Asta 2

TV Rants and Raves

OK, I can only assume that the judges on Dancing with the Stars are trying to equal the playing field because how the hell can they hand out all those tens when it's clear that Apolo and Julianne are in a class by themselves. Let's not take off points for Laila who wore sandals or for dropping her arms. And let's ignore that Ian was obviously getting tired during the second dance. I'd be really pissed if not for the fan enthusiasm for Apolo and Julianne that will carry them to the finals.

NBC announced their fall schedule today. wisteria_ linked NBC's Fall Preview page. (Click on the image for the show(s) you are interested in and follow the link to see clips.)

I know many are excited about The Bionic Woman remake because of Katee Sackoff having (apparently) a reoccurring role, but I'm still iffy on the project. I read a recap of the pilot and watched one preview the other day and was underwhelmed, but I hate to judge a show based just on the pilot unless it's really, really, Painkiller Jane bad.

I'll definitely be checking out Life with Damian Lewis. I wish the preview had wowed me more. It seems like just another, albeit possibly well done, detective show. And for a guy who spent twelve years in a maximum security prison for a crime he didn't commit you would think he'd be a little less well adjusted. But Damian seems very good in the part and I think I could love his female partner. Not at all because she kind of reminds me of me. ;)

Scrubs is back. Damn. Another show that will go out with a whimper. And we're getting six origins or bonus episodes of Heroes. Eh. I'm going to admit it, this is a show I pretty much watch out of habit. I do enjoy the Petrelli's and The Bennet's, both as individual characters and the increasingly complex family dynamics, but beyond that I really don't care.


Um, way to thin out the herd. Yet, Mohinder lives. Sigh.

Great line of the night goes to Mr Bennet when asked by Matt how he knew he was going to shoot him, "Because we're old friends."



Supposedly ABC will reveal this week that they have giving the greenlight to The Grey's spinoff/Peak Practice (glad to have Tim Daly back on TV, but I'm still iffy on the show), Big Shots with Michael Vartan (hey, I like the guy so I'm happy) and, God help us, Caveman. Yes, the spinoff from the Geico commercials. I read somewhere that those who have seen the pilot said it was horrendous. So how? WHY??? Maybe this is a mistake.

CBS is apparently going to pick up a family drama that has gone through three name changes and is currently called Cane starring Jimmy Smits. The reason I'm excited to see this is Lee Tergesen has a role and while I've always kind of liked the guy, after recently watching six seasons of Oz (thank you multiple HBO channels) I'm anxious to see him on a weekly series again.

Speaking of Oz I'm contemplating a big ass post on that, but since I'm only aware of two people on my Flist who are fans I'm wondering if it's worth the effort. Than again, I sometimes just like getting my thoughts down for my own sake.
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I originally had this idea (somewhere in the midst of season 4) that I'd write a post on Beecher and Keller and how it relates to my feelings on slash and when and why I like it. But then season five and the jump the shark moment with Reverand Cloutier happened, followed by more shark jumping, and I kind of want to talk about how the show went off the rails. Even Beecher and Keller, especailly Keller, left me a little perplexed at the end. On one site I visit, the webmistress commented that she felt the show should have ended (in terms of B/K) with 'A Failure to Communicate'. I'm not sure I completely agree with that, but I'm frustrated on what they did and what they failed to do with Keller.

Another interesting thing for me is that I just got done watching season 1 and I'm finding it's a good thing it's the last season I saw. Beecher is still my favorite character, but I find him not likable, or even very sympathetic considering all he goes through, in the first season. Heck, he pissed me off a few times. Then there are other characters I didn't care much about, but grew to by the end of the series.

See, I'm rambling here already! At least you know what I'm talking about. ;)
I liked Season Five. I mean yeah there were . . . uh . . . moments and it wasn't my favorite season, but it had it's own special kind of absurdity. Keller is my favorite character, but I both adored and wanted to strangle Beecher. At the end there, with Keller, he had every right to be pissed about the parole-violating, but to get on such a high horse and act like he's so much better of a person . . .? I guess I was left feeling that Beecher never really loved Chris, he was just so desperate to shack up with someone Chris happened to be there.

