After taking under advisement Beyo-err… Sasha Fierce’s sage advice that “if you like than you should have put a ring on it”, and worried that I might possibly have offended that which I hold quite dear by NOT putting a ring on it yet, even though I love it so, I would like to take this opportunity to claim full-on ring placement on the following people, places and things.
The Jay OFFICIALLY puts a ring on:
- “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon
- The cold, Nordic disenchantment of Betty Draper.
- The triumphant, MILF-tastic return of Britney Spears.
- Beyonce wagging her vagina at me (seconds :51 – :57).
- My friend Audiebird, currently rising the BFF charts, who not only introduced me to the Beyonce song and video in question, but carefully and patiently explained to me WHY the song and video are so great, as such is my ignorance of the language of pop music. And also for giving me 15% of all my material. And 8% of all my recent vocal mannerisms.
- The poem “Mayakovsy” by Frank O’Hara.
- Keanu Reeves (natch)
- Random text messages from friends you haven’t seen in forever that lead to spontaneous, fun plans.
- Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale
- Chicago hot dogs with everything on it.
- My secret belief that Twilight will NOT be the megahit everyone claims it will be. Who REALLY cares about the story of a passive teen girl who falls for a vampire? Seriously, that’s a movie I need to see? Call me when someone gets attacked by a Dementor or plays some Quidditch.
- Old Barney
- Les Grossman on the phone, telling the bad guys to “take a step back… and literally fuck your face.”
- Andy Samberg as Mark Wahlberg talking to animals, resulting in Mark throwing a hissy fit in the press about being parodied, even though it’s a compliment on par with Don Draper holding the door open for you, and then mysteriously showing up on SNL days later to satirize himself, most likely at the behest of his Agent who told him: “you get your ass ON THAT SHOW and say hi to the mother of ANY animal they put in front of you. Even Fred Armisen! How DARE you get your git up about a skit about YOU when you’re BARELY an A-list star? Take a page from Alec Baldwin and go be a mensch. You got it? Good! Now take a step back and literally fuck your face!”
- The realization that if I’m white, I’m Ben Affleck.
- The 2006 Late Harvest Viognier from Zaca Mesa.
- Anything KT Tunstall has sung in her entire life.
- Mad Men (super natch), and related: Don Draper’s Guide To Picking Up Women.
- Nicole Ritchie on Chuck. There, I said it.
- Gmail’s new ability to block e-mails sent late at night as a precaution against your own poor judgment, a feature I wish T-Mobile would look into (it would save Drunk The Jay from having to write so many apology texts).
- The Miami Dolphins Wildcat Formation
- Facebook status updates that are written in the correct tense.
- The trailer for Australia.
- The trailer for Bride Wars.
- All you guys being cool about me taking a small break from blogging. Recess is over, I promise.
- And of course, OF COURSE, Eddie Murphy’s Giant Head.
By now you’ve most likely seen the racy Gossip Girl ad campaign displayed to the right. Conservative watchdogs barked like mad when the campaign first appeared in magazines and on bus stops nationwide. How dare the show allude to the fact that kids have sex! Like, WTF? And use an obnoxious code language only understandable by those under 18 (and who are totes lazy idiots)! ROTFLMAO, for real!
Teens, on the other hand, loved them. This is their world: high sexual drama and hyper-creative language creation. The ads perfectly encapsulates everything that makes the show attractive to young viewers: pretty people with pretty problems texting each other on pretty cell phones.
The controversial (and grammatically challenged) ads are already proving valuable. The show has already been picked up for another season. Gossip Girl is so insanely popular amongst the cyber set that The CW has stopped letting people view episodes online in an attempt to force them to watch the live shows. Faux-GG’s are popping up everywhere (we might be a stolen WiFi connection away from the return of Hard Harry); hell, Gawker practically owes their Google Page Rank to the massive number of random NYC’ers fanatically texting in celebrity encounters. Obviously, this trend is not going away.
Since Hollywood is nothing if not derivative, it’s only a matter of time before other primetime shows begin cannibalizing the Gossip Girl-created abbrevation marketing technique. In fact, I can picture those ads right now…
Other TV Shows Trying the Abbreviation Marketing Campaign:
So why do we all of a sudden think she’s a movie star? She wasn’t more than a piece of lawn furniture in Knocked Up. I’ve gone on record as saying she was the problem of the movie. Her “prettiness”, or what have you, completely derailed the plot; there was just no way that a girl like her would actively choose to stay with a guy like Seth Rogen. Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten a shmashmortion, but she wouldn’t have dated the guy. Also, the movie was overrated, and I could have done without the three close-ups of the crowning stunt vag.
Adding to this the fact that Heigl is currently KILLING Grey’s Anatomy. Her George-Izzie storyline single-handedly destroyed the watchability of last season and, barring the writer’s strike, would have probably side-tracked the current one. She’s the most grating, self-involved, smug, witless character on the show, and I LOATHE the Pompeo. Patrick Dempsey’s hair is even all “Cool it with the smugness, lady. You’re not that cute! Now where did my Personal Coif Attendant go?”
