10.10.2006

Boob tube has good shows, no boobs
Not since high school have I sat down and actually watched consecutive episodes from the same show. During college my awake hours were way too irregular to catch weekly shows and after that I was in a different country with other things to do (plus my tv had like 3 channels). But now, there's absolutely nothing in the way of me and my television and, I have to say, I like what I'm seeing. Here are a few of my takes on the boob tube's offerings.

Shark
The Good
James Woods is an incredible actor and slips into the anti-hero role with all the flair and smugness that makes him such a great bad guy. The supporting cast features a standard group of cliche-ridden lawyers but they smartly give Woods enough space for him to be evil, brilliant, and cocky all while being the good guy. Plus, his daughter is really cute, even if her character is pretty unrealistic with Yoda-like wisdom.

The Bad
So far the show's theme is "Trial of the week," and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of continuity from episode to episode. More than anything, we see the laywer back ups develop a bit and this isn't really all that great of a thing. I'd much rather see Woods' attractive boss strike up some kind of relationship with him. I'd watch that.

The Delicious
Woods' lawyer character blackmails his daughter's driving instructor into passing her. What a cool dad!

Heroes
The Good
This show answers the question, "What would ordinary people do when thrust into extraordinary circumstances?" Seeming unrelated people throughout the world (read: the U.S. and Japan) discover that they have unique powers. The most intriguing characters are the down-on-his-luck beat cop who can read people's minds, the sweet but too-hot-for-her-own-good cheerleader who's invulnerable, and the nerdish Japanese office worker (or "salaryman" for any japanese readers out there) who can manipulate time and space. First they explore their powers and only time will tell what the hell they do with them besides picking up women and impressing friends at parties.

The Bad
So far there's a lot of intrigue (is this mysterious Sylar person a possible suppervillain? and how is he connected to the dead professor who theorized about the emergance of superpowers?) and a possible evil plot (New York go boom?) but not a ton of payoff.

The Delicious
While a jock tries to rape her, the invulnerable cheerleader gets a huge pokey branch impaled into her skull. How embarrassing.

Two and a Half Men
The Good
Charlie Sheen drops clever quips at the expense of his live-in brother. Said brother's little kid drops clever quips at the expense of everyone else. As you may guess, there are a lot of clever quips on this show, not to mention a lot of attractive women. Both of them do a good job.

The Bad
Unfortunately, newer episodes seem to include much less of both the quips and the women. I don't want to seem shallow here, but I'd at least like to see one of the two.

The Delicious
Lines like this between Charlie and his brother Alan...
Charlie: Drugs! Get me drugs!
Alan: No. Medication will only mask the pain.
Charlie: Fine, mask it! Give it a cape and let it fight crime, I don't give a damn!

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
To be perfectly honest, I've only seen about half of a single episode so while I'm not exactly qualified to comment on this show, I wasn't exactly qualified to comment on any show anyway.

The Good
As far as I can make out, this is a somewhat dramatic, somewhat funny, somewhat "realistic" take on the behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show. I've heard it described as being similar to "West Wing" and that seems doubly true since it has a lot of the same lighting and camera tricks and that guy Bradley Whitford. Also, Matthew Perry actually seems kind of edgy and funny again. Like most people, I stopped watching Perry about a decade ago when "Friends" became "Group of buddies who are a lot better looking than you but slightly less funny."

The Bad
I'm going to go with the whole, resembles the West Wing thing. I never did watch that show on account of it's occasional discussion of politics.

The Delicious
Matthew Perry makes a joke and a laugh track is not forced to play against it's will.

The Class
The Good
A reuinion of former 3rd grade classmates (now all in their mid to late 20s) brings a lot of people back into each other's lives, bringing with them the possibility of romances, fights, and varied relationships with one another. Hilarity ensues. One Funny Situation: Former flame has a one night fling with her old boyfriend (who still lives at home with his mother). While attempting to call it off, the old boyfriend inadvertantly gets hired by the new husband (a hall of fame quarterback, no less) to work on his home for the next 6 months, and, also inadvertantly, the old boyfriend becomes the new husband's best friend. Good stuff.

The Bad
While most of the relationships are filled with attractive people and good natured repartee, one of the relationships is now veering into the disturbing realm of drama. Drama wasn't what I signed on for when I momentarily paused my channel surfing.

The Delicious
The possibility of sexual tension between the hall of fame football player, his wife, and his new best friend. Rawr.

Ugly Betty
I don't have anything against this show, other than it's incredibly fortunate premier after The Devil Wears Prada (which I liked), it's "feel good" story, the constant mentioning of Salma Hayek as a producer, and the fact that it's on at the same time as my favorite tv show, the Office. So other than those reasons, it's probably okay. I also have the feeling that I'd like this show more if I was a fugly woman. Oh well.

The Office
The Good
This show is the real deal. Completely ordinary, daily-grind-office work has never been so damn funny. I realize that could come off as being very sarcastic, but it's actually awe you're hearing (or reading, if you want to get literal). The show's satirical edge is honed razor sharp and The Office has such a unique and eclectic cast that comic genius Steve Carrel is simply the first among equals. Rainn Wilson is truly a breakout star as the delusional and wildy hilarious Dwight Schrute. Here's a gem from him, while commenting on an attractive woman:
The purse girl hits everything on my checklist: creamy skin, straight teeth, curly hair, amazing breasts. Not for me... for my children. The Schrutes produce very thirsty babies.
There's also a plethora of office romances that range from the touching and soul mate variety (Pam and Jim) to the deeply disturbed (Dwight and Angela) to the train wreck waiting to happen kind (Ryan and Kelly), to the so sad it goes beyond pathetic and back into funny kind (Michael and Jan).

There's a lot of pathetic, a little romantic, some creepy, a lot of hilarity, and a whole lotta good television on this show.

The Bad
As with any award winning show, there's a lot of pressure to perform after a successful year. The Office won a lot of awards last year and the bar has been officially raised.

The Delicious
After the boss, Michael, has burned his foot in a George Foreman grill, his trusty lietenant Dwight drives off to rescue him, only to crash into a pole, suffer a concussion, throw up on his car, walk around in a daze, get back into his car and then continue with the rescue attempt.