Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm Back

After a short hiatus, I'm back to the blog and judging all things on TV. But let me take this time to talk about one of my current favorites, Arrested Development: Just finished Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. For all of you who are still yearning for the days of Seinfeld... here is your relief. This show is irreverent, insulting, akward, rude... and sometimes, just plain wrong... and that's just a few of the reasons I love it. T and I have slightly differing opinions on why this hilarious half hour is always on the brink of being cancelled. Here are some of the arguments:

1) Red States Syndrome - a recent "family" poll qualified this show as one of the five worst shows to watch with your family. That should only make you want to watch it more.

2) Bad Marketing - nobody has really heard about this show, I have no clue why - its won millions of awards, but for some reason, just doesn't get the press. I believe it always wins the "Best Show You're Not Watching" category. Well, I'm trying to fix that: WATCH IT.

3) This is T's favorite reason - most of the jokes build on back story, so its hard to get in to. I will strongly disagree with this. I actually didn't start watching until the end of season 1, and then only watched every now and then until we got our TiVo... I guess a lot of the jokes are funnier if you had watched previous episodes, but guess what - that's what DVDs are for. But I still think that you can jump right in - there is no serious plot line - and all relationships are basically explained through the narrator of the show (Ron Howard.)

Anyway - if you are looking for seriously ridiculous situations, with no salute to political correctness at all, watch Arrested Development.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Gilmore Girls Meets Felicity

So, completely by mistake, I have happened upon a new show - the WB's Related. It happened the weekend which began the million straight days of rain on the east coast - obviously this meant a TV & chinese food Saturday night, and since T was out of town, I was able to watch my girly TV shows in peace. Now, I finished up my week's TiVo and it was only about 6pm.. what to do? I actually switched on - wait for it - REGULAR TV. It was weird. (Apparently there are still these things called commercials?) Anyway, Related was on, and since there was nothing else to watch, I figured - new WB show? Lets give it a try - and thank god I did! I Love this show! Now, I've never actually been a Gilmore Girls viewer - not because I think I won't like it, (I actually think I would love it,) but more because it never happened and now its too late (I'll have to add it to the Netflix queue at some point.) But what all the GG fans always claim they love about the show is the fast talking and the good relationship between the mother & daughter - Related has the same thing going on, except its between 4 sisters. The 4 Sorelli sisters (okay, that's a bit obvious, even for my poor Italian skills, but we'll let it go...) seem to range from 19 to late 20's/early 30's. There is the college age sister that just switched from a pre-med to alternative theatre major (hence the Felicity reference), the early 20s sister who is ditzy and just moved back home, the second oldest sister who just broke up with her long term boyfriend and the oldest sister who just got pregnant with her live-in, aussie(?) boyfriend. And then of course the father (who I think is the dad from My So Called Life) who just got engaged to an annoying yet we-may-just-end-up-liking-her woman. There is a ton of plot lines going on, but the sisterly feeling is really nice, and the stories don't seem forced (i.e. I like that none of them are married - as that is more common for girls in their 20s these days.) Although, according to, this show may not last long - but as long as its on the air, I would definitely recommend you catch it. I believe new shows are on Wednesdays at 9, but they might be moving it to Mondays at the same time.

High Point: The pregnant sister's boyfriend - let's just say he's "easy on the eyes".
Low Point: The college-age sister is teetering on the line of being an incredibly annoying character. Right now, she'll get the benefit of the doubt... but if the show gets cancelled, I will blame her entirely.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Also Hate Hugo

Last night's episode of Lost on ABC was pretty annoying. In my previous review of Invasion, I said that the reason Lost was good and Invasion wasn't was because of the mystery - well, let me amend that... We still need*some* answers to keep us interested. In last night's episode - nothing happened! We saw some more backstory of Hurly, but so what?? All it helped us understand was his decision to have a huge feel good banquet at the end of the episode so that people wouldn't hate him for the next month because he was holding out on food. What else happened? We found out that Sawyer's, Jin's & Michael's captors were not "the others" but actually survivors from the back of the plane (including Rose's husband who is - big gasp here - white! OH MY GOD - INTERACIAL MARRIAGE!!) But we knew they were the survivors in the last episode when Michelle Rodriguez spilled the beans. The only interesting thing that was revealed was that they are living in another Dharma bunker - and that most of their survivors have since died. But this was all contained within the secondary plot, with maybe a total of 10 minutes of a 40+ minute show - if this was the primary plot, and the flashbacks were related to these new characters - that would have been a much better episode. Looks like JJ is too involved with MI3 to care how his pet project is moving forward - too bad the writers can't really fend for themselves... stay tuned for next week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mars Attacks

