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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Godspeed, Michigan J. Frog

I can't believe this day has come so soon. The WB is going to cease to exist. Granted, it will be reborn under a new moniker, The CW, but that's hardly as lyrical. This article quotes some 20 and 30-somethings who feels as if they grew up with The WB. I'm definitely in that camp. Our love affair began when it was one of the best stations that I could receive in my first apartment, a slightly fuzzy transmission coming through dog-eared antennas attached to a 13-inch screen.

The programs often ranged from the criminally stupid (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), to the infuriatingly self-righteous and poorly acted (7th Heaven). But The WB also managed to broadcast the Alpha and Omega of primetime television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Along the way it also brought to life some of my other favorites: Angel, Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls, Roswell, Popular, and Supernatural. The WB became shorthand for teen-centered shows, many of which weren't really embraced by the teens they were supposedly about. Me and my 20 and 30-year-old friends followed these shows. We would even get together to watch some of them. So The WB will always have a special place in my heart for creating a sort of "hearth" where we would come together and bitch about how unchristian the Camdens were, count Felicity's sweater changes in any given episode, or try to figure out what was going on with Dawson's forehead this week. Good times.

I see some pros and some cons when thinking about the combined network.
  • Pro #1: the shows I like on these networks at least won't be fighting each other in the same timeslots.
  • Pro #2: All of the shows I pay attention to on both networks (Veronica Mars included) were mentioned in the press release, which hopefully means they will still have slots next Fall.
  • Pro #3: Without a sixth network's schedule to fill up, horrible shows like Shasta McNasty will be mercifully killed BEFORE they make it to air.
  • Con #1: I fear that a lot of UPN's slate, the most diverse schedule on TV, will be junked.
  • Con #2: With CBS in control, The CW could become a CSI spinoff dumping ground.
  • Con #3: Without a sixth network's schedule to fill up, awesomely wrong shows like Shasta McNasty will be mercifully killed BEFORE they make it to air.

Goodnight, my dear sweet WB. You will always have a fond place in my heart. Farewell UPN. You've repaid your debt to society (Rock Me Baby? Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer? The Mullets?) many times over by giving Buffy, Roswell, and Veronica Mars a home. Good luck, CW. I don't know if you'll earned that article yet. If you come through for us though, you'll get your "The" back.

UPDATE: Buffy may have sealed the deal after all: an interesting theory from the LA Times.

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