10.31.2007

There is no bug or slime indigenous to church thrift stores.

Now that I’m feeling somewhat better, it’s time for a three-in-one post.



Friday Night Lights - Backfire
Riggins accompanies Street to Mexico to explore an experimental surgery involving shark blood. Riggins spends the entire trip drunk, except when he sobers up long enough to call Lyla for help. Meanwhile, Coach Taylor moves home to find out that the current Dillon coach refuses to leave. After a small battle, Taylor gets his job back. Finally, Landry wants to turn himself in after the police find a body in the river. Tyra convinces him to keep quiet and is called down to the station herself, but only so the police can tell her that they have found her attacker. Photo
© NBC.

Part One: How Friday Night Lights Has Turned Me Into A Pedophile

I was grocery shopping on Friday evening after work, at a grocery store that happens to be near a high school, and as I was walking to my car I heard the booming of an announcer’s voice. And I realized—high school football game! As I drove out of the parking lot and past the field, I was thinking of FNL and checking out the players. And then I went home and barfed, cause they were at the most 18 years old. Damn you, Friday Night Lights!

I was incredibly wary of the Landry-Tyra-murder storyline when it first reared its little head, because a large part of what makes this show so fascinating is the relatively mundane nature of the characters’ lives and what they go through. However, I can admit that I was wrong. The story is unfolding quite nicely, although I assume that someone else will find out about what they did eventually. Perhaps Landry’s dad, but he will protect his only son? We’ll see. Another good thing: Julie finally realizes that the Swede is not so great, and stops being such a terrific brat. Hopefully now that she seems to be settling down and Coach Taylor is home, Tami will stop being a quivering mess (not that I blame her, mind you). Overall a strong season so far, although seriously lacking in Matt Saracen action.


Bones - The Mummy in the Maze
It's the annual Jeffersonian Halloween Ball, but a trio of missing girls puts the fun on hold. Booth & Brennan must solve the case before the killer strikes again on Halloween.
Photo © FOX TV.

Really the only great thing about this episode was everyone doing lab work in costume. The end.

Reaper – Leon
The Devil, depressed by Halloween’s “commercialization of evil,” gives Sam an extra-tough assignment in order to make himself feel better -- catching the soul of serial killer named "The Butcher of Ballard." Meanwhile, Sock befriends a seemingly not-so-evil escaped soul (Patton Oswalt). Photo © The CW.

Reaper doesn’t try to be more than it is, but I sure do love it when they throw in little bits of wisdom that could actually mean something. I wish they would push that envelope further. So far the stories are all "Sam finds escaped soul, Sam is awkward around Andi, Andi is a bitch, Sam captures soul with help of friends." I wish it was a little more difficult for them to capture the souls once in a while -- they need to get beat up a little more. Currently it all seems too easy. I truly enjoy this show but it needs to step up its game a tad to keep the viewers' interest.

Tonight two lines that struck me were “God forgives sins if you are truly repentant” and “betrayal is the defining trait of humanity.” We know that Sam’s father has betrayed him (whether it was for “his own good” remains to be seen), and I half expected that when Leon repented at the end of the episode, he would somehow escape his fate. I guess I am too sappy. But hooray for Sam finally owning his bounty hunter position, and even standing up to the devil! I want him to stop with the moping "why must I endure this fate" melodrama and just become a badass already.

Now for the bad part. Seriously, what writer thought up the character of Andi? She is not endearing. She is not even charmingly neurotic. She’s just kinda nuts. These kids are supposed to be college-aged, so why does Andi behave as though she’s in middle school? Her ridiculous ultimatum that they couldn’t be friends anymore was pretty lame. I understand less and less why Sam is even supposed to like this girl in the first place. She’s a boring drama queen. No thanks. The show would be much better if Sam and Andi were just buddies, at least on the surface. They could even have obvious crushes on each other, but "keep it to themselves" and pretend to be just friends (Pacey & Joey Season 3, anyone?) The sexual tension would be more believable, like it was in the first couple episodes. Back then, I bought Sam and Andi's "flirtatious friends" schtick. The scene at the college when Sam is all set to declare his love just as Andi tells him she needs her life to stay the same...classic! But now, just a few episodes later, I don't see much chemistry between the two at all.

