Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday night round-up

Spoilers for, in order, "30 Rock," "Earl," "Survivor" and "Grey's Anatomy" coming right up...

Product integration and NBC: perfect together. Well, kinda. I saw "The Office" in advance, so I don't know how I would have responded to seeing the Staples ad live. But airing this "30 Rock" episode directly after that is either taunting or demented genius. I haven't decided yet. Probably it's both. The Snapple gag has been done better elsewhere (posters in "The Office" entry have name-checked "Wayne's World," and "Arrested Development" did it brilliantly with Carl Weathers and Burger King), but it was a good episode, highlighted by Liz's "nut up" pep talk to Jack -- and, of course, Jack's continued belittling of Liz's sexual appeal. I also liked Tracy's "Man, George Will gets more conservative every day!" Unlike "The Office," this one did feel padded; they could have shaved it down to standard length without losing much.

Ditto "My Name Is Earl," an episode clearly written by someone who had just gotten back from seeing "An Inconvenient Truth." The best parts of the episode came before Earl's global awakening, whether it was Crabman lamenting Joy's inability to understand the irony of stealing the polygraph machine or Randy complaining that he had already seen that episode of "Friends." Outside of Claymation Catalina jiggling as she dusted (followed by the revelation that the flesh-and-blood Catalina was just as jiggly), the writers didn't do a whole lot with Randy's hallucinations, and Christian Slater continues to prove that his Nicholson impression was the most interesting thing about him. Not a bad episode, but definitely not up to last week's standard.

Okay, I think "Survivor" has me hooked back in, and not just because we could be heading towards some kind of Down With Whitey scenario where Nate realizes the original Raro are putting the band back together and tries to latch on with Yul's small but dedicated band. I always love a good triumph of the underdog story -- though any team that has Yul and Ozzy in it is only an underdog to a point -- especially since I loathe everyone on Raro save Jonathan. If he's as smart as he usually thinks he is (save the mutiny, and even there he immediately recognized the screw-up), he'll look one move ahead and try to beat Nate to the punch of teaming up with Aitu. Given their hatred of Candace ("1, 2, 3... Candace!" was awesome), I think he might have a shot at reconciling with them by blaming it all on her. He's not going to win no matter which team succeeds in Pagonging the other, but he at least has the ability to make sure the good guys come out ahead.

As for "Grey's Anatomy," I don't know that I'm feeling the love right now. They're not doing anything egregious at the moment, but it's turning into a show that I keep on in the background while I surf the web, fold laundry, pay bills, etc. On the other hand, I can't feel too apathetic when they let Bailey sing. Am I correct in assuming that, like Sara Ramirez, Chandra Wilson has some Broadway credits? And how long before Callie gets to bust out those golden pipes?

11 comments:

dez said...

I still can't believe they didn't toss Jonathan on his butt at Tribal Council. He was the second-highest vote-getter in the first TC! It would have been a better twist if the note said the #2 vote-getter was out, too. Dagnabbit!

BTW, you'd think after Porno Brian that the producers would be more careful about screening the contestants, but nope! Ozzy's got a porn past, too! As does J.P., apparently. In their cases, though, it's not so painful to look at, heh heh heh...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dez, why such haterade for Jonathan? He's the wandering Jew without a tribe! He has a line of fish hanging from his johnson! He dumped The Nanny!

Matt said...

IBDB is your friend. Wilson had a supporting role as the title character's friend in "Caroline or Change," was an ensemble member in "On The Town," and (I'm not making this up) understudied the role of Gary Coleman in "Avenue Q."

John said...

So, does Alec Baldwin win the Emmy or just the nomination? He is the king of 30 Rock. His rapid nonchalant delivery of lines like "I once drove a rental car into the Hudson just to practice escaping" is brilliant!

J said...

More pos-mens for Rock. Not sure if the product placement can become an effective running gag or just a tired joke. But [beverage company] should be very happy, this morning. (If Earl was smarter, it would have gotten some sweet Cali Raisin scratch out of its gimmick.)

I wish Baldwin walked that way all the time.

They're going to have to steel up that Krakowski character if they're going to keep using her. Yes, the non-dairy creamer bit was funny, but I get the insecure actress thing and it's just not something you want to hammer away at.

Anonymous said...

Alan - couldn't agree more? Grey's has turned to a giant bowl of mush. The stories aren't interesting, the couples have no heat, the whole thing feels self conscious, cutesy, and manipulative. And it's just kind of ... boring. Like a LIFETIME show. It's a shame the OC is getting so crushed by it becase right now the OC is much more fun to watch.

I think Bailey is the most insufferable character on television.

Anonymous said...

What's with Tina Fey showcasing her boobs so much last night (go back and watch)... seems out-of-character. Maybe she's getting insecure about all those Alec putdowns on her sexuality.

But, tina is sexy in an every-girl kind of way. She just needs to...let it be and happen.

P.S. RSS feed please!

filmcricket said...

Chandra Wilson does indeed have Broadway credentials. She's got a great voice and I love that song. But was it just me, or did she hit at least three different keys while singing it?

Anonymous said...

Tracey Morgan's "I Can't Read" monologue is the funniest thing I've seen on TV all season and I've never found Morgan that great, but between this and "Live every week like it's Shark Week," he might have some of the best material on TV.

Anonymous said...

far and away the best 30 Rock episode of the season - it's officially on the must list.

dez said...

Oooh, I missed the "Live every week like it's Shark Week"! I love Shark Week (my friends always know it's Shark Week because I start spewing random shark facts for no good reason).

Alan, I hate Jonathan mostly because he continues to make borderline racist comments which I've pointed out via e-mail (and possibly in past blog comments as well). Plus he just annoys me. "Let's get the old white gang back together and put on a show!" BAH.