I really do like this show. Really. And I know it's not supposed to represent any type of serious reality. But why is there always a moment, even in the bizarre world of Wisteria Lane, that makes me go "Oh, c'mon." And this week's was Justin and Andrew being caught by Susan in a compromising position in the pool. If you were as worried as Justin was earlier about being outed, why would you do something in someone else's pool after a giant party? Not exactly CIA-level secrecy, eh? Still, this situation could eventually lead to an even more revealing exchange like this:
Justin: "Hey, funny story — I once tried to blackmail Mrs. Solis into having sex with me."
Andrew: "Are you kidding? That's nothing, dude. I ran over her mother-in-law and put the old woman in a coma."
Moving on, Susan's discovery of Mike's past drug and manslaughter convictions was a real downer for that beautiful klutz. At least Mike seems sane compared to Zach, who Julie has finally figured out is not the best boyfriend material unless you need a teenage hitman. Now, if you need an easily-bribed police detective, just ask that guy Nathan. Didn't expect that one. But I did expect Tom's co-worker to collapse at the softball game as he was huffing and puffing toward home plate. Sorry, no one on TV with a gut that big makes it past third base without a massive coronary.
This may be heresy to say, but I was never a big fan of Candice Bergen on Murphy Brown. So I am as surprised as anyone to find her more than a nice fit for the well-crafted dialogue found in all David E. Kelley shows. Speaking of dialogue, it appears that "Lock and load" is William Shatner's new catchphrase. Not the best association, since I believe the first time his character used it was when he went into a men's room stall for some non-legal business.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was back as Donny Crane, the bitter ex-son of Denny Crane who was looking for some payback from the man he thought was his father all those years. Unfortunately, he didn't get it when the old man, with the "fat, lying a--," pulled out his secret courtroom weapon of name-calling. By the way, was I the only one a little surprised by Freddie introducing his talking dog to the jury? Huh.
Live From New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live
I was expecting a compilation of the same sketches that have been regurgitated in about 50 other SNL specials, but instead I was pleasantly surprised by this fascinating history of the now-iconic late night program. Whenever I hear about the show's early years, I often wonder if I really missed anything. For the first time, I thought maybe I did after hearing the story about the silly prank pulled on John Belushi during a sketch. He was seated as he spoke directly to the camera, so Chevy Chase and executive producer Lorne Michaels decided to crawl beneath camera range and tie his shoes while Belushi continued on with his lines, barely able to control his laughter. "I can't imagine that happening today," said Neil Levy, a staffer at the time, "but that was the spirit of the show back then."
You ever watch a Simpsons episode and rewind it in your head to the beginning and wonder how the hell, for instance, Bart and Milhouse playing pranks on some random tourist ends up with a take-off on Boys Don't Cry? Springfield legalizing gay marriage — and Homer becoming ordained via the internet — brought Marge's sister Patty officially out of the closet (which was likely full of cigarette smoke). Man, there were more boundaries crossed in this show than in several years worth of Will & Grace. And that scene with Patty's fiancée, Veronica, leaving the toilet seat up was something alright — and strangely reminiscent of a sequence from the movie, Bachelor Party as well (if you saw it, you know what I mean). Between tonight's treatment of gay marriage and the religion-skewering episode from two weeks ago, is there any hot-button topic The Simpsons won't touch? Is there a stem-cell story line with a guest-voice from Ron Reagan Jr. already in the pipeline for May sweeps? Well anyway, before I forget, I loved this line from the flashback of "Veronica" and Patty's first meeting: "I bet that's how angels cough."
1987 All-Star Game
Yeah, the regular All-Star game was on this weekend too — which I did watch some of — but the real thrill for me was seeing this ESPN Classic rebroadcast from 1987. That didn't seem like that long ago until I saw the cross-section of '70s and '80s legends playing with a few 90s-legends-to-be. On the court at various times were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Dr. J in his last All-Star appearance. Plus, there was Larry Bird before his back went out, Michael Jordan before he bulked up and Charles Barkley before he bulked out. Ah, memories — and funny, high pulled-up socks.
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
"Sometimes in your life," said Ferguson, "some very surreal things happen. I just sat and watched my mom make a little film for a talk show I host in America with a gangsta-rapper." That he did, when his visiting mother was taken around Los Angeles by RZA from Wu-Tang Clan. They hit Tower Records, a bookstore and Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, where according to Mrs. Ferguson, RZA "ate like a sparrow." Along the way, Craig's mum also kindly suggested "not to swear too much" in the next song he writes. RZA, a true gentleman, presumably fibbed and told her that "Yes, I will." (Hmm... maybe this is subtly introducing a new, ongoing "Craig's Mom Hangs With Hardcore Rappers" segment. Next time: "Mrs. Ferguson Goes to Disneyland with 50 Cent.")