Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Web Whiparound: Mackey's Back on the Beat

The Shield is back- and the press is foaming at the mouth.

The critics have always loved this electric, often absurd FX drama, and the addition of Glenn Close is sending them out cheering into the streets. She should add richly to the well acted ensemble, but it remains to be seen what she'll do with the often unbelievable material she'll be forced to work with.

Still, I dig this show, warts and all, and can't wait to check out tonight's premiere (update: my cable company STILL doesn't carry FX, so I've made alternate arrangements).

NY Times (free signup required): A Changing of the Guard at the Barn
Boston Globe: Close seems out of place on the streets
Washington Post: Don't mess with Glenn Close in her new role
Philadelphia Inquirer: Glenn Close's cable attraction
Seattle PI: Opposites are magnetic as Glenn Close joins The Shield
Chicago Sun Times: Close tough, tight and cold enough to frost glass
NY Daily News: ★★★½
NY Post: Shield's slow start?
USA Today: Glenn Close shakes up Shield
Boston Herald: Close gives a terrifically sly, understated performance

Idiot Box Poll Results: Cartoon Character Makeovers

We asked: Everybody's favorite Looney Tunes characters are getting a makeover. Which cartoon should be next?

You answered:
Woody Woodpecker takes advantage of name, goes into porn: 66%
Rugrats hit puberty, sell X at local high schools: 26%
SpongeBob to marry SwifferJane: 6%
Scooby Doo- neutered: 0%

Steel Cage Match Next for Today, GMA Bookers?

We've all heard of booking wars, but this is ridiculous.

At issue was an interview with Ashley Smith, a woman who was held hostage at the scene of Friday's federal judge shooting in Atlanta. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today got into a pissing match over the "exclusive" guest, a feud which eventually netted NBC the guest and landed ABC's booker in handcuffs- on live TV!

No charges were filed, but the ABC booker got some fun footage for his resume tape.

How should the shows resolve their feud? Vote in the latest Idiot Box poll- in the right hand column- now!

Comcast Saves TiVo's Ass

Comcast has agreed to team up with TiVo to make customized DVRs for their cable subscribers.

Think it's no big deal? TiVo's stock price doubled on the news, which will allow Comcast's millions of subscribers access to the maligned company's excellent product.

Martha States The Obvious

Martha Stewart says the electronic monitoring device she wears around her ankle is uncomfortable and gets in the way of exercise.

I hope the legal system investigates this travesty immediately. It's imperative that our convicted felons be able to hit the elliptical without chafing.

Contender Not Really Contending

NBC may soon be reaching for the smelling salts.

Its boxing show, The Contender, finished fourth in its Sunday night hour behind offerings from ABC, CBS and Fox. It even got knocked down in the 18-49 demo, which NBC always trots out in situations such as these.

Guess FOX's The Next Great Champ would have tanked even if it was watchable.

Christians Pissed at TV, Again

A prominent biblical scholar is worried that NBC's upcoming miniseries Revelations "will deepen mistaken impressions about the book [of Revelation] and about Christianity."

Of course, his idea of exciting TV is probably watching a Mother Angelica rerun, so we'll take it in stride.

The miniseries, a portrayal of the so-called "End of Days," is loaded with miracles, comatose children speaking in Latin and other biblical symbolism.

FCC Says Sheridan's Monday Night Football Ad Not Indecent

Finally, the book on the year's most famous towel dropping is closed.

The ruling on Nicollette's plastic surgery, however, is still pending.

Pilot Update

Tommy, can you hear me yelling "Marco? POLO!" The Who's Roger Daltrey has come aboard the WB Network's untitled mermaid drama pilot. Mermaids? Yeesh... Gina Gershon has joined the cast of UPN's drama pilot The Lot, a soap about a Hollywood studio backlot... Emmy and Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland will star alongside President Geena Davis in ABC's Commander in Chief.

24 in 99: 7:00pm-8:00pm

Here's this week's 99 word synopsis of 24.

