Tuesday, March 14, 2006

TV Tues. - One Out of Three Ain't Bad . . . Although It Ain't Exactly Good Either

Last night as I was flipping through the channels, I came across an early episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Nick at Nite. As odd as it was to see how much younger all of the regular cast members were, it was even odder to realize that Will's good friend Ice Tray from Philly was played by none other than Academy Award nominated actor Don Cheadle. Freaky.

That really has nothing to do with anything else I'm going to talk about today; just thought I'd share.

Today's reviews include my thoughts on three new sitcoms, only one of which was really worth my time, although the other two showed promise; I'm hoping that Brett Harrison's new sitcom The Loop which premieres tomorrow is on the more positive end of the comedy scale.

On to the reviews.

Amazing Race: Wow, two weeks in a row the teams I like the least have been at the bottom of the pack, and the teams I like the most have been at the top; no way this is going to last.

Scrubs: I continue to be of two minds about this season, and this last week's episode didn't do much to push it into the positive column for me; honestly, if I never see another "Let's go through the 5 stages of grief" plot on any show ever, I could die a happy man.

Invasion: One of my general complaints about this show is that they try to portray certain things as shocking/surprising/scary/etc. but almost always fall short; but with this ep they definitely succeeded with the whole "band of migrant hybrids emerging from the water" sequence. Maybe not quite as creepy as the score tried to make it, but creepy nonetheless.

Stargate SG-1: And yet again we have the big season finale cliff-hanger where all hope is lost, the galaxy is surely doomed, and SG-1 is apparently dead; after 9 seasons, I have a hard time getting sucked into the "oh, no, how will they ever survive?" emotion they're trying to evoke. Still, any ep where Daniel and Cameron get to riff off of each other is a good one.

Battlestar Gallactica: On-line opinion seems pretty divided over the whole One Year Later device, with the proponents cheering their willingness to do the unexpected and the detractors bemoaning it as a cheap storytelling shortcut. Personally, I'm going to reserve judgment until Season 3 starts in earnest; I definitely don't see it as a cheap stunt, but I'm not sure how well the occupation of New Caprica will work as a season arc. But, since the show has been handled well so far, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. My favorite part of the finale had to be scene when the two Dean Stockwell model cylons were in the brig together. Fun stuff.

24: Sneaky ad campaign: promising "one of these people won't survive," and then bumping off not one, but two main characters. Unfortunately, after the shock of Edgar's death last week, the loss of Lynn and Tony lost a little bit of impact; to be honest, I felt more emotion over the death of the poor security guard who had the misfortune of being in the same room as the paranoid hobbit than i did anyone else this time around. Was glad to see Kim's storyline end so soon; wish it hadn't started at all.

The Apprentice: Wow, what a horrible, horrible disaster Gold Rush's presentation was. I mean, ouch! And, while some team members might have been ticked at the two Jewish contestants who didn't work for religious reasons, I think that it was obvious that their presence wouldn't have made a danged bit of difference as their project manager pretty much ignored everyone who was there. Going into the board room, I was afraid Tariq was going since Carolyn seemed so hung up on the fricking golf thing; was glad that Trump fired the right person this time around.

The New Adventures of Old Christine: Pain. Pure, overpowering, physical agony. Intense suffering. These are the things that I felt during the first episode of the latest Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle. Right out of the gate we have flailing-of-the-arms-with-goofy-look-on-face comedy and lying-for-no-good-reason comedy; not a promising start. Which is too bad, because I really liked most of the supporting cast, particularly Clark Gregg (who's been all over projects by both Aaron Sorkin and David Mamet) and Emily Rutherford (the wacky sister on The Ellen Show and the uptight sister-in-law on the short lived Married to the Kellys), and there were a few lines that made me laugh out loud. Hoping that the more cringe-worthy traits were a one-off, I gritted my teeth and waited 30 minutes for the "bonus" episode; despite a guest appearance by Andy Richter as the "Sad Dad," the show still suffered from the same awkward humor. The show's saving grace is that the other characters not only acknowledge "Old" Christine's spazzy behavior, they openly mock it; Clark Gregg's wry delivery of his barbs helps keep the show slightly more grounded.

Free Ride: Despite a few funny moments, this new sitcom hasn't exactly wowed me yet; still, enough amusement here for me to give it another chance or two.

Sons and Daughters: What a pleasant surprise this one was; the ads hadn't really bowled me over, but I had heard enough positive buzz around it to give it a try, and I'm glad I did. Smart and funny, with some likeable characters. I liked that the dim-bulb jock teenager stood up for his oddball cousin immediately; most sitcoms would have built a whole episode around him learning that family is important and he shouldn't let his desire to be popular and peer pressure affect his decisions, etc., rather than just letting it demonstrate itself organically as a pre-existing character trait. My only real complaint about the show was how quickly everyone turned on Cameron; if the show devolves into a "Cameron is always wrong, even if he's right" sort of thing, I might have to rethink my stance, but as for right now, S&D has moved into my viewing rotation (because what I really need is another show to watch).


Cap'n Cluck said...

Two more weeks and a new Everwood!!!!! I have been craving this show so much, I checked out season 1 from the the library. Any idea if they are ever going to release seasons 2&3 to dvd?

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Sorry, no word on other seasons yet.