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If Television Was Reviewed by Advice Columnists

October 13, 2008

You know it’s not going to be a great day when you wake up (late) with a sinus headache. A bowl of Three Flavor Sizzling Rice soup at our local Chinese place was a temporary fix, but unfortunately the effects faded by the time I got back to the office.

I am *not* Claritin clear.

Anyway, onto my weekly review.  As soon as life starts picking up, I’ll actually be able to post about other things.


Dear Hollywood Jane


Dear Versus the Seduction,

Hang in there, buddy.  We all know you and Miss Sarah are meant to be, and it’s obvious she feels it too.  Pretty Boy Bryce, no matter how well-intentioned, is just a distraction.  It’s a testament to just how cute you are that even though we can see it coming miles off, we still tune in to see how it’s done – a warning, though, don’t drag the lovin’ out too long; a complete about-face in this relationship is going to make us just as frustrated as you.  Meanwhile, someone tell Melinda Clarke that while we loved her as a hooker with a heart of gold in Firefly, her Russian accent needs work.


(How I Met Your Mother)

Dear I Heart NJ,

What happened to the Dr. Zinman who only had time for a 2-minute date because she was so busy working and taking care of her daughter?  She seems to have a lot more free time lately, even if it is in New Jersey.  I think it’s time to come to your senses, Stella.  You’re no Mike Hannigan.  In fact, you’re a threat to the dream team, what with the child and the established life in NJ, and that never bodes well.  Though you’re pleasant enough for the present, you’re not the future Mrs. Mosby.  Please stop trying to make us like you, that’s only going to make it harder when you say goodbye.  Unless…oh, you sly dog, are you the first Mrs. Mosby?  



Dear I Am Become Death,

Get. A. Grip.  I get that in an arc called “Villains” it’s not going to be raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but don’t you think you’re going a little overboard?  I love the morally grey, big fan, but you cannot just flip a switch in every single character and expect us to jump on board.  That the bad guys have depth is a good thing, and that the good guys have weaknesses – also good.  But all the good guys don’t become monsters overnight.  Remember the Peter who was a hospice nurse?  We liked him.  He cared about people.  His biggest weakness was that he wanted to save everyone.  There was a guy you could support.  By the way, Peter, aren’t you forgetting something?  A certain Irish girl named Caitlin who you stranded in a future that no longer exists, about to be deported?  Remember her?  I do.  I also recall a girl with a certain electricity about her, currently unemployed, orphaned, and looking for purpose.  It would seem that Mr. Death’s not very good luck for the girls.

P.S. Daphne’s wig in “the future” still didn’t make her look old enough to be married to Matt or have that baby.  Where did you guys dream up that couple?



Dear Capitol Offense,

I don’t have much advice to offer you – is ‘keep up the good work’ satisfactory?  You keep things simple, but that way, you don’t get tripped up.  Maintain the balance you’ve achieved between the personal and professional.   And, hey, this time the man’s number two wasn’t the guilty party as I’d thought!  I love it when you keep me guessing – except where Tony and Ziva are concerned.  Just let them get it on already, would you?


(Pushing Daisies)

Dear Circus Circus,

I’m not sure where to start.  You’re beautiful, and witty, and charming, and simply adorable – but I think you have a bad case of Retroactive Continuity – also known as, ‘Ooh, wouldn’t it be great if we did this, but, oops, we already established something in the past that contradicts what we want to do, so we’re going to talk our way around it until everyone forgets about it and we can pretend it never happened.’  I expect better from you.  Aunt Lily is Chuck’s mother – which would be fine if her last name hadn’t been established as Charles or if Charles Charles wasn’t really Chuck’s father.  Unfortunately, the two are mutually exclusive, and equally as unfortunate, they’ve both been stated as canon.  Yeah, I’ve done the math.  This is the kind of lousy continuity I expect from a SciFi show, not from you.  On the plus side, nice work with the Clown Car of Death.



Dear The He in the She,

Oh, random intern.  Don’t feel bad, it’s not you.  At least this week we got a reason as to why you would not return.  Excuses were made, but the bottom line is, they’re going to run this joke into the ground until not only is it not funny, but it’ll be hard to remember a time when it was.  Pick a replacement already.  Commit, people, commit.  You decided to make Zack the assistant to a cannibal serial killer, so you’re just going to have to live with the consequences, or else come up with a plausible reason for him to be de-institutionalized. Stress on the plausible.  Yes, we liked Zack, and so did the crew at the Jeffersonian, but he’s not exactly irreplaceable.  And if he is, then maybe you should have considered that before you went the Gormagon route.  Either way, the indecision is really starting to irk.


(Criminal Minds)

Dear Minimal Loss,

Hey, remember that time when Reid was held hostage and ended up hooked on drugs?  Remember that?  Really?  Because I was expecting some kind of reaction to being taken hostage again.  Reid is a lot of things, but a practiced liar, he ain’t.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too; either your characters have backgrounds, and families, and problems, and heartache, or you play it by the book and make the show about the crime.  That’s okay too, but this wishy-washy middle ground just doesn’t hold up.  Giving them issues only when it’s convenient just comes out contrived.  Obviously another show with commitment issues.



Dear Turbulence,

When a detective stresses, over and over, that the extremely anxious man next to him couldn’t have done it because he never left his seat, that leads your audience to assume that he must have done it.  And then the mystery becomes not whodunnit, but how.  That’s okay, we like mysteries where we know who the criminal is, and spend forty-five minutes figuring out how he or she could have done it when it seems impossible.  Agatha Christie made her living from that formula.  But placing an emphasis on this character that doesn’t pay off is misleading – and not in a good way.



Dear For Warrick,

Congratulations on your loving tribute.  I have to tell you that not only did I appreciate how you handled the situation, how each character’s feelings and emotions were expressed with the minimum of words, but you didn’t drag out the catching of the bad guy.  Far too often I get frustrated when the solution seems so obvious to me, and these supposed geniuses don’t grasp it until the fourth act.  For once, and perhaps most appropriately, the CSIs really stepped up, and weren’t fooled.  I worried that in their zeal to catch their friend’s killer, they might not question the evidence supplied.  But you surprised me, and justice was served.

Just a note – with three of your original CSIs down, or soon to be down, don’t you think maybe it’s time to put this iconic show to rest while it’s still on top?  It’s not as if there aren’t two other versions of the franchise on the rise. 


(The Office)

Dear Business Ethics,

Not enough Jim and Pam in this episode.  Period.


(Life on Mars)

Dear Out Here In the Field,

The only way you’re going to survive in today’s competitive market is if you find your own voice.  Regardless of whether or not I’m devoted to the original, the fact is, a copy is never as good.  So stop copying.  There’s really only so far you can take it.  And if you’re going to spend the first sixteen episodes recreating the British version shot for shot, line for line, then I don’t see much of a future for you, Sam Tyler.  And Harvey Kietel is no Philip Glenister.


(Eleventh Hour)

Dear Resurrection,

Well, you’re all right.  Nothing to write home about.  But these days, quirky doctors are a dime a dozen.  You’re really going to have to step up the strange and unusual to hold my attention on a Thursday night.  In fact, you didn’t even hold my attention long enough to warrant a full paragraph.  Work on that.


Quote of the Day:

Ned: My name is Ned. I live a simple life. I wake pies and make the dead. That was creepy. I make pies and wake the dead.

Pushing Daisies, “Circus Circus”

Link of the Day: Circumlocution Literary – need I say more?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 13, 2008 8:42 am


    “And Harvey Kietel is no Philip Glenister.”

    Fuck. Yes.

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