So where are her star credentials?
Are we going all the way back to her classic work in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, where she disappointed every male viewer by not following in the hallowed footsteps of Erika Eleniak’s gorgeous “popping out of a cake” tittyballs? Or the time when her brief thong flash in My Father, The Hero caused a 13 year-old The Jay to grudgingly sit through a Gerard Depardieu movie because there was no such thing as You Tube back in the day?
The fact is she’s only been likeable or even interesting twice in her entire career. First when she posed topless for a Maxim spread, back when that magazine meant something; and second, her strip foosball scene in 100 Girls, which led her character to mack down with pre-approved hottie Larisa Oleynick. That’s it. Those are the two moments. Everything else she has ever done is forgettable and worthless.
Moreover, opening a romantic comedy in January hardly warrants comparisons to Julia, Reese and Sandra. There have been plenty of It Girls who opened a romcom and were never a contender again. For example:
- Julia Stiles opened Save the Last Dance in January of 2001 to the same amount of money as 27 Dresses (more if you amend for inflation), and she can barely open regional theatre these days. She was the second lead of one of the biggest movies of 2007, does anyone even care if she’s breathing right now?
- Kate Hudson opened How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days to a cool $100 mil, but her combined B.O. grosses for The Skeleton Key, Raising Helen and Alex & Emma (in total: $26 dollars) seem to point to McConaughey being the key to the success. That’s why Fool’s Gold is gonna make a mint. People want to see his abs, not hers. God bless evolution.
- Lindsay Lohan opened Mean Girls and look what happened to her movie career. The drugs and the whoring and the Hilton did her in, but the godawful movies were the coffin she laid to rest in (unless someone out there thinks I Know Who Killed Me was a positive step in her career).
The fact of the matter is that there are very few women who can truly open a movie. This is the list:
- Julia Roberts
- Jodie Foster
That’s it. Everyone else has qualifiers to their successful openers (most of the time it’s due to their male co-stars). Let’s go down the list of the women the LA Times believes are in the “Omega Mega Bucks” sorority (cause THAT’s not setting women back a decade).
Julia Roberts: Pretty much retired. And she has nothing to prove anymore. When she puts out a movie, it’s an event, period.
Reese Witherspoon: Can’t open a movie. Legally Blonde was years ago, the sequel was diminished returns, Just Like Heaven tanked, Walk the Line was Oscar bait, Rendition bombed even with her on-set romance pub, and her current movie, Penelope, has been on the shelf for two years cause nobody thinks it’ll do any business. She’s a big star, but call me when her name and face open a sub-par dramedy above $13 mil.
Cameron Diaz: Aside from being successful at always looking like she just woke up from a three day coke bender, her movies haven’t done jack since before Tom Cruise went batshit crazy (can you even remember that far back?). Also, you’re not an opener when you’re doing romcoms with Ashton Kutcher called “What Happens In Vegas”. That’s just me being real with you.
Sarah Jessica Parker:Can’t open an equestrian show. Failure To Launch was the same as How To Lose A Guy…, the presence of Matthew McConaughey and a V-Day Release Date. Sex and the City will open big, but that’s a brand. Would you really see her in a movie if her co-star wasn’t Wooderson or the Sex girls? Me neither.
Drew Barrymore: If you’re goal is $50 million domestic, then Josie Grosie is your girl. But you gotta pair her with a cute boy to get it. Ever After was a loooong time ago.
Rachel McAdams:Can definitely open a movie… if she ever decides to make another one. Also, if she had starred in 27 Dresses, it would have beaten Cloverfield, and I would have already seen it twice. Warrants mentioning…
Jennifer Aniston: Please! Along Came Polly was Ben Stiller’s flick. The Break Up was sold on Vince Vaughn. Bruce Almighty was Jim Carrey’s show. HER movies, Derailed & Friends With Money, tanked. I watched her for free for ten years, why would I ever pay to see her doing anything onscreen (showing her boobies boobies boobies, notwithstanding)?
Angelina Jolie: Not without Brad Pitt.
Catherine Zeta-Jones: Not without George Clooney.
Halle Berry: Not without showing her tits.
Renee Zellweger: Not without Bitchface removal surgery. Or a British accent.
Kirsten Dunst: Not without Spider-Man. (Or her being executed on-screen.)
Orlando Bloom: Not technically a chick, but does have a lovely vag, I’m told. No matter, can’t open anything without Johnny Depp, anyway.
It takes years and multiple hits for a woman to attain true movie-opening power. Jodie opened Flightplan, a movie so bad that Jodie Foster would rather admit she scissors her life partner than talk about that flick. Could Heigl open a Flightplan? I think not.
