Listen, I think Prison Break and Threshold may have some of the worst writing of any of the new shows this fall (I was literally cringing at some of the lines on Threshold), but I am still giving both of them my thumbs-up. Prison Break is just beyond silly--a mash up of prison cliches and pointless subplots and eye-rolling coincidences out the ying-yang that destroy any intensity (everybody loves to squint on this show!) they're trying to work up but that really add to the fun factor. I really want to see those guys get out of the prison, y'all!
And Threshold has a pretty cool premise, and I liked the tone of the premiere this weekend, if not the ham-fisted script. It's not that great blend of nerdism and fun that the early X-Files delivered in spades, but it's a decent way to spend about an hour in front of TV.
Is anyone else watching either of these shows? Am I being way too lenient in my judgment?
Well, I listed Reunion last week as one of the shows I was looking forward to seeing. Great premise, and the show is set in the same year I graduated high school (yes, I'm old, shut it). We tivoed it Thursday night and sat down to watch it Friday. You guys? Ugh. Worst writing ever. EVER! The geekboy and I were saying the dialogue five seconds before it actually happened; that's how predictable it was. The acting was awful, but they really had nothing to work with so I don't want to blame the cast. Well, actually, Sean Faris certainly brought teh suck, that's for sure. Then, add 80's references dropping throughout the show like anvils - stupid jokes about how Andrew Ridgely is going to be a huge star, and countless references to St. Elmo's Fire and oh my god, WE GET IT. And the Carla character was the last person to see the murdered mystery friend alive, okay, and the cop (we're so sorry, Mathew St. Patrick) just wants to know why he found some necklace on the body and instead, apparently, we have to listen to Carla describe the next twenty years of her life to him? Jeez, lady, get to the point. Also, as an OC fan, I love Amanda Righetti, but when they showed the whole group in 1986, I actually thought she was playing the cool mom or guidance counselor. Girlfriend is too old to be hanging out with these children. Somewhere, Ian Ziering is laughing. Oh, and speaking of which, did anyone catch that Donna Martin's ex-boyfriend Joe Bradley was playing a teacher? Good times.
I may continue watching this show as a filler or at least tune into it during sweeps, because after one craptastic episode I am reasonably sure that the killer is Samantha and Will's child.
I've never really watched the new Degrassi High. However, I'm a huge fan of the old episodes and have been meaning to check out the new ones. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are going to be visiting our favorite Canadian high school, in a three-episode arc that starts on Friday with "West End Girls." You know my TiVo is already set, and I'm really looking forward to checking out a show that you guys have probably been watching for ages already.
To escape the heat this weekend, I parked myself in front of my air conditioner and watched the Every Episode Ever Marathon of Degrassi. I love this show, though I'm a kitten for anything packaged in marathon format. The acting is pretty good (with a few troubled spots) and the drama is intense.
Who I really like: Ashley (except for the goth phase), Ellie, Hazel, Manny, Marco and Sean (aka "eye brows"). All of these characters seemed to grow a bit through the series. I reluctantly want to add Paige to this list, but I won't.
Who I really hate: Craig, Emma, Rick (for shooting people and hurting Terri) and Spinner.
I have to say, it's odd watching episodes that span the seasons, because it's remarkable how everone changes, particularly Emma's Miriam McDonald, who goes from ultra skinny to regular skinny.
So, anyway, new season starts Friday.
With summer here, I can turn my attention to television shows that I missed thanks to the glory of DVDs and Netflix. I just finished watching Felicity's third season (aka, junior year). Wow. This show totally jumped the shark from the brilliance of its first two seasons. Why? Because Ben and Noel are complete losers, and wasting screentime on them is bogus. Ben is an angry loser who mostly mumbles. Has he ever done anything nice? And, Noel, is just pathetic and so desperate for connection that he does everything he can to attach himself to (the wrong) women. Felicity deserves so much better than these losers. The highlights of this sad season are Javier and Meghan (sans asshole Sean). Why didn't these two get a spin off?
Last time I mentioned Grey's Anatomy, we got a mixed bag here. Some liked, others found it tired. I admit that the idea and situation are unoriginal, but I've really liked this hour-long drama, mostly because of the great cast. In addition, I've developed an intense fear of going to the hospital. I've also stopped listening to my Jem CD due to overkill.
