Tuesday, June 27, 2006

TV Tues - Let Them See the Fury of the Monarch!

Before I get into the post proper, just wanted to express my joy at the official announcement that there will soon be new episodes of Futurama, one of the smartest, funniest animated shows ever. The rumors have been circling about it forever, so it's nice to finally get confirmation. In celebration, enjoy this trailer for An Inconvenient Truth done by the Futurama crew.

And now, on with the usual ramblings.

The Closer: While I enjoyed the antics of Brenda trying to obscure her personal life from her mother, I never got the feeling that her mother was the sort of character who would evoke the strong paranoia that seemed to drive Brenda's actions; I suppose we saw a brief glimpse of it as she was grilling poor Gabriel, but even then it was only a glimpse. Still, an excellent ep as usual.

Last Comic Standing: The heckling competition was a great idea, and I'd love to see more of it at some point. As has been previously stated, I was very glad to see Stella get booted, as was everyone else I know who watches the show.

Saved: To quote The Beatles: "I have to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time (It can't get much worse)." The show is climbing out of the pit of melodrama and heavy-handedness that was the pilot, but oh so slowly; still, last night's full-moon ep was head and shoulders above the silly "suicide" episode of last week, which was still head and shoulders above the pilot. I'm pretty much watching this out of inertia at this point; if it were any other time of year, this would have been jettisoned already.

Venture Bros.: I was able to get the first season DVDs watched in time to prepare me for the second season premiere on Sunday; man, do I love this show. Take one part Johnny Quest, one part Hardy Boys, one part Scooby Doo, one part Fantastic Four, mix together and add in a dash of off-beat, self-aware, borderline absurdist humor, and you've got a show that seems tailor made for a geek like me. Ranks up there with Futurama for smartest and funniest cartoon on the air. I think "Tag Sale . . . You're It" is still my favorite episode, but it's got some tough competition. But the one thing there's no debate about is my favorite character: The Monarch.

Felicity Season 1 DVD: As I watched the pilot for Felicity, I found myself wondering one thing: how in the world after seeing that did I ever watch another episode? Then I watched the one after it and remembered why I stuck the series out when I laughed out loud several times thanks to Noel and Meghan; you see, I never really watched Felicity for Felicity; I watched Felicity for Noel and Meghan and Richard and Sean and Javier. Not that Felicity herself was off-putting or anything, nor was she the blandest character on the show (that dubious honor falling in Ben "The Whisperer" Covington), but honestly, if she and Ben had disappeared after the finals (as in exams, not as in last) episode and the show had suddenly been transformed into "Noel and Friends," I would have been okay with that. Why the finals episode? Because in addition to being the last episode that I've watched so far and one of the best episodes of the entire series, it's also the one that introduced us to Richard, the last truly great addition to the cast.

Now, this got me thinking: how many TV shows are there which I've watched not because of, but in spite of the titular character? Let's see . . .

I watched Frasier not for Frasier, but for Niles, Daphne, and Roz
I watched Will & Grace not for W&G, but for Jack and Karen
I watched Alice not for Alice, but for Mel, Vera, and Flo
I watched Dawson's Creek not for Dawson, but for Joey, Pacey, Andi, Abby (oh, how I missed evil little Abby after she was gone) and Grams
I watched Buffy not for Buffy, but for Xander, Giles, Willow, Anya, Spike, Drusilla, Glory, The Mayor, etc.
Heck, I even watch The Venture Bros. more for the Monarch, Dr. Orpheus, and Dr. Girlfriend than for Hank and Dean.

I'm sure there quite a few other examples out there, as well as some counter-examples (I can't imagine Veronica Mars without Ms. Mars, for example), but those are the first ones to come to mind; if you have any suggestions, please, leave a comment.


Bubblegum Tate said...

Book Monkeys who still read this blog, hearken to me!

I threw out an idea to Todd that he deemed either genius or madness with no room in between!

That idea was to have a Book Monkey weekend whose sole purpose is to lock ourselves in a house and watch as much of Felicity and the Creek as possible and see if we were hooked on melodrama or if there were actual nuggets of goodness in there. I suspect a little of both.

The good Cap’n decreed that this would either be horrible or hilarious and I agree. I’ve planted the seed, I shall now wait and see what grows.

I remain,