Remote Destination

Stuff @ The Start

Nothing really. Sorry for the lack of the column last week, but the site was having difficulties which coincided with my posting schedule. I couldn’t access to post, thus I didn’t post.

What I Watched Last Week

Windfall (NBC) – Oh my god, I think I’ve got a new Reunion! This show isn’t nearly as bad but it’s equally corny in conceit. The idea that someone picked specific numbers and didn’t claim the winnings for herself is absurd. Equally absurd; that a state would have a lotto drawing with that few numbers. Even forgiving that if a state did have that lottery that it would rollover to such a large sum is just preposterous.

But I look forward to a summer of nitpicking! Hooray!

Huff (SHOWTIME) – Poor Huff, it’s tough to watch his life fall apart. It was nice to see Byrd not only stand up to his “friend” but also blast his own father for disassociating from the family. Izzy has certainly become a more sympathetic character within the last few episodes, and Russell seems to be getting his act together, for the moment.

Greatest Show Ever…this week Rescue Me (FX)

What can I say; it’s a slow week. The episode was solid, but it wasn’t flawless. Thankfully this week feature more than just Tommy (a flaw in the season premiere). This show has great writing and a knack for humorous scenes (the bit with the talkative chick was hilarious), but watching Tommy give his brother a beatdown was powerful. I’ve not seen a beatdown like that in a long while, and it was completely warranted. Decent show, but the best I watched all week.

Finale Thoughts: Part II

Lost (ABC)

Man did I enjoy this finale. It was like ten times better than last years cliffhanger. I’ll break it down into what I enjoyed and what I didn’t dig.

What I enjoyed

Michael firing his empty gun. It was a clever way for the writers to show that Jack had taken precautions and to clue Michael in that he was under suspicion.

Locke admitting that he was wrong. He was being a jerk and might be responsible for Eko’s death. Locke lost major cool points in the finale.

The explanation for the crash of the flight. Reasonable and acceptable.

Henry claiming the Others to be the “good guys.” I can dig it. Oddly enough, I believe him.

What I didn’t dig

The notion that Hurley was on the list. Suppose that Michael hadn’t accidentally killed Libby; how would Michael have gotten Hurley to go along? That bugs me a bit.

“Henry” is the leader of the Others? How did he get caught? What was he doing out and why wasn’t he more careful? Furthermore, why wasn’t there a power vacuum amongst the Others? Are they that tightly regulated?

Walt’s poorly dubbed voice. It was clearly sped up, but it didn’t sync up and was distracting.

All in all it was a finale that lived up to the hype of a finale in general and specifically the show.

24 (FOX)

Solid finale. Only the last few moments were really “great.” I’m going to miss President Logan, as he was one of the more entertaining characters on the show in a long while. Martha Logan grated on my nerves by the end.

But the end with the reintroduction of the Chinese was brilliant. I loved how Jack put up a fight, but was overwhelmed. It’s rare for the show to drag a storyline out over two seasons, but when the other shoe finally dropped it was quite the doozy and worth the wait.

I’m guessing that next season will see Jack as a sort of “Jason Bourne/Manchurian Candidate” character. But needless to say I don’t dig the prospect of waiting months to find out the answer.

The Unit (CBS)

Eh, kind of a let down. The actual finale was pretty cliché. Having the war criminal hellbent on revenge and making a play for the Unit seemed pretty farfetched. It seemed corny and very “TV” whereas this show has mostly been a notch above regular shows.

Big Love (HBO)

Quite the jolt to the status quo of the show! The whole ‘Mother of the Year Award’ sequence was so sad. It was difficult to watch everything crumble apart like that. Nikki’s reaction seemed so real for the character.

I’m genuinely interested in seeing how the next season starts off. And I like how casually the mystery of Bill’s poisoned father was solved. It was so casual that I thought I’d missed the actual revelation in a previous episode.

What else I noticed about the show is how it made us sympathize with criminals. I do feel bad for the current happenings, even though they are breaking the law. It’s much the same way I enjoy Weeds and sympathize with the law breaking leads. It’s a testament to the writers that they can tackle a gray area and make it seem commonplace.

Summer Shows!

Ok, so a few weeks back I gave a rundown of upcoming shows that I was interested in watching. But since then Entertainment Weekly has released it’s Summer TV Preview issue, which has caused me to pause and consider some other shows. Here’s a new list of shows that I’m going to give a shot to.

Saved (TNT) – I dig the idea of a burn out, plus with Scrubs and Gray’s Anatomy on break I’m kind of jonesing for some medical action. The write up in EW piqued my interest.

The Closer (TNT) – I might give this show a shot, because my cousin really enjoys it. I may, but I can’t guarantee it.

Deadwood (HBO) – I’m so coming back for this show. I’m really hoping that it’s not the final season, as I think it maybe HBO’s second best show on (trailing only the amazing The Wire). Still any trip to Deadwood is sure to be a treat and I’ve never been so anxious to visit the past.

Psych (USA) – I’ll admit to being intrigued by the premise of a guy with a photographic memory who solves crimes and pretends to be psychic. I’m really interested because the write up said that it was too convoluted to explain. “Convoluted” is a 50/50 shot with me, half of the time I love it and half of the time I boo it. We’ll see which half this show ends up on.

Life on Mars (BBC) – A British cop gets transported to 1973 and has to adapt and try to get back home? I am so there!

