January 2008 Archives
"We are very disappointed in you, Mr. Reid. VERY DISAPPOINTED. You have ten minutes to pack up your belongings and flee TWoP Towers, at which time Colton -- who has been reprogrammed to assassinate you, instead of Frisco, because we all know that dude won't stay dead anyway -- will be unleashed to avenge the loss of Sars's eyesight.
Run, you pitiless bastard. RUN LIKE THE CUR YOU ARE!"
Sars said the words "Nurse Bobbie Spencer" which means that I, much like the Candyman, am required to show up here and post this photo. And, as is the case oftentimes with the Candyman, you are now scarred for life, and I am sorry.
But this is such a problem in soaps! It's the only job some of these actors are ever going to have (unless they manage to score a guest spot on one of the Law & Orders, at which time I will mark them as the killer the second I see them because the rule is: the killer is always the soap star, unless it's the Broadway star), so I understand the need to stave off Father Time as long as possible, but not to the point when you become what would happen if an anemic platypus mated with an eggplant. This happens on soaps all the time, too, it's very distressing. Thank God GH ended up writing Nurse Amy Vining out of the show, because she was bad too. And poor Linda Dano on Another World, who had a face-lift (which turned out pretty okay, considering the Salvador Dali painting she could have turned into if Nurse Bobbie is any indication) and it was written into the show that she fell through a skylight and cut up her face just to explain it away.
Stay away from the knife, soap opera veterans, we beg you! Age gracefully!
Sure, Luke Spencer kind of looks like reheated sick, but that won't happen to everyone. We promise.
I loathed a lot of characters over the course of my long, semi-abusive relationship with General Hospital. I loathed the aforementioned Lucy Coe; I loathed Sean Donely during his double-agent heel turn; I loathed Bobbie Spencer and her weird way of pulling her lower lip down when she wanted to convey "about to cry."
But my loathing of Robin Scorpio remains unmatched. SHUT UP, ROBIN.
...I have to confess that I don't know what the character is up to these days; for all I know, the HIV storyline is handled with sensitivity (or what passes for it in daytime drama). As a child, however, she bugged horribly, and I hope Kimberly McCullough will forgive me for this observation, because it's not like I was that cute as a kid myself, but, uh..."Frau Blucher!" "[whinnying]" And the whole storyline with Duke Lavery trying to win Robin over because he's boning Anna Devane? Holy cutesy simpering, Batman.
Stewart is in a more precarious position, for several reasons. He doesn't have a separate persona the way Colbert does, so he's forced to appear, essentially, as himself. And no matter what he does, it will displease someone.
He talked extensively about the strike, taking shots both at the AMPTP, whose claims of desperation and poverty he repeatedly ridiculed, and the WGA, whose artsy "Speechless" campaign he poked fun at for managing the incredibly difficult feat of rustling up the support of the always reticent Sean Penn. During his interview with a labor relations expert, Stewart strongly alluded to his frustration with the fact that he'd been unable to secure a side deal with the WGA as Letterman did. (Yes, the situations have differences; they also have similarities. Discuss!) I actually thought the discussion got pretty funny when Stewart asked the professional writer whether the different treatment might be the result of anti-Semitism. It sounds a lot more awkward, believe me, than it was in practice.
Colbert's show...look. I like Stephen Colbert very much. I think his show is terrific, and I've missed it. I don't like it as much as Stewart's show, precisely because the persona creates distance that keeps me from every being as satisfied as I am by a direct hit from Jon Stewart's actual gut. Nevertheless, I'm happy for Colbert that he's back, and he did choose to stay away from bellyaching about his own show's situation. But...dude. The ovation when he came out lasted for more than two full minutes, which was...ridiculous. Appreciative, but ridiculous. Ultimately, the show ran several minutes long, which undercuts the idea that they set up the two-minute ovation to fill, meaning it apparently was the audience's spontaneous decision, in which case: settle down, y'all.
Frankly, both shows seemed...awfully similar to the way they usually are. I'm not sure what writing anyone is allowed to do, but someone had clearly set up a lot of the bits on both, and I'm not sure what the difference is between arranging bits to be funny and writing jokes. That line seems awfully fine, from my perspective.
