Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wednesday Night TV in Review

Wednesday 03 October 2007
*** Spoiler Warning ***

Kid Nation

[s1 ep03]: "Deal With It!"

To celebrate their hard work and accomplishments, the kids partied--like adults. Granted, they only had cola and root beer, but these kids and pre-teens were turning up mugs and shot glasses like they were at a frat party. And like adults with hangovers, the kids who stayed up late found it just as hard to wake up the next morning.

While Greg was going to extemes to wake people up by yelling in their ear, banging pot lids, and dragging kids in sleeping bags out into the street, the Town Council read from the history journal that the Bonanza residents found it necessary to institute some law & order, including a curfew, for which the Council decided would be 9:30. Greg's former determination turned into rage and profanity that offended and even scared a few kids.

This time, the challenge involved sheep wrather than water--until it started raining. The teams finished from 1st to 4th in the following order: Yellow (now the Upper Class, thanks mostly to young cowboy Colton), Blue (now the Merchants), Green (finally out of Laborer Class, up one level to Cooks), and Red (now the Laborers). All teams finished the challenge with only five seconds to spare, so they got the reward, a choice between: a "frontier" microwave and a barrel of cocoa or 40 hot pizzas. Most of the pioneers were chanting for pizza, and the Town Council's decision was not unanimous. Ultimately, they chose the microwave and cocoa, much to the pioneers' loud disapproval. However, some members of the Green and Red Districts later changed their mind, realizing that the pizza would have only been a temporary treat.

A giant wind storm whipped through the town. No one was endangered or hurt, but several outhouses were tipped over. Greg and some of the older kids set them upright when the storm wass over.

This time, the Town Council chose to ask all the pioneers who they think the $20,000 gold star should go to. Many voted for Greg, including Greg himself, because of his hard work. Others voted for Morgan for her good attitude and hard work, but on Morgan's turn, she said everyone deserves a gold star and simply asked the Town Council to choose wisely. Olivia voted for her younger sister Mallory who has been working very hard, is pretty mature for an 8-year-old, was thinking about going home because she's homesick, and had her 9th birthday coming up on the day of the Town Hall meeting. The Council finds the decision so hard that they had to sleep on it.

At the Town Hall meeting, pioneers began complaining about Taylor's attitude, her queen-like behavior, her personal catch phrase, "Just deal with it," and her poor leadership as a Councilmember, which made her cry. She agreed to start doing better, and the other pioneers backed down. But, personally, I agree with others' concerns and feel the experiment should have an optional re-election process allowing them to switch out a Councilmember at each Town Hall meeting, if necessary. When asked who wanted to go home, no one raised their hand. Even, Mallory stayed. Then, she won the gold star and phone call to her parents. She's so sweet, I think she's becoming one of my favorites.

Pushing Daisies

[s1 ep01]: "Pie-lette"

Check out my previous blog entry for a recap and the complete details of my opinion.

Bionic Woman

[s1 ep02]: "Paradise Lost"

I guess we don't have to worry about the lackluster chemistry between Jaime and her boyfriend. The gunshot would he suffered in the pilot ended up killing him. The episode opens with Jaime and her sister attending her funeral.

Jaime saves a woman from jumping off a building and decides to take the organization up on their offer to "save the world." They put her in trainging. Here, it's explained that Jaime's basic fighting skills come from defensive programming present in her bionic parts. Sarah Corvus provoked Jaime into using the "demo" fighting moves. To defend herself better, she has to be more unpredictable by trusting her human aspects as much as the bionic parts. She's also told that if she doesn't hone her bionic senses, they'll drive her insane.

Jaime accompanies Ruth to a town where everyone has been killed by some kind of biological weapon except one girl who has an immunity. Some guys dressed up like military try to take the girl, but Jaime and Ruth are able to get her away. Meanwhile, Sarah Corvus lures her ex-lover who is with the agency and was forced to "kill" her when she went mad. She believes someone "hacked" her back then but that she's in control now.

This episode was just mediocre, nothing thrilling about it. I'm disappointed so far. I had higher hopes for this show.

Private Practice

[s1 ep02]: "In Which Sam Receives an Unexpected Visitor"

Cooper surprises Sam by getting him a stripper/dancer/entertainer named Ginger who makes house calls which causes strife between Sam and Naomi. Instead of enjoying it, Sam notices a weird rash on Ginger, uh, right below the Daisy Duke shorts area. Pete, the alternative medicine guy, spends the rest of the episode treating Ginger, which annoys Addison.

Meanwhile, Sam deals with a family in which a mother is slightly poisoning her son and teenage grandson to stop them from drinking too much. Cooper comforts Violet who freaks out when a $6000 bicycle she ordered for her ex-boyfriend a year ago finally arrives, reminding her tearfully of the recent breakup with that guy.

As the main subplot, Naomi, Cooper, Addsion, and Charlotte deal with two couples who apparently had their babies switched at birth. One of the babies has a genetic illness that will most likely shorten her life span to only five years. The team eventually discovers that it was one of the husbands that switched the babies at birth on purpose; he gets arrested. Although difficult for both mothers, they are required by law to switch the babies back.

This episode was pretty good. Although a little depressing, the baby subplot was the best part. It made for good drama. Unfortunately, Addison is still the worst part of the show. They give her the worst dialogue. The character of Pete gets the 2nd worst dialogue, so whenever Addison and Pete have a scene together, it's pretty bad.

I think the show has some potential but will need work to be a hit. Michael Ausiello revealed on the TV Guide podcast this week that this episode was the 3rd one produced and was switched with the 2nd one because the earlier produced episode was so bad. I guess we'll see next week unless they continue to keep the bad episode on the back burner for the sake of survival.

South Park

[s11 ep08]: "Le Petit Tourette"

This episode was all about Cartman discovering what it means to have Tourette's Syndrome and then pretending to have contracted it himself. At first he enjoys being able to say anything he wants (mostly excessive profanity, sexual words, and generally insulting things) without any disaproval from anyone because he his "Tourette's" makes him say bad things involuntarily. But he spews so much filth, that he eventually loses his verbal "filter" and actually starts involuntarily blurting out uncomfortable truths about himself, such as an awkward experience he and his cousin had together.

South Park is one of those shows that always pushes the envelope. Often that's a good thing when Matt and Trey are really on their game and the show includes thinly velied political commentary or they make fun of celebrities or a silly episode somehow ends with an oddly and unexpectedly poignant life lesson.

On the other hand, there are occasionally episodes like this one. Vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity. Nothing witty, just silly, profane, and forced. In theory, the idea of a Cartman saying anything he wants because he's pretending to have Tourette's is pretty funny. But when he just spews random combinations of cuss words for a whole thirty mintues, it just gets old and annoying. I considered stopping the episode part way through, but somehow I worked up the fortitude and patience to make it all the way to the end. Now that I did, gotta say, not worth it.

Wednesday Night Winner: Kid Nation, [s1 ep03]: "Deal With It!"

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