Keller . . . I feel like they hit the reset button on him in the final episodes. Up until that point he made progress as a character. I mean, he did bad things (like the season 4 killings) but his love for Beecher kind of redeemed him - he felt remorse, he owned up with Sister Pete about how he wanted God and how he wanted unconditional love, and he made a sacrifice for Beecher. But they hit the reset button on him and made him some weird stalker/fatal attraction type so they could have a shock value ending. That's what bugged me. I'm not sure how the Beecher/Keller thing should have ended - maybe it should have been open-ended or they should have switched things around and his sacrifice in Season 4 should have come later, but they definitely screwed up there for the ending. I have to say though, it was sort of tragically brilliant on Keller's part to sort of frame Beecher for his death.
I can't say I hated any season and, yeah, Season 5 had it's moments like the B/K reunion kiss ;), but it's the season where I could start to see the show losing focus and unraveling. Maybe I'll do a post of season by season WTF's? because every season had them they were just more obvious later on.

I accept that part of the problem with the B/K development had to do with scheduling, even though I just started watching the show I was aware, at the time, that Chris Meloni was doing both Oz and SVU so it was tricky getting him and working him into the show. And there was something rather compelling about thier season long seperation and reunion at the end and the fact that it all managed to establish that Chris had become an addiction for Toby he couldn't rid himself of.

I kind of loved Toby's final speech to Chris. As hard as it was to hear, Toby finally admited to himself that his relationship with Chris had grown destructive and was destroying him and that the healthiest thing to do was break away from him. Of course, my support of this was helped by, as you so rightly put it, the reset button they pushed for Keller. When Chris copped to hiring the guy to kill Vern's son it was a HUGE moment for him. This is a guy who spent his life getting out of things only to confess to something he didn't do to save the man he loves (I could go on a tangent about Toby allowing him to take the fall and what it said about him, but I'll save it for another post). I dropped the sociopath label for him in that moment. But then in the final episodes with the stalking and threatening and, honestly, I wasn't sure who side he was on, I didn't know the character anymore. If he truly loved Toby, which I believe he did (as did Toby) then no way would he have set him up for his murder. A better parting would have been him backing off as asked and us left to wonder what the future held for them.

Hey, maybe I'll do those posts just so we can discuss all this. ;-)
Hmm I understood why he would frame Toby for his "murder" - in a sort of Shakespearian overdramatic way. I think his obsession with Toby got so deep he couldn't even stand the thought of Toby living on without him, so he framed Toby so he'd go to death row and join him in death forever and forever and all that. It still doesn't make sense, because he goes from honestly caring to obsession just like that, and frankly I think a lot of the switch was about getting to that scene where Chris handcuffed him to a chair and straddled his lap heh Which is too bad because I love that scene, even though its almost OOC and makes no sense.

That reuinion kiss . . . woooo

Really though, I think the mistake was made with the setting-toby-up-for-parole-violation plot. How did Chris not think Toby was going to know and be pissed? The Schillenger/Toby/Chris triangle just got ridiculous there at the end. I guess we were supposed to think Chris was gonna kill Toby cos he couldn't have him.

Yeah, I think B/K should have been more open-ended with the backing off. That way one could imagine that maybe Chris would continue with his reconciliation and that *maybe* there's hope. I think an ending is disappointing when you take away the hope.

Make the posts :)
Shakespeare did feature big time in the final two eps. One thing I loved about the final season was the brilliant idea to have the prisoners perform Macbeth and ultimately casting Toby and Vern in it. When Toby auditions and recites the words to Macbeth/Vern about taking away his wife and son it kills me every time - that look of realization and understanding he gets as he says the words. All along, in the drama, tragedy, and absurdity of the Toby/Vern relationship, I had thoughts of Shakespeare running through my head so to see it come to fruition was great. :)

and frankly I think a lot of the switch was about getting to that scene where Chris handcuffed him to a chair and straddled his lap heh Which is too bad because I love that scene, even though its almost OOC and makes no sense.

