Archive for March, 2006

The more you know!

I found this via Gawker and thought it was more appropriate for us: Fake PSAs. Also it’s been days and days since I posted about The Office. So… watch The Office. Gawker likes it, too.

March 31st, 2006

Pure as the driven effing snow

When I take my post-work runs on the treadmill, there are four TVs in the front of the room. Today, for some reason, two were turned to CNN, so I get to see Lou Dobbs talk about how much he hates those damned Mexicans. One was sports (or something) and then the other one was turned to ABC Family, where we got to see a rerun of 7th Heaven.

I went through a phase about two years ago where my then-roommate and I got trashed and watched the show every Monday (we also got liquored up for that year’s State of the Union address, but that was more of a way of coping). Like any novelty television show, we found that it was very conducive to drinking games.

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Here are some preliminary rules for the Official TiFaux 7th Heaven Drinking Game. Feel free to add rules to suit your fancy.

DRINK whenever you feel you’re being judged. Either through the characters’ comments on other peoples’ lifestyles or just through the show’s overall purity.

DRINK whenever the twins speak in unison

DRINK whenever the dog barks at somebody as if he’s commenting on the situation at hand

DRINK when someone gives advice

DRINK whenever there’s a heart-to-heart

DRINK whenever someone decides they need to talk to Rev. Camden.

5 comments March 30th, 2006

Two Truths and a Lie

1) Michael Cera, George Michael of the late Arrested Development, is really hilarious, and was the high point of last night’s Veronica Mars.

2) In the abstract (without pointing to specific examples), Veronica Mars is my favorite show on television.

3) Last night’s episode was so fulfilling and coherent! Best ever!

And the lie is… Number Three. But before I tell you why, here’s child prodigy Michael Cera. Comedy genius!

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By the way, last night my cable was still out, and in order to watch Veronica Mars, the intrepid Kyle constructed an antenna out of a hanger and some tin foil two minutes before the show started. It totally worked. It was amazing.

Okay, so… I don’t really want to talk about last night’s episode. Let’s just say that it felt like the first episode of the third season, Veronica Goes to College, not a real part of this one. We met a whole bunch of awesome new characters who we’ll probably never see again, and Veronica failed to solve the case, setting us up for what seems like a decent long-running mystery, except that she hasn’t even convinced herself she even wants to go to this college, so why should she (or we) care?

Also, Logan, I am very disappointed in you. Apologizing to Hannah? Just BE evil, already! I promise everyone will still love you.

And now let’s just put this all behind us and hope for better things to come. Dean and Troy, series regulars?

1 comment March 30th, 2006

Hail to the Persnickety Hero-Geniuses

I’d like to take a moment to pay my respects to one of my absolute favorite subsets of television characters: the Persnickety Hero-Genius, best exemplified by Adrian Monk (of Monk) and Gregory House (of House).

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These two characters (played by Tony Shalhoub and Hugh Laurie) have even more in common than similarly titled shows, matching Emmys, and headshots with eyes that follow you wherever you go. They are both impossible human beings with tragic pasts, incapable of maintaining normal relationships, and extremely awesome at what they do.

There are several important qualities that make a character a Persnickety Hero-Genius:

  1. The Tragedy. Monk’s wife Trudy was murdered. House’s leg went all to hell in a bad operation.
  2. The Ailment. Monk is practically housebound by OCD and other fears and relies on his assistant to do anything at all. House’s leg requires the use of a cane and lots of Vicodin, and even more sarcasm and insults. Interestingly, these Ailments were not completely caused by The Tragedy — Monk was OCD since childhood, and House was always an asshole. The Tragedy does make the Ailment worse, though.
  3. The Ability. Monk solves homicides. House diagnoses weird stuff. They both do it better than pretty much anyone, anywhere, and so their Ailments are overlooked by those around them.
  4. The Helpful Staff. Monk gets help from and deeply annoys his assistant Natalie (previously Sharona before she found out she wasn’t irreplaceable), long-suffering Captain Stodelmyer, and hilariously clueless Randy Disher, both of the police department. House has the Drs. Cameron, Chase, and Foreman to yell at when he feels like it, and Cuddy to yell at him, and Wilson to play foosball. Each of these supporting characters, though they find the Hero-Genius infuriating, does what he says because they know they’re doing Important Work.
  5. The Problems with Marriage. Monk seems to investigate an awful lot of spouse-murderers, and House is constantly discovering that a spouse has been cheating or, as was the case last night, attempting to kill his or her husband or wife. This is painful for Monk because of his Trudy issues, and vindicating for House because he doesn’t want anyone to be happy. Either way, it’s not healthy.

Of course, there are some differences. House is damn sexy, for one thing. Monk… not so much. Both shows are funny, but Monk is mostly a comedy, and House is mostly a drama (you can tell the difference from the show’s theme music). And in terms of risk taking, the two characters couldn’t be farther apart.

