I feel like talking lots of TV.
My biggest problem with TV always
has been sitting down to watch television, finding nothing worthwhile, then leaving the stupid thing on anyway. This
is why the DVR is the best thing since the Atari, especially this fall: There’s
just a lot of good stuff on right now (despite what you’ll hear about a lack of
new sure-fire ratings hits) and when we sit down to watch, we’ve always got
something recorded, ready to go.
There are the guilty-pleasure
sitcoms (which, thanks to the DVR, take a mere 22 minutes to watch, so when you
get a bunch of them, it’s like sitting down with a bag of Doritos, fully
intending to just have a couple). For us, these are: Two and A Half Men – look, if you’re a product of the 80s, it’s
awfully hard not to appreciate the chemistry of Cryer and Sheen; the show’s
vulgarity is actually pretty damn funny, and the kid reminds me a lot of my
brother-in-law when I first met him, and he’s freaking hilarious. How I Met Your Mother – Neil Patrick
Harris has finally killed Doogie Howser. Killed him dead. Killed him dead then
bought drinks and “consoled” Wanda. The
New Adventures of Old Christine – Jenn started watching this one first, but
it’s kind of grown on me. And the guy who saved Sports Night – the fictional show
on the real show, not the actual sitcom, which ABC shamefully let fizzle – is
On the bubble is Ugly Betty – enjoyable and nicely
melodramatic, but in both episodes so far, I’ve felt that frustration of
watching a plot situation that I know is going to be resolved for the good, but
it’s not going to happen for another 30 minutes. Both times, at about the
25-minute mark the show was feeling really long. Both times, though, the second
half was better. It just feels too big to be a sitcom, but not busy enough to
fill the whole hour. Maybe it’s pacing, I don’t know.
Drama-wise, the new biggie is Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which I
had high hopes for, and, after some early misgivings, have come to enjoy. There
are certainly people who will say this show hasn’t lived up to the hype, but
that’s hardly worth throwing it away early. I wasn’t a West Wing fan, but I was a huge Sports
Night fan – though late to the party – and it pissed me off the way ABC let
that show slip into obscurity. Don’t tell me Studio 60 is too “inside baseball” and too “smart” for people,
because that’s crap. If an intelligent show is a good show, people will watch
I’m a fan of Aaron Sorkin’s
rapid-fire dialogue, I think Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are different-level
incarnations of Casey and Dan, and I think the show mixes the Sports Night humor with a nicely
dramatic edge. I do worry that they’ll yank it around just because everybody in
the country isn’t yakking about it the next day.
We’re back to Lost, of course, which we’ve been watching from Day One, and I
loved the season premiere, especially the first three minutes or so, which
really throw a bizarre perspective on everything. I think the change in plot
approach – focusing more on the story behind the island and getting away from
the “survival in the wild” aspect – will be good for the show.
Heroes: Fun and intriguing, and the “through-the-looking-glass”
woman was the primary hook that brought me back for the second episode, though
after that, I was drawn further into the other stories as well. I was worried
that it was going to be a blatant X-Men rip-off, and even though the
clearly-evil adoptive father of indestructible cheerleader Claire really does
echo the Senator from Marvel’s mutant movies, the stories on Heroes are showing real hints of
And yet none of these come close
to touching Battlestar Galactica, the
season premiere of which was easily the most tense, emotional, thought-provoking
two hours of drama that I’ve seen in a long time. You can’t brush this off as
cheesy geek-stuff, either: There is serious heft to this show, and frankly,
it’s so damn good I worry how long they’ll be able to keep it up, so I’m just
enjoying it while I can.
Just because I haven’t been writing here doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing at all. I’ve managed to keep pretty busy in the almostamonthhowembarrassing since my last entry.
I’ve been helping out my former paper on some Friday nights, covering high school football games, and it’s been fun. Not just watching the games, but actually writing under the influence of that adrenaline rush of a looming deadline. Sitting in a newsroom with the air full of clacking keys and ringing phones and humming printers, there’s a great kind of mental spike inthe end zone that comes along with hitting the return key on that final sentence.
I also got around to finishing an 80s pop-culture piece I’d had in mind for a bit – it’s here. I can remember watching The Breakfast Club with my first girlfriend, then going to school the following Monday ridiculously geeked about this movie, and I wanted to quote all these classic lines, but only a few other kids had seen it, because it was rated R, and had only just come out on video, and we weren’t even old enough to drive yet.
For some reason, Crossing Decembers has disappeared from Amazon.com, though it’s still on the UK version of the site.