Friday, January 30, 2009


Tom Zarek's revolution bores me (even if it basically exists solely to make Roslin wake up from her post-Earth-apocalyptic stupor).  I mean, yes, the show has always been about humanity being idiots and frakking themselves.  And they've managed to complete assassinate Gaeta's character (boo, lying to Hoshi).  But at least there was good stuff for Starbuck this week.  Still feel like I missed an episode bridging the gap between the first and second episodes of the season.

Can we please get to Cavil's fleet, an explanation for Starbuck's viper and burnt corpse (with refreshingly untouched hair), and the opera house with Roslin/Boomer/Six?  You know... the things that matter.

Goddamn, Edward James Olmos has presence.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Britney Spears Week on ABDC!

So excited for this.

Beat Freaks - Damn, they're doing choreography to "Womanizer"!  Haven't seen a single B-girl move yet. That they can be so sultry while doing choreography in addition to their usual stuff... wow, this is why they're gonna last much longer than Fly Khicks.  DAMN.  I love that Lil Mama associates "classy" with "Womanizer".  Oh, JC, please don't try and create new slang.  "Crispy" is never going to happen.

Strikers All Stars - "Gimme More"... what, no striptease?  Great prop, though (it rotates!)

Side note... wow, viewers do not love Team Millennia... in the bottom two again!

Dynamic Edition - Doing "Stronger," which is totally Britney's first SEX BOMB video (thank you, director Joseph Kahn... also, thank you for "Toxic" and "Womanizer" :D) Good lord, my eyes cannot keep up with the cloggers' feet.

Side note... Ringmasters are in the bottom two.  No way Lil Mama lets them go home unless they give a severely bad performance.  Buh bye, Team Millennia.

Quest Crew - "Toxic" (nah nah nah nah).  With blindfolds.  Them boys know how to dance (and with their hips).  Just sayin'.  And that move at the end by Ryan (that was like a banana kick but he ends up on his back... on purpose and with control)?  Wowza.

Fly Khicks - "... Baby One More Time".  Unfortunate for them because they've already been criticized for being too cheerleader.  Which, um, hi?  There was something off at the beginning, but they got in step.  Somehow... not as sexy as Beat Freaks.  Also, is that dance move really called "the Single Ladies"?  Guess I didn't consider the heels.  Meh.

Team Millennia - "Me Against The Music".  God I hate this song.  Nice shout out to the Britney/Madonna kiss at the 2003 VMAs at the end.  They hit the choreography, but you expect them to.  Hm.

Ringmasters - "Circus".  Yeah, well they're gonna have to dance to this, aren't they?  They didn't have to use props.  But, wow.  There's a lot of wow in this performance, especially the opening.  Only issue I have is that there was a section where the choreography was all in their hands... they weren't moving their feet.

Color me unshocked (but also pleased) with the results.  My guess is Fly Khicks and Dynamic Edition for the bottom two next week.

Ultimate, my expected Top 3 doesn't change... Beat Freaks, Quest Crew, and Strikers All Stars

Meet Charles Widmore



Goddammit, is it just me or is/has this show somehow been outdoing itself every episode since it came back from the writers strike?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Private Practice

Based on several recommendations on, I finally streamed last Thursday's episode of Private Practice (since next week it's the crossover, so I wanted to get a feel for the characters if it was worth the time).  Anyway, I haven't watched the show in a while and it seems like an ENTIRELY different show than what premiered in Fall 2007.  It's not early-Grey's good... but is it better than current-Grey's?  Yeah.  I think so.  At the very least it hasn't descended into ghost/Angel of Death Denny sex and heavy-handed metaphysical preponderance.  Yeah, it does have the life-or-death stakes in most/all of its cases, though I guess it tries to replace that with ethical quandaries.  But a generally enjoyable, watchable hour.

Addison is no longer Ally McBeal 2.0.  She may not be Addison from Season Two of Grey's Anatomy... but she's much closer to that than what she was made into at the start of this series.


I still don't understand the point of the KaDee Strickland character.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So, Grey's. I've decided to do the live-ish bloggy thing for tonight because it promises to be a Very Special Episode.

