Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fox News ... Intentionally Funny?

The Stale-y Show The Fox News Channel's rumored knock-off of Comedy Central's Daily Show, produced by the laugh-meister behind 24 (!), is set to debut Sunday night. It's called the 1/2 Hour News Hour ... yeah, sounds promising already. Until you see this advance clip, which nowhere near as funny as anything on Hannity's America ...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where My Fave Shows Fucked Up

My Name is Earl Thursdays (NBC) Problem: Too much spicy tail. I like Catalina as much as the next heterosexual guy with a browser history of Hot Latinas Websites … hypothetically … but enough is enough! Squeezing her into every scene and situation (and increasingly shrinking outfits) worked once or twice, but lately it’s turned into My Name is Puta. How does someone with two demanding careers—hotel maid and stripper—have so much free time to hang out with karma bums Earl and Randy? Loco.

Rome Sundays (HBO) Problem: You’re watching Sodomy Central. Episode 3 of the current (and final) season of Rome featured not one, but two mano-a-mano anal-rape scenes, not to mention more homoerotic undertones than an entire season of Queer as Folk or, well, Rome. The next week, much talk of diddling young boys and, as foreplay to torture, aristocrat Servilia getting hers … in the end. Not that I’m a historian or anything, but with so few episodes left before Rome heads into the cancellation sunset, shouldn’t they get on with that whole Building of an Empire story and pull their heads out of their … oh, never mind.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Sundays (Adult Swim) Problem: Cartoon ennui. I can forgive Adult Swim’s Frisky Dingo for taking a great premise (supervillian with a marketing plan vs. superhero who’s secretly a rich playboy idiot) and turning it into an incomprehensible mess over four months, but Aqua Teen Hunger Force? It began as an incomprehensible mess! Six years ago! But at least it was funny. Now, it’s just about cheap shocks and merchandising—and occasionally giving George Lowe (Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, R.I.P.) some voice work, apparently sans script. Maybe the writers have been too busy with the big-screen Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (actual title) and blinky-light marketing stunts to pay attention to the ol’ TV series.

24 Mondays (Fox) Problem: Jumped the shark, pistol-whipped it, nuked it. The Aqua Teen movie can’t possibly be a more over-the-top cartoon than the current season of 24—the Republicans finally get a television show to embrace, and look what happens. When did Jack Bauer become Sonic the Hedgehog? And no one seems all that concerned that a nuclear bomb just went off in Los Angeles … actually, that’s at least somewhat believable.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Mondays (NBC) Problem: Dude, where’s my comedy? One of the best pilot episodes of this season (or damned near any season); now, Studio 60 is just a great-looking soap opera with alternately sparkling and maddening dialogue and delusions of West Wing import—I can guarantee that fewer of the remaining viewers are interested in the outcome of the NBS network’s righteous battle with the FCC than the genius sketch Matt is going to write around Harriet’s “Dolphin Girl” voice.

Dirt Tuesdays (FX) Problem: Serious, but not desperate. Sure, Dirt has taken itself more seriously than it should (it’s about a Hollywood gossip magazine, fergawdsakes), but the show has veered into some Law & Order crime-solvin’ territory lately—like cable needs more of that. And enough with Courteney Cox’s woefully inadequate vibrator, too: You’ve got the money, go buy bigger and better model, maybe something powered by a DieHard car battery. On the upside, Carly Pope (mrrrow) has joined the show as a lesbian drug dealer, guests Paul Ruebens (!) and Wayne Brady (!!) killed in against-type roles, and photog Don is becoming progressively more loony and lucid. I smell a crossover with newly Hollywood-relocated Nip/Tuck …

The Departed
After Gangs of New York (zzz) and The Aviator (well, looked great), Martin Scorsese finally nails it again with The Departed—and his faith in Leonardo DiCaprio pays off, too. The deep-cover cops/mob plot isn’t perfect, but sheer style and cool casting trump all—right, Marky Mark?

Grosse Point: The Complete Series The funniest and smartest series ever produced by the old WB network—naturally, it barely lasted a season in 2000. Darren Star’s behind-the-scenes Hollywood satire of teen soap Grosse Pointe was as sharp as Fox’s Action, and usually funnier. Plus, all the mean WB jokes came true.

School for Scoundrels Bad Santa and Napoleon Dynamite in the same movie? From an Old School writer/director? How could it possibly suck? Yeah, anyway: Billy Bob Thornton attempts to teach Jon Heder to be a confident bastard to win a girl; something resembling wackiness ensues.

More New DVD Releases (Feb. 13) All in the Family: Season 6, Beauty & the Beast: Season 1, Golden Girls: Season 7, Half Nelson, The Hills: Season 1, Hustle: Season 2, Men Behaving Badly: Complete Series, The Quiet, The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Yucko the Clown: The Damn Show

Moral Orel
One of Adult Swim’s unsung heroes, Moral Orel’s weekly life lessons on the ways of the God-fearing are indispensable for choosing the right. Since the show airs on Sundays (ack!), catch up with full episodes on Adult Swim Fix on days when The Lord isn’t judging you: Don’t know how to utilize your urine? Want to help the dead live to the fullest? Need to masturbate but still get into heaven? Orel has answers.