The big shocker? Dr. Perfect is actually married (though, the status of that union is still a mystery). This wasn't the actual finale, but producers and ABC decided to make it the season ender to match Desperate Housewives' schedule. I feel so badly for Meredith. Also, is Christina going to have the abortion next season? I feel so badly that George got the STD, since he seems afraid of sex as it is. I like the Nazi, who's only seemed fair to me. Alex has grown on me, too. I think it's because he's so damn pretty. I think he'll eventually hook up with the underwear model, but I'd rather she married George. They're so cute together.
Am I the only one adoring this show?
For the most part, I loved Charmed. For the most part, this season has sucked. For the most part, I've ignored it. Last night, I checked out the season finale, and it actually was kinda good. Producers must have realized they were on the bubble, and provided a finale with some finality, because there's no hint of what's to come next season (since they were surprisingly renewed). Basically, the feds uncovered the witches and the big bad of the season showed up for a showdown. So, the girls appeared to have died in the final showdown (while also beating the bad dude), but we realize that they've taken on new identities. Why? Demons won't hunt them if they're dead and the feds will let them go. So, what's next? And, the new actresses playing the Powerpuff Girls are so not as hot as our regular girls.
So, despite the pretty tired format, I really enjoyed Grey's Anatomy, which had its debut this weekend. If you missed ER in the 90s, it might seem fresh, but the idea of doctors being hard on interns isn't groundbreaking. Totally adore the cast of newbies, however, so I'll fogive a lot. The show's got a touch of cheese (like Dr. Dempsey asking the interns to help save seizure girl's life), but it had enough sincerity to work. Plus, anything with Sandra Oh rocks (well, except for Arliss).
Also, this show had a pretty kick ass soundtrack, I thought. Loved it.
Reader S.John wants to know if any of you out there are watching and enjoying Boston Legal as much as he is. Allow me to quote - "Someone needs to be pointing out how great a show Boston Legal has turned out to be. It went from being a likely failure to being a moderately entertaining production with a better than average cast to being tweeked into a killer ensemble cast with extraordinary writing. James Spader, Murphy Brown, Captain Kirk, (not to mention Odo from DS9!!!) Keen Eddie, AND NOW BETTY WHITE all ON THE SAME SHOW?!? I'm 90210-level into it. It's every strong suit from LA Law, Ally McBeal, and The Practice successfully merged into one show." Thoughts?
I respond well to shows that seem to have an overarching theme, especially when those themes aren't obvious. The debate is fun. For example, I think Buffy tried to teach us that life so fucking sucks, but we struggle against it anyway. And, of course, girl power. For Angel, it was the same, but with a hint of redemption isn't easy. There were more lessons along the way, but there was a philosophy that directed these shows.
So, I'm trying to apply the same thing to Lost, which I'm comparing with J.J. Abrams's other shows: Felicity and Alias. Here's how I'm artificially going to assert my need for a mission on each of his shows:
Felicity: creating family. Felicity left her family to head east, at which point, she created her own family of choice. Her parents had their own struggles during the seasons, and Felicity struggled to find a family on her own terms, while still staying connected to her parents.
Alias: discovering yourself. While Felicity was very much about defining herself as an adult, it usually informed her relationships with friends and family. Sydney, on the other hand, spent her life lying about who she was. And, in fact, much of her identity is still a mystery to her. Her struggle has always been to uncover the truth, to find what is real in a world full of lies.
Lost: creating community. Nearly 50 strangers are dropped on an isolated island. How do they survive? How do they function? What's the group dynamic? Clearly, many of the answers will be in coming together and finding order and working through the struggles that community create. How do we marginalize people? How do we empower people in these systems?
Clearly, I'm trying to distract myself from my upcoming move to New Haven.
I so hate The West Wing. Do the writers honestly believe that the White House Chief of Staff could wander into the woods at Camp David during a peace conference and drop dead without anyone noticing that he was gone for at least a day? And seconds after the President asked for his resignation? This character deserved better than an unbelievable and cruel end. I am shocked that it didn't get more play, but, then again, is anyone watching this show?
