SKTV – Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, 24

If there’s one thing about 24, it’s that no matter how screwed up your own family is, at least you can know that Jack Bauer’s is worse. His wife is dead, his daughter is an idiot, his evil supervillain brother was killed by his super-evil dad, he’s been banging his sister-in-law on and off for 20 years (apparently), and his “nephew” is pretty obviously his son. But holy cow, I’m kind of glad that Donald Sutherland didn’t get the part of Phillip Bauer, because he’s one bad son of a bitch, and I don’t think that Donald could pull it off these days. Speaking of bad, Morris cracks after only taking a power drill through the shoulder? What kind of anti-torture training did they give this guy? Terrorists KILLED Jack a couple of years ago, and he still wouldn’t talk! Biggest non-surprise of the show: Rade Serbedzija playing a crazy Russian. I guess Peter Stormare was busy washing his laundry or something. Not a lot on the action front this week, despite the 2-hour show, aside from the awesome torture scene, which made my wife ask why I would watch a show where a guy gets a power drill put through his shoulder. My reply: Why WOULDN’T I watch that show? I have to say, however, that the deaths of Lead #1 and Lead #1’s wife caught me a bit off-guard, until I remembered that it’s 24 and as soon as Jack gets close to a lead, they die, leaving only the last number they called on their cell phone. If I was a terrorist, I’d call Pizza Hut just before I got offed and really mess them up.

Sunday was no less interesting a night, as I opted for Animation Domination instead of the Grammys, and never looked back. Simpsons was the usual hit-and-miss affair, with a Bart storyline so ludicrous that I thought it might have been a fantasy sequence or something, but no, they really did give him a driver’s license and he was in love with a pregnant girl. Nice callout to the Monorail in the form of North Haverbrook and Ogdenville, and although the episode was really weak plot-wise, there was some REALLY funny stuff in there. The Utah marriage (“Only one wife? What are you, gay?”), the Flammable District, the new opening credits sequence… although I don’t remember much in the way of specifics, I know I laughed a lot, and that ain’t not bad. More than can be said for a lot of eps from this season, at least.

Family Guy was what it was, and I think we all might as well just accept what it’s turned into and deal with it. Stewie’s new fetish was so, so, so, incredibly wrong and the writers’ new favorite bit, The Incredibly Long Joke, was used twice in the form of Robert Loggia and the tin-can phone. However, O’Brian the Sheep made up for a lot of the shortcomings, and the runway filled with whiskey bottles was classic, so this one gets a thumbs up.

And last but certainly not least, American Dad rules all with Stan’s obsession with Mr. Pibb finally paying off big-time (and apparently Francine’s obsession as well), and the amazing ET spoof that was Roger’s storyline, as it slowly morphs into a twisted Lifetime movie and gets very wrong but very funny. The difference between this and Family Guy is that Dad’s humor flows from the plot, whereas the other humor flows despite the plot. I think it’s really amazing how far AD has advanced at the same stage of its development that Family Guy was at, and makes me wish Seth could just concentrate on one or the other.

Sir Linksalot: 24

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