Friday, May 13, 2005

What I Didn't Watch

There are tapes (or, more commonly, DVDs) that sit in my review piles and make me feel guilty. The last hour of ''Star Trek: Enterprise,'' airing tonight, is one. The recent series finale of ''Third Watch'' was another.
With a lot of things that come in, it's a no-brainer whether to watch and write about it. The ending of a hugely popular series? Definitely. Local angle? For sure. A cable special of no distinction, without any actors of note? Not likely.
But there are others, like ''Enterprise'' and ''Third Watch,'' where I keep thinking that I should watch, even if I don't really want to.
''Third Watch'' hasn't interested me in years, with the level of melodrama too high for me to bear. But I remember when it was a good series, even a very good one, and that made me think at one point that its departure merited attention.
''Enterprise'' is another show that hasn't interested me much, even if there is a local connection via Brannon Braga. I know all about the way its demise is being treated as the latest sign of the collapse of the ''Star Trek'' franchise, with the usual speculation about how ''Star Trek'' can be reinvented for -- you'll excuse the expression -- the next generation. But ''Star Trek'' had become a marginal, cult-level pleasure long before ''Enterprise,'' and I wasn't going to have a fresh contribution to the discussion.
Besides, there's the whole issue of whether life is long and lush enough that I can take an hour or two to watch these shows.
Even if one or the other proved interesting, I have to figure out where the time and print space will come from, with all the other things I do every week -- the mailbag column (and the additional online questions), the time-consuming DVD column, the Channels cover piece, the entries in this blog (my favorite activity at the moment) and other ventures. For one, I have a column in Sunday's paper about the end of ''Everybody Loves Raymond,'' which has both a local connection (Patricia Heaton) and a very large audience.
I know that some viewers are passionate about ''Enterprise'' and ''Third Watch,'' much the way just about every show has at least a few fiercely loyal viewers. Still, I can't write about everything because, as you all know, there's too much of everything to fit into one life.
So I decided to pass on ''Enterprise'' and ''Third Watch.'' I felt guilty about doing it, but that comes with the job. In any given week, there will be something that I might have had fun watching -- and just couldn't get to.

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