Friday, October 20, 2006

Random thoughts

I'm going away for the weekend, and I don't know if I'll have a chance to post while away (the laptop is spotty at best), so I'll put something up tonight.

First, if you didn't notice, my latest BSG recap is here (and I just saw a long, long comment I should really respond to), and a TV column is here. Check 'em out.

And now. . .some thoughts on the week just passed (and, if you have shows you wish we would cover, throw 'em in comments or in an e-mail).

This, poorly structured, overly expositional and all, was my favorite Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip so far. I still don't give a crap about the Matt/Harriet relationship (and, honestly, for a supposedly very strong Christian, she's a little blase about all the pre-marital sex she's had -- wouldn't it be more interesting if she wouldn't sleep with anyone and everyone wanted to?), but the episode made me almost want to. And by giving the characters some depth and background (mostly through talking to the Christine Lahti character), it became somewhat easier to care about them. It also helped that the sketches were slightly funnier and Aaron Sorkin felt a little less self-important (though, apparently, sleeping with Kristin Chenoweth means that he somehow solved the red-state/blue-state divide singlehandedly). All in all, the show's taking steps in the right direction. I'm not sure that it can ever be one of the all-time great dramas like The West Wing was for a couple of seasons and change, but it can at least be entertaining.

Still, I hope that when NBC moves Friday Night Lights to the Studio 60 slot for one night only (after Heroes), the show catches on. I was waffling for a while, but this is, hands down, the best new drama and an indelible portrait of small town life.

You can read more about it at the column linked to above, but 30 Rock is pretty funny. If it were a bigger hit, Alec Baldwin would win the Emmy until we were sick of him.

I think Desperate Housewives is better this season, but I'm not sure I'm willing to follow it all year. It was nice that when Mike woke up, he still thought it was 2004. It was a fine sort of meta-commentary on the show's attempts to get back to its zeitgeist-y days when it was a phenomenon instead of just one of the biggest shows on television. Still, the amnesia plotline BY DEFAULT is pretty stupid.

Criminal Minds is sneaking up on Lost (the preliminary numbers had it beating Lost this week until the final numbers showed Lost with a narrow lead). I haven't watched the show in a while, but I always found it dreadfully grim, pretentious and uninteresting. It's roughly everything I feared Dexter would be and then some. I haven't watched it yet this season. Should I be keeping an eye on it? I've got a spare slot in that time slot.

Speaking of Lost, I really admire the attempts to get back to the season one dynamic the show had, even if it feels as though it might be impossible to do so. Was there a better visual signifier of this than the Hatch having been turned into a massive, gaping hole in the ground?

Heroes is stupid, but it's good stupid so far, not bad stupid. It's a fine line, though, Kring. A fine line.

Fox has to be completely unthrilled that it got a World Series between the Cardinals and Tigers instead of the Yankees and Dodgers. Still, I'm looking forward to it, for what that's worth.

And, as a final note, I'm glad that The Office has figured out a way to keep Jim and Pam apart that, furthermore, makes me think they might never get together AND makes me sort of okay with that. Clearly, this makes me a heartless monster.

See you next week or this weekend if I can make the laptop jack charge long enough to get it working.


Kenny said...

Hollywood always allows its "good" religious characters to be open-minded enough to allow themselves sex (I always think of Matthew McConaughey in Contact), because they imagine actual abstinence is so far from relatibility as to be literally inconceivable. It really shortchanges the actual beliefs and struggles of religious characters and further reveals how most Hollywood writers consider Christian a label rather than a serious belief system.

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Dan E. said...

Should you start watching Criminal Minds? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I've seen a few episodes, which is a few episodes too many for my taste.