Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The week after

I feel like I've written about nothing but "Rescue Me" for the last week, and since the latest episode barely dealt at all with The Incident, I'll keep this brief.

With a lot of the storylines running in place -- the Chief's non-bartending job and struggle to find money for his wife's care, Garrity and Maggie, Probie's non-relationship relationship -- the big developments came from our pair of Oscar-winning guest stars. I'm particularly torn about Susan Sarandon stealing Franco's daughter. On the one hand, she stole his kid. On the other hand, it's not like she plans to shut Franco out of Keelah's life, and she gives Tommy a much more reasonable explanation for why she'd be a better parent to Keelah than Franco -- one of the few times in this show's history where a woman has taken the moral high ground over one of the guys and really seemed to deserve it. But still, she stole his kid! (And, yeah, Franco stole her, too, but from disinterested foster parents, and he's her actual father.)

Meanwhile, enter Marisa Tomei as the latest gorgeous babe to fall improbably under Tommy's manly spell -- or not. I like that she blew off his proposal for revenge sex, and that, even when she finally agreed to it, it was more out of a desire to get back at Johnny than any kind of attraction to Tommy. (And the previews make it look even more fake and businesslike.)

The hour's strongest moment came, as it often does, when Tommy was confronted by the ghosts of his past -- not just Jimmy and Connor, but Billy the well-endowed fireman who died in "Inches." As much as this show can piss me off in other ways, I stick around for scenes like the one at the end.

What did everybody else think? Is Susan a heroine or a manipulative baby-stealer? Is Marisa really just having fun, or is she going to become Sheila 2.0? And how long before Jerry smashes a beer bottle over his boss' head, and/or steals money out of the till to pay the bills?

The column took yesterday off, but today's features an interview with Bill Lawrence about his attempt to resurrect "Nobody's Watching" via YouTube.

And in another "Scrubs" musical link: Payback is a bitch.

27 comments:

jim treacher said...

That scene with Sarandon and Leary was pretty amazing, because I wanted to spit in her face when she walked up to him, and by the time she walked away I was completely on her side. I mean, it's not like she has room to talk, being an older lady who goes to pickup bars to find younger men and then abducts their children, but in the moment? I was like, "Yeah, you tell 'im!"

dez said...

I think Marissa is just having fun. I don't think she's going to fall for Tommy and turn into Sheila V2.0, although Sheila was cracking me up when she told Tommy off last night.

Although they didn't deal with the Tommy/Janet incident directly, they seemed to be using the discussion of Mrs. Turbody's "rape" of the boys as a way to comment on it. I could be totally off-base on that, though.

Susan Sarandon's character stole Franco's child. Whether or not her intentions are noble, she's still a baby stealer. I'm sure there are better ways to teach Franco a lesson than to steal his kid! It's a bummer that her character turned out this way, but then again, she's just a "guest star," not a regular, so they had to get rid of her some way.

I think the Garrity and Probie sub-plots are hysterical. And too bad Chief couldn't tell Rose to stay upstairs while he answered the door--or that the didn't have the common sense to stay up there on her own.

DonBoy said...

There's a video piece on The Incident (as the kids are calling it...) on CNN's website. The link is "Rape mixed with romance the wrong message."

Hype said...

Good article with Bill Lawrence Alan. That's why I really like Bill because not only can he craft good shows together, but he knows how the business works is progressive about everything (video blogs, youtube etc.)

I really liked Nobody's Watching because the two characters are almost a perfect clone of just about any true active tv watcher (snarking about it) But I wonder IF it somehow gets ressurected, you gotta think they might have to reshoot the pilot for tons of reasons beside it already being seen on YouTube.. it's not WB, it was a year ago, Kellerman is still not dead on Prison Break?

dirtgirl said...

I somehow completely missed the fireman Billy appearance at the end. What happened?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Not much. Tommy is driving home, and he sees Billy sitting in the passenger seat right before he sees Connor there.

I like that sometimes the show has Tommy haunted by people who have absolutely nothing to do with his current situation. Plus, any scene with Billy reminds me of "Inches," which is arguably the best episode the show has done.

Anon said...

You know, it's really impressive how much character information Paul Adalstein conveys with his hairstyle. Consider Nobody's Watching with his bit on Scrubs and his role on Prison Break. You can also see pics of him in Be Cool and Intolerable Cruelty on IMDB. Makes we wish I could recall some of his other TV work, particularly his stint on Cupid, which seems to have been a significant recurring role.

Obviously, this is only a small part of his acting arsenal, but it isn't one you often see utilized, even among character actors.

Anon

Anonymous said...

Alan, notice the ho-hum attitude towards this week's episode? Interesting, ain't it? Tolan and Co. completely lost us who revered this show.

Tommy Gavin is now simply a complete idiot and the woman as drawn by Tolan are cartoons. Tommy is irredemable, no matter what Tolan does.

My expectations towards this show are in the sewer, so I'll keep watching just for Lenny Clarke and John Scurti, but I am quite disappointed in Leary and Tolan. Tolan had a chance to redeem himself, but didn't, with his arrogant 'when rape isn't rape' BS.

Ah well, he'll laugh all the way to the bank.

jim treacher said...

"Alan, notice the ho-hum attitude towards this week's episode? Interesting, ain't it? Tolan and Co. completely lost us who revered this show."

