Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TV Tues - Suck Is Not a Number

The holidays are over, and new programming has come back with a vengeance. Tonight brings with it the return of new episodes of Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, The Shield, and (yes, I'm hooked now), Dirty Jobs, as well as two more eps of Scrubs.

And now, my thoughts on the week that was in TV land.

Surface/Medium: Thanks to a combination of hectic viewing schedules and the obsessive writing of Cabin, I found myself about, oh, 4 or 5 weeks behind on both of these shows; finally got caught up this last week. Surface has gone in some interesting directions; not sure I like all of them (especially the storyline with the kids), but it's not making me scream in frustration like Invasion has, so its still ahead of the game there. And Medium continues to impress me; I love the relationship between Joe and Allison, his mild skepticism (of a "I believe you're psychic, but are you sure this means what you think it means?" nature) helps ground the show considerably.

Scrubs: So very happy that NBC has finally put this back on the schedule. As usual, my favorite moments revolved around The Janitor, and the borderline-uncomfortable moments revolved around Elliot. I would also like to take this moment to applaud the blatant nepotism which led to series creator Bill Lawrence's real life wife becoming such an integral part of the cast; this role of Jordan showcase's Christa Miller's comic chops about a zillion times more than her old role as Kate on The Drew Carey Show. One of my favorite bits was Turk's sneaky feeding of birth-control pills to Carla; totally made me think of Zinger and Pooh.

Dirty Jobs: Two more clip shows watched, before the new eps start up tonight. I'm kind of glad that the "Dirtiest Tools and Machines" wasn't the first ep I saw; while it had some entertaining moments, I don't think that it would have pulled me in like the other two eps I'd watched had. I've even gladder that I had finished eating before attempting to watch the "Dirtiest Jobs" ep, which engaged my gag reflex multiple times. It's always fun to watch Mike Rowe totally stink up a job; one of my favorite moments in the tool episode was when Mike asked they guy training him on how to use the electromagnet to rate him on a scale of 1 to 10, and the guy told him "I don't think 'suck' registers on a scale of 1 to 10."

My Name Is Earl: Best ep since the beauty pageant. From the opening bumper with the rat in the machine, to the rotating slogans at the ranch, to Randy's bird fear, to Catelina's mildly disturbing memories of her days on the farm, this ep had me rolling. Oh, and kudos to the writers for introducing the successful character and not feeling the need to make him a total jerk or phony or the like.

Stargate: SG-1: My favorite part of this episode was the little comedy routine Daniel and Cameron did for the benefit of the Prior; I miss the Jack/Daniel dynamic, but the Cameron/Daniel dynamic has definitely improved. Of course, what I'm really looking forward to is the addition of Claudia Black as a full time cast-member next season; she's the best additions to the SG universe since Jonas Quinn.

Stargate: Atlantis: I doubt this series will ever entertain me as much as SG-1, but watching Rodney o.d. on the enzyme, kick butt, and then freak out was probably the highlight of my TV watching evening.

Battlestar Gallactica: I won't say much about this ep, since Flunky is without cable and unable to partake of the show until it comes out on DVD, but I will say this: another truly excellent episode of an excellent series, but man, do I hate cliffhangers.

Alien Nation Disc 1: A little bit of cheesiness here and there, but all in all I think the series holds up pretty well; the pilot is a tad heavy-handed, but what do you expect from a 1989 TV series created by the man responsible for the oh-so-subtle "Aliens=Nazis/Scientest=Jews" metaphor for V?