So the producers were desperate enough to hire Shannen Doherty, huh? Gotta admit, it's a gutsy move, one that could either backfire on a massive scale or add the suds this soap desperately needs. Until La Shannen makes her appearance though, we're stuck with the usual crew of Baywatch: Hawaii cast-offs. The one bright spot is Frankie (Jason Momoa) the bartender, a character I bashed a couple of weeks back but have since grown to tolerate. Not only does he resemble a dreadlocked Billy Zane (picture that... if you dare), but he's also the one person on the show who demonstrates anything in the way of higher brainpower, which of course means that he'll never, ever get laid. At least on purpose anyway.
Broadway's Lost Treasures II
Now that it's been off the Great White Way for a few years, is it okay to admit that I never really liked Les Miserables? I know that it's basically the Star Wars of Broadway a beloved spectacle that single-handedly launched the era of the big-budget musical but I always found it dull and vaguely campy. Plus, I kept rooting for that bratty Cosette to be bayoneted on the barricades, thus leaving her uptight dork of a boyfriend free to go off with the far more interesting Eponine. Still, hearing "One Day More" again gave me a new admiration for how brilliantly Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman parodied that overwrought ballad in the South Park movie ("When did this song become a marathon?"). The real highlight of Lost Treasures had to be the clip from the 1975 production of Chicago, featuring Jerry Orbach as Billy Flynn. All his years on Law & Order have typecast Orbach as a sleepy-eyed cop, but the guy was an amazing song-and-dance man! Mel Brooks should really consider teaming him up with fellow musical-theater refugee Christopher Walken for The Producers. That would be a stage duo I'd actually consider paying $480 to see.
Big Events Gone Bad
Wait, a whole program devoted to humiliating public screwups and they didn't include the Lambada movie? Shame on you, E!, for letting a cultural milestone pass by unmentioned!
I adore waterparks, but watching this Travel Channel special did make me feel the teensiest bit guilty about those H20-guzzling factories. At a time when some countries don't even have regular sources of fresh drinking water, the thought of using millions upon millions of gallons purely for recreation seems something of a waste. Of course, when I'm actually at a waterpark, I never think about any of that because I'm too busy yelling my brains out. You know, as cool as some of these new rides look I especially liked the Master Blaster, a roller-coaster-like slide that actually pushes you uphill at certain points the best slides are still those that simply send you speeding down a 10-story drop. After all, nothing says summer fun like feeling your stomach jump to the roof of your mouth.
Or, as it's known around the ABC offices, Lawsuit No. 0567. I know Fox supposedly "tweaked" the concept a bit, but c'mon. This is clearly a blatant rip-off of Wife Swap, the hit British reality show that's coming to ABC this fall. I am impressed, however, that the network that brought the world Temptation Island resisted the urge to sex up this concept. They could easily have cast the show with lots of nubile young twentysomethings all eager to "experiment" with their marriages. But instead they took the high road and cast two really unattractive families you'd never want to see in swimsuits. Wait... why is that a good thing again?
For Love or Money
You know what's fun? Tuning in to the last hour of a reality series you haven't watched all season and trying to figure out what the heck is going on. For Love or Money didn't prove much of a challenge though, mainly because it keeps reminding you of the stakes every five minutes (as every reality-TV-show producer knows, needless exposition is a great way to kill time). I was surprised that Rachel picked the guy over the money though. In her pre-ceremony interviews, she struck me as that rare breed of reality contestant who is genuinely interested in walking away with cash rather than a soon-to-be ex-love interest. I'm sure she and Caleb are off somewhere amicably separating as we speak.