Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 TV Wishes for 2010.

A friend, hearing my cry for something new to watch in the wasteland of reruns, recommended I try Damages. I'd always heard good things about it, but for some reason, just never gave it a shot. So I'm downloading the first two episodes now.

In the meantime, since today is the last day of 2009, I'm going to share my TV wishes for 2010.

1) Chuck gains a bigger audience. This will not happen. Look, people know it exists, they just choose not to watch. Sort of like with Friday Night Lights.

2) Ugly Betty gains a foothold on Wednesdays at 10PM. This probably will not happen either. I don't think all the fans who left just because the show moved to Fridays will suddenly come back. I know if I give up on a show, I give up for good.

3) The return of Wentworth Miller. I gave up on Prison Break after season 2, yes. But that wasn't me taking Wentworth for granted. That was me refusing to watch a show as it got more and more absurd.

4) A TV show starring a non-white person/family. I know what you're thinking. And no, The Cleveland Show does not count. It's a CARTOON.

5) Speaking of diversity, I would like for Tina C. to sing another solo on Glee. I didn't love her attempt at Tonight from West Side Story, but her rendition of True Colors is beautiful (like a rainbow). It's uplifting, it's moving, it's well done. I may or may not have shed a tear when it first came up on my Pandora.

6) The cancellation of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. This will not happen, because The Bachelor is a very popular franchise. Even though it is, in fact, a cancerous mole on the face of television.

7) No more TV remakes of shows from before I was born. Sadly, the three major networks are charging ahead with The Rockford Files (NBC), Charlie's Angels (ABC) and Hawaii Five-O (CBS). I'm putting myself to sleep just typing those titles.

8) More likeable/memorable contestants on The Amazing Race and Survivor. I hated this season's final four teams on TAR and I didn't know anyone's name except Evil Russell's and Shambo's on Survivor: Samoa. This wish may actually come true: Big Brother's Jeff & Jordan are rumored to be in the next TAR, and the next Survivor is an all-star edition and Evil Russell's in it. Let's hope he takes home the money this time around.

9) No more lawyer/doctor dramas. Unfortunately, ABC has The Deep End (lawyer) coming up, and CBS has Miami Trauma (doctor). I'm not watching these. I'm guessing you won't either.

10) More crazy, jaw-dropping moments like the lawn mower incident on Mad Men and Rita in the bathtub on Dexter and the entire Wentworth Miller episode of Law & Order: SVU. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to watch a show and suddenly go HOLY CRAP DID THAT JUST HAPPEN???

And that's a wrap! What are your TV wishes for 2010?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holidays '09: Can We Make Reruns Illegal?

Every show's on hiatus.

Ergo, I've been reading a lot and watching movies the last few days. I'm on my third memoir and 2nd installation of Evil Dead (foisted upon me by the fiance). Let me tell you, you know you've hit rock bottom when the only form of entertainment around are poorly done zombie movies starring a guy who looks like a '70s version of Brody Jenner from The Hills.

You know what, TV networks? I'm so over this holiday hiatus thing. I'm so over everything going on break for three weeks. I'm so over considering watching True Life: I'm Happy To Be Fat on because I'm dying for something, ANYTHING, to watch.

TV networks, you're doing yourself a disservice with these extended breaks. I've completely forgotten what happened in the last episode of FlashForward. I can't even remember the last time Eddie Cibrian took off his shirt on CSI: Miami. And who got fired on Grey's Anatomy again?

Not that I'd actually go back and rewatch any of these episodes to find out. And I think other viewers would agree: No more reruns! Let's get some original programming on right now. Not January 10 (Chuck), not February 14 (The Amazing Race), not friggin APRIL 13 (sob), but RIGHT NOW.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Doctor Who: I Need a Translator for English.

Yesterday was Christmas, and the fiance and I watched two things: The Proposal (my pick, and it was like watching a 2009 version of While You Were Sleeping) and the latest episode of Doctor Who (his pick).

Doctor Who, for those not in the know, is a British show about a guy who gets in his blue police booth and travels through time. He goes to the past and the future. I don't really know what the purpose of his travels is, since according to my fiance, who has seen every episode, the Doctor is not allowed to interfere with history (or the future, for that matter).

Basically, here is what happens in a typical episode: Something starts to happen somewhere in time. The Doctor shows up. Interacts with the locals. Figures out where he is in time and realizes something terrible's about to happen. Tells the locals, Sorry, you're screwed. Locals say, But you've got to help us. Doctor says, Nope, can't do it. Hasta luego.

And that's the episode.

As you can tell, I'm not too fond of this show. But not because of the pointless premise. Not because of David Tennant's annoying eyebrows. No, I don't like this show for one simple reason: I cannot understand what these people are saying.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, They speak English, you speak English. What's not to understand?

Well, for me, listening to a British accent, I understand MOST of what is said, but with the accent, plus all the British turns-of-phrase and idioms, I still miss about 20%. Imagine, if you will, every fifth word in the Pledge of Allegiance replaced: I pledge allegiance to Poconos flag of the United coffee of America. And to boomerang republic for which it consideration one nation under God, macaroni, with libery and justice potatoes all.

In other words, watching an episode of Doctor Who is like going into battle with your gun only 80% loaded. Your tank just 80% filled. Your brain just 80% conscious.

Sorry, Brits. But I'll be sticking to American TV. Unless I can get some subtitles.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Ugly Betty: You're Still the One. Love, Linda's TV.

I've always loved Ugly Betty.

There are naysayers out there who say this show is done. Who point to this season or that season and say, That's when the show went off course. They complain Betty has had her braces way too long, Betty's not advancing fast enough in her career, Betty should dress better now that she's been working at Mode for two years, etc, etc.

I would like to tell these people to shove it.

For me, Ugly Betty has always been consistent. Consistently good. It's one of the few shows on television (the other ones being Glee and Modern Family) where I enforce the Rule for my fiance:

"Pause it if you want to say something."

That's because almost every single line on this show is witty, zingy, or both. I'll give you an example of what Wilhelmina said in a recent episode, about an ugly bathing suit:

"And this swimsuit doesn't know what it wants to be. It's the Anne Heche of swimwear."

This weekend, I finally started watching the current season. What a pleasure it was to sink back into the world of Ugly Betty, with the funky modern offices of Mode and Betty's pattern-clashing outfits and the absurd yet plausible storylines. What a pleasure it was to see Amanda grow a heart and still utter lines like this: "Hold up, skinny b*tches! And Betty." What a pleasure it was to see Adam Rodriguez show up at Hilda's house to fix her heater and have to take off his shirt. Wait, did I say that out loud?

My only objection to the show is that it makes me cry too dang much. Example: when that crazy cult lady (played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler of The Sopranos) told Daniel to talk to Molly. Molly died suddenly in last season's finale, right after she and Daniel got married. So this season, Daniel attends grief counseling, where he meets said crazy cult lady, who encourages him to look up at the night sky and say what he wants to say to Molly.


Then there was the episode where Hilda's son Justin is crowned Homecoming Queen. Hilda herself was supposed to be queen in high school, but she couldn't accept her crown because she was pregnant with Justin at the time. Anyway, Justin gets up on the stage and gives a speech about how his mom is the one who deserves the crown. He invites her up to the stage and puts the tiara on her head and gives her the flowers.

Got Kleenex?

I have one more episode of Ugly Betty before I officially run out of things to watch until January. That's a scary prospect. I still haven't come to terms with it. I guess this is the time to start planning my wedding...

Monday, December 21, 2009

What's Airing After The Super Bowl?

What show will run after the Super Bowl?

That's the question everyone in the broadcast industry wants to know every year. The Super Bowl is the biggest event on television, with close to 100 million viewers last year. It is a HUGE boost for whatever show runs right after it. Last year, the big game ran on NBC, and the network decided to run The Office afterwards. Personally, I think it was a mistake, because The Office was in its 5th season at the time. People knew it existed. NBC should've promoted one of its newer, more promising shows. Not that they had any, but you get my drift.

This year, CBS has the Super Bowl. And guess what? It is making a SMART move by airing its brand-new reality series, Undercover Boss, after the game.

Why is this a smart move? Aside from the fact that this show could use the exposure, Undercover Boss is just plain terrific. I watched a preview of it at the CBS upfront, and by the end, I, along with most of the female members of the audience, were bawling. The show is about CEOs and other higher-ups at different companies working anonymously at entry-level positions and seeing what life outside the corner office is REALLY about. It sounds hokey, and believe me, I was pretty dang skeptical when I first heard the concept. But I'm telling you, you have to watch this show. And I'm betting you will, if you watch the Super Bowl.

Some speculated (before the announcement) that CBS might air The Big Bang Theory after the game. While that's an aiiight idea, Big Bang is killing it in the ratings. It doesn't need any help.

What's interesting to me is CBS is using the game to promote a reality show. In past years, the game has been used to boost Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy and The Office--all of which are scripted. My guess is, CBS knows it has a gem on its hands, and dang it if they're not going to tell the world all about it--on February 7, 2010.

Survivor: Samoa: Who Saw That Coming?

I was so disappointed by last night's Survivor: Samoa outcome. And not just because Russell burned yet another perfectly good sock.

No, I'm disappointed because Natalie, of all people, took home the $1 million.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Natalie who?

That's right, the teeny blonde from Arkansas, whose name I didn't learn until last night, became the Sole Survivor. Don't ask me how that happened.

Actually, I was sort of rooting for her--at first. I just felt sorry for her being a tiny little thing amongst the three remaining men. Also, Natalie was not annoying--and by "not being annoying" I mean "entirely forgettable." So going into the jury Q&A, I was on Team Natalie. Especially with cocky Russell shooting his mouth off about how awesome he is and how he played everybody (true enough, but I didn't like hearing about it all night).

Then Russell gave his opening speech in front of the jury. He outlined everything he'd done this game, including manipulating every single person in the jury and finding hidden immunity idols without any clues. It was maybe a three-minute speech at most, but by the end of it, I was sold. "Russell," I thought, "it's yours. They'd be crazy not to give it to you."

Well, they were crazy.

After Eric's impassioned speech at the end, something about how Mick and Russell lied a lot while Natalie played an upstanding game and that that, he would give his vote to Natalie, it seemed a lot of the jury changed their mind. In the end, Russell got just two votes while Natalie got the rest of the votes (at least, the ones that were called).

Poor Russell! He played arguably the best game of Survivor ever, and he lost to a girl who didn't do anything the whole game except kill a rat, like, fifteen episodes ago. Russell deserved the win. America agreed--they voted him as player of the game.

