Sunday Morning Shootout
Producer Peter Guber and Variety Editor-in-Chief Peter Bart argue over the MPAA's decision to ban sending DVD and VHS screeners to Academy Awards voters because of piracy concerns. I can't say for sure what I think, so they should send them all here and let me decide. Edward Norton stops by to discuss whether on-set tension makes for a better movie, a question I firmly believe can only be settled by... well, sending all Academy screeners to me. Then arguments start over the ballooning cost of movie making and how much support Governor Ah-nuld can expect from Hollywood. I, of course, believe the only way to get to the bottom of these issues is to... You know where I'm going with this, right?

The Practice
The Lyon's Den
Switching back and forth: On The Practice, Sharon Stone says she talks to God, but the other lawyers don't believe her. On The Lyon's Den, a medical-experiment victim's plea for help is ignored by lawyer Matt Craven, who doesn't believe him. Camryn Manheim falls into a pool on The Practice. Brenda Strong is asked about getting out of a bathtub on The Lyon's Den. I like this compression routine, which gives me two hours' worth of shows and two shows' worth of stars in one hour. But I'm betting ABC and NBC aren't happy with just 30 minutes' worth of ratings each.

Hewlett-Packard Commercial
As jaded as I am, I'm still bummed to see the Cure's "Pictures of You" being used to hawk digital-photography merchandise. Now I know how the boomers felt when Michael Jackson licensed the Beatles' "Revolution" to Nike.

The Office
I hereby declare this to be the funniest show on TV, and I will tolerate no argument to the contrary. (OK, drop the "hereby" — I've been saying that since last season.) On the other hand, I know people who can't watch because it recalls so many traumatic memories of bosses past and entirely too present. It's so spot on, from David's refusal to accept that a former colleague is now his boss through his bombing comedy bit, his repeating Gareth's racist joke at the welcoming party for the new employees and his even more cringe-worthy attempts to repair the damage. Wrong-headed has never felt so right. And it says something that only seven episodes in, I care more about Tim drinking the corporate Kool-Aid and pulling rank on Dawn than I do about the problems facing characters on shows that have been on five times as long. My only worry? The idea that an American version is being considered. One word: Don't. Okay, two: Please don't.


So I'm dreaming I'm in Boston and these two blonde men who look and sound exactly alike are pricing glass marbles with roosters and eagles in them while looking for something called the Queen Anne Lowboy. Only I'm actually watching PBS, the same people who brought me the dreams about the huge talking bird, the sun with the baby's face in it and all those murderous Brits. Now if only I could explain away the one I keep having where I'm in a knife fight armed with a tiny dagger and the blade won't stay on the handle.

America Undercover: Actual Autopsy with Michael Baden
I didn't even make it through the first cut. Seriously. I'd hoped this would be computer-sterile, subjective-camera run-throughs of the human body like we get on that nice CSI. Turns out, oddly enough, that Actual Autopsy means it's, like, an actual autopsy. And why, oh, why did I choose now to have Pink Dot deliver that black-cherry smoothie and steak tartare?


Thunder Mountain. Valhalla Sector. The Big Death. Bah. Why doesn't Showtime buy my pitch, where Jeremiah and Kurdy hear of the fabled Just Born in Bethlehem? You see, it turns out it's Bethlehem, Pa.'s Just Born Inc., makers of Marshmallow Peeps. Think of it... In one fell swoop they find an endless supply of a pleasing-to-the-eye foodstuff that needs no refrigeration and lasts longer than plutonium. They fire up the fabulous Peeps Fun Bus, giant yellow chick and all, and travel the land to set themselves up as gods, pushing sugar-rush idolatry on the ignorant savages of the future. Mad, you say? Weird? Fine. You can't be in my tribe when the apocalypse comes, then.

Life with Bonnie
David Alan Grier gives Bonnie's kid too much carrot juice before showing up the next day in a brace because he threw out his neck in anger-management class. But he says he did it while skiing at night, noting that black people invented the sport. Then Bonnie talks to the contractors rebuilding David's house to get them to speed up the job. And they're the Smothers Brothers. Who agree to work faster if Bonnie books them on her show because they used to have a show of their own. Only Tommy ruins the Spanish song they sing by throwing German into it. Because Bonnie asked him to.

Is the Writers Guild on strike?