Denny is doing the voiceover, talking about heaven, hell, and limbo. Ooh, spooky. Anyway, he keeps badgering Izzie telling her that he's there for her. So, he's pretty much the Angel of Death and I now expect Izzie to die sometime this season. I figure Denny disappears whenever she faces her own mortality, and she's dead ("but we did everything we could") in the season finale. Or sooner, who knows.

Mer calls Bailey in to hint that she's trying to kill the serial killer patient so Bailey's young patient can get his organs because they're a match. Bailey, thank god, calls her on her bullshit (which is only slightly dampened by the promos that show Bailey walking into Derek's surgery on the serial killer begging him to let the guy die... so I guess she comes around).

And, um, Lexie just broke Sloan's penis. That's, um, tight...? ROFL...??

With the way Denny is telling Izzie she doesn't have time to think about anyone but herself... well, I suspect we know what's really up by episode's end.

Love Sara Ramirez. Callie's reaction to Lexie breaking Sloan's, um, bone...r was priceless.

Boring things are going on between Cristina and Major Hottie.

Hey! George gets a scene!

Derek is asking people (namely Cristina) if Mer will like the ring his mother gave him last week. He is so, so, so stupid. I want Cristina and Mer back together, dammit.

Hey! George gets another scene! And there's a patient in the hospital about to die who is not a donor but is a match. Jeez. How lucky! How unlucky, the doting wife (Amy Sloan from Big Shots and her hilarious lazy right eye... sigh, she's so pretty otherwise) won't let George and the Chief harvest her soon-to-die husband's organs.

And Derek puts the ball in Bailey's court, and she tells him to finish his surgery (btw... Derek is such a dick for making her do that).

Dear lord the way the meaning of "I'm here for you" finally dawning on Izzie was so freaking overt.

Is it wrong that I kinda wanted the kid to die? Just to have a horribly bitter ending? Serial killer lives (temporarily), innocent kid dies, Izzie realizes she's dying. Everybody loses! Yay!

At least Chandra Wilson has an Emmy reel.


Well, the Oscars have managed to successfully protest their relevancy with today's ho-hum nominations. Don't get me wrong, I loved both Milk and Slumdog Millionaire. But the absence of both/either of The Dark Knight and WALL•E in the Best Picture category shows just how out of touch the Academy is. Yes, yes, both scored multiple nominations elsewhere (with Heath Ledger getting his lock nomination as Supporting Actor). Still. This is a very disappointing development. And, of course, the ratings will suffer.

Because You Left / The Lie

Well, today was a fickle bitch, as they say.

Thank god for Lost's premiere. And tomorrow morning the Oscar nominations are released! Are work shouldn't be quite so hellish! Yay!

I might even find the time to post final nationals on PIFeedback...

And rewatch Lost because my brain was so fried by the time I got to my friends' viewing party that I was, y'know, watching but not totally mentally on top of everything.

I feel like this season is going to be The Two Towers to next season's Return of the King. Doesn't mean I can't be happily surprised when, say, it turns out that Ms. Hawking ("Flashes Before Your Eyes") might be Daniel Faraday's mother.

I'm digging this season's narrative format that, at least for these two premiere event episodes, followed everyone instead of being centered around a specific character's flash-something. It's pure narrative drive.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened


Where the hell did that episode of Desperate Housewives come from? I mean, I know, I know, 100th episode... but it wasn't, like, a pull-out-all-the-stops game-changing very-special-episode episode. It was just... amazing. Except maybe Edie's flashback. Could've done with something from Katherine (during the 5 year skip, perhaps?) instead / in addition to (since the firm/perk line was great). Emotional fulfillment. I has it.

Kinda funny how, pretty much, nothing happened in the episode, but it was satisfying nonetheless. And centered around character we'd never seen before and never will again.

Sigh, and there's three weeks until the next episode?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So America's Best Dance Crew premiered this Thursday... who knew? Apparently FauxVo did. It's snap judgment time!

Strikers All Stars - Nice way to start off the night, very exact choreography. Jury is out (I'm not the biggest step fan, admittedly).

Beat Freaks - Yes! B-girls! A team of B-girls! And they (borrowing show terminology) ripped it.

