Category Archives: television reviews

Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy

An out of town wedding kept me from watching the Grey’s finale for a couple of days, but if my Facebook friends’ statuses were any indication, something BIG had happened. Honestly, after slogging through the train wreck that the show had become these past couple of seasons, I was hoping the big surprise would be that the hospital blew up for some mysterious reason and everybody died, and then HBO brought back Deadwood. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Anyway, after watching the show and seeing what really happened, I could almost forgive it for its WTF storylines and horrible acting…almost.

A few weeks ago, as I was watching the show’s 100th episode and telling my wife that I really felt I could see the show disappearing up its own a**hole, it hit me. I finally understood why the show was making me grind my teeth in my sleep. It wasn’t necessarily that Izzie was having sex with her dead boyfriend, or that the writers couldn’t do anything that made sense with Callie’s sex life, it was that everybody on this show (with only a few exceptions) is a conceded piece of sh*t. So when Meredith confronts Christina, complaining that she isn’t excited enough about her engagement to Derek, all Christina can do is stare her down and say, “You know what? I broke up with Owen you BI*CH!” Everyone is convinced that their problems outweigh everyone else’s, and will only back down when their friends guilt them into it.

Dr. Robbins: You might not like it when I say that George joining the Army is awesome, but 9/11!

Callie: … I-I’m sorry.

And the problem isn’t only with the main characters. Every episode invariably features some patient who’s had a straw driven through his throat or was kicked in the face by a horse. But it’s never the one patient. It’s them and some hapless bystander who’s been caught up in it all, so when the injured one is rolled out of the ambulance, they’re right behind them, falling out of their gurney and asking if everything’s going to be alright. And of course, whatever’s happened has ruined someone’s big plans. Like the astronaut who was supposed to be on a shuttle flight that night, before the guy she was standing next to at the bus stop was hit by a car and got a hood ornament stuck in his brain.

Astronaut: You don’t understand doctor, I was supposed to go to the moon tonight. It was my chance to… *sniff* … be a star. (cries)

But while every episode of Grey’s Anatomy is guaranteed to have its dips, it also has its rises. Because Dr. Bailey constantly needs to be reminded that she has a good reason for neglecting her son and guaranteeing him a long future in therapy, there’s the token scene in the end of a doctor giving someone good news, and people hugging, then someone smiles and says, “That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is why we do what we do. Now let’s go cut!” and then everybody jumps up and high fives.

Like I said, I was able to forget about most of this after watching the season finale. I mean, wow, huh? Can’t wait for those DVDs. In any case, one thing’s for sure: Kate Walsh should grow her hair long again and gain five pounds… and come back to the show. I’m still not sure why she ran off to LA to work in that sperm bank or whatever the hell it is. But I loves me some Addison.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Cartoon disappoints!

I imagine the meeting that led to FOX’s new animated comedy, Sit Down, Shut Up, went something like this…

Exec #1: You know what we should do? Let’s give Mitch Hurwitz–

Exec #2: The genius who gave us Arrested Development?

Exec #1: That’s right. Let’s give him another show. We’ll team him up with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kenan Thompson, Cheri Oteri, Kristin Chenowith, Henry Winkler, and Tom Kenny. THEN, we’ll take away all the comedy and humor! That’s thirteen on the air, amirite?

Exec #2: Terry, you’ve done it again! Let’s do some coke.

If his name is Terry, why I am calling him Exec #1? Anyway, so it goes. The new show, which is a reworking of the short-lived Australian sitcom of the same name, premiered tonight, and it… really wasn’t that good. Which is a shame, considering who it’s from and who’s in it. The show follows the exploits of the faculty and staff of a fictitious Florida high school, and while it really doesn’t deserve to be compared to Arrested Development, you look at Hurwitz, Bateman, and Arnett, and what do you expect? So let’s just go with that.

With Arrested, I felt like the humor, no matter how juvenile – read: anything that ever came out of Tobias’ mouth – was always delivered with subtlety and nuance. “Oh, I can just taste those meaty leading man parts in my mouth!” Not so here. The characters all fit into their stereotypes, from Miracle Grohe, the busty blonde who’s just too happy to be alive, to Stuart Proszakian, the tough guy gym teacher. The humor comes off as typical and unimaginative. What? The German teacher buys porn magazines? I bet he wouldn’t want his students to find out! Oh, they did! I bet he hates his job.

It turns out that he does, in fact, hate his job. The show is also suffering from some structure issues. The pilot episode just didn’t seem to have a focus. The jokes were so all over the place that before I knew it, they were at a football game, one of the teachers was taking steroids and had grown his own set of lady parts, they broke to commercial, and then I was watching Family Guy. I guess it works in the sense that, if you don’t like one joke, wait five seconds, but for those who are looking for some sort of coherency, you might be a little disappointed.

Of course, we’ve only seen one episode. I remember watching the first episode of American Dad after the Superbowl back in 2005, and thinking, “This will never last.” Surprise! It’s been renewed for a fifth season, so what the hell do I know? Perhaps Sit Down, Shut Up will eventually find its feet, and succeed. If for no other reason, the show deserves a chance because of its lineup. But then again, have any of you guys seen Southland?

