Friday, September 22, 2006

More Premiere Week!

And I had such high hopes for this show. The premise is good, and some of the stuff in the pilot was effective (little boy looking at mushroom cloud, answering machine-captured death), but that - IN THE PILOT - they resorted to such an old TV cliche as the "emergency tracheotomy" was very disappointing. On top of that half of the action and suspense in the pilot - THE PILOT - had nothing to do with the possible end of the world, but instead was the result of random car crashes. What!? You get one hour to hook us on this concept and you waste much of it on contrived standard-issue TV tropes? Why?

My Name Is Earl
Nice that they are abandoning the every-episode-must-see-an-item-get-srcatched-off-the-list bit. And if Joy is in prison next week, then it might mean they'll be going after some longer arcs too. Very welcome. I laughed a LOT at this episode, so I'm glad to see that some of the structural repetition that made last season sometimes-wearying is being jettisoned.

The Office
A bit of a cop-out I thought on the whole Jim-Pam thing, but I have to admit to being hooked on what will happen next. And opening up the action to a second Dundler-Mifflin office is inspired, and will take some of the weight off the core cast. The gay stuff was as uncomfortably hilarious as anything the show has done so far - I was watching through my fingers.

OK, Jaquandor, I'll give you this. A bit too much Job-like travails for our friends. Sam, who has had much drama and tragedy in her life already is kidnapped and raped in front of her sleeping kid? And then she kills her husband in cold-blooded murder? And Neela goes right from her husband's funeral to a shot-up ER and one friend almost dying and another almost dying AND getting an emergency hysterectomy AND giving birth very prematurely? And Luka, he of the my-kids-were-murdered-in-a-war-torn-country backstory, has all of that happen to his child and girlfriend/fiance/whatever? And alcoholic, crazy-Mom-having, crazy-brother-having, husband-abandoned Abby has all of that happen to her? Damn, this is depressing stuff. Still, it's wonderfully done depressing stuff, and the ending with Sam was unexpected and wonderfully played. I ain't going anywhere soon.

Until Whenever


Jaquandor said...

Ah, more dumping of shit on the heads of the folks at County, eh? Glad to see the ER writers are still mining the same old bag of tricks! And just wait until Sally Field comes back! It'll be a hootenanny!

(I just wanted to use the word "hootenanny".)

I didn't think The Office was a copout; Jim's transfer to another Office was set up nicely last year, as was Pam's dumping of the fiance. And the Gaydar from Sharper Image was about the funniest TV gag I've seen in months!

Tosy And Cosh said...

Sally Field coming back is one of the most organic things they've done in a while - her daughter had a prematue kid and an emergency hysterectomy. For her NOT to come back would be contrived.

As for the Office, I liked it very much, but just felt that the implication that Pam and Jim kissed and then said nothing else about it awas a bit forced.

Jaquandor said...

I seriously doubt they said "Gee, she needs her mother." Instead, I suspect they cooked up the contrivance to get her irritating character back on the show. Those writers haven't done anything that wasn't seriously contrived in years! Thhhbbbbppppt! (Elevating the discourse, as always!)

I didn't find the kiss on The Office forced at all -- Pam gracefully ended the moment she knew couldn't go any farther than that. Worked fine for me.

Tosy And Cosh said...

To maintain the level of discourse at the appropriately high level - your mother's your uncle!

And come on - if they wanted to be contrived they would have brought her back for sweeps, not for episode 2. Organic, says I!!

On the Office, twasn't the kiss's ending I found forced, but the implication that in susbsequent days, weeks, whatever it was never discussed again.