G.O.P. Dance - I agree with Lil Mama (although she was much more upfront with her disappointment than I would have been... biatch be blunt!) Sigh, I feel like this is an unfortunate name for a crew... G.O.P.? I can't even remember what they said it stood for. Pretty obvious routine for the sudden death.

Quest Crew - Great costumes (although I love purple, it's a little Fall 2008...), very high energy and entertaining.

Fly Khicks - Sexy, but in a competition with a girl team like Beat Freaks... I dunno. I thought their sudden death was much more exciting than their main performance (maybe because G.O.P. Dance went before them and they weren't that hot). Don't see them making it too far, though.

Ringmasters - I don't even know what to think... but holy contortionist hell! I feel like this may wind up more of a novelty than lasting, but, um, yeah, wow, hi.

Boxcuttuhz - This season's Fanny Pak (but not as good)? Mixed genders (though only one girl, and Lil Mama called her out), but they aren't doing B-boy stuff, it's all costumes, props, choreography, and theatricality. With a touch of nerdy.

Dynamic Edition - Hehe! Tap shoes! Clogging! On ABDC!

Team Millennia - Glad they lost out to Fanny Pak last season, but it was fun! Theatrical opening was the best part of me.

Favorites? Beat Freaks and Quest Crew. If everyone keeps up the same level of performance / there aren't any major f*ckups, I'm putting these two in the finals.

Friday, January 16, 2009

When Did Fridays Start Getting Programming Worth Watching?

I have no reactions. Because, um, wow. BSG. FNL. What? Also Psych but I haven't watched that yet.

I just can't even talk about BSG. I can't. WTFrak.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Oh my god, you guys. Did you watch last night's How I Met Your Mother? It was GENIUS. I don't normally laugh out loud through much of HIMYM, though I am generally entertained. Last night was hi-lar-i-ous. And touching.

This episode showed why this show is a step above other multi-cam sitcoms. The quick cutting back and forth and short scenes that "traditional" sitcoms don't do because they tape in front of a live audience (admittedly, a 10-second scene won't be very funny when taken out of context of the surrounding scenes).

Anyway. Holy eff. I think we already have a nominee for Best of 2009.

Oh, and the ratings?

A 4.8/12 in the demo and 11.847 million viewers.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Elsewhere on FOX

Damn you, Fox.

First you move Bones to Thursdays.

Then President Bush wants to make a farewell speech so you postpone the premiere.

Then you make it a two-episode premiere meaning I have to choose between 9pm Bones and Grey's Anatomy for the second tuner while the first on my DVR records The Office/30 Rock.

Then I see that thanks to American Idol and the NAACP Awards the show is essentially going to air a new episode every other week and be preempted the weeks in between (Bones two-hours on 1/22, Idol on 1/29, Bones on 2/5, NAACP on 2/12, Bones on 2/19 and 2/26, Idol on 3/5). Stability: Impossible.

Haven't you done enough f*cking with this show yet?


It is(/was) a stable, mid-sized utility player that attracted 10 million viewers on Wednesdays and was (easily) winning its timeslot in the the demo. You have no idea how it's going to perform on Thursdays without the above maddening preemption schedule.


Hour 3 (and Lie To Me*)

Much better. Bill Buchanan and CHLOE. Jack in an interrogation room. Revealing that Tony was doing secret covet things with the terrorist organization because the government can't be trusted (yay...? although wasn't there a big undercover agent working with terrorists but wait not really thing back in season three?)

Oh. And CHLOE VERSUS DARIA IN A BATTLE OF THE COMPUTER HACKERS. Please let them meet IRL over the course of the day. Governments and financial markets will rise and fall at their every whim.

Meanwhile, other things are still happened with the African Subplot That Is Actually The Main Plot, and with President Woman President's husband / suicide committing son. Sorry for adopting Dave Barry-speak, but, well, I'm just so gosh darn entertained by him. [EDIT: Please note that I wrote my capslock Chloe versus Janeane Garafolo thing before actually reading Dave's blog to see that he referred to it as a far more eloquently and entertainingly put "KEYBOARDING DUEL OF DEATH."]

The FBI is "setting up a perimeter". Woo! Perimeters!

