Ramblings from the Idiot Box Ramblings from the idiot box

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Legend
 A is for alice ttlg, that's me
 M is for Matt M, my brother
Bright Green is for definitely watch it! Bright Green is for definitely watch it!
Light Green is for better than average Light Green is for better than average
Yellow for maybe, if there's nothing better Yellow is for pretty good, if there's nothing better
Orange is for only if there's nothing else on Orange is for only if there's nothing else on
Red is for not worth your time at all! Red is for not worth your time at all!
Question mark is for shows that we haven't seen yet but plan to watch Question mark is for shows that we haven't seen yet but plan to watch
(I had this down to three colors, green, yellow and red but my brother's too picky! :) --alice)
 
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Jericho: Review

If this happened for real, a bunch of US cities got nuked, people really would be this stupid and boring but realism doesn't make it good TV. I am bored silly with Eric and his chasing the barkeep and his whiny wife, I say nuke'm! Please! Please! And people holding an election in the midst of all this??? How about a little concern over food and medicine and whether you'll still be alive next spring??? Sheesh! James Remar is the most interesting character, if I live thru nuclear attacks, I want to be with him, at least he's focused on the important things...like survival.

 ... more reviews of Jericho


Studio 60: Review

The problem with this show is...there are so *many* problems. First, it's not funny. And it's not fun. And it's being way too serious when it's about making a television show. It should be fun and it should be funny and sometimes it should be serious. But Sorkin's got it backwards, it's like he's trying to remake West Wing but doing even that badly.

He used to be able to do Republican/Christian/Conservative characters so that you could see the person instead of the label, so that you could understand the person *and* understand why they were a Republican/Christian/Conservative/whatever. He could take an Anne Coulter and make you not only like her but *respect* her.

But Harriet is just sad because he achieves none of those things with her, she is the caricature of Anne Coulter, he not only doesn't make us like her, we can't even respect her. Instead he's got Matt, the liberal, explaining to her how to be a Christian and that's just wrong.

The two-part Nevada thing hit all the wrong notes, even John Goodman couldn't save it, him asking Simon about his hair was just sooooo painful to watch. And so predictable, there were plenty of times West Wing was predictable but I still enjoyed getting to the predictable end, I had fun during the ride. This was predictable and boring, there was nothing fun about the ride. Even Jack's rant at the end, what should have been a wonderful ending scene, sounded so wrong out of his mouth, out of the character, he's not the President of the US, he's head of a network and it was just so wrong.

In Sports Night, he took the characters seriously but understood that the sports show wasn't, in the great scheme of the world, the most important thing. He understood that what was most important was the people, doing their jobs each day and trying to live their lives and make them better. In West Wing, it was serious and that was right because it was the White House, it really was about saving the world and making it all better and the job was the most important thing in the great scheme of the world. And he also made it fun and funny too, showed people who cared passionately even when they completely disagreed with each other and made us like and respect *both* sides.

But here he's taking it all too seriously, and he's not having fun or making it funny either. It's a TV show. It may be important within the characters' lives but it's still about a TV show - a comedy show at that and none of the skits or jokes are funny! The lines are off the mark, I hear them and I think, oh, that's smart, that's witty but...it doesn't make me smile, much less laugh at anything, there's just no spark there. The characters are cold and without heart, instead of people doing or showing, it's always someone telling someone else. Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet came the closest to being real but even they fell short of the mark.

So it's all just sad, it breaks my heart, I watch the show and I'm depressed by the end because it's just not there. I keep hoping it will get cancelled so I don't have to give up on it first.

 ... more reviews of Studio 60


Lost: Jumping the Shark

I started watching the 10/25/06 ep and found myself not really interested in any of these people anymore. Sawyer was in prison??? eh, not interested enough to care about this turn in his backstory. ohhh, look, let's kill bunnies and torture Sawyer some more. The whole make'em break rocks and blow up Sawyer's heart, this is just getting ridiculous. Is Abrams lonely for Alias where he could - completely within the story line - torture Sidney or her compatriots on a regular basis? And again of course, no real info about the island or real backstory on anyone since the first ep this season. Most of the backstories are wandering off into smaller tangents, just not that interesting.

I want answers. Soon. Or I'm outta here. Besides, I just finished watching two eps of Prison Break, really didn't need to see some boring attempt at cloning it on Lost...

 ... more reviews of Lost


Smith: The first one bits the dust!

We have the first cancellation of the season, Smith. Since I stopped watching it midway thru the first ep, I didn't really notice till someone mentioned it in passing and I checked EpGuides.

 ... more reviews of Smith


Battlestar Galactica: Marathon of season 2.5

Wow, haven't done that in awhile, I watched all of BSG 2.5, eleven eps in one day, one right after the other. I kept meaning to go out to do errands but it poured here just about all day, I could barely even get thru the yard to do laundry.

