Major League Baseball: Yankees vs. Red Sox
Boston beat the Yankees 6-4 in 12 innings on a two-run homer by David Ortiz. The Red Sox are down 3-1 in the series, it's true, and no team has ever rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series. Well, I don't care. I feel for the Sox. The myth says the team suffers from the Curse of the Bambino (the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1918 and haven't won a championship since). I wonder if the Yankees could handle a curse — and I'm not talking about a Bronx cheer or Steinbrenner's ego. Great "God Bless America" from Jo Dee Messina, though.
U2, the Emerald Isle's version of the Over the Hill Gang, sell out with a mugging performance of "Vertigo," a softheaded rocker that rips off chunks from "You Keep Me Hanging On." Apart from the questionable ethics of an established act doing commercials, we also had to put up with Bono's dancing. His spastic leg kicks made the Freddie look like the Moonwalk. The only people who move like that are either wearing lampshades or experiencing seizures.
It stinks to be Leo. Not only do the Elders accuse him of shredding two Whitelighters, but Nick Lachey's Leslie St. Claire stole his macho stubble look and raised him two earrings. So what's this got to do with the Charmed Ones? Allow me to explain in song... (cue syrupy piano intro ) "Blue moon/Piper's glare blew up the toaster/Phoebe wept when the muffins burned/and jittery Paige orbed in and out... (more syrupy piano-tinkling)... Blue moon/it caused the gals to turn into devil dogs/and I don't mean the snack cakes/I mean actual green demonic beasts... " See, ladies and gentlemen, it was the Halliwells who pounced the hapless Whitelighters. Why? Because of a freak blue moon. It gets in the way of Phoebe's attempts to salvage some love with the departing Leslie. "You better be home before the moon rises," Piper warns her, "And avoid red meat." Elsewhere, Kerr Smith's Agent Brody reveals to Paige that his parents were killed by demons. Brody caught her trying to orb out of his apartment unnoticed, so Paige had some 'splainin' to do. Then they got to talking so groundwork could be laid for a future hookup. The upshot was the gals-as-dogs attacked the Elders but reverted to normal in the end. "It wasn't demonic, it was that time of the month," insisted Phoebe. I was disappointed Lachey wasn't eaten. He was leaving the show anyway — they could have thrown us a bone. Also, Leo, fearing he was a threat to his family, refused to return home. At least that was the story he told Piper, but I suspect Leo feared his wife wasn't housebroken because she has tattoos on each wrist. And don't forget to tip your waitress.
Hugh Laurie does the hands-down best American accent of any British actor around and I'm eager to see him in action, even if it's in what appears to be another CSI rip-off. Still, I pine for the days when he and Stephen Fry were the most brilliant Merrie Olde comic duo that wasn't Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (though votes for Morecambe & Wise will be counted).
Teri Hatcher was so terrific on Lois & Clark that it depressed me to see her shill for Radio Shack alongside NFL Hall of Famer/jughead Howie Long. No more. Teri is back on track as part of the ensemble cast of this fiendish comic serial built around the suicide of a neighborhood housewife. It plays like a Terry Southern version of Knots Landing, dishing out a savory mix of mystery, satire, comedy, drama and plain ol' quirkiness as it probes the soft, dark underbelly of suburbia. Hatcher's Susan accidentally locks herself out of her own house — naked — while quarreling with her caddish ex, who won't apologize for dumping her for a blond floozy. Felicity Huffman's Lynette teaches her thick husband a lesson about housework by making him baby-sit their rambunctious boys while she attends a party. Of course, she fortifies the kids with a box of cookies before leaving. Eva Longoria's luscious Gabrielle is forced to buy the girl next door a bike after the kid catches her making out with the teenage gardener. Marcia Cross' ooky Bree is a control freak who makes the Stepford Wives look like the Banger Sisters. When husband Rex leaves her, she does the packing, even though his unhappiness baffles her. "In college, we were the golden couple. Why did this happen?" she asks. "Because you wouldn't let me pack my own suitcase," replies Rex. But even Bree's eerie personality pales in comparison to what's going on chez Mary Alice. Son Zack found a gun. The fuzz found the trunk his dad tossed in the drink — and there was a body inside! "To live in fear is not to live at all," says Mary Alice (Brenda Strong), the show's narrator. She ought to know — she killed herself in the pilot episode.
Didja get the feeling that this wasn't the first Botox needle that became stuck in William Shatner's forehead? If so, it didn't affect his performance too badly. Denny Crane's reunion with his son Donny (Freddie Prinze Jr.) was well done, with a nice twist at the end. Only gripe: Donny conveniently shows up just as Denny reveals the truth to Alan. It was also fun to see James Spader's amoral attorney get his silver tongue handed to him by his formerly deranged ex-girlfriend Christine, who defended a man Alan's client was suing for sexual harassment. After Alan baited her in his closing by implying that her client (and, by extension, Christine) was incapable of controlling himself, she countered by damning the idea of women as fragile, easily offended crybabies. "These laws treat us as if we are psychologically and emotionally impaired!" Guess what? Christine (almost) wins the case. You go, girl! No wait... she might represent Bill O'Reilly (see below).
Major League Baseball: Yankees vs. Red Sox
Final score: Yankees 19, Red Sox 8
"They all look like they've been struck by something." — My girlfriend Tara Ann on the shell-shocked Boston faithful.
Special mention must be made of Massachusetts State Trooper Dan Clark for turning in the deepest vocal ever on "God Bless America." Top marks for his enthusiasm. However, something has to be done about the trooper's uni. In that gray getup, Clark looked like something out of the Wehrmacht. ("He was scary," was Tara Ann's terse appraisal, and I can't help agreeing with her.)
Star Trek: Enterprise
The Sopranos' Steven Schirripa leads New York gangsters against Nazis controlling their city. Yeah, Hitler, we gotcher blitzkrieg right here! Badda-bing! Silik the Suliban sacrifices his life trying to help Archer destroy the time machine. "I'd rather have died as your enemy," he gasps before, well, dying. Archer holds his hand as he slips away. I would have been more moved if the captain simply shrugged and said, "Sorry, punk."
The O'Reilly fallout
Is there anyone who really takes these harassment charges seriously? No biped with an iota of functional sensory apparatus believes that Bill O'Reilly is capable of a sexual conquest. Besides, sex outside of wedlock is a sin, and righteous Bill is a churchgoing Roman Catholic. You know... like Ted Kennedy.
I tuned in Friday, but O'Reilly was "on assignment" and Tony Snow was subbing. This is like expecting Dr. Evil and getting Mini-Me. Snow interviewed two authors of a book called "The French Are Cynical, Wine-Swilling, Cheese-Cutting Surrender Monkeys Who Are Just Jealous of Americans So to Hell with Them" or something to that effect. Snow also intimated that America could have won the revolution without France, which only got involved to get back at England and ended up just getting in the way. (Forget the millions France poured into America's war effort, which eventually led to the bankruptcy of those without a cut of the guillotine industry.)