With Homicide Killed, Friday Nights Are Free

Like many of you, we were saddened and more than a little irked when NBC cancelled the Maryland-based program Homicide.

We took solace on Friday nights when, coming home whipped by a week of the world, we could tune into what was clearly the best written, truest to life drama on television. We've had David Simon, a producer and author of the book, Homicide: Life on the Streets, in these pages.

It's disturbing but not unexpected. NBC, like other big corporations, exists to maximize return to shareholders rather than to pursue high-quality, groundbreaking entertainment. To TV executives whose vision consists of the next quarterly profit statement, that means dumbing down what you put on the air.

Or weakening it, like NBC did with Atomic Train, when it caved in to the nuclear industry and deleted mention of nuclear waste in the mini-series that aired last weekend. In the eyes of NBC, we're dumb and gullible, too.

What can we do? We could boycott NBC; perhaps declare that we won't watch a moment of their NBA playoffs coverage. We could e-mail up a storm, trying to persuade the network to change its mind. But surely we'd be wasting more time in front of another kind of screen, sending messages that the NBC bean-counters never even see.

We could re-read Simon's book and follow its map to Baltimore crime scenes, maybe see some real crime. But as grandmother used to say, let's don't and say we did.

We've got a better idea: Let's use Homicide's cancellation as a ticket to Chesapeake Country. For many of us, once upon a time Friday night was 'date night,' the preferred evening of the week to hit the town with someone special. As we grew a bit older, Friday night generally became 'party' night, a good choice because, if we overdid it, we'd have the rest of the weekend to recover.

With Homicide gone, those options look better than ever. But why not add a third: Let's spend the week looking for great things to do on Friday night rather than denting the couch and falling asleep at 11:05pm.

We do too much of that ourselves, despite sitting in the catbird seat for good times in Chesapeake Country, which is where we are as we assemble Good Bay Times each week. Now many of those good times are moving out of doors, where art and nature in her sweetest disposition pair up to double our pleasures. So we're resolving to spend our Friday nights on the town rather than peering third hand at the mean streets of the city.

What's to do? Here's a short list for Friday, May 21. With Memorial Day, you'll find even more to do. (For full details and indoor Friday fun see Good Bay Times.)

Annapolis Summer Garden Theater opens its 34th season under the stars with West Side Story, America's own updating of Romeo and Juliet.

Or go south to take a look from the water at river life and the historic homes Mt. Calvert and Billingsley. The Otter's the boat and the Patuxent the river.

| Issue 20 |

Volume VII Number 20
May 20-26, 1999
New Bay Times

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