Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Like Friday

Malled to Death More "news" stories about pinheads lined-up (or camped-out, even) to fight off other pinheads for post-Thanksgiving "bargains"? Yeah, bring 'em on! This video from Monday's hysterical How I Met Your Mother (really, you should watch this show) is dedicated to all you Wal Mart Warriors who rolled up to the doors this morning when I was just going to bed, most likely drunk (me, but could apply to you, too). I'm sure it was totally worth it, Cletus ...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Heroes & Horatio

Panty Power? Why does NBC’s Heroes continue to kill in the ratings on Monday nights while Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip keeps on losing half that lead-out audience to crap like CSI: Miami and What About Brian? Sure, this week’s Studio 60 piled on the art-vs.-commerce sanctimony while delivering only slightly more real laughs than a Frontline special on quadripeligic poets, but it at least had some near-nekkid Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson) nonsense (teased heavily in NBC’s increasingly misleading promos for the show: “Come for the lofty exposition; stay for the topless blonde”). Maybe America just likes ‘em younger and peppier—less time on the field and more scenes in the cheerleaders’ locker rooms could probably do wonders for NBC’s other ratings dog, Friday Night Lights.

Yeeeaaah! Speaking of CSI: Miami, this David Caruso remix of dumbass opening lines from a stunning real number of episodes may or may not explain why CBS’ Baywatch-With-Blood-‘n’-Semen is the most popular show on the planet. Where’s the Rapture (no, not that cowbell-happy band) when you need it?

CSI Miami - Endless Caruso One Liners

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Trick Is Something a Whore Does For Money, Michael

Re-Arrested If you don't get the G4 network or own the Seasons 1-3 DVD sets ... then what the fuck kind of Arrested Development fan are you? You still have a chance to watch the most-lamented dead TV series ever, thanks to some obscure company called Microsoft:

"Redmond, Wash., Nov. 21: MSN announced that beginning today episodes of the Emmy award-winning comedy Arrested Development will be streamed on demand on MSN Video and at no cost to viewers. The first five episodes are available today at and, starting Dec. 15, three new episodes will be added every three weeks. All 53 episodes from the three seasons of the show will be rolled out within the next year."

And about Gob's new movie, Let's Go to Prison? There must be an Arrested curse. Just ask Jeffrey Tambor.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cold Serial

Basilisk: The Serpent King Saturday 11.25 (Sci-Fi) When last True TV left Yancy Butler four years ago, angry fanboy e-mailers were pummeling the servers with righteous vitriol over an innocent little drinking game I’d dreamt up to go with her TNT sci-fi series of the time, Witchblade. So she’d just entered rehab for alcoholism—therein laid the funny, people! Now, she’s back in the supernatural saddle with Basilisk: The Serpent King, the Sci-Fi Channel’s latest no-budget Saturday-night suckfest—as in, sooo bad it’s great! Doesn’t matter what it’s about, just stock the liquor … and here come the e-mails …

Prison Break Monday 11.27 (Fox) Fall Finale: Problem No. 1 with serialized dramas: They tend to get canceled before anything resolves. Or happens. Just as NBC did Kidnapped, Fox has pulled Vanished (same show, prettier people) off the old-fangled broadcast schedule and repurposed the remaining episodes to the exciting new world of broadband Internet video—instead of only being able to ignore it on Friday nights, you can now ignore it at your convenience at Problem No. 2: Serials don’t repeat well, so shows that launch in the fall have to take a winter break to stretch their season till May—like Lost (back in February; suppress that bitterness) and Prison Break (after tonight, returning in January). Now, ponder the irony of Fox using the convicts you’re rooting for as a lead-in to the non-convict you despise … O.J.? Oh, never mind.

The Bachelor Monday 11.27 (ABC) Season Finale: And you shouldn’t be watching truly reprehensible programming like this, either. Dude’s not even a real Italian prince.

Big Day Tuesday 11.28 (ABC) Series Debut: Believe it or not, it’s 24 (OK, cool) meets Father of the Bride (holy Steve Martin’s grave, no!), chronicling an a-dor-ably chaotic wedding day one half-hour a week—but wait, there’s more! The advance press also drops references to Wedding Crashers and Bridezillas, but Big Day (starring The Practice’s Marla Sokoloff and Josh Cooke of failed sitcoms galore) plays more like an innocuous Oxygen movie—yes, redundant—than a decent lead-in to the comparatively edgy Help Me Help You. When this tanks around brunch, maybe ABC will finally roll out the real new comedy gold of the season, Notes From the Underbelly.

My Boys Tuesday 11.28 (TBS) Series Debut: Speaking of romantic-comedy fluff (weren’t we?), dig this setup: 20-something Chicago Sun-Times sports reporter P.J. (Jordana Spiro) pals around with a lot of men—mainly, her brother (Jim Gaffigan) and various jock-types who tear through bad relationships like Jim Gaffigan tears through bad sitcoms. But when the gang of “guys” adds a member and potential new love interest for P.J. (yes, it’s a man—this ain’t Showtime) who happens to be a sports reporter for her rival Chicago Tribune [record-scratch sound effect], it’s a whole new ballgame. Or something. Mostly, she just hangs out in bars and drinks. Finally, a show that gets newspaper life right!

Jericho Wednesday 11.29 (CBS) Fall Finale: Another serial that has to take a month or so off to keep the storyline afloat through May—why don’t the networks just start these series in, like, November? Because nobody listens to me. Than again, The Only TV Column That Matters™ declared this heartland apocalypse drama as good as dead when it debuted in September, and now here’s Jericho as a hit and America has fallen in love with [record-scratch sound effect] Skeet Ulrich. Since I haven’t actually been watching Jericho, I turned to the experts for an It’s the End of the World and Skeet’s Hair is Fine progress report: The Blog of the Apocalypse. The feeling there? Not a high enough body count—exactly my problem with CBS’ The Class.

Da Ali G Show: The Complete Series Just in time for the tail end of Borat mania, it’s the Ali G collection! Sacha Baron Cohen was more in his element on the HBO series, working three characters (Ali G, Borat and the coming-to-theaters-next Bruno) in shorter pieces where they were far more effective (and funny). Booyakasha!

How I Met Your Mother: Season 1 Can’t hammer it home enough: How I Met Your Mother is the best new network sitcom to come along in years, a deftly-written ensemble comedy that’s more Coupling (the acclaimed BBC original) and Tarantino (the time-shifting storylines, not the blood) than Friends and Raymond. Catch up now.

So Notorious: Season 1 Tori Spelling’s semi-autobiographical VH1 “reality” sitcom bit so close to the bone, ex-90210 pal Shannen Doherty flipped and pop Aaron expired. OK, Tori probably can’t be blamed for both, but So Notorious so hysterically satirized Hollywood and her own stardom, you wonder …

You, Me & Dupree Kate Hudson … any reason to go on? With the exception of The Skeleton Key, she hasn’t made a funny movie yet. Sure, Matt Dillon and Owen Wilson have, but here they’re just sucked into that Hudson Vortex from whence no laughs ever return. Maybe it’s time to reconsider The Break-Up.

More New DVD Releases (11.21) Alias: Season 5, An Inconvenient Truth, Boston Legal: Season 2, Dr. Katz: Season 2, Perry Mason: Season 1, Scoop, Seinfeld: Season 7, Thin

Mullet Hunting Set mostly to the lilting strains of Wesley Willis’ “Cut the Mullet,” Edward Pultar’s four-minute “Mullet Hunting Episode 2” (where’s “Episode 1”?) documents various species of Salt Lakers and their “business in the front, party in the back lifestyle.” It was shot in 2001, but you know the Mullet People are still out there.