Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last night's TV

A rundown of last night's surprisingly good viewing. Note that not all shows aired last night. Life on a DVR means that the schedule-as-programmed has little meaning.

1) Bits and pieces of General Hospital, I think from last Friday and this Monday. I'm watching so much of it on fast-forward these days that it's hard to take much away. Except I watch all Robin and Patrick scenes (except when Patrick talks about Sonny's problems) and always examine Maxie's outfits very carefully.
This one is cute but I'm ready to move on to a new day's wardrobe.

2) My viewing companion enters and we decide to watch the pilot episode of Life on Mars. It's good! I like the way it reminds me of the TV of the '80s--Quantum Leap, of course with the time travel thing--but also Magnum P.I., Moonlighting, all of those shows with episodic weekly plots but continuing character arcs that shape the whole thing. Like MZN says, more Lisa Bonet! Earns another week recorded via DVR.

3) Monday's episode of The Hills. The Justin Bobby/Audrina story has the potential to have Jason and Lauren-style drama, and Justin Bobby, while as big a jerk as all of the other dudes in the Hills-a-verse, has enough bad boy sexiness to make us understand why she would want him despite his assholery (unlike that awful Jason). But Audrina. Sigh. Poor, poor Audrina. I just don't think she can carry the storyline--just not enough going on behind the stare and smile--and without the heroine whose heartbreak we can share, it can only be a half-hearted attempt at soapy drama, not the replacement for it, a la the Lauren and Jason saga.

4) Dancing with the Stars results show-- on major FF, but aired earlier the same night, so I'd like some points for timeliness, please. Usual boring recaps, goofy bits, blah, blah, blah, then -- POW! An all-male Pussycat Dolls troupe starts strutting all over the dance floor, and soon doffs their already-revealing jackets. Riveting for a second, but soon back to fast forwarding. Then the kids start their competition and the ff grinds to a halt. Those kids are awesome, if a bit creepy, and make at least a few minutes of the results show worth seeing.

5) Normally, I would have called it quits for the night and headed off to read a bit of Breaking Dawn (I know--it's really bad, but I have to know what happens. Team Jacob!) But last night was the first of the two-part GH: Night Shift finale and I had to watch. Started on a slight DVR-induced delay but soon caught up and actually SAT THROUGH THE COMMERCIALS because I was seeing the most compelling hour of TV I've watched in a long time. They re-created Robert's living room set from the '80s! They put Robin in the flowery dress and had her say, "Hi. My name is Robin"! Anna wore that mantilla! And had that big bump in the front of her hair! They acknowledged Holly's absence! And Sean! And Tiffany! And Love, the doll! I can't even believe I got to see all of these people and this place again. I was back in 1985, in the happiest of my GH days. The other parts of the ep were good, too, especially the touching story of Kyle and the Chad Allen character, whose name is escaping me now.

As if I were not already primed to kiss the feet of the amazing Sri Rao for bringing this to my TV, today I read his interview with TV Guide Canada and discover that My So-Called Life is his favorite show (I married a guy for this very reason) and Herskovitz and Zwick are his TV writer idols. Mr. Rao, if you even find yourself in Milwaukee, I would be honored to have you to dinner. I think you are my new BFF.

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