Friday, October 30, 2009

Farewell Koji

The worst thing about this week's Project Runway elimination of slow-talking hipster designer Logan was that his model was eliminated alongside him. Koji was my favourite model from day one with her edgy look, down to earth attitude, motherly nature and guitar playing, Irish brogue-ing, fun and genuine energy. It seemed that every single week Koji would be the last model saved from elimination, and every week I breathed a sigh of relief that the sanest girl in the house lived to walk another day. Sadly, with Logan's elimination, the last designer hip enough to work with Koji's look has left the show, leaving her as the odd woman out in a race filled with designers who are very loyal to their favourite models. Though Models of the Runway continues to be the perfect little post-PR treat, it'll be just a little less fun without Koji there to root for. So who to throw that support behind? I'm saying Go Katie Go!

Hey, 30 Rock's Back To Being Hilarious...YAY!

The Best Part? All of It.

- Tracy tries to kill Betty White by calling her and yelling "boo" then tries to bludgeon Jimmy Fallon after asking him if he's famous: "I did a movie with Queen Latifa once".
- Jack forces Liz to head down south instead of to Toronto or San Francisco to find the new cast member, prompting lots of fun about what's "real" America, what "real" Americans want and why that can't come from Canada or "the people's gaypublic of drugaphornia" (aka San Fran).
- Jenna forces herself on the writers and defends her actions to her gay friends: "oh, don't look at me like I'm a football game"
- Lutz, Toofer and Frank's pathetic Halloween party flashback complete with costumes
- Liz fights Jack's assessment of southerners with TV references galore:"stop calling them simple... sure some of these people are simple, but some of them are smart like Matlock; or wholesome like Ellie May Clampette; and some of them are skeezy dirt bags like the Dukes of Hazaard, driving around like maniacs, children use those roads".

Welcome Back Tina & Co. I've Missed You.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is it Luck or Talent?

For the past several weeks Robin on Top Chef has somehow managed to avoid the axe. How? She is consistently in the bottom three; her dishes are deplorable; and her talent is sub-par compared to the rest of the contestants. This past week she outlived Mike Isabella. Sure, he's not the best chef on that show--but my problem is that the decision came down to Mike and Robin! Robin?!?! Robin has not demonstrated why she belongs on this show....Which leads me to this: is she really talented and we (the audience), due to editing, never see this talent? Or, is she just a victor in someone's misfortune?

Obviously, Robin is not going to win the show. It has been clear from the beginning who the top four chefs are going to be: Jenn, Bryan and his brother Michael, and Kevin. But how long are the judges going to keep her around if the audience never sees her produce anything worthy?

My belief: Robin is possibly one of the luckiest contestants that I have ever seen on a reality TV show. Hopefully, this streak of luck will end soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh Canada!... that's what she said?

How I Met Your Mother may have taken me and my American counterparts to a fictionalized accent-filled Toronto last week but it wasn't until I watched the latest from CBC's Being Erica in contrast that I realized what it really is that sets Canadian TV apart from its powerful southern neighbour's weekly offerings.

Canadian TV sports accurate Canadian accents and Torontonian locales; the people look more like really beautiful human beings than otherworldly supermodels; our reality show judges are fair and supportive; we air small human stories that resonate widely as opposed to broad melodramatic ones... Alright, I'll just say it, it's the sex.

Even the most scandalous of primetime American broadcast shows are heavily regulated by the FCC. The Gossip Girl kids are just misbehaving teens really, the prostitute on Melrose Place is never seen doing much more than leaving a room and the Oceanic 815 castaways generally haven't taken the "lost on a desert island" thing to the dirty conclusions one might expect. Cable's the place to find the shows that make me blush; I don't think I'll ever recover from that shot of inside the airport janitor's closet in the Six Feet Under pilot. But generally, on broadcast, they keep the nitty gritty off the screen and leave us viewers with the suggestion of what happened between edits.

