Unholy Love Child

"Keep your penis in your genus."
From the show Cavemen, on why cavemen should not date homo sapiens, or as they call them, "sapes."

Holidays you should celebrate this weekend (because if you do not, a very rare species of pink lizard will be eradicated from the earth)

October 5 – International Fall at a Duck's webbed feet Day (Author: Sparky Duck)

October 6 – International Fall in Love with your Waitress because it might be her Birthday Day (Author: Jerrica)

October 7 – International Attack of the soFA LLama Day (Author: Hyperion)

From the Blournal (blog + journal)

Wherein Hyperion briefly speaks to the sad strange Britney Spears Saga, with a new wrinkle thrown in (hint: it involves a pirate)

Wherein Hyperion admits to the occasional attempt at tautology in order to hornswoggle the vox nebulae

Wherein Hyperion allows Mark Tatulli to describe his life (hint: it involves a boy who doesn't speak and a large squid)


What to Watch (the weekend)

A few years ago, I wrote an award-winning piece1 about different Television Theories. For example, here was my Guest Star Theory:

When a TV show—especially a crime drama like Law & Order—introduces a famous actor as a supporting character (for that show only), that character is going to be around until the end, and centrally involved. For example, if Robin Williams shows up, he's not going to be a red herring in the murder mystery, you know? When you have that kind of firepower, you use it.
Here are some of the other theories I discussed:

The To-Be-Continued Theory
The Hot Cop Theory

The Cop-Split Theory
The Musical Clue Theory

The Very Special Episode Theory
The Second Banana Theory
The Conflict Theory

The Diminishing Conflict Theory
The Shelf-Life Theory
The Unrequited Love Theory

If any of those sound interesting to you, read about them in #165 TV5: Second Banana and other Theories

With the exception of 8:00 and 9:00 on Sunday, the weekend doesn't hold a candle to Monday-Thursday. But let's look at it anyway:

Friday Night Lineup
ABC – Pushing Daises (Repeat); Women's Murder Club (October 12); Men In Trees
Ghost Whisperer; Moonlight; NUMB3RS
Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?; K-Ville Repeat (After tonight, MLB for several weeks, then TBD)
CW –
WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Deal or No Deal; Friday Night Lights; Las Vegas

New Show – Moonlight
Buffy and Angel proved without a shadow of a doubt that you can make quality television in the Vampire Genre.2 (Well, maybe you can't, but at least Joss Whedon can.) I welcome vampire shows on TV, and there is definitely room for several interpretations, but can you think of a worse fit than CBS?3 The pilot (available on cbs.com) started off strongly, with the ingenious device of having the main character, private detective and vampire Nick St. John, interviewed on TV. The whole thing was a dream sequence, but it allowed the viewer to quickly pick up what popularly known vampire traits the show was adopting, and what they were not. (One of the reasons the vampire genre is so inviting is that you get to add your own wrinkle to the mythology.) After the opening, however, the show quickly faded, and by the end, I was just impatient to turn the channel. About the only interesting thing was trying to decide whether co-star Sophia Myles looked more like Elizabeth Rohm or Kate Winslet. (Or some unholy love child of the two.4) The show's execution was so CBS-y that I had more fun coming up with Vampire-esque titles of the other CBS shows. Here are a few:

CSI: Coffin
Without a Pulse
The New Adventures of really really really old Christine
The Forever Young and the Restless
Cold(heart) Case
How I ate your Mother
Survivor: Forever
The Ghost Maker
The Unit (of O Negative)
2 ½ Lives

Okay, I admit they are dumb, but not half as dumb as this show.

Friday Night Overview
I'd likely be a fan of Friday Night Lights (I loved the movie, and have heard nothing but good things about the show), but have yet to watch an episode. I used to watch Las Vegas, but now that I'm into quality TV, I no longer am willing to waste my time on filler. I like that ABC runs repeats to allow people catch up, and since I have nothing better to add, allow me to encourage you to watch Pushing Daisies tonight at 8 if you missed it Wednesday. It's by far the best thing you can do with your time.

Saturday Night Lineup
ABC – College Football
College Football
Cops; Cops; America's Most Wanted
CW –
Syndicated; Syndicated; Cheaters
Drama Encore;
Drama Encore;
Law & Order: SVU

Saturday Night Overview
The most fascinating thing about Saturday nights in TV is the cultural shift. In the '70s, most of the top ten was dominated by Saturday programming. Now you couldn't get a network to launch a new show on Saturday night for anything. Saturday has just been surrendered by the networks, and while part of the '70s results may have been the boom of feel-good sitcoms (All in the Family, MASH, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, MTM, etc.), I think most of it is attributable to how we live our lives. Culture is cyclical, and perhaps the pendulum will one day swing back; people will stay in on Saturday to get ready for Church on Sunday, but for now, at least via TV, Saturday is DOA.5

Sunday Night Lineup
ABC – Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; Desperate Housewives; Brothers and Sisters
CBS – Viva Laughlin (October 21);
Cold Case; Shark
The Simpsons; King of the Hill; Family Guy; American Dad
CW – Life is Wild (October 7);
America's Next Top Model
NBC – Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Overview
Not much to say on this night, as the two new shows have yet to air. If I'm going to watch anything, it's going to be The Simpsons and probably Family Guy, with maybe some football thrown in. But since I have to say something, have you seen The Simpsons and Family Guy this year? The first Family Guy of the year was a one hour tribute to Star Wars, and was easily—I mean, there is no possible argument here—the best episode they have ever done. Tightly scripted, without all the annoying asides ("like that time I…."), they really hit it out of the park.6 I wrote yesterday about watching the real Star Wars recently, and how weird it was with all the Family Guy references in my head. (You can watch the episode on fox.com, or wait for the special DVD. Don't bother with the second episode: it sucked.)

Even more exciting, the first two Simpsons' episodes (available at fox.com) are some of the best of this century, probably top 30 ever. Maybe it was the movie that sparked their creative juices, but even last year the show had made noticeable improvements from a couple of down years, if not as consistently as I'd like. (And when I say "down" years, I'm speaking relatively. At its worst The Simpsons is better than most anything else on.) Last May's season ending 400th Episode was amazing, then the movie, now these first two episodes. Perhaps it's been on too long for the show to be water-cooler talk any more, but it really should be. There are far worse ways to end your week than two hours of laughter. Think about it, people.

October 5, 2007

1 The award I won was an Emmy
2 Vampire Genre would be a great name for a band, n'est pas?
3 No, you cannot
4 Unholy Love Child is such a great name for a band that I feel like starting one right now. If you would like to be in my band, please email me with your qualifications. I think I will make that the title of this column. The old title was "Hornswoggling the Vox Nebulae". I feel you need to know these things.
5 Now that I'm thinking about it, the smartest thing Church could do is move their day to Friday nights or Saturday nights. In fact, this may make my annual prediction column. Hmmm. I have to think about this.
6 The only thing I didn't like was having the creepy pedophile guy as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I hate that guy. It's not just the pedophile thing, which is bad, but I have a highly developed sense of humor. The problem is he has never once been funny to me, and they just go on and on and on with him. They should have had Mayor West as Obi-Wan, with Joe as Grand Moff Tarkin.

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