Monday, November 06, 2006

"He's dead. Dumbass ate a scorpion.": Weekend catching up

Firstly, this seems to be devolving to the point where we don't do weekend posts. Our weekend hits are way less than our Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday hits. Does this bother you? We can certainly throw stuff up over the weekend if it does.

Secondly, if you missed the latest House Next Door stuff, it's here and here. And if you like to discuss Battlestar Galactica, come on over. We've got some GREAT commentors there who always stir the pot thoughtfully.

Now. Some thoughts on the TV season so far that I couldn't sneak in to the latest T.V. on TV.

I'm really enjoying this season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Its last season was a little too bizarre and self-consciously odd, but this season has been hilarious, perhaps because the creators got their weirdness out on the upcoming movie (just like the South Park guys did after their uneven second and third seasons). The first three episodes have gotten better and better, and this week's pitch-perfect parody of those sitcom episodes where characters think they have cancer, get very sick, then find out they don't have cancer was completely hilarious in its exactitude. It also gave me the quote that titled this article, so there you go. I also really liked the episode where the characters grew a dog based on Shake's DNA in the backyard pool. The show's weirdness is still there (clearly), but the characters (such as they are) are keeping it grounded.

I really wish I had caught up with Ugly Betty in time to include it in my roundup Tuesday. Because then I would have beaten this article that says much of what I wanted to say about the show anyway. Betty is that rare breed: a generous soap. It goes out of its way to make sure that all of its characters have motivations that make sense, and it goes out of its way to give those characters added dimensions. The central conflict of the show is that people judge instantly by appearance, but the hidden subversion of it is that we read a lot into appearance in everyone. We read class and race and so many other things. Betty is arguing that we should reconsider our initial assumptions about EVERYone, not just the heroine as it seemed in the series premiere. Betty is a show that I seriously, seriously underestimated, and it deserves your eyeballs.

Everybody Hates Chris is also having a sweet, unfettered season. It's really hit its stride this season, and the episode where Chris was elected class president after he launched into an impromptu stand-up routine at the speech he gave the day before the election was thrilling in the way it portended just who Chris would become. Between this, Mother, The Office, Earl, Betty, 30 Rock and Weeds (not to mention the upcoming Scrubs), this is shaping up to be a dynamite year for comedy. Now all we need are some new comedies that are better than Help Me Help You or The Class.

A lot of people are complaining about Lost. While I agree with the complaints that the series lacks meaningful subtext, they've been true since the first season. I honestly, though, find this first arc with the Others quite compelling, and I love the way Ben and Juliet have been integrated into the cast (Juliet and Jack are far more interesting to me as a couple than Kate and Jack ever were). There have been some bizarre up-and-back episodes already, but that's par for the course with Lost. Here's hoping the fall finale advances the plot line enough to keep some of the increasingly fickle fans watching.

I think I've given up on Prison Break. Two whole episodes sitting here, and I have no desire whatsoever to watch them.

Finally, it's still not my cup of tea, but Libby assures me (and, I guess, all of you) that Brothers & Sisters has gotten a lot better and injected some humor into its once dour proceedings. Producer Greg Berlanti also appears to have made the whole show into his Everwood refugee camp, which I heartily approve of. This is good television for your mom to watch.

Back with thoughts on something tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kenny said...

Yes! I meant to blog about the class president episode of Chris but never got around to it. I was especially impressed with Tyler James Williams' performance, and how he melded the rhythms of Chris Rock's delivery with his own interpretation of the character--suggesting Chris Rock without turning it into a simple impersonation. And the writing was strong too--observations that would believably get a laugh with the right delivery, without being so jokey that you couldn't believe he was coming up with them on the spot. A really strong moment for the show.