Monday, January 09, 2006

Snobfest 2005: Boob Tube

A little warning: There are some spoilers below. So, if you are still catching up on episodes you may want to wait.

“I Wasted an Hour a Week for this Crap?” Award: Nip/Tuck

"What Don't You Like About Yourself?" How about the fact that I kept watching this season of Nip/Tuck? You know when you’re dating someone where their potential keeps you in the relationship? There are small little moments that keep you around, but then they do something frustrating that completely undercuts those moments. I haven’t, but I’ve heard people mention such things. That has been my relationship with Nip/Tuck. It’s always been a guilty pleasure. With its ridiculous story lines, and lack of decency I had become addicted to the show. This was the season where we finally discover who “The Carver” is. The thing is everyone already guessed who it was by the first episode of the season. I clearly gave the creators too much credit by arguing that the person was simply too obvious, and nobody would be stupid enough to be that obvious. To make it worse the rest of the show was just as frustrating. Nip/Tuck has always been “on the nose” and wildly over the top. Usually the over the top nature and twists fit in with the characters, and it made for highly entertaining TV. This season everything outlandish story device undercut the whole show, and the characters. Julie’s mother dies in a plane crash causing her to come to terms with her relationship with her mother. The problem is the mother never got on the plane! Those clever writers. So everything that Julie experienced is now mute. Way to go Nip/Tuck. That’s part of the problem with the show now. They keep trying to throw you with some clever twist, but the twist usually negates what we as a viewer have experienced. Just keep with the outlandish stories that push the characters to make decisions, and stop trying to fool us. I wash my hands of this show.

“Wake Me When Something Happens” Award: Lost

Eventually the teasing begins to bore. That’s what has happened to Lost. The first few episodes were pretty good, well except for the “let’s sit on a raft for an hour” episode. Then they got to wandering the jungle for 40 days and 40 nights. Here’s my problem. We don’t need the new people. They don’t progress the story in any way that our original castaways couldn’t. Don’t introduce new characters simply because you’re afraid you’ll run out of stories for your original stories. I feel like this is when sitcoms add the “cute adopted kid” to spice things up.

"Better Than I Thunk." Award: Invasion

The one reason I began watching this show was Shaun Cassidy. Yes, the one from the Hardy Boys Mysteries. That’s not the reason, though. The 1995 TV series “American Gothic” was one of my favorite shows back then even though it didn’t last a full season. Based on that show, created by Shaun Cassidy, I took a chance with Invasion. I have been pleasantly surprised. Sure the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” premise has been bludgeoned to death, but keeping everything within a small Florida town was a smart move. The show has also been smart enough to give enough information to satisfy, but still leave us asking more questions. William Fichtner's Sheriff Tom Underlay is Cigarette Man creepy. When he had that fellow abductee chop off his newly grown arm to keep his abduction a secret...shivers.

“The Close the Blinds” Award: Beauty and the Geek

Screw it. I’ll fess up and admit that I really enjoyed this show even though there is no reason I should. Rather than go sensational with the beauties and make fun of the geeks, the show wisely just lets them go to see what happens in the competitions. You get your villains and heroes of both sexes and some actually seem to learn something. My one problem with the show is that they boot them out of the house too early. The competition almost doesn’t matter because watching the dynamic between these polar opposites is pretty entertaining.

“The Crossed Fingers” Award: Rescue Me

I’ve enjoyed this show so much that I have looked past its slight errors. Second season wasn’t quite as good as season one. There is constant feeling of doom on the show that has lead to predictablility. You always know that no matter how good things get that something worse is just around the corner. Usually these moments were countered with cynical sense of humor. They pushed the limits last season when Leary’s son was killed by a drunk driver. Suddenly, the bad thing wasn’t a result of their own negligence or faults. This made the efforts at lightening things up feeling forced and awkward. It’s a slight hiccup that put a damper in a solid season. I have my fingers crossed they can pick things up next season. For more on the show, read my previous post.

“Gone Too Soon” Award: Arrested Development

Once again the networks clearly have no idea what they are doing. AD gets canceled after winning an Emmy, but they keep other shows like Stacked that has gotten the same or worse ratings? Come on. If you haven’t experience the brilliance of AD, rent some DVD’s now.

“They Can’t Possibly Do Anything Else.”Award: 24

This is getting ridiculous. This is what happened is season 4. Terrorists kidnap the Secretary of Defense in order to distract from them causing nuclear power plants to melt down. They then shoot down Air Force One to steal nuclear launch codes of a warhead they stole. The warhead is launched, a Chinese Ambassador is killed, and Jack has to fake his death. Am I the only the one that hummed The Incredible Hulk end theme when Jack walked off into the sunset? Still I love the show, and am completely addicted. I have no clue what they have planned, but I’m certain it will be completely unbelievable. Lost and other serial television shows should take a cue from 24. They run their episodes non-stop. There are no reruns during the season. If this means I have to wait a little longer for Lost to start there season, that’s fine with me. I hate these hiatuses.

“Genius” Award: The Shield

Gritty, tough, compelling, and genius are all words that can describe the best show on TV right now. The fourth season of the Shield was all about rebuilding the Strike Team after deconstructing it in season three. Before the season began, I though the major coup was signing Glen Close on. I was wrong. Not that Close wasn’t outstanding. She was. Her struggle of needing Mackey to put her plan into action, but knowing he could also sink it was great to watch. The coup was having Anthony Anderson as the season’s bad guy. Who knew he could be this good? I mean it’s the guy from Kangaroo Jack! If he isn’t nominated for an Emmy it’s a shame. It’s one of those career changing performances that alters the way you view an actor. For him to be the most ruthless, smart, and evil bad guy from any season of the Shield is saying something. Then there is the rest of the stellar cast. Acevada’s turn from lackey Captain to asshole City Councilman was great. When he works with Anderson’s character to get what he wants, you see how far he’ll go to save his ass. Yes, they tend to write away peripheral characters with no explanation. It’s forgivable with the uncompromising and compelling television they turn out each season. Season five starts tomorrow night.

1 comment:

bobby said...

Arrested Development has to be in the top ten best written comedies in tv history. Every episode is fat free. Gob is an all time great comic creation all by himself, but he's just one among a cast that is altogether brilliant. There are moments in that show that are so comicly right that I have to pause the DVD and reflect on it quietly.