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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TV fare to watch for hours

Mike Morin

I’ve actually been enjoying television lately. “American Idol” is sporting its best crop of singers in years. Kirstie Alley, Gary Busey and the Red Sox keep me glued to the tube thanks to their high train wreck quotients. Then it occurred to me. I’m liking TV lately because there have been no political ads.

I was reminded of that fact last Monday when Mitt Romney announced an exploratory committee to gauge interest in a possible presidential run. It may be mud season in New Hampshire now, but it will be mud-slinging season-on-steroids soon with endless political TV ads pre-primary season.

Almost as annoying are the pharmaceutical ads for every ailment known to mankind. Whatever happened to spots for St. Joseph baby aspirin? Alka Seltzer? Today’s medical commercial disclaimers are making me paranoid. “May induce cramps. Or death. You’re gonna die, suckah! Use as directed.” Some disclaimers have me glancing at my watch as I approach the magical four-hour mark after “the mood strikes.” Do I call the doctor or take a cold shower?

We’re also becoming a nation of Dr. Oz-bots. A practitioner friend of mine told me that at least twice a day, one of her patients quotes the TV doc. “Well, Doctor Oz says…” My favorite TV doctor was Robert Young as Marcus Welby, M.D. He carried a reassuring black doctor’s bag and wore a cardigan sweater. Mr. Rogers with a blood pressure cuff.

What really has me stoked about TV is I just found out my favorite HBO show, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” starring Larry David, finally returns this summer. I got the good news from a website (thefutoncritic.com) that lists hundreds of TV show and their airing status. While fist-pumping the air about “Curb,” I was dumbstruck at the number of TV shows I’d never heard of but can’t wait to check out. Have you watched of any of these?

 • “Desperate Landscapes” (DIY) – I so need this after my recent mole invasion.

 • “Dining With Death” (Travel) – Plug in your favorite pharmaceutical disclaimer here.

 • “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” (LOGO) – Who says there’s nothing good on TV?

 • “Exit 19” (Lifetime) – Exit 19 may be where producers found Ru Paul.

 • “Garbage Moguls” (NGC) – Look what getting grimy got Mike Rowe. The “Dirty Jobs” host has recycled a career in trash into big time product endorsements.

 • “Squidbillies” (Adult Swim) – Theme song: “Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed, poor lobsterman barely kept his family fed. Then one day he was fishin’ with his kid and up through the waves came a 60-foot squid.” Feel free to finish the song.

 • “Retired at 35” (TV Land) – I will not watch this one. I hate anyone who can quit working at 35.

 • And don’t miss “Lizard Lick Towing” on TRUTV.

There are nine shows with the word “ghost” in the title and 15 TV series containing the word “real.” Sixteen, if you count “Reality Hell” on the E network, also known as campaign season in New Hampshire.

Hear Mike Morin weekdays from 5-10 a.m. on “New Hampshire in the Morning” on 95.7 WZID. Contact him at Heymikey@aol.com. His column runs the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month.