I think Natalie will go down as the least-deserving Survivor winner in history. And I seriously, seriously doubt she will be asked to appear in the upcoming Survivor All Stars (aka Heroes vs. Villains). CBS, you'd better bring Evil Russell back for that one.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Big Love: Big Skimpin'.

The upcoming 4th season of Big Love, which premieres January 10 on HBO, will only have nine episodes.

Nine episodes!

That's one fewer episode than season 3, and THREE fewer than season 2. At this point, I'm expecting Big Love's final season to just be one long two-hour episode. The first fifteen minutes will be the premiere, the next hour and a half will be the midseason lull, and the final fifteen minutes will blow us all away with how great it is. Then the episode will go on a nine-month hiatus before returning to run the credits.

I wouldn't be complaining this much if I didn't love this show. Bill. Margene. Barb. Nicki. Bill's crazy mother. Roman Grant. Rhonda. I actually can't remember if Roman and Rhonda are still alive. It's been ages--I mean, the last episode of Big Love I saw was back in March. All I remember from last season is Sarah got pregnant by that hipster-looking dude and confessed her big secret to her brother and they ended that episode so perfectly with Sarah and her brother sitting on a hill overlooking a lake and Alphaville's "Forever Young" leading us to the credits. It was such a lovely way to end the episode. That's what Big Love and Mad Men do well--they pick great songs to lead to the credits.

Where was I going with this post? Oh, yes. Big Love's seasons are WAY TOO SHORT. I don't know if it's a budget issue, being on pay cable, or if Big Love really does need only nine or ten episodes to tell the whole story arc. I mean, even a show like Dexter, which has only a handful of main characters, pushes itself to do a dozen episodes. Big Love is about four main relationships--the one Bill has with each of his three wives, and the one the wives have with each other. Then you have all the stuff with Roman Grant and Juniper Creek and the casino and oh yeah, keeping the neighbors from finding out that they are secretly polygamous.

I think you could tell make a bazillion episodes about one month in their lives alone. But that's just me.

If only my beloved shows could find a happy medium between too few episodes and too many (I'm looking at you, Survivor: Samoa!).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dexter Finale: WHAAAAA?????

I watched the Dexter finale last night.

I still haven't recovered.

Normally with season finales, you're inclined to believe it'll be the most exciting episode of the season, with cliffhangers up the wazoo. With the exception of last season's Private Practice, and arguably Mad Men, finales generally do not live up to our expectations. The episodes are just aiiight. Somebody gets pregnant, somebody gets married, somebody declares their feelings for someone else. Finales have become so predictable, almost nobody needs to watch them live anymore. They tape them, and two weeks later, if they remember, and they're bored, they might watch them. And then forget about them.

That ain't happening with Dexter.

The last few episodes had been so stellar, so gripping, I thought there was no possible way the finale could be better. Just as good, maybe, but not better. Still, I went the whole day praying I wouldn't hear a spoiler, thinking maybe, just maybe, the episode would turn out to be stupendously awesome, the way we wish all season finales would be.

It was. And so much more.

The first 45 minutes or so were classic Dexter. Dexter is going after Trinity. Right in the middle of the car chase, he gets a phone call from his wife Rita who wants to know if they can go on their honeymoon this weekend. I'm trying hard not to get annoyed at her the way other viewers have, because I happen to like Rita and I think she is wonderful to Dexter. But I wish she would hang up the dang phone already. Can't she hear he's in traffic?

Dexter eventually catches up to Trinity and stabs him with the needle. Then he gets arrested for side-swiping someone's mirror during that car chase. By the time he gets out of jail, Trinity is gone. Now Trinity is onto him. Trinity goes to leave town. But not so fast--Dexter has tampered with his car and it breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Dexter slams the hood on Trinity's head and takes him to the killing spot. He executes Trinity, appropriately, with a hammer.

After dumping the body, Dexter drives home to get his stuff to meet Rita and the baby for their vacation. Rita has left him a voicemail telling him to check out the full moon. He calls Rita back. Except her phone is ringing in the house with him. Strange. Then he hears the baby crying. He follows the sound to the bathroom and sees the baby sitting on the floor, crying in a pool of blood. AHHHHH.

Then he sees Rita.

Lying in a bathtub full of her own blood.

She is dead. Trinity got to her before Dexter got to Trinity.

I don't remember what happened after that. I sort of blacked out.

Now, less than 24 hours after seeing the finale, I'm still stunned. I read an interview with one of the show's executive producers, and he confirmed Rita really is dead. It wasn't a dream or hallucination.

I honestly have no idea how the show will move on from this point. What happened was so terrible, so incomprehensible. I can't imagine Angel's reaction. Deb's. I can't fathom what the new Dexter will be like, how he will go on. I don't want to think about Astor and Cody.

Dexter. What a shocking, devastating finale. And who saw that coming???

Jersey Shore: Putting the Dirty in Jersey.

I don't claim to have high standards for TV. In fact, I am proud of the fact that I watch just about everything--quality shows, trashy shows, in-between shows. I watch stuff that nobody watches (Chuck) and stuff that everybody watches (American Idol).

My only standards are this: a) The pilot impresses me (Brothers & Sisters failed this test) and b) Tim Allen's not in it. That's really it. As long as the show passes both categories, I'm in.

With that said, I now confess: I have been watching Jersey Shore. And not hating it.

Don't get me wrong--not hating the show is competely different from not hating the people in it. The cast of Jersey Shore make Speidi look like Mensa candidates. Everyone is a stereotype of themselves, if that even makes sense. Also, their nicknames are ridiculous. The most laughable one is the one Mike calls himself. I won't even write it here, that's how dumb the nickname is.

Also, word to the wise (guess that would exclude this whole cast): It's not a nickname if you give it to yourself.

Annoying nicknames and obnoxious people aside, Jersey Shore is shamefully addictive. It's basically a documentary about trashy people who think they are not trashy at all. You cannot help but feel terrific about yourself after watching this (though you might feel the urge to shower). "At least I didn't get fired on my 2nd day on the job," you might think. Or, "At least I can peel garlic."

Call it Psychotherapy for the Couch Potato's Soul.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One Tree Hill: Season 7 Observations.

This weekend, I watched a boatload of One Tree Hills. I am now only two episodes behind.

Here are some things that struck me about the season:

1. There are a lot of women with the same hair color. Haley, Millie, Alex, Rachel and Quinn all have the same reddish brown hair. It's getting hard to tell them all apart.

2. Robert Buckley needs to be on every show, if only so we can stare at his beautiful face all the time. He looks like a skinner version of Scott Speedman. Hot diggity dog.

3. What do you mean, "Zero is not a size"?! A few episodes back, Millie appeared in Brooke's fashion show wearing a wife-beater with the words ZERO IS NOT A SIZE scrawled across the front. Sigh. Don't make us skinny girls feel bad about ourselves, One Tree Hill. That just ain't right.

4. Haley and Nathan should have more kids. Is anyone else wondering why they don't? Jamie is like 7 years old. He could use a little brother or sister to be clever around. And it's not like Naley couldn't afford a few more little'uns. They live in a giant mansion with a pool. You know what? I predict that by season's end, Haley is pregnant. With twins.

5. How does this show get to me every time? One Tree Hill is not supposed to make you cry. It's supposed to be this over-the-top, schmaltzy melodrama set to the soundtrack of some very angsty recording artists. You're supposed to roll your eyes at how ridiculous the plots are. And yet, one of the recent episodes managed to pull up a tear in the back of my eye. It was the one with Robert Buckley's ex-wife Sarah appearing as a ghost that Robert Buckley can't let go of. They fell in love jumping off a pier. Yes, that is corny, and yes, I love it. The day she died, they were dancing in their kitchen, and then she went to get some grape Kool-Aid, and then she collapsed on the floor and died.

Fiancé: See? That's why we should never dance.

It's pretty amazing how One Tree Hill has undergone so many changes and taken so many risks and is still going strong. How many shows have gone 7 seasons without jumping the shark? How many shows have overhauled its cast (including writing off two of its leads) and still hold on to its audience? How many shows have done the fast-forward-a-couple-of-years thing and carried it off beautifully? I'll tell you. Not many.

One Tree Hill, may you live long and continue to entertain us for years to come.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Glee, Our Lives Will Suck Without You. For The Next Four Months.


We waited all season for that Will-Emma kiss and we finally got it!

I am so, so happy it went down like that. I was actually depressed at the end of the scene where Emma walks out of her wedding saying, "Yes. You JUST left your wife." I thought, they can't end the fall season this way. Not with a sad ice sculpture of a hockey player and a beautifully wrapped present from Will. Not with Ken standing Emma up and Emma saying she had to quit her job at the school so she wouldn't have to think about her broken heart every day.

No. It just couldn't end like that.

So Glee must know its fans well. Not only that, but Glee must RESPECT its fans. How do we know this? Two reasons.

1. That kiss.

2. Having the other glee clubs steal New Directions' songs. Yes, it would've been great to see our favorite songs sung again at sectionals. You know New Directions would've brought the house down. (I don't know about you, but I was especially eager to see "Wheels" again.) But the writers at Glee were smart. They realized that yes, it would've been just aiiight to have ND perform their hits again...or they could perform NEW songs. Send their fans off with new material to tide them over till next year. Now that's respect.

I was also moved by ND's big thank-you performance for Will in the form of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You." Even before Lea Michele finished the first lyric, I could hear, in my head, what the chorus would sound like. That's how good that song is. That's how perfect it was for the scene. Ahh. What a satisfying way to end the first half of the season.

Now my question to you is this: What are we all going to do without Glee for the next four months?

Sue Sylvester Quote of the Week: Get ready for the ride of your life, Will Schuester. You're about to board the Sue Sylvester Express. Destination: horror!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ABC: Conveyor Belt of Crap.

My dear readers, I wish I didn't have to write this entry.

Oh, who am I kidding?! I love to skewer crappy shows!

So get a load of this latest masterpiece from ABC. It's called Conveyor Belt of Love. First of all, the name. I'll give you a minute to process the fact that it is actually someone's job to sit there and come up with a name like that.

Second, the premise: Five women are given the "opportunity" (quotes used on purpose) to pick from 30 guys who go by them one by one on a conveyor belt. If a woman likes a guy, she can pull him aside and watch as more guys go by. If she likes another guy, she can tell the first guy to beat it. And on and on, until all 30 men have gone by. If two women like the same dude, he can turn around and pick which woman he wants.

That is the stupidest concept I've ever heard.