Seriously, though, good to know four ex-CTU agents and staffers can basically thwart the FBI in a matter of minutes.

Onto hour 4!

Oh, there's a Lie To Me* commercial. I was displeased with that pilot. It's not terrible, but it's just a run of the mill pure procedural with a gimmick that wore thin halfway through the episode. I certainly won't be watching any more of Tim Roth reading facial ticks and explaining what they mean to solve crimes. I mean, what's the most interesting thing they can possibly do on this show? Put him up against an expert poker player? Meh. Giant heaps of meh.

Family, Death, Irony

Oh, Gossip Girl. You continue to astound and confound my expectations with a combination of misleading promos and completely true-to-character developments that, like a car crash in slow motion, you knew was coming a mile away but keep watching hoping it can be diverted. It's like "I know where you're going with this! But I can't believe you're going there! OMG you went there, took pictures, and came back!" Seriously though, a pretty predictable episode... but still a massively entertaining one.

Desmond Harrington as Jack Bass (who is somehow Bart Bass's brother?) is fantastic. Somehow even better here than on Dexter, where I'm still sure his Detective Quinn is up to little-to-no good. Well played, sir. Well played. Chuck and Blair were too busy being, um, themselves and teenaged and in love/hate that they didn't notice your moves. OTOH, you only got yourself a higher paying job. The board can't strip Chuck of his 51% controlling stake in Bass Industries, just the position he decided he desired. And, oh my, the resulting Chuck/Blair seeming-final break-up (of a relationship that never actually started). What's a Chuck Bass to do now?

Meanwhile stuff happened/came to a head with the Lily/Rufus lovechild plot. Yay, it's done (and, um, Matthew Settle, you're totally hot with your shirt off, but if you're going to wax the front, you might as well get the pits)! Only it's not because there's still potential for it to come back because the Sekrit Van Der Woodsen-Humphrey First Born isn't actually dead. Remember this, people. No matter how hard those adoptive parents try to hide it, the lovechild will come back into play. Eventually.

That final tableau of Dan, Serena, Jenny, and Eric looking on at Lily and Rufus walking in (as Lily says something about always wanting to be family) and grasping hands...

The thing is, I think the six of them work MUCH better as a family than as well-preserved starcrossed lovers, a couple of twitterpating teens in an on-again off-again relationship, and a girl and her best gay.

About this weekend

Quickly about the rest of 24's first night... meh. Glad I stopped the minute-by-minute commentary because eventually it would've started droning on about "goddammit, why am I still watching this series?" I'll watch tonight's installments and make my decision about continuing to record the show. There had better be some more thrilling cliffhangers. The ratings were middling, and without knowing the effect having House as a lead-in will have on 24, come February it and Heroes will likely be neck-and-neck in the demo (though 24 will likely have the viewer advantage, I am guessing).

Anyway / also... Legend of the Seeker.

The 100-ish pages about Denna, the Mord'Sith (basically the fantasy-world combination of a dominatrix and a professional torturer) was the only truly original and entertaining part of Wizard's First Rule. So I was super-excited that the title of the episode was Denna. But oh my was that an arch performance. Great costuming job, though. However, I seem to remember the description of the pain-inducing instrument (the Agiel) as being a stick that was about foot long and a finger thick. So I got a hefty guffaw when the Agiel prop looked, well, much more like a sex toy than a long, thin, horrifyingly painful instrument of torture and death. Maybe it's just me?

But having Craig Horner shirtless, sweaty, and hanging from the ceiling for much of the episode was appreciated. See, I'm very easily amused when it comes ot campy fantasy series.

And, oy, we're something like 8 episodes into the series and they've already introduced something called "the breath of life" (I don't recall this from the book, but it has been a while and I didn't read past the first in the series)... which basically eliminates death provided you get "the breath of life" shortly after you die. Good lord, we've learned nothing from Heroes' second season. NOTHING! Anyway, Denna was brought back to life at the end of the episode, unbeknownst to our heroes, so I guess the show wanted a recurring villain. She's no Callisto... but I guess she'll do?

