Channel Surfing with C.T: SUPERNATURAL, ER, UGLY BETTY & More!

Angels and demons and wisecracks, oh my! Yup, SUPERNATURAL is back with a vengeance. “Apocalypse?” asks Dean upon finding out what he and brother Sam are up against. “As in apocalypse apocalypse? The four horsemen, pestilence, five-dollar-a-gallon gas apocalypse?” Two episodes into the new season, they’re doing everything right. Dean was out of hell quicker than you can say “ouch, those chains must hurt!” and we now have Castiel, the creepy angel (sorry, but I just don’t trust the guy!) to add a whole new layer to the story being told. One of the things this show does incredibly well is reward regular viewers with episodes like last night’s, in which several secondary characters from the past came back to haunt our harried heroes. As Castiel hinted, there are “big things afoot”… and I can’t wait!

Is there anything worse than seeing a show you love go down the tubes? Last season, I became disapointed in UGLY BETTY, which seemed to have lost its way and, even worse, its heart. But if Thursday night’s third-season premiere was any indication, I may eventually look fondly back on BETTY’s sophomore slump. Why? Because once again, our heroine — who during the sublime debut season was the voice of reason in a world gone mad — is back to acting like… well, the lead in a very bad sitcom. In one episode, she bought an apartment sight-unseen, engaged in a childish food fight and somehow wound up riding a motorcycle into a pool of bikini-glad women. Worse, she wasn’t the only one to act completely out of character. Sorry, but Hilda has far too much respect for her father and son to have sex on the living room couch… even if it is with uber-hot Eddie Cibrian. Heck, even Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa were possessed by behavior-modifying pod people as they always fawning hosts trash-talked the Meade family and their new publication. Yeah, that’d happen. As the hour came to a close, I looked forward to one of the cliffhangers the show was once known for… only to get Betty dancing ala every female on GREY’S ANATOMY after meeting her cute neighbor… who, I’m guessing, is supposed to make me forget about Henry and Gino. Apparently, investing in that whole triangle was a big ol’ waste of my time. If this episode was a sign of things to come, I’m not hopeful about the new season.(Although i would urge them to sign Lindsay Lohan to more episodes, as she was a surprisingly delightful bright spot as Betty’s high-school nemesis, Kimberly.)

I’ll admit that last season, LIPSTICK JUNGLE somehow became something of a guilty pleasure for me. I hated myself for liking it because, well, frankly, I couldn’t explain exactly what I liked about it. Looks like I came to my senses over the summer, because I can freely admit that this week’s season two premiere was pure crap. Looks Like I have a free hour on my schedule. Any suggestions for a replacement?

I was instant messaging with a friend last night when she reminded me it was time for ER. “So you’re the person who they’re still making that show for!” I responded before reluctantly agreeing to tune into the medical drama I hadn’t actually watched in years. Nothing much has changed in my absence… which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Like the various LAW & ORDER offerings, ER is obviously a show that keeps on truckin’ no matter which actors come and go. But rather like what one gets when cloning something (at least in bad sci-fi flicks), the further you get from the original the more flaws begin showing. In this case, it’s just all sort of… well, to use hospital terminology, antiseptic. Everyone is going through the motions, but they’re not doing anything we haven’t seen a thousand times before. Even the gory demise of Mekhi Phifer’s Pratt had a “been there, done that” feel. But that could be the result of an emotional distance brought about by my years away from the show. I kept waiting for familiar faces from the past to walk across the screen, and when it did… it was Sam Jones III of SMALLVILLE fame. I assume that I’ll check back into County General for the final episode next May, but it’ll be more out of curiosity than anything else.

Just so you don’t think I hate absolutely everything being broadcast across the airwaves, I have two new favorites… one of which just got an early second-season pick-up, the other of which is being predicted in some quarters as the fall’s first cancellation. HBO’s vampire series TRUE BLOOD appeals to me on every level… the leads have the kind of chemistry that gets the blood pumping, the cast is spot-on (with Lois Smith a standout as our heroine’s grandmother, Adel), and the whole thing nails southern gothic so well that you half expect to find moss hanging from your television after each episode ends. And then there’s my other new fav, WORST WEEK. Although I was ready to boycott the show based on nothing more than the fact that I was sick and tired of seeing the star’s diaper-clad ass everywhere I looked, a friend claimed it was the best pilot of the season. From what I’ve seen of the competition so far, they were right: Newcomer Kyle Bornheimer’s Sam is the perfect combination of goofy and charming, and anyone who has ever seen THAT 70’S SHOW knows that nobody does stern disapproval better than Kurtwood Smith, who plays Sam’s soon-to-be father-in-law. This is flat-out farce, which ain’t easy to pull off… but this show does it beautifully. Here’s hoping that like TRUE BLOOD, which debuted to awful numbers but saw a 25 percent increase in week two (which bought it that previously mentioned second season), WORST WEEK will see a major boost for its next episode.

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  • Linda B.

    Looks like I have a free hour on my schedule. Any suggestions for a replacement?

    How about Knight Rider? – just kidding 🙂

  • chitown mimi

    What happened? No review on Grey’s? I’m curious of what you thought of it, TA?

  • Nick

    Supernatural rocked–but then, it ALWAYS does.

    I’m really lovin’ the new season of Smallville, as well! Sam Witwer is a fantastic cast addition.

    The Office, of course, is great to have back! It’s harder to pin down the best one-liners from an hourlong episode, but you had to love Kelly eating a “tapeworm,” then Creed revealing “It wasn’t a tapeworm.”