Sadly, it's more than a concept at this point. It's a REALITY. ABC is scheduling it to air after The Bachelor premiere on January 4. I already blogged about how boring the latest Bachelor selection is, so I won't go into that again. I just wanted to warn you about this load of turd so you can happily avoid it and instead, watch a higher quality show, like Jersey Shore.

Thankfully, this is a one-time-only special. However, if it performs well in the ratings, ABC will make it into a series. This must not happen. It musn't!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chuck: How Do I Miss Thee? Well, For One Thing, I'm Dreaming About Scott Bakula.

This is how much I miss Chuck.

Last night, I dreamt I got a Chuck script emailed to me in advance of the show's premiere in January. There were at least four lines in it that made me laugh my head off. One of them involved Ocean's Eleven. I wish I could remember what that line was. Anyway, in the dream, I thought, "Wow, this show is so GREAT. People don't know what they're missing."

Then I got to watch a preview of the show, and there was a scene with Scott Bakula. This is how much I miss Chuck--Scott friggin' BAKULA shows up in my dreams.

Chuck has a special two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 10 from 9-11PM ET. If you're not watching, there is no way your life is complete.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Amazing Race Finale: Count Those P-P-P-P-Poker Chips.

Sunday was a sad day at Casa Linda's TV, for The Amazing Race ended its 15th season. What will I do all winter without Phil Keoghan and his crazy accent?

As you already know, I didn't like any of the remaining teams. But I LOVED the challenges. First of all, they took place in Vegas. That in and of itself was a breath of fresh air, after a month of Europe's Beautiful But Boring Cities. Second, Cirque du Soleil was involved. Third, so was Wayne Newton. He looked jolly and well preserved.

(It's okay, Gay Brothers. I blanked on his name, too.)

People have complained that this season's TAR has been full of lame challenges. I couldn't agree more. Building a snowman. Sliding down a big slide. Zzz. However, the finale definitely made up for that with this challenge: Rappelling down the side of the Mandalay Bay. Holy cannoli, that looked fun.

Coming into the episode, I was rooting for the black and white team. However, when Ericka started her thousandth screaming tantrum, at Cirque du Soleil of all awesome places, I said ENOUGH. Enough of you, Ericka!

I honestly do not know how Brian has not lost his mind by now. Brian, if you're reading this, my condolences.

In the end, Team Master Race won. Is anyone surprised? Well, I was a little surprised the wind resistance didn't slow down Cheyne and his hair as they rappelled down the Mandalay Bay. But other than that, not surprised at all.

All in all, it wasn't the best season of TAR in terms of teams and challenges, but dang it if I didn't love this show anyway. Even if Phil did keep his pants on all season.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Survivor: Samoa: The Never-Ending Season.

I just counted.

There are still EIGHT contestants left on Survivor: Samoa.

This show's been on for 3 months.

Cheese Louise.

Also, I need to stop announcing who I'm rooting for. John the Rocket Scientist got voted off last night, in the 4th straight blindside of the season. There was so much strategizing last night, I have no idea how that happened. Guess they blindsided me too.

Last night's episode featured one of my favorite segments--the food/luxury auction. Every season, Jeff does the auction. Every season, about half the contestants just sit there and don't bid on anything. Before long, the auction ends and they come away with nothing. I don't get it. Why WOULDN'T you jump all over every item as soon as it comes up? That blonde who dropped $200 on a pb&j last night? Far as I'm concerned, she's the smartest one of the bunch. (Yeah, I still don't know her name.)

My other favorite feature of Survivor is the family reunions/letters/video messages from home. I cry every single time they do it. I'm tearing up right now remembering whatshisface proposing to whatsherface that one season. Sigh. I'm hoping it comes up soon.

Survivor's finale is set for Sunday, Dec. 20. Will Russell ever use his idol? Will Shambo ever stop talking to those chickens? Will I ever learn everybody's names? Stay tuned!

FlashForward: Twists and Turns, and Brunch for Dinner.

How awesome was this week's FlashForward?

For one thing, we learn who shoots Demetri Noh. I don't know about you, but I assumed he'd get shot by one of the bad guys who started the whole blackout. Instead, we learn it's Mark Benford, aka the boring lead character, who shoots him. Holy twist, Batman!

We also learn that in the world of FlashForward, people in Hong Kong eat dim sum for dinner. Dim sum is traditionally a brunch-y meal, so call me crazy, but I'm thinking the writers didn't do their research.

We also learn the truth behind Demetri's fiancee Zoe's flash forward. She thought she and Demetri were at their wedding. But they were actually at his FUNERAL. Makes total sense, as all the guests, and Zoe, were wearing white, the color of mourning in many Asian cultures. (At least the writers got that part right.) There was also a really nice moment between Zoe and Demetri's mom, who knew her son was going to die. Mom says, "When I saw the love you had for him [at the funeral], I knew you were right for him." Aww.

By the way, you know the blurry image of the guy in the video footage, the one who was walking around the stadium while everyone else was blacked out? That guy looks just like Lloyd Simcoe.

Speaking of Lloyd, a crazy thing happened at the end that led me to believe my fiance is psychic. Basically, Lloyd is having his son transferred to another hospital, and he, Olivia, and the kid are saying their goodbyes. Then, as the ambulance guys load the kid into the car:

Fiance: Those guys in the ambulance are bad.

Me: What?

Fiance: Yeah. Watch. They're going to shoot everyone.

Me: That's crazy. Why would you say that? They're just transporting the kid--

All of a sudden, the kid is yelling, the ambulance guys are forcing him into the car, and one of them goes to shoot Olivia. Lloyd steps in front of her and convinces them to leave her alone. They drive off. I'm stunned.

Me: How did you know that???

Fiance: I'm just that good.

We also learn in this episode that Mark Benford is a pretty inept FBI agent. At the dim sum place, he upends a table and takes Shohreh Aghdashloo hostage. He drags her outside, with all of Shohreh's men and Demetri and some black guy who I guess is Mark's boss following them. Everyone aims their gun at Mark, and he finally surrenders. Then the black guy fires Mark. FIRES HIM. I did not see that one coming. I mean, I could see that he was a terrible cop (did he really think he could get away w/ kidnapping Shohreh?), and a dull man to boot, but did he really have to be fired?

Don't worry, Mark Benford. The higher-ups at 24 are always firing Jack Bauer, and he always manages to stick around and save the day. There's hope for you yet.

Also, some stuff was revealed about Simon and the mysterious towers in the desert. I don't care about those towers. I just know I won't understand what they are, what they mean, etc. because this is just like the Dharma Initiative on Lost. Once they got into that whole thing, I was lost (no pun intended) and had to give up the show.

I really don't want to give up FlashForward. Especially since I'm hoping Demetri Noh gets promoted to replace Mark McSnoozy. I don't think that'll actually happen, but hey, a girl can hope.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glee: More Jumping and Less Smiling, Please.

Glee has been called one of the most uneven series on TV this season, with stellar episodes/musical numbers followed by, well, less-than-stellar ones. I totally agree. Sometimes the show starts to derail, but then it pulls itself right back on track in the best way possible.

Case in point: Smile vs. Jump.

I love the song Smile. I love it for its happy, bouncy, eff-off attitude toward a cheating boyfriend. If you didn't know the song and just listened to the music and had to guess what the music video would look like, you would never in a million years guess that it features Lily Allen hiring thugs to beat up her cheating boyfriend.

So you can understand my "WTF?!" when Rachel started singing it to Finn to get him in the picture-taking mood.

I mean, what was that???

Smile made absolutely no sense in that context. You know what? Rachel and Finn didn't need to sing anything at all. They could've had Rachel do something cute to make Finn smile. I can just see it now. Rachel makes Finn smile, and Finn thinks to himself, "Gee, Quinn never makes me smile like this," and he suddenly realizes he should be with Rachel. He goes and dumps Quinn. And then QUINN gets to sing the song. Bing bam boom.

Now for Jump. It was, by far, the most joyous number of the season. All those glee clubbers dancing and jumping around on mattresses. How fun did that look? I don't know about you, but it made me want to buy a dang mattress. A whole stack of 'em. What I really liked about the number was how it wasn't too coordinated. Everyone was doing their own thing on the mattresses. In other words, no matter where you looked on the screen, your eyeballs were entertained.

I was also riveted by the scene where Will confronts Terri. Oh man, that was the moment we waited for all season. And the way it all came out made Terri look even crazier than we all thought she was. Still, a very, very, VERY tiny part of me felt sorry for her. VERY tiny part. I actually liked her more than Emma this episode, because while I can understand going through crazy lengths to keep someone I love, I can't understand forcing myself to marry a guy I don't even want to touch.

Now, introducing the Sue Sylvester quote of the week: "And while [the eye doctors] were in there, I told them, go ahead and yank out those tear ducts. Wasn't using them."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ugly Betty: Back from the Dead Zone.

Ugly Betty is moving to Wednesday at 10PM this January. You know what this means: A bigger and more compatible audience--it'll air right after Cougar Town. Looks like ABC finally corrected its boneheaded decision to move Betty to Fridays. And it only took them four months realize this. Better late than never.

Sadly, I have not watched a single episode of Ugly Betty this season. I had a bunch of episodes downloaded, but they somehow got erased. Anywhosers, I'll definitely try to catch up over Christmas break. From what I hear, this season has been STELLAR.

Nice move, ABC!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Freshman Fall Series: How Are They Doing?

Now that many shows are starting their winter hiatus, I thought it'd be a good time to evaluate the new shows. Let's break it down by network:


Modern Family. This is one I predicted would do well, and it's since been picked up for a full season. I've enjoyed every episode. The show is sweet without being saccharine. It would warm the heart of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Cougar Town. I predicted this show to bomb. In fact, it's doing quite well. This will be one of those shows lots of people watch that I'll never understand why. Like Bones.

Hank. It got canceled. Sorry, Kelsey Grammer. Maybe you could guest-star on Greek with your daughter Spencer. You can't play her dad, since that role's already taken, but maybe you could be a wacky professor or something.

The Middle. It's doing decent. Was picked up for a full season. Congrats, Patricia Heaton.

Eastwick. I predicted this show to bomb. It has been canceled, but ABC is committed to airing all the episodes that have been shot. Guess this beats airing reruns of According to Jim. Though not by much.

FlashForward. I wasn't sure about this one at first. I only gave it a shot because of John Cho. I'm very glad I did--it's one of my favorite new shows. The fiancé and I treat each episode like a movie event, complete with popcorn and dimmed lights. Don't judge.

V. I didn't think I would like this. I was right. The fiancé has gotten me to sit through all four episodes. With each one, my soul dies a little more.