I think you might be right. It does feel as if they had this great idea for a scene without putting much thought into how it tied in with what happened before or if it made sense with the existing characterization. When Toby has wronged Chris (from Chris's POV), Chris has been a real bastard to Toby and wanted to make him suffer. But tying Toby to a chair and pretending to shank him seemed extreme even for him.

Chris framing Toby for his murder I have mixed feelings about. Chris showed guilt and remorse after breaking Toby's arms. He put himself on death row to protect Toby. As much as he missed him, I even believed a part of him was happy for Toby when he was paroled. I just can't rationalize all that with seemingly on impulse ending his life and making it look like Toby did it. And while Chris could be called a sociopath, I never thought of him as stupid or crazy. Didn't he have decades until he was up for parole? Toby would be eligible again, most likely, in a couple years. Was the great plan for being together forever to continually get him in trouble and keep him locked up?

I never expected a happily ever after, It would be unrealistic and, on many levels, wrong. Occasionally, prisoners do find ways of becoming better people. Why couldn't Keller grant Toby his wish and walk away? Ending as friends, as two people who helped each other and were there for each other and came out the other side better people would have been nice.

And, hell, they make more sense together then Dr Nathan falling in love with the guy who ordered his brother to murder her husband!
And, hell, they make more sense together then Dr Nathan falling in love with the guy who ordered his brother to murder her husband!

Oh God, *THAT*

Alvarez' ending was even dumber. You'll never get out so just do drugs and get freaky with Torquemada.

Plus, Chris' sudden "I can't live without you" doesn't even make sense, because when Toby called him and offered to visit in season 4; he told Toby to stay away from him for his own good - a much more loving response. They just had him do acomplete turn-around and it's annoying. I think though what they ultimately went for with Chris is the whole "Love elevates and debases us" thing, and it pretty much summed up Chris. He coulda just flung himself off the balcony *without* the whole framing Toby though.

Yeah, Toby/Vern and the shakespeare. Greatness. I think that's part of what bugged me about the final scene with Chris. Toby wasn't owning up to his addiction to his little war with Schillenger, and that led him to do worse things than Chris did. Sure, he tried to put the Vern hate behind him and realized revenge was futile, but it was kind of unfair that Beecher seemed to be blaming everything on Chris when the Vern thing is what really started him on that dark little journey.

All in all, I'm amazed Mukada's celibacy vows made it through intact. Heh.
Alvarez's ending may have been the saddest. He really had worked so hard to get his act together and become a better person - he even taught the dog commands in two languages! Would it have killed Fontana to have one semi-happy ending? Apparently. What bothered me more than the just chucking it all and turning to drugs and whatever the hell he was about to do with Torquemada, I didn't get the parole board guy promising him he'd spend the rest of his life in prison. He wasn't serving a life sentence. Originally I think it was eight years up for parole in two which would have gotten extended with the escape and maybe the blinding though I'm not sure if he was ever formally charged with that. Regardless, at some point he would have been free and the parole board couldn't stop it.

I agree on Chris's complete turn around making NO sense. He's willing to die for Toby. He pushes him away. He thanks him, sincerely, for giving him back his life (knowing Toby knows he's guilty). After all that he decides he's going to sabotage Toby's life so they can be together 4EVA...in prison.

I also have a hard time buying Chris's suicide because this is a guy who never gave up under any circumstance and, suddenly, we're expected to believe that Toby's little speech Chris accepted as the final statement on their relationship and that it was over. Then, on the spot, he decides to die because he can't live without him, putting the nail in Toby's coffin at the same time. Whatever.

Seeing Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2 after watching the rest of the series, oh, God, is it painful to watch Toby be the source of his own pain and suffering. Vern was going to be the perfect prisoner to make parole and if Toby had just left him alone he would have been released and there would have been no broken limbs, his son would be alive, his father would be alive, and he may never have gotten involved with Chris which would have been far healthier for him. After Toby F***ed up Vern's parole and took such joy in it, Hill warned him, "That's good, boy. And bad. With no hope of leaving Oz, now he's got even more reason to fuck you up." You should have listened Toby.
He definitely should have listened, and when he finally did want to let the Vern thing go, it was too late.
I'm also very iffy about Bionic (especially after reading the Sarah casting side.) BUT... a few things are keeping me from writing it off:

-- NBC's confident enough to build an entire night around it.

