Remote Destination

Irked

Ok, so I’m checking out my cable guide and it says that Underdog is about to start over on Boomerang. Now, I love Underdog, like you can’t believe. So imagine my disappointment to find that, while Underdog is what the guide says Popeye is what’s actually on.

No disrespect to Popeye, but he’s no Underdog. As a result I’m irked. Let’s get on with the column.

What I Watched Last Week

(I decided to give IFC’s new three series a chance, so we’ll start with them.)

Hopeless Pictures – This strikes me as a vanity project. It’s very much designed with “industry” people in mind. I’ve got enough knowledge of the industry to see what’s supposed to be funny, but this just seemed too “inside” for my tastes.

Greg The Bunny – I actually tried to watch the original show on Fox, but it didn’t really click with me. The A-Team opening parody was funny. But then it went into an Annie Hall parody, which I’m sure was hilarious, if you’ve seen Annie Hall recently. It was just an “eh” to me.

The Festival – This looks to be the most promising of the three. It’s a mockumentary about a filmmaker bringing his first film to a major film festival. I dig the concept, I dig the characters. I’m looking forward to further installments of this one.

Monk – I’ve actually been catching this show on the weekends. It’s pretty entertaining. Monk is a fascinating character and I give credit to the writers for not making show too corny. This is the best show that I don’t make a habit of watching.

Real Time With Bill Maher – Finally I have a reliable source for news! The panel this week was pretty uneven and annoying. But the show was entertaining enough and still pretty informative.

Rescue Me – Yes, Tommy is back to normal. I am digging how the storylines are coming to a head. The molesting priest storyline narrowly avoided cliché. This was a better episode than last week’s outing.

Starved – Ok, I’m torn about this episode. I was really enjoying it, until the end. Lusting after your friend? Confessing your love for her? That seemed way too quick. Anyway I was really beginning to appreciate the balance of the heavy topic with the comedy. But that ending soured me on it. However Darrell Hammond’s purging guru was the high point of the episode.

It’s Always Sunny in Phildelphia – Funny episode, but the lack of a controversial topic kind of brought the humor down to network levels. Charlie pretending to have cancer was pretty funny, but even with the pre-op trannie the episode seemed tame.

(Wait, did I really just type that?)

Stella – Is there ever a time when migrant working isn’t funny? Y’know I’m not hearing enough praise about this show. This is what Comedy Central is all about; comedy that’s funny but not for everyone. God, do I love this show.

Greatest Show Ever…this week – Six Feet Under

Man, what a finale. I’m not going to lie to you; I got a bit choked up. Those final seven minutes really did it for me. It was dope to have both a sense of closure and the desire for more (am I looking too deep or did Keith and David break up?)

My boss was disappointed that A) it was a pretty happy ending and B) that everyone lived so long. I liked the happy ending. For a show that, in the two years that I watched regularly pretty much always pulled the rug out from under you, to have a nice even keeled series finale was a relief. Sure Rico looked like a turd for most of the episode (even if he was justified), but that moment of despair that I was bracing for the entire episode, ended up never arriving. Ruth moved on. Claire followed destiny. David got better. Nate even showed some humanity.

Here’s to hoping that HBO gives Six Feet Under a series encore somewhere down the line.

Inside 9/11

So I decided to watch National Geographic Channel’s Inside 9/11. It was a pretty detailed look at the events that led up the national tragedy. It retraced the hijacker’s descent into radical Islam and showed how 9/11 sprung from a conversation between two childhood friends.

Inside 9/11 was composed of two two-hour programs. The first two hours recounted what led to 9/11 and the second two hours detailed the actual tragedy. At times it was difficult to watch, but the tales told by survivors were pretty inspiring.

Given all of the ways that 9/11 is coming to screens, small and large, near you, this one was just a straight forward telling of the events and completely free of exploitation and political slant. I’d recommend to those of you who have the opportunity to check it out.

Cartoons or Reality TV

Last week I posted the following scenario?

Good News; you’re going to have a show dedicated to you. Bad News; you’re life is going to be on the line. Maybe you’re a member of law enforcement. Maybe you’re a criminal. Either way you could get seriously injured doing your job. Good News; you may get an action figure out of it. Bad News; you may make a fool out of yourself on national television.

So would you rather be on Cops or on C.O.P.S.?

Colin came to my rescue;

Was C.O.P.S. the one with Longarm and Ms. Demeanor? Cuz I’d have to go that route. Robots, gadgets and Dr. Mindbender, oh my.

I wouldn’t like to be on Cops. I’d be that guy that gets busted just trying to mind his own business and burn a spliff in peace. Facist pigs. Notice how the show is merely an extension these days of the “War on Drugs”? They’re really trying to scare people into not doing anything.

Could be worse though; at least I’m not black. Every time the show is in the south and they’re even just pulling over a black dude they have to throw him to the ground and do the whole knee in the back, 3 other cops with their guns on him…. Racist facist pigs. That don’t fly up here in Canada.

Even if I’m thinking of the wrong C.O.P.S. I’m taking that one.

As much as I want to agree with Colin consistent, I can’t. I kind of want to be on Cops. I think that the shirtless, belligerent, guy with a gut and a beer in hand, who’s trying to inform the officers that everything is cool between his common law wife and him, is the closest we’ve got to a modern day “everyman.” As I see it, Cops is as close to Death of a Salesman as our current culture is going to get.

Of course this naturally brings us to…

Good News/Bad News/Question of the Week

Good News; you’re going on vacation. Bad News; it’s a “working” vacation. Maybe you’re a reporter and you’ve got to cover a story. Maybe you’re a hitman hired by Pat Robertson and you’ve got an assassination to carry out. Who knows? The point is that this isn’t going to be a “perfect vacation.” Good News; the weather is going to be perfect. Bad News; there’s a convention in town and almost everything is booked up. Good News; you’ve got choices of where to stay. Bad News; you’ve only got two choices.

So, would you rather stay in The Golden Palace (from the Golden Girls spin off The Golden Palace or The Stratford Inn (from Newhart? (And for the sake of the question let’s say they are both found in the state Flormont or Vermorida.)

Links

Farah discusses how the TV reviewing industry has changed.

John’s exhaustive (to compile not to read) look at the Fall Season is very worthy of your attention.

Matt always slays me with his looks at TV continuity.

Kevin makes a case for Ultimate Fighter 2.

J.A.M.

Aaron’s mom is on the market! He also covers rappers in court, broken bones and aging women battling lingerie. I’ve got to admit to being worried about Nick. Does anyone know if he’s taken any trips to Aruba?

Joe’s Blog is really hard to describe. At times it’s hilarious like Scrubs but sometimes its really deep, like Homicide: Life on the Street. Regardless it’s always worth reading. This week features Joe finally catching onto the genius that is The Office (U.S.).

Also check out Joe’s Friday gig.. This is actually last week’s column, but by the time you get around to reading me, his new one should be up.

Laters.

On the off chance you catch me online, drop me an AIM @ mathboogie.

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