Jack & Bobby
Just when you were thinking it was Jack (Matt Long) who was going to be president, it swung back to Bobby (Logan Lerman). And then back and forth and back and forth, until it finally landed on the younger dude. The pseudo, purposely vague documentary was a crafty device to keep us guessing until the end. And while it's debatable whether they should have given away that info at the end of the very first episode, I'm hardly convinced that it was a good idea to establish that Courtney (Jessica Paré) does hook up with Jack — who dies (!) — before eventually settling down with Bobby in the future. I mean, the producers of Smallville didn't have a choice; we knew Clark wasn't going to end up with Lana. But here it could have been drawn out at least a little longer. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing idea/show that will keep me tuning in. (I wonder if Ted Kennedy is upset that it wasn't Jack & Bobby & Teddy? Then again, maybe the senator isn't losing too much sleep over that one.)
Star Wars: Empire of Dreams
How weird was that to see Kurt Russell and William Katt (The Greatest American Hero) as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, respectively? Usually when you see old audition footage of actors who didn't make the cut, it's hard to picture them in the eventual star-making roles. But, in this case, it didn't seem that crazy. And then there was Cindy Williams as Princess Leia. Sorry, but no way. Hey, that reminds me of my favorite Laverne & Shirley episode, which had Laverne getting a cavity filled by Shirley's cousin, who was taking his final dental exam. Unfortunately, he doesn't give her enough novocaine, but Laverne doesn't say anything because the guy would've failed his test otherwise. Anyway, the best part is when the dentist-to-be is drilling Laverne's tooth as she channels all her excruciating pain into Shirley's fragile hand, which she has been holding in a crushing death grip. Hmm, I wonder if George Lucas ever saw that scene. It's really funny.
American Express Commercial
Those poor little Whac-A-Moles. They were almost clobbered by Venus Williams. I love it when one of them peeks out to see if the coast is clear.
The Surreal Life
Well, this episode definitely lived up to this show's title. Seeing Brigitte Nielsen easing herself into Flavor Flav's bed and commencing cuddling of some sort was indeed, uh, surreal. On the other end of the relationship spectrum, you had Jordan Knight asking American Idol castoff Ryan Starr if she'd be attracted to him if, say, he didn't have a girlfriend. "Probably not," she replied. If you looked closely, you could see that the former New Kid was this close to just fainting right there.
When Vince stopped the plane to patch things up with Eric, I actually thought he was just going to ask his buddy to run another errand for him. It seems that we've now come full circle in the sense that the harsh "non-Hollywood cliché" ending has itself become a cliché. So now a sweet finale of sorts is actually a surprise. I think my head hurts.
7 Days in September
It's hard to believe that it's been three years. This film by Steven Rosenbaum, shown on A&E, was exceptionally compelling since it didn't rely on the news footage that many of us have seen recycled over and over again. He collected tape from 28 various videographers (some professional, some amateur). The immediacy made it tough to watch. One clip in particular brought it all back to me: We see an image of the burning, still-standing towers and you hear someone off camera saying, "How do you put a fire out that high?" Suddenly, I remembered thinking the same thing as I saw that sight from across the river in New Jersey. Now, of course, since we know what tragically happened, you almost forget the myriad of raw, overlapping reactions of that day.
If there has ever been an episode where a bunch of cliquey high-school chicks gets sick from stylish jeans that were accidentally soaked in a deadly pesticide, I obviously missed it because I didn't see this one coming. By the way, I'd like to put my personal vote in for sweet Kelli Williams as Friday night's hottest doctor.