There's No Time

(all tape-delayed-live-blog hour/minutes are "into broadcast," so 1:05 = the fifth minute of the second hour of tonight's premiere)

0:00 - Hey, it's that guy from The Nine! He's so hapless.
0:01 - I dunno, I get T-boned and go into a tailspin, I'm screaming like Egan Foote's daughter, not semi-worriedly glancing over my shoulder.
0:01 - Do you have any idea how difficult it is to time one car crash intentionally? Let alone two? PWN.
0:01 - Downtown LA just got f*cked up. Oh, wait, it's supposed to be DC. The props department isn't doing a great job with substituting the street signs. Just saying.
0:02 - The credits say Carlos Bernard is in the show, so even if I somehow were unspoiled... Tony Almeida is back. Yeah, we've known this for about 18 months and I *still* don't get it. And I don't trust the show to give a decent explanation. Anyway... the Soul Patch is back, too!
0:03 - Jack is so badass he doesn't even care that Kurtwood Smith is eating up valuable ass-kicking time by setting the stakes so we know that the government agencies are doing a 180 later when he needs a hacksaw.
0:03 - Oh, and the multiple angles of the same person are back on the split screen! Yay! This stylistic thing was sorely missing in Day 6. Ugh. Day 6. Ugh.
0:04 - Jack is fingering that pencil something fierce. Did he watch The Dark Knight? I want him to make the pencil disappear. Do it! Do it!
0:05 - Oh, now Jack wants a turn at setting the stakes by saying that when he's activated, he's brought in to do whatever he deems necessary to stop a threat.
0:06 - Someone vaguely familiar looking just walked in. Was she in 24: Redemption?
0:06 - Right, like Jack is going to be back in the Senate when the reconvene the next day at the same time. Right.
0:07 - She is not Special Agent Walker. Special Agent Walker is on Chuck.
0:07 - Janeane Garafolo is delivering semi-snarky exposition. Is Chloe back? I miss Chloe.
0:08 - Oh, and there is high-flying co-worker tension at the FBI, too. Love. It. Also, hi clean-shaven Billy Walsh!
0:08 - Hey, the FBI is using CNN's magic screen! Can a hologram of be far behind?
0:09 - Terrorists! Aaah! Also, it's only been 7 minutes, but they have Egan Foote wherever they wanted him and he's already doing whatever they wanted him to do. So... yeah. I buy that not?
0:10 - And he finished whatever they needed him to do already. With post-car-accident bleeding going on.
0:10 - Something will eventually happen with the terrorists, Egan Foote, and that airplane. But for now...
0:11 - Something will eventually happen between Not Chuck's Special Agent Walker and that Larry person. But for now...
0:12 - CIP Firewall explanation... check.
0:13 - Can I just say that in the six minutes it took for Jack to get from the Senate / DoJ committee / whatever to the FBI Washington Field Office, his hair became a mess.
0:13 - Touché, explanation for Tony being alive. Touché. Sort of.
0:15 - Nothing happened to the plane (yet)? What a twist!
0:16 - Dammit Tony, stop threatening Egan Foote. He was in two car crashes 15 minutes ago, you know. Not to mention that whole 52-hour bank hostage crisis.


Hm, a thought occurs. It's 12:42am and I have work in the morning, as well as about 65 minutes of this premiere to watch. Sadly, I must sign off for the night, but any further large scope thoughts will assuredly be blogged about on the morrow.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Shonda Night

Overnights are in for Grey's Anatomy / Private Practice's premiere as lead-in/lead-out.

PP kept 2/3 of GA's ratings. Just like the first repeat did back in December. Which, if it holds true across all demos (like the repeat did), will result in "pretty decent" ratings for the ABC relocation.

Marc Berman's PI Newsletter reminds that this isn't up against original CBS programs... but it WAS on against the BCS Championship Game. Which is much stronger competition than a new CSI and a new Eleventh Hour, even if the football audience is heavily male skewing (CSI/11H are much more male skewing than the ABC shows, too).


So, fast nationals are in and while the 2/3 thing holds approximately true... it's still not positive news because, like Desperate Housewives on Sunday, the December/holiday hiatus hurt GA and it came back below 14 million and at a 5.1 in the demo. Leaving PP at 9 million and a 3.3.

