Will someone please explain to me what's going on on Deal or No Deal?.

Is that REALLY Howie Wait-Just-A-God-Damned-Minute Mandel with a soul patch?

OK, I'm kidding, I'm not actually writing my fourth post of the morning about Deal or No Deal (but, seriously though, I haven't yelled at my television this much since I thought I saw Maria Sharapova slip a nip at Wimbledon and the director REFUSED to give me an instant replay). I'm just trying to stay awake because:

A. I have absolutely NO work to do since I did it all yesterday


B. I was up until 3:30am this morning finishing a short story for Writing Group, and THAT was after getting up at 5am the morning prior and only napping for one interrupted hour in the middle.

I'm on 2 and a half hours of sleep right now, and since I've found such stimulating topics to write about like "The O.C.", "24" and "The Sopranos," I'm fairly wired. But, now I've run out of favorite shows to talk about (at least, while they're still running new episodes ... damn that creator of Arrested Development not taking the Showtime deal).

To be honest with you, in keeping with my whole Television theme of the day, there hasn't been a new show to really WOW me since The O.C. came on. Arrested Development didn't start to wow me until I watched re-run episodes on DVD at the house on 8th Ave. I was REALLY into that show Reunion this year until they pulled it - but that was only going to be a one-shot deal anyway, as every episode sucked my will to live until the final ten minutes. I figured, coming into this season, that I'd watch Prison Break, because I was promised it would be the lead-in to 24, but that wasn't until March, and I'm glad I didn't start watching, what with that huge gap in the middle. I hear nothing but amazing things from people who watch The Shield, Monk, Nip/Tuck, and Rescue Me, but those shows are on basic cable and I have a hard enough time remembering Monday @ 9; Thursday @ 9; Sunday @ 9. Of course, ABC has seen a resurgence with Lost, Desperate Housewives, and the now-biggest of the lot, Grey's Anatomy. But, I hear Lost is one of the most frustrating shows that also seems to be losing steam in Season 2 as it raises unanswered question after unanswered question. Same with Housewives, not as hot as it was in Season 1 (possibly suffering from an O.C. disorder of shooting its wad in the first 20-something episodes of a perfectly-crafted first season). Grey's Anatomy, however appears to be the real deal. And, if only I could manage to get my shit together and remember to actually WATCH the fucking thing, I'm sure I'd get my big payoff. As it stands, I guess I can still rent the DVDs or download the unseen episodes. There's still time, if I will it.

Then again, I shouldn't be watching so much television anyway. As a kid, I'd await the new TV Season like it was a second Christmas. I'd find myself a printed copy of the upcoming schedule, highlight at least 2-hours worth of television I'd be watching each and every Prime Time evening, and paste that puppy on my wall as a constant reminder that there's ALWAYS something on.

Then, all I would have to do is watch and get hooked. The problem is, Networks started to prematurely pull the shows that I liked! I was never so irreperably jaded as when Nowhere Man was pulled from the WB after only one season. WITH a cliffhanger ending! Oh, I was heartbroken. The guy who took the photos the government didn't want to get out, who had his entire identity stripped from him, who, week after week, eluded the authorities that be in one of the biggest, most widespread conspiracies this country has ever seen ... he was ABOUT to get some fucking answers FROM those authorities that be. But, before we could get to it, the season ended. And then I read that it wouldn't be picked up for a second season by the WB. THE WB!!! What else are they going to show??? Holy Christ! They could've carved out an hour SOMEWHERE for a show just for me!

After that, I stopped letting myself get hooked on great shows. Newsradio was canned soon afterward and I told myself then and there, "No more watching new shows. Just keep watching the old shows you like now until they're gone, and then let it be. Become a non-television intellectual."

Of course, then The O.C. and 24 came on, followed by Arrested Development, Family Guy, The Sopranos, and a bevy of quality programming on Comedy Central. Once again, I was hooked. But, not to the vapid extent I was as a child. And I was wiser. Ever wiser. Don't be shocked when a smart, hilarious comedy doesn't get retained, because people across the land are morons. Don't let yourself get hooked into serialized dramas. Because, for every 24 that somehow finds a way to make it, there are a dozen Reunions and Nowhere Mans out there to break your heart.

That is, if a television show were actually capable of such a feat. Which they aren't ...

Bring Back "Just The 10 Of Us"