Consider Katherine Heigl’s personality and persona for a minute. Would you really go see her next movie if it wasn’t released in January, where your options are her or a vomit-inducing monster flick that’s sold out? No, you wouldn’t. She’s not opening a dark drama without a bigger male star, or an in-jeopardy thriller (not if Ashley Judd has anything to say about it), the two other genres women tend to do well in. I wouldn’t buy her in a Sci-Fi blockbuster. And there’s eight-trillion other hotties I’d rather see in a Bruckheimer style action flick (Megan Fox, for starters). So what does that leave her? Romcoms? How many more of these are you gonna buy her in? One, two tops? She should ask Mandy Moore or J.Lo what that career path looks like.
The bottom line is that she got lucky with this one. It won’t happen again. So we, and especially the LA Times, needs to cool it with the STAR IS BORN talk. I can’t be convinced to think of Scarlet Johansson as a true movie star and her T&A is faaaar better than Heigl’s. Also, ScarJo never emasculated George O’Malley, ruined his marriage to Callie, and forced me to pray for more Pompeo screentime. Sigh…
A most unexpected silver lining has developed from the interminable WGA Writer’s Strike. Variety is reporting that Friday Night Lights (my current fav show), is seeing a much-needed boost in the ratings and is close to a third season renewal. With nothing else on TV besides a bunch of musclemen in spandex running around whomping on civilians and waiting for Hulk Hogan to start making good with the No Holds Barred set stories, and the curious sensation that the brand new Law & Order episodes on NBC are merely the same ones you’ve watched over and over again on TNT, USA, TBS and A&E except now Jesse Martin looks a little more Orbach-ianly craggly and Elton from Clueless gets to suck and blow crazy criminals instead of crazy Brittany Murphy, America has finally come to their senses and realized that FNL is the greatest collection of televisional awesomeness since POTUS got into a bike crash and Rob Lowe meta-boned a pro on the pilot for The West Wing.
So for maybe the first time in forever, a poorly-rated critical darling is actually being given a chance by discerning viewers (Somewhere in the world, the Bluth family is collectively shedding a self-absorbed tear – and probably doing the chicken dance at Michael). Thanks to a move away from its first season timeslot amidst the heavy commercial hitters of Wednesday nights and into the barren wasteland of Moonlight and Women’s Murder Club suckage, FNL is now the No.1 show in its 9pm time period with viewers 18-34 (the most coveted of demos). Surging DVR viewing of FNL by people that actually have lives on Friday nights and wait till Sunday to ignore Brothers & Sisters and lock their doors to “enjoy” seeing Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler and Aimee Teagarden make up the prettiest cast of pretty people in the history of hotness, boosts the ratings of the show another 18%.
Other boons to the show are that it has the most affluent viewers of any primetime drama, the show costs half a million less per episode to make than most network hour-long’s, and also, the small bit about the show being utterly effing amazing. And thankfully, because the production of the show is as ninja as the final product, there are still 4 more episodes left to air. Plenty of opportunities to hook new viewers and keep them coming back (and maybe go back and buy the revelatory 1st season on DVD).
All this leads to the most improbable result of primetime TV shutting down and ruining entertainment: Friday Night Lights will get a third season renewal. FNL fanatics were amazed the show even made it to season two! And with this season stepping away from the complex emotional plots of season one and into the cloying soap opera histrionics that are required of a hipster indie network drama desperate for a mainstream audience (Threesomes in Mexico! Tyra and Landry kill a guy and dump his body! Julie Taylor unleashes her life-altering cleav!), none of us would have been surprised if new viewers just didn’t get why we were so enamored with the plight of the scrappy Dillon Panthers. But in the face of unrelenting network pressure, disinterested viewers, Taylor Kitsch’s spot on Jordan Catalano impression, signs of shark jumping (Riggins is stealing drug money now? Really?), and the indefensible fact that the show is about Texas high school football, a subject nobody cares about outside of Texas, this beautifully shot and expertly acted drama about life and love in a sports-obsessed small town is getting a third chance. And I couldn’t be happier.
It raised an interesting question for me: what would I give up to save my favorite TV show?
If my favorite show on television was on the brink of cancellation, what I would sacrifice to get 13 or 22 episodes more? For Friday Night Lights the answer is easy: I would give up this. Exactly this. The sting of losing the back 10 on my other 16 shows is dampened knowing that I’m getting an extra 10 (at minimum) from my favorite one.
I’ve already seen 60+ eps of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve laughed a little less each time at the 100+ eps of Scrubs. The Office is a weekly retread of Steven Carrell twitches. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to get anything new on House this year (OMG, he makes another last minute revelation! It’s actually a rare form of Fatal Hangnail Disease! Brilliant! Let’s forgive him for being a d-bag because he saved this one annoying guy from a fate worse than band-aids!). Heroes is on the decline, Lost wasn’t even going to do a full season anyway, How I Met Your Mother is plateau-ing, and though I love Gossip Girl with the intensity of a thousand burning 90210 reruns, I’m always going to have a teen soap opera to lust after. This one is particularly great, but not so mind-bottling that I would choose Blair Waldorf over Lyla Garrity.