The Forgotten. Who watches this show? Anybody? Bueller?


Accidentally on Purpose. I predicted it to bomb. It's holding its own. I guess audiences like their cougars. Congrats, Jon Foster--you're finally on a non-cancelled show!

NCIS: LA. It's doing spectacular. No surprise, with the legions of NCIS fans out there. Congrats, LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell.

Three Rivers: I predicted it to bomb. It has been canceled. CBS may or may not air the remaining episodes. I'm sad for Daniel Henney. Hey, maybe Grey's Anatomy will pick him up. He's definitely worthy of a McNickname.

The Good Wife: It got rave reviews, and it's doing great for CBS. Congrats to Julianna Margulies. I still can't spell your name without the help of Google, but you seem to be doing a nice job on the show.


Trauma/Mercy: I put these together because they are basically the same show. One of them is about nurses, and the other is about EMTs. I think. And one of them is canceled and one of them is barely hanging on. I don't care enough to look into this further.

Community: I like Joel McHale from The Soup. I watched about fifteen minutes of this before I couldn't take it any longer. Sorry, Joel. I think NBC could go either way with this show, and since they don't have much else in the way of comedy, look for it to stick around.


Brothers. It's right up there with Viva Laughlin as the most laughably horrendous show in history. At least that's what I hear. I haven't seen a second of it. Kudos to the show for introducing a wheelchair-bound character though.

Glee. Speaking of wheelchairs, this is another of my favorite new shows of the season. You can't watch Glee without a smile on your face. It is scientifically impossible. Also: Every Wednesday night, my Facebook is inundated with status updates about people watching this show. And yet, it does just aiiight in the ratings. What gives? I think Sue Sylvester needs to give Nielsen a call.

The Cleveland Show. This is a spinoff of Family Guy, a show my fiancé got me into. Neither he nor I have seen a second of The Cleveland Show. Yay for diversity. Yay for bear neighbors. That's all I got for this show.

The CW:

Melrose Place. Love it, love it. Love that Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is leaving the show. Sad about Colin Egglesfield's departure. Love Ella Sims. She might be the coolest and baddest new girl on TV. Does anyone else think it's weird that neither Thomas Calabro, Heather Locklear, Josie Bissett nor Laura Leighton appear to have aged a day from the original Melrose?

The Beautiful Life: TBL. I had this show paired with Melrose as a hit this season, and boy was I wrong. In my defense, I had not seen any of this show before giving my prediction. Still. Lesson learned. If Mischa Barton's in it, it will probably fail.

The Vampire Diaries. I call it a rainy day show because it's not something you have to watch immediately, but it's more than sufficient for a rainy day with nothing to do. Also, Stefan, played by the handsome Paul Wesley: He's all the reason you need to watch this show.

That's a wrap!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's Give Thanks for Shows Like Desperate Housewives.

A show I absolutely love but have never written about in oh, two plus months of blogging is Desperate Housewives.

I watched the most recent episode yesterday afternoon, thinking for the thousandth time what a terrific and funny show this is. Six seasons in, and DH shows no sign of stopping. It's as creative, entertaining, and sharply funny as ever.

I read all the TV blogs and websites out there, and what I've been finding is many of these bloggers/reviewers have been drinking the haterade. They hate Teri Hatcher/Susan. They don't like Dana Delany's character turning nutso. They think Susan's daughter Julie is dull. And on and on. What I want to know is, if you hate this show so much, why are you talking about it? (I guess for the same reason I wrote two blogposts about V. Hah.)

I'll admit, I'm skeptical at the start of every season. They keep introducing new neighbors. I'm of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. The first time, they added a black family. Everyone was all, There's finally a black family on this show! Wow!! And then it turned out viewers didn't like them, so out they went. A couple of seasons later, they introduced Dana Delany. I wasn't so sure about her at first, but she's become a part of the show in a huge way and I love her. Then they said, Let's add a gay couple. The gay couple is just aiiight. Then they said, Let's add an Italian woman and her nutjob husband and son. Now I'm finding that I love love Drea de Matteo. I never saw a second of her in The Sopranos, didn't have any idea what she was like. Boy, am I pleasantly surprised. She's tough as nails, but she's got a big heart. And she's so, so funny. She is the healthy dose of Brooklyn to the cracked-out suburbia that is Wisteria Lane. What a great addition to the show.

So what I'm saying is, despite all the criticism out there, Desperate Housewives remains one of the funniest and most entertaining shows out there. It's a pleasure to watch every week (okay, every time I go on

So props to you, Marc Cherry. Props to you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Very Dexter Thanksgiving.

There are certain things you expect going into an episode of Dexter. You know Dexter will kill someone. You know Deb will swear a lot. You know Masuka will say something really dirty-sounding and it's supposed to be all the funnier because he's a short, bald Asian man (sigh).

This being the fourth season of Dexter, I'm used to all those things. They are part of the show's charm. And this Sunday's episode, being a Thanksgiving-themed one, I expected maybe a little human slice 'n dice before turkey slice 'n dice. Nothing more, nothing less.

Um. I was really, really wrong.

The episode. was. INSANE.

That's really the only word I can think of to describe it. So many crazy things happened--especially in the last ten minutes. At various points, my hands were over my ears, over my mouth, over my eyes. Here, in a nutshell, is what happened on this very Dexter Thanksgiving:

1) John Lithgow, aka the Trinity Killer, is watching football with his son. At one point, someone scores a touchdown. John Lithgow high-fives his son, then turns the high-five into a hand grip, then proceeds to BREAK HIS SON'S THUMB ON PURPOSE. Son bites his fist and tries not to make a sound so his mother and sister don't hear. Truly one of the most agonizing scenes I've ever seen on television. And that includes the trailer for Old Dogs.

2) During the meal, John Lithgow makes everyone say what they're thankful for. Nobody says they're thankful for John Lithgow. So he starts yelling at his son, and when his wife steps in, he yells at his wife and calls her a not very nice name that begins with a c. I have never heard that word on TV before. Oh my delicate, non-cable-subscribing ears.

3) Having had enough of his dad, John Lithgow's son gets up and says THIS IS ALL A LIE, THIS LIFE, THIS FAMILY. YOU'RE A KILLER, DAD! and proceeds to smash John Lithgow's urn (which contains the ashes of his dead sister) to the floor. John Lithgow starts to strangle him. Dexter takes his belt and starts strangling John Lithgow. He drags John Lithgow to the kitchen and takes a giant knife and is about to kill him when the wife comes in and starts screaming. Dexter runs out of the house. He gets in his car and drives home, all the while talking to his dead father's ghost.

4) By the way, while Dexter was out, Rita was kissed by the neighbor, whose name is Elliot. Thanks, writers, I really liked that name for one of my future sons, and now it's tainted.

5) Masuka threw his chocolate love cakes into the garbage. This made me sad. Writers, can we please get Masuka a girlfriend?

6) Quinn's girlfriend Christine, the journalist, answers a knock on her door. It's John Lithgow. I think he's going to kill her for writing about the Trinity Killer in the paper. Instead of her going, "Who the heck are you?" and him bludgeoning her to death, she goes, "Hi Dad." End episode.

Hollllllly crap! We found out last week Deb was shot by somebody Masuka's height, so it couldn't have been Trinity. Now it's clear: Christine the journalist did it, probably because her dad Trinity told her to. So not only is she desperate and clingy and annoying, she's also inherited the psycho gene. Ahhh.

Dexter, you have officially lifted the curse of the Holiday Episode. This is one that can be watched again and again (and by watched I mean with my hands over my eyes) no matter what time of year it is. It is that good.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! And if you're having dinner with John Lithgow, remember to tell him you're thankful for him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Glee: A Crazy Long Hiatus and a Great New Time Slot.

After mid-December, Glee's not returning until April 13. April!!! 13!!! Are you kidding me?!?!

Also, it's moving to Tuesdays at 9PM following American Idol. My thoughts? Mixed.

The good: It'll get a HUGE and extremely compatible lead-in audience.

The bad: Glee will be competing against Lost.

The good: Does anybody watch Lost anymore?

The good: I currently got nothin' on Tuesdays at 9PM, and three conflicting shows on Wednesdays at 9PM. This helps.

The bad: ...I can't think of anything else. Good job, Fox!

Overall, it's a positive move. If only it didn't. start. April. 13!!!!!!!

Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Headache, But a Funny One.

I used to hate Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Mostly because of its star, Larry David. He has got to be the most annoying guy on earth. Seriously. He walks around dressed like a casual schlub and his TV wife, played by Cheryl Hines, is young and gorgeous. Larry is everything I hate about sitcoms like According to Jim and The King of Queens, which features old/bald/overweight/neurotic husbands paired with young/attractive/skinny/sensible wives.

And yet, this season of Curb is surprisingly good. I can (almost) look past Cheryl Hines' attraction to Larry. I'm eh about the Seinfeld reunion plotline, because truthfully, those parts aren't what I find funniest. For example, two episodes ago, JB Smoove's character (who's black) pretends to be an adopted Jewish guy with some weird disease that Michael Richards thinks he has. JB goes to counsel Michael, telling him everything will be OK, he just needs to wear a certain kind of hat that'll keep him alive. When Michael finds out JB was lying, he finds JB in the crowded parking lot and starts screaming at him. Everyone around them holds up their cell phones to take video. I'm glad Michael Richards can poke fun at himself for that whole n-word debacle now.

There was also a great episode with Larry pretending to wear women's underwear to help out his friend Jeff, whose wife thinks he's cheating on him. No, they did not address why "Larry" would store "his" panties in Jeff's glovebox, but whatever. It was still funny.

The thing you have to watch out for with Curb is the giant headache waiting for you at the end of the episode. I'm even getting a headache typing this. Basically, there is a LOT of yelling about really stupid stuff. Everybody manages to start a really dumb argument about really dumb things with everybody else in every scene. I'm not kidding. These arguments go on and on and on and the only thing that ends them is the music signifying a transition to another scene. Which of course includes yet another screaming argument. By the end of the episode, you want to lie down with a cool compress on your forehead.

The fiance, of course, loves this show. He doesn't mind the husband/wife double standard I described earlier. I think he likes the idea that if he ever gets old/bald/schlubby, that there is a chance I will stay with him because Cheryl Hines stayed with Larry. Although it is weird he likes a show about arguing over stupid stuff when he and I basically do that 24/7. (We have a thing about how to change the channel on the remote control. I tell him to just hit the channel number we want but he likes hitting the +/- until he gets to it. Arrgh! I'm getting aggravated just thinking about it.)

