Today's Brew: 'Dancing With the Stars' & 'The Kennedys' -- Caring Is Everything
Most often, when I don't watch a show, it's not because I hate the show or dislike anyone in it (OK, that doesn't count for Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher, Sandra Bernhard and Rosie O'Donnell -- life is too short for their version of "humor").
(UPDATE: BTW, you can toss George Lopez on the above list. Click here to see why.)
It's usually because I just don't care. The show doesn't interest me, excite me or make me feel compelled to watch it. Because of my job, I have to watch a LOT of TV, including shows that aren't my cuppa tea, so when I choose to watch something, there has to be a good reason.
It must delight me, move me, fascinate me or otherwise grab me by the scruff of my neck and snake me until I give in and must watch.
After hearing this year's lineup for "Dancing With the Stars," I just didn't care. I didn't object to any of the celebrities, they just didn't spark my interest. After the over-the-top fun and fireworks of last season, this was just "meh."
But, there I was, Monday night, 8 p.m., nothing better to do or watch (I savor "Chuck" on the DVR), and somehow my hand found the remote and switched over to ABC.
I thought, "Ah, what the heck, I'll just piddle around and listen to the songs, at least."
Before I knew it, I was sucked in, and by the end, Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley had me cheering. With horses in the race, I now care and am probably doomed to watch until the fugly mirror-ball trophy is handed out.
(Click here for clips of both performances.)
Tip of the hat to the producers -- I thought you picked "meh" people, but once again, the ballroom is rocking.
Now to "The Kennedys," the miniseries, produced by "24" co-creator Joel Surnow, that got booted off History Channel -- the "American Pickers" network suddenly got very picky about its history -- and wandered in the desert, rejected by network after network, until ReelzChannel gave it a home, where it premieres on April 3.
(Click here for Surnow's interview with Entertainment Weekly; and here for his chat with the Hollywood Reporter; and here for the ReelzChannel homepage.)
Unlike some folks, I'm not a Kennedy worshiper, despite having watched Oliver Stone's "JFK" about a bazillion times (it's one of the silliest and yet most entertaining movies I've ever seen). And heaven knows, the subject matter has been done and done, for decades and decades, in every possible medium.
I would have been happy to just ignore "The Kennedys," until History ditched it, that is.
The cablenet's explanation didn't hold a lot of water, and it started to smell like censorship. I even had a nice chat with Surnow's former "24" colleague, Howard Gordon, in which he said the same thing.
Yesterday, the pile of "Kennedys" DVDs arrived, and yes, I will be watching the whole thing.
So, at least for me, the attempt to bury "The Kennedys" has only served to pique my interest in something I would otherwise have just passed by without a second thought.
Censorship has a way of doing that.