Tuesday, March 28, 2006

TV Tues. - Wishful Flushing

Gazziza Dilznoofuses! I had quite a milnarotic week of TV viewage, although there were a few ilznitiotic things here and there.

On to the reviews.

Sons and Daughters: My mom told me this weekend that, after having loved the first few episodes, she now can't stand to watch the show because everyone treats each other so horribly. I can understand that; it's close to my own uneasiness with everyone jumping down Cameron's throat all the time. And yet so far the show amuses me enough for me to push past the mild unpleasantness. My favorite moment of last week was Cameron's reaction to his son's nervous constipation and the resultant syndrome of "Wishful Flushing."

The Loop: Last week's offering was a little weaker than the first two episodes I saw, and I can see myself growing bored with the "Thesis turns his latest screw-up into another win" plot structure pretty quickly, but things like Mimi Rogers' character("Want to see how many times 24 goes into 48?" Priceless) and the tiger cubs attacking the lunch-meat Sam (yeah, you kinda had to be there for that) are reason enough to keep me coming back to the show.

The O.C.: The only thing that kept last week's episode from being a complete waste of airtime was Taylor and her attempts at couple counseling. Amazing how she's gone from being one of the low-points of the show to being one of its few redeeming qualities. If I was to analyze what it is I like about the character so much, it's probably that she's some sort of strange Cordelia/Anya hybrid; popular (in a way) and tactless, but in a "doesn't know any better" sort of way. Would much rather watch her bluntness than watch Sandy slip further into a moral quagmire or see Ryan self-destruct yet another relationship. And don't even get me started on Marissa, whose only redeeming quality is that without her we wouldn't have the awesome Julie Cooper as a character and that would be a crying shame.

E.R.: Flunky Lover made a comment that she was surprised that I was still watching this show; to be honest, sometimes so am I. And yes, there are times when the show has a "been there, done that" feeling to it, which is almost always followed by a "good lord, was that over the top and ludicrous" situation, but I just can't get myself to stop watching. I'm too invested in the characters by this point: I love Abby and Neela and Ray, and even Morris has grown on me a bit. As a matter of fact, the sequence this last week where Morris spends the day with all of the children sired by his collegiate sperm donation was one of the funnier things I saw last week. Now, if they could just get rid of John Leguizamo's character so he could go find a job that didn't squander his considerable talents on an unlikable, irrational character.

My Name is Earl: Another excellent episode last week. I really enjoyed the glimpse into the gang's past, and the use of the "take a number" machine was pure genius. My one question about the ep, though, is this: did the writers conveniently forget that we had actually met Crab Man's family during the wedding episode when they came up with the witness protection gag, or did they come up with their own rationalization for it? And how big of a geek am I for getting hung up on that factoid?

Everwood: Oh, good lord, Delia's been possessed by the spirit of bitter Ephraim. Now, that, I could have done without. At least Ephraim generally had a bit more cause to go off on his dad. But while the transformation of Delia isn't all that palatable, at least I have the continuing evolution of Bright and Hannah to make things all better; they get my vote for "best couple on TV," and Bright is consistently in the running for "top 10 favorite characters."

Dirty Jobs: The last new Dirty Jobs for a while was another good one, with Mike going another round with the Vexcon guys; I had to wonder if Mike caught the ironic crack the Vexcon guy made when they realized that they were going to have problems because the church they were working on was not built on solid ground. Gotta love scriptural humor, huh?

Top Chef: Don't think I've mentioned the latest addition to my reality TV slate. In a way, it's a lot like Project Runway for me, in that I know absolutely nothing about the subject matter, and really couldn't care less, but the personality conflicts of the contestants have sucked me in. At this point, the only thing I really am hoping for is that Stephen the sommelier gets booted soon; the cocky son of a gun bugs the crap out of me.

Veronica Mars: About the only consistent complaint I have about this otherwise consistently excellent show is the bullheaded wrongness of Sheriff Lamb; I hate the fact that he instantly shoots down anything that Keith brings to him. Being doubtful and condescending most of the time I could understand, but never ever admitting that Keith has any skill whatsoever is just a bit too much. On a positive note, though, I loved the return of former State member Ken Marino as scummy P.I. Vinnie Van Lowe; he never fails to crack me up.

Amazing Race: This is a rare occurrence: 4 episodes in, and not a single team that I've been cheering for has been Philiminated; how long can the streak last? Not too much longer, actually, since almost all of the annoying teams are gone now. Unless one of the remaining teams suddenly goes all schizo (and my money's on Lake's team for that), this might actually be a season where I'm not actively cheering against one of the final three teams.