And then there's Being Erica, a mainstream, primetime, network broadcast dramedy that set much of its most recent episode in a sex club. And the gratuitous shots that called to mind the reason that I gave up on The Tudors after only an episode and a half because I was simply embarrassed, made me realize something: this particularly fancy free episode wasn't a rarity, it was a norm on Canadian TV.

Whether it's a jazz number that makes even hard-nosed American hip hop choreographer Dan Karaty blush on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, the unintentional brushing hands of strict Muslims Rayyan and Amar on Little Mosque or the fact that Erica's job this season is to edit a sex book, Canadian TV always seems to be pushing the boundaries of modesty, wherever those boundaries might be.

So then, my question to Barney Stinson would be this:
1) Do you want to be Canadian?
2) No more questions. I thought so.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good Bad News

It's bad news for her, but good news for the audience: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz will be moving away from Melrose Place as of January. Her and the hot chef guy have both been fired so the show can move in "a new direction", whatever that means. The Sydney mystery will be wrapping up and new characters will be introduced for the back half of the season.

In a statement released to E!, Simpson-Wentz said "playing a creepy, unstable character was something I always wanted to do"; what that sentence says about her mental state, I'll leave up to you to infer.

So with their weakest link gone and ratings ringer Heather Locklear scheduled to show up in the coming months, does Melrose Place actually stand a chance of making it to a second season? For the sake of the super adorable Michael Rady, I kind of hope so... did I really just say that?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Blame Game

A few years ago I was obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. It was the number one show I looked forward to watching week after week. Several friendships were created over the show and I'm sure a few here or there were harmed by it (not being available on Thursday nights in college can be rather difficult for socializing). But then I lost interest. It was right after the whole GIzzie fiasco but I definitely don't blame that relationship for ending my love, I simply got busy.

The reason I haven't gone back is simple: I feared Grey's would inevitably turn into the new ER: new characters every season, over-the-top drama, a few good actors but overall just a medical procedural.

I was done. But then...George died (or so I heard). I just had to go back and watch the premiere to see how the original interns reacted...their reactions sucked by the way. But then something even crazier happened, Grey's really did become the new ER and a flood of Mercy Wester's joined the cast.

The crazyness continues: I kind of love it again....or at least did for (most of) tonight's episode. The whodunnit investigation kept me on the edge of my seat and the tension was so well played my heart was racing. The Chief actually scared me for once and typically I find him to be the most boring character in the series. Lexie was incredibly sympathetic with her emotionally inappropriate outburst. Yang showed a softer side when she saw the error of her ways and gave Reed some much needed back-up. Alex was heartwrenchingly adorable in his quest to contact Izzie and the ramifications of his hanging up on her. That big guy whose name nobody knows was annoying but in an incredibly watchable way. I also quickly fell in love with the adorable April who sort of exudes innocence and likability. I found myself easily interested in how these characters would continue to interact within the episode and the upcoming season. The only individual that drives me crazy is Reed. Granted, I may have an unfair bias against Reed and for April. Sarah Drew was one of the favorite actresses in Everwood and her portrayal of Hannah was spot on, while Reed was one of my least favorites in both Everwood and Heroes (she always comes off as a bit too bitchy).

So this brings me to my major problem with tonight's episode: after 10 minutes I knew the ending would piss me off. The mystery behind whose fault it was for killing the patient was solved from the beginning, at least for those viewers who have any intelligence. April's painstakingly obvious failure to check the patient's throat was clearly always going to big the big mistake. And if you are anyone who ever reads television blogs (which clearly you are) then you probably already knew that someone was getting fired on tonight's episode. So the amazingly talented Sarah Drew is no longer on the cast, and quite frankly I now dislike Reed even more for giving up her friend and also being just as distracted and calling attention to what initially distracted April.

DAMN YOU GREY'S!!!! Way to get rid of the most exciting new character.

Granted, I still liked the episode even knowing the end of the mystery so I suppose that's saying something...I'll be back next week.

A COMMUNITY I Really Want to Join

Community may just be the best written show on television. The lines in Community could be the most quotable, loveable wonderful television shows on the air. Emotional breakdown that starts with a teary eyed, "I've peed alone my whole life?" Check. Fun, only slightly-dated popular culture references that also serve as character analysis? "Annie also said she found Benjamin Button compelling. She's a smart girl, but sometimes she's JUST wrong." Double check.

