Archive for the ‘Peter MacNicol’ Category

Fall TV Week Three, Part 2 — Duck and Cover!

September 23, 2009

Wednesday, 9/23

jamestupperMercy (NBC) – 8pm.  The ads for this show make it look absolutely unbearably awful.  Plus, stop claiming to be the only show about nurses, you morons, or I’m sending Nurse Jackie over to kick your ass.  I strongly suspect the title of this series is going to be the rallying cry of everyone who watches it.  Then again, JAMES TUPPER, people.  It’s not like I can just NOT tune in.

garyunmarriedSit-coms (not watching): The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS) – 8pm, Gary Unmarried (CBS) – 8:30pm, Cougar Town (ABC) – 9:30pm, Modern Family (ABC) – 9pm.   Of these four, the only one I’m even remotely intrigued by is Modern Family, which is a mockumentary-style sit-com about an American family being filmed for a Dutch reality show.  But I’ll wait for you guys to tell me if it’s any good first — don’t leave me hangin’.   As for Cougar Town, my plan for that one is to Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal it into disexistence.  If I can’t see it, it can’t see me.  Annnnd POOF.

criminalmindsCrime shows (watching due to irrational inability to quit even when quitting is the only logical move): Criminal Minds (CBS) – 9pm, Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – 9pm, CSI:New York (CBS) – 10pm.  I still really enjoy Criminal Minds, even though it has gotten sort of repetitive.  Stop me if you’ve heard this profile before:   age 20-40, white male, issues with mom, works full-time and appears normal to the neighbors, has a dungeon in his basement.  I just described the “unsub” from 95% of the episodes from last season, I swear.  Nevertheless, I have a mondo crush on Joe Mantegna and that goes a long way towards keeping me engaged.

Law & Order: SVU, I would argue, has sucked almost unbearably for at least the last two seasons, if not longer. I need to let it go and for some reason find myself unable to.  Here’s hoping it frees me like ER finally did, but doesn’t take nearly as long to get around to it.

Lastly, CSI: New York is the only one of the three CSI series I tune into with any degree of regularity anymore.  The original series has been too hit-or-miss for about the last three years and Lawrence Fishburne is not doing it any favors (not his fault, I would argue — the conceit of his addition to the team was just really lame and unbelievable and I haven’t gotten past that yet).  CSI:NY got a lot better in its second season, so if you bailed after its awful first, it might be worth checking it out again.  It’s got some good characters and some annoying ones, but Gary Sinise is a steady helmsman, and, of course, I still love Melina Kanakaredes from her days on Due South and always, always will.

paulgrossEastwick (ABC) – 10pm.  The ads for this show make it look absolutely unbearably awful.   Hey, deja vu!  I’m not crazy about two out of the three actresses running this machine, and the third one I’m only not not-crazy about because I have no idea who she is.  That probably bodes significantly less than well.  Then again, PAUL GROSS.  Curses!  Somebody in charge of casting all the terrible shows this year certainly has my number.


Thursday, 9/24

flashforwardFlash Forward (ABC) – 8pm.  This time-bending sci-fi show centers on a bizarre incident that causes all of mankind to black out for two minutes, during which time they each get a glimpse of themselves six months in the future.  It’s obviously been inspired by Lost, which was reason enough at first for me NOT to want to tune in.  I changed my mind, though, when I read two things about this show.  The first is that we’ll get to the “future” by the end of the first season — no holding over what’s in the metaphoric hatch for a ridiculously long time.   The second is that the series creators have already mapped out the full five years of the show.  This gives me hope it will have neither the constant frustrations nor the time-killing flailings of Lost.  As for the physics that make my brain hurt, I’m always happy to sign up for more pain.  Especially with Joseph Fiennes and Courtney B. Vance at the helm.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 9pm.  Confession time:  D-O-N-E.

csiCSI (CBS) – 9pm.  As I said above, this series is not really doing it for me any more.  Too many favorite characters gone, too many weird restructurings of the rest of the staff in the lab, too many repetitive storylines.  I’ll probably watch, but not with regularity.  Fishburne, get out while you still can!  (By the way, if you get the chance to see the CSI exhibit that is touring various science museums in the U.S. right now, go!  It’s totally fun!)

mentalistThe Mentalist (CBS) – 10pm.  I watched the first two or three episodes of this one last year and wasn’t impressed enough to want to make space for it in my weekly schedule.   I’ve since heard that it got pretty good there towards the end, but I’m probably too far behind at this point to ever get caught up.   Love Simon Baker, but can’t help thinking whenever I watch this show that I’d rather be watching Psych.