  • Chitown mimi
    I’m embarassed to say I missed Greys last night. But I will definitely be watching it on the weekend alongside a million other shows that I missed this week! What did you think of it? I hope it kept the positive momentum that started near the end of last season

  • Linda B.

    I enjoyed GA last night. It was one of the few things i watched. There’s a really sweet scene at the end (tear).

    I really like seeing Kevin McKidd on tv again (I so miss Journeyman). Any idea how many episodes he’ll be in? TVa -you should try to line up an interview w/ him. I’d still like to know if working w/ Patrick Dempsey on Made of Honor had anything to do w/ him getting the role on GA.

  • I also had mixed feelings about the Ugly Betty season premiere, but I lean much more toward the positive than C.T.

    The episode could not have started better, with Betty recounting her choice between Henry or Gio…or *something else*. I love the fact that she’s focusing more on her career and moving forward by moving out.

    I’ve also thought for a while now that Daniel was not a good fit at Mode at all, and that the best thing he could do was start a men’s magazine. Wish granted last night. And, while Daniel having a son came out of nowhere in last season’s finale, it does put another necessary new spin on his character. It was also good to see he, his son, Alex, and Claire sitting down for family supper.

    Even Ignacio moved forward by getting a job, though I think he could do better than a burger joint. Even a deli or pizzaria would be a step up.

    I also agree with the negatives such as the extreme predictability that Betty’s apartment would be a disaster and that her family would be the ones to fix it up. Wilhemina’s greedy ambitions are getting old, and I could not agree more that the Regis & Kelly we saw were pod-people from bizarro world. They might as well have given Regis an evil-Spock goatee.

    My biggest fear is that Betty’s neighbor will quickly become her new love interest effectively counteracting what I liked so much about the first few minutes of the premiere. Until that happens, I’m back onboard. I’ll continue giving it a chance for a little while longer.

    As for Survivor’s premiere, not much to say except that some contestants seem nice enough so far, but the casting dept. apparently insists on casting a handful of unpleasant people just for the sake of conflict as well as at least one person who doesn’t deserve to be there in the first place. Luckily, the most unpleasant and undeserving one was sent home first. The guy with the cut on his head is next in line in unpleasantness, so I’d love to see him go soon. I wish I had a flat panel TV already so I could better appreciate the show’s first season filmed in HD. On an SDTV, they don’t even letterbox it.

  • chitown mimi

    Linda B., I agree with you completely about seeing McKidd on GA and on missing Journeyman (even though I think we might be the few people who even watched the show. ) But He was great on the show. Is it realistic that a hospital would let a virtual stranger go roaming around the hospital, treating patients? Maybe that’s why they’re the no.12 hospital, hmmm. (sorry for the spoiler, TA). But in all GA was ok. Was it my favorite premiere? Not by a long shot, but it was entertaining. I don’t know about the last scene. Kind of felt like GA was trying hard to pluck on some heartstrings unnecessarily. Alex is a true a–. One minute I’m really warming up to him, and the next I felt like Izzie should have just told him to kiss my a–. On a complete different note, I’m not crazy about McKidd’rs or George’s red hair? It looked so fake.

    The verdict is still out on Ugly Betty. UB is trying hard to keep fans interested, but this episode felt like there was so much going on and none of it very interesting.

  • ct


    I would have liked to see Ignacio get a job at Gino’s deli. It would have made sense, plus, it would have kept Gino in the sphere. So as Betty moves on, we can see that Gino is still there, waiting for her. Plus, I think it would be nice to see Ignacio/Gino develop a father/son sort of relationship.

    I didn’t mind Daniel getting a son — frankly, a guy who slept around as much as him, it makes sense! — but I don’t need another obnoxious kid running around on my tv screen! As for the new magazine… that was a mixed bag for me. I liked the IDEA of it more than the execution. Rather than having Daniel surround himself with a bunch of annoying characters and creating a completely ridiculous work environment, I would have liked to have seen a little personal growth on his part: As if he had taken everything he learned at Mode and applied it to a magazine he actually cared about. Instead, we got more caricatures sitting around doing silly stuff instead of a storyline that is at all relateable. And relateability was, on some level, what I loved about Ugly Betty in the beginning. Betty’s presence grounded people, made them better — even, in small ways, Wilhelmina, Mark and Amanda.

    As for the new neighbor… yeah, she’ll be mooning over him in two weeks, guaranteed. (Heck, it didn’t take me that long!) And I’ll be annoyed, because I spent SO long getting invested in Betty and Henry (and later, the triangle with Gino) that to have it dismised in a two-minute throwaway scene felt wildly disrespectful.

  • Josh C.

    outside of the crazy icicle scene last night on GA i enjoyed pretty much all of it. best of all the second hour of the premiere.

  • CT:
    I agree with your assessment of Daniel’s magazine. I was hoping he’d get more of a Maxim-like magazine. Sure, the content would still be more masculine and casual, maybe even crude in parts, but more on the sylish, edgy side. Instead, his office looks more like an expesive frat house than a place where any work at all gets done. I get the feeling that the magazine itself lacks any value or sophistication at all. I hope we’ll find out in the next few weeks just what kind of content the magazine actually has and that it’s better than our first impressions.

  • patty

    aw I’m so glad you like Supernatural now. I remember back in the day when you were still hating on my favorite show. wasn’t it worth it? Episodes like last night’s make it all worth while.