Yes, I am very behind on the TiVo, but I finally watched the first 2 episodes of ABC's Invasion last night (I believe I still have one epsiode to catch up with, and then there is a new episode tonight.) Now, I have to admit at first I was a little angry at this show, because it bumped Alias from Wednesday nights... and once the shows started stacking on the TiVo, its hard for me to sit down and catch up with a show that I'm not emotionally involved with (is it wrong to use that phrase for a tv show instead of a guy?) But I decided to give it a chance anyway...

... at best, I'd say this show was okay (for now). Continuing on one of my usual gripes, I don't like the little girl - they are pushing too hard to make her Bo from M. Night Shyamalan's Signs (same "creepy" voice, weird foresight..etc) but she doesn't have nearly the same acting skills as the young actress from the movie. ABC is really trying to capitalize on the Sci-Fi-ish/Drama trend that's going on (thank you Lost), as are a lot of other shows that I have even less interest for (i.e. Supernatural, Surface, Threshold). Something about this show is seriously missing - the formula, or perhaps anti-formula, that works so well for Lost and Alias is that you don't know what's going on... you don't know the characters backgrounds, you don't know how they're really connected, you don't know what's really driving the mysterious things that are going on - you get to actually use your brain while watching these shows, thinking about past plot, foreshadowing, clues that won't be relavent until 10 episodes later.... In Invasion, you pretty much know that some alien is involved from the getgo (aliens always seem like such a cop out to me). It removes a lot of the mystery from the show. Okay, I guess I realize the whole premise of the show is on an Alien "Invasion", but does it have to be so cliched??? I'm going to give it a season, because there is a lot of potential... obviously, there is going to be some kind of government cover-up, but they could throw an interesting twist in there. Obviously there are pod-people walking around, but that too can become less spoon-fed to the audience. I think this show is not giving us enough credit as the viewers... once Invasion starts respecting us, I think the show can become really good. I guess we'll see.

High Point: Guessing what the Sheriff is up to - he seems pretty evil, and he has obviously orchestrated some of this "cover up".
Low Point: The crazy I-want-to-be-Jack-Black brother in law who's conspiracy theories are going to turn out to be true - its so predictable it hurts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Hate Baseball

This time of year always reminds me of just how much I hate baseball... normally, its a passive kind of hate, like: "M, do you like baseball?" "No, I freakin' hate baseball - next topic please." But during playoffs (or whatever you call it for baseball), it takes away from my TV time, and that makes me angry. So some of my favorite shows are on temporary hiatus, including The OC, Family Guy, Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential... and I'm sure more that I'm just not remembering right now out of anger. (Oh yeah, Reunion.) Why, why, why do we watch a billion hours of this boring sport (the only high point of which is the endless supply of hot dogs - but that's only if they trick you to go and watch live) when we could have some nice scripted TV going on??? Normally I can count on Fox to do the absolutely wrong, un-PC thing... but then every year they have their annual let down. I wish somebody would just hit me over the head with a bat to put me out of my sports watching misery.

HOWEVER, on another, less angry/psychotic note, the more I watch How I Met Your Mother the more I am loving this show. Doogie really just steals the show, but the ensemble is very similar to early Friends episodes... they're still ironing out their interactions with eachother, but I have a good feeling that it won't get stale. Things from last night that I loved: sock-monkeys, hotdogs for just a nipple, doogie stomping off in anger because his friend dumped a porn star, the ex-girlfriend getting upset because she's not "f-able". (Something I just realized is that I have no clue what any of the characters' names are...) In any case, this show is hilarious... T makes fun of me for watching CBS "old people" shows, but this one is pretty original and manages a crude joke or two, while still remaining within the boundries of Big Brother FCC.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Still Hungry

Sad news - FX has officially cancelled Starved. Its really sad - here's the link.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why Aren't You Watching These Shows?