Speak for yourself.

dez said...

I agree with Jim.

I'm willing to wait to see how karma is going to kick Tommy's ass, and I'm still enjoying the show.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll amend my post. Tolan lost ME with his piss poor attempts at explaining away a rape scene with protestations of WAIT she might have enjoyed it, therefore it wasn't rape. WAIT, I made the scene so ambiguous that even intelligent women are pondering whether a WOMAN character written by a MAN is now a barometer for what RAPE is.

Bottom line, I am choosing to continue to watch the show for Scurti and some of the others, but Leary and Tolan are the WRITERS of a WOMAN character who is SO PUZZLED after she has been RAPED that she is causing real life men and women to shake their heads in disbelief as well.

Good job, Tolan.

There, is that speaking for myself, Jimmy?

Anonymous said...

Hi, veryoldperson. Not content to stay at TWOP and beat that horse, are you?

Alan Sepinwall said...

"I'm sure there are better ways to teach Franco a lesson than to steal his kid!"

Dez, I don't think she's trying to teach Franco a lesson. I think she believes Keelah is better off long-term with her new fake mommy instead of her old real dad.

dez said...

I could have sworn Alicia told Tommy she took Keelah in order to reach Franco a lesson. I'll have to rewatch and listen more carefully, I guess!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Hi, veryoldperson. Not content to stay at TWOP and beat that horse, are you?"

Wow, am I supposed to be impressed you figured me out from my writing? How brave of you to post your name.

Anonymous said...

The same way you posted yours on your message when you purported to speak for all RM fans who revered the show, "anonymous"? You're so funny. Except not.

jim treacher said...

"There, is that speaking for myself, Jimmy?"

Much better, Oldy.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Play nice, everybody. It's TV. TV is fun. Fun, I tell you! Fun! Or, as Detective John Munch once put it, "Girls! Girls! You're both pretty!"

(Apologies if either Anonymous is female and offended by the above. Again, it's fun!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Alan. Yes, I'm female, no I'm not offended.

And I find it amusing that more emphasis is given to the fact that I didn't sign in originally as 'veryoldperson' (I didn't choose to register, oh the horror!) than to the fact that Tolan wrote a rape scene.

Bravo, you caught me out jim and, ahem, 'anonymous'. Mea culpa, I incorrectly posted MY view for all those whom I thought actually saw this rape scene for what it was, i.e., rape.

Seems that is just my and the view of others. There are those who don't view it as rape. Point taken.

And that was Tolan's mastery, to write a rape scene that wasn't.

dez said...

You don't have to register to sign in with your name; just click "Other" and you can put your name in that way.

If you're going to continue being a nasty, bullying bitch with your opinion, could you please take it elsewhere? You obviously can't handle it when people disagree with your opinion.

R.A. Porter said...

How exactly is she being a "nasty, bullying bitch with [her] opinion"? Maybe over at TWOP the tone is different (don't know, haven't gone to see), but here the opinions have been delivered calmly and, from this man's opinion, spot on.

I squirmed while watching that rape, and honestly don't see how anyone could have viewed it otherwise. Clearly many do, but I think that says less about Tolan and Leary and their job on the scene than it does about the viewers. I likewise think the ad hominem attack on veryoldperson - and the choice of words for that attack - is quite interesting.

dez said...

IMO, veryoldperson's tone is nasty and bullying. She first claimed to be speaking for others, then when she reiterated her opinion in a later post, she did it again. Plus she used a nasty tone and a lot of ALL CAPS WORDS FOR EMPHASIS. To me, that makes her a bitch. I didn't realize that word was now off limits.

And other people do see that scene differently. Other people think it wasn't rape. I can see why some people think it was rape, but I didn't. That you can't see another person's point of view makes you seem close-minded.

R.A. Porter said...

It's really your choice if you think calling a woman a bitch when discussing rape is appropriate. Seems a bit shrill to me. Seems a bit counter to the notion of debate. Then again, as your mind is made up - both about the topic and those who differ with you - perhaps debate isn't your goal.

As Alan said, "TV is fun". With that mantra in mind, I think I'll leave off this discussion for now.

dez said...

"Then again, as your mind is made up - both about the topic and those who differ with you - perhaps debate isn't your goal."

Interesting that the same could be said of you, especially as you're running away after getting in the last word.

As for the other thing, if I think someone's acting like a bitch, I call them a bitch, irrespective of the topic. I don't see the need to limit my language because said language is not "PC." That's ridiculous, sorry.

jim treacher said...

"Bravo, you caught me out jim and, ahem, 'anonymous'. Mea culpa, I incorrectly posted MY view for all those whom I thought actually saw this rape scene for what it was, i.e., rape.

"Seems that is just my and the view of others. There are those who don't view it as rape. Point taken."

I didn't say it wasn't rape. I said Leary & Tolan haven't lost me yet.

dez said...

Okay, I rewatched the scene where Alicia talks to Tommy and she did say that she wanted Franco "to learn a few things." Not the same as teaching him a lesson, but I still think she doesn't intend to keep Keela forever. Or maybe that's just what I hope because I like the character and don't think she's completely whacko.

Edward Copeland said...

In case you hadn't heard, crazy William Atherton in Ghostbusters lookalike and TV moralist Brent Bozell is recommending an advertiser boycott of Rescue Me over the marital rape episode.