Friday, November 03, 2006

57 channels (And Nothin' On)

With baseball behind me until spring, I've been catching up on some other TV.

So we all know Emmitt Smith is gonna win Dancing with the Stars, right? Mario's better technically, but he's so freaking skeevy. And Joey wants it the most, and it's pretty cute how tightly wrapped that dude is. And he's probably technically better than Emmitt. But Emmitt just has IT. He oozes class and fun and funk. And Cheryl's the best choreographer, she knows how to showcase her dancer's strengths and make the routines entertaining.

But what I love most about the show is still Bruno Tonioli. Oh, how my days would brighten if I could have a pocket-Bruno, perched at the corner of my desk, cheering me on with his effusive Italian elan. "Weeeell, Soozan. The way you add those numbers is simply magical. I'm filled with amore for your amortization schedules!" And then he'd raise his left arm, pump his fist, and give me a celebratory ten. Who wouldn't want to work like that?

You know who could use some Bruno encouragement these days? The writing staff on Boston Legal. Now, don't get me wrong, I love that show. And it's had some cute touches lately. I love how Alan Shore took on Scientology a few weeks ago, and I love that Alan Shore of course has an immediate dust-up with Jeffrey Coho -- a perfect reaction considering they're the same person. But overall, it's felt a little flat and slightly off-kilter so far this season, much like how Alan is feeling restless and not quite in his groove. But of course they've decided to take the over-the-top affection for Denny Crane and parlay that into giving William Shatner his own game show. Hey, if Regis can be so overexposed, so can Captain Kirk.

Speaking of exposed, Salma Hayak made an appearance on her hit show Ugly Betty last night, baring her bra for all of us. I'm sure this was planned out way before the show turned out to be such a big success. It was a bit of insurance to get viewers to tune in. I didn't mind it, because as much as I'd love to hate Salma, I just don't. I mean, on paper, I should hate her. She's beautiful, she's sexy, she's successful. And then she really makes matters worse by being smart and savvy in her business dealings. And then she completely demoralizes me by showing she also has a soul in regards to the projects she chooses to produce. Like I don't feel inadequate enough without HER walking around. But, you know. Fuck it. I'm perfectly comfortable with loathing someone while still giving them grudging respect. But I've never been able to work up any abject dislike for Salma. Not even when she got to fulfill Quentin's foot fetish in "From Dusk Till Dawn." Good for her and rip-roaring success at being such a great person.

And she was just fine on Ugly Betty. But even more notable is that the show didn't really need her appearance, either. America is holding down the fort just fine. Already this show has taken over our office chatter while Grey's Anatomy has struggled this season. We got it, Izzy was in mourning about Denny. But that's the danger of those "realistic and heartfelt" dramatic moments on TV. Everyone loved Denny. It's very sad that he died. But, you know, we have actual lives if we want to cope with terribly distressing and depressing shit. TV is escape, and "Grey's" didn't offer solace or relief -- or laughs -- for several weeks there. The writers are noodling around, trying to keep up some level of Unresolved Sexual Tension between Meredith and what's-his-name. You know, Patrick Dempsey. (I refuse to call him by The Nickname.) But Ellen Pompeo has become painfully skinny and it's getting difficult to watch her emaciate on a weekly basis. How can she be expected to prop up a whole show when she can barely prop up the weight of her own head?

Speaking of skinny broads who are painful to watch -- Terri Hatcher has also pretty much destroyed her looks with her over-zealous refusal to eat. And her show, Desperate Housewives is a show that I want to love on paper. Female leads? Great! Half of them over 35? Fantastic! Outlandish plots and silly shenanigans? Excellent! So why is it just so fucking annoying, this show? It's annoying because Susan is anorexic, Gabby is now blonde, Delfino sits in bed with an idiot look on his face, and that redhead pestering Tom and Lynette can't act. Bree and Orson are still kind of fun. But the rest of the show's plots limp along, more regurgitated than Hatcher's dinners.

That's something I'd like to hear Bruno comment on. "Oh Terri! You are the vixen of vomit tonight! The food was delicious, but it is nothing compared to the charm you showed as you spewed it back out, all over Nicolette's shoes! Nothing desperate about that, my dear, it was pure American glamour!"

And yet, I watch the show. Why? Because fucking HBO has lost their shit and doesn't have anything on right now other than Bill Maher on Friday nights. Where is the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

So. What are you watching these days? Anything I should tune in to?


laura petrie said...

Lovey, I wish I had something to recommend to you to watch -- but I'm watching the exact same things. I watch Grey's more for my affection for Sandra Oh and the fab actress who plays Dr. Bailey. Housewives is just a habit, as there's nothing else on at that time. Adore Ugly Betty -- my fave new show of the season (since Studio 60 let me down) and keep waiting for Boston Legal to do something, anything. Denny Crane.

I can recommend House -- it's smart, non-pandering TV and Hugh Laurie is fantastic. And you might dig 30 Rock -- if for nothing else than the brilliance of Alec Baldwin. While Tina Fey is good, Baldwin steals every single scene he's in.

And I'm not only waiting for Curb Your Enthusiasm, but am in withdrawls from Vinny Chase and the boys. They can't come back to me soon enough.

SusanD said...

I should give House a shot, that's a good suggestion. And i like Studio 60 so far. Really! But I LOVE 30Rock! I have a total Alec love anyhow, but he's cracking me up on that show. I love that he's so willing to play an asshole and a fool.

Designated Blogger said...

I haven't seen any of those shows you mentioned. I recently had a marathon of the first two seasons of Entourage, which is easily one of the best shows on TV. The other show I watch is My Name is Earl. Funny, funny. Also, the Simpsons returns this week with their new Halloween episode.

SusanD said...

DB -- I love Entourage. Just love it. But Earl? No! A bunch of thetans on that show.

meep said...

My tivo is set on these:

Dexter (showtime)

Weeds (showtime), though it's 2nd season just ended last week, I feel sure it will be recycled before season 3 begins in 2007

and Top Chef (bravo), which fills the Project Runway slot pretty nicely

I also try to catch Bill Maher (wasn't Alec on last week?) and Henry Rollins (ifc).

Go Emmitt!! And I could hear Bruno in my head, intoning: "Weeeell, Soozan....."!

SusanD said...

Meep! I love Weeds! I'm so sad the season ended, but it's a great cliffhanger all around. And I've been trying to catch Dexter. I missed the first couple episodes and didn't want to jump in late so I'm waiting for them to do a rerun marathon or something. Good tip. And oh lord yes, Alec was on Bill Maher and did a great job. I'm gonna try to get onto Top Chef, too. Thanks for the heads up!