Sex and the City
Do you know I lived in New York for 13 years and never once saw a woman walking down the street in a tutu? Not even near Lincoln Center. There... I got that off my chest. And I never want to see Carrie and crew happy, because with their pathological self-absorption and infuriating sense of entitlement they don't deserve to be. There... that, too. Except maybe Miranda. I kind of like her because she's the only likable one in the bunch, especially grading on a bell curve. But the beauty of New York City is that it's big enough to enjoy without ever having to get anywhere near women like them. The town deserves a better fate than having even one viewer think you can't. Baryshnikov deserves a more worthy gal. And we absolutely deserved a more satisfying wrap-up to the Miranda-Steve-Dr. Leeds entanglement than the five-second voice-over summation we got.
Conan O'Brien: Tenth Anniversary Special
How great is this? John-Tesh-Abe-Vigoda-and-William-Shatner-on-a-bicycle-built-for-three great. Say no more. A decade of Conan. I remember when they announced this ex-Simpsons writer was getting his own show and New York 1 sent a camera crew out to collect street interviews with people who'd never heard of him. As you might imagine, they didn't have to walk far, but our boy proved the doubters wrong by being offbeat and funny as hell. Take that, Roma Torre.
Ah, the Depression-era Dust Bowl, just like my daddy used to tell it. The relentless, soil-stealing winds beating down a populace desperate for better days. The lizard man. The vegetative telepath. The priest forcing sinners to vomit coins and the enigmatic kid with uncanny healing powers. And man, are they taking their sweet time with the pacing of this remake, or what? A whole night gone and they still haven't introduced Henry Fonda or the rest of the Joads.
Recently the Rules and Ethics Committees decided to kick the cameras of George Clooney
and Steven Soderbergh
's reality-laced look at Washington image making and influence peddling off the Senate floor, saying the hallowed space is too good to be used as "a movie set." They nearly had me buying that, too... until I realized they let the lobbyists stay. At any rate, this series does such a good job of blending fictional characters with real-life D.C. figures and events that I honestly can't say what sort of beast it is after just one episode. Stay tuned, though. It should be interesting, because it sure is different.
With its canned laughter, cheesy production values and penchant for obvious, on-the-nose humor, Mad TV can make for an uneven hour. But the "Gap hag" parody of that Madonna-Missy Elliott mess ("new jeans, old ho") got a chuckle out of me, as did the hip-hop take on this summer's pile-o'-crap movie offerings. And given the ads for what's slouching towards theaters next Denzel Washington's cop thriller looks hilarious while Woody Allen's and Ben Stiller's comedies don't I look forward to a similar kneecapping of the fall fare.
How do you stretch 30 minutes into a double-length "special" episode? Flashbacks, baby! Kyra's moving to Brock's, everyone's reliving the past I mean, reliving and reliving it. And wouldn't you know it? Twenty minutes in and my life's flashing before my eyes, too! Meanwhile, Van's praying for help and at this point I'm giving divine intervention some serious consideration myself. As in: Oh, dear God... please keep everyone else in Reba's house so we can whittle this thing back down to a half-hour.
All About the Andersons
An average American, unable to find work in his chosen field, swallows his pride to provide for his young son and keep a roof over their heads in an ailing economy. Oh, for crying out loud another reality show?
Barbara Walters promises new revelations about Sharon and Jack Osbourne. And once again she displays her mastery of both good and bad cop, effortlessly shifting between benign friend-of-your-mom and Olivier-with-a-drill, "is it safe?" mode. Listening to Barbara, I learn Jack did a veritable "laundry list" of prescription drugs. And looking at Jack, I learn he's midway through his morph from Mrs. Beasley to Bruce Vilanch. He also admits to fantasizing about sitting in a candlelit room, stoned and enjoying somber music (or maybe it's samba music the accent throws me). Anyway, Sharon feels "incredibly guilty for what I did and for what I let go on" and says her worst mistake was not keeping the kids in school. Funny, I thought it was pasting their every private, adolescent moment across the screen in an orgy of media whoredom. And my wife wants to know when Elizabeth Vargas started cutting her own hair.