Friday, 9/25

Law & Order (NBC) – 8pm.  Nope.

Ghost Whisperer (CBS) – 8pm.  Nope.

dollhouseDollhouse (Fox) – 9pm.  Yep.  Though it took me almost the entire first season to warm up to this Joss Whedon show, by the end, I was thoroughly hooked.  When it finally broke free of the “prostitute conceit of the week” stories and really delved into the background stuff, it got incredibly engrossing.  Plus, this season adds a dash of Jamie Bamber to the mix; I love that little bunny!  Dear Fox:  Try not to frak this one up, okay?

mediumMedium (CBS) – 9pm (new network!).  I’m beyond grateful that CBS rescued this series when NBC gave it the boot last summer.  It may not be brilliant, but it’s thoughtful and well-acted, and that goes a long way in my book.  Glad to have it back, and so soon too (last year we had to wait until January for it).  Major crush on Jake Weber, of course.  That probably goes without saying at this point.

Numb3rs (CBS) – 10pm.  Still love it, in no small part because of the Biscuit.


Sunday, 9/27

I won’t be watching any of these, but here’s what’s back Sunday (I do watch Dexter, but have to wait for DVD on that one).

Amazing Race (CBS) – 8pm.  Too stressful.

Dexter (Showtime) – 9pm.  Too expensive.

Family Guy (Fox) – 9pm.  Too cartoonish.

American Dad (Fox) – 9:30pm.  Also too cartoonish.

Brothers and Sisters (ABC) – 10pm.  Too Sally Field.

Cold Case (CBS) – 10pm.  Too shut the hell up.

New & Used TV This Week, Sept. 29-Oct 5

September 29, 2008

Here’s what’s new or returning on Ye Olde Tube o’ Boob this week:

Monday, September 29

Chuck — 8pm, NBC, season 2 — I actually gave up on Chuck after about the first half of last season, and probably won’t bother with it this season either.  Just wasn’t doing it for me; not sure why.  I wanted to like it.  I love Adam Baldwin.  I just kind of. . . meh.  So, consider this a public service announcement for those of you who watch — it’s back tonight, if you care!

Life — 10pm, NBC, season 2 — This intriguing cop drama, starring ex-Boyfriend Damian Lewis,  returns for a second season tonight — count me in (but please, if you care about me, do stop talking about fruit every thirty seconds)!  You can already watch tonight’s episode online, if you are so inclined.

Note that a second episode of Life will air this Friday at 10pm, the show’s regular day/time this season.

Wednesday, October 1

Pushing Daisies — 8pm, ABC, season 2 — Am I the only one who gets that Ween song about pushing the little daisies in their head whenever they think about this series?  Probably.   But it hardly matters — I was REALLY enjoying this total freakfest last year and had my fingers crossed it would survive the strike.  Miracle of miracles — it did!  Now, it’s got to survive season two.  And you can help!  By watching it!

Yes, I know some of you hate the cheesy voice-overs.  But really?  You’d miss out on watching Chi McBride knit sweaters while solving crimes because of a little ham-handedness?  Dude, your loss, yo.  This show is WEIRD, and we really need more weird on TV these days.

(Also returning tonight is Private Practice on ABC, by the way, but I can’t watch this show because it makes me cry seeing Tim Daly stuck in something this crappy.  Thankfully, I can now watch episodes of Eyes whenever I want to on AOL Video.  Helps with the sting.  I love you, Interwebs!)

Thursday, October 2

Biden/Palin Thursday Night Smack-Down — One, one, ONE night only!  This will be a face-off not to be missed!  WATCH as Joe “No Filter” Biden tries to make his opponent cry!  SEE Sarah “No Brain” Palin string eight unrelated talking points together into a single, completely nonsensical answer about the economy (oh wait, that was the Katie Couric interview — who knows what will come out of this lady’s mouth this time around!).   Who will emerge the victor?

On the one hand, Biden is not really known for his tact and if he goes after Palin too aggressively, he’ll just look mean, which only ever works for the Republicans (hi, Dick Cheney!).  On the other hand, I think all Palin needs to do to score herself a victory at this point is NOT fall completely on her face.  With a little coaching (Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad: say it with me, Sarah!), she might be able to pull that off.

