Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"I don't understand what's happening!"

Well, I don't really know what to say about Dancing anymore. Last week was obviously the highlight of the season, with Kenny Mayne donning eyeliner and a robust tan to host an installment of "Dancecenter" that summed things up perfectly. In addition to that, Maks was the one who gave us backstage spice by flaunting skin.

Clearly, he and Mel have all but waltzed away with the trophy this year, and I don't have a problem with that. I do have a slight problem with Carrie Ann being relentlessly picky and bitchy to the women, and I have serious trouble believing that the marriage between Jonathan Roberts and Anna T. is for anything other than a green card. But just when I thought the show couldn't possibly get any gayer, on prances Richard Simmons to rouse Jennie Garth out of her supposed low self-esteem issues. It really was terrific.

But I also wonder if Jennie would have these self esteem issues if the judges wouldn't consistently underscore her and then, as Bruno said, "have a go at her." His complaint? She looks like Veronica Lake (or does she look like Kim Bassinger looking like Veronica Lake?) and she dances well but she's just not dazzling enough.

Come on. They let Helio come out in a banana suit and nearly send his partner ass-over-tin-cups and Cameron just keeps blabbing about his tough schedule and he lumbers around like Treebeard and they all just swallow it, while Carrie Ann criticizes Jennie for her chin. I shit you not. Her CHIN. It's too pointy or she leads with it or tucks it in or some other shit that ludicrous. And then they berate her for feeling inferior.

Though, it's a pity for Cameron that Edyta's been wearing so many sequins these days, because I think his time is running out with audience interest.

Doesn't matter. The rest will dance on, and with the writers' strike in full swing I'm sure abc is out there wooing their next batch of H-listers already to fill the programming gap. And as long as Maks and Edyta keep stripping it down and tanning it up, I'll be watching. Can we just PLEASE get insipid Samantha Harris off this show somehow?

As for Dancing alumnus Vivica Fox -- whooo! She helped Larry David close his season -- and possibly the series -- of Curb Your Enthusiasm with a bang. This season, Larry had to hilariously cope as a single man after his long-suffering wife Cheryl left him. (the season was plotted and filmed before life imitated the show and LD's wife left him) But his struggles came to an end when he settled in with feisty Lorretta (Vivica) in the last minutes of the season. And finally someone sent uber-screamer Susie into silence when Loretta shouted her down. The look on Susie Essman's face when Viv/Loretta jumped her shit was priceless.

But, is HBO having a laugh? Are they serious about the series finale of Extras? I saw a promo with Ricky Gervais telling us to tune in for the holiday special series finale of the show. What the fuck? When all the writers go on strike and we're shit out of luck for scripted television, the "unscripted" Curb and BBC imported Extras also give a swan song. What shit.

I understand the writers's stance and I'm okay with it. But just to twist the knife, 30 Rock and the glorious, gorgeous Tina Fey are giving us near perfection on screen. It's a perfect match with The Office, which has become a bit uneven this year. Because, for all purposes, 30 Rock really isn't a show about a TV show. It's a show about an office. The fact that the office is in a TV studio is generally secondary. But what's primary about this show is how it careens along a zany path from cutting edge witty to slapstick silly in a matter of minutes and yet never strays off course.

And, if you're not watching it, you're missing Alec Baldwin. I'm sure you've read it in other places, from other sources, but it really is true. He IS the funniest guy on television. He can deliver deadpan lines like "I'll be at home listening to Schubert and, ironically, viewing Canadian pornography," and then turn around and try to bitch-slap David Schwimmer. Just as when he'd host SNL, it seems like nothing is out of bounds for him. Whether he's channeling Redd Foxx or looking like this:

Alec and Jack McBrayer are consistently stealing this show with their performances, but Tina's fine hand and hilarious sensibilities give them great material. I mean, Pop Tarts as a sex toy? Blerg, Lemon, Blerg! Low ratings, the fucking strike to throw it off-stride, it's all balls. But hey, look on the bright side! Maybe people will use the impending scripted black-out to catch up with past episodes for free online! It's for promotion, after all. You only have to sit through some streaming commercials between each segment, just like on TV.

So keep your chin up, Tina. Er, at least as long as Carrie Ann isn't judging you, that is.

1 comment:

trudi said...

Thanks Susan for pointing out the scandalous sabotaging of Jennie. She's my fave for the season, which means she is doomed.

Richard Simmons, and the crying, for god sakes. Why didn't he just shot a puppy in front of her?

You would think she had a chin like Leno or Tori Spelling, the way Carrie went on.

Unless they put a lock on the phones of all Osmond relatives, I think she's gone next week.