-- They brought in a writer from Karen Sisko and Kidnapped (both of which were well-reviewed failures) to rewrite the pilot.

-- The buzz is really, really good.

I'm still not sold, but I'll give it a shot. Most of the pilots should be available online (I usually download them via Usenet) in the next couple of months, and I'll definitely download this one.

I have absolutely no idea why the hell Caveman got picked up. The Atlanta connection makes me cringe. ;) But it's another one that supposedly got great buzz within the network, so who knows?

The Cane name thing is puzzling. I stumbled across this site last night, and I couldn't figure out which show "Cane" referred to. "Los Duques" was much better, given that it's a Latino-centered drama. Then again, maybe NBC didn't want to brand it as such, lest they narrow the audience too much. Frustrating and obnoxious, but that's the way the biz works.

Everyone else seems to LOOOOVE Damien Lewis. I saw him multiple times onstage in the Ralph Fiennes Hamlet (hey, I was fangirling, so I had to go to like five performances!) back in London in 1995 when Lewis was just out of drama school, and the consensus among my friends was that he was gorgeous, but he could barely act. ;) I never saw BoB, which everyone else loves, so maybe he's gotten better since then.

(I'm also wildly amused that he's married to Helen McCrory. HA! She was in the National Theatre company when I lived in London, so she showed up in nearly every play we went to. Her sheer awfulness became a running joke -- "Oh, crap. It's another play with McCrory." SO BAD that I still remember her by name ten years later. But she's won a ton of theatre awards since then, so maybe she and her husband have grown by leaps and bounds since first starting out!)
NBC was confidant about Studio 60 too and the buzz was good so even if I was excited about Bionic I would tell my brain to stop it. ;)

I think the only reason Caveman is not the most idiotic programming choice I've heard thus far is because of some of the reality TV shows I've seen get picked up. I saw the add for that bingo show on ABC tonight and...I have no words.

A reference to sugar cane was made on one site I visited in regards to Cane but I wasn't sure if they were serious or making a joking guess as to the reason for the name change. I liked 'Los Duques' myself and the networks claim they are trying to be ethnically diverse so, gee, wouldn't a Spanish name for a show about a Latino family be a good start?

Thanks to Jamie Bamber's five minute appearance I ended up seeing most of Band of Brothers. Yeah, it was that good I stuck around after he was gone. ;) I thought Damian was very good in it (as was most of the cast) and I've seen him in other BBC productions and have been fairly impressed. I'm not saying he'll usurp Hugh Laurie as THE Brit playing American on network TV, but there is no question he can carry a show.

OK, I looked up Helen on imdb and she played Mrs Blair in The Queen! She is pretty good. Maybe she wasn't cut out for stage work?
I'm interested in Life with Damien Lewis, mostly because I really like him, and I think he'll do just fine carrying the show.

I have to admit I get a kick out of the Caveman commercials, but I'm not sure how it will translate to a sitcom; It's a one-joke premise.

As for Mohinder - there's still one episode left ;) Heroes is like a popcorn movie for me - I enjoy it while I'm watching, then I forget about it as soon as it's over.
Peak Practice? As in like our Peak Practice? (I believe you may have suffered some of it due to Jamie content.)

'Cept those Peaks are ours and we're not sharing them...

I can't get excited about Bionic Woman cause Michelle Ryan was just a screaming cockney on Eastenders. Fine if the people who loved Eastenders would watch it, but not so useful when it's a totally different country broadcasting it. I give it five episodes...

And I'm afraid I'm interested in the Damian Lewis one cause it's Damian Lewis. Yes, there's my shallow, all present and correct!

Peak Practice? As in like our Peak Practice?

::head desk::

Apparently I have Jamie on the brain and am not even aware of it! I meant to say Private Practice. Sigh. We aren't taking your Peaks!

I'm happy that so many people are looking forward to Life. It means I'll have people to talk to about it. :)