More worrisome:  Can Biden spend 90 minutes in a room with her and avoid rolling his eyes and sighing dramatically EVEN ONCE?  If so, we’ll know for sure just how strong his character is — because I didn’t last thirty seconds before I called McCain a “stinkbutted poo-poo pants” last Friday.

Which is, in a nutshell, why I have never bothered trying to run for office.  (In case you were wondering.)

Friday, October 3

Sanctuary — 9-11pm, Sci-Fi Network, season 1– This new Sci-Fi series stars Amanda Tapping from Stargate SG-1 as Dr. Helen Magnu, a scientist who “holds the secrets of a clandestine population:” a group of strange and sometimes terrifying beings that hide among humans. Together with a couple of sidekicks, she tries to keep the freakazoids safe, all the while attempting to determine where they came from.  Dude, I don’t know: could rock, could suck. I’m game to find out which.

Supernanny — 9pm, ABC, season something-or-other — Oh my god, I love this show.  I have no children of my own, so it’s the one time in life I’m allowed to criticize bad parenting skills.  In real life, if you try to say something like, “Hey, have you ever considered giving your kid a time-out when he kicks you in the teeth like that?” to a parent, you immediately get a snarl and a, “How would YOU know what I should do, you barren, childless, non-woman!  Why don’t you take your lame fallopian tubes, shove them up your empty uterus, and go home to your stupid cat!”

But in the privacy of my own home?  Watching Supernanny?  I totally call you kid-whipped.  I mean, seriously, at least my cat doesn’t BITE me when she doesn’t get her way.

Oh, wait. . .

Plus, I love the way Jo says the word “unacceptable.”  Unassesseptible.  That’s just so cute!

Numb3rs — 10pm, CBS, season 5 — Yep, I’m still watching this one.  AND STILL LOVING IT.  I don’t really know why, but I blame a combination of Mr. Universe and The Biscuit.  Also, they talk about math!  EVERY WEEK!  On a popular television show!  That’s like Geek Heaven for those of us who know our sines from our cosines.  Not to mention our quarks from our leptons.  Our string theory from our string cheese.

Mmmm, string cheese. . .  Wait, what was I just talking about?

Sunday, October 5

The CW is starting up two new shows Sunday night, neither of which I’m planning on watching, but I figured I’d give you guys the heads-up in case your Sundays are in need of cheap thrills.

The first is Easy Money, a comedy about a family that owns one of those payday loan places.  It’ll mix stories of the family with funny stuff about firm’s hapless clients.  Because, as we all know, there ain’t nuthin’ funnier than people so broke they are willing to get payday loans with interest rates as high as 400%.  Ha ha ha!  Poor people are so adorable. . .

The second is Valentine, which is about a family of Greek gods living in Los Angeles whose mission it is to help the lovelorn stop being so lorn of love.  Meh, not for me.  If you watch and it’s good, let us know?

That’s it for this week!  Watch Pushing Daisies!  You don’t have to like it, you just have to keep it from being canceled!  FOR MY SAKE!

TV Shows That, Like Me, Are Improving With Age

November 2, 2007

First, some blog business. I realized yesterday that WordPress had added “tags,” in addition to “categories,” so I went back through all the relevant posts last night and added tags that essentially relate to genres (thriller, horror, etc.). You should be able to click on those on the right side of the screen (scroll the page down until you get to the bottom of the linky content on the right) if you want to look at all the horror movies/TV, all the Westerns, etc.

These are different from the “Categories” links, which I’m mostly using to classify posts by ex-Boyfriend or general topic (movie review, TV show, e.g.). If you’re a librarian, you can think of categories as being equivalent to subject headings, and tags as being equal to descriptors (if only because I’m not going to be that careful about controlling the vocabulary in the “tags” section). If you’re not a librarian, you should just count your lucky stars I haven’t started classifying each post using the Dewey Decimal System. Nerd alert!

As most of you old-hat bloggers already know, the bigger the font size in the “tag cloud” display, the more posts that have been tagged with that term. So, the word “thriller” is huge because I’ve watched a lot of thrillers lately, while “crap” is still reasonably small. Based on my usual movie watching tendencies, however, I suspect “crap” will quickly expand in size over the coming weeks.