Anywho, the nice things about Curb are a) the episodes are only a half-hour long, and b) the seasons are short. I like my headaches in small doses.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Amazing Race: Who to Root For?

Every time The Amazing Race begins a new season, I can pick out a favorite team and root for them up until they get booted. I suspect most fans do this as well. And usually I'm pretty good at rooting for winning teams. I rooted for the two winning hippie teams in the past couple of seasons (I forget their names, but one was an all-guy hippie team and one was an adorable male-female couple). I also rooted for Joyce & Uchenna, who also came out winners. They remain one of my favorite couples ever to compete on TAR. And of course, last season, I cheered on Tammy & Victor to the finish line. Yay!

This season, it was considerably harder to pick a favorite. I initially wanted to root for my Asian sistah Maria and her teammate Tiffany, but not only did they turn out to be big fat LIARS, but Maria was totally weak. Way to represent, Maria. I also thought I'd like the Harlem Globetrotters, because how can you not love a couple of big funny lugs with good spirits? But then the challenges looked too easy for them and I didn't like their smack-talk--it just rubbed me the wrong way. I also liked the gay brothers, except they also turned out to be not very nice people all of the time.

So my "favorite" team changed with each episode. In the episode where the old couple became my favorite...they got booted. The pink-haired guy and his dad became my favorite...until a few episodes later when they got booted.

Now I'm left with four teams, none of whom I really want to win. There's the gay brothers, who ganked a taxi from another team--NOT COOL. There's the Globetrotters, who I already talked about. There's the interracial couple, which includes a really annoying pageant queen who cannot count bells. Finally, there's the blond team, which another blog has dubbed Team Master Race (LOL), for whom things come easily because they are both young and fit and athletic. After last night's episode, I've decided Cheyne's a tool and therefore must not win. (Sorry, Cheyne's girlfriend--you seem like a nice person.) By the least of all evils rule, I guess I should root for the Globetrotters.

This has got to be the least likeable final four teams of Amazing Race history. Now, I didn't watch the first three seasons, so I could be wrong. But eck! Fans deserve better.

Also, can we not spend 500 episodes in a row in Europe next time? Sorry, but the scenery isn't that exciting. And the locals all speak English, which makes it too easy for the teams.

Amazing Race, you better bring it next season, because this one just ain't cutting it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grey's Anatomy: No Crowen For Me!

On the show Grey's Anatomy, there is a couple named Cristina and Owen. Some in the media/fanbase have dubbed them Crowen. I would like to dub them BrokenUp.

I never liked them as a couple. Their chemistry is all wrong. Their passionate embraces do not ring true. Crowen's scenes together look like that acting class you took in high school where you pretended to have feelings for the school urchin.

Now, this may be because I really don't like Owen. I don't think he's good-looking. (That, by the way, is why he doesn't get a "Mc" nickname.) He's just not hot. Also, he tried to choke Cristina in his sleep. Granted, he has PTSD, and he served our country, and he's basically a saint. But. I just can't get over his nearly killing her. Cristina may be able to forgive, but I can't forget.

As if these weren't enough reasons for me to dislike Crowen as a couple, Grey's gave us ANOTHER reason last night: He came THISCLOSE to kissing Teddy.


Look, I don't love Teddy, and I don't love Owen. But the two of them should not be together, at least not while Owen's still with Cristina. I don't know about you, but I think Cristina deserves a better love life than she's been getting for the past six seasons. First, they gave her this arrogant doctor who was played by a homophobic actor. Wait, I should concentrate on the character, not the actor? Okay, they gave Cristina this arrogant doctor who made Cristina cover up for his shaky hands, thereby endangering the lives of every patient who came under his knife. Now she has an unattractive redhead who choked her in his sleep and admitted to his female friend that he is/was in love with her all along.*

Cristina, you deserve better.

How about that hot biracial doc who's been following you around like a puppy since the merger? Jackson, his name is (thank you, IMDB). You know, the one with the very nice green eyes. He's got Mc written all over him. And he is already in love with you! You wouldn't have to work for it. Also, when he kissed you at that party? Chemistry up the wazoo.

So what say you, Grey's writers? Can we please get off the Crowen train (with Cristina dumping Owen and not the other way around) and get on the Crackson Express?

*Yes, Owen did eventually tell Teddy "But I'm in love with Cristina." So what? He shouldn't have said ANYTHING to Teddy. It was none of her beeswax.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Survivor: Samoa: Just Declare Russell the Winner Already.

I wasn't before, but I'm cheering for you now, Russell.

When you found your first hidden immunity idol without help of a clue, I thought, pretty ingenious.

When you found the idol AGAIN with no help, I thought, wow.

When you found it a third time, AFTER half your tribe got to see video of the idol being hidden, and AFTER you were chased through the jungle because everyone knew you'd sniff it out, I thought, you know what? You deserve the million dollars.

I don't give a flying crap how you played the game dirty, burning someone's sock while they slept or letting a chicken loose in the middle of the night. I don't care that you lied about being in Hurricane Katrina (morally repugnant that may be). I don't even care that I want to have John the Rocket Scientist's babies. But you, you have done what no one else in the history of Survivor has done, and you have done it twice.

Hats off to you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

America's Next Top Model: A Farewell to Jennifer

Many people who visit this blog find it by Googling any combination of "America's Next Top Model" and "Jennifer" and "lazy eye." I know this because of Sitemeter, a lovely website that measures my blog's traffic.

I'm still getting people who Google Jennifer, even though she was kicked out a week ago. So, in honor of one of my favorite contestants ever, I will share my thoughts on her elimination:


Those of you who cared enough about La Lazy Eye to Google her, I know. I 100% feel your pain. No, it wasn't fair that she didn't make it past this round because of one bad photo. In hindsight, every photo she took featured her with her mouth open like a fish. But still, she was gorgeous, and friendly to ALL the girls, and seemed like an all-around cool chick. Best of all, she could've been the first Asian American winner of Top Model. This was our season, dangit!

By "our" I don't just mean Asian Americans. I also mean short people. Someone pointed out to me recently that runway models do a lot of picture-taking--i.e., posing for magazines and stuff. They're not walking an actual runway all the time. So why do they need to be six feet tall? The answer: They don't.

So this is my plea to you, ANTM: Can we have another short people season? (And by short people I mean regular-sized people?) Because for a change, the girls this season actually looked...normal. Relateable.

Also, how about a spinoff featuring male models? Just a thought...

The Ups and Downs (Well, Mostly Downs) of Reruns.

Next week is Thanksgiving, and we all know what that means: Rerun time.

Every year, the networks try to feed us a slew of holiday specials we've all seen a bazillion times, reruns of episodes we've already seen, and reruns of episodes we've never seen and have no plans to watch. I'm thinking the idea is that we'll actually pick up a show that we heretofore had zero interest in/could not watch because it conflicted with something else. And believe it or not, this has actually worked on yours truly.

Here are the top three shows, in no particular order, that I've picked up due to reruns over winter/summer breaks:

1) CSI: Miami. Ah, Horatio. I first became interested in this show two or three years ago, during a CBS upfront. The upfronts are this annual event in late spring where the networks show off their new shows and remind us how great their returning shows are. That first year I went was the year of the Horatio one-liners. They played a YouTube video of him putting on his sunglasses mid-dramatic-sentence. I started watching the show that summer, looking for those one-liners. Now, he doesn't do them anymore. But I'm still happily hooked.

2) Law & Order: SVU. I don't quite remember how I got into this show. It might've been the summer my first boyfriend dumped me after freshman year in college and all I did was lie in bed watching TV and feeling miserable about myself. It might've even helped that watching a show about people getting raped and/or killed got me thinking, Hey, maybe I don't have it so bad.

3) Big Brother. Ah, what would a list like this be without Big Brother? It's the perfect summer alternative to (insert the latest Shaq reality show from ABC here) and old episodes of Grey's Anatomy (zzz) and America's Next Top Model. (Seriously, CW. You already run Top Model twice a week when episodes are new. Why would we want to see the episodes a third time?) But I digress. I watched part of the first season of Big Brother, because it was new. Then I dropped the next five seasons or so. I picked it up again when I started the job I have now, because some of my coworkers planned to watch it. I believe a friendly office pool was involved. Also, Big Brother is dangerously addictive. I mean that literally. The show grows more violent/verbally abusive each season. I'm looking at you, Evel Dick and Russell!

You'll notice something all three shows have in common: I picked them up three or more years ago. In other words, not a single show has enticed me with its reruns in the last three years. The Mentalist? No thanks. Bones? Bleh. Numb3rs? Why bother, you're on the brink of cancellation anyway.

So if recent history is any indicator, I'm in for a long, long December. But at the end of the tunnel lies American Idol and 24, not to mention Chuck (!). Is it mid-January yet?

Monday, November 16, 2009


So last night, I finally got around to watching the premiere of V. During the episode, I:

1) Decried the lack of racial diversity 1,000 times. My poor fiance had to hear all of it. Though in the end, he did agree with me. Token black couple aside, this show is very white. And it takes place in New York City. Okay.

2) Washed the dishes. This includes a pie pan, a water glass and two mugs and two spoons.

3) Flossed and brushed my teeth.

4) Played fetch with the cat.

5) Came back to the TV and repeated step 1).

I know V is a remake, but cheese Louise, that's no excuse to totally suck.

My questions for the producers of V:

1) Why does it move so dang fast? What's the hurry? One minute, the aliens land, and the next, they're taking humans onboard the spaceship for a tour. I mean, the Obama administration has been in office for almost a year and we still don't have universal healthcare, yet the aliens land on Earth and gain a zillion followers in two minutes? Slow down, V. Don't you want to save some stuff for season 2? Or episode 2, for that matter?

2) Why is the alien Caucasian? ABC could've made the alien blue, orange, purple, green. They could've given her sixteen eyes and pointy ears and wings. Instead, they made her look like McKey, the winner of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 11.

3) If you were an alien race with significant knowledge of Earth and its people, why would you spend so much time hanging around America? Why wouldn't you first take over China and India, the two most populous countries? Or perhaps a country with a proven record of people blindly following their leader (you guys can fill in the blanks), as opposed to a rambunctious country like America, where protesting is a way of life?

4) Why didn't anybody at NASA see the spaceship coming?

You get where I'm going with this. The show makes no sense, and I'm very frustrated that I spent almost an hour half-paying attention to it. The fiance enjoyed it, but I have no plans to catch the next episode. Blergh. F-minus.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Just Watched Private Practice, And I Need A Drink.

