TV Show Recaps

October 19, 2006: Initiation

Let me just start out by saying: kids, don't make me turn this blog around. Now then, on with the show. Is there any more depressing staple of the modern American workplace than employee-appreciation giveaways? The mad dash to line up in the lobby, the giddy rubbernecking to see the various and sundry options in store once you reach handout nirvana, the oppressive scent of soft pretzels (or Hooters wings, in my building's case) that filters up through the elevator shaft and reminds you for the rest of the afternoon that you have, in fact, accepted your place on the great corporate hamster wheel in return for an annual free snack that might have cost you as much as $2.50 retail. That said, it is nice to actually see our favorite sourpuss Stanley actually smile for a change. Forget my long-winded worker-bee angst; yay, Pretzel Day! The other highlight of a free soft pretzel with sweet glaze, cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, white chocolate, fudge, M&M's, caramel dip, mint chip, chocolat... read more

October 18, 2006: The Liver Was Like, "Hello, I'm a Liver."

I was kind of depressed after finding out who won Project Runway, so right about now I really wish I had some of Mia's Southern fried comfort food to keep me company. Aside from that, it's such a good thing that Top Chef is back for Season 2. A new host, new parameters for our man Tom Callichio and Season 1 winner Harold all made for a good episode. Not quite sure if I'm going to dig these finalists as much as I enjoyed last season's dysfunctional group, but I'm willing to reserve judgment and make that call at a later date. Topics of discussion:-Is Marcel the new Stephen?-What do you think of Padma?Right off the bat, it seems like Marcel has that arrogant, cocky thing going for him. He doesn't have that upturned nose and "does something smell" expression on his face that was just so Stephen, but he's already seeing himself as the resident threat. Give him a little time and he'll be lecturing everyone on the benefits of being a sommelier and the origins of the turnip. By the way, du... read more

October 17, 2006: Burt Landau

Its been a while since weve gotten an episode with a happy ending Of course the heartwarming end came after an hour sprinkled with evil so it was quite worth it Let me first say that I was surprised when Christian admitted to Kimber that he was just using her for sex The using Kimber for sex part was not what threw me it was that he was so cruel about it All this time Christians been wooing and romancing Michelle Ive been thinking that Kimber is who hes truly in love with deep down inside and that hed someday get back with her Yes he was drunk and upset with Michelle and thats what brought him to Kimbers place but still Maybe Im just too naive I felt bad for Kimber since she seemed so happy after they had sex but then she pulled a Christian on Matt and used Matt for sex Oh Kimber I dont think Matts going to be happy when he realizes Kimber used him to get back at Christian What will the Scientologists say What would Jesus do KiddingSean s read more

October 17, 2006: Bedfellows

Somebody at NBC must have issued an order to punch up Criminal Intent’s openings, because two weeks in a row, they’ve come out swinging. Last week’s cops-and-fireman brawl was definitely a "what the?" moment, and this week’s was equally shocking – and twice as disturbing. For me, that wide-eyed little kid with spaghetti sauce (?) smeared all over his mouth evoked not one but two Sixth Sense characters – precocious-yet-creepy Haley Joel Osment (who these days doesn’t even see mailboxes) and the couldn’t-keep-a-meal-down Mischa Barton (who these days...on second thought, never mind). Suffice it to say, the kid was disturbing enough, but when he led the cops into his parents’ bedroom and they pulled back the sheet to reveal his mother curled up with the corpse of his way-dead father – well, that’s just feel-good TV right there.From there out, they kept my interest by turning nearly every member of this twisted clan into a suspect (... read more

October 17, 2006: Velocity Kills, Gentlemen

Matt Saracen, we hardly knew ye. Just as the team finally coalesces, they’re getting this new QB. That final scene left me incredibly frustrated. I guess that it just came to a point where security in talent trumped integrity, but I have to say I’m disappointed. It’s a touchy issue, what with Tatum being a displaced Katrina survivor and his family living all together in one room in a crappy motel, but I can’t say it didn’t hurt. I wonder, though, if Saracen is in some way relieved that he won’t have to deal with all of this pressure anymore. He’s watching his grandmother succumb to what seems like Alzheimer’s, his father is in Iraq, people are screaming “loser” at him, and yet he’s enduring everything with such grace. I know I might be jumping to conclusions, since we don’t know what’s really going to happen with Tatum, but damn it, I like Saracen.It would seem that if last week’s episode were all about suspense,... read more

October 17, 2006: Mustang Love?