Okay, now onto the (extremely long!) post. I’ve already done a run-through of all the NEW shows this year (though I’ll give you another update on some of those soon as well, since my feelings on a few have changed recently). But, I didn’t want to neglect some of the “old” shows, especially since there are a few I think are having their best seasons so far.

I’m breaking “old” shows (or “returning series,” in gentler terms) down into three categories: Aging Gracefully, Dying a Much-Too-Slow Death, and Just Plain Getting Old. I’ll start with the Aging Gracefully ones, and do separate posts for the other two categories over the next few days.

Aging Gracefully

Bones Fox, Tuesdays, 8pm — Last season, I enjoyed this show but wasn’t always in a huge hurry to watch it. I did love the guest spot from Stephen Fry as Booth’s psychoanalyist, but I’ve found some of the other characters on the show a bit hard to stomach since day one. Okay, okay, I’ll just come right out and say it: I HATE ANGELA. Everything about her annoys the bejesus out of me, especially her extreme overuse of the word “sweetie.” I realize this makes me a terrible person, since she’s supposed to be the nicest, most caring person in the lab. Nevertheless, I long for the day Tempe will be called in to identify her skull using dental records.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

Since I’m confessing, I might as well also mention that I found the early version of Tempe annoying with her unbelievable lack of pop culture knowledge — “I don’t know what that means” was one of her most oft-spoken lines, and more than once, I found myself yelling in response, “NOBODY doesn’t know what that means! Gah!”

Also, of course, I’m a huge fan of the Kathy Reichs mystery series this show is based on, and the Tempe in the books is absolutely nothing like the Tempe on the show. This took some getting used to for me. I’ve enjoyed Bones consistently since the beginning, but it wasn’t really until last season that I started to get a little more enthusiastic about it. So far this year, though, I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed every episode I find myself actually tuning in for it live Tuesday nights (something I never usually do, especially now that I have a DVR).

I’m really enjoying the relationship between Booth and Tempe — they’ve got great chemistry — and Tempe’s quirks have started to become less grating and more endearing for me with time. Booth’s sarcastic sense of humor kinda makes me swoon, and I also love the geeks back at the lab, especially when they start arguing about Einstein and/or superheroes. All in all, this is an extremely charming show, with solid plots, entertaining characters, and an all around “fun” vibe (my mom just cringed at my use of the word “fun” as an adjective, by the way. Hi, Mom!). A keeper, and one I look forward to more and more with each passing week.

NCIS — Tuesdays, CBS, 8pm — This series has had its ups and downs over the years, and I still haven’t stopped hating Lauren Holly in her role as the NCIS director. Yet, there are many other things I adore about this show, and, so far, I’ve been enjoying this season more than ever before. This is a solid, consistent crime series that does a great job of giving us some insight into the characters’ personal lives, without making it feel unnecessary and clumsy (by comparison, think of the very badly-done personal stories peppering CSI periodically — Gil’s hearing loss, his relationship with Sara, all gak-inducing and distracting). I love Abby, the forensics girl, as well as McGee (and not just because he shares the nickname “McGeek” with me). DiNozzo’s penchant for movie quotes has endeared him to me for life, and, of course, Mark Harmon — ’nuff said. The only thing they should stop doing, in my opinion, is having Ziva continue to get American slang wrong — she’s been here too long now to keep confusing the colloquialisms. Aside from that, though, I’m still having a lot of fun watching this one.

Supernatural — Thursdays, CW, 9pm — Oh man, this show is just A BLAST. I thought last year was the best for the series so far (that episode about the trickster was 100% pure comedy gold), but instead, the show is getting smarter, funnier, and more creative with every passing week. I especially predict a LOT of fun now that Dean thinks he’s only got a year to live, as well. Aside from the mandatory artery-clogging burger-eating and the oodles of premarital sex he’s been seeking since receiving the news of his imminent demise (it’s a long story), I think we’ll see a lot more action as he starts to take increasing “death be damned” types of risks when going after Big Bads. That was a great plot development, though I do think they’ll have to be careful not to let Sam sink down too far into moodiness, as he is often wont to do. Because when Sam starts moping around acting all maudlin, I begin feeling twitchy, and with him thinking Dean is doomed, I’m a little concerned the mood of the show might start to crash at times.

No crashing. Crashing = bad.

