It’s time for Entertainment Watch, my hard look at what the television landscape has to offer the American people these days. The landscape is pretty bleak, I’d have to say, with the exception of “Dancing with the Stars,” and “The Apprentice.”


 


It’s time for Entertainment Watch, my hard look at what the television landscape has to offer the American people these days. The landscape is pretty bleak, I’d have to say, with the exception of “Dancing with the Stars,” and “The Apprentice,” the latter of which I still cannot believe I watch. (I won’t insert a lame Trump bad hair joke here; I’m a better correspondent than that. But if I had a pair of scissors and Mr. Trump alone in a room … .)

Anyhoo, let’s start with the ending of the NBC show “ER,” which has been hyped more than Obama’s stimulus plan. Enough with the grunge/indie/indulgent music that is so prevalent in shows like this; “Grey’s Anatomy” uses it, too (I don’t watch this, I just watch the commercials for it and am up to speed; they’re cooler than us, more angst-ridden than us, have more unnamed longings than us – we get it). I can’t pay attention to the shows that use this music, because I am so busy swiveling in my seat going, “Where have I heard that – who does that song? Is it that Minnesota band I’m Sadder Than You or is it that Seattle band I Don’t Know What I Want But Check Out my Hair?” My family of males just shrug and wait for me to leave so they can turn on the hockey game. Back to “ER” – we all stopped watching a long time ago, back around the time we calmed down about “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Sure, we checked into “ER” when John Stamos joined the cast, just to make sure the mullet was gone, but other than that. … You should have snuck up on us, producers, and just promoted the ending of the show tonight, right before it airs. We might have become nostalgic from your commercials, instead of just exhausted by them.

OK, next item. What is the deal with this: You are watching one show, sleepily hanging on, when tiny characters from another show start creeping across the screen? I thought I was losing my mind the first time it happened. I was groggily lying in bed, thinking about ice cream and watching “The Closer” on TNT. Suddenly, two guys from another show start bopping across the bottom of the screen, slapping each other on the back and then turning and grinning at me! They were about an inch tall. Behind them Kyra Sedgewick looked like a giant; a giant doing an interrogation. “Did you see that?” I asked my husband, sitting straight up in bed and pointing toward the screen. My husband was busy reading a big book about hockey. He laughed. “Oh, yeah, those are the little characters from another show – the buddies who solve crimes.” I shook my head, trying to clear it. “But why are they on Kyra’s show?” (I say “Kyra” like we’re friends.) “I don’t like that, it’s creepy. I need ice cream to get over it.” Now it seems to happen all the time; tiny people acting crazy, trying by their tiny craziness to get you to watch their show. Enough, tiny people! We’re bigger than that!

Last item in my Entertainment Watch: reality TV. I really like reality TV. But there’s a problem; I am always crying! Have you seen “The Biggest Loser” or “Extreme Home Makeover?” When the bus driver moves that bus, you would think I was given the new house. It gets tricky when you are crying over “Extreme Home Makeover” and your doorbell rings; it is a dad dropping off your son’s hockey bag. “Can anyone get that?” I say vaguely, bawling, eyes glued to the screen where a child is getting her first glimpse of her new bedroom that “the design team” themed like a circus because she once mentioned she liked fried dough. Real giraffes and elephants and tigers are pacing in her room, and her plasma TV is rimmed with diamonds, to match the collars on the animals. I go to the front door – my eyes are red and puffy, my face blotchy. I wipe my nose on my sweater. “Hey, Neil,” I say to the dad, motioning towards the TV, “I’m sorry I’m a mess, but I’m watching ‘Extreme Home Makeover,’ and this little girl just got a circus bedroom and see there is a big top, and there are even tigers, and a popcorn vender. …” I trail off as Neil shuffles on the front porch. Neil has been out in the real world, doing real things. You kind of have to be there to understand how deeply “Extreme Home Makeover” can affect you.

So I hope you have enjoyed my Entertainment Watch; please be as discerning as I am when you watch TV. Just keep tissues on hand - and beware of the teeny tiny people. I’m not the only one who sees them … right?

You can connect with Deirdre at www.exhaustedrapunzel.com.