Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hopeless Devotion only goes so far, TV

I already told you what I thought of last night's Bionic Woman. I wasn't very favorably impressed by another of the new shows, Life, either.

I've been enjoying it till now. The main character, Charlie, has been quirky (that particular brand of quirky you only see on TV) but likable so far, but last night Charlie was stepping over the line more toward irritating, stupid -- even offensive. As when he continues stalking his ex-wife's new husband, and forcibly kisses the ex-wife in front of the new husband. "Quirky" doesn't quite cover sexual assault. That's when I started to hate Charlie, which probably means the end of this show for me.

I think the television overload I've submitted myself to over the past couple weeks is finally catching up to me. I think I'm subconsciously trying to find reasons to weed out some of the new shows, to get my TV watching back under control. Or maybe these shows actually just aren't worth watching. Whatever. Bionic Woman is gone from my schedule, and Life gets one last chance.

I liked the new episode of Pushing Daisies, at least... but talk about quirky! Quirky almost to the point of smothering. The show is trying way too hard. I mean, I still like the main characters, I still like the premise, I still find the thwarted romance kind of adorable. And some of the more unusual moments still really worked for me -- mainly the ones involving Kristin Chenoweth. Her big musical number, "Hopelessly Devoted To You," was fantastic, a bold, imaginative leap beyond traditional TV. But many other moments of absurdity fell flat, felt phony -- such as the dandelion costumes for the women in the car showroom. Dial it back juuust a notch, and things will be much more palatable.

As to the question of the dog's age I raised before: on rewatching the pilot episode, the dog is established as being over 22 years old -- it was more than three when it was killed, and it's lived more than 19 years since then. The world's oldest dog, according to varying reports I've found on Google, was possibly 27, possibly 29. That's pretty old. But the oldest documented golden retriever I've been able to look up was 19 and a half. Golden retrievers have an above average life expectancy -- between 10 and 18 years, per various sources. Ned's dog is pushing it, at 22, but it's not quite as impossible to believe as I had previously suspected.

In case anyone else was still wondering.

I've got the new Dirty Sexy Money on tape, as well as Life Is Wild, which I really don't want to watch. Maybe tomorrow. Oh, and I also did finally watch Tuesday's Boston Legal. I decided to give it one final opportunity to win me. Instead, here's where it lost me: John Larroquette is defending a man guilty of running a cockfighting ring. Flat-out guilty. No denial at all. Larroquette then gives a big speech about how badly chickens are treated in this country, and argues that cockfighting chickens lead better lives, so his client is morally in the right. I actually said out loud, "If the jury falls for that horseshit, I'm done with this show." They did, and I'm done. David E. Kelley can go peddle his Mary Sue court cases elsewhere.

Tonight's TV: NBC's two-hour comedy block, plus Ugly Betty. I'm ambivalent on Betty. Unless it does something special, I think this will be its last week on my schedule. See, I'm eliminating shows left and right!

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