The only nights I really watch TV are Sunday and Tuesday, and it's Fox all the way. Weekly, I am astonished by the level of inventive, subversive, satirical humor on the Fox Sunday lineup of The Simpsons, Bernie Mac, Malcolm In the Middle and the scabrous-yet-ingratiating Arrested Development - I have actually known people like the floundering, formerly-rich Bluths, forced to deal with the real world after the protective bubble of their wealth has been burst. Basically all they are good at is shopping and drinking, yet somehow every member of the Bluth family has some redeeming quality and the cast is brilliant.
With the return of American Idol, Tuesday is now a TV night rather than just the hour of 24. I skipped last week's Idol return because there were other things going on, but I figured I would check in last night to see how far along they are in the process of getting the at least somewhat promising hopefuls to Hollywood, where they will be whittled down - eventually - to the final ten.
I could have easily skipped last night as well because they are still doing the regional auditions and, of course, emphasizing cruelty and conflict. We didn't see much of the "good enough" contestants who were waved on to Hollywood by Simon and Randy (Paula was having her hair done or something for most of the show), but we sure saw plenty of really bad contestants, who were ritualistically abused: "dreadful" "never sing again" "disastrous" "horrible" "deplorable" "wretched" "talentless" "weak" - these were some of the critiques, and while no one should be encouraged if they are without talent, the editorial emphasis on the bad and benighted is both depressing and mean-spirited. And the time spent on the abused returning fire is pointless and just conflict for conflict's sake. I really hate this phase of the show.
24, which won the Golden Globe for best TV drama, was back in fine style last night after a week off for the American Idol opening blitz, and I am beginning to perceive that their strategy this season was to start relatively slow then build - the opposite of the previous two seasons, which started with big bangs then inevitably petered off.
Last night we had the return of Sherry Palmer, President David Palmer's devious ex-wife because it takes a snake to deal with a snake: former Palmer-ally Milliken has turned against him due to Palmer's brother's (and his Chief of Staff) indiscretions with Milliken's wife. "We need big dirt on Milliken - stat."