Tommy Lee Goes to College
I've never really understood the whole frat thing. I guess the concept of pledging anything to anyone is kind of foreign to me (yes, I'm single), especially when you have to prove your commitment by gargling Tabasco or drinking beer from a shoe. Or so I've heard. But it's kind of surprising that Tommy didn't take to some aspects of fraternity life. After all, the bungalow he shared with his Mötley mates near Sunset Boulevard in the early days of the band was pretty much a frat. If the Crüe's biography, The Dirt, is to be believed, it was a sinful stream of girls, booze and blasphemy. And no doubt it smelled like the dishes Tommy was asked to wash "like feet and ass." Naturally, the drummer couldn't deal. But wasn't the conceit of forming his own frat a bit too Old School? Instead, the producers should have made him fulfill the pledging process, bathroom duty and all. Heck, if he survived a stint in the can, he could have easily endured cleaning one. Joseph Hudak
Franco says the Tommy Gavin he used to know "was a lyin', cheatin', brawlin', skirt-chasing son of a bitch" compared to the present version. On any other show, having that description no longer fit would be a sign of progress. Here, it's a character flaw. Not that I disagree, necessarily. I mean, devil you know and all, right? Yet the speech of the evening goes to Tommy for his description of the lot of the firefighter today: "We get paid s--t. We'll always get paid s--t, because the politicians got us by the b---s, because we never go on strike. Yeah, this country respected us after 9/11. They put the spotlight on us. But now, because this country has ADD, we're back to being glorified garbagemen. Garbagemen with booze and drug problems, but garbagemen nonetheless." Sometimes only a fictional character can get away with speaking the truth when it hurts.
Now whether or not Tommy really does have a buried thing for Laura, I think he knew the color of her eyes all along and flunked her test on purpose. (And you gotta love him slipping Matt and Ben into the list of celebrity breakups.) Keeping things light, do you really think cats would eat their deceased owner? C'mon. They're so loyal and selfless, wanting only to please us and... oh, hell. We're lucky they wait till we're dead. And I have to admit it freaked me out when Tommy and Janet fought over the pulpy orange juice. Switch the roles, with the man going pro and the woman going anti, and you have my marriage every time we hit the Ralphs refrigerated section. As for the giant-butt porn girl? Unrealistic, but funny, and funny counts for more. I'll reserve judgment on the ending hockey game with Tommy's brutal return to violent form until I see how it plays out next week. But I'll say this: I really hope they don't have the cop hockey player end up dead or anything cheesy like that. I'm sure the Rescue Me folks would handle it better than most, but still seen it before, and this show's at its best when breaking new ground. Michael Peck
Rock Star: INXS
I have to throw away everything I thought about the rockers thus far, 'cause last night's performances turned everything around. Ty almost made me cry, J.D. nearly won me over, Jordis shook my belief in her as the female front-runner and Suzie. Oh, Suzie, somewhere up there Freddie Mercury is smiling. You were the epitome of grace under pressure. Here's how it went down.
Ty: This guy fluctuates so much from week to week that I question his ability to hang in there when the going gets tough. But his take on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was so right on and religious that it had me contemplating going to weekday mass this morning. I nearly wept like the Madonna.
J.D.: I always thought that J.Diva led a secret life as an E.T.A. (Elvis Tribute Artist), and he confirmed it last night. He really was an Elvis impersonator at one time! And, lawdy, Miss Clawdy, I have to admit that he took care of business with a rollicking "Suspicious Minds."
Marty: Everyone from Fred Durst to Velvet Revolver has covered "Wish You Were Here," but no one has made the Pink Floyd classic sound as aching and emotional as Marty did. He's become the consummate performer.
Jordis: Thankfully, she's no screeching Yoko (check out the Stones' Rock and Roll Circus DVD if you think I'm being insulting to Ms. Ono). But Jordis' admittedly incredible interpretation of "Imagine" wasn't the knockdown, drag-out smash it could have been. When compared to Suzie's performance a little bit later on, that is.
MiG: With or without INXS, MiGgy is a bona fide rock star. "Live and Let Die" was the perfect mash-up of danger and dramatics. Check out that Ted Neeley-like falsetto wail! If this contest doesn't pan out for him, maybe MiG can go back to the theater as "Jesus Christ Superstar."
Suzie: Just behind MiG's, Suzie's performance was the showstopper of the night. Considering Queen often used a prerecorded tape of the operatic parts in "Bohemian Rhapsody" when they played it live, Suzie's (and the house band's) fully live performance was even more incredible. If this contest doesn't pan out for her, maybe the producers of the We Will Rock You musical would be open to a female lead.
Bottom three? Your guess is as good as mine. JH