It was good, although some of the everyday life eps without the cylon/human mythology were rather boring (like Scar). My favorite was the Cylon-centric ep with Six and Sharon being resurrected on Caprica, I liked that one a lot, especially seeing Six haunted by Baltar like he is by her. And then seeing in the season finale, that the priest was a cylon, that was good. And Baltar as old west style corrupt leader on New Caprica. One question tho, if the Cylons detected the nuclear blast that Gina set off the same as Baltar's inauguration, why did it take the Cylons a year to get to New Caprica? Can't they travel faster than the human ships? Starbuck got to Caprica very quickly using their FTL technology and Sharon's mapping of jumps so why couldn't the Cylons do that too?

And what exactly did Six and Gina do? It can't be as good as they are saying because they've taken control of New Caprica and if they really were sincere in it being a mistake to attack Caprica and the humans, they would have just left them alone.

So I guess since I'm stuck at home now, I'll watch the 3rd season premiere....

 ... more reviews of Battlestar Galactica


Ugly Betty: Queens for a Day, 10/12/06

Yep, the problem I had with this show is the problem. It's running theme of how many ways can they humiliate and uglify Betty. That's just wrong. What they needed to be doing was a character like Callie on Grey's Anatomy, a woman who doesn't fit the TV/Movie version of "beautiful" and has self-respect and confidence in herself. Instead they've made Betty this klutz who lets everyone walk all over her again and again and again and apologizes when they stumble on her. It's not funny, it's painful.

 ... more reviews of Ugly Betty


Numb3rs: Review

I give up. I just can't stand Megan, just can't. The actress was great in Rescue Me but here, that weird accent just doesn't work and I just can't stand the know-it-all character either. Not watching this anymore ever again.

 ... more reviews of Numb3rs


Ugly Betty: Pilot 9/28 & 2nd ep 10/5/06

I just have problems with this show. No matter what, it seems to come back to a one-note joke about how ugly Betty is. And no matter how bright or determined or just plain nice she is, she'll never be good enough, despite the beautiful people being mean-spirited and nasty, they'll always be better than here just because they are better looking. Uh, isn't that the message we're trying to stop sending our kids and ourselves?

If the show actually let her succeed because she's smart and nice, it might work better, instead she seems to blunder along and happen into doing the right thing and she comes off rather dumb. I had hopes in the pilot when she came up with a great idea for a layout that they'd go more the Working Girl thing, that street smarts and determination can pay off, even if your accent and where you live isn't the current style. But the second episode made her a victim of just about everyone and she keeps her job only because someone else does the right thing. She's the kind of female Forrest Gump dropping simple good-isms and so everything works out right in the end, tra-la!

I'll keep watching a bit more to see if they do improve it...

 ... more reviews of Ugly Betty


Lost: 3rd Season Premiere, 10/4/06

I got all excited after the first five minutes of Lost, thinking, wow, finally some information! Something new about who, what, where, how on this island! Then I realized that's probably the last bit of new info we'll get all season. And then I realized that five minutes should have been at the end of the season finale last May! So we could savor it and relish it and want more but still enjoy having that tiny bit of knowledge about the island.

See, when Abrams did Alias, I loved how he did it, all season long, the questions would build up and up and we get all excited and drawn in, trying to find answers along with Sydney. Then in May, the finale would come along and answer most of the questions - but it also planted new questions, the hook to draw us back for the next season. But in the meantime, we got answers and I really enjoyed having those answers, not being left totally in the dark all summer. That's it should work, build it up all season, then give us the ending, along with more or new stuff so we do come back but we're not just left totally on hold all summer.

But with Lost, Abrams isn't doing that, I feel like we've been left with no answers each May, just more questions. And I'm getting tired of it. I need a payoff, something for all my time all season paying attention, a reward. That first five minutes could have been a perfect last five minutes, just the right amount of info, but also giving us new questions to ponder all summer. Damn shame he didn't do that. And now I'm rather discouraged, realizing that small piece of info is likely most of what we'll get this season. I look back on what we've learned in two seasons and it's a paltrey amount. I feel like I've been give that fish thing and the dry cat food instead of a meal.

 ... more reviews of Lost


The Nine: Pilot, 10/4/06

I was really prepared to not like this show, it seemed too much of a ripoff of the movie Inside Man - and it is but it's a good ripoff. The premise is different, it focuses on the hostages more than the thieves and the heist. It brings to mind some dialogue from the near the end of the movie Speed, where Keanu Reeves tells Sandra Bullock that relationships formed on intense situations never last (and she says they'll have to base their relationship on sex then :)).

The focus is on what happened during the two days they were in the bank and how it affected their lives afterward, not just immediately but ongoing. Bits and pieces are revealed of those two days in each episode so it builds slowly, exploring the changes in how people feel and think and act.

It's a good cross-section of characters and actors. A cop (Tim Daly in very good form), a prosecutor (Kim Raver using the chops she learned on 24), a doctor, a social worker, a bank manager (Chi McBride in a stellar performance), two tellers, a child, a dorky lonely guy (played brilliantly by John Billingsly) and one of the bank robbers too, although he's less interesting than the hostages.

So, something good to watch after Lost each Wednesday!

 ... more reviews of The Nine