Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The State of the Union, in Television, rebuttal, technobabble

Received this today from my dear friend (who I would like even more if he weren't a Buffy fan), Eric. I'm sharing it with his permission. For more of his TV rants--I mean, insights--check out his blog.

(My responses to Eric's remarks are italicized.)

>>You are correct in all things you say about the premiere of 24 this year.... except the bit about "attempting to blow something up", as the premiere ended with a nuclear suitcase bomb going off in Venice, CA. (and really, who would miss it)? Higher stakes as Jack avoids the nuclear snow-flakes, even though Jericho (which I've never seen) beat them to it. Plus, there was a fascinating discussion by two CTU agents about how angry they were about the formatting of a database ("I wanted columns, not comma delimited!" "I work best in comma delimited, you clod!"). You also forgot to mention "suburban family will be torn assunder by the works of a terrorists right in their midst" -- which also happened again. But the bad guy Kumar from "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle" so, you know, it was almost to be expected.

And none of that matters, because 24 is a roller-coaster ride rocking good time. Once they got rid of the dumb-ass daughter, it became a masterpiece of plotting on top of plotting on top of plotting. It's the only super-hero show left on the air. Jack Bauer is the nation's personal Batman/Buffy/Peter Parker/Punisher/and Don Johnson era Sonny Crocket all rolled up into one. Its also sadly more plausible than the other "roller-coaster" shows like Prison Break and LOST (tho I'm sure Jack would break out of the prison and I'm sure he'd knife Henry Gale in his cancerous spine if it meant saving the country.) >>

See--I knew "24" would be predictable. And for my money, dull. And yet, here's someone with relatively discerning taste ("Battlestar Gallactica" not withstanding) who calls it a "roller-coaster rid rocking good time." I do NOT get it. At least they got rid of the slutty but annoying daughter, Kim. Did they kill her, or what?

>>If you're going to hate technobabble on a show, Alias always had 24 beat. Marshall was full of shit. None compare to good 90's era Star Trek, of course. >>

The difference is that Alias, at least the first two seasons, was a GOOD show. And the technobabble was entertaining. Marshall was a quirky character inventing amazing gadgets like a bug that looks like a bug or a lipstick camera or a parabolic microphone that looks like a purse. The gadgets--like the disguises--made the show fun and exciting. Tab-delineated databases? NEVER fun or exciting. Never.

>>Best/worst technobabble on the air today: HOUSE. Plus, it's as formulaic as they come. Tho I did enjoy his recent jousting with the obsessed police officer. (Runner up: Numb3rs. Honorable mention: Law & Order.)>>

You've inspired me to add a new category: "Worst Formulaic Show on TV." See below.

What about Brian is still on the air? Christ. I watched the first "season" of six episodes but couldn't come back for more. It's no Felicity, nor Thirtysomething. (I once got to personally yell at Bob Iger for canceling Thirtysomething in its prime. True story.) >>

Dude, seriously--it really is still on the air. My back-up VCR is set to tape it and I haven't bothered to tell it to stop, so I've still been watching it here and there. The hot but smart and totally together stripper girlfriend--I mean, "wife"--is nice to look at, at least. She has such pretty hair.

>>Show that should not be on the air : Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
And What About Jim.
And Two and a Half Men.
And Dancing with the Stars
And Til Death
And ER.>>

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip may have the worst name in television, but it deserves to be on the air. Certainly if Ghost Whisperer can be on the air, that can. Amanda Peet? Love it. And even though the show is basically The West Wing in a TV studio, it's well done.

As for those other shows, I don't have any explanation for shows as bad as What About Jim and Two and A Half Men. They are like JAG or Bob Sagat hosting America's Funniest Videos for all those years--I just don't understand how anyone can stand it. When I talk about television, I just don't even include those shows because I prefer to pretend they don't even exist.

As for ER, talk about beating a dead horse. NBC is desperate, but really--please, let it go already. When you killed Mark Green, you killed ER. It's time to bury it.

>>All shows suck compared The Shield and The Wire and Battlestar Galactica (which is almost completely technobabble free).>>

Yes, cable is where it's at. My new favorite is Weeds. But I don't get that in my TV. I have to wait for the DVDs.

>>Best boobs on TV: Katherine Heigl. >>

Definite oversight on my part, but in my defense, they're always hidden under scrubs.

>>Best shoulders: Evangaline Lilly>>

She's not only got the best shoulders, she's got the cutest face and is in the running for best hair. And I also nominate her for best action hero.

>>Stars most in need of a sandwich: Ellen Pompeo>>

Seriously, although Calista Flockhart is back on the air, you know.

>>The perfect woman: Jenna Fischer. Or, more specifically, Pam Beesly.>>

umm...I'm gonna have to disagree. That makes her all yours.

>>eric "tv addict" G.

PS: And remember, just about ALL TV -- even What about Brian -- is better than most movies these days. (but not What about Jim.) >>

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Eric said...

Seriously, have you ever even tried to watch Buffy outside of a signle ep here or there? How you can like Alias -- which only had 3 good seasons out of 5 -- and not Buffy (with 6 out 7 that are great), is beyond me. Of course, trying to watch season one now is hard because its been a decade and it looks so dated... but still totally worth it. Sad for you.

9:21 AM  

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