Thursday, March 20, 2008

Surfing (not the cool kind)

Flipping around TV channels this week. Some non-"Bachelor," non-"John Adams" musings:

"American Idol" -- That's the last time I try to predict "American Idol" results. I am always wrong. Last week, I was kind of glad to be wrong because I liked Kristy Lee Cook's crazed take on "Eight Days a Week" (which I figured was the final nail in her coffin; they always go after I like something) and didn't think she deserved the boot I predicted she'd get. So hooray for her. But this week, they sent Amanda Overmyer packing, which just goes to show what I've always believed: America -- and Simon Cowell -- hates rock and roll. Strange aberration in the sixties aside, this country has never made the Devil's music as popular as country or pop glop.

And what did we learn from two weeks worth of Beatles songs on "Idol?" We learned that Beatles songs are really hard to do. Even the supposedly simple ones. Maybe especially the supposedly easy ones.

"Smallville" -- Pete Ross returned on "Smallville" this week. Too bad for him they placed him in an extended Stride gum commercial. I'm not a maniac about selling-out; I actually like when a character on TV drinks a Pepsi-Cola, rather than a mocked up can of "Soda." But the "Smallville" episode was ridiculous. It was set in a Stride gum factory. The plot revolved around chewing kryptonite-laced Stride gum. When they cut to the actual Stride gum commercial (yep, they had 'em), I couldn't tell if the show was still on or not. Which was probably the idea. Score another one for the horrible beast that is cross-promotional synergy.

Man, I could really go for some Stride gum right now.

"Reaper" -- One of my favorite shows from last year came back to the airwaves after the strike this past week. But enough about "The Big Bang Theory." Let's talk "Reaper." The new effort was the usual underachieving rigamarole, with a surprisingly low-key turn by guest Jamie Kennedy as a wannabe rock star eager to sell his soul to Ray Wise. I really want to love this show, but they keep making it difficult, just like Sam keeps making it difficult for either Andi or Cady (the Devil's daughter?) to love him by being a colossal boob.

"The Riches" -- One of my favorite shows from last year came back to the airwaves after the writer's strike this past week. But enough about "The Riches." No wait. More about "The Riches!" Our guest this past Saturday on Pop Culture America, Todd Stashwick, got his juiciest episode yet with this Season 2 launcher. As Dale Malloy, he managed to firmly insinuate himself into the life of Eddie Izzard's Wayne/Doug. One of the few shows on TV that merits the adjective "unique," "The Riches" continues to shine.

"Miss Guided" -- It doesn't technically debut until later tonight, but ABC gave us a preview glimpse at the pilot episode of their new Ashton Kutcher-produced series this past Monday. I'm waiting until I've seen tonight's installments before writing a full review (Dave keeps telling me I'm dismissing shows too hastily by only reviewing the pilots; he's right), but judging (unhastily) by the pilot, there's a nice goofy energy here. Notice I didn't say it was wildly funny. That's a problem. Judy Greer, so hilarious on "Arrested Development," stars and she's a favorite, so I'd be inclined to give the show a few spins anyway.

"Lost" -- They killed Jin on "Lost!" Oh my Gawd! Now Daniel Dae Kim will appear on the show more. Just ask William Mapother.

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