So in thinking about it, I really don’t mind having nothing but Idol to watch this spring. Take it all away, that’s fine, because come September, after all this strike bullshit is resolved, I’m gonna get to see Coach Taylor try to win another State Championship, and all will be right with my entertainment world.
Just for funsies, here’s what I would give up to save some of the other shows on TV:
- To save Private Practice, I would give up… eating Buncha Crunch at the movies (I haven’t wanted to pay four bucks for a three handfuls of brown sugar in awhile, anyway.)
- To save Scrubs, I would give up… hating J.D. for always whining about having to hook up with insanely hot girls (poor baby, Heather Graham, Amy Smart, Keri Russell, Elizabeth Banks and Sarah Lancaster wanna bang you! It truly is a hard knock life.) Also, in honor of Turk, I will abstain from eating sweets during it’s Thursday night timeslot every week. Even if it’s jelly beans.
- To save My Name Is Earl, I would give up… the chance to ever see the Alvin and the Chimpmunks movie. Sacrifice is hard, but I’m up to the challenge.
- To save Pardon the Interruption, I would give up… Around the Horn. I prefer Tony Reali as Stat Boy and Jay Mariotti can go screw.
- To save Two and a Half Men, I would give up… Two and a Half Men. (I prefer my Ma-Sheen stoned out of his mind, effing porn stars and mad dogging Denise Richards to PG-13-ing it up on CBS. Sue me.)
- To save Boston Legal, I would give up… doing my impression of Ace Ventura doing his impression of Shatner from that episode of The Twilight Zone. And that sucks, because I used to slay people with that one. Theeeeeere’s… SOMETHINGONTHEWING! SOME… thing!
- To save Law & Order: SVU, I would give up… every memory I have of Matthew Modine. I was never that big a fan of Gross Anatomy and Memphis Belle is only good for Billy Zane (he’s a cool dude).
- To save 30 Rock, I would give up… The Office. Jim and Pam are together, so what more awkward Michael Scott stuff am I gonna miss? And will it be better than Werewolf Bar Mitzvah? Or “ICU81MI”? Or an impromptu rendition of “Midnight Train to Georgia”, with Grizz and Dot Com as the Pips? Or the line: “It’s after 6 o’clock Lemon. What am I, a farmer?” I think not.
- To save Gossip Girl, I would give up… In N Out for a year. As much as I love a good Protein-style Double Double, if I don’t get my weekly fix of Leighton Meester being evil, Kelly Rutherford being awesome, the gratuitous Blake Lively in tight jeans ass shot, the less subtle than Smallville Nate and Chuck HoYay, or the sweet, sweet narrational tones of the former Veronica Mars, well, I’ll go a little nuts.
- To save Lost, I would give up… internet porn. … just kidding! Boobs always trump Matthew Fox, as much as the Vantage Point trailer kicks ass. That’s a true story.
- To save American Idol, I would give up… my hatred for Reese Witherspoon. Yeah, I said it! I would get right with the Cruel Intentions devilface, let her transparent bitchiness go and try to remember how much I liked her in Pleasantville and Election. I’d even give Sweet Home Alabama another chance (though you can’t make me like Josh Lucas). I’ll do whatever I can for just a few more precious moments with Simon, Paula, Randy and Ryan. Oh Seacrest, how I’ve missed your flat ironed hair, unflappable demeanor in the face of Simon’s gay jokes and obnoxious emphasis on the wrong syllable style hosting. I wouldn’t give you up for anything. THIS! Is the end of the post!
What would YOU give up to save your favorite show?
She’s the lead in a critically acclaimed new film coming out this week that’s generating her some serious Best Actress Oscar buzz, she starred in the fourth highest grossing movie of the year, she’s recently been named the new spokesperson for vaunted perfume company Chanel and she’s successfully swatted away the incessant tabloid reports that she’s anorexic, so why does she keep flashing the Lemonface? What could be bothering her so much?
Being as I am 1) a fan of the Bend It Like Beckham star, 2) always support survivors of the Orlando Bloom Blandness Plague, and 3) am still trying to show my appreciation for her making Pride and Prejudice so surprisingly watchable, I decided to do a little digging to determine what’s dragging our pouty darling down (man, that literation came out of nowhere!). So I clicked open the Firefox, went down the Google rabbit hole and gazed into the magical glowing ball of fictional magicalness and this is what I came up with:
Things That Are Giving Keira Knightley A Lemonface…
- She’s deep into her research on a Victoria Beckham biopic. The hunky soccer husband and scary alien boobs arrive shortly.
- Shook hands with Tommy Lee at an industry party last week. Two words: Herpes Scare.
