A Case of the Mondays

I’m getting a late start on the column this week, so I’m going to skip over the continuity police. Besides, I can’t think of a great one right now anyway, and I still haven’t received any from you readers. Get movin’ on those!

We had a few premieres this week, so we actually have some new television shows to talk about. That’s probably good news for those people who always tell me “I never watch these shows!” after reading my columns.

So a few days ago my younger cousin was checking out the Urban Outfitters website, and I told her to check the men’s shirts there, since I find them funny (and while I was in New Orleans over the summer, I bought a Superman and Hires Root Beer shirts there). While scanning through the picture, I came across this:
http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shopping/product/
detailmain.jsp?itemID=10164&itemType=
PRODUCT&iMainCat=163&iSubCat=172&iProductID=10164

So, I figure to myself that’s it my birthday soon (September 28th), and many of you readers must be employed (unlike little old me…), so who wants to take the plunge and buy this shirt for me???? Anybody? Anybody? Buehler? Oh, and before anybody sends me an e-mail yacking about it, I already know that the lines “anyone? Anyone?” and “Buehler?” come in succession of each other…

Oh, and in case somebody already buys me that shirt, but you want to buy me another one, I found this one pretty funny too:

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shopping/product/
detailmain.jsp?itemID=8169&itemType=
PRODUCT&iMainCat=163&iSubCat=172&iProductID=8169

I wear a medium, by the way.

THE 4400:

Well, I don’t have an episode to talk about, but yesterday I had the opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Patrick Flueger, who plays Shawn Farrell. It was a great experience, and Patrick is exceptionally friendly and down to earth. I was pretty nervous going into it, but he made me feel comfortable almost immediately. He seems to really appreciate the position he’s in. Like he told me at the end of our conversation, he feels very lucky. Anyway, he’s an extremely talented actor, and I wish him continued success.

I do have to disagree with him, though, about his constant disappointment over his final scene with Chad Faust, who plays his cousin Kyle. I actually found that particular scene very powerful, which I mentioned in my review of the finale. The boy’s just a little hard on himself, me thinks.

I am EXTREMELY disappointed, though, that my tape recorder kept acting fritzy during the interview. I decided I didn’t want to manually write everything as he says it (on the computer or by hand), so I decided to go out and purchase an adapter that would allow me to record the phone conversation. After much searching, I managed to find a pretty good one at RadioShak for only 17 bucks. I tried it a few times, calling my friend Beer Pong Champion Frank to make sure it records everything all right. Each time, it worked flawlessly.

Yesterday morning when I was making final preparations for the interview, I decided to do a couple more trial runs. Now, however, the recorder kept turning off moments after it began recording. I tried switching phones, I tried switching tapes, I tried changing up the batteries. For whatever reason, it kept turning off though. Eventually I thought I had it figured out, and by the time the interview came, it kept turning off again. Finally I realized that, hey, this guy is TALKING, and I have nothing to note it down on. So I grabbed a pen and just started jotting down what he was saying on the piece of paper I had my questions on. So, again, I want to apologize if I misquoted him in any way. I got the basic gist down, but tried to stay as true to his words as humanly possible.

Another problem was that he was so friendly, and we got along well, so I kept just conversing with him, forgetting that I had to scribble down what he’s saying at the same time. It was pretty stressful, and for my first celebrity interview I wish there were a few less obstacles. But nevertheless, it was an incredible opportunity, and I’d be happy to interview him again at any time. Hopefully next time my recorder will want to, ya’ know, RECORD. I’m not sure when the interview will be posted, but keep your eyes out for it.

Also, if any of you are reading this from Canada, catch the 4400 premiere on September 18th at 8:00, on SPACE.

LOST:

I actually went about purchasing the full season, so next week I’ll have a close look at pretty much all the episodes I haven’t commented on, before the finale a week from Wednesday. So stay tuned….

Brendan Campbell also got the DVDs, and he flew through them, so maybe he’ll give you guys a closer look in his column at the end of the week.

THE OC:

Well, the new season of The OC is upon us. What did I think of the premiere? Well, it tied up the loose ends left by the cliffhanger finale, but almost in an anticlimactic way. It seemed like such a big deal was made out of the ending, only to be brushed aside so quickly, within the first episode of the new season. That said, I’m not exactly sure if I would have wanted to sit through a long, drawn out trial story line, or anything like that. At this point in time, the show should just focus on the fact that it’s their senior year, because there are plenty of stories you can tell using that alone. There’s plenty of time before the show needs to resort to such soap operaish arcs. Right now, stick to the stories your target audience can relate to.

It also appears that Kirsten is still in rehab, and afraid to go home. Along with that, she’s made a new friend, who definitely seems really shady. I’m not sure if we were supposed to notice this (as in, whether it was intentional), but Charlotte (Kirsten’s new friend, played by the beautiful Jeri Ryan. It’s about time they get an attractive female on that show….) left immediately before Sandy had the opportunity to see her. The writers seem pretty hush hush about what her deal is, but the hints dropped upon us is that she’s somehow linked to either Caleb or Sandy. The fact that she seemed to be in such a rush to leave when Sandy pulled up makes me wonder if it’s the latter. Nevertheless, she’s sketch.

Rachel Bilson continues to look amazing. Every other female on the show is like 5’9″, 110 pounds. It’s nice seeing somebody a little more ordinary on the show, and in my opinion she’s by far the hottest one out of all of them. Also, the writers should just throw in the towel and focus the show on Seth and Summer instead of Ryan and Marissa, because the former couple is significantly more enjoyable and entertaining to watch, and I’m yet to meet anybody who disagrees. However, I guess they also have to be careful about not overexposing them.

