Since the producers of this show also made HBO's Oz, they pulled a neat trick: Cast 12 memorable Oz alums to play this week's jury in a death-penalty case about a prison chaplain's murder during a jailhouse riot. Father Wallace was whacked upside his head (several times) with a folding chair. Ouch! Of course, that's a fairly ho-hum demise compared with the "Did we shock you?" slayings on Oz. Anyway, The Jury's accused guy did it with malicious intent, although we're invited to feel sorry for him because he was wrongly convicted and jailed in the first place. Guess prison really hardened him. But honestly, I feel the same way I did the first time I watched The Jury. The whodunit aspect of the case is less interesting than the jury-room dramatics. It was great to see Broadway baby Betty Buckley again, bickering along with other Oz faves like Eamonn Walker and Jon Seda. (I especially realized how much I miss J.K. Simmons, who was so horrifying as Emerald City's reigning white supremacist, Vern Schillinger.) Too bad we're not watching them on a better show. Not that I'm saying Jury's bad. I'm just saying it's eh. I could take it or leave it.
During The Next Action Star, I'm flipping channels and I spot a deodorant ad where someone goes on a very Matrix-like virtual-reality adventure. It was more fun than the actual show, which featured some of the dullest, most ignorant dialogue between reality-contestants-living-in-a-house I've ever heard. If I'd wanted to see that sort of thing, I would've watched the 14th-season finale of The Real World: San Diego. Which I skipped because San Diego is pretty, but boring, much like I find most of The Real World's personalities.
They're in canoes this week. And I'm not in the mood to listen to those city girls complain about getting their hair wet. Click.
Daniel's O.T.T. Award for tonight goes to Nip/Tuck. (For those who don't know, O.T.T. stands for Over The Top.) First off, Dr. Christian Troy gets his nose broken during a raunchy sexual mishap. This happened when his vixen du jour sneezed violently in reaction to a down pillow. (But will someone explain to me why she was holding up the pillow during sex? That seemed weird. I thought she was getting ready to snuff him in some kind of Basic Instinct moment.) Later, Christian gets his ego deflated by some women in his life like that sexy female doctor and his nymphomaniac girlfriend. So his reaction to all this "turning 40" ennui is to attempt a self-nose job in the bathroom mirror? Puh-lease. Dr. Sean McNamara's self-confidence problem aka the Soap-Opera Surgeon's Shaky-Hand Syndrome is then cured by fixing Christian's botched nose job. Oh, and Christian opts to remains fully conscious during this painful surgery, so he can act as a cheerleader for Sean. Double puh-lease.
I did like how Matt refused to confess to the hit-and-run, even after Sean's pep talk about how he'd love the kid anyway if he were guilty. Matt's choice was the only believable thing about this whole wacky episode. Everyone else's emotional problems and their O.T.T. antics were too much. These people almost make those neurotic, self-indulgent characters on Six Feet Under look sensible and down to earth. All that said, I was completely entertained. Half the fun of watching Nip/Tuck is to rant and rave about it all, isn't it?
Law & Order: SVU
They oughta call this show Law & Order: SV Ewww! It's so ridiculous. A teenage girl dies, and it turns out she was pregnant with a relative's child. So we're taken through all the truly heinous incest scenarios that could possibly have led to this. Midway through the investigation, her father's suddenly shot to death. And we learn this girl and the boyfriend who impregnated her were unwittingly siblings committing incest. They secretly shared the same dad, who was living a double life. This gives the special guest stars Jane Seymour and Supergirl's Helen Slater! an excuse for lots of maternal and wifely histrionics. The brother/boyfriend also throws up onscreen because he realizes he was zooma-zoomin' his dead half-sister. And by the end, I can't keep track when they reveal who killed whom because I'm so freakin' confused and nauseated myself. SVU's gratuitously perverse permutations of rape, murder, molestation and miscellaneous depravity do not make for a feel-good show, let me tell ya. I'm traumatized!
E! True Hollywood Story
One of our Weekend Watercooler guys, Michael Peck, poked fun at this Heather Locklear edition in his column on Monday. However, he neglected to mention that I'm a featured expert in the show! Don't worry, we're not catfighting behind the scenes like Heather's castmates on Melrose Place. Mr. Peck only meant to tactfully avoid including his colleague among the "typical True Hollywood Story collection of well-meaning celeb-types" who "miss the point." While I thank him for the professional courtesy, let me just say this: I am a TV Guide-certified Locklear-ologist. And I may be frothy, frivolous and know way more about Sammy Jo's stint on Dynasty than anyone really should. But dammit, I'm proud. According to my sentimental Italian mama, seeing her bambino "looking all grown-up on TV" literally brought tears of joy to her eyes. And if it makes her that happy, I'm willing to risk looking silly by discussing Heather Locklear's addiction to bad-boy rockers with a straight face. She spent "seven hours in labor," so it's the least I can do.