Tuesday, March 21, 2006

TV Tues - It's Totally Steak Sauce

You know, normally I have respect for TV Guide critic Matt Roush, but in this week's issue he rates one show that I thought had lot o' problems as an 8, and another which I enjoyed the heck out of a 4.

Sons and Daughters: Although it's still following the "Cameron is always wrong" formula, that's a small complaint compared to how much this show makes me laugh all the rest of the time. Think my favorite part of the two episodes shown last week was the equestrian/pedestrian gag, especially when the two cousins made the trotting sounds when they did their horse pantomime. Very nice touch.

Scrubs: I was very glad to see the J.D./Keith feud put to rest; while the petty jealousy does sort of fit J.D.'s personality, it was a bit too much at times.

Bones: When Adam "Jayne Cobb" Baldwin came on screen as Booth's FBI pal, I harbored a brief hope that he might become a recurring character; ever since Firefly I've been rooting for all the Serenity crew to find regular work. However, before the half-way point I realized that it was semi-famous-guest-star syndrome all over again, and he was actually the bad guy. Ah, well. I had to roll my eyes at the over-dramatic "Booth checks himself out of the hospital to run to the rescue" thing, but the episode also featured David Boreanaz dancing like a goofball to "Hot Blooded," so I guess I have to take the bad with the good.

Invasion: While I was kind of sorry to see the psycho hybrid get bumped off, as she had been one of the more entertaining aspects of the show recently, as a plot point it actually made me happy; none of this "oh, I'm sure we can rehabilitate her, oops, there she goes on a killing spree again, better luck next time" stuff which plagues many serialized dramas. The eyes closed basketball game was interesting, as was the fact that the horn-dog hybrid was able to home in on psycho hybrid, raising questions of a hive mentality. I'm anxious to see what exactly is incubating inside the female hybrids.

The New Adventures of Old Christine: This would be the show Matt Roush ranked an 8 out of 10. 8 out of 10. I just . . . words fail me. Now, the latest episode was a slight improvement in terms of slapstick and pathological lying, but it in no way made me laugh even a quarter as much the next show

The Loop: And this would be the show that Matt ranked as a 4 out of 10. While he did give high points to the office sections with Mimi Rogers as the highly aggressive sexual harasser and Phillip Baker Hall as the highly aggressive borderline loon of a boss (both of which are hilarious), he paid short shrift to the sections with the roomies, which I think is a mistake. True, many of the funniest parts took place at the office, but there were quite a few roomie sections that cracked me up as well, especially those involving Eric Christian Olsen. One nice little touch was the main character's habit of coming up with endless variations of faux swear words; as long as the variety and inventiveness is maintained, that's a running gag that could get a lot of mileage. My ears perked up when I heard the theme song, "Hockey Monkey," which I recognized as a song from Ookla the Mok's monkey-themed concept album, Smell No Evil ; little did I know that this was one of Ookla's rare covers, and that the original version of the song (which, by the way, is the one played for the show) was by cartoonist James Kochalka and his band The Zambonis.

The O.C.: Forgot to talk about this last week, so a little catch-up. As someone who has never bought into the Ryan/Marissa relationship, I wasn't exactly saddened to see them break up; at the same time, the way it happened was mindless and annoying, but not as mindless and annoying as the "Sandy Cohen has become a greedy, soulless capitalist" storyline. What a load of crap that is; Sandy is the moral center of the show, and having his judgment erode so quickly is a slap in the face. However, the opening sequence of that episode featuring Summer having created her own voice-over tape to make her life seem more poignant was one of the funnier things I've seen recently.

My Name is Earl: After a couple of so-so episodes, Earl comes back with a highly entertaining half-hour. I'm glad that they're allowing Earl's dad to soften towards him; a bit of unease is fine, but the sheer hatred bothered me. The scenes with drunk Joy were some definite highlights, as was the deepening mystery of Catalina's past with her comment about her dead mother ("It was either her or me").

The Office: The unfolding of the Dwight/Angela romance continues to amuse and horrify; can you imagine them as parents? *shudder* It was great watching Michael finally finding an audience that could appreciate his sense of humor, and the fear on Ryan's face when Kelly started talking about having babies was priceless. Every week I feel thankful that NBC decided to stick by the show even though its initial run wasn't that highly rated.

