Oh man, November sure has flown by here at BE HQ. Erin and I have spent much of our time devising new internet inventions. Like an RSS feed for your home alarm system. Or a tagging system for all your clothing (for example, the shirt I’m wearing is tagged ‘yellow, polo, stripes, don’t go outside’). Both of those are patented, by the way. Our latest project is a twitter-like system for playing hide-and-seek. It requires each player to be outfitted with a hand-held GPS device, a bluetooth-capable cell phone and a medium-sized beacon that’s attached to a hat and constantly flashes between two different primary colours. We think it could be the Stick Ball or Four Square of this new millennium.
Regardless, here are some quick thoughts on the shows we’ve neglected to talk about over the last couple of weeks:
I’ve been pretty harsh on Heroes this season, so it was nice to know that series creator Tim Kring mostly agrees with me.
Honestly, though, I found his admission of flaws kind of dubious. We were only, what, four or five episodes in at the time he made the statement? That’s kind of like an artist spending a lot of time (a whole summer!) working on a painting, then taking to a potential buyer who says “This sucks! I hate it!” and the artist going “Dude, I know! It’s terrible. There have been problems since day 1!”
In any case, the series itself has gotten better since I last left it. The episode with Noah’s supposed death was done very well, and stands up there with some of the better episodes from season one. The follow-up episode, aired this past Monday, didn’t do a great job of keeping that momentum, though. For whatever reason, it feels like Hayden Panettiere spend most of her summer vacation losing her ability to believably emote. Though I guess with lines like: (And I’m just barely paraphrasing here.) “I’ve been shot, stabbed, thrown off a building, burned, crucified, in a plane crash, disemboweled, run over by a steam roller and also cut my own toe off stupidly, but this hurts more than any of that.”
Regardless, we’re not in a bad place plot-wise.
Adam Monroe, formerly known as Kensei, has revealed himself to be a rather stunning ripoff of the Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. Seriously, Heroes has always been about ripping off comic books, but this one is kind of stunning isn’t it? The only differences I can see is that, while Adam can regenerate himself, Ra’s has to use the Lazarus pit. And, also, Ra’s has cool facial hair while Adam could never grow so much as a goatee without some pipe cleaners and a lot of scotch tape.
Anyway, Adam wants to get the virus that will kill 93% of the world’s population. This’d be generally difficult for a guy who doesn’t really have any offensive abilities, but thankfully he’s got Peter. Peter is ridiculously stupid. Despite pretty much everyone telling him that Adam is very very evil, Peter is unwilling to accept this fact. His stupidity is so vast it’s almost charming.
Hiro looks to be becoming our central protagonist this season, as he’s going up against Adam and Peter as of the end of last episode. While it’s nice to see Hiro away from that stupid feudal Japan set, it’s kind of ridiculous that his solution to EVERYTHING is now time travel. At this point, they should include a scene where he wakes up, discovers that bread has gone stale, and then travels back in time to make toast.
I know I sound negative. I’m not! Mostly, the show is good again! Relatively, anyway.
I don’t care what anyone says, I like the silly reality show style set up this season has going. The only thing that truly sucks about it is Foreman, who does little more than laze about looking sad. It’d really be much preferred if he would do something. But the (apparently semi-permanent) presence of Kal Penn as a doctor who occasionally electrocutes himself and lights patients on fire more than makes up for it.
The odds seem to point to his team being Kal Penn, 13, and Cut Throat Bitch, but I have a slight feeling that they might throw a swerve at us and 13 might be the one going home. I like the sex-addict plastic surgeon better anyway.
America’s Next Top Model
I didn’t think China was supposed to be so fun! They all look like they’re having a delightful time! I’m still picking Heather to win, even though her Asperger’s syndrome seems to be about as phony as most other people’s Asperer’s syndrome.
It feels like the last episode was forever ago — mostly because it almost was, due to the writer’s strike (more on that later) — but I will note that that episode, “The Deposition”, was definitely something memorable. It’ll never stand up as one of the funniest episodes ever (though Kelly & Pam playing ping-pong through their boyfriends, and then sucking, was a great sub-plot) but deserves to be remembered because Steve Carrell acted his ass off.
The Michael character is never more interesting than when he’s put in situations like this, when his loyalty and desire to be liked comes to the forefront, and we’re made to be feel incredibly sad for this guy who is, outwardly, a totally lame jerk. Without Carrell, it wouldn’t work anywhere near as well.
I would have really liked to have seen the follow-up to the episode. I guess I’ll see it eventually. Maybe.
30 Rock is tremendously hilarious and not at all poignant. I love so many things about it. I love the recurring references to the best-joke-ever Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. I love that this show made David Schwimmer for the first time since potentially ever. I love how damn attractive Tina Fey is. And, most of all, I love Alec Baldwin, and everything he is.
Funniest network show on TV this fall. Only It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on the FX network beats it.
The Amazing Race
I don’t have a lot to say about this so far — my only major note is that host Phil Keoghan really needs to just let go and embrace his hair loss — but it seems to be shaping up as one of the best seasons this show has seen. Certainly the best since that first Amber/Rob season. There’s not any stand-out teams for me yet, but I’m finding pretty much no one annoying, which is so rare for this show. It’s nice to have this quiet, relaxing, hilarious show back on Sunday nights.
I’ll have more on these shows later, along with some thoughts on the writer’s strike. Thanks for reading!