In essence, though, Monk and House are the same Persnickety Hero-Genius, fascinating to watch, but probably not so great if they existed in real life, especially if you worked for the San Francisco Police or at House’s fancy Princeton hospital.

And finally, I love House, but I’m not this person. That’s an English major really dying to break out her skillz.

4 comments March 29th, 2006

We’ll always have the memories

2 comments March 28th, 2006

Room Raiders: Cheerleader Nation style

Don’t think I’ve forgotten you, Cheerleader Nation. How could I stay away from your sloppy hairstyles (Kaitlin) your flat iron addictions (Chelsea) and your special way of making a full set of eyelashes clump together into 4 spikes (Ashley). How could I abandon you now when, headed into the regional competition, you’ve been slacking on your basket tosses and leaving your coach and choreographer wondering if you Want It badly enough. I could never leave you. No, I couldn’t.

 Especially when this week’s episode brought us the single best throwaway line in television history. One of those offhanded comments that makes you sit up and go “Wait, did I hear that correctly?” a la george bush doesn’t like black people.

Meet Saleem.

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Saleem is choreographing the Dunbar cheerleaders of Lexington, KY to what we hope will be their 3rd consecutive national championship. He’s doing such with chants like “WE ARE {clap} {clap} DUN-BAR!” so I’m going to go ahead and assume that he has his phD in literature from Columbia.

We don’t know much else about Saleem other than he has a “day job” that he never describes and he takes things way, way, way too seriously. Then, this episode, Donna (the coach/ mother of teeny cheerleader Ryan– yes, that’s a girl) drops the bomb– Saleem is roommates with the cheer choreographer for their rival team, Tates Creek. Who is also a dude.

Do the math here. Were you to, say,  google apartments in Lexington, KY, you’d rapidly discover that Saleem can live on his own for less than half of what I pay to have a roommate in NY. But instead, Saleem goes home to his (hot) roommate, where they discuss heel stretches and partner stunting. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve got your number.

8 comments March 28th, 2006

I Hate Carlos Mencia

Carlos Mencia is the ignorant man’s Dave Chapelle.

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I accidentally started watching his show, “Mind of Mencia,” the other night, knowing only that a) he is a successful stand-up comedian. b) he seems to be proud of his own stupidity.

To me, Mencia seems a lot like another rarely-funny comedian: Jay Leno. This is the way I see it — the reason Jay Leno isn’t funny is because his jokes all have the same punchlines. His monologues always fall back on the same tired crutches: Jennifer Lopez has a big butt. Anna Nicole Smith is on drugs. Michael Jackson is a pedophile. Bill Clinton is a womanizer. Leno has told all these jokes over and over for years and they never get any funnier.

Mencia is the same way, only his fallbacks are based on race/religion/sexual orientation, whatever. While Leno’s jokes are stupid and obvious, Mencia’s serve only to reinforce ugly stereotypes. His jokes don’t come from a good place.

When Dave Chapelle or Chris Rock or Sarah Silverman do this kind of stuff, there’s at least some intelligence behind it. Their comedy is based on insight, rather than cliches. You can tell that these three comedians are challenging their audiences with their material. Mencia just wants people to laugh at the stereotypes they already know.

I watched about half of the show before I had to change the channel, wanting to smack that “yeah, I said it” smirk off his face.

69 comments March 27th, 2006

No beer and no TV makes Homer something something

Time Warner has crapped out on us, and they can’t send anyone to do anything about it until Thursday. So… I guess I’ll be playing a lot of Babble.

1 comment March 25th, 2006

Getcha getcha getcha getcha getcha head in the game

We so have our finger on the nation’s television pulse: High School Musical, now an offical cultural phenomenon. I’m hoping this means television execs will be inspired and we will have more musical television coming our way. Not music television, that’s so over. Musical. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

4 comments March 24th, 2006

“I just like how he’s always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great.”

So, last night I went to a show by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins with my friend Belle. It was a good show — very June Carter Cash at the Grand Ole Opry. Jenny has a beautiful voice and has become quite the showwoman. We saw her at this weird venue in Alexandria, Va. called the Birchmere which has a dance floor and stage in the middle of a giant room and is surrounded by dining tables where people are shoveling chicken wings down their gullets.

In any case, what does this have to do with TV? I’ll tell you what.

One of the opening acts was this Scottish guy named Jonathan Rice who is actually Jenny’s boyfriend. He wore a Western shirt, some tight, tight black pants, and an expression that looked frightened and bewildered even when he was trying to joke around.

At first, I thought he looked like Bright Eyes (aka Connor Oberst). But, after giving it some more thought, I realized he reminded me of none other than Jordan Catalano of “My So-Called Life.”

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You can see it, right? The pouty lips. The big, dewy eyes. Those tangled, devil-may-care tresses. I mean, if Jordan took off that circa-1994 flannel you’d basically have the same person.

4 comments March 24th, 2006

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