E.R.: I swear, the old WB advertising staff have now been hired to work exclusively on E.R. campaigns, putting all of their power of misleading ads into this one show; first we had the Neela/Michael wedding that was advertised a week before it happened, and then the "Carter returns" ads which basically showed the entire amount of Carter footage in the episode, and now we have the "something might happen to Abby and Luka's baby" scare which was resolved before the half-hour mark. Not complaining too much in this case, since I wasn't looking forward to that storyline playing out, but as a trend, it bugs me.

West Wing: I've felt so let down this season with how the writer's have handled the Vinnick campaign; at the end of last season, I would have been okay with either Santos or Vinnick winning, but this season I feel like the deck has been stacked totally in Santos's favor. And now we have the moral quandary of the briefcase, which plays out to make Vinnick look like a mistrustful weasel, and Santos a stand-up, family man. Just sad, really. Plus, not nearly enough Kristen Chenoweth this week. I'm looking forward to the slew of guest stars over the next few eps, and am intensely curious how they're going to deal with John Spencer's death.

Grey's Anatomy: Not a lot to say about this last week's episode, other than that the George stalking Christina scenes cracked me up, especially the lunch scene.

Free Ride: This show is now in the "might watch if there's nothing else to watch" column for me. There's some funny stuff here, but there's just something about the show's tone that bugs me; I can't quite place my finger on what it is, I'm afraid, but something about the how just puts me off.

Dirty Jobs: This weekend Dr. G'ovich revealed that, after getting me hooked on this, he stopped watching it. I shall choose to take that as a compliment to my synopsis skills, ludicrous as that may be. This last week's episode featured the return of the guy from the noodling episode, since people had written in to point out that noodling, while dirty, was more of a hobby than a job. So, Mike headed out with the guy on his actual job as a plumber, which was indeed a dirty one. It was also one of the funnier segments, as the noodling plumber had a great sense of humor and enjoyed needling Mike. The segment with the roughnecks was also pretty funny as they also enjoyed needling Mike. Basically, the more comfortable the people are poking fun at Mike, the better the episode.

How I Met Your Mother: I was glad they finally addressed the question of what exactly Barney does, even if it was just to dance around the topic. The karaoke sequence was nice, both for Barney's rendition of "Dirty Jobs Done Dirt Cheap" and for the slamming dance moves of Marshmallow and Lillypad, which were totally steak sauce*. I was interested to see if Allyson Hannigan would actually sing, since she was pretty adamantly against it when they made the musical episode of Buffy.

The Apprentice: Oh, hallelujah, the most obnoxious loudmouth is gone. I was afraid the members of Synergy were shooting themselves in the collective foot by refusing to give Brent any real responsibility, but luckily his inner troll asserted itself and earned Trump's wrath.

The Sopranos: I was this close to getting to see the season premiere without it being spoiled, but then some jerkazoid posted it online with the express purpose of messing with those of us who had to wait to watch it. So, I won't be discussing any major plot points here, since I know of at least one Sopranos fan who hasn't seen it yet; I will say that, if I hadn't had the ending spoiled, it probably would have shocked the heck out of me.

Along similar lines: after I discussed a key death in last week's post, I have added the following at Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate's request: Warning! There be spoilers for 24 ahead.


24: As I was watching the ep, I was thinking to myself "Man, I guess I won't need that spoiler space for Tate after all." But then we got to the last five minutes and the attack on Wayne Palmer and the reveal that Audrey sold secrets. Saw the attack on Palmer coming a mile away and, to be honest, wasn't too broken up about it; never have liked Wayne as a character. As for Audrey, I'll be very surprised if there wasn't some logical explanation for it; still, the potential to be quite a twist.

*That mean's "A-1" for those of you behind on your Barney-speak.


Zinger said...

Dirty DEEDS, man, Dirty DEEDS. This is the second time I've corrected you.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

You know, I was actually thinking of that previous correction (which, by the way, was the opposite mistake) when I typed that up last night, which is probably why I screwed it up.

That, and I'm a moron.

Cap'n Cluck said...

Monkey Dance!

Pass it on.

Flunky lover said...

I saw an episode of The Loop and thought is was fine. It had me more interested than most shows on tv. I'm suprised you're still watching ER. It seems like the show that will be on forever.