Sunday, January 14, 2007

What I Loved This Past Fall TV Season…
…that I haven’t yet blogged on.

After the first episode of this fantastic and unique show, I was a little wary of it. It’s about as bright and cheery as England during the Bubonic Plague. The writing was first-rate, the premise was original (a sociopath working in the forensics department of the police department solves crimes during the day, and commits them as a Robin Hood serial killer by night, killing people who got away with their crimes), and the acting is phenomenal. Michael C. Hall is incredible – I never think of him as David Fisher when he’s on this show. But it was SO dark, I wasn’t sure I could handle it week after week. I hung in there, though, and by the third episode, I was hooked. Through a series of twists and turns, we slowly discover who the ice truck killer really is… but why he has a certain fascination and knowledge of Dexter isn’t clear until the final episode, and it was AWESOME. My only question is: How can they do a season 2 on this? I can’t wait, but I also can’t help but think this would be a really, really cool show to have run a one-off treatment, like that Showtime miniseries, Out of Order, with Eric Stoltz and Felicity Huffman, that blew me away a couple of years ago. My fingers will be crossed for Hall to win the Golden Globe this Monday.

Battlestar Galactica
WOW. I’ve wanted to watch this show for so long now, and a co-worker had them on DVD and began lending them to me. I started season 1 in August, with the miniseries, but with the promotion of my Lost book and watching about 20 different shows through the fall, I didn’t have a lot of time to catch up. Over the Christmas hiatus, I finished season 1, season 2, and got completely caught up on season 3, and it is SO good. I’m not really a sci-fi person, believe it or not. I’ve written books on Xena, Buffy, Angel, Alias, and Lost, so my interest seems to be less in shows based in outer space than shows with a fantasy element to them, focusing on the human condition (the monsters on Buffy weren’t so much monsters in the external, literal sense as the inner, personal demons she and her friends were constantly at war with). But Battlestar doesn’t feel like a sci-fi show. Sure, it’s on a battleship that’s in space and is full of military personnel, but it’s about the same human issues that those other shows are about. Starbuck can convey reams of emotions on her face without uttering a word. Adama isn’t so much the admiral of the ship as the father figure to everyone on it. Apollo is an interesting, complicated guy with a lot of emotions (though I must admit I disliked the group of episodes where he’d gained a lot of weight; the makeup was pretty crappy, and made him look like he was holding Toblerones in each cheek). Colonel Tigh is angry, annoying, and sad. Gaius Baltar is one of my favourite characters because he’s SO awful and annoying, but if anything ever happened to him I’d be devastated. James Callis plays him brilliantly, and it took me most of season 1, going, “Where have I SEEN him before?” to realize he was Tom from Bridget Jones’s Diary, because he’d made the character so unique from his previous one. I love that Lucy Lawless has joined the cast and I think she’s great. The idea of Cylons – a race of machines – worshiping the one God that is the basis of Christianity and all other monotheistic religions, whereas the humans subscribe to a polytheistic religion based in Greek mythology, is fascinating to me. I don’t think the show is futuristic so much as entrenched in the past, as if these are the events that happened pre-Bible, pre-history. I love the complex philosophies that have happened with the Cylons, as these “things,” as the humans call them, these things who cannot feel or care about anything, are trying to find the meaning of life, just as humans are. I love this show.

My Name Is Earl
While not as funny as The Office or 30 Rock, My Name Is Earl is still a great half-hour. Joy’s humour is derived from her political incorrectness, when she cracks a mean joke at someone for some “defect” they may have, and then stands there killing herself laughing. When she’s charged with a felony and given a deaf lawyer (played by Marlee Matlin) she’s so inadvertently awful to her, yet Matlin’s character is so terrible back, that when Matlin finally speaks and Joy bends over laughing saying, “oh my god, you should hear your voice right now!” we laugh, too, and hate ourselves for doing it. In another episode, Roseanne guest-starred as a religious trailer park landlady, where they realize by accident that their walkie-talkies are on the same frequency as her hearing aid, and they pretend they’re the voice of God and order her about, asking her to bring all of her belongings to them. Of course, this is only after forcing her to do the Hokey Pokey. “Putteth thy left foot in. Putteth thy left foot out. Putteth thy left foot in. And shaketh it all about.”

Everybody Hates Chris
This show continues to be funny, and I love the actor who plays Chris Rock. The best part of this show is the real Chris Rock’s voiceovers, which are often also politically incorrect, but biting and hilarious. The parents are awesome, the situations often unreal, and the teacher, Ms. Morello is so horrible in her earnestness you’re cringing through your laughter. She’s always trying to be on Chris’s side and clearly, but says the most racist things you could imagine while doing it (TV Guide referred to her as “terminally Caucasian”). She assumes his family is poor, his parents don’t work, he doesn’t get to eat at his home in the “ghetto,” and when Chris ran for class president, she gave him the black power salute from the audience.

The Daily Show
I watch this every day, and I love it. Last week they had one of their investigation reports from Jason Jones, where they talked about how kids could defend themselves in the classroom. It was one of the funniest things I’d seen on the show in ages. I found it on YouTube here (it’s worth it just for the guy cowering behind the textbook):

As long as The Daily Show is on the air, SNL’s Weekend Update (and the weekly parody on Studio 60) doesn’t stand a chance.
And that's it for what I loved (besides Heroes, Lost, Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, and The Office, all of which I've commented on on here. I didn't mention EastEnders, my guilty pleasure, because it's SO far behind the current schedule in England it's insane. For any English readers out there, Little Moe's just come back and has gotten back together with Billy; Zoe and Dennis are moving in together; Vicki just found out her older boyfriend Tom was trying it on with Chrissy; stupid Stacey Slater has just moved in, and Demi's just had a baby. I think you're about 2 years beyond that.
I'm hoping to blog on the shows I didn't like this past fall season, but tomorrow, it'll probably be about the Golden Globe awards. :)

1 comment:

The Chapati Kid said...

Oh wait. Crap. You just did. How freaky is that? I just wrote a comment on the last post, and when I hit the tab to go back to your blog, I found your entry. Jinx! Black Magic! Okay, now I go read.