Channel Surfing with C.T.

If last night’s episode of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES felt almost like a season-ending cliffhanger, what with the unanswered questions of who lived and who died, then you’ll understand why ABC is making that the last new episode to air until the resolution of the writers strike. Although they have another episode in the can, what better way to make sure people are excited to tune back in following what may well be an endless spat of reruns than leaving the fate of several characters up in the air? Meanwhile, I have to admit I was secretly tickled pink when Mrs. McCluskey called Lynette out on being a friend-in-need. I’ve thought for the longest time that Lynette is a God-awful mom… the kind we’d all dread to have as a neighbor. Oh, and how funny was it that the tornado took out the fountain which caused so much debate in the hood? But those scenes in which Victor picked up a gun and chased Carlos as cars fell from the sky was reminiscent of the worst scenes in Titanic, when Billy Zane ignored the fact the unsinkable boat was doing just that in favor of chasing his rival around.

One of the things I absolutely love about DEXTER is the fact that week after week, the show puts our serial-killing lead in the tightest spots since THE PERILS OF PAULINE, leaving us to wonder how on God’s green earth he’ll get out of each one. Better, the show then offers up regular emotional shocks, such as last night’s final-scene revelation in which Dex’s world was turned upside down when he learned the truth about adopted dad Harry’s death. Whoa. I’ll admit to having been worried when psychobabe Lila was kept on the canvas once Dexter dumped her, but watching her mess with Angel leaves me hoping that she gets everything she deserves. I’ll even conceded that Doakes, whom I’ve hated from the very beginning because of his one-note nature, scored a few points with me last night. Or rather, the writers scored points by finally making me understand at least a little bit better their determination to keep him wildly unlikeable: Seeing his steely facade crack as Dexter’s deviously dark plan for him unfolds has been positively spine-chilling.

Did anybody else catch the commercials Charmin has been running memorializing the late, much loved Dick Wilson, better known to millions as the toilet paper-squeezing Mr. Whipple. It’s not often that an advertisement can fill you with sentimentality, but this one certainly has that impact on me. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Wikipedia claims that Wilson appeared in over 500 commercials for Charmin, allowing him the luxury of working only 12 days a year and still earining approximately $300,000 a year. Based on the feeling of good-will I felt toward Charmin upon seeing the farewell ad, I’d say they got their money’s worth.

Someone out there is pitching what may be one of the worst ideas for a game show ever, and yet one which could prove wildly successful by tapping into one of the biggest cultural debates of our time: WHO WANTS TO MARRY AN AMERICAN CITIZEN? is set to create a union between legal US citizens and immigrants here on temporary visas. So far, no network has picked up this bit of tripe, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s on the airwaves faster than you can say “unresolved writers strike.” Host Angelo Gonzoles says, “We’re just out to play matchmaker. There are thousands of U.S. citizens seeking a spouse, and just as many immigrants seeking the same.” Um, yeah. And by “the same” he means “a way to stay in this country legally.”

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  • ewanspotter

    I put my bet on Fox picking it up. *nods*

  • ct

    I’m thinking MyNetwork, if only for the publicity value.

  • ewanspotter

    True. But it could backfire on MyNetwork and they’d risk losing half their viewers. They’d never get that one guy back.

  • ct

    Good point. When they dropped the telenovela format, they lost the other half of their audience (that consisting of me and the friend I forced into watching them).