The Austin Chronicle

TV Eye

From a whisper to a scream

By Belinda Acosta, January 6, 2006, Screens

Top 10 Overrated or Overhyped Shows

1) Ghost Whisperer (CBS): Who made a pact with the devil to make this show a success? What Kool-Aid do you have to drink to believe that Jennifer Love Hewitt is an actress?

2) House (Fox): I've spent too much time with ineffectual doctors to watch one who makes it a point to make everyone miserable; it leaves me stone cold.

3) Grey's Anatomy (ABC): The polar opposite of House: a bunch of sexually stupid, emotionally arrested doctors dying to save lives. However, I'm most annoyed with the fact that Sandra Oh is not the star of this or any other show. Ellen Pompeo stars as the self-absorbed Meredith Grey, whom this series inexplicably revolves around.

4) Everybody Hates Chris (UPN): Sure, it's funny, but the greatest thing since the invention of fire?

5) The OC (Fox): The series has been phoned in this year.

6) Desperate Housewives (ABC): Great first year – what happened? Thank goodness for Felicity Huffman.

7) The Office (NBC): Acceptable with Steve Carell if you never saw the original BBC version with Ricky Gervais.

8) Rome (HBO): Romans with British accents? The only thing I like about this show is Polly Walker as Atia.

9) Joey (NBC): They finally had the good sense to put this mediocre series out of its misery.

10) Any pre-awards show coverage: Ill-prepared hosts (Joan Rivers); hosts that gush to the point of prostration (Star Jones); the plain boring or bored (any of those second-tier hosts on E!). Take them all. Kathy Griffin had a good run on E!, but she's being booted out when workaholic Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) takes on hosting duties next year.

Top 10 TV Shows

1) Arrested Development (Fox): Bitingly funny. And yet, it's doomed; that is, unless some other net steps forward to pick it up.

2) My Name Is Earl (NBC): Jokes at the expense of poor white folk? You could argue that, but it's the unexpected jokes lobbed from left field that kill.

3) Prison Break (Fox): The premise is preposterous, yet this show is ridiculously addictive.

4) Entourage (HBO): The trick of this series is that Adrian Grenier manages to make pretty-boy-turned-movie-star Vince Chase charming. Jeremy Piven as his high-strung agent Ari Gold is so miserable, he's hilarious. The rest of the posse is pitch-perfect.

5) Lost (ABC): Just when I think I'm losing interest, this series sucks me back in.

6) The Daily Show (Comedy Central): I don't know if the world is a bigger mess than it has been in the past, but this half-hour of intelligent frivolity almost makes me happy the world sucks.

7) Commander in Chief (ABC): Sure, I admit it – a middle-aged woman's power fantasy in smart pumps.

8) The West Wing (NBC): Something about this race between two dream candidates has me hooked. The untimely death of John Spencer, who played vice-presidential candidate Leo McGarry, will provide a curious challenge.

9) Threshold (CBS): One of the smartest sci-fi series to come along in a long time. It's gone, but Ghost Whisperer survives. Honorable mention, Invasion (ABC): Creepy!

10) (tie) Gilmore Girls (WB) and Veronica Mars (UPN): It was miserable to endure those episodes when Lorelai and Rory weren't speaking, but how about that bombshell of Luke having a kid from his past? And Veronnie? Where do I begin?

Other Notables

Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Epitafios (HBO), 24 (Fox), Medium (NBC), The Shield and Rescue Me (FX)

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