Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good night, and good TV

Snuck out to see "Good Night and Good Luck" last night. A great-looking film, fine performances (is David Strathairn ever not brilliant?) and a great topic -- and Clooney doesn't beat you over the head with the parallels between the Red Menace and the War on Terror -- but I couldn't help feeling that anyone who didn't go in knowing a fair amount about McCarthy would be baffled. My back was grateful it's a pretty short movie, since the theater I went to had chairs designed by the Torquemada, but I felt like there could have been more set-up about the threat of McCarthyism. And that in turn would have made the actions of Murrow, Fred Friendly and company that much more heroic.

Came home to see a pretty good "Veronica Mars" episode. This year's mandate to ease up on Kristen Bell's crippling workload gave us a Wallace-heavy episode, and Percy Daggs delivered. Given all the talk about how jealous Wallace's girlfriend is of Veronica, I wonder why the writers haven't bothered to look at this subject from Duncan's point of view. For that matter, have we ever seen Duncan and Wallace so much as talk to each other? He filled a major purpose last year, but Duncan seems to be taking up space right now.

For me, though, the highlight came from Enrico Colantoni during the scene where Veronica plays Keith the bus crash voicemail. He made me feel shaken, and I know this is all fiction. Sometimes, actors who get stuck on bad sitcoms ("Hope & Gloria," "Just Shoot Me") deserve it; other times, they're much better than the material allows them to show. Maybe it's time to pop in my "Galaxy Quest" DVD again. Never give up, never surrender. (Say it with me: I'm a big fat dork.)

In terms of Tuesday TV, I've officially dropped "Amazing Race," and with "House" and the NBC comedies taking the night off, the only shows I watched (in between glimpses of the World Series) were "Gilmore Girls" and "Boston Legal."

A much better "Gilmore" than the week before, but Alexis Bledel's limitations are just killing the show right now. There are all these Rory scenes that I know are supposed to be funny, but her mush-mouthed delivery is ruining them. We got an excercise bike recently, and I try to kill two birds with one stone by riding it during primetime. The bike has become my new measuring stick for TV. If I'm enjoying something, I can ride a long time without even noticing the exertion; if the show's not that exciting, all I can think about is how I can't wait to stop pedaling. During "Gilmore Girls," I slow down for Rory and speed up for Lorelai. And with the heavy dose of Rory lately, I had to stop watching the episode for a while and pop in a "Battlestar Galactica" DVD just to get through my ride.

"Boston Legal" is one of those shows I half pay attention to while catching up on e-mail, but it's become a kind of fun party game to figure out which scenes are from last year and which ones are new. Obviously, anything with Julie Bowen or the other new lawyers were shot for this season, but was the Monica Potter stuff a leftover, or did they actually bring her back to dazzle us with more bad acting?

Off to write a review of "Vampire Bats." In a shock, it's a horror movie where horny college kids get attacked whenever they try to have sex. Never seen that before.

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