One of few television shows that I follow with some sort of regularity is Boston Legal. David E. Kelley's combination of black comedy, bizarre legal plots and even more bizarre characters looked like a good formula for enduring guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, recently I can't brush off impression that Boston Legal jumped the shark.
Reason is probably in too many references to Iraq, War on Terror, Homeland Security and various names associated with Bush administration. The episodes currently aired in Croatia are those made few years ago, when Bush & Co. were still in power. The critical view of America in the obligatory and not-so-subtle political context of the show is, on the other hand, hard to reconcile with present-day reality or, to be more precise, general perception of brave new world of Obama.
Since it takes some time for US shows to get to Croatia, this discrepancy between bleak Past and bright Present is likely to haunt Boston Legal and, most likely, other US shows aired in my country. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that all those shows, or at least their pre-Obama seasons, are likely to become irrelevant, forgotten and brushed aside like some uncle nobody talks about. Despite all the rhetoric about epochal changes, history usually works in more leisurely pace and difference 2007 and 2009 America are likely to be more subtle than Hollywood and other Obama partisans are likely to admit. What will happen under Obama won't - on the most basic level - be that different from what happened under Bush, just as some Bush policies were only continuation of what was started under Clinton.
Boston Legal and similar shows would, therefore, have to discard all the references to current events in order to preserve the illusion.
Interestingly enough, Mad Men - which presents much more distant (and less politically correct) past looks less burdened with daily politics. This is probably due to 1960s and Kennedy mythology looking less relevant to our times than it was only ten or twenty years ago.