ABC needs new hit shows... stat!

Oh, and 30 Rock (which was new last night along with the rest of the NBC lineup except for The Office) was the highest rated new sitcom on NBC's schedule but the ratings were bad. Why would the Peacock air most of its gender-even/male-skewing comedies (a) against the CBS Championship, and (b) without the flagship show? It makes no sense. Just leave them all in repeats!

Lordy, the only intelligent people at the Big Three seem to be at CBS these days... CBS aired all repeats!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Suarez Family

Oh my god, you people are ridiculous. I'm 40 minutes into the episode (and have to leave for a friend's birthday party), but Betty just walked out of Hilda's party celebrating the reopening of her salon... because she has a small glimmer of a chance to fix a gigantic error made at work that cost Mode magazine 30 pages of ads (that's the business version of it). Um... you can't / won't fire her from her family. They could fire her from work. PRIORITIES, PEOPLE. God, and the guilt trip they laid on Betty. I'm so annoyed at them. Even after two years of Betty at Mode they don't understand. Ugh. UGH!

Anyway, to the dinner party!

Damages Season Two Premiere

While I will say that the show is pretty disjointed (which makes sense give the show's format of slowly piecing together past and present until they converge)... damn that was exciting, entertaining television. Here's hoping the pace and thrill can be kept up throughout the season this go around. The new cast members are obviously amazing (um, and Paige Turco as William Hurt's wife! aww) Timothy Olyphant is probably my favorite so far. He's understated yet creepy. Although I guess that's par for the Timothy Olyphant course? Of course we haven't met Marcia Gay Harden yet.

Also: I now know that the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid only gets 20 MPG city. It's a hybrid, people.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

That Wasn't Funny

There was something very, very off about last night's two Scrubs episodes. Like the almost complete lack of comedy (the show isn't incredibly often laugh out loud funny, but it's often amusing and Dr. Cox's rants and the cutaways fill the void). And the lighting! There was a lot of darkness. Anyway. Hm. Dammit, this better be the final season because that's the only reason to keep watching / crawling and gasping to the finish line.

Okay, the new "tag" thing the show is doing over the credits is kinda funny. Especially the first one which was the show being totally, 100% obviously-and-embracing-it meta about the fact that the show has been on for 8 years and its ratings suck.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Peace the Spork Out, 90210

So, I told myself I was going to give this show one final viewing before making my final decision (cut or not cut). I mean, there are occasional moments of fun. Not everything has to be dark, broody, delicious Gossip Girl. But, um, wow. The classroom scene about "seeing without using your eyes... it's called intuition" was possibly the WORST THING EVER. This was such an underwhelming episode. So very poor. Not even having friends who work on it will keep this on my DVR list.

Sigh, next week American Idol comes back. Guess I'll be recording two reality shows on Tuesdays from 8-10pm and catching up on Scrubs via the internet.

Also The Mentalist. Saw a preview for tonight's episode and it was about the Red John case, which is what interested me about the pilot. Then the second episode was pure procedural and I was like "Oh my god, I'm so bored" (haha, that was totally the best line on last night's GG... respect the Girls on the Steps, dammit!) Anyway... I'll find that online tomorrow since I saw the preview at a friend's house and didn't get home until after it already aired.

Monday, January 5, 2009


... while I won't do a Top 50 episodes of 2008, here are the two that stood out to me. Don't ask me to pick. Please?

Lost - "The Constant". If only Heroes had taken notes note on how to properly infuse time travel into a narrative. This episode was just pitch perfect. And that phone call. Just thinking about it makes me come close to tears.

The Wire - "Late Editions". If The Wire had submitted "Late Editions" instead of "-30-" (the series finale) to the ATAS blue ribbon panel, I'm convinced it would have been a nominee for Best Drama Series. "Late Editions" had it all... and didn't have the extra 30-some-odd minute running time and wrap-ups for characters that people unfamiliar with the show wouldn't fully comprehend as genius. Sigh.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Location Location Location

Hah, the "gay club" Susan and Lee went to in tonight's new Desperate Housewives (new? who knew!?) was Boulevard3. That space is so recognizable. Many a drunken night spent there... with straight friends. Well, that's the magic of television.

