Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I Hate David E. Kelley

Let me preface this posting by saying I've never actually met David E. Kelley. For all I know, he's a wonderful guy and caring human being.

But he's a sucky TV producer.

Yeah, I know he's gotten tons of TV shows on the air that for some reason TV critics always seem to love, but for me, the rare moments I've caught an episode or two of one of his shows, I feel my intelligence has been insulted.

Look, I'm the guy who rails about "24" and "Prison Break" because they rarely meet my "willing suspension of disbelief" test, but those storylines are practically Shakespearian compared to the various offerings from Kelley over the years.

My first brush with a Kelley show was catching an episode of "Picket Fences" at a friend's house in grad school. In the episode, the mayor of the town has shot someone to death. He tells this to his lawyer, who then argues to the court that he can't represent his client because he knows the client to be guilty.

Huh? But before this little flaw in 200 years of American jurisprudence is resolved, the mayor spontaneously combusts. (I'm really not making this up). Needless to say, I didn't catch any more "Picket Fences" after that.

There was this two-part episode of "The Practice" I unfortunately had to watch because it was running on the TV in the office. In it, the lawyers are defending a guy who supposedly murdered his lover. At one point, the lawyers keep getting rulings against them by the judge, so they get out of their chairs and threaten to leave en masse as a sign of protest. Seriously. The case is eventually resolved when the lawyer gets a witness on the stand to read something, and the witness pulls out her eyeglasses. The lawyer realizes that because of this, the witness is the killer. (Don't ask me, I didn't get it either.)

Over at another friend's house once, "Chicago Hope" was playing in the background. During those few minutes, a group of medical students snuck a horse into the hospital as a prank (and the horse got away from them) and two doctors were engaged in dirty talk with each other - while they were treating an accident victim in the ER. (Didn't make that up, either).

All of this is a long-winded way of pointing out that Kelley's latest opus, "Wedding Bells" (Fox, 9 p.m.) makes its debut tonight. Teri Polo is one of three sisters who run a wedding-planner business. Hilarity often ensues with their various clients. (Perhaps someone will even spontaneously combust, who knows?)

I plan on not watching "Wedding Bells," not because I couldn't care less about the wedding planning business - I don't care about haute couture and I still love "Ugly Betty" - but because it's a Kelley show.

Don't even get me started on the fact that Kelley is adapting one of my favorites, "Life on Mars," to American TV even as it still airs on the BBC in its true, proper form. Most British shows (with the exception of "The Office") suffer when they make the leap to U.S. TV, and one can only wonder how bad "Life on Mars" will suck in Kelley's hands.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: NBC has yanked "Friday Night Lights" this week, which is usually one of my reasons for living on Wednesays. The rest of the night, however, is new with original episodes of "Crossing Jordan" and "Medium" - neither of which has ever given me a reason to live.

With the female contestants squaring off on "American Idol," (Fox, 8 p.m.), "Wedding Bells" should do well in the ratings having that strong lead-in.

"Jericho" (CBS, 8 p.m.) is new, but the rest of the night - "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY" - aren't.

ABC is continuing to run original "Lost" episodes for the rest of the season at 10 p.m., but tortures us with two hours of sitcom mediocrity beforehand.


Zodin2008 said...

I am with you on David E. Kelley. He's an incompetent twit who somehow keeps getting shows on the air while the smartest guy ever to make a Television show, Joss Whedon, is nowhere to be seen...further to show all the injustices on TV.

And yes, you could put 1 Hour of Rosie O'Donnell making out with her girlfriend after "Idol" and it would finish in the Top 10, so hardly a judge of ratings quality.

pjianek said...

well, we might've finally found something we can agree on.

i accidentally turned to wedding bells, and actually suffered through half the episode before i couldn't take it anymore. i've never been a davide e. kelley fan either, and i think this might actually be his worst work ever.

KellyC said...

I watched "Wedding Bells" last night not aware that it was a DEK production - and OH MY GOD... this reminds me so much of Aaron spelling circa 1984 when he was pumping out soap opera dogs like Dynasty (which I naively loved at the time).

BUT it was a halfway believable show until the VERY end - when the bitchy client announces that she bought the business and will be the bosses of all of them. UGH... no more wedding bells in my ear.

Phillip Ramati said...

Wow, if I'd known there were so many Kelley haters out there, I'd have posted this months ago!

PJ and KellyC, sorry you were exposed to Wedding Bells.

I haven't yet decided if I will watch the pilot to the American version of Life on Mars. On the one hand, I feel irresponsible for ripping it without having seen it. On the other hand, the thought of what Kelley is going to do to one of my favorite shows is probably not good for my blood pressure.