Monday, September 26, 2011

My Week in (non-premiere) TV

by Kelly Bedard

We've been pretty busy here at My TV trying to keep up with all the season premieres (and a couple finales). In all the hubub I haven't had the chance to mention a few of the other things I've been watching this week. Here, to rectify this, are a few thoughts on my DVD, online and mid-season viewing.

Hardly a week went by this summer when someone with good taste didn't suggest that I catch up on Louie CK's latest effort on FX. An endearing Daily Show appearance and an Emmy nod later, I gave in and watched the first two seasons of the comedian's self-written, directed and starring show. While it's not always my style, Louie is inarguably a very funny and well-executed show. The writing is smart and very honest- a surefire recipe for success.

Top Chef: Just Desserts
There's a distinct lack of drama this season but all the remaining chefs are strong to the point where I don't have anyone I really DON'T want to see win. I'm the most fond of Matthew, Megan and Rebecca but it's anyone's game and if I'm supposed to believe that Orlando's a bonafide villain I really think the editing department is just searching for unease in the generally peaceful ranks. Plus, Johnny Iuzzini (I can't not mention him, he's just the best judge ever!)

Fringe, season one
I have a list. It's a very long list. On it is every show I've never watched but always meant to. In between keeping up with the current landscape, I take as much time as I can to work through whatever is currently at the top of said list. Once I finally caught up with Bones this summer, Fringe moved to the top (though I'm splitting the time between it and Desperate Housewives- I just can't watch exclusively sci-fi without slowly going crazy). I finished season one this afternoon and while I'm not as hooked as I'd like to be, I'm fairly invested in the characters and impressed with the production standards. My everlasting love and loyalty to Joshua Jackson (it extends back to my 8-year-old self and my imaginary love affair with Charlie Conway) ensures that I'll be coming back for season two very soon. But I do wish it was slightly less slow going.

The Fashion Police
The extra 5 minutes my PVR records after the end of The Soup is what got me watching The Fashion Police but it's Kelly Osbourne I stay for. I adore that girl. I will admit I'd always been apathetic to her through The Osbournes and into her not-bad but certainly-not-great teen drama Life As We Know It, but I don't see how anyone could have watched even a single episode of her season of Dancing with the Stars and not fall madly in love with her. She's charming and funny and has a wonderfully surprising warmth to her. Now her Fashion Police cohorts, that's another story. I firmly don't care about Giuliana or George's existence (except when they're off for the week and replaced with someone worse) but I simply cannot abide Joan Rivers. I don't universally dislike her, that needs to be made clear; her documentary A Piece of Work even won the My Cinema Award for Best Documentary of 2010 (she was also very funny as a guest star on Louie). But on The Fashion Police she's given too much power, too much prominence. Her better-qualified, more charming co-hosts are relegated to supporting players in the "Joan Rivers tries to make you laugh by making unfair and over-the-top comments that might shock a chuckle out of you" show. Her humour is unnecessary and uninsightful so much of the time that it seems simply off-the-cuff- which it's clearly not, judging by the accompanying graphics the production team never fails to have prepared. I like The Fashion Police alright (mostly for Kelly), but I would love it if they would just scale back the Rivers (preferably by 100%).

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