Tuesday, October 04, 2005

TV Tues. - The Legendary Dyanamic Uno Snow Suits Up!

Finally starting to get caught up on my TV viewing, through some judicious cuts to my viewing schedule. Due to lack of time I've decided to wait for the DVDs on Nip Tuck (just can't bring myself to get worked up for it right now), Alias (which I only half-watched last season anyway), and the end of Over There (great show, but I missed an ep, so easier to just wait). I've also jettisoned several sitcoms that I was still watching only out of sheer inertia. The crowded Thursday schedule kept me from trying out the first ep of Night Stalker, the only one of the SF shows I didn't get to sample. And again, Ghost Whisperer does not count. Yes, I have an irrational dislike for a show I've never seen, and until someone whose judgment I trust browbeats me into sampling it, it's staying that way.

Here's a look back at the week that was

SEASON STARTERS

Veronica Mars: Yes, I was happy with who showed up at her door; I've always liked the Veronica/Logan dynamic. Yes, I guessed early on that it was a red herring, and that she was really with Duncan now; the flashback structure and insistence on not referring to her boyfriends as anything other than "your boyfriend" struck me as a little obvious. Yes, I thought Charisma was perfect for the role of trophy wife; the affair with our boy Logan took me by surprise, though. And yes, the big reveal at the end had me echoing my Serenity chant: "This show rocks. It rocks hard." The producers have been saying for months that if you watched the first ep and felt the need to ask "Was that the big mystery for the season?" then the answer was no; they weren't kidding. Man, I can't wait to see where this is heading. Cameo alert: this week's ep features an appearance by Kevin Smith as an opportunistic convenience store clerk.

Everybody Hates Chris: Feel very ambivalent about this one. One of those odd situations where a show is well-written, well-acted, and capable of making me laugh out loud several times each episode, and yet as soon as each ep is done I think "eh, I guess I'll watch the next one." It might have been a case of my expectations being raised a bit too high from all of the critical acclaim, but I think it's probably more a case of the style and tone of the show just not being my cup of tea. It didn't contain any of the cringe-inducing traits of some of the other sitcoms, although the parents always getting onto Chris for his siblings actions could wear on me soon. Yes, I know it’s the point of the show, that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Smallville: Honestly, if I wasn't such a comic geek, I doubt I'd still be watching this show. I actually gave it up for a season and half, but then got sucked back in by the growing Kryptonian mythology. Haven't been 100% on board with all the directions it's gone (I would like to strike the Lana-as-witch storyline from my memory), but the darkening of Lex and deepening of the show's mythology will keep me watching for the foreseeable future.

Without a Trace: Was I the only one who was bothered that none of the FBI agents or any of the people they interviewed had even an inkling of what "Valhalla" was? I suppose I probably was. Maybe my expectations have been skewed by my association with many other pop culture, mythology, and SF geeks, but it just seems like with the number of people who were asked "Do you know what Valhalla is?" at least one of them would have read an issue of Thor, or seen The Ring of the Nieblung, or watched Dexter's Laboratory, or . . . okay, maybe not. Still bugged me. As did Martin's dad's attitude towards Jack.

Everwood: One of the best family dramas on TV. One of the things I've always loved about this show is how it has been able to develop what seemed to be 2-dimensional stereotypes in the beginning into fully realized characters that have as much depth as the Brown family. Watching the evolution of Bright has been one of the highlights of this trend, and I'm hoping that the Bright/Hannah relationship doesn't self-destruct anytime soon.

Amazing Race: Family Edition: I will admit to some trepidation about the shift to the 4-person teams comprised solely of family members for his season. However, after watching the first episode, I'm totally won over. Yes, the added team members do add to the possibility of friction within the group, but it also adds some richness to team interactions. Right now I'm pulling for the speedy Gaghan clan (a.k.a. Team Rugrats) and the unlucky Linz clan (a.k.a. Team Sibling), the former because they seem to have such a supportive family dynamic, and the latter because of their sense of humor. There's only one team that I really dislike right now, and that's the Paolo clan (a.k.a. Team Bickersons). I can't stand watching the sons be so disrespectful of the parents non-stop.