- Can not get that damn Feist song out of her head! She’s planning to sue Apple for damages.
- Still stung by the poor reception to Domino. Don’t people realize that the incoherent narrative, pretentious color timing and excessive editing were a metaphor for the broken existence that all humans share in their lonely walk towards disillusionment? It was a poignant metaphor, people! Also, she gave that one guy a pretty awesome lap dance while Mickey Rourke watched. So there was that.
- Just once could people not come up to her and say they loved her in Star Wars? Just once! Or even go up to Natalie Portman and tell her she was great in Pride and Prejudice?
- All she’s saying is that if she doesn’t get to play grown up Ginny in the Deathly Hallows movie, bitches are gonna pay!
- Seriously, whatever happened to Mazzy Star?
- Her TiVo cut off the last two minutes of Grey’s Anatomy. What happened to Seth Green?!
- Just this very second realized how bland Orlando Bloom really was. Is now rethinking every decision she’s made over the last five years.
- The plight in Darfur (uh oh, it just real. Quick Jay, make fun of something. Pink is a tranny. Phew. Close one!)
- She made the face so much as a kid that it stuck that way. Mom was right (please don’t tell her, or she’ll force me to stop cracking my knuckles)!
- Afraid of bees flying into her mouth. Consequently, currently HATES Jerry Seinfeld.
- Still trying to figure out the plot of Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End. That shit was confusing! Keira became a Chinese ship captain and then Tia Dalma became a giant and was in love with Bill Nighty and what was with Orlando having to become Davy Jones with the who and the what now and the heart when why where how then the ship had to turn upside down to come back to the land of the living but what was up with the thousand Jack Sparrow’s and the crabs that walked the Black Pearl back to the beach and why again was Orlando even trying to save Jack when he totally macked down on Keira not to mention double-crossed him like eleventy billion times over the trilogy and good lord does anyone really WANT to see a Sweeney Todd movie? Remember when the whole thing was just a cute Johnny Depp performance? Yeah, me neither.
- All kidding aside, she’s just really, really hungry. Sucking on air is pretty much her daily breakfast.
- Would it kill a brother to say they liked King Arthur? The movie has its merits. Keira did spend half the movie painted blue and rocking a leather string bikini, after all. And it did have Clive Owen in it (albeit not telling Julia Roberts to fuck off and die, so it loses points in that regard).
With the Fall TV season now a full month in, I have finally seen every new show (save a few insignificant ones – Cane, anyone?), passed judgment on everything and can now reveal my Official TV Watching Schedule. I’ll take you through it day by day, telling you why I like what, and what I’m not watching and why. It’s gonna be a full television disclosure. I’m gonna answer questions like a Lost season finale (only without the crazy fake ass beard).
So sit back, grab your TiVmote and prepare to bloop bloop!
Chuck – A nice, easy way to start the primetime week. I’m not completely blown away by either the action or the comedy, but I do dig the actors and the attempt at pulling the whole thing together. “Chuck” is a good lead, it’s nice to see Adam Baldwin back on TV (I finally caught up on Firefly this summer and thoroughly enjoyed it), and I can’t get enough of Captain Awesome. I also like how the producers go out of their way to put Yvonne Strahowski in her underwear as much as humanly possible. Why did Sarah have a fight in her slinky grey ass-high robe last week when the outcome was never in jeopardy and there was no reason for the fight to begin with? Who cares, because we got to see a Strahowski blackflip backside peekaboo and it turns out the whole affair was a chickfight between a be-robed Sarah and a red-headed ninja. It’s not even possible to calculate the awesomeness of that gratuitousness. And that’s the type of thing that gets shows season pass-ed in The 209.
How I Met Your Mother – Still a solid sitcom, though they have GOT to find better things for Robin, Lily and Marshall to do. Ted and Barney are doing fine trolling for girls (I was particularly pleased that the season premiere started out with Barney finishing his “Legen… DARY”), but I can’t sit through too many more “Robin has wacky dating hijinks”. Especially if they’re gonna involve skeezy Latin pop stars. Lawyered! Oh, and don’t think for a second that me and A-Train haven’t already purchased our very own championship belt, cause we have. If they can figure out a way to make Marshall and Lily relevant, and a reason for keeping Robin around her ex-boyfriend, there may be hope for the season yet.
Heroes – Here are the five things currently killing this show:
1. WAAAAAAAY too boring a storyline for Hiro. Who, by the way, could not be more useless to the overarching plot of the show, and is reaching Charlie-level heights of annoyingness. We know you’re gonna end up being Kensei, so just get it done and blink your ass back into 2007. I don’t get to see Ando if you’re not around and I need my fill of fun comic sidekicks.
2. WAAAAAAAY too lame new characters. Maya and Alejandro do not have ANYTHING interesting going on. No, not even with Sylar in the mix. Go cry me a black river and wake me when they hit New York in six episodes. This reeks of Nikki and Paolo, but without a much needed buried-alive resolution.