The fun bits:
- Ted dressed as Jack Sparrow.
- “If I were a serial killer I’d be Murder Man or Killbot.”
- The signs marking various businesses: “Booze,” “Tickle Massage,” etc.
- “I’m gonna give you a man hug.” “That’d be nice.”

How do you think Reaper is doing? Leave us a comment!

10.30.2007

John Krasinski MySpace

* UPDATE: POLL RESULTS

I rest my case.
Do you judge people based on their MySpace pages?

75% - Duh, totally!
25% - Maybe a little.
0% - It's wrong to judge others.

Let's talk, dear readers. Let's talk about John Krasinski's MySpace page.

First off, I adore John Krasinski. That being said, his MySpace page nearly makes me cry. His song (which as of today has been deleted by the artist) was by the Goo Goo Dolls. His bio says that he received an "A.B. in Literatures" (plural?!?) His interests include "women (obviously)" and " I like Alternative music mostly."

Now I fully expect to get all sorts of hate mail for this, but I have to say I expected more. Perhaps I am being silly. Perhaps I had built the boy to superhuman status in my mind, and thus was so distressed by the spelling and capitalization errors on his MySpace page. No doubt this is made worse by the fact that I am a copy editor. Perhaps he does not handle his MySpace page, and it is managed by an intern or lowly NBC page. If he did set up his MySpace page, perhaps he was in a hurry. Some of my closest friends are poor spellers, and I don't think any less of them.

I have to say, though, my huge John Krasinski crush was severely stunted by his MySpace page. Which got me thinking about MySpace in general. At my job, we have used MySpace to vet potential employees, going so far as to make decisions about whether or not to hire them before they even walk in the door for an interview. I know this is totally unfair, but we do it anyway. I also know that I shouldn't judge people based on their MySpace pages, but I totally do. Do you? Vote in our poll!

Being sick sucks...

And it means that I was too exhausted to watch How I Met Your Mother last night. Boo. Here is someone who did watch it.

However, I have nabbed myself two more guest bloggers, so very soon the content of this blog will expand beyond my meager offerings of non-cable TV. What joyous news!

In other news...
* Ellen & Portia claim they are not breaking up, but who knows?
* Heroes spoiler alert.
* Jennifer Garner is fabulous, as always.
* Adorable TV-based Halloween costume ideas.

10.26.2007

I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it at all and it’s terrible.


(C) NBC
The Office - Local Ad
When corporate offers the Scranton office a chance to appear in a Dunder Mifflin commercial, Michael sees a prime chance to display his creativity. Meanwhile, Andy turns to Dwight for advice on his relationship with Angela, and Dwight attempts to assuage his heartbreak by immersing himself in an internet-based fantasy world.

Another underwhelming episode of The Office, “Local Ad” was a huge disappointment after last week’s phenomenal “Money.” Since I started this blog, I keep a fresh yellow legal pad on my couch at all times, and last night I found myself with very little to jot down. This is probably the single most uneventful episode I have seen to date, although—since I am one of maybe five people in the US who did not want Pam and Jim to get together until the very end (√† la Tim & Dawn)—the little hints that a breakup could be on its way were heartening. Obviously there will be romantic strife between these two at some point. The notion that Jim wants to move to Philadelphia to be a sports writer, combined with Pam’s brushing him off while she’s working on her animation and Jim’s little display of jealousy at the bar, portend that issues are starting to arise.

The moments I did jot down:

“What’s rap?”
Phyllis as a less urban Aunt Jemima
Getting Sue Grafton would be a huge “coop”
Break me off a piece of that ... Snick-ers-bar

In other news…
* Excellent reasons that you should be watching Friday Night Lights.
* Will Grey’s Anatomy introduce a lesbian character?
* Hooray, more Reaper!
* Slap bet countdown.