So far, they've walked a brilliant line between caustic satire of ridiculousness, hearty gooey typical televisiony-ness, and wonderful, lightning fast one liners that are at once topical, witty, and completely unexpected. With a show that is so interested in just tossing jokes out at the speed of light, it would be easy to lose sight of the plot. Yet every episode thus far has deepened one of the supporting players, shown us fascinating new sides of Jeff, and also provided some surprisingly timely satire.

Take for example this exchange:

Annie: You're right, I could never be as good [at manipulating people] as you, probably because I actually care.
Jeff: True, but technically meaningless. And don't try and do that thing that girls do where they walk away and try to make you feel like crap, because it won't work... Crap.

It was at deeply funny and witty and served as a brilliant character moment for both characters. Annie realized the depth of her feelings for Troy, and Jeff had a defining moment of breaking through his own crap and giving up his own selfishness.

In summary, Community is the kind of brilliant that where it's almost unfathomable it made it on the air.


  • "I think not being racist... is the new racist." (Jeff about the attempt to make a Human Being mascot)

  • "Bing Bong sing along. You're teams Al Gores cause your views are wrong." (Troy's ridiculous conservative rap)

  • Every part of the discussion of Jeff's hair.

  • Jeff: I just think we were both wrong.

Annie: Really? Because I'm an 18 year old girl and you made me cry in public.

Jeff: Okay... maybe I was a little more wrong.

  • "We solved racism. What's next?" "Maybe we should do something for little people."

Best Restaurant Wars Restaurant EVER?!?

1) That quickfire challenge was COOL

2) I Love Restaurant Wars! It's always one of the best episodes of the season.

3) The splitting up of the teams was brilliant; putting the Voltaggios together on the same team as Robin (the weak link) and pitting them against Jen and Kevin (the other two frontrunners) was great. The concept of "picking teams" is always fun and competitive and to make the two team captains Michael and Jen really made for dynamic groups. It also meant that the top 4 (Michael, Bryan, Jen and Kevin), 2 let-downs (Robin and Laurine) and 2 middle-dwellers (Mike and Eli) were all divided equally, giving each team a solid chance at the win and guaranteed that one of the 2 worst chefs would deservedly go home.

4) The editing around the Michael Volt sequence was flat out mean. To edit in scenes of him yelling and stressing out around an interview where he declares the importance of calm leadership and decorum in the kitchen seemed like a blatant attempt by producers to cut down the obvious fan favourite (the younger/cuter of the two genius brothers). That said, it was kind of hilarious, in a sad kind of way. And they had a point, Michael's intensity is even getting to cool-headed big-brother Bryan.

5) Aww, Michael split the money with his team. The mean editing did NOT work- bah, he's awesome!

6) The right person went home. Laurine did the worst job this week. Even though the general consensus among the chefs is that Robin shouldn't be there anymore, she did well this week. Her dish was among the most successful of the night (though Michael V did help her out a lot), it didn't hurt, though, that she was on the better team (has Bryan ever been in the bottom? Ever?). But why was Kevin so upset? Did he think someone else on their team should have gone home? Or was he just upset about having screwed up at all?

All in all, fantastic episode! I think this may not just have been the best restaurant wars restaurant ever on Top Chef, I think this may just be the best season of Top Chef, period. It's certainly not hurting for talent, drama or character (three characteristics each Voltaggio has in spades on his own, put them together and you've got one hell of a TV show. Did someone say Food Network?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Two Bouts of Extroardinarily Glee-ful News

The first bit of news is that Broadway's beautiful leading man Jonathan Groff is scheduled to appear in an upcoming 4-5 episode arc of Glee as the lead singer of a competing glee club. Spring Awakening's golden-voiced golden boy may be a potential love interest for his former co-star Lea Michele's obnoxious character Rachel. Alright Glee, here's where you really earn your stripes as a quality phenomenon: there's a lot at stake with a matchup like Michele and Groff but, succeed and you'll have my heart forever, fail to 1) develop his character in an interesting way and 2) give him the vocals those pipes deserve and you'll have lost me forever (and all My TV coverage along with me).

