Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The root of all evil

Quick round-up time, with spoilers for, in order, "My Boys," "Big Love" and "The Kill Point" -- plus a venue for people to talk about the "Weeds" and "Californication" premieres if they want -- coming up just as soon as I go help my roommate with a problem...

After last week's debacle (which inspired a long morning-after rant from one of my female sportswriter friends), "My Boys" was back in good form this week with stories of a rich man (Bobby) and a poor woman (Stephanie). A bunch of funny moments, some from characters you expect to be funny (Andy's "When did you become Burt Reynolds?" or Mike and Kenny tag-teaming the marble urinal), some from characters you don't (PJ and Stephanie speed-reading the parking signs). And was I the only one who took Bobby's look at Kenny at the end as confirmation that the Chelsea Clinton story was real?

Keeping with my pledge to check in with "Big Love" from time to time before the end of season two, I find myself having the usual reactions: the Henrickson marital dynamic is interesting (albeit played a little broadly here with Margene's weepy reaction to the "secretary" business), while I start to mentally check out whenever we spend time with all of the two-dimensional Juniper Creek characters like Alby, Rhonda or Bill's parents. (Joey and Wanda aren't my favorites, either, but at least the writers allow them -- and, I suppose, Nicki's mom -- shadings that the rest of the Juniper Creek people never get.) I understand that the contrast between the Henricksons' assimilated life and life back on the compound is an integral part of the show, but it feels like they play the same notes over and over. I'm not sad to see Roman go (if indeed he's going), but the petty Alby's not much of an improvement. More interaction between the wives (like Margene negotiating "control" of Weber Gaming with Barb) and less of Alby and Rhonda ruining other people's lives just because they can, please.

The first half of this week's "Kill Point" was overflowing with monologues that I'm sure seemed impressive on the page (Omar the sniper's thing about the unfired bullet, Mr. Sabian talking about his relationship with his son) but just seemed pretentious dropped into the middle of what's largely been an unapologetic B-movie thriller. Things perked up in the second half, thankfully, with the hostages nearly pulling off the coup; that was real edge-of-the-seat time (as the phone kept ringing, I was on the verge of shouting at the screen for the idiot bank manager to answer it and tell the cops to breach ASAP). We're in the home stretch now and it's going well.

Based on the comments yesterday, I'm expecting even more dissent on my dislike of "Californication." Feel free to discuss it and the "Weeds" premiere (and only the premiere, as I know the first four episodes leaked onto the 'Net) here.


Matt said...

What this week's "My Boys" demonstrated is that the show is far better when it focuses on the characters and their relationships rather than obsessing over PJ's work life. Though I'm not sure I bought the "they all had no idea Bobby was rich" concept.

David J. Loehr said...

Amen to opinions. Until catching up today, I had no idea that any show, cable or otherwise, "deserves a mildly positive response." Positive expectation, maybe. But the response is the response, good or bad.

Me, I don't like Weeds because the writing thinks it's funny and clever. And even as a Duchovny fan, Californication left me cold, it's Showtime's Dream On with better writing and acting and nudity. (Incoherent instruction manuals have better writing than Dream On, but hey, that's just my opinion.)

But if it hadn't have been for your opinion, I'd have dismissed Kill Point out of hand. I might have Tivo'd Mad Men and never made time for it. And I might never have come back to Freaks and Geeks which I had skipped after the pilot as being too much harsh reality to be a pleasant night of entertainment.

And I don't feel bad for giving up on Big Love and Rescue Me either.

RandomRanter said...

I agree with Matt that while PJ's job has set up a few moments, more often just focusing on the friends, is way better. PJ really doesn't even need to be a sportswriter, although I guess they thin that is their hook.

Heather K said...

They did have no idea Bobby was rich. Remember how much they all tried to help him when he lost his job last season, although this explains why he would take his old job back for a big pay cut.

Taleena said...

The interesting dynamic in Big Love is how Bill is turning into Roman Grant. Alby is but a speed bump on the way. i expect Mary kay Place is going to have kittens and side with Bill when she realizes Roman was killed by Alby.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else see that image above and think it was for "Entourage" with Kevin Connolly looking like the guy in the green and Adrian Grenier looking like the guy in the red?

Toby O'B said...

One of the things I like about 'My Boys' is the show's attention to its own past, and the details that are set up for future episodes.

For instance, with the revelation this week that Bobby Newman was filthy rich, his reactions at not being named one of Chicago's sexiest in last week's episode makes more sense. If he had been chosen, the details would have been revealed in the magazine profile on him, and that would have ruined his relationship with the gang.

Blankity-Blank said...

While I don't everybody necessarily believed Bobby all the times he used Jeff as an excuse (nor did we), they definitely didn't know he was rich.

But while that might be interesting, it's not funny. Same with Stephanie's poor house blues. While there were okay moments in this one (the parking sign being the most surprising) overall this was the weakest My Boys of the new season. But it's kind of a positive sign that it was bad (or not as good) in a normal way rather than being bad because of the awful and perpetual baseball mataphor narration.

Anonymous said...

Funny comment about Adrian Grenier and Kevin Connolly.

I just started watching "My Boys" recently and think it appeals to the same audience who love "Entourage".

As a woman, I love that "My Boys" has a female lead.

A few weeks ago, "My Boys" did a spoof of "Sex and the City" and has so many "Entourage" references, it cracks me up.

Nothing was a funny as the guys discusses outing someone's age at Urban Outfitter if he told them to all "hug it out".

I am now hooked on "My Boys" along with my boys from "Entourage".