The drug of the nation

I don't really watch a whole lot of television. At this point, I should stress that I'm not one of those insufferable pricks that looks down on the medium and brags about only reading Mamet plays and drinking Belgian lagers. I don't watch a lot of television because I'm a law student, and that means I'm mostly reading about (this week): trademark ineligibility based on disparagement, women's rights to work, government-sponsored speech and administrative review of consulate decisions. I'm sure you're all very jealous of my rock star lifestyle.

And yet, this past Sunday I managed to be excited about four different shows. This never happens! First up, was The Simpsons. The premiere of their 20th season. As you know, I'm an apologist and I was at least a little bit excited for the new episode, but ended up very disappointed. Homer and Marge both get new careers for the sake of it, not too many funny lines, good gags over-explained. They billed Julia Louis-Dreyfuss' guest spot as a big deal, and she had precisely one line. Best part? Flanders surprising himself by knowing the entire Old Testament. Also, the ending to this episode came off as exceptionally abrupt and unsatisfying. I hope things pick up.

Watching Entourage is now more of an obligation than something to look forward to. And sure enough, this latest episode hit all the buttons - Ari yelled and swore, Turtle didn't do anything, Drama was awkward and then embarrassing, Vince was boring, and E was E. There's the potential for E to make a choice between his own best interests and Vince's, but they're getting to that so slowly. So very slowly. If you've never seen the show before, this is all you'll ever need to know.

HBO then turned out two brand new shows. Little Britain USA was sort of like Little Britain but a little tamer. I've always found the show funny for about ten minutes and then grating. It's amazing that they've managed to stretch three series (four, now) out of one-note characters like Lou and Andy, or even Vicki Pollard. For this series, they've brought in some new characters, and of them only grumpy astronaut Bing Gordyn hit the right notes in the opener. Oh, and the evil dog was quite funny. There's a great Rosie O'Donnell joke to be made here, but I'm not that mean - her cameo was good, too. But even for LB, there was an over reliance on fat and gay jokes. And we didn't even get to the only gay in the village yet...

(Incidentally, notice how the banner on the HBO site: i. said "series" instead of "season", and ii. misspelt Britain)

Finally, there was The Life & Times of Tim which has nothing to do with the Replacements album. Didn't know much about this one beforehand, and it really wasn't about anything. Just a dude and his situations. It was funny. He tries to pay a prostitute with meatloaf. His co-workers are equally bland but in completely opposite ways to Tim. Also, there are gay-rape jokes. As a lightweight source of easy laughs, '...Tim' might become a staple of Sunday night viewing.

Oh, and while I'm here - I did like the new Chris Rock special Kill the Messenger. A lot of the material is what you'd expect from him - black and white people are different, men and women are different - but there was some nice political material in there. Like "John McCain is so old, he used to own Sidney Poitier." I did think that it was a poor choice, though, to splice the show from three different live performances, so mid-sentence his outfits would change, and sometimes we'd get the punchline three times in three different cities.


Lauren said...

Vince i'm your manager, Vince i'm your friend!

Sorry, I had to.

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