I can't take it any more. The cast announcement for the new season of Dancing with the Stars officially has pushed me over the edge.
The problem is I am not a Dancing with the Stars fan, and I'm not a hater, either. DWTS typically, blissfully flies under my radar unless they hook me with a particular cast member, but that hasn't happened since Chaz Bono foxtrotted off in 2011. But now, they've gone and invoked Rhoda.
Image: ABC Medianet
The reality show's sinister casting minds must have been up late reading my Facebook again, because they're featuring Valerie Harper in the 2013 cast. VALERIE HARPER. Rhoda Morgenstern, good people, Rhoda Morgenstern. Valerie is 74 years old, received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in January, and she's dancing for the win.
How can we not watch her dance?
Not only watch, but also vote, because if she is voted off before other new contestants -- including Snooki, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jack Osborne (who has multiple sclerosis) and dancing fool Elizabeth Berkley of Showgirls and Saved by the Bell -- well, I don't want to live in a world where that would be allowed to happen.
The problem is I don't need any more new television shows.
September will see the launch of an obscene amount of fabulous fall television programming, including returning shows I've been missing like Scandal and The Good Wife. I can't tell you how grateful I am that the outstanding Breaking Bad is ending this fall. There are only so many cliffhangers one girl can manage.
I don't have time to check in on Valerie's wicked waltz. I already have my "Mind Fluff Competition Reality Show I Need to Watch in Real Time So I Don't See Spoilers on Twitter" slot filled, with the wrap-up of Project Runway and the return of Top Chef. Rhoda and I may go way back, but Padma and I are thick as thieves. It's just too much.
I know the Brownies taught me to make new friends but keep the old, but how? There are a ton of new shows with promise. I've got my eye on several, including The Blacklist (Spader as a concierge of crime), Hostages (Toni Collette!) and maybe even The Crazy Ones (because Sarah Michelle Gellar forever). Plus the comedies. And that's just the networks. HBO and Showtime have new stuff, too.
This season is particularly rich for those of us with affection for television stars of old. Producers know that our demographic is the last one still watching television in real time, and they are going for the jugular. Robin Williams is starring with Gellar in the The Crazy Ones (bad play on Mad Men for a title aside), Whedon is back with Marvel's Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. and we haven't even started to talk about Sean Hayes and Michael J. Fox.
So no wonder Rhoda's pushed me over the edge. I think I need to roll up my sleeves and get serious on some spreadsheets. Study the grids. Grab Sharpies and highlighters in every shade of neon. Begin touring the facility and picking up slack.
I'm going to call on blessed Mary (Tyler Moore, in this case) for guidance in watching some pilots to hone in on the best of the best. What's really worth a few precious hours of screen time each week, and which programs can wait for a binge watch during a random flu bout in February? How much television is too much television?
I'll let you know what I decide if you will let me know about your plans.
Forget spoiler alerts. We need teamwork on this snake-filled plane. Let's compare notes. Tell me what you're planning to watch, to hoard or to pass on, because we need each other in this roller derby of TV awesome. Casting directors and writers clearly are showing us no mercy.
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