1. Alias (obviously) - everyone should be watching this by now. There has never been better writing on television EVER - the plot is so forward thinking, that questions from season 1 are still being answered now in season 5 - and there are rarely any loose ends that are left wriggling around. Watch this show now.

2. Las Vegas - I am not a CSI/Law & Order fan - and I think people like me who don't like those shows get scared off by this one, thinking its similar. Well, let me tell you -its not the same. The acting is great, lead by James Caan, plots are interesting and it never gets old watching beautiful people do interesting things in Las Vegas. Although I'm a little sad they wrote off Nessa's character (rumors say she wasn't getting enough air time so she left), its still a great ensemble caset.

3. Arrested Development - This show is what The War At Home is striving to be - dysfunctional families at its best. The lines from this show are so random, that you can't help but laugh out loud. Plus they make fun of the Blue Man Group, lawyers, roofies, white collar crime, the military, and anything else you can think of... this is one of the few scripted comedies that is original and not trying to teach you a lesson in life. I hate learning life lessons.

4. The Office - No, this is not the same as Ricky Gervais' Office - but its damn funny nonetheless. Steve Carrell really knows his way around a comedy script (Anchorman, The 40 year old virgin, The Daily Show)... I don't think anybody could deliver these lines any better. The characters are so purposefully akward, its reminiscent of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Give this show a chance - it may take a few tries to "get" the humor, but once you're there, you'll never leave.

5. Scrubs - This show is HILARIOUS. There are rumors that they are going to bring this show back in a couple of weeks instead of in January - thank god. This is the anti-ER, which is good, because I hate ER. The only downside is that they tend to have a lesson at the end - but they do it with a character montage and a great song, so I don't mind as much. Plus the theme song is excellent.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Commander In Chief

I finally got around to watching the first episode of ABC's Commander In Chief. I wasn't sure what to expect - but I actually really liked the show! Geena Davis was pretty good (except it looks as though she recently had a LOT of botox done - I would like to see what she can do after a few weeks when she can actually have facial expressions.) I liked Donald Sutherland as the speaker of the house - *just* evil enough. I think it's interesting that they went with a Republican office - but I guess they did that to offset the West Wing - and anyway, Davis is supposedly an independent. I thought it would be overly cheese-y, but the only character I truly disliked was the youngest daughter (I hate cute children on TV or on any other media for that matter- it's simply nauseating.) Actually, I could pretty much do without all the kids - but it looks like they're trying to do something interesting with the older daughter not supporting her. And you KNOW I love the husband being constantly referred to as the first lady.

I guess the woman-trying-to-make-it-in-a-man's-world theme of the show really got to me - as a working professional in a highly technical arena, I feel condescended to all the time. (is condescended a word?) Its nice to see (even a fictional) woman bossing some men around for once. This one could be either good or really good - I hope its the latter.

High Point: The tension between Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland.
Low Point: The kids in the show - they ruin everything. I was really, REALLY annoyed when the youngest spilled juice all over Geena Davis in the limo before the big speech. That's what babysitters are for.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Second Chances

So, my friend J (who is as much of a professional TV watcher as I am) convinced me not to give up on Grey's Anatomy. She told me that it was actually in her top 3 favorites right now - this means a lot because we are basically the same person (she also likes to judge people and everything else) and if its in her top 3, that means it should probably be in mine too. We've made a deal where she'll keep all this season in her TiVo, and I'll watch after Season 1 gets released on DVD. I am putting a lot of faith in her - so I hope she's right. Stay tuned for my Grey's Anatomy review in the upcoming few months....

In other news, I watched the second to last episode of So You Think You Can Dance last night... to my delight, Blake got voted off! Was he one of the best dancers on the show? Probably. But I hated him, so I'm pretty happy about the whole thing. In case you care, I would like either Nick or Melody to win.

Also, the season finale (hopefully series finale) of Beautiful People continued the trend of being one of the worst shows on television. Please put me out of my misery and cancel this show - I just can't go through another season. All the same, I'm really glad that Sophie chose Nicky over Giddeon. Actually, I hate Sophie, so I wish she chose Giddeon so that she made the wrong choice and her life was miserable. Actually, I hate myself for know who Sophie, Nicky and Giddeon are.