tv bonanza, part 1

This got too big. It just did.

So we’ve got to break it up into two parts, or no one will read it.

Here’s part 1, we’ll call in the Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday part and in the coming days — can’t promise Friday — part 2 will go up for Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday:


Lie to Me: How can anyone watch these procedurals every week? I watch this for the sole reason that it’s the only thing on Mondays and my wife DVRs it. If it went away tomorrow, I wouldn’t even notice. It’s the SAME THING every week. Every week! Someone’s lying. Lightman figures it out. Someone else is lying and his partner lady figures that one out. Lightman makes someone angry, but it’s for their own good. The end. But if you have to watch a procedural, I’d say one with Tim Roth is the least of the evils. GRADE: C

how could you not pick mamacita? wait, i don't care. let's move on.

how could you not pick mamacita? wait, i don't care. let's move on.

Real Chance at Love 2: Another of the wife’s picks that seems to be on my TV all … the … time. For some reason, the FLU (Flavor of Love Universe) absolutely entrances her and turns the seemingly brilliant woman I married a drooling pile of mush. It’s an amazing phenomenon, really. And without fail, I get pulled in to every season of I Love Money, The Stallionaires and whatever show New York is doing that week. I refused this time, but when my wife is cackling, it’s hard to avoid it. I was cheering for Pocahontas and Mamacita, and frankly, I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that Hot Wings, perhaps the most immature person I’ve ever seen on Celebreality, became the Chance choice. Stunned. GRADE: D-


V: And the loser between work, the Phillies and V is … V! It’s on my DVR. I’ll watch it sometime this weekend after last weekend I rewatched the old miniseries and wondered what the helk I was thinking in loving it.

Sons of Anarchy: Let’s cut to the chase — Jax and Clay are going to have a showdown. They know it. We know it. SAMCRO knows it. So why can’t we just get to it and move on? Because if we do that, then we won’t have our weekly look at Porn Studio USA or our trip to Gemma land or our latest glance into Tara’s crumbling professional life. Then where would we be? It just seems every week like, “This week in the Jax and Clay fight …” Like this week, Jax wants out of the Charming branch of SAMCRO. What? So where’s he going, Oregon? It just seems like another way of delaying the inevitable so the showdown can be the last thing that happens this season. That’s annoying. But it’s engrossing, well-written and well-acted and as long as they cut the exposition just a tad, it’s one of TV’s best shows. But as long as it keeps beating Jay Leno, I’m happy. GRADE: B+


The Middle: Biggest surprise of the year, in a good way. It’s about 75 percent ripped off from Malcolm in the Middle and the use of the mom voiceover is more than stale, it’s lazy and meaningless. It adds less than nothing to the show and hasn’t provided one laugh. Not one! You would think by now, even by accident, there would have been one funny thing in there. But even with the voiceover, it’s a nice, funny show that may be a bit over-the-top in its depiction of the lower-middle class, but it’s funny nonetheless. GRADE: B-

funny. but not that funny.

funny. but not that funny.

Modern Family: I can’t get over the fact that it is 100 percent stolen from Sons and Daughters and The Office. Stolen, I say! It’s just not fair that ABC pushed this show but not Sons and Daughters seeing as Sons and Daughters was funnier. Not infinitely funnier, but funnier nonetheless. That’s not knocking Modern Family, because it is funny and as much as I don’t want to like it, there is at least two things each episode that make me laugh out loud. That’s all I’m looking for in a sitcom — funny. Whether it’s stolen, original or imported from Mars, I really couldn’t give two turds as long as it makes me laugh. And Modern Family makes me laugh. GRADE: B

Cougar Town: Already gets my vote for most improved show of the year. There’s just one problem — Courtney Cox isn’t interesting. Every other actor in the show — especially the increasingly funny Josh Hopkins — makes me laugh on a weekly basis. Her son, her ex-husband, her friends — they’re all funny and interesting. But the star? Not so much. Creator/writer Bill Lawrence is the comedy equivalent of Aaron Sorkin to drama. As an actor, you either have a feel for the pace of his shows or you don’t. Heather Locklear proved twice she didn’t. Colin Farrell was heavily exposed in his Scrubs episode. After a disappointing turn for Cox in Scrubs last year and now a so-so run through the first couple weeks of Cougar Town, maybe she just didn’t have what it takes to do a Bill Lawrence show. Too bad they went and built the whole show around her. Like this scene?

She’s not that funny in it. But I can see Sarah Chalke doing the same thing and being hysterical. GRADE: C+

Glee: I asked my brother if he’s watching this show. He said he’s not because he’d never watch anything about high school choir. When I tried to tell him it’s barely about the actual choir and in between dance numbers is some the most perverse, brilliant writing on TV, he started out by simply ignoring me, then when I persisted, he started taking jabs at my own sexuality. Fair enough. The point is that sometimes, you just can’t change people’s perceptions. I’ve failed in trying to get football fans to watch Friday Night Lights — how could I possibly get a song-and-dance hater to watch Glee? On the bright side, I’ve found I can tear through an episode in about 35 minutes if I fast forward through songs I don’t like. Not only is it quicker, but it makes the episode more enjoyable. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s having trouble getting through the music. But be careful or you might miss this:

And you wouldn’t want to miss that. GRADE: A-

Nip/Tuck: Nothing snuck up on me this year like the premiere of NipTuck. It got lost under a pile of Phillies, illness, birthday parties and the demanding TV schedule I try to keep. So maybe I just wasn’t looking forward to it anymore. But why should I? The trailers leading into the season made it look like this would be another season of Carver-type stuff, and the product has just been weird so far this year. Weird, weird, weird. The Teddy character had to be replaced by the ex-Mrs. Marilyn Mason and hasn’t been the same since. She wasn’t a very good character to begin with — why keep it going? But hey, at least the appearance of not one but two different alums of Saved by the Bell: The College Years in this week’s episode will breathe some life into it. GRADE: B-

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