January 2009

BSG: The Oath

A long time ago when the pressure on Battlestar Galactica was merely at a bursting point and not, say, the equivalent of life at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, a newly outed cylon-Sharon asked an important question. During an interrogation, she asked her human captors to ponder whether or not they even deserved to survive.

FOTC: The New Cup

In interviews, Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement often express a lack of confidence in their skills as entertainers. When asked if there's a method behind their low-budget underdog routine, they usually reply with pithy phrases like, "We're just not that good." Watching their performances, whether live or on their TV series, nothing seems farther from the truth. In fact, they occupy one of the more admirable stations in entertainment.

Simpsons: Lisa the Drama Queen

After 20 years inhabiting a prominent place in popular American culture, The Simpsons is a franchise that has become more than just a television show. These days, it's best to look at it like a proper storytelling tradition. Without sounding too pretentious, The Simpsons is to the Computer Age what Commedia dell'Arte was to the Renaissance. Basically, it's reliable entertainment aimed at the middle class, full of familiar characters and stock plots, with a sprinkling of modern commentary.

The Office: Prince Family Paper

Between last week’s minor revelation in New York and this week’s moral gut-punch, Michael Scott’s character arch is moving toward either a self-affirming triumph or the ultimate letdown. Most of “Prince Family Paper” has Michael and Dwight doing recon on a small-time paper company in the suburbs, at the behest of corporate slickster David Wallace. The problem?

Lie to Me: Pilot

Back in my naive pre-teen days when I still thought it was a good idea to play football, there was a kid on the team, let's call him Joe. He was three heads taller than everyone else in the league, ran like death itself was chasing him and hit with enough force to postpone puberty in his unfortunate targets. Whenever I see someone who is so much better at something than everyone around him, I can't help but feel like time and energy is being wasted.

House: Painless

Ya know, it didn't really feel like the holiday season break in the tv schedule was over until House came back. I wish I could say it was a strong return, but tonight's episode left a lot wanting. This week's patient was a walking bag of pain named Jeff.

FOTC: A Good Opportunity

When the transcendent Flight of the Conchords debuted last year, I don't think you could have found a single person who thought it would see a second season. Even diehard fans of New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy duo were pretty certain TV audiences weren't going to latch onto the low-fi humor.

BSG: Sometimes a Great Notion

If the reboot of Battlestar Galactica is anything, it's a series of cliffhangers and shock moments. At the end of last summer, we got the mother of all cliffhangers. The goal of the entire show, or so it seemed, was to get our characters to Earth. Well, they got there and all they found were the nuked remains of a lost civilization.

The Office: The Duel

Why is it that every time there's a break in The Office it feels like it's been gone forever? In a wise decision, the return episode this week brought us in like no time has passed at all. The cold open was thankfully reassuring. We got a nice bit of Michael Scott tomfoolery involving a recently installed speed detector in front of the building. Naturally, a small running contest ensues.

How Real is Planet Earth?

Yesterday my family and I were flipping through channels when we happened upon Discovery Channel's Planet Earth.  You have probably heard of it as it's a huge show right now.  They even call it a "groundbreaking series" and while I agree it's a good show, I'm not sure how groundbreaking it is, as I was watching shows like this on PBS over a decade ago. My brother insisted that we keep it on Planet Earth but my Dad, who is a devout nature lover, immediately started chastising the show.  He claimed that the show is fake, that it isn't

Dr. Who: Season 5

Dr. Who is coming back for another round, but there are going to be quite a few changes to the show and production. In the last episode of Dr. Who in season 4, we were left wondering what was going to happen next and even the hint that the show may not be coming back at all since all the lose ends seemed to have been tied up.

Never Miss Another Show

Miss out on your favorite show? Or maybe due to budgeting around the house, the extensive cable subscription had to be cut down, reducing your viewing pleasure. No worries, the internet is to the rescue. Everyday, more and more sites are popping up online for your free viewing pleasure. You can find just about any show that you are looking for and watch episode after episode.

Two and a Half Men

Several weeks ago, Two and a Half Men had their season premier. Watching this show from the beginning, it has always been great for a good laugh. The show is about a recently divorced man, Alan who moves in with his brother Charlie. Alan is the complete opposite of his brother who works as an independent chiropractor.

Midseason Roundup: Fox

Hello again. It's time for the last installment of Midseason Roundup. Today, we'll be looking at what's new over at Fox this winter. *Note: I won't be covering Joss Whedon's Dollhouse because of a previous article on the subject. The Cleveland Show Seth MacFarlane must have saved the lives of several Fox executives. He went from seeing his first show canceled to helming no fewer than three original series including a resurrected Family Guy.

Midseason Roundup: CBS

All this past week, we've been looking at some of the new shows slated to premiere on the major networks this winter. Let's see what CBS has planned for the mid-season schedule. Game Show in My Head When That 70's Show premiered in 1998, I don't think anyone would have guessed that model-turned-goofball Ashton Kutcher would rise to be a mini-bigwig in television production. But TV is a strange beast.

United States of Tara

New on Showtime for those of you that can still afford not only your monthly cable bill but some premium channels as well, a new series has been added. The United States of Tara is all about a family living with a mother coping with a multiple personality disorder. The suburban wife and mom attempts to lead a normal life with her husband Max and two teenage kids.