In the end, though, what I most regret about both is that neither of these guys wanted to be where they were, at least not under these circumstances. Good comedy requires a certain energy, I think, and when people are doing it against their will, mostly dreading the curtain, it cannot be the same.
FROM MEMORY, PEOPLE.
When you mentioned him coming back with the strike beard, it reminded me of how he went to the club that (thanks, forums, for the reminder!) Terry Brock worked at, where she introduced him and he sang that song (thanks, forums, for the reminder!) "The Right Key" and Felicia sat right there while her weenie-ass husband was like, "[Cough.]" I'm telling you, when you're married to a dude who makes Jack Wagner look like Lou Ferrigno, it is time to rethink your situation.
And when I thought of Terry Brock, that made me think of my least favorite "mystery" story in GH history, which was where Terry showed up and had this Horrible Terrible Secret, and for, like, TWO YEARS (it seemed like), everyone was talking about her Horrible Terrible Secret, and there were the two brothers -- O'Connors! Hell! -- where the one seemed mean but was nice, and the other seemed nice but was mean? Anyway, they had all this information about her Horrible Terrible Secret, and when the Horrible Terrible Secret was revealed, it was that she walked down Main Street naked, singing gospel songs.
I swear to God, this was a real thing. She sang gospel naked, and this was the Horrible Terrible Secret for which we waited years. I'm not going to say that's any worse than the Grant Putnam/Andrews thing with Celia and the Rottweiler (I sense that I do remember the Rottweiler, but I don't remember its significance), but I don't think it was any better, either.
My brain is storing all of this instead of knowing where my keys are.
In terms of new shows, let's open with Celebrity Apprentice, which is part of the old Apprentice section that we dragged out of PH. The show is being enthusiastically discussed on the boards and weecapped by the always-brilliant M. Giant, who can deflate idiots like nobody else on the staff. The matchup of M. Giant versus Trump is one I am already thoroughly enjoying, even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. From the first weecap, regarding Gene Simmons: "Apparently the Kiss bassist isn't getting enough screen time on his very own reality show. Who would have thought that a guy who spent the '70s making himself up like a zombie bat and spitting blood needed so much attention?"
Next up: Cashmere Mafia, which is in the capable hands of Jeff, whom you know and love from Project Runway and, of course, from Viva Laughlin. For which we totally gave him hazard pay. Okay, we didn't. But there is no one more capable of taking apart a silly outfit, so while this show isn't even off to the races yet and the first full recap isn't up, consider this taste of what's to come, just from the recaplet: "Caitlin is a lesbian? Er, we meet her when a guy is dumping her at breakfast. Then, she meets Alicia Lawson at her office and sparks fly. She consults her priest, also her brother, who tells her to go for it. I know, this is great. Her brother is hot too. So she goes on a date with Alicia, and they kiss. She seems to like it. And, she has a car in Manhattan. And, I think she was drinking and driving." I'm in, you guys.
After approximately four billion years and sixty billion episodes, we have finally adopted Law & Order, the original. Suffice it to say that Sars's first weecap concludes thusly: "In short, Conlan does the right thing, Kleist looks like he ate a mosquito, end credits." She's not going to let you down, you guys. She's been here since the words "Memo to sound guy: turn down the mix on the lip mic. Thank you." got me hooked on Dawson's Wrap when most of you were in short pants. Lauren S will be helping out with those as well, while Grey's Anatomy mops its brow.
We've also added Bravo's own Make Me A Supermodel, which will have weecaps from Al Lowe, who is taking just a tiny step down in quality from Pushing Daisies.
You've hopefully seen, if you've been watching the homepage, that we've picked up Rock Of Love and are -- and you are lucky here -- receiving weecaps of the entire first season from the inimitable Potes, and I am here to tell you that these suckers are absolutely drop-dead hilarious, to the point where we read something from one of them out loud in the bullpen just about every day. Today, the line I read out loud was this: "Heather is sitting herself down and writing Bret a letter 'exposing' the other girls, which she's sure will go over well. She interviews, 'Get the hell out of here and go hang out with Justin Timberlake, you starfucker.' And I mean, that's actually like the pot calling the pot a pot." It is a perfect marriage of writer and material, and we're just lucky Potes is willing to fill them in for us before the second season takes off this weekend. Seriously, you guys: all kinds of funny, whether you have ever watched the show or not.
