This week featured the final Family Guy until next season, the return of American Dad reruns. That in addition to great episodes of Rescue Me and Battlestar Galactica. Not to mention the debut of Stephen Bochco’s Iraq based drama, Over There.
- Ebert & Roeper. Just one thing I want to mention about this show, two thumbs up for The Devil’s Rejects! It was a shock to see this so well received by them. I liked it a lot too.
- Family Guy. This show is an absolute riot! The episode concerned Lois’s attempt at a modeling career, but the funny stuff was the unexpected asides and dialog. Such as Peter asking Lois’s Dad if he needs any more “seamen on his poopdeck.” Then there is Stewie awarding Justin Timberlake a trophy, and cracking him in the head. And let’s not forget Cookie Monster’s rehab! Hilarity is the order of the day! ****
- American Dad. This was just a rerun of the pilot. Moderately funny, but nothing terribly special. **
- The 4400. This stands primarily as a standalone episode. It focuses on a woman who can’t people alive. Everyone around her tends to fall down and die. Not a terribly great way to go. She starts to freak out and attempts to get to the 4400 center. Tom is on the case trying to help her, but she decides that she is the bringer of the apocalypse. Sounds like fun. Meanwhile, Sean is trying to find out how to get away for awhile. I like this show, the characters are growing and the story is progressing. ***
- The Dead Zone. What would you do if you found out a favorite musician who was thought to be dead, is actually still alive? Johnny goes on a multi city hunt for the truth behind his death. Not one of the best episodes, but still decent. I like Anthony Michael Hall, he brings a genuine sense of wonder to the role, taking us into the psychic situations and convincing me that he is seeing them. I look forward to next week. **.5
- WWE: Raw. Mediocre at best. It opened with Eugene returning to face Kurt Angle in his Invitational, beating the Olympic medalist to take his medal. There was a goofy mixed tag featuring Viscera against the Heartthrobs, each with their own little person, I could have done without this. There was an aborted battle of the bands between John Cena and Chris Jericho’s Fozzy (I am a fan of Fozzy). Ofter John’s performance Jericho refused to play citing bias in the town. The biggest match was a stretcher match between Edge and Kane, this was sort of fun, leading to the eventual run in by Matt Hardy. There was too much that didn’t have to do with wrestling on this show. **.5
- The Closer. Just a week earlier we had a show featuring an autistic boy helping to solve a crime, now once again we have a similar thing happening on another show. This time a judge has been murdered and his autistic son is either a witness or the prime suspect, but his inability to effectively communicate lends some problems, as does the boys mother who is trying to protect him. I thought it was interesting how Brenda (Sedgewick) came to learn to communicate with him and eventually discover the truth. ***
- Rescue Me. Tommy is trying to find out about Sheila’s pregnancy, while also trying to get his kids back. There is the discovery of a firefighter groupie, who may also be a firebug. A father connecting with his gay son. There is so much going on in this incredible series. This definitely a keeper. ****
- Stella. Absurdist comedy, not necessarily at it’s best. This is one strange show. This week we follow the trio as they stand up to bullies for the sake of their paperboy and become embroiled in battle as the paperboys call upon them to back up their boasts. This really has to be seen to even come close to grasping it. I still think Michael Ian Black is the standout deadpan man of the trio. ***
- Miami Ink. I will repeat, I am not a fan of reality television, in any form. That said, I am enjoying this for the tattoo work. I am interested in what they get and the reasoning. This episode has a man getting his children’s faces tattooed on his chest, looking at their mother, on his arm, who was lost on 9/11. There is a mother/daughter pair getting their first work, and a couple of people getting more work done on back pieces which have taken years. ***
- Criss Angel: Mindfreak. This guy is crazy. From his slightly effeminate look too his makeup towards the bizarre stuff that he tries. I am entertained, he does do some strange tricks that I am at a loss to explain. I also think that his smaller tricks are better than his larger staged pieces in the show, such as the deja vu trick and the cards on the bus. **.5
- Over There. Stephen Bochco has brought us the first television drama based on the ongoing battle in the Middle East. It will take me a bit to get the characters nailed down, but I very much enjoyed this premiere episode. We are introduced to the characters with their families just before they are shipped out. Once there, they are thrust right into the action, there are plenty of firefights and tense moments for this combat virgins. I look forward to seeing how they deal with their surroundings. ***.5
- WWE: Smackdown. New tag champs Animal and Heidenreich make quick work of a pair of nobodies in their first defense. Eddie comes out and reveals the secret of Mysterio’s son, Eddie is his real father. Undertaker fights JBL for the number one contendorship. Overall, a rather dull show. **
- Monk. Monk goes undercover in an office in order to find out who is after the firm’s boss. Monk is really happy to find a group of friends that aren’t laughing at him, that is until his phobias kick in. This is as funny as ever. Traylor Howard is doing a fine job, and Tony Shalhoub deserves all the praise he gets balancing the comedy and the mystery. ***
- Stargate: SG-1. Jackson and Vala discover that the Auri(sp) are a group bent on being worshiped and that Earth has been protected by the Ancients. Meanwhile, Mitchell brings back an Auri representative, who has ulterior motives that reveal his true motives. It ends with Jackson and Vala back in their own bodies and trying to figure out the next step. ***
- Stargate: Atlantis. The focus is on the recovering of Ford, who has gone a little crazy after ODing on a Wraith drug. This leads them to a sun soaked planet where they encounter a “runner,” someone implanted with a tracking device and hunted by Wraith. After some initial misunderstandings, a trust forms between them, and they are able to find Ford, who isn’t quite as balanced as he once was. ***
- Battlestar Galactica. After missing the premiere, I am getting ahold of where the stories are coming from. This episode splits it’s focus between Baltar’s group which is stranded on a planet, and the building power struggle on Galactica. There is an interesting power struggle among the group as they try to form a plan for taking on a squad of cylons. Meanwhile, Tigh is trying to fend off the leaders while the imprisoned President is falling apart in the brig, until she gets her medication. She is then revealed as possibly a prophet and savior to the fleet. Very good show. ****
- Bloodsuckers. This Sci-Fi Original is not a good film. That said, I had a lot of fun watching it. Who doesn’t like watching a corporate sponsored hit squad roaming the cosmos looking raiding vampire hordes to slaughter? Sounds like fun. Joe Lando leads the ragtag team, but things are not always that simple. Things go south for much of the film as the team goes after a fallen team member and uncover an alignment of humans and vampires. But all is resolved and our heroes ride off successfully into the sunset. ***
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