Oh, that was a heart-rending Private Practice. Almost as good as that cliff-hanger last season with Violet and the psycho woman cutting the baby out of her.

We start off with Addison and Sam hiking in the mountains on a gorgeous day. Then they find a guy collapsed on the ground. Cut to a close-up of the leg with the jagged bone sticking out: lovely. He tells them his wife is in a car accident nearby. The wife is 9 months pregnant and today is her due date. But of course. Her left arm is smushed between the door and the seat or something and she can't get out. Her door is stuck so the only way in/out is through the driver's side. Addison gets in the car to try to get her out while Sam tends to the guy, whose lung has just collapsed. Naturally. Sam cuts a slit in his chest and sticks a tube in there to relieve the pressure.

Then the car starts rolling down the hill. When it finally stops, a giant branch is blocking the driver's side door. So now neither Addison nor the woman can get out of the car. Sam somehow drags the husband down to where they are so Addison can watch over both of them while Sam gets help. Meanwhile, the sun's starting to set.

Then two even CRAZIER things happen. First, it turns out the baby is in breach. And one of its feet has poked its way out. So Addison not only SHOVES THE FOOT BACK IN but she has to reach all the way in and turn the baby around. AGHHHHHHH.

When I finally stop screaming and pull my hands away from my eyes, I see Addison has delivered the baby. It's not breathing, so Addison gives it mouth-to-mouth. The baby comes to life. They tell the husband, "Hey, it's a girl!" He doesn't answer. They both realize he's unconscious, maybe dead. Ah, crap.

Then. A helicopter's lights come up over them. Help has arrived. Just in the nick of time. Sam checks the husband's pulse. "He's still alive!" The wife and Addison are joyous. There are only five minutes left in the episode. All is well again. I can finally breathe. Right?

WRONG. The rescue team attaches a metal clamp on the passenger's side door to yank it off. The cameraman spends an awfully long time showing that metal clamp and that door.

Me, to the fiance: Why are they show--

The door comes away, and with it, THE WIFE'S ARM. Apparently, the door being wedged in had clamped off the wife's wound, keeping her alive the whole time. Blood squirts all over the place. The wife dies. Addison loses her mind. "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" she screams. "GET ME OUT!!!!!"

Holy crap, what an episode. I don't know what it is about this show this season. It's on FIRE.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Memo to ABC: It's Almost 2010.

ABC wants to remake Charlie's Angels. Why?

Remakes, as I've blogged about, rarely work in the 21st century. Because this is the 21st century. Not 1976!

I'm trying to picture what a Charlie's Angels update would look like. Corny theme song. Farrah Fawcett hair. Jumpsuits. (Did they wear jumpsuits in the '70s? I have no idea.) Yes, I saw the Drew Barrymore movie version. It was good for what it was and no more. I can't see a network stretching it out into 13 episodes.

And while we're on the topic, let's face it: Outside of Desperate Housewives, women trios/foursomes just don't work. On any network. Lipstick Jungle: Canceled. Eastwick: Canceled. Cashmere Mafia: Canceled. Women's Murder Club: Canceled.

Does ABC think 726967th time's the charm?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proud Glee Keep On Burning

Before I get into last night's Glee, I have just one question:

Artie and...Tina C.?

I was so flabbergasted by that development. I mean yes, I'm glad two of the more underused cast members got their time in the sun. And that they were given a storyline that did not revolve around glee club. (I'm still waiting for Mike Chang's plot. Can we give him something to do other than look hot while dancing?) But Artie and Tina C.--it was just so bizarre. Like the Glee producers threw it in just for the heck of it. When it comes to tentative, awkward teen romances, I like a slow roast. What viewers got, however, was a frozen turkey thrown into a bathtub full of hot water to thaw it right before Thanksgiving dinner.*

Weird romance angle aside, I adored last night's episode, particularly for these three emotional moments: 1) Kurt messing up the last note during Defying Gravity, and then bravely finishing the song. 2) Kurt confessing to his dad that he purposely messed up so his dad wouldn't have to get any more horrible phone calls about his "f*g" son. 3) Sue Sylvester and her mentally disabled sister. Little Red Riding Hood. OMG. I want to cry right now as I type this.

This episode totally gave the middle finger to critics (including yours truly) who said "TV doesn't feature enough disabled people." Not only did Glee feature TWO actors with mental disabilities last night, it basically dedicated the rest of the episode to paraplegics. Well done, Glee. P.S. Can we make that wannabe cheerleader with Down syndrome (played by the adorable Lauren Potter) a permanent cast member? She was kind of awesome.

I also loved loved LOVED the music. So much so that this morning I YouTubed Proud Mary, Defying Gravity and Dancing With Myself. On repeat. Proud Mary was a fantastic way to end the episode, especially with everyone in wheelchairs. How can you not love a performance that shows everyone coming together like that?

Last but not least, Puck was in this episode. A lot. 'Nuff said.

*I didn't make this up. It is a true story about my fiancé's friend. Here is the full account, penned by the fiancé himself:

The guy had the turkey frozen and didn't think to thaw it until he was getting ready to cook it. He realized he needed to thaw it quickly and put it in a garbage bag in a tub full of hot water. The neck, heart, and other stuff in the middle stayed frozen though and had to be pulled out still frozen to speed up the thawing. In the end the turkey was a little undercooked and he used the fat and grease that came off the turkey as gravy and put it in an unlabeled jar. The fat and liquid separated into two layers, both unappetizing shades of brown.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dexter, You Finally Did It. Oh, Crap.

TV's adorable vigilante killer finally went and did it.

He accidentally killed an innocent person.


I totally was not expecting this. Sunday's episode started off kind of slow. Actually, I wasn't really paying attention because I was checking Facebook. Then I ran out of Live Feed stories and settled in to watch, really watch.

Some background thoughts about this season: I'm really enjoying the John Lithgow storyline. I had to turn my eyes away from that deer, though. I'm also liking the domestic Dexter. And unlike some people, I don't find Rita annoying. I like their whole dynamic and Dexter's relationship w/ the kids. I even like that freaky-looking baby Harrison. Did anyone else notice he went from being completely bald to having a full head of hair in two episodes? Oh, casting, you (not so) sly devil, you.

Everything else is so good, you can't blame me for not paying much attention to the case du jour. There goes Dexter, stalking his latest victim. There goes Quinn, foiling Dexter's plan. There goes Dexter, foiling Quinn's plan to foil Dexter's plan. There goes Dexter, successfully jabbing the needle into the victim. There goes Dexter, killing the victim with a swing of the cleaver.

Now it's the following day. Dexter shows up to work looking the same as always: pastel casual in slacks and a mint-green plaid shirt.

Me: I really like that shirt. I'm going to buy it for you.

Fiance: That is a nice shirt.

Now they're dragging a dude into the office in handcuffs. Apparently, he's the assistant of the guy everyone thought was the killer. They have DNA evidence, camera footage, everything. This guy, the one Dexter DIDN'T kill, he's the guy who actually committed the murder.


Dexter just barely makes it to his office before collapsing on the floor. In the distance, his ghostly father Harry frowns at him: You f*cked up, Dexter!

I love it. Love it. This is like that episode of Mad Men where some guy's foot got shredded by a lawn mower. Just when you're getting comfy/bored with an episode, something ups and hits you in the face and makes you go HOLY CRAP DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?

Ah, Dexter. You are simply wonderful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Are All the People With Disabilities On TV?

I woke up this morning thought it was Wednesday, and that Glee would be on. I was wrong on both counts.

So instead of wishing it were tomorrow, I'll just write my six thousandth blogpost about my favorite new show.

Some people with disabilities are protesting the fact that Artie Abrams, the guy in Glee who uses a wheelchair, is played by an actor perfectly able to walk, run, and shoot hoops. Okay, maybe not that last one. I have no idea if Kevin McHale can play basketball.

The disabled community wants to know: Why didn't Glee cast an actual guy in a wheelchair to play a guy in a wheelchair?

Great question. According to the U.S. Census, about 20% of the general population age 5-64 has some form of mental or physical disability. Yet we see less than 2% of characters with disabilities on TV. And since not all of those characters are actually played by people with disabilities, real disabled people are left even more in the lurch.

Glee's response to the disabled people: We tried and we tried, but it was hard enough getting talented people who could sing and act, let alone people like that who happened to be in a wheelchair. Okay. Fair point. I say this grudgingly, because there's got to be one guy out there in a wheelchair who can sing and has charisma, and I can't believe Glee didn't find him in this age of Google.

I'm trying to think of another character who's in a wheelchair or has some kind of disability. The only one I can think of (and I thought of him because I just read the article that prompted this post) is the new guy on Private Practice, Michael Patrick Thornton, who plays Naomi's potential love interest. A) It's about time they gave Naomi a love interest who is not Addison's brother or Naomi's own ex, and B) I really like the new guy. He has spunk and his research is exciting and controversial. I'm sure he'll add a lot to the show.

I've decried the dirth of minorities and gay characters on TV before. I can't believe I forgot about people with disabilities. I made the same mistake network TV made. Well, never again. From now on, disabled community, Linda's TV is looking out for you.

P.S. Artie Abrams, I still adore you. I can't imagine anyone else playing you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

McDreamy and Arizona: Two McAwesome Performances

I had a mini Grey's Anatomy marathon last night, and by the end, I needed to be consoled by the fiance. They were that wrenching, and that good.

The first one centered on McDreamy, everybody's favorite doctor. This guy Isaac, who works at the hospital, asks him to take out a giant tumor that has grown up and down his spinal column. The Chief, who is becoming more of an a-hole with each progressive episode, tells McDreamy not to do it. Costs too much money, it's a hopeless surgery, blah blah. McDreamy says whatevs and he does it anyway. Snip, snip, he gets the whole dang tumor out. More than 24 hours of surgery. Insane. I was holding my breath the whole time. When Isaac wakes up and finds out he's going to be OK, I got tears in my eyes.

That McDreamy. He can operate on me any day.

Anyway, even though all turned out OK, the Chief fires McDreamy for disobeying him. Chief, you can suck it.

