'Scuse me while I poke my head out of the back room at Satriale's for a few minutes to talk about TV shows that don't involve leggy psychiatrists, septuagenarian men called Junior or fatty Italian meats.
In an attempt to stave off my nightly "Sopranos" dreams -- which, seriously, are at least as strange as Tony riding a horse into the living room or Pussy turning into a talking fish -- I've tried closing out each of the last few nights with other shows. It hasn't really worked, but at least I got to stay current on a few of this week's shows. From most recent on backwards...
"Lost": A big improvement over the last one, which I shredded here a few weeks ago. Mystery revelations that were actually useful, like the knowledge that Zeke and his bunch are, in fact, part of the same group as Ethan, and the reason they looked so much grubbier and trashy is because of costumes and fake beards. Plus, this was the first time I can remember where all of the flashbacks were to events on the island itself, and it's about damn time for that, since I'm running out of patience with Jack hospital drama stories. And Eko continues to be the coolest guy on the island with his response to Locke's warning not to tell the prisoner what the alarm is for ("What is it for?"). Plus, Julia had Roseola once, and while Marian and I didn't go tromping through the jungle to find a cure, I think it's fair to say we overreacted by about 17 degrees.
"Scrubs": I'm glad the weekly double-shot is coming to an end, because I've noticed that one of the episodes each week tends to be much better than the other, and if they aired a week apart I wouldn't notice the dip in quality as much. Loved the first episode, especially the Cox/Janitor friendship that's been long overdue. ("Sometimes I just like to cut his bangs.") J.D.'s jealous hatred of Keith had already gotten old by the end of that one, however, so when it kept going for all of the second, I just got bored. Did like the use of the bird infection gag going from funny (The Todd smeared on the mouth, the front, the back and, probably, the taint) to tragic (the beloved patient getting infected by Cabbage), though.
This week's "Gilmore Girls" was, without a doubt, the Worst. Episode Ever. Rest assured that I would have been on the Internet within minutes to register my complaints if I hadn't been exhausted from the Soprano-athon. Okay, so maybe that's an overreaction. Any episode that has Sebastian Bach singing "Hollaback Girl" at a Bat Mitzvah, not to mention a line like "I'm expanding my definition of 'juice'" can be all bad. But I swear, during that endless scene with Rory and the bridesmaids, I just wanted to smash my head against some floor tile and have some guys chop me up and bury me in a field. (Sorry, that's "The Sopranos" talking.) And borrowing the "We were on a break" story angle from Ross and Rachel? Seriously? Seriously? I wanted to smash the TV then, and it hasn't improved with age. (Plus, the knowledge that Logan will be on the show next season doesn't even let me enjoy Rory dumping his ass, since I know it's temporary.) The story with Lorelai and Christopher's spoiled rotten daughter might have worked if it had led to a scene with her talking to Luke about his daughter, but instead it was just an example of Lorelai letting herself be a doormat again for her man-child baby daddy. Can we just have a spin-off about Hep Alien?
Finally, "How I Met Your Mother," in which I've finally thrown in the towel on caring about Ted and any of his women. This Barney-centric episode was so much funnier -- and more awesome, legendary, or whatever Barney adjective you want to use -- than the show usually is that I think there's no choice but to push Ted further and further into the background as we focus on Barney, Marshall and Lily (and, to a lesser extent, Robin). The Barney-as-Darth montage was especially cool, and I liked that the circa-'98 coffee house looked so much like Central Perk.
And now it's back to the Bing. At this point, I may have to table "Idol" until the actual finals begin.