However, failure or no failure on the Jonathan Groff front, there's at least one episode of Glee's back 9 episodes that I'll be watching no matter what- the one directed by a man who makes the term "cult icon" look like an officer appointment in a Facebook group. Joss Whedon, the man whom we at My TV consider to be one of the greatest creative minds of his generation, has signed on to direct an episode of the flawed show (which apparently he is a big fan of).

If Glee hadn't achieved cult status by now, the additions of Broadway's most popular wunderkind and TV's most popular poohbah certainly won't hurt.

Hey Robin, It's Tough Living in the States, eh?

As a Canadian living in Boston, tonight's How I Met Your Mother made me giddy. What made it so funny? IT'S ALL TRUE! Well, most of it. Torontonians by no means have funny accents like the lady in Tim Hortons, I have no idea who the Quebecois guy Robin mentioned in the first scene is, she is still using "eh" in the wrong context and Toronto is really not the place to find lumberjack types like the ones who beat up Barney (especially not at Yonge & Front St).

But the rest of it, totally on the ball. I couldn't tell what was weird about what Robin was saying until I read the subtitles and realized that in the states it's called an electric bill, not a hydro bill; I got made fun of endlessly last week when I kept complaining that my garberator was broken; Canadians really do call it "The States" while Americans call it "America"; people mock the funny money in my wallet all the time; and we really are known for "please" and "thankyous" when getting our coffee at Tim Hortons, or anywhere else for that matter.

So now I'm homesick, thanks a lot HIMYM. Not only did you have a Canada-centric episode, you brought Robin all the way to my hometown to prove your point. Barney enjoyed the perks of universal healthcare, Robin sang "O Canada" and Tim Hortons coffee was enjoyed by all. Meanwhile, the episode mercilessly mocked Americans for their narcisistic and selfish ways, which is always fun, especially when you consider that said jokes were written by and for good-natured Americans who are willing to laugh at themselves.

So, thanks to HIMYM, tonight as I sit in my lovely Boston apartment, watching American network TV, I'll think of how I can't wait to be home again, in Canada... for American Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How Glee Won Me Over

The day has finally come when I can count myself among Glee's many fans. The biggest hit and most buzzed about show of the season, Glee just never sat right with me. Months ago I reviewed the pilot, an episode that had me wanting to turn off my TV part way through. But here we are in mid October and the Ryan Murphy show has finally worked it all out. They've given hearts to the kids they villified in the pilot, they've given the spotlight to the sidelined characters that deserve it, they've even managed to turn Matthew Morrison's flawed but aggravating hero into someone I want to see on the screen (all the time, in fact).

It was slow at first; Rachel (my least favourite character) was still dominating the episodes, Finn was being treated as a god and not as a directionless oaf and all the other characters were little more than their outer appearances (Mercedes as the diva, Quinn as the bitch, Puck as the bully, Kurt as the flamboyant victim). But the progress was starting. Quinn's storyline picked up, and the additional screentime meant that both her and Puck were given more dimensions. That story didn't hurt Finn either, he was taken off his pedestal and communicated to the audience just how clueless he was, creating pathos where once there was none.

As for Mr. Shue, I don't know how they did it but he got cool. Not cool in the "he's the young hot teacher and he radiates cool" kind of way but in the "he's actually really endearing and can look like a fool and still make it work" kind of way. Matthew Morrison's easy charm started to shine through and the downplaying of the role of his wife was greatly appreciated (because she is not very funny and basically just in the way, a plot device if you will).

The musical numbers are still dubbed to within an inch of the their lives but, for the most part, they're a hoot. And the show does a good job of getting a ton of numbers into each episode.

So, finally, I get to like the show I've always wanted to like. It just too a little longer than I thought.

To read the progression of My TV's Glee coverage, click the "Glee" tab on the right hand side of this page.

