Tuesday, January 17, 2006

TV Tues. - Karma Don't Have Fists

Got quite a bit watched this week, so without further ado . . .

Gilmore Girls: You know, I don't think I really realized how much I missed the Rory/Lorelei dynamic until it was back; the Atlantic City sequence was perfect. But the shining moment of the episode had to be Paris and Doyle's sparring match.

My Name is Earl: Bill should be short for Billiam. Say "Moose and Squirrel." "You'll be my first."

The Office: I'm so happy NBC decided to give this show a chance to grow past its initial short season; it's become one of my favorite shows. Yes, I have to suffer through the occasional "won't somebody make Michael shut up?!?!?!" moments, but they're soooooooo worth it for all of the other stuff. Oh, and some good news: a huge chunk of the background staff are being promoted to the status of series regulars, including Oscar, Stanley, and my favorite, Angela. Favorite part of the episode was Jim wielding the squirt bottle.

West Wing: It's amazing how much the election storyline has reinvigorated this show; I particularly enjoyed the episode about the V.P. debate, especially all the scenes with Kristen Chenowith; I'm a total sucker for Kristen Chenowith. I was much less impressed with the following episode spotlighting CJ, which is sad, because CJ has always been my favorite character on the show; unfortunately, the transformation from press secretary to chief of staff has also resulted in a transformation from good humored person to crabby, crabby curmudgeon. Watching CJ blow up at everyone and everything just depressed me. And the ad for next weeks ep about a nuclear plant meltdown just made me shake my head sadly; can you say "over the top?" I knew you could.

24: Okay, for once, the "the first 10 minutes changes everything" ad campaign wasn't kidding! Gotta say, though, the super-speedy response time to Palmer's death was ludicrous, even by 24's standards. I hate the whole "frame Jack" storyline; it's kind of old hat by now, don't you think? Weirdness factor for the episode came from seeing the L.A. anchorman who's made numerous cameos on Arrested Development popping up reporting on Palmer's death. As for last night's ep, I basically had three very strong reactions. The first was a cry of "Look, it's Rudy!" when Sean Astin came on screen. The second was a cry of "I love Chloe!" when she unleashed her personality disorder on the head of CTU; I know that she drives lots of people crazy (including Rose Hips, The Mag, and Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate), but Chloe is one of the things that has kept me interested in this show the last couple of seasons. The third strong reaction was a near constant and overwhelming desire to see one of the other characters slap the crap out of the president (I know it's not grammatically correct, but I refuse to capitalize his title; the whiny little weasel doesn't deserve it); when he was throwing his little hissy fits at the CTU personnel because the terrorist attacks were going to have a negative impact on his PR, well, I was on the verge of hurling something through the TV screen in the insane hope that it might travel through the screen and impale him. As I told Tate "I'm starting to understand why the First Lady has mental problems, living with that man would drive Gandhi to homicidal rage."

Surface: And the secrets of the creatures starts to become clear. I liked the introduction of the idiosynchratic scientist who holds the key.

Lost: Not a lot to say about the ep, other than the fact that it was nice to see the return of the blacksmoke.

Invasion: The last couple of episodes have been definite improvements; my heart goes out to the poor, confused deputy.

Desperate Housewives: I'm on the verge of saying "sayonara" to this show; outside of Edie and Lynette's husband Tom, I'm having a hard time caring a whit about any of the characters. And just as I was about to say "this is it," there was that darn enticing reveal of Mrs. Huber's sister.

Grey's Anatomy: Oh, how I love this show; I especially loved the story of the frustrated novelist who, disgusted with the quality of his work, ate it; not sure why, but it spoke to me. My one quibble with the ep was how badly telegraphed the ending of the heart patient's story was; from the instant you saw him being all happy and funny and likeable, you just knew things weren't going to work out.

Dirty Deeds Jobs: The segments on the marble quarry and owl vomit collection were informative, but the real highlight of the episode had to be watching Mike learn how to palpate cattle. I have to say I was very impressed with how quickly he seemed to pick it up; on any other show I'd be tempted to say they edited out all of his mistakes, but after watching the glee the editors seem to show in highlighting his good-natured ineptitude, I'm pretty sure that any major mistakes would have made it onto the screen. So, apparently, Mike Rowe is just a natural at sticking his hand up a cow's butt and juding a fetus' age by its size; who knew?

Battlestar Gallactica: Another excellent episode that had me really worried that a certain central character might get bumped off a time or two; that's one of the beauties of this show, you can't take much of anything for granted. I'm interested to see how Baltar choosing the physical Cylon over the one living in his head is going to play out.

Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 1 Disc 3: The last disc of the first half of the second season contains the multi-part "Avalon" storyline which answers a lot of questions about the plans and machinations of the Wyrd Sisters. Again, I'm very impressed with just how well this series has held up overall. Interesting tidbit: the voice of Fox Renard-Xanatos was done by an uncredited Laura San Giacomo, whose agent advised her to keep her name off of the show because animation voice work wasn't considered to be reputable at the time.

Alien Nation Disc 2: I think this series is at its strongest when it delves into the particulars of the Newcomers' alien heritage and history, and at its weakest when it relies on the usual cop-show tropes. Once again, there were some overly cheesy moments here and there; the series defintiely shows its age when it comes to the action sequences. I could have done without the whole storyline about Sikes' ex and daughter, but other than that, very few strong complaints. Favorite human cameos were Lori Petty as the "rebel without a cause biker gal" Sal and Meagen Fay as the "let me eat my barbeque ribs while I'm disecting this corpse" coroner; favorite alien (or, "gee, they seem really familiar under that makeup") cameos were Diana Bellamy (the blind principal on Popular) as the evil Betsy Ross; David Bowe (Weird Al's best friend Bob in the comedy classic UHF) as the irrationally horny Buster Keaton; and, the one that I didn't catch until I was reading the IMDB page, Mitch Pileggi (Agent Skinner on X-Files) as the former overseer John Paul Sartre.

Ultimate Fighter Season 1: Finally got the final disc of Ultimate Fighter. Man, the Sanchez/Florian fight was pretty disapointing, and not just becaus I don't care for Sanchez; when you're watching the championship bout, you'd like for the match to last at least a full three minutes; the same goes true for the so-called "main event" of Rich Franklin and Ken Shamrock, which was over in a flash. Luckily, there was the Griffin/Bonnar to make up for it. Man, what a great fight that was; after watching so many bouts where it's an endless cycle of punch-and-run and block-and-run, to see the two of them wading into each other, "swinging for the fences," was awesome.


The Photographer said...

I totally agree with every point you made about 24. Everything from I love Chloe to the Pres. is an idiot. The poor first lady. It is just frustrating. But when the boy ran into the airport to warn Jack I couldn't help feeling "Oh great, here we go again." Anyway Keifer/Jack is still freakin HOT!!!

Zinger said...

"Dirty Deeds"? I suppose he also does them dirt cheap?

Cap'n Neurotic said...

D'oh! I just got done watching a stupid movie called Dirty Deeds before typing that up, its idiocy must have been contagious.

James Aach said...

Regarding West Wing, you might find RadDecision.blogspot.com a good antidote if you'd like a less over-the-top look at a nuclear accident. There's no cost to readers. See front page comments for reader reviews