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.