New But Familiar Faces

The employees of Seattle Grace may be suffering under their seige, but the new orange-scrubed doctors who've landed on Grey's Anatomy have some comfortingly familiar faces, even if their names need to be looked up on IMDB.

Nora Zehetner (aka Colin's sister from Everwood) was extremely annoying,
Robert Baker (aka Leo from Valentine) was easily the most interesting new guy
and Sarah Drew (Hannah from Everwood- ok, I knew that one without IMDB) was ok I guess.

In Other Grey's news:
- Kathleen Wolhoite (aka Luke's sister on Gilmore Girls) guest starred as a patient's daughter.
- Sandra Oh cried but it was far from her best performance
- Callie's story was really affecting, even if a little preachy (familiar face Hector Elizondo reappeared as her father)
- Izzie's George-related meltdowns were great
- Justin Chambers was amazing, as always, but even more so.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


First we lost Shane Sparks, then Wade Robson cut back to a routine or two a year, now the choreographer universally acknowledged to be a genius, Mia Michaels, is also leaving So You Think You Can Dance. The creator of countless memorable contemporary pieces and very few mediocre ones, Mia was the highlight of almost every show. With Adam Shankman as the permanent third judge, we knew we'd be getting a little less Mia this year but I was holding out hope that that meant more of her choreography in place of her harsh but fair judging. But no, it means no Mia at all. Nigel apparently has left the door open for her to return whenever she likes though, so I imagine there'll be maybe one or two "very special Mia Michaels routines" per season. And she only specifically announced that she was resigning from the American show, maybe Canada will still be graced with her presence from time to time: hey, we can dream.
Read all about it by clicking here.

As a final tribute to the fan-favourite, here are My TV's favourite Mia routines:

The Group Dances:
5. Season 3: "The Moment I Said It", Top 10
4. Season 5: "Higher Ground", Top 18
3. Season 4: The Highland Dance, Top 4
2. Canada Season 1: "Any Other World", Top 10
1. Season 4: "Ave Maria" Top 5 girls

The Best Couples Dances:
1o. Season 3: "Dancing", Lacey & Kameron
9. Season 3: "Let the Drummer Kick", Lauren & Neil
8. Season 5: The Butt Dance, Evan & Randi
7. Season 4: The Door Routine, Katee & Twitch
6. Season 4: The Bed Routine, Twitch & Kherington
5. Season 4: "Hometown Glory", Katee & Joshua
4. Season 5: The Addiction Dance, Kayla & Kupono
3. Season 5: The Layers Dance, Kayla & Jeanine
2. Season 2: The Bench Routine, Travis & Heidi
1. Season 3: "The You Look At Me", Danny & Lauren

Bones: Mummification

For most of tonight's episode, the mummified motif present in our case of the week (which, despite being set at the Jeffersonian and involving mummies and international intrigue, seemed even more trivial than the past few weeks') seemed overly appropriate. The whole "Brennan dates someone else" plot line seemed sort of ridiculous two seasons ago; by this point, it seems... just a hair short of unbelievable. I just don't think at this point that Brennan is SO unaware of both her own feelings for Booth and Booth's feelings for her that she "doesn't understand" why Booth was so upset about her dating his boss. Nor do I particularly think she wanted to date said boss, even if it did have "the possibility of sex" (as brilliant a Brennan line as any, I might add).

All that being said, the storyline played out pretty damn well. Even if I found the device tired, about forty minutes into the episode, it became obvious that are characters were not, in fact, mummified. Time had progressed quite a bit past the point where either of them could deny the fact that their personal lives affect one another. For Pete's sake, last week they played house with Booth's son. They're not "strictly professional" by any stretch of the imagination. Booth's anger at Brennan when he found out she had shared a story about him on her date was so well played by Boreanaz and well-received by Deschanel that I was reminded why, once again, no matter how much the plotting of this show lets me down, I keep coming back.