Guest Blogger: Alligator

As I mentioned in my first post, I do not have cable or TiVo, so I can only watch a handful of shows. This is fun, because it forces me to choose carefully -- it reminds me of picking classes in college. There are always shows I want to watch that I can't (this season it's Supernatural, which conflicts with The Office), but the advent of online television has helped me immensely.

Hence, the introduction of a guest blogger, who does have cable and who watches all sorts of shows that I, for various reasons, do not. She has been trying to convince me to watch Gossip Girl, but so far I have resisted.

Name: Alligator
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Artist
Current TV: Gossip Girl, Flight of the Conchords, The Hills
All-Time TV: The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Sex and the City, Antiques Roadshow, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Murder She Wrote
Movies: Annie Hall, Gone with the Wind, North By Northwest, To Kill a Mockingbird
Music: Joanna Newsom, Melanie, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones
Books: On Beauty, Air Guitar, The Americans
Websites: Fred Flare, The Sartorialist, NY Times, The Stranger

Which TV character would you like to have...
a friendship with: Larry David (does that count?)
a relationship with: Aidan (Sex in the City), Brett (Flight of the Conchords)
in your bed: Michael Vaughn (Alias)


(C) The CW
Gossip Girl - The Handmaiden's Tale
Dan's childhood friend Vanessa returns home and declares her feelings for him right as he and Serena are deciding where their relationship is going. Blair sends Nate on a scavenger hunt, but Nate is distracted by his feelings for Serena. Meanwhile, Lily asks Rufus to accompany her to a gathering in order to make Bart jealous.

I totally love Dan and Serena. Their relationship is very John Hughes circa 1986. This episode introduced a new character, Vanessa. She is Dan's childhood friend who was also the love of his life (pre-Serena). She's also apparently BFF with Dan's dad (Rufus) and sister (Jenny). Honestly I thought her character seemed a bit too snippy and quick with the comebacks. Since it seems like she'll be around for a while let's hope they give her character a bit more dimension.

This episode revolves around a masquerade ball (are these kids always throwing lavish parties?) and in spite of Jenny's new role as Blair's crony she still was not invited to the party, so she was super bummed -- but somehow GG newbie Vanessa was able to sneak her in. I guess this is not too much of a stretch considering in last week's episode we saw Blair, Jenny, and the girls out at a bar -- and Jenny is only 14. At the masquerade ball Jenny manages to trick smarmy Chuck into meeting her outside for a potential hook-up, only to lock him outside in his underwear. Jenny's character is reminiscent of Winona Ryder in Heathers. Love it!!


The best moment of the show was the surprising but not so random kiss between Dan's dad Rufus and Serena's mom Lily. Rufus was just trying to help Lily make her rich boyfriend jealous with the kiss, but I'm sure that we'll definitely see more Rufus and Lily love in the future. Oh, and Lily's boyfriend is Chuck's dad. Apparently there are only about ten people living in Manhattan.


We also found out that Nate's dad is a crazy coke fiend and is quickly losing all of his money on his dirty habit. Nate is as dry as burnt toast so this will surely perk up his storyline. He is also still in love with Serena but that is old news. It seems like we will get more of that info in the next episode. -- Alligator


Related:

* Gossip Girl goes off-book

10.25.2007

Unorthodox Urban Honey Pioneers


(C) ABC
Pushing Daisies - Pigeon
Emerson, Ned, and Chuck are hired to prove that a pilot was murdered, but become entangled in a case involving stolen diamonds and a one-armed bandit.

