June 2010 Archives
The 24th season of The Real World starts tonight! Ah, it feels like just yesterday we were in D.C., Andrew fell off that balcony and Ty was being the least bearable person on the planet.
I used to be a devoted watcher of this show, but somewhere along the line I fell off the bandwagon. I think it was somewhere shortly after Tommy nearly tossed a baby in the Hudson. Apparently that was my breaking point. Anyway, the show seems to be as twisted and messed up as ever, and I'll probably give tonight's episode another chance, since I really do like these wonderfully flawed characters. That, and the season 5 cliffhanger sounded kind of awesome with Teddy shooting Tommy and leaving him to die, all because he blamed Tommy for letting his wife drive drunk and get killed in a car accident.
Tonight, on Intervention's Season 9 premiere, we will be treated to a double whammy of addicts -- a woman named Donna and her 20-year-old son, who, according to her relatives, she has trained to become an abject alcoholic. Fun! You don't often get a double dose of misery like this from Intervention, so I guess they're just pulling out all the premiere-event stops.
Last season, on Hung: Ray (Thomas Jane) had two kids, a failed marriage, a burned-down house, a huge penis, two lady pimps and a burgeoning career as a gigolo. His coaching position was in jeopardy, his pimps were at odds with each other, and his last client was almost his unsuspecting and still-unhappy ex-wife, now remarried, until he called it off. The new season, which starts tonight, looks like... that continues?
It feels like it just started, but the Season 2 finale of Party Down is already here. The episode is very exciting, if a little bittersweet -- Jane Lynch is back (Party Down is catering her character's wedding!) and it's Adam Scott's last episode for a while (if there even is a third season, which is highly doubtful at this point), which should be very funny and immensely enjoyable, if not a grim reminder of how weird this show is going to be without Henry next season. Scott's coming back for three episodes in between his Parks and Recreation duties, which, considering the short season is actually significant, but still: no Henry? Entire episodes without Henry? It's freaking me out.
Does anyone else remember back when TLC used to be The Learning Channel and all they would do all day was play gross surgeries, instead of focusing on little people, kids and brides round the clock? Well, this show would have been perfect for old-school TLC. It's a slicker version of those surgery shows, focusing a lot on the doctors and the odd cases that come through the various top hospitals in the Boston area.
I don't really understand VH1 as a brand. They used to be all about crazy dating shows, loving various time periods and making celebrities live in houses together, but now the basic premises for all of their series are totally stolen from successful concepts MTV came up with -- the only difference is that VH1 puts an Intervention-type spin on everything. It's obvious that Dad Camp is jacked from 16 and Pregnant, The OCD Project is a fleshed out True Life: I Have OCD and You're Cut Off! is a blatant rip-off of My Super Sweet 16. I guess in the grand scheme of things, none of this matters since VH1 and MTV are both owned by Viacom, and also because You're Cut Off! is sort of amazing.
OK, I'll admit it, I've watched most of this show because of my overwhelming tolerance for medical dramas of any kind (I did, after all, watch every episode of ER) and because of my love of all things Alias-related. I mean, I still hate the silly spelling of the title, but I can't keep holding that against the show forever. After watching the Season 2 premiere that airs tonight (and a couple more episodes of the new season), I've got to say, it's actually gotten better than it was last season. Maybe my tolerance has been lowered after watching all of Mercy? It's possible, but there are some interesting plotlines emerging about the hospital having to shutter its doors and merge with another already overcrowded hospital with a cranky staff (including Sara Gilbert!), and there is starting to be some payoff for storylines they started last year.
Warning: They're still in the audition rounds for this reality series, which means if you tune in you'll have to suffer through a bunch of talentless people trying overly hard to be funny. Thankfully, the auditions move at a fairly quick pace, so even the morons who show up to do bad puppeteering or naked stand up don't get all that much screen time. Overall, the pacing of this show seems better this season than I remember in seasons past. Or maybe I just blocked the last few seasons because they were so terrible.
Whether you enjoyed the recent cinematic riff on the franchise or not, fans of the original A-Team series would be well served by checking out Leverage. You've got many of the same elements -- a band of criminals (although, in this case, not wrongfully accused) use their skills to help out the little people, many of whom are being pressured or placed in a corner by evil forces beyond their control. The A-Team never killed anyone, and neither do the Leverage crew -- in fact, they don't even use guns. They do, however, use their hacking, grifting and thieving skills to turn the tables on the bad guys. It results in a lot of fun role-playing, and occasionally some entertaining accents, and if it doesn't work out they send in the team's muscle to level the playing field. Who knows, maybe we'll get a so-so Leverage movie 20 years from now!
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