9.19.2007

Long Live Tony

Work kind of took over the last couple days, so the Emmy recap may have to wait a little long. I did want to post today, however, in response to perhaps the greatest television news of the year, possible the decade: Tony Almeida is back!


I don't care how they explain it in the context of the show, since explaining the non-death of a major character is the least of 24's worries next year, I'm just happy that the greatest supporting character of all time is BACK. There's no doubt that Tony was probably the most or second most (after Jack) popular character on the show, and for him to go "out" the way he did was just awful -- and that scene probably gave license to the shows writers and producers to take everything over the top from there on. Let's hope this is a sign of the show grounding itself a little.

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9/22/2007 7:58 PM
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9.17.2007

Belated Emmy Recap Preview

Red Sox and Patriots games prevented me from watching the Emmys live this year, but I want to do some kind of recap. I was able to watch a DVR'ed hour's worth of the show before I fell asleep -- which bodes well for the rest of the broadcast -- so I will try to have something tomorrow.

Initial thoughts on the first hour:
  • Emmys in the Round! -- I'm waiting for Suze Orman to show up.
  • I hope the opening song was the first and last Family Guy-related schtick of the night. Barely funny. How awkward is it for an audience to be staring at a bare stage while computer-generated cartoon characters cavort in everyone else's living rooms?
  • Ryan Seacrest isn't bad as a host (since his entire resume is filled with hosting duties), but he's definitely overmatched following in the footsteps of Conan O'Brien and Johnny Carson. Even Ellen DeGeneres's five minutes of improv/presenting went better than Seacrest's opening monologue.
  • I might be fast-forwarding through the musical Sopranos tribute.
  • Robert Duvall is class -- more on this tomorrow.
Like the last bullet says -- more tomorrow!

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9/18/2007 2:40 PM
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9.10.2007

It's Not Porn, It's HBO

[Insert tired apology for not writing *here*, followed by old reasons for not writing *here*] So this is what we get to replace The Sopranos -- or is this replacing John from Cincinnati (which replaced the Sopranos)? Or is Big Love the heir to the Sopranos? I actually think Tell Me You Love Me takes up the torch from Six Feet Under, especially in the "trying to make you feel worse about yourself by the end of the 60 minutes than you were at the beginning" category.

So every couple is screwed up, no matter how much they think they're in love, nor how much they actually deny being screwed up. "Tell Me You Love Me" is less of a command and more of a plea.

We have the engaged couple that busting at the seams to break up, yet use sex as an excuse to ignore their problems (at least for 20 minutes). There's the couple that have allowed procreation to take all the passion and fun out of sex, turning their relationship into something loveless. And finally we have the nuclear family couple that hasn't has sex in a year, yet they still love one another.

It's hard to see where TMYLM is going from its pilot, but I don't like the looks of it: couple #1 argues and then has sex; couple #2 argues, then has sex; couple #3 argues, then doesn't have sex. There aren't many variations on arguing and having sex to last 10 episodes. The nucleus of the show is the interaction between couples and psychiatrist, but who wants problems to be solved? Lack of conflict results in pretty boring television.

A little more detailed breakdown:

Couple #1 - Hugo and Jamie
Stereotyped gen Y-ers, as I like to call them. Hugo let it slip that he would probably end up cheating on Jamie after they got married. He was telling his buddies this, but Jamie overheard him; now she feels betrayed and wants out. He spends the rest of the episode trying to get her back; he at least succeeds in getting her back in the sack before she comes to her senses. Both of these schmucks deserve the anguish they're feeling right now -- Hugo, for not taking monogamy seriously, and Jamie, for not catching on the Hugo while they were dating. As someone who is counting down the months to my own wedding, these two disgust me. For all their convictions about truth, integrity, loyalty and honesty, they've failed to be those same things with one another.

Couple #2 - Palek and Carolyn
Well-to-do overachievers with nice clothes, a very modern house and lifestyle, and an inexplicable desire to have children. They look like they shop and Banana Republic for clothes and whatever furniture store sells IKEA-like products, but with actual quality. If they lived in New York City, they're have a place on Central Park West and never even dream of having children ruin their fantastic lives; but in TMYLM, they want children so bad, it's sucked all the joy out of their relationship. Body temperature and ovulation have taken over base impulses when it comes to getting physical. Palek has reached his limit and has decided he's not a sperm machine. Carolyn is secretly going to fertility clinics and checking into donor sperm. I'm not sure what to think about them yet, but I wish they would stop whining.

Couple #3 - David and Katie
The "elders". They have what seems like a perfect existence -- a nice house, two healthy children, good jobs and each other's love -- but it's definitely not enough. They haven't had sex with each other for a year. So far there's no explanation to it. Dave likes to jerk off while his wife isn't around, something that she resents and makes her feel worthless. Theirs is the most interesting story because they obviously still care for one another -- and you would think that's the bedrock of any relationship, but TMYLM seems to think otherwise.

The Psychiatrist
She's currently seeing one and a half couples, but I suspect all six people will be regular attendants of her couch sooner or later. She's married and seems happy, but I'm sure there are cracks beneath the surface.

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The sex on the show is graphic, but most certainly not arousing, especially when learning why they're having sex after the various arguments, bickering matches and emotional breakdowns.

Tim DeKay, Ally Walker and Sonya Walger are all great in their parts, which is good since they make up one and a half couples -- unfortunately neither DeKay, Walker or Walger are part of couple #1, which makes me dislike those two even more.

So is this show worthy of the Sunday 9pm timeslot? Sure, if you like your drama layered upon layer with broken hearts and emotions. The only problem I see is that each week will pretty much be a repeat of the same ideas from the week prior.

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