Do you really want to break a young girl's heart? What is this that I'm hearing about Colin Firth not wanting to play any more Mark Darcy-type roles (''Love at Firth Sight'')? That's like saying that six months after the Friends finale, Ross and Rachel decided that they weren't meant for each other after all. Or that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan won't kiss at the end of the movie. Or that Bridget Jones will forever remain (gasp!) a singleton! It's cruel! Colin, baby, keep doing what you're doing. Believe me, your fans love you for it!
I think it's great how the guys in Velvet Revolver (''Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll'') have managed to overcome adversity to put out the greatest hard-rock album I have heard in a long time. I felt as if I was on the bus and at the bar with Slash and the gang. Thanks to Karen Valby for a great article about a band that nobody thought stood a chance.
DAVID A. PAYNE
Saving Private Rights
The people who complained to the FCC about the Saving Private Ryan broadcast need to learn how to use their remote controls (''America Is From Mars, Hollywood Is From Venus,'' News & Notes). If you don't like what is being broadcast, change the channel. If you have a problem with the content of a movie such as Kinsey, don't buy a ticket. Last time I checked, this was still America, where we are free to choose what kind of entertainment we want to watch. The point of all the ratings systems is to help viewers decide whether a program is suitable for them not for them to dictate to me and the rest of the country what we should be allowed to view.
I Want My DVD!
''The 50 Best TV Shows on DVD'' (Cover, Nov. 26) garnered an overwhelming response 128 letters and counting. ''Thanks for a great list!'' wrote Michelle Smith of San Diego. ''I will be renting some of the shows I missed during their runs on TV, based on your favorites!'' Alyssa Galganov of Dallas called herself our ''devoted fan''; Jason Campbell of Centerville, Utah, was ''ecstatic'' to find Strangers With Candy under Best of Cult; and Darby Thomas of St. Petersburg, Fla., admitted, ''You folks have turned me into a total list whore!'' All of you dyin' along with us for Parker Lewis Can't Lose can visit an online petition created by D. Moss of Atlanta: ipetitions.com/campaigns/parkerlewis. And Bosom Buddies and NewsRadio are indeed two other shows that need to be on DVD we'll investigate.... But of course, as tends to happen when we stick our neck out with a list, many of you wondered why certain of your faves hadn't made our cut often to the point of outrage. (Can you say ''glaring omission''? Yes, many of you can.) ''Shame on your editors,'' scolded Cliff Parks Jr. of Buffalo, ''for foisting their pop culture schizophrenia on us with that dreadful list.'' About M*A*S*H, Mike DiCerto of New York City demanded, ''How the hell do you not include this great show? You include utter s--- like The Apprentice and Survivor and you don't include a show that won multiple Emmys?'' (Point taken, but Mike, was calling us ''morons'' really necessary?) Nonetheless, we sincerely appreciate your feedback, and wholeheartedly agree that shows like Alias (Reed McColm of Post Falls, Idaho, compared skipping it to ''listing the best foods for takeout and not mentioning pizza''), All in the Family, The West Wing, The Wire, and Mary Tyler Moore deserve honorable mentions, at least. (But Punky Brewster and Key West? Hmm, maybe for Guilty Pleasures...) Triage is a ruthless business, people! Let's all be thankful that television boasts such an illustrious variety of daring, innovative, wittily scripted, deeply acted programming that a mere 15 pages can't possibly contain it. Now back to the tube with you!