Brotherhood (SHOWTIME) – The more I hear about the show the better it sounds. I’m very interested in why the hood brother disappeared for seven years. I hope this show lives up to the hype in my head.

Monk (USA) – I always say “this is the season I’m going to watch Monk‘ but I never follow up on it. I usually catch a few episodes (which I really enjoy) but I never end up sticking around. But this is the season I’m going to watch Monk.

Weeds (SHOWTIME) – I love this show. This show snuck up and quickly become a favorite that I’d relish watching. The thought of a second season fills my heart with joy. Mark my words; this show will get “greatest show ever” honors.

I really hope that some of these shows are good because if they’re not it’s going to be one really long summer.

Teachers With Class?

Last time I posed the following scenario;

Good News; summers over and temperatures have dropped. Bad News; you’ve got to go back to high school. Maybe you’re entire transcripts been erased. Perhaps it’s part of an elaborate prank. It might even be because you never graduated in the first place. Who knows? The point is that you’re going back to high school. Good News; you’ve got a choice of two schools. Bad News; both of your teachers think they’re funnier than they actually are.

So, would you rather be in the Individualized Honors Program (Head of the Class) or hang out with the Sweathogs (Welcome Back Kotter)?

My former IP Music compatriot Aaron emailed me;

It’s an absolute no-brainer this week, Math. I’ve gotta go with “Head of the Class”. Have you SEEN those “Welcome Back, Kotter” reruns? They’re pretty much ‘Exhibit A’ for a show that did not age well. And, even if you’re OK with the stereotypical ‘Boom Boom’ Washington character (the token Black, which every show had to have in the ’70s) or the pre-puffiness that was a young John Travolta or even the universally unfunny mash-up between Jews and Puerto Ricans that was Juan Epstein, I’ve got three words that automatically make my argument: The Horshack Factor. As for “Head of the Class”, I’d be rubbing elbows with all the gifted and honors students. And, a young Robin Givens? Sold. Besides…the guy from “WKRP in Cincinnati” would be our teacher, which would open the door for potential sweeps month guest appearances from his old castmates like Loni Anderson and Tim Reid. C’mon…career day with “Venus Flytrap”? What’s not to love?

Thomasina offered another view;

I’d have to go with Welcome back Kotter, my basic reason is I could not remember the teacher on Head of the class until I clicked your link to it. Also, if I went to school in the 70’s I could sport an afro no problem.

IP Movies own Michaelangelo (the snob) said;

Call me a snob, but I was an Honors student and skipped two grades, so there’s no way I could be stuck in any type of remedial class. Not to mention that the only reason to hang with those guys was Vinnie Barbarino, and he took off to dance in some Brooklyn disco. Think I wanna spend my time with Epstein and Horshack, losing precious brian cells by the second? No thanks. Plus, Head of the Class had Robin Givens back when she was the finest sister in America, before she destroyed Mike Tyson’s career. Give me Mr. Moore over Mr. Kotter.

IP TV’s own Kevin Wong concurred;

I’m pretty sure that every second you hang around Vinnie or Beau would make you that much dumber. And hey, if perennial slacker Eric can hang in with that class, I think I could too.

Oddly enough I’ve had some run ins with stars from both shows. Firstly when I was working at the Cheesecake Factory I met Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs who played Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on Kotter (but if you’re Black you probably know him better as “Cochise” from Cooley High.) Anyway, the dude flashed me a genuine-ass peace sign. It wasn’t a peace-out, it was a straight up 1960’s vintage two fingers up peace sign.

I also met John Travolta, who was in town filming Ladder 49, he’s a genuinely cool dude who was very cordial. He’s also got the softest hands ever! That’s two Sweathogs down.

I saw Robin Givens and, that’s my word, she looked horrible! Not only is she like a midget, but she’s very frail looking. I saw her, on what was clearly a “bad day” and all of my adolescent fantasies about her turned to dust. It was a jarring piece of reality. So that’s why I’m not picking Head of the Class.

The other reason why is because I too was in Gifted And Talented Education, and all that meant to me was more homework. Are you really that bright if you voluntarily do more work? Not in my book. Plus if I’m hanging out with Kotter, I’m bound to hear some old vaudeville jokes.

Of course this brings us to…

Good New/Bad News/Question of the Week

Good News; you’ve found yourself a new crowd to hang with. Bad News; this new crowd couldn’t be called diverse. Good News; both crowds are pretty popular. Bad News; they’re on separate coasts. Maybe you’re relocating and you stumble across them. Perhaps you get in because of an old classmate. Either way, you’re in with the in crowd. Good News; everyone is pretty successful. Bad News; you’re the “new guy/gal.”

So would you rather be a character on Entourage or Friends?

(Feel free to email your answer or post it on the snazzyRemote Destination thread.)

Linkst

Romo writes about channels I’ll never be able to watch.

Josh shares what he plans on viewing this summer.

The Pitch Your Show thread is perhaps the most neglected thread in the TV forums. I’m going to do my part to remedy that this week.

Joe Reid California

Over on his blog Joe is on fiyah! Witness how he dissects the cover for Entertainment Weekly to hilarious results.

I’d also like to point out that I’ve got no idea what movies I’m supposed to be seeing this summer.

And that brings us to the end of another column. Next week I should have some first thoughts on some of the week’s debuts. Catch you later.