Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Week in TV

We covered Lost in the last post, but what of the rest of my embarrassing glut of TV viewing? Well FINE, if you insist:

Who Do You Think You Are?
While at times it feels like a marketing campaign for, and at least in this week's episode Sarah Jessica Parker oversold the concept like she was auditioning for an as-yet-untitled movie based on a novel by Sapphire. But this kind of hokey "trace the family tree back into Salem in witch times" stuff works for me. Perfectly pleasant, non-taxing entertainment.

The Real Housewives of New York City
With the exception of the superfluous Orange County version, I enjoy all the colors of the Real Housewives wind, though I invariably run out of steam mid-season. Not so with the New York ladies. They're much more satisfyingly ridiculous, and they manage to play the Upper East Side grapevine perfectly. Plus they're all so deliciously un-classy. This season's premiere episode was morely 10 minutes old before we got a look at Ramona's new ("non-surgical!") face lift (it really accentuates her crazy eyes), and CountLESS Countess LuAnn said "Cameron Dee-ahhhz." And that was before Bethenny unloaded her bag of bullshit into that tiny Skinny Girl car of hers. Kadooze, ladies, and long may you attempt to suss out the meaning of "Mr. Right Now."

It's funny, JUST as I was telling a friend of mine how amazed I was that Cirie seemed to have once again survived the early cuts and ensconced herself in the dominant alliance despite her clearly being the most dangerous player in the game. Uh...spoke too soon. Despite the fact that I don't care for almost her entire alliance (Candice is okay by me), I'm sad to see Cirie go, and I am having a very hard time imaging who JT thinks his alliance is right now. Coly and Tom? Putting him on the lean side of a 4-3 split? He's gunning for Candice, so I'm not sure he's looking for her to flip. But that's next week's concern. This week, I have to give it up to the guy who I think is secretly in the best position: Tyson. He's managed to set himself up as the trusty #2 to both Rob and Coach, he's proven to be more than competent in the challenges and fairly popular among his tribe, and might I add that his lanky ass is looking fiiiiine? Rob and Russell might end up pulverizing each other, and there Tyson will stand. He's my pick to win it all right now.

Parks and Recreation
God, this show has gotten SO GOOD. It's been a mark in the show's favor that the wonderfully funny Aziz Ansari is merely the 4th or 5th funniest part of every episode, but he killed it this week with his investor-wrangling. And it was yet another funny-yet-warmhearted plot for Leslie and Ron Swanson.

America's Best Dance Crew
I hadn't been all that impressed with Poreotix up until now, but they really impressed me with their sharp as hell take on "Paparazzi." (Also: Lady Gaga Night? Inspired.) My other favorites this week were Heavy Impact and (unsurprisingly) the rope-jumping Saltare. Two crews out of six getting eliminated next week makes me nervous, especially since I only don't like two crews and one of them (Blueprint Cru) is immune.

Well, I stuck it out until the bitter end. The bitter, boring end, well past the point where I cared about Sean or Christy-an or whether either one of them was self-actualized enough to exist without the other. But I was satisfied by the series finale for a couple reasons. 1) They brought back Famke Janssen as Ava Moore and, even better, allowed her to have a happy ending. Even if it was by ending up with Matt (much as I love Ava, she kind of deserves him). And 2) the callbacks in the final 2-3 episodes really made it clear that the show agrees with me that it peaked with the Season 2-capping episode "Joan Rivers." From the Rivers cameo, to bringing back Ava, to that Art Garfunkel song, this all felt like a warm pat on the back to viewers who remembered that one moment (even if it lasted 60 minutes and no longer) where Nip/Tuck was the greatest thing going.

I may not be the most objective person in this case, because I really want this show to do well (I'm a Lauren Graham supporter), but I found myself really enchanted by this show. Peter Krause continues to play ostensibly likeable characters in wholly unlikeable ways, but he really sold the moment where he begged his dad to understand that something is wrong with his child. And Lauren Graham is the greatest, playing a character that not at all like Lorelai Gilmore, but she retains that spark that makes you love her. Now that I've given up on Brothers & Sisters, this might just slide into the empty, Walker-shaped space in my heart.


Kirk Hamilton said...

I can't stop evangelizing Parks and Rec to anyone and everyone.

Sometimes it's hard to get people on board, and I can't quite figure out why. Maybe because I always start with, "Well, first of all, it takes place in Indiana, which is awesome." And then they tune out a bit? rrrrg.

Anyway, yeah. This week's was another great episode. I think R.F. Swanson is my favorite character on TV right now.

DuchessKitty said...

Dearest Joe, how can we be so far apart in our ABDC faves? I LOVE Blueprint Cru and can't stand Saltare. I mean they're great at the jump roping but they are horrible dancers (at least the girls are). I'll be a little upset actually if they aren't one of the 2 teams sent home this week. The other team I'm not a fan of is Jungle Boogie but I think they have a lot of support. My favorite ABDC crew this season is Static Noyz. They are such little drama geeks at heart.
All of the teams did a great job with the Lady Gaga challenge. Seriously, I think every reality competition show should have a Gaga challenge of some sort.

I keep forgetting about Who Do You Think You Are. I love Henry Louis Gates' similar (and I'm sure superior) American Experience shows on PBS.

Re: Housewives of NYC - I feel like I'm the only person in my circle who is pro-Jill in this dust up with Bethenny. And while Bethenny definitely had a point in thinking that Luanne is delusional, Bethenny is coming off as such a selfish bitch this season. I still unabashedly love this show.

Caroline said...

The countess Luann's daughter used to go to my school. Nice girl, but she hooked up with way too many other girls.

Anonymous said...

"Peter Krause continues to play ostensibly likeable characters in wholly unlikeable ways...."

Yes! This! I find it so hard to describe my reaction to Peter Krause, and I think this totally explains it. If my beloved Lauren Graham hadn't been in this, I would have stayed far, far away from it. But so far it's got me hooked. Glad to hear you're onboard too.