But, clearly, what Susan thinks happened didn't, and Lee knows what did. Right? I mean... you don't sleep with the hag...

No Top 50 of 2008... but here's some favorite things

Not doing that this year as inevitably every one of the top 40-some-odd slots would be filled by The Wire, Mad Men and Lost, with a couple 30 Rock, The Shield and Battlestar Galactica episodes thrown in. Also there was that whole writers strike and there's so much less TV to choose from. Also I cut down semi-significantly on my TV consumption this fall.

Instead here are a few of my favorite things from TV 2008 (outside of the above shows... which, um, d'uh), in no particular order. Please beware of spoilers. Ride the walrus.

- Tina Fey. Oh, come on, you knew she'd be on this list and for reasons no one in their right mind can deny. There, I said it. Lemon, out!

- Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf. Where would I, and Gossip Girl, be without them? Also the Yale episode (hahah, shot at Columbia... just like the University of Pennsylvania substituting for Princeton University in this summer's Transformers sequel)

- Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D. on The Big Bang Theory.

- Amy Ryan as Holly Flax on The Office. And then she left and the show sucked again.

- Grey's Anatomy. Shut up, I know! Here's the thing. For a lot of 2008... Grey's was actually kind of good? Not, like, back to its apparently-a-fluke second season good. But much better after the writers strike. Meredith seeing Amy Madigan as a psychiatrist worked. The way season four ended totally worked. And the start of season five worked, too. And then Erica Hahn had a minute long diatribe and glasses and foliage and lesbianism and Izzie started seeing ghosts and then Melissa George showed up and the interns started playing basement surgeons on themselves and then Izzie STARTED HAVING SEX WITH GHOSTS. Shut up, I know... basically all this shows is that Shonda can put together a string of pretty good episodes when not burdened with having to do more than, y'know, about 5 episodes. She'd do great in the UK. Anyway, the revival and quick fall from grace (again) of Grey's is totally one of my favorite things about TV 2008.

- Jimmy Smits dies on Dexter. I dunno, I just don't like him in, well, much of anything. And I thought his character, among other things, brought season three down several notches from the first two seasons (also hurting: obvious plotting and a snail's pace). But I was relieved when the last few episodes built to his death in the penultimate episode of the season, because it showed that Dexter still had it.

- South Park. The fall half-season wasn't so great (although who can forget the Indiana Jones Gets Raped sections of the premiere?), but the spring half was typical South Park genius. Cartman gives Kyle AIDS, Britney is ritualistically killed off in a harvast ritual (watch out, Miley!), cat pee drugs, The Writers Guild of America Canada goes on strike for more internet revenue, Mrs. Garrison (a MTF transexual who is a lesbian, who used to be a gay man, who used to think he was a straight man) gets her penis back (so, is Mr. Garrison straight now?) as Cartman teaches inner city kids to cheat like Beel Belichick in a Stand and Deliver parody, the internet fails... the only down note of the whole half-season was the finale.

- Frumpy Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives. Okay, Eva Longoria Parker doesn't ever look bad but, um, that character now has a few more layers and that's what I've been asking for since early season one.

- Kevin and Scotty get civil unioned on Brothers & Sisters, a week later the CA Supreme Court rules that same sex marriage is legal in the state, then the dolts at ABC air the episode that talks about Prop 8 a week after the election. While on the topic of B&S... Kima Greggs as the birth mother to Kitty and Robert's not-yet-born baby!

- Ugly Betty kinda sorta gets its groove back? The show has certainly opened up since moving production to NYC. They use those locations (but, um, Gossip Girl did it first!) And I think that, somehow, Betty's wardrobe has gottem even more clashy/poofy/over-the-top/unfashionable since the NYC move. I loved the episode "When Betty met YETI" because, now in her third season, Betty really needed a kick in the pants to start moving away from Daniel's desk, and the resulting conflict showed some truly ugly behavior from Marc (who remains my favorite character), but then some real heart from both he and Betty and yay. Also Justin's straight/str8 friend at school rejects his offer to go see In The Heights together because his friends are hecklers and homophobes. Also Amanda as Betty's roommate has been fun. The only things not working for me at the moment are the slight declawing of Wilhelmina and WHEN THE EFF IS CHRISTINA GOING TO BIRTH THAT BABY!?