FANTASTICAL VOYAGES

Lost: My first thought as last week's ep ended pretty much where the previous one began was: Since when has Robert Jordan written for Lost? But then I remembered that all of the men and women on the island didn't make sweeping generalizations about the incompetence of every member of the opposite sex, so it probably wasn't Jordan after all. All kidding aside, this was far from my favorite ep of the series, but that had more to do with the Sawyer/Michael scenes than the lack of answers about Desmond. In fact, I actually enjoyed the structure of seeing everything from the last ep from Locke and Kate's perspectives.

Supernatural: This remains far and away my favorite of all the new SF/Fantasy shows. Nicely thought out scripts, entertaining dialogue, some pretty-creepy-for-TV moments, and an excellent chemistry between the two leads have combined to raise this a notch above the rest.

Invasion: The second ep was marginally better, but I'm still not getting what all the hype was about. Hardly any of the characters have engaged my interest at all, which is a problem for such a character-centered concept.

Medium: Although the opening 15 minutes were very inventive, if I never hear "I Will Survive" again it will be too soon.

A COMEDY TONIGHT

How I Met Your Mother: A very Barney-centric ep, so you know I loved it. So many great lines: "Legendary!" "Snow Suit Up!" "The Dynamic Uno!" "Phone Five!" After Barney sent the pictures to Marshall's phone, I instantly regretted that I didn't have a camera-phone to emulate the pics and send to Zinger. Cue the "You've got mail" alert on my computer, with two camera-phone emails from Zinger. Great minds, man, great minds.

My Name is Earl: Two eps in, still going strong. The ex's constant murder attempts were great, as was Crabman's reaction.

Desperate Housewives: An enjoyable, if horribly over-hyped, series. I'm a big fan of any and all scenes with Bree or Edie, like about half of the Susan stuff, couldn't care less if Gabrielle and her husband dropped off the face of the show permanently, and would only be upset at the loss of Lynette because it would mean Felicity Huffman was out of work. Honestly, as much as I love Ms. Huffman in general, there is no way she should have won the Emmy; of course, the fact that Lauren Graham wasn't nominated means I wouldn't have been happy with any of the winners, but out of the three Desperate candidates, it really should have been Marcia Cross.

REALITY CHECK

The Apprentice: First of all, was I the only one who found the women's presentation horribly cheesy? I was? Okay, then, moving on. I wasn't really looking forward to this ep on tape, since I knew going in that the really annoying guy wasn't going to get booted. I had mentioned to Trouble how much he had annoyed me in the first ep, and she assured me that he was even worse in this one. Sadly, she was not mistaken. And while I hated to see Chris go in place of Markus, I have to say it was his own dang fault. After all the hints The Donald was giving him, he would have to have been a total moron to think that Markus was going home because, as annoying as he was, it clearly was not his fault that they lost. And even if, deep down, Chris thought it was Markus's fault, it was plain as day that The Donald didn't think so. And as anyone who has watched the show should know, whether someone gets fired or not has more to do with The Donald's whims than any real merit.

Survivor: The first thought to go through my mind when Judd described the howler monkey as "the most annoyingest noise I've ever heard in my entire life" was that he had obviously never had to listen to Markus from The Apprentice

3 comments:

Andrea said...

Vaughn is so not dead.

Flunky lover said...

Flunky thought the women's presentation on The Apprentice was awful. We must have been watching different presentations because I thought it was 10 times better than the men's presentation.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

I totally agree that the men's presentation was horrible. However, as polished and well-rehearsed as the women's presentation was, the over-whelming cheesiness of their intro cracked me up, don't think I would have been able to keep a straight face if I had been one of the execs.