Sunday, May 21, 2006

Useless TV commentary

For a show that's going off the air in 10 more episodes, I can't help but feel that very little has happened in "The Sopranos" over the previous 10. That's not to say the show hasn't been entertaining. Pauly Walnuts is back to his great one-liners, the Vito subplot has had its moments and the Gandolfini-Falco connection makes the show a must-watch. But, among other reasons, I still have a tough time forgiving the show for basically casting off one of the show's best characters (Uncle Junior). Season rating, compared to previous seasons: B. Season rating, compared to everything else on TV: A-.

Days until season three of "Deadwood" begins: 21. Over/under on the number of hilarious curses in episode one: 30.

Shows that maintain my interest on the opposite end of the Quality Programming Food Chain now include "Deal Or No Deal," "Parental Control," "Date My Mom" and "Maury Povich," which at this point might as well be retitled "The Paternity Test Show with Some Guy Named Maury." The common theme in all these shows? The art of choosing whom to root for and against, which often runs counter to popular opinion.

I (only) caught the last three hours of "Grey's Anatomy" while on vacation this week. After some initial resistance on behalf of my masculinity, I have to admit it's a great show. But why is seemingly every show's season finale this year two hours? "Desperate Housewives" and "24" are doing the same thing, although I'll be spending those hours doing anything else. It could be argued that "Grey's" had a THREE-HOUR(?!) season finale, with the first hour last Sunday and the next two on Monday night. Sweeps, shmeeps. Where's the editing, people?

In other medical drama news, I'll give some props to Hugh Laurie for "House," too. I know I ragged on the show's limited premise before, but while the writing isn't as good as "Grey's," Laurie keeps the show entertaining.

"American Idol," anyone? I'm probably rooting for Taylor Hicks over Katherine McPhee, because even though McPhee is more versatile, more marketable and far prettier in a dress, no one has had more fun in the history of the show than the Soul Patrol. Still, I'm angry that the same judges who have turned on McPhee in the last six weeks basically condoned Kellie Pickler's tiresome act -- and I emphasize "act" -- for however long she overstayed her welcome. If his show contract allows him to, Chris Daughtry should take the Fuel gig now. He'd be joining a credible band and wouldn't have to worry about sounding credible as a solo rock artist under other management. Last, let's all take a moment to pour out our 40's in the name of Elliott Yamin. In addition to his solid vocals, adorable mom and genuinely humble nature, that guy was my favorite underdog in show history. Let's retroactively declare him the winner of season three over Fantasia Barino.


Bri said...

I can't speak to Idol, because like the fifth dentist who recommends his patients avoid Trident gum like the plague, I'm the only person in the country who's not watching what I consider The New Gong Show.

That said, I can't agree more with your take on House and Grey's, two shows I only started watching because my wife controls the remote during prime-time hours. House is great because of House himself, even though it has a more plot repetition than Groundhog Day. I don't know why I like Greys. Many of the characters are quite annoying or far too goodlooking to be believed for overworked interns and genius surgeons. Still, I'm pretty much glued.

I do suggest you work The Office into your weekly rotation, though. Re-runs start this week, and I aim to catch up on the half-dozen or so episodes I missed this past season. Irrelevant and misguided BBC comparisons aside, I believe it's the best 22 minutes on TV since Seinfeld went away. Carrell is so good, I actually find myself forgetting it's him. And the Jim-Pam (nee Jam) storyline appeals to my effeminate side (I'm married. I don't have to be cool.)

Rainn Wilson, by the way, is positively Kramer-esque in his own twisted way.