A Case of the Mondays

I’m just returning from a beautiful week at Long Beach Island, so unfortunately I did not have a chance to catch all that much original television shows. Considering how many times I’ve began a column with “I just got back from,” it occurred to me that I sure go on a lot of vacations for an unemployed guy. Oh well, no complaints here.

Actually, that’s not true. I cut my vacation off a night early to get home in time to celebrate my friend’s 22nd birthday. Much like his 21st birthday celebration, he wanted us to go to a strip club. It’s not so much my cup of tea, but whatever, I’m all for going out and hanging with friends. So anyway, we go to this not-so-classy-place under the impression that you could go in if you were 18, but only drink if you were 21. With this in mind, we went to the strip club with two girls that were under 21 years old. Upon finding out from the bouncer that you need to be 21, we end up having to bribe the guy 100 bucks to get our two friends in. If that wasn’t bad enough, my friend orders me a massage, not knowing that I had excruciatingly painful sunburn on both of my shoulders. To say the least, I was at the verge of tears as the stripper did her work on them. However, it was pure heaven while she was working on my back. Overall, I had a fun time, though.

LOST:

Sadly, Lost was not found this week, as the cable went all fritzy and the TiVo was unable to record it. This was especially disappointing since apparently it was the Sawyer episode, and from what I’ve heard, it’s really good. I really hope that the DVDs come out soon, because between the first half of the pilot and this past episode, there are a lot of episodes I want to catch up on. Anyone know when those DVDs are coming out?

HOGAN KNOWS BEST:

Well, one show I did manage to catch up on while at the beach was Hogan Knows Best. My sophomore year college roommate, Frank, joined me on vacation since he lives only twenty minutes away from where I was staying, and we got a real kick out of this show. Particularly, we enjoyed what a selfish bastard Hogan can be (this is coming from me, a Hulkamaniac, no less), and how quickly the two kids turn on each other when Hogan is trying to come up with some sort of plot against one of them.

For example, in the pilot episode, Brooke is going out on a date with a 22 year old. First off, I gotta side with Hulk on this one….it is pretty weird that a 22 year old guy wants to take out a 16 year old girl. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Hulk is putting on a show for the cameras (I’m not a huge fan of reality television, but this looks like the fakest, most contrived one I’ve ever seen), but if I were a father and my 16 year old daughter wanted to go out on a date with a 22 year old guy, I don’t think I’d be all that thrilled about it either. Anyway, after agreeing to allow her to go out on a date, Hulk decides he wants to install a GPS system in her car. Who’s there to help him with it? Good ol’ Nick, his son.

Then, the (I think) next episode, Nick is getting all close and chummy with a girl, Ashley. When Hulk and Linda are worried that he may be sexually active, they decide to snoop around his room. Who’s there to help out with the search? Yep, Brooke. Then when Nick is getting lectured, who is eavesdropping and later getting involved as well? Once again, Brooke. It’s been a long time since I’ve been 14 or 16, but I feel like I had some sort of motivation and loyalty to cover for my siblings.

What Frank and I found especially funny about the Nick/Ashley episode, though, was Hulk’s entirely selfish motivation to sabotage his son’s relationship with this girl, who by all accounts seemed very sweet and nice – all because Nick didn’t want to hang out with him all too much. I can imagine Hulk’s line of thinking: “Hey, I missed the first 12 years of your life constantly on the road, but hey, now I want to chill with you, so I’m going to deliberately try to instigate problems between you and your girlfriend so that she breaks up with you, so we can go out shooting semi-automatic machine guns together.” Oh, wait, that would be “so we can go out shooting semi-automatic machine guns together, Brother!” Again, I fully believe Hogan is putting on an act for the sake of making the show interesting, it was just funny how incredibly, inexcusably selfish he can off while doing it. I mean, getting upset and jealous because your son, who you want to spend time with, would rather spend time with a girl is understandable. However, actively sabotaging that relationship because of it is just a blatantly bastard move.

THE 4400:

Side note before I get to my actual thoughts: I noticed this past week that they start each episode with the introduction of the show’s premise, concluding with Jordan saying “We’re not a threat, we’re salvation, and the world will have to deal with us.” The music, clips, and everything all together works quite nicely.

