As Harry Callahan once said, a man's got to know his limitations, and I came face to face with my own twice yesterday.
First, I popped in a review tape of Bravo's "Project Runway," a show I missed altogether in its first season. After hearing so many fellow critics rave about it, I gave season two a shot, and I had a conflicted reaction to it. On the one hand, it was as well-produced as any reality show this side of "The Amazing Race." On the other hand, all the debate about muslin fabric and whether pretty=fashion just put me to sleep.
I didn't want to slam the show for the sin of not being tailored directly to my tastes, and I also didn't want to ignore it. What to do... what to do? In a nice bit of deus ex machina, our fashion writer Jenifer Braun -- who briefly wrote about TV before I got hired a decade ago -- walked past my desk at exactly that moment. The light bulb went off, and a couple of hours later, Jen had written a very special guest review for today's column (which also features me begging Mark Burnett to never, ever, ever let former contestants compete again).
Then, as I was casting about for things to watch for upcoming columns, an editor forwarded me a press release put out by our state's interim governor (a very popular guy whose recent "Daily Show" appearance was hysterical) condemning an assault by a radio talk show fan who assaulted a local TV reporter. I told my boss I had no idea what this was about, and she said, "Well, maybe you should make some calls and find out."
Now, I work for a daily newspaper, but I've never pretended to be a real reporter. In college, I wrote movie reviews for the school paper's weekly entertainment magazine, and I've been writing about TV since my third or fourth week here at the Ledger. Fortunately, the paper employs plenty of genuine reporters, several of whom helped me and Matt chase down the story:
Opie & Anthony have some running contest on their show called "Assault on the Media" where fans are encouraged to appear in the background of live TV shots holding O&A signs. Some idiot took the game's title way too literally and blew an air horn directly into the ear of a local TV reporter. That kind of thing can cause permanent hearing damage, moron. Our governor, who already is anti-shock jock ever since a local radio bozo made fun of his wife's postpartum depression, issued one of those "the offender will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" press releases, and I sure hope it happens. People that stupid shouldn't be allowed to breed, let alone live free.
And speaking of idiots, Michael Scott was in rare form on last night's "The Office" in a cringe-worthy but very funny episode that made good use of the entire office staff, including tightly-wound Angela's meltdown over losing control of the Christmas party, Creed giving Jim the laziest Secret Santa gift of all time and, best of all, a drunk and topless Meredith throwing herself at Michael, who just flashed her picture and ran away. On "My Name Is Earl," it was nice to see Brett Butler acting in something other than "Vampire Bats," but I wanted to see more of Randy and Catalina during the hands-on-the-car contest.
Oh, and today's "Arrested Development" moment: Rita deliriously singing along to "Hot Potato" by The Wiggles, which I sadly know by heart. Ah, parenting.