Desperate Housewives, Cougar Town, Gossip Girl... Call me an anti-American misogynist, but why would anyone want to watch the painted banshees that litter these shows? Watching Desperate Housewives is like having one of those old-fashioned police sirens go off right next to my ear hole. Is it just me that feels physically sick at the sound of their ear-piercing bleating?
The US military should forget water boarding, they should strap their suspect into a chair in a windowless room and play him the season one box set of Cougar Town. After an hour or so of Courtney Cox doing her best impression of Teri Hatcher on Desperate Housewives, he'll be begging to confess.
Stick insect slatterns being zany and kooky at 110 decibels! What fun!
Your correspondent has the misfortune to live with someone who can gorge - at the drop of a hat - on hours of mainstream American television. Hour after hour of the above mentioned, plus the utterly joyless snooze fest that's FlashForward (you'll find me opening my wrists up in the bathroom just to escape), Legend of the Seeker (perfectly fine if you're a 12-year-old geek), NCIS: Los Angeles (where do I start? It appears to be some sort of cop show, with humour written by a 9-year-old shoehorned in).
They're all gloss and no substance, sickly confections, fluffy and insubstantial. No balls, no teeth, nothing. The kind of thing that British television has degenerated into over the last ten years. (Mind you, at least the Americans have The Wire, True Blood, Nurse Jackie, Rescue Me... What's the one thing UK telly does better than the US? Soap. We've got EastEnders, they've got The Young and the Restless.)
That's why, in the grip of my better half's all-American crapfest, I felt an extra kick in the guts when I heard the news that David Mills had died. He'd written for The Corner, Homicide: Life on the Street, NYPD Blue, and, of course, The Wire, and he was just 48.
I'd rather watch one single episode of his work, on a continuous loop, than have to endure a single second of Cougar Town and its ilk ever again.
Title quote: "Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them." Joseph Heller, American writer, 1923-99.