So, Pushing Daisies. I was a huge champion of this show after the pilot (even before that, really) and I told everyone I knew to watch it. And now I feel a little bit bad about that. I want to love it, I really do. But there is something missing, some crucial element, and the show just doesn't do it for me. It is gorgeous to watch. The characters are endearing. The schmaltz is tolerable (mostly). But every episode is the same! It's boring! Even with the addition of guest stars that hardcore TV addicts will instantly recognize (Gavin Price/Professor Landry as a Ritalin-fueled fiend, Lynn McKennan as a one-armed bandit, Heroes' waitress Charlie as a lovelorn windmill caretaker), I just can't get behind this show. And frankly I've been shocked that the overall feedback in the blogosphere has been nothing but glowing. Last night's episode clinched it for me -- I'm not giving up on it entirely, but I'm not going to be too upset if I miss an episode here and there.

And as I wrote this, I realized what it is that I don't like about this show. After the pilot, I described it as "a cross between Tim Burton and Wes Anderson." And that, against all reason, is the problem. It is exactly like too many other things that have come before. The music last night could have been taken directly from the Royal Tenenbaums. The hermetic aunts could have been taken directly from Lemony Snicket. It all just feels too recycled. We've seen all this before.

In other news, yesterday on my lunch break I watched the season three pilot of Supernatural. Words cannot do justice to how much I adore this show. I liked
Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam) in previous roles, but together they are truly outstanding as angst-ridden, orphaned, demon-hunting brothers. (Yes, I realize how ridiculous that last sentence sounds). I am a bit worried that opening of the gates of hell (which happened at the end of season 2) was partly a plot device that will allow Sam & Dean to meet more hunters. I am not a fan of this. I love the "brothers against the world" theme that the show currently has going, and I am wary of the introduction of new, lasting characters. On the other hand, I do like the development of Bobby as a replacement father figure, and I want to see where that goes.

Dean's impending death makes it seem likely that this will be Supernatural's final season. I don't believe that they will actually send him to hell (although that would be quite an awesome ending), but considering the CW's overall ratings this show can't last much longer. From the various side comments Dean made in the pilot (i.e. not sweating his cholesterol level) it seems obvious that he will use his bargain with the devil to excuse doing all sorts of overly crazy and dangerous stuff. Which should be fun!

Best moment of the episode:
Dean: "I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel."
Sam: "That's hellfire, Dean."


Reaper steps up its game ... a bit


(C) The CW
Reaper - What About Blob
Sam must deal with a toxic blob when the soul of a chemical company's CEO starts killing those who stand in his way. Meanwhile, the Devil delivers Sam's contract... but it's about a zillion pages long, and in Latin.

Despite the fact that this is a terrible episode title, I am a big fan of this show (and of Sock, who I really did not like during the pilot). I have read a lot of complaints about Reaper being “the same” every week, and although I agree, it just doesn’t bother me. In a lot of ways, the show reminds me of Buffy–the fact that everyone is so blas√© about Sam’s situation, the friends who are more than just sidekicks and can actually help fight, the utterly charming “bad guy.” Last night Reaper took a big step away from its previous formula by introducing the notion that Sam’s father has a deeper relationship with the Devil than we realized. It will be interesting to see where that goes… Obviously it was fun to see Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) as a hellish delivery man, and I love that Ben (Rick Gonzalez) is always getting hurt. On the other hand, Andi is way too whiny and all I see when I look at Missy Peregyrm is Jackie Bradford. I suppose that is the curse of a TV addict. The only thing that continues to bother my nit-picky little self about this show is that SAM IS NOT ACTUALLY A REAPER!

Ok, I just looked up “reaper” on Wikipedia and the definition is “a harvester.” So fine.

I missed the first half of Bones last night, and I didn’t even care. It’s funny, I loved that show when I watched the first season on DVD. The past couple of weeks, I have been trying to concurrently enjoy second season on DVD and third season on TV, and I have to say the show has really gone downhill. One thing I really I loved about the first season was how awkward and weird and un-hip to the world Brennan was. Last night, when she said, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it” and Booth replied, “Why do you know that?”, I was thinking the exact same thing. And thus, the end of my relationship with Bones.

Unrelated note: man, do I hate those Visa commercials in which people who pay with cash (or check) screw up the natural order of the Visa world. Grrrr!