Five things that impressed, appalled, or otherwise held my attention for more than 15 seconds during the past week:
01 – I didn’t watch all of the MTV Video Music Awards last night, because . . . come on you guys, that shit is bad. But in between the good (ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Clarkson), the bad (skeezy uncle Eric Roberts) and the ugly (Jessica Simpson, good lord), I was mostly amused/horrified by “Diddy” as host. I mean, I know it was probably a good decision not to let him try stand-up comedy up there, but jeez Louise that was a ridiculous display. With the dancing and the preening and the smoke machine DRAMA. He was like David Copperfield crossed with Diana Ross crossed with Michael Jackson. In all the worst ways. And the MC Hammer appearance? Oh, how I wish I was kidding.
02 – Providing a delightful distraction from Eva Longoria’s crotch last night was the premiere of Rome on HBO. Almost all of the pre-show word on Rome was that it takes until about episode three for things to really catch fire. So I was actually surprised at how engrossed I was in the proceedings right off the bat. I especially dug Polly Walker as the scheming, daughter-pimping, cow’s blood bathing Atia. She’s going to be the hook this show needs to really enter the pop-cult consciousness.
03 – A big thank you to Jalen Cameron (and the participation of his no doubt reluctant dad Aaron) for my favorite birthday present of them all, The Simpsons Season 6 DVDs. It’s one of my favorite seasons, containing my favorite Simpsons episode of all time, “The PTA Disbands.” It’s the one where the teachers go on strike and contains such gems as “Mrs. Pommelhorse? I’d like to get down now,” “purple monkey dishwasher,” Jasper’s “that’s a paddling” speech, and Frink’s “the colors, children!” Also, the best It’s a Wonderful Life parody yet, Otto siphoning gas for the school bus, Kearney dancing a jig, and “Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!” All in the same epsisode. It rocks. Thanks, Jalen. Uncle Joe will surely shut his cry-hole for a few weeks at least. And tell your dad to get the lead out on Black Actress Survivor already.
04 – Another on the pile of awesome birthday presents is the Undeclared DVD set. This was the awesome Judd Apatow-produced TV series that only lasted 17 episodes about college. As opposed to the awesome Judd Apatow-produced TV series that only lated 17 episodes about high school, which was Freaks and Geeks. And, naturally, FOX aired the episodes out of order and pulled the plug way too soon. Having the complete series on DVD may be cold comfort, but it’s nice to have nonetheless. The cast rocks, especially Seth Rogen (The 40 Year Old Virgin), Carla Gallo (a million miles away from her Carnivale role), Charlie Hunnam (mmmmm), and Jay Baruchel (who will always be Vic the Zeppelin fan from Almost Famous to me). And Jason Segel as the psychotic ex-boyfriend from home? Excellent.
05 – Quick reminder to everyone to try and watch Prison Break as it premieres tonight on FOX at 8pm. It’s a prison drama that’s being sold as part-Oz, part-24, part-Lost. And I’ll be writing about it some time soon, so you all will want to know what I’m on about, right? Right? Thought so.