Even if you loathe Chris, if you think he’s a former dead-beat dad for neglecting Rory all those years, and a total snake for sleeping with a heartbroken Lorelai, you gotta admit the guy gives great romance. Driving Lorelai in a cherry-red classic Mustang convertible to a deserted barn where he played Funny Face from an old-school film projector. Did you catch the big moment, when Lorelai tried not to cry just as Chris pulled a bag of popcorn out of the glove compartment? He couldn’t have picked a better musical; one of her favorite movies with great lyrics. “’S wonderful/’S marvelous/That you should care for me.” Notice the usage of the word care, not love. Chris is finally smart enough not to push this relationship too hard. And when Lorelai says she doesn’t trust him, or herself, he doesn’t argue. He lets it be. Wise move. Almost zen, actually. And it works. She invites him upstairs after the date. Meanwhile, back in what is best described... read more

October 16, 2006: Up in Smoke

Just the other day, I received an invite to a star-studded Manhattan screening of Weeds' second-season finale, airing for the rest of y'all two weeks from now. "A theatrical screening, really?" I said to myself. But now, having seen this week's episode, it's becoming apparent that the stakes are as high as Doug on any given day. Yes, it's not much of a laughing matter these days in Agrestic, what with Heylia lobbing threats and ultimatums at Nancy, the awfully discordant "dinner with the family," and Peter putting his ears where they don't belong.As glad as I was to see Silas get pushed around a bit — seriously, dude's sad-sack slacker teen bit has gotten way old — I'm not thrilled that they're fashioning Nance's DEA-agent hubby into the show's antagonist, since that's kind of the easy, "pot-peddlers good, narcs bad" way out. Still, that final moment, where we saw that Peter was listening in on his wife's somewhat out-of-context, yet still incriminating, convo with Conrad ... read more

October 16, 2006: And Then There Were Six

Don’t be surprised if I end up writing next week’s column from Italy because it’s just not fair these girls get to be there and I don’t! I hope they realize that while only one of them will end up the winner, they are so damn lucky to be on this show and are making a lot of people jealous (me included). How many girls out there get to say they dated a prince in Rome? The moment that really sent me overboard in jealousy had to be Jami’s one-on-one date with Lorenzo. The red dress, the borrowed gorgeous diamond necklace and a trip to the opera — that was straight out of Pretty Woman, don’t you think? Well, minus the whole hooker thing. Jami got to wear two million dollars worth of jewelry and dance with Lorenzo while being serenaded by a private opera that just looked so romantic I couldn’t help but wish it were me. But then of course the jealousy went away real fast when Lorenzo told Jami dancing with her was like dancing with his best friend a... read more

October 16, 2006: The Art of Popping a Bloater

CSI: Miami is back. It was very nice to focus on one murder without branching off into too many different directions. Even the secondary investigation (that of Marta) seemed to grow much more organically out of the main case than any of the subplots did last week. I was also a little surprised (in a good way) to see the show tackle a sensitive political issue — eminent domain — instead of the young rich kid story lines we saw so much of last season. I have to say that I’m not sure that the Wells’ were the most sympathetic of victims of government takeover, but I do hope all the eagle-eyed Seinfeld fans out there noticed that Suzanne Cryer has not continued her on-screen life of crime. She played George’s girlfriend Marcy and yada yada yada, I was glad to see that she hadn't slept with our bloated victim. Speaking of which, the look on Ryan’s face when Alexx popped Councilman Bridges’ body pretty much said it all. I would say that there are worse ... read more

October 16, 2006: Happy New Year, Best Friend

I feel like this entire episode was Brian staring into his past and running from place to place with weird music orchestrating every move.And with every move came a slip elsewhere. Let's start with Dave. He may not be smooth, but he really tries. Deena really frustrates me, conjuring up excuses that push her husband further and further away. Enter Suzanne (Marguerite Moreau). At least she knows a good thing when it's in front of her. (Scratch that, Deena does know she has a good thing, she just won't act on it.) But even though Suzanne's back for more Dave lovin', I'm not convinced this little affair will last very long.Slip No. 2: Angelo (Raoul Bova). Looks like he's gone for good, leaving Nicole with a broken heart and a baby to raise.Slip No. 3: Marjorie lying to Adam... again. Clearly not the best way to start a marriage. Even more clear, an obvious blaring alarm when the bride is so wrapped up in her conflicting thoughts, she can't even make toast.I did, however, like the flash... read more

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