Daily TV Viewing – Tuesday January 30, 2007

January 30, 2007

After an excellent vacation (not much TV though) I’ll be back to a regular posting schedule tomorrow but here’s what I’m watching tonight.

8:00 – 9:00 Gilmore Girls (CW)

9:00 – 10:00 Veronica Mars (CW) *** Pick of the night ***

10:00 – 11:00 Boston Legal (ABC)

I’ll be recording The Knights of Propserity (ABC) which actually is starting to grow on me. 

My Vacation or Why Can’t I Get Excited About Movies as Much as TV

January 26, 2007

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple of days.  I apologize but I’m on vacation.  I should be back to regular posting next week.  In the meantime I’m away from the ice and snow and enjoying a little break.

I have an opportunity this week to go see some movies but there really isn’t anything I’m compelled to see. 

Over the past few years, generally since having children, I’ve been to very few movies in the theatre.  It’s not just that I don’t have time, but that I also have a pretty good home set up with a good size HDTV, a decent surround sound system and every movie channel I can get.  The really good big blockbuster movies that should be seen on the big screen are generally few and far between these days (e.g. Casino Royale).  The smaller good movies I can wait the 4 months until they make it to DVD or even the year until they are shown on the movie network (e.g. Little Miss Sunshine). 

I also find that I just enjoy my weekly doses of TV shows better than any movie, even the good ones.  For example, I liked The Departed but given the choice I would choose the equivalent number of hours of The Sopranos.  I liked Casino Royale but would choose Heroes or Lost.  Pursuit of Happyness was good but Friday Night Lights would be my choice.  I could keep going except that I haven’t seen many other movies to compare to. 

It’s not that I don’t like movies but I just don’t feel a compulsion to rush and see any.  I guess I’ll look for something else to do on my vacation. 

Back in a few.

24 – Day 6, Episode 5, 10:00 – 11:00

January 24, 2007

I’ve been kind of hard on 24 and what I see as its many, many, many shortcomings.  Still, I have to admit last night’s twist kicked ass.  One of my complaints with 24 has been its lack of follow through and the illusion of closure it provides at the end of a season.  Sure they may have nailed the president last season and stopped the attacks but the real mastermind – Dr. Romano, freaky Fame, headset guy – was still at large.  Based on past experience, I assumed that they would never pick up that thread again.

Then last night, in an otherwise largely forgettable episode (oh look, Jack saved someone seconds before the helicopter fell and exploded), we find out that headset guy is Jack’s brother.  Contrived coincidence, maybe.  But who cares.  Great twist that I never saw coming, the hallmark of fun TV.   Paul Crane is great in every show he’s in and I remember thinking last season what a waste that we didn’t see that much of him.  Well this season I think we’re going to make up for that.  Clearly this family reunion isn’t going to be a happy occasion with Jack immediately tying up his brother with his wife and kid upstairs as he gets ready to perform some Jack torture magic.  I’m actually looking forward to next week.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+

Daily TV Viewing – Monday January 22, 2007

January 23, 2007

Great TV night.  Here’s what I’m watching tonight:

8:00 – 9:00 Prison Break (Fox)

9:00 – 10:00 Heroes (NBC) *** Pick of the night ***

10:00 – 11:00 24 (Fox) – Recorded at 9:00.

11:00 – 11:30 How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

I’ll be taping: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) and What About Brian (ABC)

The Apprentice LA: Season 6, Episode 3

January 22, 2007

Watching the first 10 minutes of the show I sat there thinking just how ridiculous this show has become.  It’s one thing to put reality show contestants through a process of ad-sponsored, manufactured “business” tasks under the pretense of a job interview often with an arbitrary winner but making the losing team sleep outside in tents just takes it too far out of the realm of reasonableness.  In three months the winner is going to be able to stand up and say that they wanted to work for Trump so badly they were willing to sleep outside in tents, shower in makeshift showers, etc.  Oh yeah, that’s going to be impressive to your co-workers.

Which brings us to Michelle who actually had the balls to stand up and say that this wasn’t the way she wanted to get a job in the Trump organization.  Sure she probably would have been fired any way as her team sucked it up and she didn’t really provide any form of leadership.  This doesn’t make her wrong in saying that this is a line she’s not willing to cross to get any job.  Furthermore, I think Trump and the Trumpettes were kind of harsh calling her a quitter as if they or anyone they work with had to jump through any hoops to get their jobs.

Now I’ve liked the Apprentice over its 6 seasons.  As much as I think some of the tasks are stupid, it does test the human dynamic and see how different people react in different circumstances.  It’s not the ideal way of getting a job but the tasks do provide real insights into the potential hires.

This year’s twist of making them sleep outside is just a way to haze the contestants as if this was a fraternity.  I think next year, the losing team should have to do Trump’s laundry, clean his house with a toothbrush and maybe do shots until they puke.

Michelle, you had no chance of winning, but personally I applaud your decision to flip Trump and his reality show the bird.

Avi’s Episode Rating: C

Avi’s Michelle Rating: A

Daily TV Viewing – Sunday January 21, 2007

January 21, 2007

Lots on tonight but unfortunately not so spread out.  Here’s what I’m watching:

9:00 – 10:00 The Apprentice (NBC)

10:00 – 11:00 Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi,Space) *** Pick of the night ***

I’ll be recording: Desperate Housewives (ABC), Rome (TMN/ HBO), Brothers & Sisters (ABC) and Without a Trace (CBS).

Updated: Can I Hear a Booooooo – Veronica Mars off the air for 8 weeks to make room for Pussycat Dolls reality show

January 20, 2007

Updated: I have to echo Yoni’s comment on my blog with a boo for Veronica Mars for making its final 5 episodes self-contained. The best part about the show is its ability to balance the big arcs with the character moments and the mysteries of the week. All this does is upset the balance.

So let me make sure I understand, the CW is a new network that hasn’t been able to successfully launch a new series yet. Most of its shows are nearing the end of their runs or are way past it (yes I’m talking about you 7th Heaven). But instead of taking a risk and investing in a show that has the potential to be a long term asset, it puts on a reality show looking for a new Pussycat Doll. At least if it was for something good I could handle Veronica taking a hiatus but for something that is at best a one hit wonder (light on the wonder) I think the CW is out to lunch.

Here’s the link to the article discussing the change and the possibility of Gilmore Girls being renewed for another season. What’s that smell – oh yeah, another former good show way being pushed way past its expiry date.