But then even the plotting stepped it up. That scene in the museum was as intense as any the pair have ever shared, and even though I knew, this being a FOX show and not a particularly gutsy one, that nothing huge could happen in a non-SWEEPS episode that wasn't ridiculously over-promoted, it got my heart going all a-pitter-patter, proving that despite all the tug of war the show has put me through I'm still invested in it.

I sort of hate when my reviews devolve into a "Booth-and-Brennan hook up" watch. It's really all there is to write about in an episode like this. In theory there was a B-plot: Sweets and Daisy had some sort of fight and made up by show's end. But Daisy doesn't exist outside of the episode's where the show gets bored with the other interns, and I'm far more interested in the twisted parts of Sweets personality than watching him creepily try to condition his girlfriend like he's Sheldon and she's Penny.

The show used to be more than that, and occasionally still is. Don't get me wrong, the best part of this show was always Booth and Brennan, but the mysteries used to be more engaging, and the background players used to seem more intriguing. The best Bones episodes blend all of these together. When the mysteries are as weak as this week's, I literally want to fast forward through all the explanation parts. I've gotten sucked in to episodes of Law & Order that I've watched for two minutes, so I know I'm not just immune to procedural dramas. And even though I love that Bones is more character based than plot based (I think it's a brilliant twist on the genre), I wish they could get their better balance back.

But as long as the scenes between Booth and Brennan are as well written as tonight's, I'll continue showing up for every cliched-interruption, plausibility-stretching dilemma, and by the numbers murder cases the show wants to throw my way to take up the minutes between brilliantly acted screwball romantic comedy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A (Not So) Perfect Bachelor

It's no secret that this summer I got really into The Bachelorette. By "really into" I mean there was nothing else to watch so I fell in love with several of the awesome men and continued to hate Jillian every week.

Regardless of my dislike for the title "character", I was still looking forward to this January's Bachelor. With any smarts, the show would cast Kypton, Reid, or maybe even Michael as the new seeker of love.

Epic fail.

It was just announced that the new season will focus on none other than Jake. If you don't recall, he was the guy that showed up to warn Jillian of Wes' cheating ways. He was also the self-described perfect guy and the one who sounded entirely fake every time he spoke.

So here's to a season of horrible cheesiness and terrible perfection...I won't be watching.

Actor Obsession: Matthew Rhys

Since Brothers & Sisters' first season back in 2006, Matthew Rhys has been one of my favourite people on television. His complicated and endearing character Kevin Walker has also been a favourite, as well as one half of TV's best couple: Kevin and Scotty. The 34-year-old masks an accent and tackles English as a second language (his first is Welsh) to play Kevin and manages to steal every scene that he's in; this week was no exception as his scene with Kitty was the most affecting I've seen in quite some time.

Though most of his film credits have gone unseen by the My TV team, Rhys' work in Julie Taymor's controversial 1999 interpretation of Shakespeare's Titus was startling when Tim and I first saw the film a couple weeks ago. Once we realized that we were watching our beloved kind-hearted Kevin in the despicable role of Demetrius (who, alongside his brother Chiron, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, rapes and mames Titus' daughter Lavinia), it took us awhile to adjust to seeing Rhys in such a different character (not to mention sporting a different accent and bleach blond hair). But Rhys' performance is undeniably good, a highlight of the star-studded film and one of the more memorable pieces of character acting I've ever seen.

So with a solid line of credits, international appeal and one of TV's most engaging characters as a day job, the only question that remains is: where is this guy's Emmy?

TV That Rocks

In recent days, my favourite TV characters have had a little help from the good people over in the music department in creating some really memorable scenes. Here are the videos of some of our favourite musical moments from this week (and one from last season that was just too great to pass up).

Monday, October 12, 2009

He's Worth the Hour and Half

Saturday Night Live is a tedious show to watch. Its lack of consistency often creates lackluster shows, with maybe a funny skit here or there. However, despite the script of the sketch or the character he plays, Bill Hader makes watching Saturday Night Live hilarious. To his voice, facial gestures, and timing in his skits, he is just funny. I watch for Bill Hader and his comedic skills.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Good and Bad of Jim and Pam's Wedding

This week's episode of The Office was an event; the wedding that fans and characters alike have been waiting for for years. In pleasing, disappointing and appropriate ways, the episode was perhaps the perfect one to celebrate the series' history and identity.

