Friday, April 30, 2010

ATWT: Hypocrisy Much?

Thursday, April 29th:

As much as I’m not a fan of Reid, he is pretty right about Noah pushing Luke away during all of this. However… let’s not forget that this sound opinion comes from the brilliant mind of Dr. Reid “I-don’t-get-involved-in-my-patients’-personal-lives” Oliver; and no matter how right he may be about Noah, it‘s still the pot calling the kettle black since Reid has a huge rude streak himself. Not to mention one of the biggest reasons why Reid is jerky in the first place is because of the possible threat of a promising thing in his life, his career, was at stake. Hmm. That certainly sounds a tad familiar.
This in itself is what really makes it hard for me to “cheer Reid” on in any sense of the expression today. Fans have coined nicknames such as McBitchy and Dr. Asshat for a reason. And of course Reid ruins any progress made for me of being a semi-decent guy in Dallas by not telling Luke about Noah’s surgery. It’s not like it was a bitter break-up with no love or heart left whatsoever. Luke and Noah still care about each other very much and one of them is about to have BRAIN SURGERY. Of course Luke would want to be there. Reid should have known better than to keep that to himself instead of informing Luke, who’s just ended a long-term relationship. Is it any wonder why I don’t want to bat for this guy’s team yet?

It’s funny. It pissed me off to no end when Luke and Noah’s kisses were once cut off. Today, Luke and Reid’s interruptions didn't really bother me at all. In fact, I laughed a little.

Something that’s actually rare on this show these days unfortunately, but broke through today: character growth! I love how Noah’s realized he’s done wrong by pushing him away. The nature of Luke and Noah’s conversation and the hug at the end of it just go to show how much both of them still obviously care about one another. So totally endgame.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (4/23): Entertainment Tonight

Former Entertainment Tonight personalities Leeza Gibbons and John Tesh take a look back at the first ten years of the long-running show, with a look at the year in review for 1991, and the most memorable pop-culture events of the first ten years of their run.

A lot of excellent things are covered in this retrospective. It’s interesting to see shows like Family Ties, Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, and The Simpsons being covered in their infancies. We know the impact of the movie Fatal Attraction today, but back then it was a complete shock to see that people were actually having serious debates over the subject matter. There’s also the birth of Fox and the evolution of the remote control. The drama over the Designing Women cast changes. MTV’s 10th anniversary (of course, this being back when MTV actually aired musical programming for a significant part of the day). I love how Leonard Maltin points out his disdain for people using the word “classic” for items that have not yet stood the test of time and earned the description.

It seems as though personal life issues such as Pee Wee Herman’s “incident” at an adult movie theater and were pointed out, but the covering of actual entertainment won out and you saw much more in what was going on with music, movies, and television than anything else. When I watched the show as a kid, I remember most celebrities’ personal stories weren’t drawn out forever and a day. It is unfortunately not the same anymore today. Too much of the same personal and frivolous stuff like divorces go on practically everyday for a month. I don’t know what happened, but the more and more I see ET clips and episodes from older eras, the more and more I find that the show has lost its way.

Entertainment Tonight... my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Yippee Ky Yay

Thursday, April 22nd:

It’s interesting looking back at certain things. When I first found out about Luke and Noah’s first kiss (which was well ahead of time like I found out about Luke and Reid’s) I was ecstatic. And it didn’t disappoint. I felt like a kid who got his favorite toy on Christmas morning watching that particular kiss. Over the moon would be a perfect description for my feelings on it. This one today on the other hand, well…

Even though I'm still not into Luke and Reid I’ll admit personally I've seen a little chemistry/tension. Like when Luke grabbed Reid at the police station and even a little in the elevator. Didn't see any on March 17 though... all I saw was anger. And I haven’t seen much in all of the other glances either. The big difference for me is that Luke/Noah sell the chemistry for me every time. Luke/Reid do not. I just don’t see physical chemistry astronomically off the charts in every instance with these two. The kiss itself didn’t do much for me. What was interesting to me was how things went afterwards. I thought Van handled the situation of being taken by surprise well. I loved his face right after it happened. And I am enjoying Eric’s acting of it too. But the actual kiss? Eh. I’m not 100% sold on it. I’m still not sold on Reid Oliver at this point either, but part of me wants to give the man props for going for it like that.

And what’s this? Reid calling Luke by his first name? Are icicles forming in hell right about now?

One thing I found incredibly lame: No Noah at all? What is up with this? Show, I thought this was supposed to be a TRIANGLE. You know, a love story involving THREE different points of view?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baggage: Debut

GSN's got a new dating show. Do you have too much baggage?

I know for some people they had issues with the mere idea of Jerry hosting anything for GSN. But that personally wasn’t my problem. In spite of the show he hosts, I knew he’d at least be competent enough to keep a show moving for 30 minutes. My problem isn’t with the host here a bit; it’s the show. And it was pretty much what I was expecting overall. A dating show with a Deal or No Deal type aspect. Trashy television meeting a game show type format. No wonder they got someone like Jerry Springer to host it. His long-running talk show is known for guests and their “baggage” and secrets. However, the twist here is that people find out about each other’s secrets before going out on the first date, and no furniture is to be thrown here. Some people were offended by some of the racy discussions such as certain body parts and so forth. But what made me lose interest the most is that it just didn’t move fast enough.

This show isn’t as bad as, say, Unstapled or Instant Recall, but still… that really is not saying much at all. I’d even clamor for a new season of Catch 21 over this. At least that is a traditional game show that’s garnered some sort of success for the network. Why is it so hard to have a really good original program lately on this channel?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (4/16): The Bob Newhart Show

The pick of the week this time is a favorite, The Bob Newhart Show, and it's not much of an outline of the show but a general favorite episode. This of course being the sitcom that ran from 1972-78 Saturday nights on CBS and not the short-lived variety show which aired in 1961 of the same name.

Now that WGN’s been airing Newhart again, I’ve been able to see enough of both it as well as The Bob Newhart Show. Both shows were brilliant, and because of that I’ve always had a tough time picking which show I like the best, but I think I’ve finally made a decision. And while I enjoy Mary Frann very much as Joanna Loudon on Newhart, my favorite TV wife of Bob’s has to be hands down Suzanne Pleshette. I love Emily Hartley’s style, and I found her to have the best chemistry with Bob.

The episode chosen is season 2, episode 8’s “Mister Emily Hartley.” Here, we find that Emily has a higher IQ than Bob, and Bob begins to feel inferior… even though he claims IQ tests mean nothing. Bob did a superb job as acting straight man to the rest of his characters‘ antics: neighbor Howard Borden (Bill Daily), secretary Carol Kester (Marcia Wallace), and dentist Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz), but in some instances Suzanne did a great job of that with Bob, and it’s shown very well here.

The Bob Newhart Show… my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Towels are Evil

Thursday, April 15th:

Lord knows I’ve voiced my opinions on Dr. Reid Oliver, which are mostly not in favor of him. And I still stand by many of them. Reid is selfish, hypocritical, etc. Still think so. But I honestly do not blame him at all for simply finding Luke hot. The guy may be a jerk but he does have good taste in men. I mean, come on, dude’s in a towel. There were some joyfully coined expletives that went through my mind during that short but scorching scene which aren’t appropriate to mention here, so let’s just say I‘m not going to condemn him for enjoying that scene just as much as I did.

When I’m watching Reid, I’m reminded of the part of How The Grinch Stole Christmas with the picture of the Grinch’s heart inside that box being entirely too small. When talking about that girl who died, it’s like it grew just that little bit much. Luke is so right. He has this incredibly annoying defense mechanism of being a jerk whenever he shows any sort of emotion.

Sometimes it seems Noah’s represented enough and in most other cases - he’s not. Today he was not, even though I was glad to see the phone conversation. Noah’s supposed to be living with Alison now? Why no scenes with the two of them together. They could, I don’t know, BE TALKING ABOUT THIS WHOLE MESS?!

If anything happens with Luke and Reid it’s so obvious that it’s going to be just one big, fat, humongous, ginormous, incredibly large rebound.

Ugly Betty: Finale

Overall I felt it was a tad rushed. It’d have really been nice if ABC had not shortened the show’s episode order of episodes from 22 to 20. In spite of that though it was still a good finale.

I loved how Wilhelmina managed to get control of Mode without scheming or manipulating. I was also wondering if they’d bring Grant Bowler back for the finale. I’m glad they did.

I know there was a little criticism from some with Justin coming out so late in the series, but I think the show handled this just right. I mean, sure, anyone who’s a hardcore fan of the show would have known immediately from the pilot episode. But it really doesn’t matter how obvious you may be to others, for many gay people. That doesn’t make it easier to come out and there’s still a denial process. They also did an excellent job with Austin. Also, great role reversal with Justin giving Marc advice.

It was extremely hard watching the goodbyes exchanged between Betty and her family. Absolutely impossible to get through it without getting teary eyed. You could totally tell Mark Indelicato’s tears were real. There’s one thing I don’t understand about how they’re ending things with Ignacio, though. We’ve been introduced to a love interest for him, which has evolved into a relationship. Odd she wasn’t on the episode at all or even mentioned.

When a show ends I’m normally a closure fanatic, wanting EVERY loose end tied up. But in the case of Daniel and Betty, I’m kind of glad it was left to the individual viewer’s own interpretation.

The title screen at the end with the “Ugly” in Ugly Betty fading away to just simply “Betty” was a very nice touch.

I’m really going to miss this show; especially considering all of the positive messages it’s presented over the past four years.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Remembering Dixie Carter

I was heartbroken to find out this weekend that legendary actress Dixie Carter passed away this weekend at age 70 of cancer endometrial cancer.

Her earliest television work was on One Life to Live in 1974; and then she worked on The Edge of Night, where she played Brandy Henderson from 1974-76. Years later she was on Diff’rent Strokes as Maggie McKinney. But she was perhaps best known for her role as Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women, which ran from 1986-1993. She also had a main role on the drama Family Law from 1999-2002, and a stint on Desperate Housewives as Orson Hodge’s mother Gloria.

My favorite role of Dixie’s hands down was on Designing Women. Julia Sugarbaker was one of the best and strongest characters on television, and Dixie did a magnificent job portraying her. I always loved it when she would go off on someone and give one of her famousspeeches.” She was also one hell of a singer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (4/9): Murphy Brown

The pick this week is an old revisited favorite of mine, Murphy Brown, which ran on CBS from 1988-1998. Candice Bergen starred as Murphy Brown, a tough-lipped and feisty interviewer who worked for the fictional news program FYI in Washington DC. A recovering alcoholic, at the beginning of the series she came back from a 30-day stay at The Betty Ford Clinic. The cast also featured reporter and friend of Murphy’s Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto); Corky Sherwood (Faith Ford), a former Miss America whose stories on FYI were often frivolous; stiff anchor Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough), and Miles Silverberg (Grant Shaud), who at the beginning is 25 and brand new to FYI and has very little experience running a show. Murphy for six seasons also had Eldin Bernecky (Robert Pastorelli), a house painter, who appeared often to work on her house and share his philosophies.

I know some people seem to think that Murphy Brown is rather dated now, considering the fact that it relied on political and topical humor, and that it took place during the Bush (that’s George H.W., gang) and Clinton administrations, but I don‘t think so. I grew up watching the show; and in seeing more of it again for the first time in the past few years, I’ve come to understand more of the jokes now than ever. It taking place in a certain time doesn’t stop the laughs from coming. I also love how they constantly referenced other real reporters and anchors. I mean, can you imagine Frank and Jim kicking back and having a cold one with Ted Koppel and Tom Brokaw? Morley Safer and the 60 Minutes personalities playing baseball against the FYI team? And some of the real reporters such as Katie Couric and Edwin Newman appeared on the show overtime. Lesley Stahl also hosted a retrospective in the seventh season.

The show is as hilarious as ever, and that makes it all the more of a damn shame that only the first season so far has been released on DVD; especially since the set that’s out now is so well done. All of the episodes are uncut, are in great quality, and ALL of the original music is there.

I was going to choose the pilot episode “Respect” but since the greedy folks over at Warner Music Group blocked out the audio for the first part of that, I’ve picked the season three episode “Terror on the 17th Floor.” In it, a conglomerate buys out the network and hilarity ensues as the staff at FYI deal with the cutbacks. And what do you know, 19 years later, many people who watch certain networks these days point out their disdain with how they’re being run after certain big corporations or companies begin taking over things and running them, the networks of Viacom and GE in particular being perfect examples. See? Still relevant.

Murphy Brown, my online pick of the week.

ATWT: “Date” Night

Friday, April 9th:

So wow, Reid was back to being a jackass QUICK when things didn‘t go his way. Today is a perfect example of why I wouldn't want Reid having anything serious in the long run with Luke. One wrong move and he'll turn on you with his ego in a heartbeat. So far Noah’s worst days have been a walk in the park compared to this guy’s. And what a hypocrite. Reid wants Luke to use his influence and help like crazy now; and this is the same person who made fun of him for wanting to do the same thing with someone he actually loves.

I had heard about Noah “dating” this Richard guy and wondered what this could mean. But after today it’s obvious there’s no intention that Noah’s wanting to move on with this person. Hell, his “dinner date” didn’t even have any lines! I can't believe all they did was just laugh. I kind of hated the way Noah answered Luke’s questions, but it’s obvious it wasn’t going to go well based on Luke’s reaction. He repeatedly insisted it wasn’t anything serious and Luke kept pushing him.

This didn’t play out as badly as I feared. However it’s still contrived like a mother, which can really make a storyline with actual potential hard to enjoy.

ATWT: From Naughty to Nice… In a Flash

Wednesday, April 7th:

I know Luke did it for Noah, but I didn’t really care too much for Luke contacting that deceased child’s father. The way it was done kind of rubbed me the wrong way and resembled too much of Damian style behavior.

Dr. Reid doesn’t get involved in his patients’ personal lives? Are. You. Kidding. Me. This is the same person who had no problem getting involved in Luke and Noah’s personal lives by instructing Luke to stay away from Noah. Contradiction much, writers? And I love how nice Reid is all of a sudden. After all that’s happened, you’d think he’d go off at the idea of Luke trying to end his lawsuit business for him.

Thursday, April 8th:

FINALLY! Nice to see Noah be a significant part of the episode. This storyline as far as points of view are finally starting to get somewhere. The last time he was on with Luke and Reid it pretty much just cameo appearances. There really has not been enough Noah in this story. Also considering Noah and Luke’s interactions, it’s obvious how much they miss each other. Noah wanted to tell Luke so bad about the possible progress with his blindness but didn't want to get Luke's hopes up.

As for Reid, I’ve seen many a soap character be introduced as a pure jerk. And somehow overtime, the character matures or the jerk-like behavior is dialed down and it’s a rather natural progression. Some kind of light bulb goes off. Depth is emphasized with the character and he becomes more human. But not in this case. With Reid it’s been such a forced, unnatural transition from the ass he was introduced as. And it’s all for the plot to work. Oh, this show. Though I did love it when even he thought Luke and Noah were endgame.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (4/2): Match Game ‘79

For the fans who haven’t had the chance to see it yet, I can think of two reasons why this episode of Match Game is worth watching.

First, it’s from 1979... a year we were about to see within the next several months, but unfortunately who knows how much longer it will be considering GSN’s latest schedule change. Secondly, it’s a big treat for people who love behind the scenes stuff. It features the show’s director Marc Breslow’s audio feed, so you can easily hear all of the shots called. Everything. All of the camera directions and studio happenings, from the slate reading to the end credits.

What’s really to be noticed is that there aren’t any stop downs to be seen here. There were some back then obviously, no show tapes perfectly. But not as many apparently. With a lot of current game shows, you usually hear about more and more of those. This episode ran like a well-oiled machine.

The Match Game ‘79 director’s track… my online pick of the week!