3. WAAAAAAAY too much Matt Parkman. Seriously. Is he really necessary? Who in their right mind would grant custody of a fugitive seven year-old to a divorced, burnt out ex-cop recovering from four gunshots to the chest and his illegal immigrant roommate (even who happens to be smart. And still boring.)? I call shenanigans.
4. WAAAAAAAY too much time spent without Kristen Bell showing up already. Let’s step to it, people. The faster we get Veronica Mars on stage, the sooner we get to see the scene where Ali Larter, Hayden Panetierre and Kristen pillow fight over who’s the hottest blonde on the show. SPOILER ALERT: The answer, by the way, is Mr. Muggles.
5. WAAAAAAAY too many characters. I can barely remember everyone’s names and I’ve seen every episode. Let’s kill off all the newbies, and Parkman and maybe Ali Larter, and get down to business with the Petrelli’s, the Bennet’s, Hiro and Sylar.
That all being said, the show still kicks ass and I wouldn’t dream of missing it.
Journeyman – One of my three favorite new shows of the Fall. I didn’t realize how much I missed a time travel drama on network television till I sat down to watch the pilot. I’m intrigued by the rules of the game here, like the dynamic of Dan seeing his ex on his journeys and his wife getting pissed back at home. And I’m curious how they are going to explain his continued absences (surely SOMEONE has to see him disappear at some point). Kevin McKidd is a fantastic actor and a great, very watchable series lead. I couldn’t dig this show more.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON MONDAYS
Aliens in America – I actually liked the pilot, I just have no time for it. This, like Everybody Hates Chris, is just gonna have to be a good CW show I never get into.
The Big Bang Theory – Hate the Galecki. The Cuoco does nothing for me. And that other guy wore my awesome beige Flash shirt in all the promos and now I can’t wear it anywhere without people asking me if it’s an homage (shut up, people!). I have nothing but dislike for this show. Even if CBS were the only station you could watch on your television, I would still recommend doing something else at 8:30 on Mondays. Like watching the end of MNF, or the second half of Chuck, or Aliens in America, or internet porn.
Samantha Who? – I got burnt by a Christina Applegate sitcom once before (Jesse, anyone?), and it’s not happening again. Barry Watson doesn’t help, either.
House – Still plugging along on Hugh Laurie’s endless charisma. I’ve kinda missed the old team, but am buoyed by spending time with Kumar and the hot lesbian from The O.C. (rent Alpha Dog to see her get down naked-style. The movie blows, but that scene is worth it in spades. Spades, son!). My only bit of contention is that Cuddy is becoming more and more ineffectual. Can we get her a storyline, please? One that doesn’t involve her going on a date that will eventually be ruined by House? Because we’ve seen that six times already. Or her telling House he can’t do something and then totally caving. Cause we’ve seen that eleventy-billion times.
Reaper – I’m at odds with this show. I like Bret Harrison. I like Ray Wise. I have a mad crush on Missy Peregym (yes I saw Stick It in theaters. Look, it’s not called GymNICEstics!). And the presence of Kevin Smith is never a bad thing. But the formula is already played out and we’re only on episode five. The freak of the week thing never lasts, just ask The X-Files and Smallville, so here’s hoping they come up with some sort of mythology they can dip into now and then. Also, getting Missy back into her leotard for some tumbling wouldn’t hurt.
Law and Order: SVU – Nothing much to say about this show. Love the Meloni and the Mariska. The Belzer still needs a chemical peels worse than Bill Murray and Tommy Lee Jones combined. And the ching ching still rocks it.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON TUESDAYS
Cane – Nothing against Jimmy Smits or Hector Elizondo, two actors I respect, but I have exactly zero interest in this show. And I’m a sugar fiend! (Cane = Sugar? No? Anyone? Bite me.)
Cavemen / Carpoolers – Yeah, right. I’d rather watch Ellen cry about dogs for an hour. At least that’s legitimately funny.
Damages – This one just got away from me. Watched the first 6 or so eps and just fell off track when the season started. The same thing almost happened with Burn Notice, but I like that show more. I’ll catch a marathon or wait for the DVD. So nobody post spoilers.
Pushing Daisies – I like it, don’t love it. The whimsy is nice and all, but I feel like I ate a King Size back of jelly beans by 8:47. And a little Kristin Chenowith (pun intended) goes a LONG way.
Gossip Girl – My favorite new show of the fall. I’m a sucker for a teen soap and this is trash of the filthiest order. The girls are crazy hot, the drama is ridonkulously melodramatic, the parents are all ILF’s, the clothes are ludicrous, the hair is headshakingly bad and the storylines are as old as Gabrielle Carteris. Also, Kristin Bell. I am unabashedly in LOVE this show. I don’t want to talk out of turn, and we’re gonna need to wait and see how the show falls together a bit, but this might be better than The O.C. This question definitely deserves its own column at some point.
