Posts filed under 'Monk'

The More You Know: Illness edition

I don’t know how I’ve managed to not get sick so far.

December 19th, 2007

The More You Know: Overheated edition

I’m tying a giant ice cube on top of my head as we speak.

1 comment July 23rd, 2007

The More You Know: Red robot edition

I wish I could live in one.

2 comments July 10th, 2007

This Weekend on the TiFaux: Kyle Just Bought a Plasma

I don't care what's on, I'll watch it because it's beautiful.

Tonight, it's the Monk and Psych season finales. Some murderers are going to be quirky, and then they'll be quirkily captured.

Saturday Night Live repeats the Jake Gyllenhaal episode. "You're gonna love meeeeeeeeeeee!!" indeed.

I reverted to some major nerditude when I saw that Stephen Sondheim was a guest voice on this Sunday's Simpsons. Great — now I'm going to be singing Sunday in the Park with George to myself all day [FYI to fellow nerds: couldn't find "It's Hot Up Here," which is actually the song that's stuck in my head, and I would say gets stuck in my head an average of three times a week].

And finally, we finally get to hear from Starbuck (finally) on Battlestar Galactica this Sunday. Promises to be trippy, emotionally abusive, and weird. Back where it belongs. 

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming: All weekend Oxygen is showing their original movie The Robber Bride, based on the Margaret Atwood book, starring Mary Louise Parker. Mary Louise Parker, as we all should know by now, totally rules. On Sunday the Travel Channel has a show, Sand Blasters, about a tense sand blasting competition. Enter the cutthroat world of competitive sand blasting! No holds barred! Xtreme XndBlstg!

1 comment March 2nd, 2007

This Weekend on the TiFaux: You’re a Winner, and You, and You, and You! Not You, Though.

Friday's Motto: We're Not Even Trying. Sigh. There's a new Monk tonight. And VH1 is showing Wet Hot American Summer — though I'd recommend renting/netflixing it if you're new to its awesomeness, so it's not the neutered version.

rainn.jpgAs Dan pointed out, Rainn Wilson is hosting SNL this weekend. I'm going to go ahead and say that I think this is going to be great. Not only is Rainn hilarious, and actually kind of cute when his hair's not all Dwight-y, but usually the slightly less famous hosts tend to work harder at SNL, resulting in much better shows.

Also on Saturday, the Independent Spirit Awards. Or the Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Or just the Spirit Awards. Who knows. They're kind of fun, usually, though after the Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central I think I've had enough Sarah Silverman to last me quite some time. (Yes, that show was/is [I've given up] that annoying. And I love Sarah Silverman.) 

The Oscars are Sunday. Whop-de-doo! I'm rooting for The Departed, because it was great, and also because I feel so bleh about the rest of them. 

And who dares to program against the Oscars? Why, it's none other than plucky Battlestar Galactica. This week's episode was written by Jane Espenson

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming: Look, I'm going to count the Spirit Awards, the Oscars, and Wet Hot American Summer for this part of the post. What more do you want from me, people??? 

1 comment February 23rd, 2007

This Weekend on the TiFaux… Props to Bill Hader’s Peter O’Toole.

Friday kicks off with a Randy Disher-focused Monk. Randy's a great character. I'm not ashamed of my fondness for Monk, but it really is such an old-person show. Best to watch the episodes while baking muffins or polishing your boots.

Laughing on the inside.

Forest Whitaker hosts SNL. Personally, I don't associate Forest Whitaker with hilarious comedy. His movies are dark and his award acceptance speeches are soporific. So… maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised? Also, I'd like to put a motion out there to make Bill Hader's Peter O'Toole impersonation a permanent SNL fixture. I couldn't find the latest sketch with Drew Barrymore, but here's his funny first appearance.

There's a new Battlestar Galactica Sunday. Wheee! The guy made of water from X-Men is a guest star. But who cares — if you watch, you'll watch. And you should watch.

3 comments February 9th, 2007

This Weekend on the TiFaux… Super Bowl and Stuff.

This summary goes backwards, like that episode of Seinfeld.

On the left is the girl from Dr. Who. On the right is the coolest book cover ever. What do they have in common?

Sunday's the Super Bowl. I could potentially win some money in an office pool (1% chance of money!), so I'll be watching. And eating various foods dipped in sundry sauces. Also, Masterpiece Theater is showing the British adaptation of Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke. I'm actually relieved Battlestar Galactica took a pass this weekend; I couldn't have caught all three on the 'Faux.

Drew Barrymore's bringing the cute to Saturday Night Live. I have nothing against Drew Barrymore (except for all her terrible movies), but I doubt this week is going to equal the solid couple of weeks we've just had on SNL. Does anything in the world look worse than Music and Lyrics

I was just looking over the offerings for sad, sad Friday night, and noticed that in addition to your Ghost Whisperers and your 1 vs. 100s, you've got Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials 2007. That's really distilling things down to the essentials. In the actually watchable category, Steven Weber, the official Best Thing About Studio 60 ™, guest stars on Monk as a shock jock who, presumably, killed his wife in a devious manner. Wings reunion. Paging Thomas Hayden Church.

See you next week! 

1 comment February 2nd, 2007

Battle of the Television Detectives

The Contenders


Veronica Mars, spunky teen with a dark past. Strengths: accents, computer savvy, and irresistible blond pixie cuteness. Weaknesses: bad boys, overly complicated capers, and an overprotective dad.

David Addison and Maddie Hayes, mismatched pair of bumbling detectives. Strengths: attractiveness, chemistry, preternatural ability to stumble on to the solution despite earlier lack of insight or ability. Weaknesses: all strengths lost when they actually hook up.

Adrian Monk, obsessive-compulsive ex-police officer. Strengths: attention to detail, excellent memory, and a crack team of helpers. Weaknesses: attention to detail, memory of wife's murder, and fear of everything.

Jessica Fletcher, kindly woman writer of a certain age. Strengths: ability to appear totally harmless, and twelve freaking years on the air. Weaknesses: constant barrage of crime everywhere she goes seems suspicious.

Shawn Spencer, irresponsible gadabout with daddy issues. Strengths: charm, the zoomy-eye thing, ability to act psychic. Weaknesses: borderline narcissist personality disorder, and no one watches his show yet.

The Match

Monk easily annihilates Shawn Spencer in the first round, though Spencer nearly disqualified himself for excessive mugging. Monk then takes down the Moonlighting duo, who are too busy trading zingers to give the bout their all. But in the next round he's bested by Jessica Fletcher, who distracts him by a devious mismatched-buttons ploy. And then it's Fletcher versus Mars. Veronica pulls an All About Eve and asks Jessica to tell her stories about the old days. While Jessica's distracted, Veronica hacks into the social security database and erases any evidence that Jessica ever existed.

The Winner

Veronica Mars

The Loser

Maggie, for having way too much time on her hands 

August 14th, 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).


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


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