So You Think You Can Dance musings

I should have had a running commentary going from the beginning of the season, since this one has been so different from the past three. Anyway, these are some random thoughts I’ve had after watching the show these past few weeks…

1. If I woke up one morning and read that Mary Murphy had been hit by a train, would I be sad? (extra points if she’s hit by a Hot Tamale Train)

2. Is it just me, or is Mia Michaels slowly disappearing up her own a**hole?

3. A few years back, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors would go in and operate and then check again, but the cancer was still there. Comfort and Mark are kind of like that (well, Mark anyway).

4. Hey judges, is it possible Jessica had a hard time remembering what a great dancer she was because you constantly told her how much she sucked?

5. Why was it called LL Cool J’s new song when he doesn’t sing?

6. Whether in politics or dancing competitions, I’m not sure the American public can ever be trusted to make the right decision.

7. I miss Lacey Schwimmer.

It’s like some wonderful drug.

You know what I love most about being a fan of Battlestar Galactica? Waiting a year between seasons, getting new episodes for three months, and then having to wait another year for the series to wrap. It doesn’t help that Ron Moore and company have created one of the best science fiction series in the history of the genre, or that the actors are one of the best ensemble casts on television today. Maybe if this were some other show, like Perfect Strangers, nobody would give a crap. I can wait a few years to find out what’s going to happen between Balki and Mary Anne.

I know there are a few people who were pretty pissed about Friday’s mid-season finale. I know there are people who have complained that season four has been a little uneven. I know there are those who say that BSG has been sliding downhill ever since season two. Not me. I don’t care what Ron Moore and company churn out. The Galactica could have reached Earth, and Adama, Lee and all the rest could have swooped down to the surface on their flying motorcycles, found Charlton Heston screaming at the Statue of Liberty and I would have eaten it all up and asked for seconds.

Since we’re all obsessive nerds let’s take a few moments to ask pointless questions…

1. Earth? – Some say that this isn’t Earth. That we saw no identifying landmasses. We didn’t see the Moon. The Fleet didn’t detect any satellites. This is just another bait and switch put on by the show’s writers.

2. Earth. – Others say that yes, they’ve reached Earth. Ron Moore is quoted as saying that the show would end with the Fleet reaching Earth, but he didn’t know how long that story would take to tell. The implication being that they might reach Earth before the last episode. So, here we are.

3. Only 4 in the Fleet? – D’Anna said that only four of the Final Five are inside the Fleet. That dashes any speculation that Adama or Roslin or any of the other regulars would come out proclaiming to be the fifth and final Cylon.

I’m sure some of you can think of many more things you’d like answered. Now, as we settle in to the long, cold 8-9 months before the second batch of episodes picks up, there is a bit of good news. The Watcher reports that the second half of BSG’s fourth season might be expanded another hour to accommodate Ron Moore’s super-sized series finale script. Also, at this point, at least one of the three proposed BSG TV movies looks like a sure thing. Ahh. Just the thought makes me all warm inside.

So, how’d you like the finale? Tell us your opinion in the comments section.

I ♥ He-Man

Do you remember better, simpler times when the cartoons you watched on TV didn’t have to make sense, or even be that good? Pepperidge Farm remembers. I recently spent some of my wife’s hard-earned money on some Masters of the Universe DVDs, and they’re about as senseless as people who respect Carlos Mencia as an entertainer.

One particular low point (high point?) in the series’ two-year run is the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. Skeletor, up to his old tricks, is planning on using giant Transformers rip-offs to take over Eternia. It’s up to He-Man and two kids to stop him and save Christmas somehow.

Who are these kids? How did they get here? When was the last time you knew a white kid named Miguel? It doesn’t matter! It’s He-Man. And when he finds out that Skeletor is trying to get rid of Christmas, he’s going to be PISSED.

Of course, everything works out in the end. The Transformers are destroyed. Christmas is saved, and Skeletor’s heart grows three sizes too big and he ends up adopting a puppy or whatever the hell this thing is…

He-Man and all of his buddies throw some sort of Secret Santa party, and the two kids are never heard from again. Everyone just assumes they got back home safely. A clip from the final scene…

Orko: He-Man, have you seen Miguel and Alisha, snarf snarf?

He-Man: You know Orko, I have a feeling they’re going to be juuust fine.

Orko: Hey, why do you fight with a sword when there are spaceships and lasers lying around all over the place?

He-Man: LOL.

Terrific. Did the show make sense? Never, and it didn’t need to. At the end of every episode, Skeletor threw his hands up in defeat while He-Man and Man-At-Arms high-fived and Man-At-Arms said, ‘Spicy!”, and I made my parents go out and spend money on He-Man action figures and bedsheets and those fake He-Man muscles you could strap to your body. I was He-Man for Halloween seven or eight years in a row.

They don’t make cartoons like this anymore. After Nickelodeon dumped the original Nicktoons for junk like SpongeBob and Fairly Odd Parents, it was all downhill, and cartoons have never really been the same. At least we have the DVDs, for our kids.