Private Practice – Started off creaky and shameful, is slowly working its way to being credible. Could very well end up better than Grey’s (especially if Shonda keeps on with the execrable Gizzie storyline). And I’d never pass up the chance to watch Kate Walsh do anything for an hour, especially when anything includes naked towel dancing. Though I could do with a LOT less Amy Brenneman.
Dirty Sexy Money – The third of my favorite new rookies. The cast is uniformly excellent, from Donald Sutherland (who rules all) to Peter Krause returning to his Casey McCall likeability to Natalie Zea being crazy, hot and crazy hot as Karen Darling to William freaking Baldwin happily throwing down with a tranny. And that’s all before we get into Tamara Feldman (who could throw down with Megan Fox, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down). I could watch the antics of the Darling family for years to come. And I hope I get that chance.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON TUESDAYS
Bionic Woman – Tried hard to like it, but eventually had to accept that the show blows ass. Michelle Ryan does nothing for me. Growing up in the Valley I’ve had my fair share of crazy blondes, so Katee Sackhoff does less than nothing for me. And I can’t stomach Isaiah Washington (even when he’s getting a Bionic beatdown). I might have slogged through it as a change of pace to Private Practice but I can only tape two shows at once and I love Gossip Girl too much.
Kid Nation – I was completely wrong about this show. I thought it would be the biggest show of the year, and as it turns out, it blows harder than Cavemen. They had the kids cutting the head’s off chickens. At 8pm! I nearly booted my Chicken Pad Thai. Child Exploitation, thy name is CBS Reality.
Life – Liked the pilot, but my Wednesdays are already too packed. I’ll catch it when Dirty Sexy Money is in repeats.
30 Rock – I could listen to Tracy Jordan be Anne Heche-crazy for days. I am appealing to the California DMV for my very own “ICU81MI” liscense plate (hilarious!). And then there’s the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah I wish my Mom had let me have:
The Office – Can we please all agree that the hour long episodes were a bad idea and move on? Thank you. So much filler I couldn’t stand it. Thought I was watching season four of Dawson’s Creek for a while there. Though I’m really liking Jim and Pam as a couple. It was a great choice to not to draw that storyline out. I particularly enjoyed this moment (I love how happy they are about the whole thing, like they couldn’t want to tell someone):
Grey’s Anatomy – OK, I’m never gonna stop watching this show, but holy jeebus, if it was ever gonna happen it would be because of the Gizzie (George & Izzie). Izzie has become such a contemptable character. After the scene of Meredith telling Lexie about her Mom’s death, I started liking Mere again (a feat I never thought possible), which makes Izzie the current worst character on network television (even worse than the ghost of Dawson Leery, Carrie Bradshaw and Ally McBeal put together). If they don’t end that ridiculous, painful, ill-conceived plotline before November sweeps I am seriously gonna consider thinking about maybe not watching every second of each episode. And I mean it!
Scrubs – Gotta watch the final season, even if it’s not funny anymore.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Just to get a base!
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON THURSDAYS
Big Shots – I hated myself enough when I watched Sex and the City, I don’t need a bigger dose of self-loathing from the male version.
Friday Night Lights – Took me watching four straight episodes from the Bravo marathon, a plea from TwoP and Bill Simmons and my desire to have a sports show on my schedule for me to finally give this show a chance. And let me tell you, it was worth it. This is one of the best shows on television. Superbly written, directed and acted, with powerful storylines, big issues, and fascinating characters. If you can get past the football stuff and the Texas nonsense, there is a whole lot to love about FNL. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton put on an acting clinic each week, and there skills are free. Check out everything that’s going in their eyes in this scene:
Brilliant. I picked up the first season on DVD for fifteen bucks last week (and it came with a money back guarantee), and I can’t wait to tear it open and catch up.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON FRIDAYS
Moonlight – I want to like this show so much. Sophia Myles is hot, Shannyn Sossamon is a guilty pleasure. I’d follow Jason Dohring anywhere. But the lead actor is so so so terrible. Makes me long for David Boreananas terrible. And the writing is atrocious. If Fridays are the TV equivalent of the January movie dumping ground, Moonlight is released on the 5th of the year, every month.
Women’s Murder Club – The only new show I haven’t watched yet. This could go either way. I love me some Angie Harmon, but procedurals never do it for me unless they involve Christopher Meloni punching somebody in the face. I’ll let you know…
Family Guy – The Star Wars tribute episode may be the funniest hour of entertainment of the entire year, and that includes any 60 minutes of Superbad, Knocked Up or any combination of any episode of the Thursday night NBC sitcoms.
See what I mean.
