Friday, October 02, 2009

Random TV Roundup

So Heroes is back and The Office is back. I've stopped having any hopes for Heroes; it goes in too many inconsistent directions. This season doesn't seem as bold as last season's Villains arc, but that also means it isn't as weird and stupid as last season's Villains arc. The Office is hitting that point in a show's lifespan where it feels like it has said everything new it was going to say, and now it's just continuing because people are still making a salary and they don't want to be unemployed. I mean, I like the characters, and I still laugh, but it feels sort of tired and obligatory so far this season.

I'm watching a few new shows as well. Glee is fun, although I have trouble suspending disbelief on this show a lot. I understand that the musical numbers are supposed to be communicating "emotional reality" rather than "real reality," so that's not so much my problem. It's more stuff like the extreme disconnect between the cartoonish aspects of the comedy followed by an attempt to make you feel some real emotion for the characters. The comedy is so extreme that it undercuts the drama, I think. Or maybe it's just me getting old. But the music and singing are good.

Of course, my bigger problem is with the basic premise of the show. Glee takes place in a high school where Glee Club singers are looked down upon as the lowest of social pariahs. And I understand that social stratification in high school may not make a whole lot of sense. But seriously, in a world where American Idol draws tens of thousands of hopeful applicants a season and huge ratings, is there anybody who buys the idea of a school where singing is basically despised by all but a few freaks and talented singers are shunned as pariahs? Really?

I finally got around to watching Flashforward last night. If you don't know, the premise is that everyone in the world blacks out at the exact same time for 2 minutes, 17 seconds. And during that time, they experience a vision of life six months in the future. Joseph Fiennes stars as an FBI agent whose vision was of himself investigating the cause of the flashforward, leading to his being hunted down by mysterious assassins in masks. So of course, he starts up the investigation.

It was an intriguing premise well handled. But one weird little detail jumped out at me from out of nowhere. Fiennes's wife is played by Sonya Walger, who plays Penelope Widmore on Lost. In Walger's flashforward, she saw herself cheating on her husband with another man, who is revealed to be Jack Davenport, who played Norrington in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

But here's the thing that jumped out at me. Before Davenport played Norrington, he played a character named Steve Taylor on a British sitcom titled Coupling. And before Walger played Penelope, she played a character named Sally Harper on the American version of Coupling. Now the two of them are going to do a little coupling of their own on a new show. Easter egg.

There's a new sitcom on NBC titled Community, about an oddball group of students at a community college who initially come together to study Spanish. The show is pretty good, but still trying to find its footing. However, this bit from the end credits of the second episode is gold. These guys are partners who were supposed to come up with a simple conversation using sample phrases in Spanish, such as "Donde esta la bibliotheca." People get loopy while studying. Click and enjoy.

No comments: