Tuesday, October 24, 2006

TV stuff

Let's see if I can find something to lighten my mood given all that's happened yesterday. Ahhh, TV. "Let us all bask in television's warm glowing warming glow…"

1. Andrew Ryan of the Globe and Mail is predicting the axe could fall for Studio 60 this week. It's now drawing less than eight million people and for a show that hyped, and that expensive, it's disastrous. It's not a bad show, but I admit it's been shaky since its debut. Last week's episode was pretty good; the one airing last night was hit and miss. There is some good stuff, but I honestly don't know if Sorkin has a clue at what he's trying to do here. Ryan does make some good points about what's wrong with the show, including the sad assessment that it's also likely too smart and a bit arrogant about it. Oh, and the comedy remains unfunny. That's not good.

Pity though, since Matthew Perry, as I've said before, is fantastic. I'll be sorry to see his character go if nothing else.

2. The Amazing Race saw one of the nicest acts I've ever seen on a reality program. For those who don't know all the details of how the show works – twice in the run of the race there is a challenge called a "Fast Forward." If you get it, you can skip all the other challenges and run to the finish line. If you go there and it's gone, you have to go and do the regular challenges with the other competitors, but odds are you're now far behind.

The married couple David and Mary, also known as "Kentucky" by the other racers, were in last place and needed to finish first. So they were debating going for it. A pair of obnoxious cheerleaders also decided to go for it. To help out Kentucky another pair of competitors, The Cho Brothers, psyched out the cheerleaders by saying they were going for the Fast Forward. Rather than race against them, the cheerleaders backed out. Once that happened, the brothers helped "Kentucky" sneak away and send them off to the Fast Forward. They gained nothing by doing this and actually put themselves behind. They did it because they liked that team and wanted to help them out. Kentucky finished first in that leg of the race (and won a nice Jamaican vacation). The Cho's finished fourth and get to keep racing, showing that good things can happen if you do nice things.

It was extraordinary. I'm seriously cheering for the Cho's now, although four of the six teams left are actually pretty likeable.

The team that loss was Peter and Mary While I do like Mary and was impressed with what she accomplished using her artifical leg, her boyfriend was a major ass (or at least edited to seriously resemble one). I almost wonder if they threw that leg of the race rather than continue on with each other.

3. I'm not prepared to even come close to saying Battlestar Galactica is the best sci-fi show ever (as some will loudly prnounce online). But Saturday's episode was certainly the finest sci-fi TV I've seen in many years. Spectacular action sequences both on the ground and "in space" not to mention just a ton of solid, intriguing drama (tell me you weren't glued to the TV wondering if Tigh was going to deal with his treasonous wife or not). The first four episodes were very, very good. Now the catch will be to see how they handle what comes next. I've lamented in previous years that the show's season can start with a bang and end with one, but lags horribly in the middle. Well, that was quite a bang. Now let's see how they handle the fallout over the next few weeks.

4. Finally, Ken Jennings has something on his blog about "One vs. 100" and sums up pretty nicely many of the problems I have with the show. There's a lot of potential, but the questions are very simple and it's entirely too easy for the One to walk away with a couple of hundred thousand dollars, leaving the mob will almost no chance to win anything. You can be five fairly simple questions in and have $100,000. Now, do you stick around, knowing it's going to be almost impossible to bump off the ones left because they're with Mensa or brain surgeons, or do you take the 100 grand and run?

Most are choosing the later. Can't say I blame them. Only one person has lost out of five competitors and that's because he was really, really dumb. I won't get into the mechanics, but let's just say he sided against Jennings on a question. Granted, Jennings got a question wrong later, but that was one about roulette wheels. Maybe I'll assume that a good Mormon doesn't know much about Roulette wheels. But a question about the last name of the Jessica stuck in the well back in the 80s? Yeah, I'll side with Jennings on that one.


Debbie said...

Have you been checking out Heroes? I'm oddly drawn to it, while there are some bugs there still (a couple characters I totally don't get) I think with every episode, there's definite improvement.

towniebastard said...

Heores is fighting me all the way. I was prepared to dismiss it after the first episode, but I've read glowing things about it and have kept giving it more chances.

The last few episodes have been better. And I'll give them props on a couple of interesting characters, very good cliffhangers (the cheerleader waking up on the autopsy table? Classic) and a really good catchphrase ("Save the cheerleader. Save the world.")

It's enough that I'll try again next week. Maybe they'll finally hook me for good.