- Anne Dudek as Cutthroat Bitch on House is dating Wilson and then she dies. Season five just hasn't been as good.

- Chuck. Man is there any other show currently on the air hitting it out of the park pretty much every episode the way Chuck has this season? Although they're going to run out of women who turn out to be secret agents for Sarah to get into girl fights with at some point... but hopefully not soon! "I hate you, Bryce."

- How I Met Your Mother's ratings rise. Who knows if it's linked to having a strong/funny/compatible lead-in with The Big Bang Theory, but in its fourth season, finally HIMYM isn't a bubble show. The final 2008 episode "Little Minnesota" was a lot of fun (Barney's smutty holiday song parodies... the Canada bar with karaoke at the end). Oh, and "Sandcastles in the Sand"! Barney/Robin! If only the show could get rid of Ted...

- David C beats David A in the American Idol season seven finale. Who knew there were more hungry cougars than horny teenage girls?

- Isis on America's Next Top Model.

- Christian Siriano winning Project Runway 4 and forever destroying the show in the process (seriously, even the top group of season five's designers sucked in comparison to, like, all of the season four designers... and they were all trying to catch phrase it up... annoyalicious!)

- Stephanie from Top Chef: Chicago and Jamie from Top Chef: New York.

- Ed pleading with America to let Heba be in The Biggest Loser Families finale instead of him and then America so obviously telling him it hates his wife by choosing him over her 84/16.

- The Mentalist showing freshman series can be hits (and simultaneously that, perhaps, once again, broadcast TV isn't dead)... even if I didn't like the second episode so stopped watching...

- True Blood showing that, while it's possible to make television shows about vampires, you're inevitably going to get Buffy comparisons and you just won't win that battle. Also the series started out laughable, got better, then became, um, just odd? Also for showing that you should never reveal to the audience who the killer is in a serial killer mystery before the main character(s) know unless there's going to be some sort of super awesome twist. Which there, y'know, wasn't. But, hey, at least HBO is making buzz-worthy TV again (cough, Entourage sucks, cough). Also... Ryan Kwanten.


Wow. So DVR recorded part one of the Damages season one recap in HD (because now that I know I have FX in HD, I'm of course recording the series in HD instead of SD).

Let's just say that one of my biggest complaints about the first season was that the video quality made the show practically unwatchable. I knew that it was an HD/SD issue (as well as potentially bad calibration on my TV set... but none of the shows I recorded at the time in HD had color or contrast issues). The problem persisted on other cable shows, so... yeah.

Anyway, the recap looked AWESOME. Yay high definition video quality! Can't wait for the Damages premiere. And BSG (another show I had video quality problems on so would often just wait and watch online... and now I have Sci-Fi in HD, too!)

Here's hoping, should I still have Time Warner Cable, when Mad Men season three comes out, I have AMC in HD...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's January 2009?

I'm back from being away on vacation. Oh, my, it was necessary. Don't go back to work until Monday, so it's not entirely over, but the "away" part is.

Anyway, Happy New Year, everyone!

Have you all programmed your DVRs to record the plethora of new/returning programming that January brings us?

I must say, I was going to post today about being angry at Time Warner Cable for dropping Viacom's MTV Networks, meaning I'd lose my beloved Comedy Central programs (South Park - available online, The Daily Show / Colbert Report - available online, and Futurama repeats - available on DVDs I already own) but an 11th hour agreement was reached and I no longer give a flying nun.

But, looking into this revealed that TWC has started supplying several new HD cable channels without informing me. Which means that come January 16th, I'll be watching the final season of Battlestar Galactica in HD. Woo!

I've also programmed Psych to record, as I watched the holiday special over Thanksgiving and was charmed at least by the character-based interplay between the two leads, if not astounded by the crime case (it's supposed to be funny, and it succeeds at that).

We've also got Damages returning this Wednesday and to a lesser extent Nip/Tuck (which is now very much a "save for weekend" show... but still one I can't stop watching for some reason).

Oh, and, um, can anyone say LOST!?

2009 is looking good, my friends.