Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I AM NOT, HOWEVER, THANKFUL FOR MICHIGAN J. FROG: It may seem rather odd for a late 20-something male to admit this, but I want to issue my thanks this year to the last television network you might expect a person of my age and gender to love--the WB. Sure, when the WB got started, it was unmitigated crud, but I'm thankful for two major reasons.

First, look at the list of people who got their first major starring gigs on the WB--Jamie Foxx, Keri Russell, Scott Foley, Scott Speedman, Amanda Peet, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and Katherine Heigl. Add to that being the network that gave genius scribes J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and Greg Berlanti their first major showrunning gigs--even if in Berlanti's case it was on Dawson's Creek.

The other is because, although they'll never get the Emmy love they deserve, the WB currently has arguably both the best drama and best comedy on television. Kim has written often about her love for Gilmore Girls, and I join A.J. Jacobs in his published in Esquire statement that it's also a great show for men, even beyond the opportunity to ogle Mmes. Graham and Bledel. More underappreciated is the wonderful Everwood, suffering from a horrid timeslot this season (though it's done well as counterprogramming), which has explored love, lust, forgiveness, death and dying, and teenage alienation perhaps better than any show since My So-Called Life. Even if the WB doesn't know how to market it, it's a real and authentic drama.

Sure, I can't even try to defend 7th Heaven, One Tree Hill, or Living With Fran, but there are additional joys to be found--the cheese of Related, the suprisingly honest and heartwarming Beauty and the Geek, or repeats of the late, lamented Felicity. So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the most underappreciated network in terms of quality on television--the WB. (I'm on the road and will be offline for much of the holiday weekend--enjoy your turkey and your family.)

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