In accordance with The Office's tendency towards broad and unfunny humour, Andy hurt his scrotum, Kevin wore both a toupee and Kleenex box shoes and Michael was grossly inappropriate and outlandish. On the upside of the comedy was the subtly funny new receptionist Erin, the small Kelly/Ryan moments, Jim's humanizing slip-up about the pregnancy and Phyllis' hat.

On the other side of the Office coin was the sweet sentimentality that has always been the heart of the show. The landmark episode that saw loyal fans rewarded after 5+ seasons of rooting for Jim and Pam, gave the two beloved characters their happily ever after in a perfectly fitting way.

The episode reminded fans why they fell in love with the couple in the first place; they're low key yet somehow epic.

Not to give anything away, the lovely (if flawed) episode contained what I'm sure will be remembered as some of the series' sweetest moments, which included:

- Jim's (almost) perfect rehearsal dinner speech (John Krasinski, you may have just won yourself the "Marry Me" My TV Award)

- a beautiful scene featuring a tie and a veil (perfection by way of flaw= Jam personified)

- "plan A was marrying her a long time ago, pretty much the day I met her" + plans B and C

and (the best part)

- a montage of 2 cross-cut scenes of epic proportion, one being a beautiful character-perfect romantic moment and the other being a series-perfect tribute to a cultural phenomenon: the effect is the perfect mix of Office zaniness and sweetness that leaves you with a smile on your face.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I'm Bored

What is wrong with this TV season? Maybe it's that Lost, Better Off Ted, 30 Rock, My Boys, Big Love and Friday Night Lights didn't return to the schedule in a timely manner. Maybe it's that I'm a season behind on Dexter and Mad Men so am holding off on watching those this season. Or maybe it's that I really miss the dearly departed series of last season (Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Kings, Valentine, Samantha Who). Whatever the cause, I'm bored of the current season of TV, and we're only a couple weeks in!

First of all, there's simply too much dancing. I've never felt quite so apathetic to a season of So You Think You Can Dance in the show's history. But FOX's harebrained decision to air season 6 immediately after season 5 has taken all the excitement out of the show. It's not a long-awaited summer treat anymore, but rather a tedious parade of boring. Add on to that the fall run of So You Think You Can Dance Canada and the recently premiered (but enjoyable so far) season of Dancing with the Stars and there's something to be said for what Entertainment Weekly calls "watching other people dance fatigue".

The rest of reality's doing ok though. I'm excited to take a look at the new season of Amazing Race, Survivor hasn't lost Tim's viewership yet and excellent seasons of Top Chef and Project Runway (and its counterpart Models of the Runway) have made their way to the top of my priority list each week.

The comedies are ok I guess. How I Met Your Mother started strong but followed up a great opener with 2 good but not stunning episodes. Big Bang Theory is chugging along at a predictably decent pace but stopped surprising me back in season 1. Accidentally on Purpose is still endearing enough though. On ABC Wednesday's new comedy night, I'm generally disappointed. Modern Family, I can safely say, is the let down of the season for me. The critics did the show no favours with their high praise, raising expectations beyond what the show can achieve. Cougar Town, though I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, is really just not my cup of tea. Hank and The Middle have no allure for me at all (Hank lost my viewership when they lost Melissa McCarthy and The Middle's Neil Flynn is not quite enough to make me watch yet another Patricia Heaton mediocrity-fest). NBC Thursday is hanging in there though. I do enjoy Community, I'd say it and Accidentally on Purpose are the new comedy highlights this year, but it's not up to par with the comedy of NBC's heyday. The Office is charming in its new season and this week's wedding episode hopefully will not disappoint (viewers have only been waiting for it for 5 years!) though Jim's promotion already annoys me. Parks and Recreation is just not my thing but while I'm waiting for the overrated but still pretty damn good 30 Rock to return, I'll take an extra half hour of Seth Meyers a week (even if he has nothing to talk about). In the world of hourlong dramedies, Ugly Betty hasn't returned yet and I haven't gotten back to Desperate Housewives, apprehensive as I am about Drea de Matteo. Glee is slowly trying to win me over. It's a slow process but I believe they'll get there someday. The hybrid genre is only holding its own in my TV schedule because of a little Lifetime show called Drop Dead Diva, which is currently the highlight of my week. Star Brooke Elliot is delightful, her supporting cast is great (Stacy is my new favourite character in the absence of my beloved Fred, Rosie O'Donnell's recurring and Roy from The Office is super charming and believable as Jane's boyfriend) and the writing is fair and balanced in an extremely rare way. It's also funny, though at times suffers under the weight of its campy premise and the conventions of the TV courtroom.

