Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TV Report

:: There is way too much Justin Bieber on TV these days. I can't watch the morning news for a day without more talk of Justin Bieber. It just seems desperate for me. What was the point of Justin Bieber's unfunny appearance on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago? Lorne Michaels and Dana Carvey both looked like they were desperate for 12 year-olds to think they were cool. Messed up.

:: Speaking of SNL, this past week they had one true moment of political satire that was ballsy and brilliant. When Fred Armisen, as Hosni Mubarak, looked in the camera and thanked the United States for keeping him in power all of these years, I nearly punched the air. "Behind every repressive dictatorship is an enabling superpower." Oh, that was totally deserved. More of that, please.

:: And speaking of overrated pop singers--yes, this isn't TV, but I wanted to mention it--Lady Gaga's new thin-plagiarism-of-Madonna single, "Born This Way," is idiotic. I know Lady Gaga has prospered financially by setting herself up as the patron saint of the outcasts and the gays and all of this, but this new song is nothing more than pandering directly to her audience. It's not an act anymore, is it? Now she really believes all of the shit they write about her.

:: Also speaking of SNL, I am dreading Miley Cyrus' appearance. I like Miley, I'm just not looking forward to the shoehorning of another unfunny Miley Cyrus Show sketch into the works. They've only done it three times, I think, and it's already routine and even if Vanessa Bayer's impression is actually funny, they don't do anything funny with it. Also, it's hard to find Vanessa Bayer as sexy as she is when she keeps insisting on mostly playing characters between the ages of 6 and 18.

:: I watched the premiere of Mad Love on CBS the other night. Imagine that, a painfully unfunny sitcom on CBS. Imagine that, Piefucker and Sarah Chalke make horribly unfunny, horribly unsympathetic romantic leads. Imagine that, Judy Greer totally wasted on a sitcom. Thanks, but I'll pass on this one.

:: I think How I Met Your Mother has been really strong. The death of Marshall's father was played well, and they've found the balance between humor and gravity there. It would be the best of the characters' parents to pass on, but I've known too many people who start losing their parents in their thirties. The characters are maturing, and I still think that's the real point of the show. As for this whole thing with Zoey, that was pretty inevitable, but they're trying to grow it organically. It's been nice getting to know Zoey before the relationship pressure comes in, so I'm starting to accept her as a character instead of a plot device. Frankly, none of Ted's girlfriends are going to live up to Robin, but Zoey's got a shot of at least being better than the awful Victoria and the odious Stella. They didn't make the mistake they made with Stella, which was to only have her on to highlight how wrong she and Ted were for each other. That got tiresome as hell.

:: I wish all the men on Teen Mom 2 would quit mumbling so much. I have to keep turning up the volume to make out their unintelligible ramblings. (And seriously, Chelsea, you think your creep of a boyfriend and your best friend hating each other has nothing to do with you? It's all about you and your stupid, selfish decisions, idiot.)

:: Gosh, I enjoy Hellcats. Nothing more to say than that, I guess. But yeah, I love Hellcats, silly as it is. Or because it's so silly, to be honest.

:: Speaking of silly, I love the retarded excess of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. When I went into this 6-part prequel series, I was a little disappointed that it would be going back in time instead of moving on into the Servile War that Spartacus had initiated in the finale of Blood and Sand, but I figured this was just a placeholder until they knew whether or not star Andy Whitfield could return to the show after cancer treatments, or if they would need to recast (which they have). But the fact is, my favorite characters on Spartacus are Oenomaus and Crixus, and Gods of the Arena delves more deeply into their origins.

Besides that, it's just more of the visceral, over-the-top, pulp goodness of the first series. The more excessive this show gets, the more I love it. I can't explain it, really. I just love that it doesn't bother trying to go for realism and just jumps into this sort of comic book version of Rome. Great, great stuff.

