing over them. Also see the second half of this post, which sums it up perfectly (though it does include a spoiler; the video doesn’t).

Then those douchebags cancelled Life. Why? Because they’re douchebags. Life was astoundingly good. Almost every great investigator has a “thing”. Columbo’s was his cigars, Kojak’s was his lollipops, and Charlie Crews had his fresh fruit. Because when you’re a cop in prison for murder, the one thing you can’t get is fresh fruit. And when you’re released you’re going to take some of the mound of cash you got from suing the city for false imprisonment, you’re going to buy a cool car and an even cooler house, then you’re going to fill them with fresh fruit. Awesome. And Damian Lewis is definitely more attractive than Dr Cranium, even if he is a ginger. At least it lasted longer than Jericho. Dr Cranium still gets misty-eyed just thinking about when they cancelled that one.

What with The Wire being over, I guess we’ll just have to watch CSI, or CSI Miami, or CSI NY. Or the new CSI BC (set in fourth century Athens; or maybe British Columbia). The sum of the CSIs that actually exist is about two decades of television. There is literally no storyline they haven’t covered.

More endings in a post coming soon, along with some evidence that all is not lost. Dr Cranium is now going to watch the two final episodes of Battlestar Galactica, which is ending just as it got good again.