I’m not a big fan of episodes that start off with a bang and then flash back to show how we got to that point. For me, it always seems like a ploy broken out by a writer who doesn’t have faith that the audience will stick with the story being told long enough to get to the big moment. Last night’s V was no exception. We started off with the 5th Column taking down an alien shuttle that turned out to be loaded with humans and then… flashed back to 12 hours earlier. The episode had some really nice moments — especially with regards to the resulting crisis of conscience suffered by both Erica and Jack — but still suffered from the same problem that the entire season has: it boiled down to three humans against a couple of V’s. Shouldn’t Erica’s rag-tag band have hooked up with other people by now? And the show better have a damn good reason for Erica’s son being the subject of so much of Anna’s attention. I’m assuming it has to do with the out-of-nowhere reveal from a week or two ago that Tyler’s dad isn’t his dad — and, I’m sorry, but who just kinda shrugs that kinda thing off the way it appears Erica and her ex did? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, this show needs to step up the threat level supposedly presented by the V’s.
There’s not a lot to say about last night’s LOST, although I’m sure people for miles around heard my mournful wails at the loss of Sun and Jin. Not to sound harsh or anything, but their deaths better be real. Sorry, but at this point in the high-stakes game that is LOST, it’s only natural that there should be deaths and that those casualties be people whom we have loved from the beginning. Unlike recent episodes, I didn’t feel as if much was given in the way of answers. And I was a little confused by Sawyer’s cryptic “you get him in the water, I’ll take care of the rest” bit. Maybe one of you folks who pay attention to all the little details — as opposed to me, who is the much more casual viewer – knows something I don’t, like, that when wet, Locke can’t become the smoke monster or something. I did like Jack’s “I’m with him” line, uttered after smoke-Locke had taken out the people holding our heroes captive. Lots of actions, not a lot of answers. The clock’s tickin’, people!
There may be no more reliable scripted show on television than ARMY WIVES. Week in and week out, you know what you’re gonna get. The plots aren’t going to catch you by surprise. When Claudia Joy runs into an old pal from law school, you know that by the end of the hour, she’ll decide to go back and finish her degree. When Roland plans his daughter’s first birthday party and arranges for his stationed-in-Iraq wife to watch via videoconference, you know something’s going to prevent her from being able to connect. Good is always going to triumph over evil, and there will be a feel-good moment or two before the hour is over. ARMY WIVES is the living, breathing embodiment of a feel-good show, and that’s not a bad thing. Do I sometimes wish that Claudia Joy would push Lenore down a flight of stairs or Roxy would develop a split-personality and start hookin’ at the Hump Bar? Sure, but that’s because I’m a viewer who likes big drama. But on a weekly basis, WIVES does what few other shows today even attempt: It entertains and uplifts in a subtle way that leaves you looking forward to each weekly visit with the men and women of Fort Marshall… even if you’re not entirely sure why.
Okay, confession time. Last night, I watched an episode of THE HILLS. Having been hearing about this show for years, it seemed like it was time. And, I’ll be honest: I wanted to check out Heidi’s new boobs. (They’re no longer real… and they’re spectacular.) I almost fell asleep during the “previously on” segment thanks to Kristin’s snooze-inducing monotonish monologue. The episode centered on rumors being spread about Stephanie being a druggie. One of the problems I have with shows like this comes down to the very unreality of their supposed reality: Um, hey, how about Kristin just watch the endless hours of footage to find out who’s said what about her? There was a much-discussed party which I expected to be some kind of glamourous gathering but turned out to be a backyard BBQ at which the talk revolved around Heidi’s boobs and who said what about whom. Oh, and of course, there was the walking joke that is Spencer Pratt, covered in “healing crystals” and babbling about the key to Atlantis when not being a complete ass to his sister. At one point, Spencer went to chill with a friend, only to wind up ranting like one of those insane homeless people you see on the streets and avoid like — or for fear that they carry — the plague. I kept expecting his stoner pal to utter, “Dude, you’re totally harshing my mellow”, but he never did. I can’t help but wonder if someday, Spencer will look back at this and be ashamed, but I get the sense that he is a creature completely incapable of doing so. Instead, he’ll play the fool until his dying day, milking it for all its worth… which is, by all reports, more money than all of us combined will make this year. The show is a sad, tragic statement on today’s celebrity obsession and what passes for “role models” for the MTV generation… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it will be damn difficult to resist turning in next week. But I’m sure as hell gonna try.