I wanted to love HBO's "Treme," -- which ends its first season at 9 p.m. Sunday. I really did. There's a lot to like about it, from the characters, low-lifes and and on up the food chain, in the always-interesting setting of New Orleans.
The setting is even more interesting in this in-the-wake-of-Katrina drama.
But the beautifully produced serial has lacked a crucial attribute: an overall plot to tie together the finely-crafted little stories. I'm not unsatisfied when I watch an episode, but I've become less likely to watch. In fact, my DVR is clogged with the past three episodes (and I haven't seen Sunday's finale).
I'll watch them, and what I'll see is far beyond what you can expect to see on network TV. It's just not as good as I had expected. Maybe HBO has spoiled me.
The reign ends: Another show ending Sunday, this time at 8 p.m., is Showtime's "The Tudors." Henry VIII, played interestingly by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, finally got old in this historical swashbuckler -- if never losing his boyish figure. He does go off the deep end a bit, with his previous spouses returning to visit him.
I have had a chance to see Sunday's series finale (I don't understand why they don't move on to the stories of young King Edward and his two royal sisters, Mary and Elizabeth). And it does wrap up an interesting take on the oft-told story of the king with six wives.
While the show had its sleazy side (especially in the king's younger days), it dealt with issues of religion, politics and war in an often blunt way.
I learned some things I didn't know about Tudor history, and I remember the original "Six Wives of Henry VIII" back in the early days of PBS' "Masterpiece Theater."
On TV: Channel 4's Susan Kim, the co-anchor of the morning newscast, joins me on this week's TV edition of OnMedia, which is available today on Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin On Demand Channel 411. Among our topics is Kim's use of Twitter, where she's @SusanKim4.
- Speaking of Twitter, "Modern Family" co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson tweeted the photograph of the cast of the best new comedy of last season took for Esquire Magazine, mimicking Norman Rockwell's famous Saturday Evening Post Thanksgiving cover.
- Nearly 5 million people tuned in for Wednesday night's premiere of Betty White's "Hot in Cleveland," according to Nielsen Media Research numbers. That makes it TV Land's biggest show ever.
- Radio talker Rush Limbaugh follows in the footsteps of Charles Barkley and Ray Romano and will star on the next season of the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project," with Hank Haney coaching him on his golf game. It'll air next year.
It's tragically funny: Comedy is a great way to delve into unpleasant truths, and Jon Stewart did just that Wednesday night with a look at the last eight occupants of the White House and their succeeding failures on the energy front.
Stewart is the first person to tell you he's not a news guy and his "Daily Show" isn't a news show. But he is a great political commentator, wielding his humor in a way few do these days, and targeting Democrats and Republicans.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|An Energy-Independent Future|
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.