Bones: Last time, the guest star was former Angel semi-regular Adam Baldwin; this time, there was a brief cameo by David Denman, who is most recognizable to most people as Pam's fiancé Roy on The Office, but who die-hard Whedonites know played the recurring character of the demon Skip on a couple of seasons of Angel.

Lost: I think my favorite part of the episode (outside of Hurley and Sun's awkward encounter in the jungle) was when Ana Lucia, Sayid, and Charley the Creepy Hobbit all bonded over what jackasses Locke and Jack have become; the acknowledgement that the writers are aware of just how big a prat Locke has become gives me hope that the jerkification has been part of a larger plan that may come to some resolution this week with the latest Locke-centered ep.

The Apprentice: Man, I would hate to work for Donald Trump; he may just be a victim of bad editing, but from the board room clips he comes across as the most mercurial, nonsensical, boneheaded multi-millionaire since Jimmy James, and at least his nonsense was amusing. Who's Jimmy James, you ask? That, my blog monkeys, is an ilznitiotic question if I ever heard one . . .

NewsRadio Season 3: I spent pretty much every second of my weekend which wasn't devoted to work or church watching my Season 3 NewsRadio DVDS: 24 episodes, 10 commentaries, 4 featurettes, and the obligatory gag reel. While I'm not going to say that NewsRadio is the best sitcom ever, nor am I going to say it's my favorite; however, it is a heavy contender for both titles. The strength of the show was a combination of great writing and a great cast, especially since, as the commentaries stress, so much of the writing was inspired by the cast itself. Over the course of the first season the writers incorporated huge parts of the actors into the characters, finding that delicate balance between reality and fiction that made for TV magic, if you'll pardon the hyperbole. My favorite character was always the sardonic Dave, followed closely by the eccentric and unpredictable Jimmy James; the scenes where the two of them played off each other are some of the best on the series. And then, of course, there is the incomparable and sorely missed Phil Hartman; the show never recovered after his tragic death, but at least these DVDs will help preserve his comedic genius. Honestly, I can't wait until they release Season 4 which features two of my favorite episodes, not to mention guest spots by several key Mr. Show cast members. And speaking of guest spots, season 3 had a few that surprised me, including Ben Stiller, Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, the guy who plays Gary on What I Like About You (yeah, I could look up his name, but would any of you actually recognized it?) and a very young and virtually unrecognizable Leelee Sobieski as the girl Lisa terrifies during the SATs. Man, do I miss this show. *sigh*


The Shield: So, last Tuesday I taped The Shield season finale and planned on doing my best to avoid any entertainment news sites that might talk about it until I could get it watched on Wednesday evening. I maneuvered carefully through Zap2It, Ain't It Cool News, and TV Guide's entertainment news sections, and then, convinced I was out of danger, moved on to the "Ask Ausiello" column where Michael "I've had non-speaking cameos on Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars this season" Ausiello answers random questions that have been sent him over the course of the previous week. There, at the top his column, was the question "Can you believe Shane killed Lem on The Shield last night?" *sigh* This is why taping things and watching them later is sometimes a bad thing. The episode was still excellent, but it lacked that added punch that having Shane dump the grenade in Lem's lap normally would have had for me. Oh, well.

24: Gee, Audrey wasn't really a traitor, I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked. I'm a little leery of where the whole "sexual harassment" thing might be going, but I kind of like the fact that there was a bit of a curveball thrown in there; you automatically want to hate the Homeland Security guy because he's tampering with CTU, so you grasp onto the "he's a vindictive pervert!" straw with all of your might to justify disliking him, only to find out that he's probably just the victim of a slightly disturbed individual. On a different note, while I usually have to rely on Chloe for my comic relief on this show, it was nice to see Jack take over for once; I mean, I wasn't the only one cracking up at the melodramatic "running through the exploding gas plant" sequence, was I?


Redneck Diva said...

I'm with you on the LOST thing. Locke was my favorite character at first - his mystery, his strange quips of wisdom, etc. - yet now he's turned into butt monkey.

Charlie is one Creepy Hobbitt, isn't he?

Cap'n Cluck said...

I miss the voice overs on Everwood. I think those were my favorite part.

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Diva: it's always nice to get confirmation that the things that bug me bug others as well.

Cap'n Cluck: to be honest, I was never a huge fan of the voice-over. Didn't hate it, but I don't think it added much to the show for me either.