I ain’t gonna lie: Each and every summer, I become an addict and BIG BROTHER is the drug I crave. So of course, I tuned in last night for the season premiere. I had high hopes that the much-touted “mystery guest” would turn out to be Janelle, one of the most-loved houseguests in memory. But in the end, we wound up with musclehead moron Jessie. CBS’s bio of the guy calls him “the all American boy next door” but in reality the guy is an egotistical hothead with more issues than Entertainment Weekly. Early faves? While it’s hard to say since the opening hour didn’t offer a whole lot of insight into the houseguests, hottie Jeff came off as a pretty decent guy, while brainy Michelle would win my “first impression” rose if this were THE BACHELOR. Something tells me Chima is going to get annoying real quick and that Laura’s boobs — sure to be featured in men’s magazines from coast-to-coast — will be much discussed in chat rooms.
If there’s one show that I’m extremely distressed about the cancellation of, it has to be KINGS. While the first episode left me somewhat cold, it quickly found its footing and became a fascinating blend of almost lyrical dialogue, operatic storytelling and dynamic acting, particularly on the parts of Ian McShane and and Susanna Thompson as King Silas Benjamin and his queen, Rose. If you want to see television at its finest, go to NBC.com or Hulu.com and watch the episode titled “The Sabbath Queen”, in which secrets come to light during a blackout in the kingdom. It saddens me to no end that this show will soon conclude it’s run — although I’m glad to know that it will, reportedly, have a satisfying conclusion — so as to make room for yet more reality television. One recent twist in the story that came out of left field was the off-screen death of socialite-turned-Minister Of Information Katrina Ghent (played by the gorgeous Leslie Bibb, who seems to be popping up all over the place recently). The rivalry between Katrina and the queen was one of the highlights of recent episodes, so I was saddened by the character’s departure.
This weekend brings the two-hour finale of HARPER’S ISLAND, and friends who have seen the episode — which has already aired in Canada — say it is phenomenal. I won’t lie: the previous episode’s final moments, in which good-guy Cal was dispatched and his gorgeous girlfriend, Chloe, killed herself rather than allowing the psychotic murderer to do her in (“You can’t have me,” she said before taking a fatal plunge) actually left me crying. Kudos to CBS for not only launching the daring, limited-run series but, more importantly, for continuing to air it even after ratings proved disappointing. Other networks (cough*FOX*cough) could learn a thing or two from CBS’s example.
The things I do for you people. A few days ago, I checked out the premiere of NBC’s GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP, which should probably be filed under “When Good Ideas Go Bad.” The concept is actually pretty fantastic: Seven families, each in a gigantic RV, traversing the famous Route 66 and taking part in competitions along the way. So far, so good… right? And then you meet the families. Unfortunately, the current trend in reality casting is to go for stereotypes. So of course, the Pollard family from Alabama is the most gun-lovin’, hickish clan they could find. And the DiSalvatore family of Yonkers, New York is loud, brash and headed by a guy who comes off as the love child of Brett Michaels and Joe Pesci, having inherited the worst traits of each. And I’m not sure what to make of host Reno Collier. I’m sure he’s a wonderful comedian, but I spent the entire hour wanting to tie the man’s hands to his side as he seemed completely incapable of speaking without holding them out as if he was Eva Peron appealing to the citizens of Argentina.