Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Week in TV

As you may have noticed, I've been trying to keep the sidebar more up-to-date. I realize it's hard to get a conversation going in that gargantuan comment thread, though, so I'm going to reprint the TV blurbs here so you can discuss them if you'd like. Hopefully I can make this an every week kinda thing.

Rock of Love: Charm School (11/23)
That shit was INSANE. The "Charm School" brand is totally not as good as last season, mostly because rather than a halfway respectable venture about honestly improving some lives, and this venture is just another Bad Girls Club. But you know how much I love The Bad Girls Club. Brandi C.'s drunken tequila rampage was astounding, nearly worthy of Ripsi status. And I seriously want to start calling people "Mrs." like Sharon Osbourne does.

24: Redemption (11/23)
Well, for the fifth straight season, here I am starting off the season with 24. I've only made it through a full season twice. But Cherry Jones as the president is Cherry Jones as the president, so here I am. Once again, the politics are annoying (behold the cowardly and treacherous U.N. rep! Smile as Jack Bauer saves all the little African children!) and it's super easy to spot the characters who will end up being traitors (hint: it's all of them), but I'm invested. For now. And Eric Lively as the First Hot Piece son of the President? Where has he been all my life?

Grey's Anatomy (11/20)
I hate the phrase "jump the shark," mostly because it's ridiculously overused, to the point of incoherence (in this way, it's like that bane of my existence, the "Chosen One" designation on American Idol). But it's the only phrase I can use to describe the INSANELY STUPID "Izzie fucks a ghost" storyline on Grey's. No, by all means, Shonda Rimes, take your show over the cliff simply because you feel you have to placate your whiny-ass fans who still pine for stupid Denny. Who was a crappy, wish-fulfillment-for-lonely-women character to begin with THERE I SAID IT.

Ugly Betty (11/20)
While I've come to terms with this series' weaknesses (all too often: Betty herself), I maintain my devotion, and this week's episode is a perfect example. As I have said before, there are characters and relationships and stories on this show (Betty and Marc's rivalry, Justin and Hilda) that you don't see anywhere else on network TV. To draw characters this broadly and then have them reveal their humanity bit by bit is tremendously rewarding for a viewer. And I might as well just say it: Marc St. James is easily in my top 5 favorite characters on TV, and Michael Urie was so dynamite this week.

Survivor (11/20)
It's been a pretty underwhelming season thus far, but this week's episode might have made up for it entirely. The Smiting of Randy the Jerk was wholly satisfying in every way, from Randy's smug overconfidence getting deflated to Crystal shouting her vote to the camera. And honestly? It might just end up being a good strategy move, too, if Sugar can use her newfound closeness with Bob to get the jump on the Kenny/Crystal/Susie alliance.

30 Rock (11/20)
Not the best episode in the world (it's weird how I find Steve Martin so underrated as an Oscar host but overrated as an actual comedic actor), but I liked Tracy's Menendez-inspired patricide paranoia, and Kenneth street-dancing was pure gold. Plus: "Hornberger!"

Top Chef (11/19)
God help me, I might like Fabio a bit. He's Italian, he can't help coming off a bit like a jerk. They're still in the process of winnowing out the boring ones (which makes it extra-unforgivable they dumped Patrick last week), but I'm really into Radhika and Jamie, and it's good to see the chefs are finally coming prepared with some dessert recipes after four seasons now.

America's Next Top Model (11/19)
That might be the least likely final two ever on this show. And I was just starting to acclimate to the idea of Sam winning since she has kinda been driving the narrative the last few weeks. So of course McKey wins, after which the show made the bizarre decision to give you all the reasons you might've cared about McKey if the show had bothered to focus on her even a little bit before this week. Also, I've said for a long time now that runway needs to be a bigger presence during the middle weeks of the season, and this week's hunching, lurching, walking advertisement for scoliosis screening is the latest example.

Gossip Girl (11/17)
The A and B plots (Serena/Aaron and Blair) were mostly losers -- Serena created a totally bullshit obstacle for herself, and are we ready to give Blair something to do besides whine? -- but I liked the Nate plot, anything having to do with Eric and Lily is always a winner, and this may have been the hottest Chuck has looked in the whole series. I'll take it.


Jenn said...

We're on the exact same wavelength about "Top Chef" and "Grey's Anatomy." I hate the phrase "jump the shark," but unless Izzie has a brain tumor, yeah, shark.

T-Square said...

I'm somewhat with you on Top Chef - I'm still not weighing in on whether or not I officially like Fabio, but his final table was kind of freakin' adorable ("I don't know why I'm here!" "Because... we liked your food...?"), but it seems like they're trying to make him into a dick in editing, apparently under the impression that if Americans hear enough of a Euro accent, we'll implode. How a dish that Padma practically vomited onto her napkin wasn't eliminated kind of boggles my mind.

Pamela said...

Joe, I agree with you re: "Grey's Anatomy," but I'm kind of surprised that you didn't mention Leslie Grossman's guest starring role, given your love for Mary Cherry. You were the first person I thought of when she appeared on screen.

Joe Reid said...

T-S: I'm not sure she vomited it so much as just spit it out because it was too sweet. Same as if you ate something that was too spicy. Not that it speaks so well of the dish anyway, but I think that reaction is sliiighty better than a gag reflex.

P: I totally yelped when I saw Leslie Grossman, and I thought she elevated what was a pretty dumb subplot. Can she have her own show already?? So, yeah, my Denny hatred overwhelmed my other reactions to the episode. Like my inner turmoil on wanting Melissa George to die but not wanting Lexie to get in trouble for it.

Bo said...

I'm not sure why I'm still watching Grey's. It may be Justin Chambers, whom I saw in NYC in one of my rare celebrity viewings and found (on observation, I didn't inject myself into his life) to be really nice to intrusive fans. The man can act. Give him something (other than one after another nutjob girlfriend).

On Top Chef it's beardy NY guy (who's name escapes me) that gets me. All whiny and why didn't I win at every challenge. Ew.