Monday, March 27, 2006
I was super-geeked at the prospect of Ricky Gervais both writing and appearing in an episode of "The Simpsons," until I read an article in the newest Entertainment Weekly where he listed his five favorite "Simpsons" episodes ever, none of which would be close to my top five, one of which -- "Homer's Enemy" -- represented everything I came to dislike about the later years.
Thankfully, that article helped me, to quote Tony Soprano's doctor, recalibrate my expectations. I came in expecting another Frank Grimes-esque celebration of Tony at his oafish worst, so the actual episode was a nice surprise. Not top 10, or even top 150, but by the standards of the last few seasons, pretty good.
The best part, by far, was Gervais writing and playing himself as David Brent: the career choice, the awkward flirtation, the inappropriate jokes that require five minutes to explain, etc. Plus, the visit to the Fox lot was pretty funny, especially a Mischa Barton statue that gave a much more convincing performance than the real Mischa ever has.
(By the way, when Paulie Walnuts took one in the walnuts on last night's "Sopranos," was I the only one who instantly thought of "Barney's movie had heart... but 'Football in the Groin' had a football in the groin"? Not just me? Good.)
The only other Sunday TV I finished was "West Wing," which was mostly campaign filler, other than the Toby scenes. My daughter's not a lot younger than Molly, and while I've never violated national security (not that I can think of), the notion of having to be away from Julia for a long period of time hit home for me. Plus, I much prefer Toby's ex-wife when she's not singing in front of burning cars. My prediction for next week, influenced by the least subtle preview reel of all time: Santos wins, but the victory celebration is ruined by the death of Leo.