Channel Surfing with C.T.

Okay, everyone in the world is talking about it, so I might as well too: Yes, I watched Britney, and yes, my housemates and I laughed our way through it while making catty remarks about her lethargic movements and misguided fashion choice. But while such supposedly respected news outlets as the Associated Press snarked, “Some comeback,” a major point has been lost: the actual song she pretended to sing along too. Because no matter what Ms. Spears eventually became thanks to her legendary dance moves and train wreck of a personal life, she jumped into the nation’s subconscious thanks to the catchy ditties she sang. And Gimme More — the number she performed during the opening moments of Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards — is going to stick in a lot of heads and sell a whole lot of albums. Maybe, just maybe, Britney should consider going back to singing — or at least spending time in a well-equipped studio which can make it seem as if that’s what she’s doing. Last time I checked, there’s nothing wrong with selling a couple million albums.

Anybody else catch the premiere of HBO’s TELL ME YOU LOVE ME last night? Okay, more importantly, will anybody tune in again? Can’t say as I will. The whiny characters facing stereotypical problems and spouting pretentious dialogue between gratuitous sex scenes left me feeling wildly manipulated by a network obviously wanting to be seen as “groundbreaking” when, in fact, it’s simply repackaging recycled concepts. The show has gotten a lot of attention for taking a naturalistic approach to sex, but let’s be honest here: The scenes in last night’s pilot followed the same basic format you’ll find in such late-night cable flicks as The Witches of Breastwick or Busty Cops. Sure, the actors are better (although I’m not sure I’d say the same about the trite plots) and the dialogue is full of psychobabble (“This isn’t who I want to be!”), but when the clothes start coming off, women’s body parts are front and center and men’s are generally protected by well-placed thighs or carefully crafted camera angles. I’m not saying HBO should be showing hardcore sex, but let’s not rush to praise the show for presenting unvarnished sexual images when in reality, they’re painting with the same brushes Skinemax has used for years. Not for nothing, but wouldn’t a show that wanted to tell real stories about real people maybe throw in an overweight person? Or hey, how about one of color? Frankly, you’ll find better and more diverse depictions of human sexuality on the britcom COUPLINGS.

Now I don’t wanna be accused of formulating conspiracy theories or anything, but does anybody else find it odd that CBS’ beleagured anchor woman Katie Couric just happened to go to Iraq — for the first time since her troubled tenure began — at the same time that President Bush made an unexpected Labor Day to that country? Yeah, riiiigggghhhhttt. And Couric just happened to land an exclusive interview. Since her return, we’ve been bombarded by ads declaring, “She did it, and she did it well.” I’m sure they’re designed to help viewers accept the former morning show host as a serious anchor, but I’m afraid all they’ve done in my house is inspire giggles.

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  • I did not like “Tell Me You Love Me” either. I was so bored halfway through.
    And “Couplings” rocks, since you mention it. I’ve been watching the reruns lately.