Friday, January 16, 2009

Confessions of a TV Drama Queen - American Idol, Privileged, 90210, 30 Rock and More

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com:

I confess:

I'm mad at Privileged.
I'm still watching Grey's Anatomy AND Private Practice. And over Supernatural which I'm now so far behind in (DUCK... and run for it from the SPNfans...).
I've actually been watching 90210 AND Gary Unmarried. I'll explain below. Actually, I really don't know why but I'll write about it anyways.
I'm liking My Name Is Earl again. Just as it's going against Bones, Ugly Betty and Survivor. Crap.
Also, 30 Rock is not a good comedy. More on that below.

And Yes, I'm watching a lot of TV. It's COLD OUTSIDE GAWDAMNIT. (Okay, that's just an excuse I can finally use but I would have made up something else if it weren't).

I'd also chime in on Friday Night Lights, Top Chef, The Real World: Brooklyn, Damages and The Secret Life of The American Teenager but I don't actually get them here on time so SHHHHHHH... I'm avoiding the spoilers until I get to catch-up.

More on Privileged, Scrubs, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, 90210, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, My Name Is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock, American Idol below:

Privileged - All About Tough Love - Ep. 114

Even when I'm mad at this show (for moving Michael Cassidy to "special guest star" from the main cast list), it's hard to stay mad at Privileged and its quirky and cherubic charms, even with one of the more dramatic episodes. Lily's in jail and Megan's dad refuses to bail her out and Megan outwardly supports the decision while Megan's mom sees through her tough love decision. Loved the tension built with Will trying to do the right thing, and how everyone was basically trying to do what they thought was the right thing and still drama was abound. And that was even before Will finally gave Megan's mom the bail money, against Megan's wishes, and Megan's mom ran off with it.

Luis and Sage are all "High School Musical" cutesy but the (gift)knives come out when the difference in classes gets scratched to the surface. Zach writes Rose a poem but Marco figures out that it's copied. Somehow both stories were extremely cute without getting too saccharine, with credit to Lucy Hale and Ashley Newbrough and to the little quips Marco (Louis Allan) provided. (But yey! Marco misses Keith!).

What a great dramatic and yet still hilarious episode where every character can actually be likable within a soapy dramedy (are you hearing me 90210, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice?).

Scrubs - My Saving Grace, My Happy Place - Ep. 803, 804

Best line: Dr. Maddox (played by Courtney Cox) making a comment about Dr. Cox's crazy last name.

Sarah Chalke (as Elliot) is a really really good actor isn't she? I kept noting that this week. I think she's so good that I've usually taken her for granted since she can bounce between the zany crazy pace of the show and still have a deep emotional 3 dimensional character.

The New Adventures of Old Christine - Notes on a 7th Grade Scandal - Ep. 413

How have I not written about Christine since the season premiere? It's been slightly uneven this season and not enough usage of brother Matthew but it's still been hysterical and funnier than my other CBS fave How I Met Your Mother (also why it landed on my Top 20 while it pained me to boot out HIMYM). Now Stephen Tobolowsky shows up as the principal at Richie's school while Lee Tergesen was Christine's old classmate that she HATES (why does that not surprise me?). I'm diggin' this nicer and funnier Lee (as opposed to his Oz days).

Considering how little Marly and Lindsay are on the show, these two really pack a punch with their little barbs. Speaking of which, Barb was at her best when she scared the teen line-jumpers. That was awesome!

And Clark Gregg is still the BEST as Richard. Just is giggling at the sex education syllabus at the parents meeting made me giggle, as silly and stupid as it was. Love him!

And don't get me wrong because I haven't outright said it. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is comic gold and a total riot with her facial expressions. Seinfeld was not a fluke.

Gary: Unmarried - Gary Dates Louise's Teacher - Ep. 112

I confess. I've been watching Gary Unmarried. Like not just one or two episodes. But the whole season so far. It's usually cause I just tape the whole hour following Christine but really, it's cause every year I pick one "bad"/"family" comedy to watch and this year it's this one (previous years include Reba, Freddie, Carpoolers). And yes, I laugh at the stupidity (and I know it's hypocritical and inconsistent considering how much I rant against Two and a Half Men and According to Jim).

Plus considering the talents of Jay Mohr (though oh how much has he fallen?), Paula Marshall (oh how much has she fallen?) and Ed Begley Jr. (oh how much has he fallen?), is it wrong that I think the best actors on the show are the two kids? Ryan Malgarini and Kathryn Newton are actually quite good as Gary's kids Tom and Louise and it seems like they have been bumping up their parts more and more in recent episodes now that they know they are actually great on screen. I've actually gained respect for Jaime King who actually delivers here. I've never really thought much of her before this.

Still, it's so wrong (like this week's episode where Gary ends up dating both of Louise's teachers, the hot one cause he wants to, and the dowdy one who turns out to be hot because his daughter wanted to. Then somewhere in there, there's a boxing match with one of the spurned woman. So wrong) yet I laughed. A lot. I know. So wrong. In my defense, James Burrows directs all the episodes. (On the other hand, I also keep laughing at the Paul Blart: Mall Cop commercials, especially when Kevin James is trying to slide behind the poster billboards so take me with a grain of salt).

90210 - Love Me or Leave Me - Ep. 113

Another confession: I've also been watching all of 90201 on The CW. I don't even know why, especially considering I've now fallen so behind on the far superior Supernatural.

