Monday, July 11, 2005

Things I Have Seen on TV This Week

1. Janice Dickinson spazzing out after being hugged by Bronson Pinchot on the "Surreal Life 5" premiere.

The new "Surreal Life" cast is pretty sweet. Jose Canseco, Pepa, um, some snowboarding dude or whatever...But the highlights are obviously going to be Omarosa from "The Apprentice," Balki from "Perfect Strangers" and this hideous collagen experiment-gone-wrong, best known to Americans for pretending to be a former supermodel on "America's Next Top Model."

I'm not sure exactly what combination of drugs they have Janice Dickinson on, but whatever it is, it's working. The woman may be slowly losing her grip on reality (okay, not actually all that slowly), but man, her livid rejection of any physical contact from Mypos' favorite son was great TV!

VH1 is to be commended, I think, for actively recruiting mentally ill celebrities for their reality shows. It's a trend more networks need to get behind (and with Bravo introducing "Being Bobby Brown" last month, can more be far behind?)

2. New Family Guy

I'm just still kind of spazzily excited that "Family Guy" is back and that it's still really good. How is it that Seth MacFarlane and his entire crew can go out of production for 4 years, come back and still stay incredibly fresh, whereas Lorne Michaels can't find one funny guy to come in and write funny "Saturday Night Live" sketches in all that time? Hell, Lorne Michaels hasn't found a funny guy to write for that show in over a decade. Hire some of Seth MacFarlane's people, dumbass!

3. The Andy Milonakis Show

This guy had me totally fooled. I thoguht he was a kid. I mean, look at that picture! He looks 13!

The guy was born in 1976. He's officially two years older than me. Check out his IMDB page. I would think he must have some kind of condition that causes him to appear so young, but I couldn't find anything specific about it on the Net. Maybe he's just really immature looking, and his overweightness just resembles baby fat.

Whatever the reason, he's hilarious. Milonakis got his start making stupid, silly videos with his webcam. He would dance around or freestyle rap, or sometimes they'd just be surreal little skits. Anyway, he became kind of an Internet phenomenon, and since Jimmy Kimmel steals a good deal of his material from goofy websites anyway, he figured he'd just eliminate the middle man and give Milonakis his own MTV2 show.

It's great - trippy as hell, weird and just juvenile enough to be funny, but not so juvenile that it gets tiresome fast. Let me put it to you this way...the show could conceivably have been created by a 13 year old, but he would have to be an immensely cool, smart and precocious 13 year old.

4. Six Feet Under

The best HBO series, like "Sopranos" or "Deadwood" or this one, build slow over the course of a season. There's always a point, about halfway through a run of episodes, where you start to think, "This season is boring! Last season was so exciting! Why won't anything happen?" And then the final 3 or 4 episodes are packed with incident and very satisfying.

But, still, this year "Six Feet Under" kind of sucks. I just don't care about anything that's happening, really. At all. And the show has really gotten repetitive. How many times can we see demure Ruth start to come out of her shell around her sister's wacky bohemian friends? Or see Nate panicking when he feels he's getting too immersed in a stable relationship? Or see Billy fly off the handle and threaten someone physically? It's just getting tired.

I'll stick with this show, because it's almost over, but unless something really majorly exciting goes down in the next few weeks, this season will have been a disappointment. And you never want to end a series with a disappointment.

Just like you never want to end a column about TV with a boring diatribe about some soap opera. Which is why I'll instead end with...

5. The Final Howard Stern E! Show

At my old job, I worked in the cubicle right next to this really obnoxious HR girl. Anyway, we once overheard her talking to a co-worker about her favorite show, "Friends," and how she'd been watching it for so long, she felt like Rachel and Phoebe and Chandler really were her friends.

A lot of us down at the subtitle plant thought that was really hilarious and sad. I mean, someone who felt some sort of genuine emotional connection to Matthew Perry? Is such a thing even possible?

But then, that's kind of how I feel about the cast of "The Howard Stern Show," even though I've never met any of them in person. I've been listening to that show in the morning, off and on, since high school. It's just very much ingrained in my morning ritual to hear Howard and Robin and Fred and Gary.

I never watched the E! show religiously, often because it was just a rehash of bits I'd already heard during my morning commute. But I do like watching it at times - there's something uncanny about listening to the show on the radio and visualizing it in your head, and then watching what actually happened weeks later on late-night television. It's really like two different shows, even though at this point, even when listening, I have a general idea of what everyone looks like and what's going on in the studio.

Here's hoping that when Howard moves to Sirius, the TV broadcast moves to Showtime or HBO or some channel capable of conveying the new show in all its smutty glory. Actually, let's go wtih HBO over Showtime, because I can't subscribe to any station that's going to air "Fat Actress." I won't have my hard-earned dollars supporting non-entertainment like that.


Cory said...

The tv show will be on Spike! TV.

Personally I always enjoy it more on the radio.

Horsey said...

Come on, writing for a cartoon like Family Guy is so much easier than free form skits. Family guy humor is just Simpson style stuff that people can come up with and spit out even in everyday life.

SNL stuff has to set up a premise and execute something funny in like 5 minutes. And then do it again and again to fill a show. And if you get one bad skit it pretty much ruins your buzz for the rest of the show. Not to mention they have to do it live, and can't pre-tape it and check if it's funny.

That's why, while I'm a big Chappelle fan, I still give props to SNL.

At this point shutting SNL down would be like shutting down the US Postal service. It's a motherfuckin institution!