Also wonderful: M. Giant's classic weecaps of season 2 of The Office, most recently "The Injury" and "The Secret." If you're missing new episodes, it's a perfect time to drop in and visit with some wonderful old ones. Particularly if you enjoy your Office weecaps without a single-minded focus on the love story of you-know-who and you-know-who, this is the perfect set of weecaps for you.
Of course, we have also spent the last few months with Wing Chun heroically filling in several seasons of The Wire, which...dude, if you can picture how much work a regular recap probably is, a recap of The Wire is about twice as much work as that, given the combination of greater length and ridiculous density. Okay, probably three times as much work. And Wing has published, by my count, 23 of them since the beginning of September when the fall season began to ramp up. We're now getting assists from the Sobells with Season Three, so before you know it, we'll have the whole series knocked, and that's a lot of Baltimore ground to cover in a relatively short time. That's on top, of course, of the new season recaps that will appear beginning this very week.
If you didn't get a chance to see the TWoP "We've Been To The Fuuuuuture" video segment, make sure you drop by and experience that, if only for the wonderful moment in which the charming narrator says, "Saaaaaally."
We know you miss your regular shows; we miss your regular shows, too. But we're still burning through the television landscape with all the vigor we can muster, so stick around.
I am wondering exactly that, my friend. I am an '80s-GH alum who remembers the likes of the O'Connors v. Lucy Coe; Anna Devane peeling off her scar; Emma freakin' Samms; Kin Shriner's original hairline; and Frisco's unbelievably protracted return from Bulgaria or Fakecountryistan or wherever the DVX prison he escaped from was ostensibly located, which they dragged out over a month of Fridays, showing his shadowy Unabearded figure for like three seconds at 3:54 PM...people, I remember Colton Shore. (And not fondly. Shut up, Colton.) I tell you all this by way of explaining that I know it does not pay to wonder about matters of this nature, and yet, wonder I do.
I also wonder when that picture at the left was taken, because I remember a lot of things about the Grant Putnam/Andrews storyline (...unfortunately), but I sure as hell don't remember that gnarly mullet. Or the Rottweiler. Although that could actually just be a really good picture of Dr. Tony Jones. [rimshot]
So since I seem to be assuming the position of the TWoP bullpen's soap opera guru during Miss Alli's quest for a daytime show to latch onto, I feel like I should answer some of the lingering questions that an hour of General Hospital weren't able to answer for her. Perhaps if you're looking to adopt a daytime drama, these footnotes will help you, too. Though if you're wondering why Alan Quartermain got killed off only to have that actor remain on the show as a ghost anyway, I am not your man.
What I'm about to mention is the least of the outrages committed by the average Miami Vice episode -- the one I'm watching right now, thanks to my DVR, features Billy Ocean on the soundtrack; guest shots by Gene Simmons, Luis Guzman, Penn of Penn and Teller, Pam Grier, and Charles S. Dutton; and Crockett and Tubbs on an undercover field trip to New York City, with all the tired performance-artist sight gags that that implies.
But I seriously cannot believe how much ammunition is discharged during the average firefight on this show. First of all, criminals have zero compunction about shooting at cops -- to kill. Using approximately seventeen thousand machine-gun rounds. Second of all, the cops have the same lack of compunction, and their guns seem to hold several dozen rounds each (even though Tubbs's weapon is clearly a six-shooter, even to my untrained eye).
Contrast that with The Wire, which doesn't have all that many gun battles considering the subject matter of the show; it sort of depends on the season, but even in S3 where you see like five murders an episode, they're not spraying ammo around like a demented sprinkler like they are on MV. Police officers are, I'm pretty sure, required to keep their firearms certification up to date -- can't these guys shoot straight? How about firing two or three times and actually hitting the bad guy instead of discharging 42,945 rounds?
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