TV Question Qorner: Smizenheimers
America's Next Top Model. When did Mr. Jay become kind of rad?Or have I started identifying with my captors?Has Tyra herself become so unbearable to me that anyone who ever makes a shred of non-self-aggrandizing, non-smug sense seems like BFF material?
Do you think Mr. Jay doesn't get to come to panel because he won't play along with shit like "smize-ing," but Miss Jay and Nigel will?Do you think that, years ago, the Jays flipped a coin to see who would have to pretend that Tyra's dippy season themes and Soviet-quality costumes don't suck an egg?"Heads, I win; tails, you have to sit with the other judges and pretend that when Tyra makes the same face twice in a row, there's an instructive difference between the two"?
I miss She's Got The Look.Kim Alexis is more natural on-camera, doesn't suffer from pathological narcissism, and runs a sensible panel whose advice is logical and occasionally funny on purpose.But nobody watched that show except me and a few stoners who switched to TV Land expecting a Barney Miller rerun.Sigh.
Brothers & Sisters. I said at some point that I would give it two or three episodes to win me back over this season; then I heard that they'd cast Amy "Toni Pavone" Aquino, which annoyed me, because I love her and I'd have to stick with it.
But why did they have to stash her in a plotline I can already tell I will despise?Kitty is still treating Robert like he left a skidmark on their sheets, which I think the audience is supposed to support her in, and in theory, that's fine, but in practice, she's not sympathetic — the writing and the acting choices both make me want to slap her.Now we have to "worry" that she has cancer?The character has become utterly unlikeable in the last year, and we've seen this done much better — via Patricia Wettig's Nancy on thirtysomething, among others.
And then in the first episode we have a "wacky" showdown between Holly and Nora; we have yet another makeup/breakup/"I love you but the world thinks I'm stupid" "crisis" in Rebecca and Justin's relationship; we have a dated montage about Sarah's internet-dating exploits; we have almost enough of Holly's boobs to qualify the show for premium cable; and Kevin's hair is simply unacceptable.
Doesn't look good for this one, folks.
the forgotten. Or this one, a good idea on paper that's drowning on camera in clichés and "Why are CSIs interrogating a suspect?" implausibilities.The victim voice-over adds nothing but unwarranted self-seriousness; Christian Slater is the only actor with enough charisma to carry the material (Anthony Carrigan, playing Tyler, is actually okay, if he can get out from under the exposition-device load he had to carry in the pilot); Slater's character is an ex-cop, and I understand why that cheat was included initially, but it causes more problems than it solves and should have gotten the heave-ho after the show got picked up.
A few tweaks, and it's a decent show, but it's functionally a procedural, and it's focusing on the parts of procedurals we've seen a thousand times before, which it doesn't do well, instead of on the parts that set it apart from the others, which it could do well if it got some momentum going.And it's not impossible; it does happen sometimes that a show snaps to, figures out what it wants to do, and learns how to do it while elegantly covering its flaws.Journeyman is one example.
But the writers' room seems more interested in repurposing the soppier parts of Cold Case than in examining how a group of civilians would solve a case of this type — or in making said group of civilians less annoying.Don't just barge up to these people and tell them their child is dead, dipshit.Pairing it with meaningful squinting doesn't make it any more your beeswax.
The Good Wife. What's with the sexism?It's one thing when the show depicts the sexism and reductive attitudes of the world at large towards a woman in Alicia's position — not that the show is doing the most elegant job with that, either, so far, but I can forgive it in a pilot.
But when the show's female protagonist is dated in her gender attitudes toward herself?Alicia's so-called gotcha line about "obviously you've never made a woman mad before" botched an excellent opportunity to make a few points about pre-judging the woman behind the famous/powerful man; instead, it went for a tired "hell hath no fury" tone.It's antiquated, and worse, it's uninteresting. Alicia correctly marking the office assistant as fed up with the parking-lot attendant, and exploiting that with some "oh, men" bonding?Interesting.Sharp.Alicia taking the same martyr angle with the state's attorney, except for real?Bah.It felt like pandering to a certain segment of the demographic, and the segment is smarter than that Erma Bombeck, Attorney At Law nonsense.
Law & Order: SVU. Why does Mariska Hargitay lift her leg up like she's in a cartoon every time she has to chase a perp?You know, how Wile E. Coyote will wind himself up with his leading leg before taking off after the Roadrunner?I keep expecting a puff of smoke to replace her onscreen every time she does that.
I shouldn't harp on the Hargs, because she's a palette of beige nuance compared with Christopher "Silent Movie" Meloni — and I can't really harp on him, either.What is it, the tenth season?I don't know what acting choices he's got left at this point; at least he's giving it 110 percent every week, and I feel like he has to know that he's the subject of a Taking! It! Personally! drinking game and he's having a little fun with it.
Not so Wentworth Miller.Either Wentworth Miller is actually really good at acting and just happens to have a kidney stone the size and shape of a throwing star every time the camera is pointed in his direction…or Wentworth Miller is not good at acting, and doesn't really like doing it, either.I think he tries very hard and thinks about his lines a lot; he's not half-assing it.But I spent his entire first scene waiting to find out that he was playing an actor in a movie within the show, because his Blue-Steeling had gotten even worse since Prison Break.I was kind of psyched about it, too, like, that's awesome that he can have a little fun with himself.…Ohhhh, that's…literally the character.Wow.
What to do with the guy?He's got a lot of fans, he's a hard worker…there has to be some kind of Keanu/action niche for him, right?
The Mentalist. I won't even bother asking who else watches the show, because…no one else watches the show.Well, maybe that's not true.I really only watch because Simon Baker is cute, so maybe it's not just me who does that, and I didn't know anyone watched NCIS, either — I thought it just kept JAG-ing along because even the net execs forgot it existed, but it's practically the most popular show on CBS and it even got a spin-off.(Which looks really dumb.Is anyone watching that?I like LL Cool J a lot, but: no.)
In any case, what the hell is going on with Owain Yeoman?This isn't a complaint, mind you — but during the season premiere, he's standing off to the side of a group shot, and I thought, "Cute new agent, but why'd they get rid of Rigsby?Not that I particularly enjoyed the 'sexual' 'tension' between him and Van Pelt last season, but I figured the writers would follow it up with WAIT WAIT WAIT THAT FOX IS RIGSBY!"Lost a ton of weight, got a hipper haircut (…I guess; it's trying too hard, but it's cute), looks tohhhhh-tally different.
…I know, no one cares. As you were.
Tags: America's Next Top Model Amy Aquino Anthony Carrigan Barney Miller Brothers & Sisters Christian Slater Christopher Meloni Cold Case Erma Bombeck exposition fairies JAG Jay Manuel Journeyman Kim Alexis Law & Order: SVU looks like they've (the) forgotten the shift key Mariska Hargitay Miss Jay NCIS Nigel Barker Owain Yeoman Patricia Wettig Prison Break She's Got The Look shut up Tyra Simon Baker TAKING IT PERSONALLY The Good Wife The Mentalist TV Wentworth Miller