The overwhelming majority of TV is bad. Here is some commentary on what went wrong this year:

n Biggest nosedive from last season to current season: “Will & Grace” Just when you thought NBC’s comedy dream team was becoming a well-oiled machine, Leo (Harry Connick Jr.) had to join the cast. Grace’s (Debra Messing) marriage to Connick’s dull, bumbling doctor has turned the show’s usually hilarious, clever writing into a series of awkward love triangle moments. Will (Eric McCormack) is left with little to do but sulk around his now Grace-less apartment. While still a ratings giant, the show is hanging on the talents of Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally), arguably the strongest supporting players on a network comedy series.

n Best reason to watch “Friends”: “Survivor: Thailand” The latest installment of “Survivor” is evidence that Mark Burnett’s ratings-winning formula is wearing thin. Never before has the eventual winner, in this case Brian, been this obvious from the start. You just knew that Chuay Guan was going to triumph over the younger, hipper Sook Jai. Despite Burnett’s promises of dramatic twists, we are instead fed with recycled garbage from previous seasons (how many times can they do an obstacle course?). With any luck, “Survivor” will not outwit, outlast and outplay after the Amazon, where it is headed next.

n Once unique in its unusually advanced vocabulary and controversial topics for a teenage drama, the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” has recently become just another trashy prime time soap opera. Following in the tradition of “Beverly Hills 90210,” the newer show’s storyline has plummeted since the gang made their move from high school to college (conveniently everyone ended up in Boston) last fall. After a freshman year where Dawson’s dad died in a car crash – leading Dawson to finally lose his virginity to Jen – Jack joined a frat, Joey got involved with her teacher and Pacey managed to become a wonderful chef, it seemed the show could not get any worse or more far fetched.

This season opened with Dawson and Joey finally consummating their longwinded romance of “I love you, I love you not,” only to have them break it off with harsh words at the end of the two-hour season opener. Fans were most certainly angered by the brutal annihilation of these “soulmates.” Meanwhile, Joey’s roommate, Audrey, now suffers from rich girl alcoholic syndrome while Pacey easily makes his way to the top of a successful company without a college degree (is there anything this guy can’t do?) Jack is rarely given main character status while Jen’s mullet-like hair is enough to keep even devout fans from watching. This season’s only saving grace comes by way of Oliver Hudson as Joey’s new love interest, Eddie. However, it will take much more than a cute face to save this dying drama.

n What is wrong with FOX? It has the best show on network TV right now (“24”), arguably the greatest show of the last 15 years (“The Simpsons”) and not much else – although a case could be made for “King of the Hill,” “Andy Richter Controls the Universe” or “Boston Public.”

So why cancel Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” it’s best hope for the future? What’s wrong with you, FOX?

FOX has currently maintained one show from Fall 2002 of any note: “Fastlane.” A show about guns and cars from the director of “Charlie’s Angels.” Wow.

Meanwhile, a creative show like “Firefly,” a science-fiction story accessible to all TV viewers, was placed on Fridays, destined to die of poor ratings.

The Onion recently had an article in which a network executive claimed he was looking for “edgy” shows – those that would challenge and shake up viewers. Instead, he approved a show that was “Friends,” but in Los Angeles. That is exactly what FOX has done, with even less success. One of its top new shows is “Joe Millionaire,” a send-up of “The Bachelor” – also to be seen in “The Bachelorette” and the recently concluded second season of “The Bachelor” – in which a number of women compete for the heart (money) of a man who, as it turns out, is not a millionaire at all. The audience is in on the “Candid Camera”-style joke. Ha ha.

In a January episode of “Fastlane,” the show will feature a storyline involving a cop (Tiffany Amber-Thiessen, “Saved by the Bell”) seducing a lesbian criminal (Jaime Pressly, “Tomcats”) in a hot tub.

What is worse, a network which discretely tries to promote itself as legitimate while pushing the envelope with “World’s Deadliest Animals” or a network which triumphantly promotes its illegitimacy (as the promos for “Millioniare” show, only FOX could do something like this). In the past few years, FOX has been guilty of both kinds of bastardization. Look it where it has taken them.

– Compiled by the Daily TV staff

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