Thursday, October 12, 2006


I know I've used that tired expression about 5 or 6 times on this space- whoever invented it is a gazillionaire genius living on his own island right now- but it perfectly sums up what I want to say... ...that these are the shows I recommend, no IMPLORE you to check out, for their varied ways of entertaining the masses (or at leat my wife & I):

The fact that this show is not even in the Top 20 every week is a travesty & a farce. Even staunch supporters of the BBC original are conceding that this wry, witty and bust-gusting hilarious American version is a separate & completely different entity; amazing what winning a few Emmys will do that to those stuck-up critics. My wife and I have enjoyed this show since Day 1, perhaps because we never saw the BBC original (like most normal Americans, we don't sit around watching BBC TV.) No, we enjoy The Office for the terrific cast, excellent writing, and subliminal yet hysterical way of making the viewer enjoy mundane events in the lives of seemingly uninteresting paper company employees. Steve Carell is like a comic pied-piper, leading the rest of his capable & willing followers down a road of ground-breaking comedy that eventually will overshadow its pretentious British counterpart. If this show doesn't crack the Top 20 soon I am going to hold a seminar and make every participant catch a colored wire ball and tell us why they don't watch.
Sure it's corny, cheesy and unbelievable. But it's also addictive, exciting and most importantly FUN. Wentworth Miller plays lead character Michael Schofield with a smoldering intensity that drives the women (at least my wife) wild and makes the guys want to see him succeed. The rest of the cast makes you care for them as well: Michael's brooding, wrongly convicted brother Linc (Dominic Purcell); evil-yet-riveting Agent Kellerman; psychotic Special Agent Mahone (William Fichtner); conflicted-but-caring Dr. Tancredi; even despicable-but-hilarious T-Bag makes me want to see him survive the Fox River 8's Great Escape. The show may be incredible, but it keeps me coming back every week, so something must be working. Enjoy it while it lasts- these boys can't be on the run forever.

3.)Dancing with the Stars
Cute guys, hot chicks, sexy dances, off-screen romances and snappy Tom Bergeron one liners- how can that formula go wrong? Evidently it can't as DWTS regularly rakes in almost 20 million viewers for each of its 2 weekly eps, and let me tell you those aren't all middle-aged ladies & gay men. This show has something for everyone, both men & women: joy & pain, hard work & rewarding results, skintight costumes & plunging necklines (even if it was Jerry Springer's), cliffhangers (on Tuesdays) & bad scores, oh, and did I mention dancing? Probably not, because that seems to be a mere subplot to the above mentioned themes. Whatever this stupid little show has, it's got it in spades- it's like American Karaoke, watered down & classed up, but with more skin. Nice.

I have to admit that tis seaon is not as funny as the first. But how could it be? The premise- a former loser who wins the lottery, finds the errors of his ways, and tries to swing karma in his fate by righting past wrongs- was an out-of-the-blue hit last season, mainly due to Jason Lee's spot on portrayal of lovable trailer-trash loser Earl and the support of his whacked out ex-wife Joy (Jamie Pressley), dim-witted brother Randy (Ethan Suplee) and numerous guest stars. But due to its unexpected success the show is falling a little flat this season, from the 2-part season premier to the too-obvious-to-be-funny carnie episode. Something about the show still resonates, though, perhaps because it's the perfect compliment to the subtle Office it leads into, which makes its bawdy and raunchy humor stand out even more. Whatever the reason, as long as Earl is checking items off of his list, and Joy & Mexican maid Catalina are competing as strippers, I'm all in.

5.) 30 ROCK
Although it has aired only 1 episode so far, the season premiere Wednesday (which wasn't great) I want to like this show so much that I am including it here. I mean it has all the makings of either a comedic smash hit or enourmous bomb. From the slanted minds of former Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey and SNL producer Lorne Michaels came this ingenious idea to do a show about a live sketch comedy show that airs on NBC. Deja-view? But with Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Racheal Dratch-okay, scratch that last one- on board it looks like this quirky schtick could find an audience. Or it might just get lost among the multitude of new shows vying for a piece of the pie, such as the unfortunately similar-themed NBC dramedy Studio 60. Nothing like competeing with your own network. Good luck Tina & Alec; I'm rooting for you guys, especially Alec's Schweddy Balls.

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