Friday, January 23, 2009

Tube Steak: January Returns and Fuck "Lost"

Thankfully that month long no man's land that is the last two weeks of December and first two weeks of January has passed. Gone are three repeats of "Bones" a week--not that I have anything against David Boreanaz or the lesser Deschanel sister--and back in glorious Hi-Def are "Flight of the Conchords", "Psych", "24", "House, M.D.", and "Burn Notice".

Unfortunately for anyone with testicles, Showtime has rolled over into its estrogen-fueled, "The L Word" and friends slate of programming, so there is little drawing me to the "This Isn't TV Either, Guys--Seriously" net. HBO is still just coming on with two shows, with the obvious pairing of "Big Love"--which I lost a taste for by the end of the first season and have not gone back to--and "Flight of the Conchords". Soon a new project will join them on Sundays, set to premiere in February, straight from the minds of Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and Ben Best with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay serving as executive producers. It is called "Eastbound & Down" and follows the return of a flamed out Major Leaguer who returns to his hometown to teach middle school gym.

The "Flight of the Conchords" season premiere was solid, but not great. The presence of Greg Proops did not help its cause.

USA's programming not geared towards our grandmothers has returned. "Psych"--irritating music notwithstanding--has returned. If nothing else, it allows the world to see what Charlie did after working in "The West Wing". I don't think any of us guessed he'd become a pharmaceutical rep/sidekick to a fake psychic investigator or that Winston from Ghostbusters and Claire Huxtable were his parents*. While "Psych" is good fun, "Burn Notice" fucking rules. I've said it once and I'll say it again, "Burn Notice" takes all of the good elements of "MacGyver" and imbues it with the charm and wit of "The Rockford Files" but strings the viewer along with the season-long story arc that keeps you tuning in like "Veronica Mars" did at its best.

*And don't think I haven't forgotten that Charlie Young's mom was a D.C. cop who was killed in the line of duty. Oh, yes, I remembered. But there's his mom. On the TV. What the fuck, Charlie, was it all a lie?

"24" is back, apparently. I forgot to TiVo the first four hours, so I'll have to try to catch that online soon before my memory runs out. And now "24" has my favorite ornery doctor as its lead-in, which can't do anything but help its numbers. I hope that by the time I get around to catching up on this season of the Jack Bauer Power Hour the new setting has put me at ease and infused the show with a much needed change of energy.

Now, while I was waiting impatiently for all of these programs to make their returns, I got antsy for something to watch. For Christmas a year ago, my brother and sister bought me seasons two and three of "The [American] Office". I'd seen the first three episodes when they originally aired and, frankly, hated them at least as much as I loved its British counterpart. So the DVDs sat on my shelf for a year, but when I had nothing better to do and had finally finished the first two seasons of "Moonlighting", much to the little lady's delight (menu music), I decided I'd throw in "The Office" for a spin. I watched seasons two, three, and four over the course of about eight days and caught up with this season online over another couple of days. You can judge me reaction to the show's own direction by the voracity with which I devoured it. Needless to say, I was wrong to write it off so summarily.

The past week has seen me rewatch the all-too-short run of "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" and complete my viewing of the entire run of "The IT Crowd". If one thing has been made clear, it is that Matt Berry is a gifted comedic actor with few, if any, in his class. Now, I'm on to "Saxondale". Through four episodes, it's been pretty great.

And to close: "Lost" can go fuck itself. There will never be a time in which I can go back to trying to watch that mess of a show. You can only piss me off so many times by accomplishing little while having spent all of the promise you once possessed before I give up on you. Take notes, people. You could be in my doghouse like "Lost" has been since about the seventh episode of season three where I decided I was done being upset by a shows aimlessness. I'll be glad when you're off the air "Lost". You're dead to me.

1 comment:

Little Brother said...

First off...you're welcome for The Office. Secondly, The Office (like most shows post-writers strike) has lacked something. 30 Rock has still been really good this whole time and last week was the first episode in a long time that didn't include any part of the Jim and Pam storyline. Most fans love the fact that Jim and Pam are together, but are quick to realize that there's something weird about the way it's going, yet we have no idea what they can do differently to make it any better. But, last week was the first time in a long time that The Office was better than 30 Rock.

I can remember if you watch 30 Rock, but I'm leaning towards you don't. Especially in the fall it makes sense because 30 Rock is sandwiched right between The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

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