:: I've been really digging what they've been doing on the past several episodes of The Clone Wars. All the things that happened to Anakin, Obi-Wan and Asoka on Mortis really deepened the whole idea of balance in the Force and what Anakin's destiny really is (and how long it would take him to achieve it, if you consider, as I do, the events of Return of the Jedi to be the fulfillment of the prophecy where Anakin is the Chosen One). Every time I watch this show, I can hear the groaning of Star Wars fans, because it also deepens how truly ineffective, detached, and arrogant the Jedi really are in the age of the Clone Wars. But, again, I think that's part of George Lucas' whole point about corruption and institutions. I really think the people who are still whining about how much they hated the Prequels are really whining because George Lucas' version of the Star Wars universe is not what they want it to be. Shame, really, because it's quite good most of the time.

:: So, is the Hub not going to show the second season of G.I. Joe? What a rip.

:: I stopped watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager some time ago. At home bored last weekend, I thought I'd see what I missed, since the show is on the Netflix Instant. I couldn't make it through the first episode I hadn't seen. I don't know how the characters on this show make it through one day without accidentally killing themselves.

:: Becca and I did watch the first season (only eight episodes) of The Greatest American Hero over the weekend. We picked up the DVD at a grocery store for five bucks. I used to love that show when I was a little kid, but I didn't remember much about it because I was really, really young when it was on. Turns out it's a fantastic show. It's from a time when science fiction shows were actually about people in situations instead of just situations. The pilot especially is one of the strongest pilots I've ever seen. I see the other two seasons are available to stream on Netflix, so I will definitely be watching those. I hope the quality lasts. And yes, the special effects are really, really hoary, but the strong writing, acting and characterization makes that easy to overlook. And it's funny.

And, of course, one of the best theme songs in the history of TV.


Dr. Monkey said...

I am amazed at how much I love that Spartacus prequel show too.

Elleseven said...

I loved The Greatest American Hero show too. Ilove singing the theme song and people will go "hey I remember that show!" ..believe it or not I'm walking on air...

Spartacus this season is great too. I like seeing Asher weasel his way through there.

Kal said...

God's of the Arena is great and I have been tooting that one to anyone who will listen to me. Full retard and then some. I am so looking forward to all the scores being settled both in and out of the new Arena when the games begin in episode six. Ancient Rome was not for the weak or the faint of heart, that's for sure.

I have never watched "How I Met Your Mother" except for the odd episodes which I enjoyed very much. That always seemed like one I would like after it was all said and done with. I am sure I will discover it soon. I like all the actors involved.

Teen Mom just continues to anger me but I keep watching. Stupid white girls thinking they will get to play house with the douchbags that knocked them up. Like the girls looking for their 'baby daddy' on Maury Povich, I am pissed that these irresponsible brats took NO responsibility for their own contraception. Of course that could have a lot to do with living in parts of America where sex education begins and ends with abstinence lectures.

Ga Ga is a parody of herself. That is all I will say about her.

I like Vanessa Bayer. What does that say about me? Dana Carvey was the weakest host in years. How sad was their attempt to ring funny from that moldy sponge.

Clone wars is terrific. All that stuff about Count Dooku and Asage Ventris was fantastic. I mentioned on my site how weak the Jedi truly are against even an apprentice to the Dark Side. Pretty appealing if you are angry and want a lot of power. I admit I get tired of Obi Wan going on like an old woman all the time. He is SUCH a buzzkill.

SamuraiFrog said...

Dr. Monkey: Those shows are like Frank Miller comics. Every excess just makes it more compelling.

Elleseven: I see now why everyone hated Asher in the first series and why no one considers him a real gladiator. I can't wait to see how he injures his leg and what it has to do with his later hatred for Crixus.

Kal: How I Met Your Mother plays really well on DVD; I didn't watch it for the first three years, but ended up Netflixing it and loved it. It's more fun all at once instead of week to week.

Teen Mom is basically a soap opera, which is why I'm addicted to it. I just want to see what happens. I feel invested this year especially in Leah, because of the disabled kid.

I see a lot of potential in Vanessa Bayer (and she's a cutie). If Kristen Wiig would just get out of the way...

I feel the same way about Obi-Wan. Becca loves him, but I still think a lot of what happens to Anakin is his fault. I really loved seeing Qui-Gon show up on a couple of episodes.

Jonathan M said...

I always remember loving The Greatest American Hero, mostly all I remember now is the theme song, the lead actor had the 'fro hair and the older main character was also in the movie 'Combat High'.