The second episode was mainly about Arizona and this ten-year-old patient of hers named Wallace. Wallace is a doctor wannabe, and he even goes on rounds and explains patients' histories to interns and stuff. Wallace is awesome. But he's got an intestinal thing that he's been fighting for two years and he shouldn't even be alive but here he is. Anyway, he's back in the hospital and Arizona is sure this is it, his luck's run out, he's going to die soon. His parents want him to have surgery to prolong his life but Arizona is adamantly against it, because surgery will kill him. The parents say well then we're taking back the $25 million we promised to your hospital. The Chief and one of the hospital administrators convince Arizona to do the surgery. Wallace dies. Arizona is furious and upset. She goes home and there is a surprise birthday party waiting for her. Arizona leaves in tears. She goes back to the hospital to see the parents. They are in disbelief as they pack up Wallace's things. They all go down to the morgue to see him, and the mom starts to do the dream chant thing "bad dreams, bad dreams, go away, good dreams, good dreams, here to stay" that she used to do for him when he was alive. She can't finish, though, because she is too choked up, so Arizona steps in and does the chant two more times, because Wallace used to say that you have to do it three times for it to work. Ahhh Wallace. I'm getting choked up just writing all this, and you're not even real. Anyway, at the end of the chant, the dad says to Arizona, "I'm giving you the money after all. Not because of (the hospital administrator) kissing our butt, but because of you." Aww.

There was also a baby who was teeny and premature and had cranial bleeding and was about to die. Karev picks up the baby and cradles her because he doesn't want her to die without ever having been held (the mom is having a seizure or something). Bailey comes along and says that's a kangaroo hold, and that if Karev takes off his shirt and holds the baby against his bare chest it would be even better for the baby. In the end, baby survives, the mother survives, and I need another hug from the fiance. Sigh.

I have said in earlier posts that Grey's isn't as good this season, and I'm glad these last few episodes proved me wrong. When Grey's is good, it is GOOD. Kleenex good.

Oh and best of all, there was no Izzie in either of these episodes. She's on break to shoot yet another romantic comedy or something, and I didn't miss her one bit. Hey Hollywood, can we get Katherine Heigl some more scripts?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Do We Want Sue Sylvester to Sing on Glee? Uh, YEAH.

Jane Lynch, who plays the glorious Sue Sylvester on Glee, is campaigning to sing on the show.

Yes, you read that right. She's campaigning. As in, the show hasn't already LEAPED FOR JOY AND SAID HECK YES.

Um, Glee, what are you waiting for? Sue is arguably the funniest character on the show (the other funniest character being Artie the wheelchair kid's facial expressions). What Gleek would not want to see the Eternal Scowler bust a move?

I'm trying to decide what I want her debut song to be. Should it be something ironic, or something totally appropriate for her? A cutesy ditty with the Cheerios? A solo song about unrequited love? A rap-off with Mr. Schuester?

The possibilities are endless. And now that the idea of her singing has been planted in my head, I cannot get it out. It's all I want.

If Sue gets to sing, I already know her performance would be--in the words of Sue herself--outstanding.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Letter to South Park

Dear South Park,

I wanted to thank you. You are the first show on television (that I've seen, anyway), that recognizes the utter obnoxiousness that are motorcycle riders, the ones who make their engines REALLY LOUD, so loud they set off car alarms and interrupt conversations and drown out lines of dialogue in TV shows and basically, for 5-10 seconds, send my blood to a boil.

No, I didn't like the way you went about highlighting the obnoxiousness. I wish you hadn't used the word f*g over and over and acted like it was acceptable.

But I know you're a show that doesn't give a f*ck about what viewers like me think. Perhaps you offend to entertain or you just aim to entertain and offense comes as a byproduct. Or maybe the line between the two has become so blurred you can't see it anymore. But I have the fullest confidence that whatever offenses you commit, you are well aware of them. You've weighed your options and chosen to kept the offenses in--for humor, or for some other reason. And I can live with that.

I don't know if you chose motorcycle riders as a means to an end, or if you genuinely have a beef with loud motorcycles. Either way, I hope a chunk of your motorcycle-owning audience sees the show and thinks, "Perhaps I should invest in a muffler." And for that, I thank you.

A TV Fan

P.S. If you're the douchebag motorcycle owner whose girlfriend lives in my building, YES, I'm the one who called 311 on you, and I'd do it again. There is NO REASON to parade up and down my (residential) street at 7AM every morning (including weekends) for two weeks straight and ride up onto the sidewalk to make U-turns and idle for hours in front of my building and generally make a fool of yourself. NONE.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

V: I Changed My Mind. Maybe.

I'm no fool. I'm well aware that I am "missing out" on some of the best shows on TV. Par exemple: Before this weekend's experiment, NCIS had never graced my screen. Nor has CSI. Or 30 Rock.

I am also aware that most of the stuff I love has never--and will never-- crack the top 20 list. (Chuck, I'm sorry, but I speak the truth.)

Now we can add V to the former category. I didn't watch the premiere Tuesday night, but apparently, everyone else did. About 14 million people watched, and that's not including all the people who DVR'd or downloaded it. Even the fiancé downloaded it. I felt sort of betrayed when he told me, because I specifically told him last week "I'm not watching the remake."

Anywho. Now that episode is sitting on his computer, and it's calling to me: "Watch me. Watch me now."

But I'm torn. On the one hand, the show will run just four weeks before disappearing until March. On the other hand, I am now quite curious about it. I mean, what is it about this crazy show that ABC was willing to pollute the whole planet to promote?

Here's what I'll do. If I keep hearing good things about the show, I'll download the rest of the episodes and watch them at the end of February.

I don't get ABC's decision to do this, kill the momentum of a show ON PURPOSE. Your viewers deserve better, ABC.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gossip Girl Threesome Prompts PTC Outcry. Calm down, PTC!

This is me getting on my soapbox. If you don't like it, skip it.

The Parents Television Council is protesting next week's episode of Gossip Girl because it features a threesome. Here is their letter to the CW affiliates around the country:

By now you must be aware of reports in Entertainment Weekly and elsewhere that the November 9th episode of the teen-targeted drama Gossip Girl will feature major characters in a sexual threesome.

To include a story line like this on a program that is expressly targeted to impressionable teenagers is reckless and irresponsible. I appeal to your highest sense of decency, respect and common sense in urging you to preempt this episode.

Television is profoundly influential in the lives of children, especially when it comes to sexual decision making - it has even been described by one researcher as a "sexual super-peer" - signifying television's power to amplify, many times over, the peer-pressure teens are already feeling to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.

When television portrays attractive, popular teenage characters as sexually active, it sends a powerful message to young viewers that they, too, should be sexually active and in fact, there might be something wrong with them if they aren't.

Teens are aware that television influences their behavior. According to one survey, a third of youths 12 and older say the media encourages them to have sex by making it seem like "everybody does it." At least half a dozen studies in the past few years have documented a strong correlation between exposure to adult media content in childhood and early onset of sexual activity among teens. Viewing of sexual media content has even been found to be predictive of teen pregnancy.

As one researcher who has seen these effects first-hand observed, "Children have neither the life experience nor the brain development to fully differentiate between a reality they are moving toward and a fiction meant solely to entertain. Children learn from media, and when they watch media with sexual references and innuendos, our research suggests they are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier in life."

Gossip Girl routinely depicts teenage characters engaging in promiscuous and consequence-free sexual behavior, and that's bad enough. But will you now be complicit in establishing a precedent and expectation that teenagers should engage in behaviors heretofore associated primarily with adult films? Behaviors that not only increase health risks, but which are emotionally and psychologically damaging to participants, as well? I certainly hope not, and I'm sure members of your community and parents of children who watch your network expect more of you.

May I also remind you that it is the affiliate, not the CW network, that will bear the financial burden of an FCC fine should any of the content of the November 9th episode be found to violate broadcast decency laws.

Finally, you must ask yourself, how does airing this program serve your obligation to serve the public interest?In a declaratory ruling last year, the FCC affirmed affiliates' ability to preempt any network programming that is "unsatisfactory or unsuitable or contrary to the public interest." The record on this is clear: contracts between networks and their affiliates may not legally prevent preemption of programming that does not meet LOCAL COMMUNITY standards. As a station manager you not only have a right, but an obligation to preempt programs like Gossip Girl that fail to meet that standard.

Please be advised that the PTC will monitor this episode very closely.

Our members will not hesitate to contact local and national advertisers; and if this program violates broadcast decency law, rest assured that our members will contact the Federal Communications Commission.


Timothy F. Winter

Ugh. What a load of crock. First of all, the PTC hasn't even seen the episode. Second, CW affiliates have no obligation to the public interest. Their only obligation is to their own wallets. Third, why do some people get so uptight about these things? Aren't there bigger battles to fight? Like oh, I don't know, violence on TV? Racial stereotyping? The existence of Hank?

Calm down, PTC. If you're living up to your name--that is, you're parenting--then you don't have to worry about your kids watching this episode. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy the salacious goodness that is Gossip Girl.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TV Tidbits: The Hills and CSI: Miami

The Hills: The Pot Calling the Kettle Drunk

I watched last week's Hills today. And I cannot believe the audacity of Speidi and Stephanie telling Holly she's got a problem with alcohol.

Holly may be a kooky dancer, and she may have no sense of how she comes across in public, but it looks to me like she holds her liquor just fine. Perhaps her swaying her arms about is how the people of Colorado dance. Who are we to judge?

Besides, Stephanie should talk. She was recently arrested for a DUI coming out of Heidi's birthday party.

This show. I just don't know what to do with it sometimes. It's as exasperating as it is entertaining.

CSI: Miami: Thanks, But I Already Saw The Hangover

I have seen almost every episode of this show, and it rarely disappoints. But last night, I was surprised at how unoriginal it was. The whole episode was pretty much ganked from The Hangover. Everybody and their mother has seen this movie by now. So why did Miami try to pull this one over on us?

There was the gang of groomsmen on a lark before the Big Day. There was the trashed-beyond-recognition hotel room. There was the waking up drunk with no idea of what transpired the night before. There was a missing groom. And a random stripper.

Actually, this describes your average American pre-wedding ritual, so maybe I'm being too harsh here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Amazing Race: Let's Hug It Out.

After watching last night's Amazing Race, I have decided something: If I ever go on this show, I'm not going on it with a girl. No way, no how.

I'm not being sexist. I'm not being unfair to women. I'm just saying, if I want to win, I'm taking a Y chromosome with me.

That's not to say I don't think an all-girl team could win. I'm sure two extremely fit women could kick butt (though there has yet to be an all-girl winning team in 15 seasons). But me, being the size of pre-mom Nicole Richie, would just be better off racing with a guy.

Like on Survivor, so many of TAR's challenges are physical. And last night's detour challenge was no exception. It required banging a mallet on the platform of one of those carnival poles that rings a bell if you hit the top. Neither Maria nor Tiffany can ring the bell after 30 tries, so they decide to do the other detour, which is golfing with giant colored balls (no jokes, please). They suck at that too. Back to the carnival pole.

