On TV Right Now

July 16, 2007

As far as I know, there's only one channel running new TV shows right now. And HBO must know that they have a monopoly on those who are tired of reality shows, game shows, and American Idol ripoffs, because they aren't really putting much effort into providing a decent program.

I direct this primarily at John From Cincinnati, the new show launched right after The Sopranos ended. I watched the first episode, where they introduced a lot of odd characters and strange goings-on. The second episode inc1 included more strange goings-on, a lot of shouting by Rebecca De Mornay, the confirmation that Dylan from 90210 and Al Bundy are main characters, and was capped by the resurrection of a shttp://theskinnyonbenny.com/blog2/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=309 Ben’s Web Log › Edit — WordPressurfer kid from the dead. After that episode, I was optimistic that we had a weird-as-shit, but entertaining new show.

But then the writers decided, "Now that we knew some characters, who needs things like plot or coherence?" They notched up the screaming and the weird, culminating (at least for me) with last night's hour of people yelling at each other for no reason at all, sprinkled with people saying sentences that were complete nonsense, presumably mysteries to be revealed later.

The word "Lost" appears often in the background or on props, and that's exactly where I am with this show. And despite the fact that there's some comically bad acting and a worthwhile number of good looking cast members, "lost" is exactly what they have in this viewer.

If it gets any better, let me know.

HBO's other current serial drama is Big Love, the story of a Utah man and his three wives, living in harmonious secret polygamy. Perhaps one day I'll share my opinion on polygamy, run of the mill Mormons, and the fundamentalist Mormons but I would need more time and space than I'm going to allow myself for this post. Jon Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven is a really good read on the subject.

Back to television, HBO's comedies are much better. Entourage is probably my favorite show that's on right now, although it isn't as good as it was last year. The main reason is that they're focused more on the business of making movies than they are on floozies and parting, but it's still a really fun show to watch.

Flight of the Conchords

is a hilarious show in a completely different way. The comedy is the dry, non-laughing, awkward sort that non-fans of The Office don't get. It's pretty good, but not nearly as funny. The part that's pure gold is the music videos that they break into mid-episode. This clip is probably my favorite song they've done so far.

You can see video clips and whole episodes here, and I'm sure there are more on YouTube. It's a whorthwhile way to waste some time.