I didn’t see last night’s episode yet, but last week’s episode was surprisingly good. When I read that the show was doing a “What If?” episode, I was initially really skeptical. I thought it was a bit soon to be doing such a clichéd, gimmicked episode like that. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the execution of it, and actually found it to be one of the most touching episodes yet.

Again, I was a little surprised that they ended up having the alternate reality last so long. At first when I saw “One Month Later” I was taken aback, wondering why on earth they’d take such a massive leap, when we should really be getting a close look at Tom’s reaction to everything around him. Then, not too long after that, they jumped to eight years later. However, it was a necessary and effective way to tell the story and get the point across, I thought.

I especially enjoyed the Kyle aspect of the episode. Possibly more than anybody else, Kyle has suffered dramatically with the occurrence of the 4400. First he ends up in a coma for three years, then his parents get divorced, then he starts having mysterious blackouts, and he’s likely to face repercussions for assassinating Jordan, a crime he had no control over. In this alternate reality, he was a kind, sympathetic, intelligent, successful young man. He treated Tom with a great deal of love, warmth, and compassion. He wished him luck on his first day, and asked him how it went when it ended. He was concerned when appropriate, supportive when necessary, and always there when needed. He was happy, and, I assume, worked hard to accomplish the good fortune that came his way. Although perhaps not being as big a part of the show as Shawn (arguably), it was nice that the last person Tom saw – and the person Tom had the hardest time letting go of – was his son, Kyle, who was looking at him with a warm smile. I also liked how Tom told his wife not to look back as they walked away while everything behind them was crumbling out of existence.

Another positive aspect of the show was the Alana character. It was interesting and surprising to learn that she was after all responsible for the false universe, yet at the same time relieving that the imaginary Alana was not aware of her role. The motive behind the entire false reality was also quite creative, as it allowed Tom to forge a powerful bond and relationship with a complete stranger in a curiously believable fashion. It was nice seeing Tom race out of the building to catch up to Alana, only to have her remember him, and then kiss. At first I was a little surprised that Alana would just walk out like that, forcing him to run after her. Then I remembered that she’s a woman, and that’s the sort of crap they do.

THE MATT HARDY FACTOR:

I’m still enjoying this Matt Hardy/Lita/Edge saga, but I disagree with a lot of people who believe that this should be drawn out any later than SummerSlam. The fact of the matter is that the interest in this feud may not draw out much longer, especially since it’s becoming increasingly obvious to people that this is a “WWE Feud” and not as much a “real-life feud” anymore. Along those same lines, right now there IS a great deal of interest, and they shouldn’t sacrifice their first meeting by waiting so long that the feud has lost all appeal with the fans, a la Sting/Hollywood Hogan. That said, WWE needs to be careful about how long they play Hardy off as a non-contractually obligated Superstar.

In the meantime, I like how WWE is allowing Hardy to make appearances in TNA (if the rumors are true). However, I don’t really agree with TNA’s apparent logic that allowing Hardy to appear is only making a WWE angle stronger. Let’s face the facts: In most cases, wrestling fans are going to watch WWE no matter what. Therefore, it’s not as if Hardy appearing on TNA is going to give WWE any more viewers. On the other hand, if WWE is really gung-ho about pushing Hardy as somebody not under contract who is just making random attacks, they’d probably have Hardy do something along the lines of what he did with ROH, where he grabs a microphone and announces his appearances. Therefore, there’s a much better chance of TNA getting viewers from WWE than the other way around.

That said, I found it hilarious when Hardy was getting arrested, and you heard Edge in the background saying “Go back to the indies!” Hopefully all of this will mean that the Kane/Edge feud is ending, because they’ve been fighting every week for like the past month.

Well, that’s it for now. Send me an e-mail if you have any thoughts, it’s always great to hear them. Shock of all shocks, I’ll be late on my review for The Dead Zone (but it IS coming…) There won’t be a review for last week’s episode, but I will add the recap to this week’s, so expect it around Tuesday or Wednesday.