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Musgo Del Jefe offers suggestions on what's worth watching for the upcoming week.

Senses Working Overtime: This Week in Television (11/11/07)

Written by Musgo Del Jefe

MUSGO'S TOP 100 FEATURE OF THE WEEK:

No. 48 – Brief Encounter (TCM) (SAT)
This is what what every Top 100 movie should be – style and substance. There's a superb script adapted by Noel Coward from his one-act play. There's riveting acting performances from Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. And there's the unrushed, lush style of director David Lean. The man that gave us the sweeping landscapes of Lawrence Of Arabia works his magic in the small setting of a refreshment room of a railway station. The stories constructed so simply that at the end when we revisit the opening scene, you realize the power of movies to get to the depths of a characters soul in just 90 minutes. I don't want to give too much away – approach it the way I did in 1987, little know beyond the fact that it's a "love story".

Ratings around this movie:

44 – Aliens
45 – Dazed & Confused
50 – Terminator 2
54 – Alien
58 – Dracula (1931)

RANDOM RUMINATIONS: TV RATINGS

What a difference from the past two seasons.  The current charts look like a writer's strike repeat.  Oddly, 60 Minutes makes an appearance at #3, its old spot.  Now it usually resides in the high teens.  Dancing With The Stars still rules with Grey's Anatomy (#2) and CSI (#4) picking up the leftovers.  Amazing Race 12 is off to a great start both with quality and with ratings (#17).  I'm worried about the return of Lost.  Even if it gets last year's finale numbers, that won't crack this season's top 20 and I don't want to see it finish behind Brothers & Sisters.  Bad news continues to follow my Friday Night Lights (#73).  Biggest question here – how is Samantha Who? at #14 with 14.2 million viewers when I don't know anyone that watches the show?

SUNDAY

The Simpsons (FOX)  I really enjoyed the "Treehouse Of Horror" last week.  And this week?  Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Fearless Planet (DISC)  Why do I want an HDTV?  Mainly for the Discovery Channel.  This series focuses on different natural wonders.  Tonight's subject is the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.  Where did they come from and when do they sink back into the ocean?  Hopefully not before I get a chance to visit.

MONDAY

Atlantis Squarepantis (NICK)  David Bowie alert!  Although he doesn't sing in this musical (?), you still gotta watch

Journeyman (NBC)  Two things you don't usually put together – John Schneider and "key party".  Maybe he'll restart a trend.

Late Show w/David Letterman (CBS)  Great variety – Dustin Hoffman, Jamie Oliver, and Alicia Keys.

TUESDAY

Mega Disasters (HIST)  I love this show because it's usually got tsunamis hitting New York or tornadoes ravaging LA, but it turns out that the most mega disaster is the world running out of oil.  Way to not run out of ideas, History Channel.

Bones (FOX)  John Francis Daley alert.  Gotta support all Freaks and Geeks alumni.

WEDNESDAY

American Skinheads (NAT GEO)  Not the usual fare for National Geographic Channel but it looks as disturbing as you'd expect.

Project Runway (BRAVO)  I don't watch but seemingly everyone else I know does.  Or they claim they only watch because their girlfriend/wife does.  I don't get it but I'm not judgmental because I know the crap I like.

THURSDAY

CSI (CBS)  Goodbye, Jorja. I was a big supporter of yours.

The Office (NBC)  Still going strong this season, unlike some other heroic shows I watch.  I find it working so much better know that it's back to 30 minutes episodes than those supersized things at the beginning of the season.  All I need to know about tonight is that it features a Darryl and Jim ping-pong match.

FRIDAY

Man Vs. Wild (DISC)  Bear is back!  While there's a disclaimer each episode now, Bear's gone to two hours per location and seems out to prove his manhood by getting in even worse predicaments.  Tonight he's in the Saraha and drinking from a camel's stomach.  I hope that should read "dead camel's".

Friday Night Lights (NBC)  Matt's rebounding from getting dumped.  His choices – hot cheerleader or hot Latino nurse who's helping out \his Grandma.  Ah, to be 17 and QB of the football team . . .

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)  Paul Giamatti and Alicia Keys.

SATURDAY

Michigan Vs. Ohio State (ABC)  Pick your side but don't miss it.  The Big Ten title comes down to this game for like only the tenth time in the last fifteen years.

Baghdad Diary (HIST)  If you're watching TV on Saturday and it isn't college football – then you might as well learn something.  Combines footage from American soldiers and Iraqi taxi driver to show the dichotomy of the war.

TV ON DVD TO OWN (to be released November 13) Lots of box sets for Xmas lists this week .

1. Addams Family (Complete Series Box Set) Nine discs for your viewing pleasure.

2. Northern Exposure (Complete Series) Twenty-six discs of which, the first few seasons are about as good as TV got at the time.  The last couple seasons, not so much.

3. Gilmore Girls (Complete Series) Forty-two discs of which I've never seen even one episode.  I hear it's good.  Maybe a good project for 2015.

4. The Young Ones (Extra Stoopid Edition) All episodes on two discs and a third disc of new extras!

5. Miami Vice (Complete Series) All episodes on twenty-seven discs.  Just had to out-disc Northern Exposure didn't you, Crockett and Tubbs?  Unlike other series, how did this show manage to maintain all original music for all of its releases?

TV ON DVD NEWS: 

Oh, that Bob.  Bob Newhart has previously claimed that Newhart wouldn't make it to DVD until The Bob Newhart Show was completely released.  Well, with 2 seasons to go, I see that Newhart (Complete 1st Season) is due on Feb. 26th.  The very funny Freakazoid! (Season 1) looks to finally be coming out in mid-2008.

In case the writer's strike has affected your television viewing or will shortly, here's a new feature to put your television to use.

TOP 5 ADDS TO YOUR NETFLIX QUEUE (released November 6)

5. Ratatouille.  While you're holding off to buy a Deluxe Editon, at least get your fix now.

4. SiCKO.  Like him or not, the man can tell a good story when he puts his mind to it.  Not exactly a return to Roger & Me days but he's passionate about this subject and it shows.

3. Magnificent Desolation: Walking On The Moon.  So few people have actually walked on the moon.  This doc includes never-before-seen photos and footage and interviews with the men that stood on another piece of ground that isn't the Earth.  I'm fascinated.

2. Pixar Short Films:  Vol. 1.  "Tin Toy" might be my favorite just for nostalgic reasons but "Geri's Game" is a brilliant short piece too.

1. Manufacturing Dissent.  This is the way it should work.  Don't agree with Michael Moore's storytelling?  Make a movie and detail his errors and omissions with facts of your own.  This response to Moore's films makes a great companion to SiCKO.  Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader and Janeane Garofalo among others air their differences.  I love a good doc.  And a good doc war is even better.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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