Saturday, March 04, 2006


Been a great few days of viewing, the kind of stretch that recharges the batteries and reminds me why I do this.

First, I finally got around to Tuesday night's "The Shield." Told almost entirely from Kavanaugh's point of view, it was mesmerizing. Even before we got to those last 10 minutes when Kavanaugh lost his shit and arrested Lem, I was already saying (*)Just Give Him The Damn Emmy Right Now. He's that good.

My only worry is that they've now made him so crazy, such a vendetta-fueled monster that we're back in the position of sympathizing with Vic again, just as the show was going to the trouble to remind us that he's a cop-killing bastard. (Also, while I loved the approach of telling the episode almost entirely from Kavanaugh's point of view, it did take some of the thunder out of the Claudette Cliffhanger.)

Then I got my hands on the first four episodes of "The Sopranos" season six. I know, I've been marinating in all things Tony for the last few weeks, but seeing these new ones just about made the whole boot camp worth it. These episodes are so brilliant I'm afraid to say anything about them, except that Edie Falco has a couple of scenes in episode two that made me say Just Give Her The Damn Emmy Right Now. Much, much more after it airs. And in the meantime, the first of my 8,000 stories has come out: David Chase and Terry Winter answering some burning (and not-so-burning) questions left over from season five. Up next: dreams!

And while we're clearing the award show decks right now, can we give Emmys all around to everyone involved with "Battlestar Galactica"? I know, I know science fiction is the red-headed stepchild of show business, but you could throw Emmy nominations at Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Aaron Douglas and Katee Sackhoff and none would seem out of place to anyone who's actually seen the show. And, of course, there are the guest stars. Last week, Lucy Lawless was 27 kinds of scary, and this week we got the great Dean Stockwell as the grouchiest priest in TV history. I don't want to comment too much, since what I know about next week will color anything I have to say, but knowing that I get to do my job in an age that has "Galactica," "Sopranos" and "The Shield" all at the same time feels like a real privilege, you know?

Some Oscars thoughts sometime Monday. I've got high hopes for Jon Stewart, but then, I kinda liked Letterman's stint ("Would you like to buy a monkey?"), so what do I know?

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