You gotta give Heaven writer Paul Perlove credit for trying to draw much-needed attention to the plight of the group of Sudanese civil war orphans known as the Lost Boys. But the way he handles it makes me want to smash his laptop. Seriously. In tonight's very special episode, Ruthie and Peter miss the bus back during a school field trip to the zoo. Rather than just call their parents, they decide to get home on their own and they proceed to take "five wrong buses" to nowhere. After they get off the fifth wrong bus, Ruthie walks up to two African men and says, "Hi, I'm Ruthie and this is my friend Peter. We're from Glen Oak and we're lost." Then one African guy says, "I'm Jacob and this is Nicodemus. We are from Sudan and they call us the Lost Boys." The exchange is so bad it's painful. But that's not even my main beef with this whole scenario.
Problem No. 1: What were the teachers and parent volunteers doing that they didn't take a final student head count before that bus pulled out of the parking lot? That's Fieldtrip Monitoring 101.
Prob. No 2: What's wrong with Peter and Ruthie? I know they're sheltered and all but getting on and off the wrong buses five times... How did these kids make it to junior high school?
Prob. No. 3: The overly protective Reverend Camden gives in way too easily. The kids use Jacob's cell phone to call the Rev who, upon hearing they're with the Lost Boys, breathes a sigh of relief and asks Jacob to watch them until he gets there. Jacob giddily agrees. It's a kind gesture. But a bit ridiculous — as if these boys, who are now men, living seven to a tiny apartment and trying to work their way through college, have nothing better to do with their time.
I'm Just Saying...
I'd like to meet the WB exec who decided that new episodes are "fresh." ("And now a fresh Everwood.") I'm guessing it's the same person who turned repeat episodes into "encores."
No they didn't!! Toni "accidentally" discovers that her fine Mr. Masseur gives happy endings, and Maya and Lynn rush to make appointments. And, after telling them off for being so sleazy, Joan does it on the down low. It was a very Sex and the City storyline. But I laughed anyway.
On the other hand...
Poor William. He finally makes senior partner, decides he wants to share the news — and his life — with Joan and she calls him "a big brother." Ouch. I feel bad for the boy. But I'm so glad they didn't get together. I so don't want those two to go down the Ross-and-Rachel road that it's not even funny.
The Yasmin Commercial
It's just a commercial for birth control. Nothing wrong with that. But while I was watching it, I kept thinking the Nielsen market research is no joke. Guess you really can tell who's watching a show by the commercials. That or they were tipped off by this week's subtly sexed-up Girlfriends storyline. (I say subtle because the happy endings did not involve the women doing the actual deed. And, no, I will not elaborate.) But I wonder, did this commercial also air during Everybody Loves Raymond?
Last night's opening earthquake sequence, the one with the bike rider who got squashed by the Seattle Space Needle, was the bomb-diggety. Tonight, however, I was over the awe-factor of how well the special-effects guys made the earth move and watching this was, well, just work. Beau Bridges as the teary-eyed president was laughable, Kim Delaney as the savior of the West Coast was barely passable and Fred Ward as the stubborn, I-should-have-listened-to-SAM head of FEMA was something else that ends in "able." Forget the Richter scale. On the Wack scale of 1 to 10, this cheesy disaster movie gets a 5. But the special effects guys — who no doubt had much fun — get an 8.
"Andrea didn't make it to the pageant," says "Life Coach" Nely Galán, "because she still has a way to go on the inside." Not to be all super shallow or anything but... You've got to be kidding me! Of this week's two ugly ducklings, Anger Management Issues Andrea made the best physical transformation and she had the hardest "mental" change to make. She still has a way to go, sure. But they're not cutting and sucking fat out of these women for nothing. And, how many face peels did she suffer through? The physical change is the most important part of these 18-point Swan programs. And, of this week's applicants, rule-breaking Andrea turned out to be the prettier plastic woman. That's the truth. Plain and simple.
Creepy porn ring and murder aside, I am fascinated by this whole AirPark living arrangement. Maybe I'm the one who's sheltered, but dang, I never imagined people could legally build suburban McMansion-filled culs-de-sac on airstrips. I mean, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this decadence: Instead of having a boat parked out back, these people have tiny airplanes that they use to jet off to whereever. What?! (I know!) How much tax does one have to pay on their share of an airstrip? And how can these places not be havens for drug runners and thus be under DEA surveillance 24/7? Again, I'm fascinated.
Everybody Loves Raymond
A few weeks ago, the fabulous Matt Roush was talking to me about how the little moments on Raymond are part of what make this a great show. I agreed just to be polite. But seeing how I wasn't a regular watcher, I didn't really get it. But tonight, I got it. That moment when Ray was heating up an apple pie in the microwave and he, his brother and his father all covered their family jewels was simple, easy and hilarious. I was rolling! With that one gesture, they showed the Barone family bond and how crazy habits are passed from generation to generation. I'm still not going to be watching this every week or anything. But... Kudos.
The Answer to My Yasmin Question...
No. Apparently, the women who watch this show are more likely to need Allegra and Coffeemate than birth control. Good to know.
Two and a Half Men
They're already using the Heather Locklear Effect? Oh, no. It's too soon! H to the Izzzle is the go-to sexpot producers hire to spice things up. (For recent examples see: Melrose Place and Spin City). You turn to Mrs. Richie Sambora when your show is hemorrhaging viewers — not just for some guest-starring stunt, funny as it may be. See, this goes back to my point from a few weeks ago that this show's moving too fast. Already they've given Charlie a transsexual ex-girlfriend and a stalker. Now they've used Heather Locklear. What's next — a family trip to Vegas?
The Village Preview
For the past two weeks they've been killing me with the promos for this, well, seven-and-a-half minute promo. Watch Unbreakable and catch "an unprecedented network TV event." Does it bother anyone else that ABC launched a massive ad campaign to basically promote a commercial for a movie? Sure it's an M. Night Shyamalan movie. But still, it's not Roots or an epic TV miniseries like NBC's 10.5. That said... I made sure I didn't miss tonight's "event." And, having taped it and watched it three times, I am so ripe for the movie-ticket-buying plucking, it's not even funny. I just hope this one doesn't turn out like his last movie. You know, the one with the aliens and the crop circles. I was thoroughly scared for 90 percent of the flick. Then they showed the cheesy stupid alien and it was all she wrote. Over. Done. Yuck. I fear the same could happen with "those we don't speak of." Like, they're going to come out of the woods and be stupid-looking gremlin people I'll laugh and a great horror film will turn instantly into a comedy.
By the way, from now on, "those we don't speak of" will officially replace Harry Potter's "he who will not be named" in my vocab. Also, the four rules of The Village will replace the rules of Fight Club.
Late Show with David Letterman
Oh, it's stupid human trick time again. And I love me some David Letterman during stupid human tricks. The way he relates to each of the contestants and makes fun of them without being mean is so effortless. Now that's a skill. I laughed so hard I almost pulled an Amy (see this week's Raymond episode) when he panicked and yelled "Lady!" at the bellydancer. OK. Let me explain, this woman's trick was to lay on the floor and flip a burger onto a bun using only her stomach muscles. But to do this she had to push her skirt dangerously low on her hips. We're talking Britney Spears low-waisted pants territory. And she almost gave the Hoosier host a heart attack. What a way to start the week.