But mostly, I'm bored with the dramas. I have so little motivation to watch the new dramas that I've had the premieres of The Good Wife, FlashForward and Brothers sitting on my DVR for weeks and haven't touched them. I'm amazed that Eastwick has managed to make me NOT want to watch a show that stars Paul Gross and Sarah Rue. Dollhouse still doesn't seem to be into the Whedon groove yet; Brothers & Sisters is sweet but nothing special (a sad fact for one of my favourite shows); Grey's has kicked off well and Private Practice had a surprisingly non-vile premiere but both are struggling for substance in their own ways. I've already abandoned Vampire Diaries out of sheer hatred and The Beautiful Life has bitten the dust. One Tree Hill (which I've long since decided is a comedy at heart) is thoroughly entertaining, though not to the same degree as last season, and 90210 is fun (not good, just fun); but Melrose is mediocre and Gossip Girl has lost lethal amounts of its sparkle since the kids have left highschool. Realistically, if that show wants to have a life in years to come, they should have stayed at Constance and St. Jude's, using Jenny and Eric as a bridge and introducing new characters, like Friday Night Lights has done with their character turnover. The Gossip Girl premise works best in highschool. The choice to stay with their established characters (based, I'm convinced, on the argument that the audience would follow Chuck and Blair anywhere) means having to adapt their format to college, something that has not been successful so far this season. Also: too much Vanessa, too much Dan, and would someone please get rid of Michelle Trachtenberg?!?!

In general, nothing is pulling at my heartstrings the way they should be. Nothing is making me laugh out loud or want to call a friend to share a joke. Nothing is making me stand and cheer or yell at the screen or care at all. And mostly, nothing is making me want to write. In a good season I have to keep my laptop at my side every time I turn on my TV because my shows always give me something to say. So all I can ask of this new and blah TV season is to please, as Buffy would say, "give me something to sing about" or, in my case, something to write about.

Deal of the Day

Amazon is the place to be for TV on DVD. Their prices are significantly lower than stores like Best Buy and HMV and they ship right to your door. And every once in awhile, Amazon throws TV fans a one-day-only spectacular deal.

Today, and today only, the FRIENDS collector's boxset is available for more than 62% off the usual price. All 10 seasons of one of the greatest sitcoms ever (and one that definitely stands up to time and multiple viewings) plus special features- only $114.

Click here to redirect to Amazon or visit the My TV Store on the right side of this page.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Dead Poets Society Makes a Comeback

Tonight's How I Met Your Mother paid tribute to the great coming of age movie Dead Poets Society. With Barney's gesture of standing on his desk and addressing Ted as "captain my captain", How I Met Your Mother made up for the merciless (and hilarious) mocking that the same film had endured on Thursday. Last week's Community also referenced the classic movie, but rather than paying homage to its charms, it mocked its absurdities, to great effect. The impracticality of ripping up textbooks, the danger in standing on a desk and the sheer pointlessness of the phrase "seize the day" all became clear as Joel McHale and Co. took a class with a teacher who was "convinced he's in Dead Poets Society" and assigned homework like the task of telling 10 people you love them. With references in two of the funniest shows on TV, this decades old film is clearly making a comeback, as an inspirational tale and a campy icon worthy of satire.