The problem with this show is it doesn't know if it wants to be a sweet heart warming show (cue stories with Annie, parents Harry and Debbie, the romance between Annie and Ethan (cute), the romance between Dixon and Silver (cute)) or a bitchy soapy sexy drama (cue Naomi, Adrianna, the hilarious Jessica Walters as grandma Tabitha). It's even confusing former bitchy vixens Brenda and Kelly and turning them into good girls. What's the fun of THAT?

I actually have no problem with the sweet parts when they are done right (see Privileged which can still be dramatic) and because of my devotion to Degrassi, I don't mind Shenae so much and Dustin Milligan is cute whether he was Canadian or not. But why does this show teeter on boredom so MUCH?

Just when things were getting exciting with the fake student/drug enforcement officer and her affair with hot teacher (Ryan Eggold) and Naomi and Annie shared a stepbrother who shows up to shake things up, those stories seem to be excised for... well... I'm not quite sure yet.

Yet I still watch. Why? (no really... why do I keep watching?)

Also, why does AnnaLynne McCord look so old?

Grey's Anatomy - Sympathy for the Devil - Ep. 511
Private Practice - Homeward Bound - Ep. 212

So yeah, instead of watching Supernatural, I keep falling back to my old habit of Grey's and now Private Practice follows so it's like a double dose of disappointment.

Well, at least they had Tim Guinee as Seth who discovers his mom is a lesbian, on Private Practice. I think that's about the only thing that registered with me. (I liked his eyes and his 90's swoopy hair).

You know, I've half-watched the whole season and it was only when I looked up David Sutcliffe on imdb did I finally realize his character name was Kevin. THAT'S how much I wasn't paying attention. Honestly, I was still referring to him as Christopher.

Nothing really registered with me on Grey's this week either except the reminder that Eric Dane is still pretty hot (despite the fake grey's they stick in his hair). I forgot he was hot. That's how this show has made him. Sad.

What happened Shonda Rhimes? You have some of the hottest actors on both your shows and it's become really uninteresting and unsexy. I'm also getting confused to the plotlines now that these two shows are back to back. Whose father/mother is lesbian/dying/visiting?

The Office - The Duel - Ep. 511

Oh man. I forgot Andy didn't know about Angela and Dwight's affair.

And I confess, I've been getting annoyed at Dwight a lot of late. And the show for relying on his oddness to spur the comedy. Ditto with Michael's stupidity. It's a crutch for the show.

But bringing out Dwight's affair with Angela and the whole office looking onto the triangle with Andy was hilarious. Especially between Angela and Andy (a kudos to Angela Kinsey's performance) and Andy and Dwight's eventual Duel.

Oh, and LOVE Creed! ("You're Welcome" after Andy accuses the office of lying and covering up the affair from him)
Love Kelly! (After Angela comments on the dual over her, Kelly: "I guess people have less choices as they grow older")

Meanwhile, it was great to see Michael get praise for a great performance record at the Scranton Branch from the main office!

30 Rock - Flu Shot - Ep. 308

As I said before, 30 Rock is not a good comedy. It's a f#$ken GREAT comedy!

Between the new comic duo of Tracy Jordan/Morgan and Jenna Jane Krakowski (when did they become a comic duo... how did I notice this slowly creep on in the show?), the horror movie spoof with sick people chasing after an about-to-be-on-V8KEK4TICK152 (Vacation)-Liz, and Salma Hayak and Jack going on dates while she's still working, and the thousand other zingers. I'd repeat them but there are just way too many.

My Name Is Earl - Estra or Nada - Ep. 415

This show seriously still really belongs to Jaime Pressly, doesn't it? Darnell helps, but it's all JOY!

American Idol - Ep. 801, 802

Yes, the addition of Kara DioGuardi is good. No, it doesn't really change the show in any dramatic fashion. Groan.

Having 4 judges can be too much (see Canadian Idol, So You Think You Can Dance Canada) where they drone on and on and you just want to shut them up and get back to the contestants but so far I've only noticed (and this is probably simply due to editing and/or not prolonging the arduous audition process) that with 4 judges, it just means they get a shorter time to talk, which is a good way to keep things short with Randy and Paula. In fact, with Paula only allowed to say one line, maybe two max, she actually sort of makes sense! Thanks Kara!

As for the auditions, it's same old, lame old. Though the 2nd night had a few people that seemed to annoy everyone at first until they actually sang (including widower Danny Gokey (who actually lost points with me with his tearful story but won it back with his singing) and straight-laced Indian dude Anoop Desai. I wasn't as impressed with Ashley Anderson who sang the Leona Lewis song. Lil Rounds (really? That's her name? For real?) was good but again, another sad sappy story to pull our heartstrings? Gag me. (I'm sorry but if you're 23 with 3 kids already, you had BETTER be ready for responsibility).

Arianna Afsar (the girl that helps old people) is about the only person I remember from the first night of auditions. There was another girl and I think another guy I thought were decent but so far no one stood out like David Archuleta did in his audition (when I called it WAY back THEN... and yes. I know he didn't win, but yes he did with the poprific "Crush"). Then again, Kelly Clarkson didn't really stand out until the live performances. And we all know we LOVE her!

Man, if it weren't for a pool I was entering, I would totally just skip the auditions. Instead, I need to pick someone by Top 36 week. So let me know who stands out and who y'all are voting for, cause papa needs a new pair of shoes.

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