Channel Surfing with C.T.

Having just sat through a double-dose of BROTHERS & SISTERS, I’m left wondering if anyone else thinks the show should is totally dancing around the obvious attraction between Justin and Rebecca. Yup, they share a dad, but they’re also the hottest couple this show has.But why do they have such a tough time writing for Balthazar Getty’s Tommy? Despite his wife being artificially inseminated by his brother, one of the resulting children dying, her packing up and leaving and his drifting into an affair with new-plot-device-in-town Lena, Tommy is still the most underdeveloped of the Walker clan. And I’d also like to see more done with Patricia Wettig’s Holly and her uneasy frienemy status with Nora. Speaking of whom, I’m sure that moment when Nora locked the door to prevent Justin from leaving was supposed to be powerful, but all I could think was how much better KNOTS LANDING, of all shows, did with a similar story. I’ll never, ever forget glamourpuss Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing demanded pothead daughter Olivia hand over her keys. “What are you going to do? Lock me our?” To which Abby replied, “No, I’m locking you in. With me.” And in that single moment, a character who’d often been wildly over the top was brought crashing down to earth with the rest of us mortals. Yeah, that was a detox I’ll never forget, as opposed to Justin’s instacure. Which I suppose points out one of my major problems with this show: It’s determination to rush every story to the point where things fly at us faster than we can possibly connect on an emotional level.

SAMANTHA WHO? continues to be a fav in my home. This week’s episode was probably the weakest of the season, and yet it was still better than any other sitcom on television. This year’s Emmy voters are going to have a tough task ahead of them. Why? Because surely even that group, notoriously blind to actual talent as they historically are (just ask fans of BUFFY, GILMORE, BATTLESTAR…) will have a tough time ignoring some of the great performances being offered up this season. Topping my list at the moment? Jean Smart.

I’ve never been a big fan of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES‘ Julie, but I am absolutely loving new-teen-on-the-block Dylan Mayfair. I actually got chills when she said to chilly mom Katherine “I am officially no longer afraid of you.” And I defy you to find a guy who watched the scene in which Orson described having been given a circumcision and didn’t wince. Sure, it’s an easy laugh, but it works every time. (But how obvious was it when Bree was toting around a doll as opposed to a real child? Ugh, that always drives me nuts and takes me out of the moment every time.) As for that ill-fated boat trip Jo and Reed… er, sorry, MELROSE PLACE flashback… Gabi and Victor took, anyone else find it a tad hard to believe that she not only navigated that huge yacht back to shore but somehow got it tied to the dock all by her lonesome? And then remembered where she and Victor had been so she and Carlos could return to the scene of the literal crime? But kudos to the show for pulling a double-whammy. Sure, we knew Gabi was gonna KO her spouse thanks to the scene being featured in promos, but that second time caught me — and I’ll bet you — off guard!

DEXTER may be the best show currently airing, but I say that with this caveat: Don’t watch the scenes offered up at the end of each episode. I’d have enjoyed Sunday’s outing a lot better had I not known that our anti-hero’s new lover, Lila, was going to go burn-baby-burn batty. As for Dexter’s nemesis, I don’t understand why the show refuses to let Doakes be something other than a cartoonish brute. Every other characater on the canvas is beautifully constructed, yet Doakes — through no fault of portrayer Erik King — remains a one-note bore. Are the writers afraid that by making Doakes even a little bit likeable viewers might somehow be convinced to root for his triumph over their serial-killer hero? If that’s the case, they need to have more faith in their own writing, the power of Michael C. Hall’s performance and us as an audience. Elsewhere, I can not believe how much I’m loving JoBeth Williams as Rita’s mom. And Jennifer Carpenter has been a revelation as Deb, who might well be the show’s most fascinating character… and that’s really saying something given this crew!

  • Dexter is just perfect! I was really worried about season 2 not being so good as season 1 but now I know that I have absolutely nothing to worry about. I wish Dexter’s writers could give some writing lessons to the folks that write Heroes….

  • Rock

    Does anyone else think Balthazar Getty is the secret long-lost twin brother of Charlie Sheen? Look at them, listen to them…uncanny.