Catching up on some shows from last week. Anyone catch the Veronica Mars premiere on UPN? The network's been hyping it as a Buffy-like cult hit, but, cult shows are determined by the fans, not network marketing campaigns. Anyway, on to the show. It was entertaining enough, and had a good style to it, but Veronica is way too together for a teen, especially one moonlighting as a private investigator. We loved Buffy, because she was real and struggled, even against things that were unreal. Veronica just seems too impervious to the world around her. Also, there seemed to be a date rape experience in Veronica's backstory, which was inserted into the pilot with a rather unsettling casualness. For an adolescent with some significant traumas in her life, Veronica is holding up amazingly well. Overall, Veronica has it so together, it doesn't even seem like it's worth watching, because she's always gonna solve the crime or handle the conflict in style. Boring and unrelatable, unless they do some character development to show why she's so tough and in control. Anyone else watch?
My most anticipated new show of the season was The WB's Jack & Bobby, which premiered Sunday. It honestly has everything going for it: Thomas Schlamme; uber-producer; Christine Lahti, from Chicago Hope fame; and Greg Berlanti, Everwood writer and producer. In reality, though, I was underwhelmed by the entire show. Entertainment Weekly�s fall preview gave away all of the interesting plot points, leaving me with a really dull hour of television. Here�s the deal: we know that Jack will date his neighbor, Courtney, but she�ll eventually marry Bobby. Slut! And, we know that Jack will eventually die, and Bobby will be president. As far as I�m concerned, that�s the money shot right there. It would be much more interesting to watch the show and try and see what actions represented greatness, leaving us to imagine who would be president. Now, we�ll be filtering everything that Bobby does as presidential and everything Jack does as fatal. In my timeslot battle with Alias/Desperate Housewives, I think ABC�s going to win.
Yeah, I know LAX premiered last night, but I haven't watched it yet. Max or J.Go, if you watched and would like to discuss now, just delete this post and go for it. Or, if anyone wants to talk about it right now, go for it as well, my darlings.
I will never comment on this again, but it needs to be said just once. Nick Lachey is unable to act. He just sits there and smirks this "I'm on TV" smile that makes you want to hit him. He's bringing down the quality of Charmed, which says a lot, because it doesn't have a lot of room to fall.
I don't want to harsh the mellow of today's reality-tv-a-thon (Big Brother, Amazing Race and a spectacular Blow Out). However, I've got to post or I'll be a TMFT slacker. Over the weekend, I watched the final 10 Felicity episodes from season one. I need to sing the praises of the season's strongest installment: "Love and Marriage." Felicity agrees to marry Javier to keep him in the country and Noel's brother comes out of the closet and announces his engagement to a boy that looks just like Noel. Freaky. Anyway, I died laughing when Felicity turns to the boyfriend and says, "I'm going to marry a gay guy, too." Javier is humor with glasses. The next ep, "Assassins" also is brilliant, just to see Elena rock the dorm ice breaker.
Okay, so I so fucking can't believe they end the season without telling you if she picked Noel or Ben!!! I'm so tempted to read Kim's recap, but I'm resisting until the next DVD comes. I can't wait to find out. I'm glad I didn't watch this show when it was on the air, because I could not have waited an entire summer to find out the answer. Though, I'll admit, I now HATE Noel and Julie with an intense passion. They are fucking evil, lame and pathetic. Seriously.
I'd like to summarize last night's episode of Las Vegas with this paraphrased conversation:
Attractive Brunette: I'm like really sorry that the guy you like kinda killed someone and got amnesia when the car he tried to burn his girlfriend in exploded and hit him in the head. Let me check my boobs, hold on. Anyway, it's sad, because the guy is hot.
Second Attractive Woman: It's so sad, because the sex is good. And, he's hot. I deserve that. It's so upsetting. Ooh... Josh Dummel is walking by...
I love this show, the first four episodes at least. It's amazing how this whole show is based on a colossal mistake. An impulse. It's brilliant how this stunning, intelligent and entitled woman gets slapped around by life with one humiliating moment after another. Keri Russel is a brilliant actress, as far as I'm concerned, because it's hard to believe that such a beautiful woman would be so shy in high school or intimidated by the boys. Yet, she sells it. And, I already want more Amanda Foreman in these earlier episodes.