October 18, 2004

Ask Tim: A Modern M*A*S*H?

A very interesting question came to me recently:
I have a couple questions that I would like addressed by Tim. Recently the Fox affiliate in Milwaukee, Wis. stopped airing Seinfeld in the 6:30 time slot and replaced it with Malcolm in the Middle. Can anyone over 11 years of age rationalize this decision? Today when people of our generation flip through the channels and M*A*S*H is on we think, “who is the heck ever watched this show, and why was it so popular, this is a waste of perfectly good air space…” Has Seinfeld become our generation’s M*A*S*H?
Frankie Muniz

I think this is an excellent analogy. M*A*S*H was, by all accounts, a very well-written show which attracted dozens of viewers, yet I can't sit through more than 10 seconds of it. I don't know if it's because of the grainy video quality that could be easily exceeded today using a $50 camera phone, or the fact that a war-time emergency room has already been mined of all comedic value, or the theme song which was seemingly composed with the goal of making me want to hit myself in the head with a hammer.

Now, Seinfeld, there's a show I get. I too question the wisdom of replacing Seinfeld with Malcom in the Middle. The only possible justification, and I know I've discussed this with #1 DAD before, is that over our 4-5 years of college and handful of years since then, we've seen approximately 365 * 6 = 2190 episodes, assuming one a day. Since this show has been shown approximately six times a day, one a day is probably a low estimate. This means that you've probably seen each episode several times.

Meanwhile, I've not seen many Malcom in the Middle episodes at all. So, this seems like a marriage made in heaven. Unfortunately, the honeymoon is already over. There is a reason I have not seen many Malcolm in the Middle episodes. I don't like the show. It is hard enough dealing with actual women (though I assure you this is as much my fault as theirs). Trying to listen to the wildly exaggerated matriarch on that show is painful. She makes "Murphy Brown" seem endearing and sensitive by comparison. She makes Elaine Benes seem the epitome of reason.

So, change is inevitable, and usually bad. I dread the day when "The Simpsons" is taken from syndication and replaced by "8 Simple Rules." Come on, you know it's gonna happen. Posted by mill1991 at October 18, 2004 5:27 PM