Tuesday, February 07, 2006

TV Tues. - Oh, Look, It's Hour 7, Time to Jump the Shark

Here's a big reminder to everyone: this Friday night is the season (and possibly series) finale of the excellent Arrested Development. Here's hoping that the Showtime deal pulls through, I'd hate to see this show go away.

On to the reviews

Survivor: Exile Island: Okay, hearing Jeff Probst refer to the group as "older women" will never get old. I also liked his color commentary about Austin needing to "get the jitters out." Poor Tina; blindsided by the sneaky woman who freaks out at picking up leaves. Leaves!

The Office: "Remember on Lost when they first met The Others?" Made me laugh so hard I had to rewind the tape. Also really enjoyed the Angela "confessional" scene: "Apparently, Jan aspires to be a whore." Was glad to see them work the "Pam wants to be an artist" plotline from the BBC series in.

Gilmore Girls: After the TV spots, I expected this entire ep (or at least the second half) to be devoted to the big Friday night dinner meltdown; as the episode went on with its various other plotlines, I began to despair, thinking that I had been fooled yet again by the WB's deceptive promo department. When Rory and Lorelei finally arrived at the Gilmore residence with 10 minutes left in the show, I was feeling let down; when oh when will I learn to trust in Amy Sherman-Palladino? An entire hour devoted to the dinner might have been entertaining, but the 10 minute encapsulated version was a masterpiece of writing and editing, showing the emotional rollercoaster of their evening in a much more effective way than an hour long episode could. Still not loving the way the "Luke has a daughter" story is playing out, but am trying to reserve judgment.

24: And they were doing so well too . . . so, is it a pre-requisite for a position at CTU that you have a family member who is not only (a) crazy, (b) a druggie, (c) an embarrassment, or (d) all of the above, but also apparently endowed with the psychic ability to pick the absolutely worst moment in time to pop up? I'm torn on whether I want the "Lynn's druggie sister helped mug him" storyline to go anywhere; on the one hand, these little contrived personal dramas are what always make me frustrated with the show, and I'd be happy to see it cut short; on the other, if it only takes up space in this one ep, then it's obvious that the writers were stuck in the writing room saying "so, um, we have 10 minutes to fill, let's turn to the 'random CTU family member generator' and get to work!"

Dirty Jobs: If any show is made for a "bloopers and deleted scenes" special, it's this show. But as much as I enjoyed the extra looks at Mike's problems with previous jobs, it was the new footage of his feed mill experiences that really made the ep worth while, particularly Mike's quest for a fresh sample of manure.

Surface: Okay, I want to hunt down everyone who said "this answers all the questions" and slap them around. Yes, it answered some questions, and yes, I can probably figure out the rest pretty easily (as opposed to the John Doe "Digger's a bad guy? What the -- ?!?!?!" ending), but don't promise me answers and then don't provide. Not cool, man, not cool. And the chance meeting between the main characters stretched my suspension of disbelief a bit too much; too many coincidences had to happen to bring it together, and that's just sloppy writing. Unless of course you're on Lost, where the coincidences are the whole point of the show. Still, even with those gripes, I would like to see the show come back for another season to explore the new world order, but I'm not holding my breath.

The O.C.: As much as I wanted the horrible Johnny/Marissa/Ryan triangle to die, I didn't really want Johnny to have to die along with it. I'm afraid the show's soap elements were a bit overpowering this time around, hoping it lightens up soon.

Grey's Anatomy: Danged cliffhangers!

The Shield: I've read lots of raves about Forest Whitaker's work on the show, but to be honest, his character just creeps me out; if that's the effect he's going for, than kudos, Mr. Whitaker, mission accomplished.

Battlestar Gallactica: Definitely the best SF show currently on TV (and remember, this year that's actually saying something). While I hated seeing Starbuck in such a sad state, at least there was some redemption for her at the end.

Red Dwarf Series 7 Disc 2: It pains me to see a show I used to love go so far downhill; the only thing worthwhile on this disc was the Rimmer-centered ep.

Titus Season 3 Disc 1: Another excellent sitcom that was cancelled before its time; but at least we got a few years out of it first. I also watched Titus's stand-up special Norman Rockwell is Bleeding which just happened to be playing on Comedy Central; danged funny stuff.


Cap'n Cluck said...

I really wanted to warn you about Gilmore Girls ep. on last week's TV post. You had mentioned how excited you were to see this week's and I had already watched it. But, alas, I restrained myself and let you be disappointed in the network's stunning capabilities to promote their shows oh so well. (Maybe this will be fixed when The CW comes into being! This merge can't be all bad, right?) I was hoping the creative editing and camera angles would raise your spirits. As for the "Luke has a daughter" storyline, it is just simple TV 101. As much as we, the viewer, hate it, TV 101 says you can't have your lead characters in a healthy relationship too long or people lose interest. There must be conflict! When will the TV people learn, some of us like happiness!?! We like seeing happy couples get along and work through everyday problems. After all, love is complicated, full of sacrifice and compromise, but maybe that's the best part.

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!