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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Television Notes

WHOOO-WEEE: Next week, on the national game: undefeated Chicagger vs. undefeated Seattle. Immoveable object meets irresistable force. Humding.

BUT WHERE'S JEEVES? I don't know how this happened, but suddenly, Hugh Laurie is everywhere. If Steven Fry hasn't guested yet on House, someone should picket somewhere.

GET THE PADDLES! CLEAR!: This season on ER, the doctors drop scrubs in favor of camo. A lunatic plants an atomic bomb in the corpse of a homeless angel. Everyone is armed with semiautomatic weapons and hunts each other down in a series of firefights in the hallways. The few remaining cast members we know and love are guaranteed to be bloodied, to make us care anew about the operating room scenes. And yet: yawn.

SOAP-OPERA PACE KNOWN TO LOWER SPERM COUNT IN MALES: On Desperate Housewives, another three episodes' worth of activity is crammed into sixteen episodes. Writers exhausted. Hot milf cast keeps show trucking.

ALONG WITH THE LAME NAME. Justice is guaranteed to be gone by Thanksgiving. All flash and no [insert John Lovett voice:] ACTING!

DESPITE THE LAME NAME. Used to be, the movies were high-tone and TV was low-rent (you've never seen Jack Nicholson on "The Tonight Show," have you?). That's probably why the latest Tom Cruise blockbuster is based on a second-rate '70s TV show and the first episode of Oscar nominee James Woods's new TV show Shark was directed by Spike Lee. But, best new Fall show IMO, at least of the legal-beagle breed. (But are people really paid good money to come up with these series names? Shark? Really? Please.)

Posted by: MIKE ("NOT A REAL CRITIC") JOHNSTON

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just cannot listen to Hugh Laurie's "American" accent, it just isn't right for Bertie Wooster to sound like that!

Have to watch with the subtitles switched on and the sound turned down. ;-)

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do we have to pettition to get "milf" added to the dictionary?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call - both Justice and Happy Hour were put on hiatus this morning.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Try the Urban Dictionary online.

--Mike

11:53 AM  
Anonymous paul said...

I don't subscribe to TOP to get updates on TV: can we move these to a personal blog?

6:37 PM  
Blogger bokeh said...

M.I.L.F. is an acronym and I'm surprised you would use it on this site, all things considered.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"I don't subscribe to TOP to get updates on TV: can we move these to a personal blog?"

No, sorry.

--Mike

7:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"I'm surprised you would use it on this site, all things considered"

...What, considering all the grade schoolers who read T.O.P.?

I don't have demographics on T.O.P. readers, but the average photo magazine reader is about 52 years old, 90+% male, has about a 2 in 3 chance of being married or divorced, and has more education than average and more income than average. In other words, big boys. I hope our audience is younger than that and more female than that, but I'm guessing they can stand the occasional off-color acronym aimed at Hollywood celebs.

--Mike

7:11 PM  
Blogger PatrickPerez said...

I watched the Shark premier, and was surprised as all get-out that Spike Lee directed it. But by the end of the episode, I came away thinking he didn't. Or at least didn't bring his 'A' game.

The visual language for a television series is set by the director of the pilot. All follow-on episodes are intended to be directed in a consistent manner. Short of getting a different performance from an actor, a series director has little creative latitude unless they are directing the pilot. Shark was as generic as can be.

And on an actual photographic note, lately I've noticed that each American broadcast network seems to have it's own 'house look' as far as lighting/color are concerned. CBS seems to favor subdued contrast and low key lighting. NBC harsh contrast and subdued colors, and ABC goes for bold color, strong lighting. These generalizations really only apply to single camera filmed dramas.

I watched a few episodes of Justice, and just wish someone would buy the camera operator a damn fluid head mount or Steadicam.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"I watched a few episodes of Justice, and just wish someone would buy the camera operator a damn fluid head mount or Steadicam."

Patrick,
Agreed. It's the reductio ad absurdam of the "NYPD Blue" docu-cam look.

Also agree about the purported Spike Lee influence...you can't tell. This was made all the more poignant by the fact that my local PBS station has recently run multiple airings of "She's Gotta Have It." I still think it may be SL's best...

--Mike

10:22 PM  

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