WHAT I’M NOT WATCHING ON SUNDAYS
Viva Laughlin – The only way I’m voluntarily watching Hugh Jackman sing is he if he’s doing his berserker attack with adamantium claw action (should I call you Logan, Weapon X?). And even then I’ll probably be thinking it’s gay (and by that I mean retarded) (and by that I mean I’ve been watching too much House).
So that’s the schedule. Seventeen shows, of which a whopping SEVEN are rookies! What a great slate we got this year. And it only gets better in January when Idol and the Terminator show shows up. Now if I can only find the time to watch everything. It’s a problem. But the kind of problem I don’t mind having.
Apparently, by no sane measure of logic, adding a kid to a movie franchise will liven up a tiring concept and reinvigorate a series for the millions of people who once breathlessly paid to watch the adventures but whom now shrug a collective “meh” to the whole deal. Further, the mere sight of a plucky young boy or girl boldly entering the grown-up fray will reduce audiences to a puddle of mush and insure a long life for the series. It matters not that the series was born and received without the need of a kid, and was probably successful due to not having one. It matters not that the introduction of a kid stunts the natural progression of the characters and swings the emphasis from an adult-oriented storyline to one of beleaguered parents and/or guardians risking life and limb to save said plucky kid from situations that are only necessary because the script called for the damn plucky kid to begin with. It matters not that kid is not so much plucky as he is really annoying. Apparently, all that matters is that people love plucky kids.
This, along with much of how decisions are made, is completely off-base.
Kids do not make movie sequels better. They are merely a signal that the producers have no more stories to tell and are just throwing their hands up in the air and grabbing whatever trite sitcom cliché happened to be stuck to the ceiling. Are you in the third or fourth gratuitous sequel and grosses keep going down? Congratulations are in order, because someone’s having a baby! Let us all rejoice that we can no longer swear or show nudity in the movie because someone decided to drop a precocious eight year-old onto the scene. Huzzah!
I say humbug.
Sure, there are exceptions to the rule (Shortround in Temple of Doom comes to mind), but generally speaking, adding a kid to a movie franchise equals creative death. Such is the concern many geeks across the world are having as news comes in that Steven Spielberg has cast Transformers-loving, Michael Bay explosion-runner-away-from, Shia LaBeouf, in the role of Indy’s long lost son. Regardless of the fact that no one wants to see a younger version of Indiana Jones (If we did, Sean Patrick Flannery would be on his 14th season of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones and not threatening us with more jittery episodes of The Boondock Saints), the bearded master remains convinced that what audiences have really waited seventeen years to see is Harrison Ford and Sean Connery chasing the plucky kid from Even Stevens across the desert. And we wonder how War of the Worlds went so wrong. He should have just killed Dakota and the jackhole son and let Tom Cruise single-handedly take down the entire Martian army using only his Xenuian mind powers (though it’s not like he was ever gonna off Dakota Fanning. She would have had his hands cut off. It would have been “to the pain”.).
It’s not so much the idea of introducing a kid, as much as what the real purpose of doing so is. For example, the Alien series brought out Newt in Aliens and it was a resounding success. This is because she humanized Ripley, gave her a will and motivation to destroy the Alien Queen, and was the impetus behind the classic line “Get away from her you bitch!” It also helps that Newt had one of the most awesomely adaptable movie quotes of all time in: “They mostly come at night. Mostly.” You can use this quote in almost any situation and it will always get a laugh. If you’re at a bar and someone asks what you want to drink you can say “I mostly drink Heineken. Mostly.” If you’re talking to a date about sex, you could say “I mostly like oral. Mostly.” It always works! Other good uses for the quote:
- “I mostly deuce at night. Mostly.”
- “You’re mostly a bitch. Mostly.”
The point is that Newt had a reason to be in the movie. She advanced the Ripley character and provided crucial plot points for the movie. Now on the other hand, take the African American girl from The Lost World who showed up out of nowhere as Jeff Goldblum’s daughter. What did she bring to the movie? What was her purpose? Nothing. She was there to add a kiddy element to the picture. To put her in jeopardy so that Goldblum could be heroic in saving an oh so PC black girl. She was there for that stupid gymnastics routine. She should have been there as raptor food.
Getting back to the point, we already know that Indy can be a good father figure, as we were shown Temple of Doom. And Indy already worked out his daddy issues in The Last Crusade. So the only purpose for having an Indy prodigy in Part 4 is to align Indy with a past lover and potentially settle his personal life. But who cares? We don’t need Indy to settle down. We need Indy to crack Nazi’s in the face with his whip. We need him to ride horses in the desert and blow up tanks. We need him to make “wise choices”. We don’t need to see him playing catch and cheering on little league games. And that’s what it will be, make no mistake. The movie WILL focus on the Shia LaBeouf, and Indy will become a passerby in his own movie. It will be depressing, disgraceful and disrespectful. But most of all, it will be a bad movie.
And if Steven Spielberg and George Lucas don’t believe me, here are some other instances of kids ruining successful movie franchises.