Jack and Paul escape the McClennen-Forrester building after Paul is tortured by their goon-squad. Jack secures the printout, and the two go to a local sporting goods store to get weapons. Back at CTU, Michelle takes control and instantly disregards Tony's input and has Sarah relieved of duty! (YEY!) Jack and Paul engage in a shootout with McClennen goons at the store until CTU finds them... But, the chief goon isn't dead yet, he shoots at Jack and Paul takes the bullet instead... Meanwhile, Marwan engages in his next phase, involving Air Force One and a sleeper cell...

99 Word Review: Blind Justice

I wondered if ABC's Blind Justice could be as bad as the promos made it look. Guess what? It was!

First of all, it’s loaded with overly shaky camerawork (sooo 1989). Ron Eldard gives the feeble material his all, but we’ve seen these clichéd characters before- doubting partner, fretty wife. And advice for Rena Sofer (Coupling), a.k.a. the new Ted McGinley: get a new agent.

Oh, and the scene where the blind cop points a gun at a perp, somehow cornering him? Completely absurd- and a prime example why I can’t see a future for the visionless Blind Justice.

Blind Justice airs Tuesday nightts at 10 on ABC.

Tonight's Tube

Tonight, Glenn Close gets The Shield. But I won't be able to see it, because my lousy cable company (which rhymes with Schmabelvision) doesn't give me FX. In another welcome return, Project Greenlight gets a new horror project- and a new home- on Bravo. On PBS, relive Live Aid: The Day The Music Changed The World. And on Pax (Pax?!) A faux reality scam gets 10 smokers to go Cold Turkey. And after a two week layoff, Scrubs returns. (Finger/Toe?)

TV on DVD: This Week's New Releases

Court TV: Body of Evidence
Farscape: Starburst Edition Volume 3
Hogan's Heroes: The Complete First Season
La Femme Nikita: Seasons 1-2
Starsky And Hutch: The Complete Third Season

Monday Trivia Solved: M*A*S*H

What was B.J. Hunnicut's wife's name?

A) Bea
B) Peggy
C) Erin
D) Louise

Answer: B) Peggy.

Geek/CounterGeek: Carnivale

This week, our own carnie, Vito, analyzes HBO's Carnivale.

Geek: Carnivale is Intriguing and Mysterious

Last week I wrote about the new, re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. One of the creators of that show, Ronald D. Moore, was also executive producer of the first season of HBO's Carnivale. In its first year, Carnivale built up a rich mythology and extreme tension. All that is paying off fantastically in the new season as the mystery surrounding Ben Hawkins and Brother Justin is slowly revealed.

The settings are so vivid, you want to shake the dust off of your clothes at the end of the show. The main storyline has so many layers, it could stand alone as one of the great good vs. evil epics. Combine that with a traveling carnival full of strong supporting characters and subplots, and you have a truly unique masterpiece.

CounterGeek: Carnivale is Slow and Confusing

Carnivale is one of the most expensive shows on TV today. For that reason, I was surprised when it was renewed for a second season. With less than stellar ratings, it may not be back for a third. I don't think that's a bad thing.

The first season crawled along at a snail's pace. Small hints as to the overall plotline were dispersed in such small bits, that it was easy to miss them completely. At the end of that season, I was just annoyed and confused. Sure, I've seen things on this show that I never thought I'd see on TV; Clancy Brown (Highlander's The Kurgan) as a priest getting a BJ from a woman while a paralyzed priest watches, Adrian Barbeau going down on a fat, bearded lady. In fact if there were an Emmy for "Most Bizarre Oral Sex Scene in a Drama or Comedy" I'd have to guess Carnivale would win hands down.

As for the rest of it, all the confusion and mystery is giving way to a very Highlander like plot, people with special powers kill other people with special powers so they can get more power to kill the rest of the people with powers. There can be only one!

What do you think? Post a comment now!

Geek/CounterGeek airs every Tuesday.

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