Because, oh man, that banter. When it’s flowing, it is some of the best witty dialogue ever to grace the small screen. The writers of this show not only know a ton about supernatural stories and myths, but they know brotherhood and sibling relations like the backs of their hands. In fact, I’d argue that now Veronica Mars is gone, this is the only show left that really does banter. And man, does it ever do banter well. If you’ve never seen the series, I’d advocate for starting with Season One on DVD, because backstory is sort of important. But you could also be jumping into the current episodes while you’re making up for lost time (also, I describe the series in more detail in the Boyfriend write-ups for Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and their dead father, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan — so check those out for more information too). If you like spooky plots, brilliant writing, and two extraordinarily good-looking young men and you are NOT watching Supernatural. . . Dude . . . Seriously. Get on the ball.

Men in Trees — Fridays, ABC, 9pm — Technically, we’re still finishing up season one of this series, so I can’t really start this paragraph off by saying I’m enjoying season two even more than season one. (Last year, ABC cut the first season short so it could kickstart a few late-bloomers in its timeslot, and though that meant a torturous spring for us fans, the nice thing is that it means an extra-long season this year.) But, nevertheless, things have begun to improve radically for all the characters in Elmo, especially now that Lynn has hit the road and a few other plotlines are back on track. It can only get more fun from here, my friends. I feel confident of that. The bad news is I just can’t shake this sinking feeling that nobody else is watching this one and that, because of that, it’s simply not going to survive its second year. I will be more traumatized by its cancellation than I was by the cancellations of Eyes and Wonderfalls, and if you remember me back then, you know I was moping for WEEKS over those two. So, if you aren’t watching this show, I’m begging you to tune in so we can keep the numbers up. Even if you hate the concept (or, more relevantly, even if you hate Anne Heche, an emotion I fully understand), there’s just sooooo much to love about the boys, not to mention the lovely setting. James Tupper as the scruffy outdoorsman Jack! Abraham Benrubi as the bear-like barkeep with a heart of gold! Derek Richardson as the geeky boy toy! There’s plenty for everyone. The only thing so far this year I haven’t enjoyed much is the guest spot from Callum Keith Rennie, and that’s just because he suddenly looks old enough to be my grandfather. A fact I found sort of disturbing, especially since my grandfather is old enough to be DEAD.

CSI: NY — Wednesdays, CBS, 10pm — I watched about the first six episodes of season one of this CSI spin-off when it first started and got so sleepy from all the drearily (un)lit sets that I gave up on it. Besides, nothing irritates me more in movies or on television than a morgue that is badly lit — I refuse to believe medical examiners ever do autopsies in dark rooms, even when they want a cool air of mysterious ambiance. I caught a few reruns last year, and was still sort of “meh” on the series, I’ll confess. But this year, I decided to give it a more serious try after having a few conversations about it with friends and family who are fans, and I’ve been nothing but impressed ever since. They’ve finally shaken off some of the extra-silly darkness (both in the settings and in the characters’ psyches), and the mystery plots themselves have been intriguing instead of old news. I really enjoyed the “Second Life” storyline from two weeks ago, which looks like it’ll stick around for a bit this season, and even the Halloween one, a bit cheesy as it was (set in Amityville, no less), was still pretty fun. All in all, this show seems to be getting better with age. A quality I both admire AND share, if I do say so myself.

Numb3rs — Fridays, CBS, 10pm — I got bored with this show last year when they got rid of Peter MacNicol so he could do 24. I was surprised, really, by how huge a gap that left in the series for me. But I was sucked back in last spring by the season finale with the whole double-triple-cross thing with Colby. I got a bit more caught up with reruns over the summer, and was eager to tune back in when the show started up again this fall. So far, despite the fact I still don’t understand why all the geniuses have stopped shaving, I’ve been really enjoying this year’s round of episodes. I keep waiting for them to run out of ways they can work math into the mysteries, but so far, they’ve managed to continue doing it and in ways I frequently find fascinating and surprising (plus, I just like saying the words “Fibonacci numbers,” not to mention thinking about how cool they are). Geeks are fun; math geeks, doubly so. And I’ve been watching reruns of Northern Exposure lately in spare moments too, which is only making seeing Rob Morrow all grown up on Friday nights that much more entertaining. I can’t believe I haven’t made either of these two guys a Boyfriend of the Week yet. What am I, totally BLIND? Expect to see write-ups on both of them in 2008.

Tune in later this weekend for part two of this series, which will focus on TV shows that should be dead and yet continue to refuse to go gently into that good night. So to speak.