My Wife & Kids
There is nothing worse than watching a mediocre sitcom when you're already feeling under the weather. At least with a good comedy, you get a few healthy chuckles in between the hacking coughs. This one just had me begging for the NyQuil to kick in. Michael hires Calvin to work at the trucking company, where the simple giant proceeds to throw people around, tear doors off cars and devour bacon sandwiches. This is not funny. In the real world, he would be considered a threat to himself and others. Here, it's just a threat to this show ever being more than something to be endured until...
Now I know I'm coming down with something, because I could swear I just saw Jennifer Hudson in the bottom three. Again. With LaToya London, no less! No, it must be the fever. Which, I swear, spiked during that awful Ford commercial. Or maybe it was the sight of Simon's stretchy club-freak shirt. I thought Old Navy was handling the couture this season, not the Pseudo-Gay Man's Big-Yet-Small Shop. But that's not for me to worry about. I need to save my energy for figuring out how John Stevens and Camile Velasco are still around, while Amy Adams heads off into obscurity. Motown night and the musical Mayo and Wonder Bread make the cut? Not right.
True Hollywood Story
Do not laugh remember, I'm not well but there are more 'N Sync CDs in my collection than a 34-year-old should admit to. They're just so peppy. And now I know why, thanks to this video-version of a Tiger Beat collector's issue all about the boy band. These kids scraped and struggled for almost two whole years before exploding onto the scene. Imagine that. Two whole years! Not only that, they survived Lou Perlman's lawsuit and Joey Fatone's general Fatone-ness. Though I have to laugh. All the guys pop up to dish their most wanton fans, their woe-is-me childhoods and Lance's NASA snafu, save for JT. Which is fine. After all, between filming his first movie and dating Cammie Diaz, the Britney survivor has enough to deal with without having to explain his bottle-blond 'fro phase. Like Nipplegate, it's best we just forget it ever happened.
Oh my God, I think this show has healing powers! Simply the sight of Linda Lavin's "the Nana" all but cured my dizzy spells. Granted, as an award-winning, if rabidly lapsed Catholic Altar Boy of the Year 1983, thank you very much I'm a bit lost with the Cohens' crisis over the Yenta from Hell's Passover visit. No bread in the house? What, is Seder an Atkins thing, too? Making the no-carb crisis all the scarier is the reappearance of 40something teen Theresa and that grungy Eric Balfour. Why Marissa ran off to Chino after discovering Luke and Julie's affair is beyond me, but it set off some very cool sparks between Coop and Ryan. Now, I don't know if it was the sniffles or true emotion, but I sort of filled up when she collapsed in his arms. And how about little Benjamin McKenzie showing levels beyond his usual sullen-slash-surly act? I don't know if this is kosher or not, but I gotta say "amen" to that.
Teen Idols of the '90s
Last week it was the '80s. This one's the '90s. What's next? The Teen Idols of Last Tuesday? Folks, slow down. You're gonna run out of hunks and hussies to spotlight. Unless someone at VH1 thinks Joey Lawrence discussing the evolution of his trademark "Whoa" actually packs any sociological heft. Please. Now, the bit on Party of Five was a blast, even if it did pain me to see how the cast of such a great show has gone on to more failed follow-up attempts and bad albums than... well, Joey Lawrence. Ugh. Now I really feel sick.
Damn you, ABC! Canning the supercool Out of Sight spinoff and signing on for that Stephen King travesty. I hope whoever undid Karen is now sporting a paper hat and asking people if they'd like fries with that. This had such promise. Thankfully, USA has the class (who ever thought that would be said without a rim-shot?) to air the leftover episodes. True, the idea of trapping cops in a bank holdup has been done to death, but when it's Federal marshals Carla Gugino and Robert Forster, it's worth watching, if only to see how the charming daughter-dad duo will banter their way through the crisis. Now, if only they could teach those of us who still miss Miss Sisco how to keep smiling in the face of this one's tragic mishandling.
Again, not clear if it's the shakes or the unholy humor here, but this one sent me into fits. Jumping on The Passion of the Christ bandwagon, the NC-17 tots take in the "religious snuff film" only to end up at odds over anti-Semitism and Mel Gibson's celluloid sins. When that animated audience member testified that the flick "really guilt-trips you into believing," it was a clear sign that nothing will ever be sacred when it comes to this show. And God love 'em for it. Even the out-there jab at Braveheart himself was sinfully delicious. Although being so close to my deathbed already, it's probably not wise to be tempting fate by laughing so hard. Maybe I should just pray for creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And Madonna tickets. What the hell, right?