Here’s the deal. Years from now, people will ask each other, “Where were you on January 2, 2012?” Stories will be retold, memories shared, and everyone will recall, with great fondness, the events of this historic day. For it was on this, the first Monday of the year, that Celebrity Wife Swap made its US debut. On this night, former child star and current former child star Tracey Gold swapped households with former carnie and current Wilson, Carnie Wilson. And, while I didn’t watch it myself, the result must have been pure television magic.
So imagine my surprise when, earlier this week, I saw an ad for the season finale of this very same show. That’s correct, the season premiere was on January 2nd, and the season finale is tomorrow, January 31st. Um, last time I checked, January wasn’t a season…it was a month. What’s next, a show premieres on Monday and the finale is Wednesday? The madness must be stopped…or, in this case, elongated.
Sure, I’m the same guy who, a few months ago, complained about “more.” And, believe me, I am not arguing for more Celebrity Wife Swap. As best I can tell, nobody is arguing for more Celebrity Wife Swap. No one appreciates how they’re playing fast and loose with the term, “celebrity.” But I am saying that if a season of your television series can be fit into the time it takes for Sandra Bullock to attend rehab (no, I’m not saying that Sandy went to rehab, I’m referring to her dramatic turn as big city newspaper reporter Gwen Cummings in the moving, 2000 release 28 Days…and its 2002 sequel, the Cillian Murphy helmed, 28 Days Later…which, now that I think about it, is less of a sequel and more of a reimagining…with less rehab drama and more zombies…) then maybe you shouldn’t air your show in the first place.
Yes, I would rather watch twelve episodes of a quality show like The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, Dallas or Melrose Place than have to sit through twenty-six episodes of such dreck as The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, Dallas or Melrose Place (depending on your age, feel free to insert the 1959, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1992 versions or the 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 versions into the “quality” versus “dreck” categories as you see fit), but there has to be a limit. We can’t keep shortening our TV seasons forever. I know we live in a fast-paced world, but at this rate the season premiere and the season finale will be the same show…and then what will we call it? A prenale? I can’t live in a world like that.
So, how am I going to do it? How will I…aw, forget it…these shortened TV seasons have reduced my attention span…hey, look, tonight’s the season premiere of Celebrity Whitney (it’s just like Whitney, only with celebrities).