I was a little confused by the ending of the premiere, though. Did Trey simply sneak out of the hospital? Because otherwise, I’m pretty sure he would have to go to jail (or, at the very least, on trial) after admitting to attempted murder. Further, you’d think that after lying about who shot him and showing that he’s not exactly the most trustworthy of people, they might put a little security at his door.

REUNION:

I have more in-depth thoughts on this show for a column I participated in that will be posted later this week, so keep your eyes out for that. Anyway, this was really the only show coming into the fall season that I really felt like I needed to give a shot. The premise and plot seemed interesting, and the formula sounded incredibly unique (although, as Beer Pong Champion Frank’s uncle [and my senior year college English professor] would say, there’s only one level of unique….something is either unique or it’s not). Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed with the execution of the show, and people I know that saw it enjoyed it as well.

I like the whole formula of the show, where it starts off in the present and flashes back to the 80’s (in this case, 1986) to give us the back story. I also like that we still don’t know who was murdered (from what I’ve read, we find out in the third episode), but so far we’ve had inklings of why any one character may want to eventually off another one. I really hope that FOX commits to the show, because I hate when they abruptly give up on a show and just cancel it, without providing viewers with any closure whatsoever. With the hype machine they’ve put into the show already, I expect them to stick with it. Like I will say in the column that will be posted later this week, it may be in FOX’s best interest to air encores of the first few episodes on FX, like they did with the first season of 24.

Anyway, Leland Eldson gives a good review of the episode. Check it out:
http://www.insidepulse.com/articles/42574

THE SIMPSONS:

I’m a little confused by the couch gag this episode: Was the heavily sensitive and secured metal detector an allusion to 9/11, the date that the episode aired? Because I didn’t really see a punch line (although that’s what Simpsons has become anyway, a lot of random stuff with no real punch line). Anyway, overall I felt that the episode was funnier than most of what we saw last season. For whatever reason, Marge’s naiveté is something I still find pretty humorous, and since this episode featured a lot of that, it got a few chuckles from me. I also found the whole Homer thinking his cousins are idiots, while they’re clearly intelligent, even eloquent people pretty funny. And I do have to admit to laughing when it was revealed that they’re related because their dogs are brothers.

That said, Marge and Homer’s fights are just getting too ridiculous now, and lately, for whatever reason, they’ve written Marge as being really harsh during those fights. I mean, they used to fight about pretty ordinary things, now their fights are just so out there that it really hurts the episode as a whole.

However, that whole thing with Burns, Smithers, and the manatee (minus the odd water fight to end the episode) was moderately humorous. Moderately.

FAMILY GUY:

I have to admit, I was a little worried about what Family Guy might do, knowing that they would be premiering on September 11th. Nothing was out of the realm of possibility, although I am pretty relieved they opted not to do anything distasteful. Well, distasteful regarding that, anyway.

I don’t know, I was a little under whelmed by the premiere. It wasn’t a bad episode, by any means. I just feel like when they returned over the summer, every episode they aired was an absolute homerun. I laughed quite a bit this episode, but I wasn’t rolling on the floors like I had been last season.

Brian’s self consciousness in regards to the woman he likes being black was funny, as was Peter continuously spitting up his milk on Meg. I was expecting the whole Stewie/Da Vinci Code thing to go someplace, and I was really disappointed that a gag on one of the most popular books in years was simply Stewie falling asleep into his cereal. I mean, hell, look at what the book was about…the possibilities are endless as to where they could have taken that. Speaking of Stewie, I can’t wait for that Family Guy DVD to come out. Coincidentally, it comes out the day before my birthday. Another potential birthday gift, anyone?

I also like how they have Kent Brockman and Tom Tucker give the previews for the upcoming episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy, respectively.

AMERICAN DAD:

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but American Dad may have been funnier than Family Guy last night. Or perhaps my expectations were just so high for Family Guy, and so mediocre for American Dad.

The bit with Claus doing the DVD commentary for everything that was happening was pretty funny, especially the lines about the Asian guy dying in a car accident on his way to the filming of the episode, and his commentary speaking over the funniest joke of the episode. Then, at the end, having a mock tribute to that actor, at the animated American Dad productions office was really funny (with Stan in civilian clothes wearing eyeglasses).

Much like with the Stewie storyline, the stuff with Chris and Roger having Dick Cheney’s blackberry started off strong, and then just ended up not really going anywhere. All of that just for somebody to *69 them, and have them not answer the phone? A little disappointing.

Patrick Stewart was awesome as usual. Did he do double duty between this episode and Family Guy?

Oh, and with Kent Brockman and Tom Tucker giving the previews for the shows they’re on, why didn’t they have the homosexual anchormen giving the previews for the upcoming American Dad?

TV FUN FACT OF THE WEEK:

In tribute to the anniversary of September 11th, I thought this NewsRadio fun fact may be appropriate:

During the credits, Dave Foley’s name is shown over a shot of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The towers were nicknamed “David” and “Nelson.” Dave Foley plays the character “Dave Nelson.”

Interesting, eh? Well, be sure to check out the Patrick Flueger interview I did yesterday. He was a really nice guy, and deserves the success he’s achieved. Also be sure to keep your eye out for the Reunion write up I did for a feature that should be posted later this week. Have a great week, everybody.