Somewhere in the middle of their 40 more tries (for a total of 70), they take a moment to hug it out. The camera swirls around their circle of anguish as they cry into each other's shoulders. I think Tiffany is crying harder than Maria, who clearly has put in no effort whatsover with the mallet. Still, it's a sad moment on television.

After hugging it out, Maria and Tiffany try a few more times. No luck. So they go back to the golf. After I don't know how many rounds, Phil shows up.

What I think he's going to tell them: Hi ladies. Listen, Big Brother is on tonight, and I can just make it back to the hotel in time to see if Jeff got fooled by Natalie and Kevin's lie that Russell is planning to take him out after this eviction. Are you about done here or what?

What he actually tells them: Hi ladies. I'm told you want to quit the race.

WHAT??? That is not what you want to hear as a couch potato wishing you could be on this show. Maria (or Tiffany) actually has the nerve to correct Phil: "No, we don't want to quit the race, we just don't think we can do this challenge." Potato, potahto. You decided to quit. Own up to it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NCIS: I Came, I Saw, I'm Going to Pass

A reader named velvet74 was kind enough to respond to my query: Who watches NCIS?

She (I'm assuming it's a she) said that among other things, she watches NCIS because the team feels like a family, and because of the many funny moments in the show. Intrigued, I asked her to recommend an episode or two to start with. She recommended two episodes, both of which she said were representative of the series.

I'll be honest--I was pretty excited to see what this show was all about. This crazy show that snags 17 million viewers with a rerun.

Ultimately, I did not like the show enough to continue watching. It had its positives, and I could definitely see the family appeal. Also, Mark Harmon is pretty hot for someone my dad's age. But alas, it was just "too" a lot of things:

1. Too light. velvet74 said this show was not your typical criminal procedural, but even so, I expected it to stick to the crime du jour more. At several points, I completely forgot what the plot was supposed to be. Who died? Who's that girl? What does the license plate have to do with anything? Now granted, I ask these same questions watching my beloved CSI: Miami and Law & Order: SVU, which have more twists than a TCBY pretzel. But with Miami and SVU, at least it's 40 minutes of crime and 2 minutes of everything else (characters' relationships, etc.). When I watch a crime drama, I expect it to feature crime. Prominently. With NCIS, the crime took a backstory to the characters.

2. Too much immature behavior. Coincidentally, both episodes I saw featured Abby dressing up in something other than her usual Goth getup. Both episodes featured McGee and Tony staring appreciatively at her body. Over and over. While she was rattling off theories and putting together clues. It made me uncomfortable. And worried for our nation's security.

3. Too white. One episode I watched was from 3 seasons ago, the other from 4 seasons ago. Fairly recent. I Wikipedia'd this show and saw that a black actor, Rocky Carroll, is now part of the main cast. Woot. But NCIS still needs more diversity.

Now for the things I liked about the show:

1. The theme song. It kicks butt. I watched it all the way through both times and got annoyed at my fiance when he started talking in the middle of it. The only thing I would say is the theme song misrepresents the show. NCIS's theme song suggests the show sizzles with action. Bombs. Guns. Fires. Karate kicks. Man, I hate when a theme song lies to me about the show.

2. The cast. I liked each of the characters individually (though I could've done without all the antics). I can see how people who have watched this show for 7 seasons would fall in love with the characters and all their quirks and backstories, and why they would even watch the reruns. It's like your crazy lovable uncle telling that same story at every Christmas dinner. Somehow, it never gets old. And did I mention Mark Harmon is hot?

I really wanted to like this show. I love when everyone and their mother says "Watch this show, watch it, watch it" and I'm like "Okay, but no promises" and then WHAMMO I get socked in the face by the realization that I really, really like it. I also wanted to get into a show that doesn't face the cancellation jury at the end of every season (I'm looking at you, Chuck, and you too, Ugly Betty). Wouldn't it be great to start liking a show that would definitely be around for a while?

If there is nothing else to watch and I know it's on, I may watch it. That's about it. Sadly, NCIS just isn't for me. But I thank you, velvet74, for your valiant effort!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Survivor: Samoa: Who Are All These People?

Well, that was a disappointing Survivor.

I really liked Liz. I really liked Jaison. But Liz got voted out, and Jaison, arguably the fittest of the bunch, got "tired" right in the middle of a challenge and phoned the rest of it in. Lame!

I also like the rocket scientist. I forget his name. But now that my two favorites are gone (one physically, one mentally), he's all I have to hang on to.

Speaking of the rocket scientist, is anyone else finding a hard time keeping track of all the contestants? I could pick Shambo and Evil Russell out of a lineup. But the rest of the cast? They could be sitting right next to me, wearing their tribe buffs, plus name tags, and I still wouldn't know who they were.

I'm looking at a cast photo right now, and there remain (besides Shambo and Russell):

-Two blonde girls. I think one of them is named Courtney.
-Two handsome dark-haired guys, one of whom looks like Eli Manning (at least in the photo).
-A guy w/ a receding hairline who keeps his hair cropped short.
-A guy w/ shaggy long brown hair. Where did he come from?! I don't remember him AT ALL. Did he get voted out/injured and I didn't know it?
-Two dark haired girls. One of them is Laura (as I discovered only last night).
-Wait. I found a third handsome dark-haired guy.

Not that this season is boring or unmemorable. It seems Survivor can either be all about the contestants or all about the game. This season, it's all about the game. How lopsided it is with Galu stomping all over Foa Foa. How dangerous Samoa is that two men would get so ill, medical takes them out of the game before the season's even half over. How miserably cold and rainy it is for days on end. Yeah, let's not ever have another Survivor in Samoa.

Oh, wait. Next season (the 20th) is reportedly taking place in Samoa too, with an all-star cast. Well, never mind, then.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

24 Has a Premiere Date. Get Excited!

Today I saw the trailer for my favorite shoot-out drama, 24. I watched it on mute because I was at work, but I don't think I missed anything. It's the same dang show every year, and I love it for just that reason.

For the uninitiated, here is a handy synopsis of every season of 24 to date:

-Jack Bauer is going through inner turmoil or coming off a terrible experience when the season begins.
-Terrorists strike.
-Jack tries to find them.
-Jack finds them. Commence torture.
-Feds try to stop him.
-Feds can't stop him.
-Kim Bauer shows up. Ugh.
-Someone important dies.
-Jack finally gets the Feds to listen.
-Someone in the Fed/CTU/government is a rat!
-Jack kills the rat.
-Lots of shooting. Good guys win.
-The sun rises with the dawn of a new day. All is well.
-...Or is it?! Dun dun dun.

This season's 24 takes place in my hometown of NYC. (Yes, we are so over LA!) It premieres Sunday, January 17. Jack and Chloe, how I've missed you so!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NCIS: Who's Watching This Show? No, Really. Who?

There's this show on CBS called NCIS. You might've heard of it. No?

Well, 17 million people watched a rerun of it last night. A rerun. Seventeen million viewers.

To put it in perspective, the show EVERYBODY talks about, Glee, pulls in only about 8 million. With original episodes.

I don't get it. Who's watching NCIS?

I'll tell you who's not watching. 1) Me. 2) Everybody I know. 3) Everybody they know. 4) And everybody they know.

But somewhere out there in the good ole U.S. of A, there are 17 million people who passed up new episodes of So You Think You Can Dance and The Biggest Loser to watch an old episode about navy people solving crimes.

The star of NCIS is a guy named Mark Harmon. You may know him as that guy in that movie, you know, the one w/ that woman. Mark Harmon. Everybody knows him. Right?

There is also a couple on the show whose names mash together to form Tiva. Like Brangelina, but more succinct. I don't know Tiva's actual names. I just know Tiva sounds like Tivo. Did you know Tivo sends you cookies when you sign up?

Where was I going with this entry? Oh, right. NCIS, the show nobody talks about, regularly delivers 20 million viewers with new episodes. So a rerun took in 85% of the audience a BRAND NEW EPISODE delivers.

Grey's Anatomy would kill for that kind of audience loyalty. I've never watched a Grey's rerun in my life. I see one second of a familiar scene, and I'm diving for the remote.

Has anybody out there watched NCIS? If so, I would like to interview you and ask you all about this show. Why is it so great? Why would you watch it twice? What else has Mark Harmon been in?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mad Men: Next Time Joan, Use a Titanium Vase.

I've heard Mad Men described as "the best movie I see each week," or something to that effect. And it's true. The show, in all its exquisitely shot time period glory, carries all the weighted drama of a Best Picture contender. Beautiful costumes. Glamour. Gorgeous cast. Superb writing. And tension, tension, tension.

This past Sunday's Mad Men was one of the best episodes of the series by far. It's a pivotal episode--that episode where, from that point forward, everything changes, and there's no going back.

For example, that Grey's Anatomy two-parter where Meredith is holding a bomb in someone's chest? Pivotal. With that, Grey's established itself as the best show on TV, the one everyone talked about. Of course, now hardly anyone talks about it anymore, but that's beside the point.

Mad Men was pivotal this Sunday because finally, finally we saw Don Draper break down. And those ten minutes or so where he is explaining his past to Betty? Painful to watch, and yet I hung on his every word. The hardest part was watching him talk about how and why his brother killed himself. Poor Don. I think in that moment, Betty could see herself truly forgiving all his infidelities. Only in that moment, though. I'm sure when she finds out about him and the teacher, the sh*t will hit the fan again.

Also in the episode, the craziest thing happened: Don dropped a cigarette, he was so nervous. Don is the kind of guy who never drops anything. He is just too cool. In fact, he is the kind of guy who looks at you and makes you drop YOUR cigarette.

Another great moment in the episode came out of nowhere, as all the great moments on Mad Men are wont to do. Joan and her husband Dr. Rapist, I mean Greg, are arguing. Well, Dr. Rapist is arguing about how he can't get a break and how his life is crap because first he tried to be a surgeon but he failed at it and then he tried to be a psychiatrist and he changed his mind because that's not even a real science or something (ouch) and blah blah blah waa waa waa. We're all sick of his whining by this point. That "we" includes Joan.

So what does she do? She goes behind Dr. Rapist, picks up a vase, and BASHES IT OVER HIS HEAD.* Then she walks out the door. WOW. I officially love Joan.

Roger Sterling also had his own storyline this episode involving some woman from his past, but it was far outshadowed by Don and Betty and Joan. There are only two more eps of Mad Men this season, and I cannot wait to see how it ends.

*No, sadly, he didn't die. By the way, the actor, Sam Page, is slated to guest star on Greek, playing Rebecca's dad's colleague on Capitol Hill.