Thursday, May 20, 2004



They should have called this season "Loose Ends".

First, Jack avenges his wife's death by killing Nina part way through the season and then, last night, SHERRY meets her end at the hands of Milliken's wife. That puts a rather tidy bow on the whole reason for the Milliken-Palmer storyline. I was glad to see the Sherry character get bounced from the series, as the character had outlived its usefulness and needed to be done away with.

The first 10 minutes set a new gold standard for intensity, as Jack threatened to put Saunders' daughter into the hotel where the virus had been loosed. I really believed Jack would go through with it and, worse, so would Saunders, sacrificing his daughter for the sake of his "cause". Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. INTENSE, though.

I liked the ending and we are now headed for the big finale, which will be Jack and Chase pursuing the last vial of virus through Los Angeles. I have a sneaking suspicion that the virus is at CTU in Adam's hands, as they were still waiting for the face to be revealed. Of course, it could be anybody who has the last vial, but I think it's somebody we know as there has got to be one last twist.

Final episode of CSI tonight. I missed the CSI NY debut, but will try to catch it in reruns this summer.

On a final note, I see that Paramount is really moving up the timetable in getting TV series out on DVD. According to TV Shows on DVD, CSI Season 4 and CSI:Miami Season 2 (the seasons currently wrapping up on CBS), will be out in August and September of this year, before the new seasons start. I have a sneaking suspicion this will become the rule rather than the exception as the TV business model changes. The old model looked something like this:

* Run the season on its home network
* Repeat it during the summer (usually out of sequence)
* Run as filler during off weeks the following season
* Release it for syndication starting in year 3 and continue until nobody wants it anymore.

The plan still works for sitcoms (Raymond, Frasier, Friends, for example), but is not near as successful for dramas and action shows, which lose a significant number of viewers after the first run. I suspect this is due to the fact that, like re-reading a mystery novel, it's just not as compelling to many the scond time around. I think dramas will follow this model:

* Run the season on its home network
* Release it in the summer on DVD, if it is successful
* If it's moderately successful, skip the DVD releases until after the show ends

Being an owner of 24, the West Wing and CSI on DVD, I much prefer watching the show in the original sequence, commercial free. I find that the continuing storylines and character development flow much better. Dramas, as a rule, require a serious weekly commitment not needed by sitcoms, since things happen to characters over the course of the season that, while not major plot points, are important in an episode-to-episode way that can be a bit jarring to the casual viewer.

Well, that's enough of that. Back tomorrow with hockey.