Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday night dead

I wish I could call the awful live "West Wing" debate episode a disappointment, but that would imply I had high hopes for it to begin with. John Wells is now 0-2 with live gimmick episodes, both of which completely ignored why people watch those shows in the first place. The live "ER" ditched the action movie production values, editing and music that made the show so cool back then, while the "West Wing" episode completely abandoned Aaron Sorkin's mission statement to show viewers what goes on right before or right after the big moments you see on TV. It was slow and tedious. It completely ignored everything that happened in the previous episode (no questions on abortion or attack ads?). And despite the writers' paper-thin attempts to make viewers forget that they liked Vinick last season, Alan Alda was so damn good that I'd vote for him, even though I agree with more of Santos' positions.

Hey Mr. Wells: I know that "China Beach" usually did well with the format-breaking episodes, but you're now responsible for the two biggest formula-breaking "West Wing" episodes of all time (this and "Access," the PBS documentary from the future episode), which also happen to be the two worst "West Wing" episodes of all time. There's a lesson in there somewhere, maybe.

My TiVo screwed up the recording of "Curb" (damn IR blaster malfunction), but "Grey's Anatomy" was terrific, yet again. The male pregnancy story was funny, and kinda poignant, and managed to parallel Meredith's story without beating you over the head with it. George's continued attempt to screw up his position as Burke's "guy" and Cristina getting some comeuppance from the nurses were also good for shits and giggles. At this rate, "Grey's" may be sneaking onto my year-end Top 10 list. It's definitely the best, most consistent show ABC has (and I say this as a "Lost" fan).

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