Spoilers for, in order, "Flight of the Conchords," "The Kill Point" and "Entourage" coming up just as soon as I ship out to Iraq...
Continuing my theory that everyone in the TV business is watching "Flight of the Conchords," earlier this week I heard "SportsCenter" anchor Scott Van Pelt, while narrating footage of Ozzie Guillen being ejected from a White Sox-Yankees game, say "Be more constructive with your feedback, please." Renewal can't be too far away; will world domination be next?
Not a great episode last night, and I'm noticing that the show usually stumbles a bit while doing storylines about the guys and their girlfriends. At first I wanted to blame it on Rachel Blanchard, but this one was entirely Blanchard-free and still felt flat, even with the attempt at gender role reversal between Bret and his special lady friend. Even a weak "Conchords" is worth watching, though, because there's always going to be something funny on the margins.
Here I was especially fond of the '60s-style French video (comic fanboy moment: if someone is ever demented enough to make a movie based on Garth Ennis' "Hitman," seeing Bret in that striped shirt convinced me he's the man to play Jean De Baton-Baton) and Dave giving Bret sausage advice. (Dave's a really nice color for the show to use, as he's more worldly than any of the New Zealanders and yet dumber.)
"The Kill Point" continues to intrigue me, especially after I watched last week's first Summer Burn-Off Theatre episode of "The Nine," which was almost entirely about the bank robbery. As I've said, I'm a sucker for bank robbery hostage stories, but with rare exceptions like "Dog Day Afternoon," they work best at a plot-driven, B-movie level. By starting at the end and working our way backwards over 22 episodes, "The Nine" sucked most of the tension out of the format. (There was a sequence in the latest episode where there's supposed to be some suspense about the fate of Scott Wolf's character, only we know he survived the siege intact.) "Kill Point" doesn't have the ambitions of "The Nine," but it's doing a fine job of singing a straightforward, eight-hour version of the old tune. We're halfway through now, and the creators have done a good job of populating their storyline. They can take someone like the real estate developer dad off the board in time -- the Wahlberg character is so smart that it would have gotten frustrating if he hadn't figured this out by now -- and still have the outside ex-military guys floating around to provide the next potential exit strategy.
Finally, I'm running on fumes with "Entourage." Self-contained Ari subplots don't work, even one that's more work-related than the stuff with his kids' private school, Gary Busey was funnier the last time he was on, and once again there's a lot of hand-wringing about the Variety story (which didn't seem particularly unfair to me) and everything works out fine in the end. Meh. M-E-H, meh.
What did everybody else think?