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Archive for the 'Nothing’s On' Category

Mad TV vs. SNL vs. Sleep

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Around midnight this Saturday, I tuned into the TV in our hotel, simply because broadcast (and cable) is such a rarity for me that I can’t resist seeing what’s on. I really should have known better.

About ten minutes of Mad TV was all I could take. I couldn’t even tell you the sketches besides the one with the annoying manchild and the trailer trash mom. I was watching with grim determination to at least wait for a chuckle when I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. Might as well make snide remarks on the unrealistic autopsies in CSI.

Realizing Saturday Night Live was on, I figured I’d try my luck there. Nope. Antonio Banderas was guest hosting, there was some sketch where he was hosting the Women’s Basketball Coach Fashion Awards (or similarly flimsy premise). It was more entertaining to wonder whether this could have been funny at all than to witness Banderas’ singing and mugging.

“Weekend Update” now seems to be hosted by two women, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and I’m sure this is being trumpeted as some sort of feminist achievement. Trust me, it’s not. Not even a cameo by Chris Kattan could rescue this bit from the remote’s Off button.

Psych – 8.11.06

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Episode #6 – “Weekend Warriors”

This epi opens with a flashback of Shawn and Gus as children, with Shawn’s father as their scout troop leader. he’s giving them a speech about losing and being a loser-all while doing an exercise with solid fuel rockets.

Shawn and Gus are watching a Civil War re-enactment rehearsal, with Det Lassiter at the helm. He’s on a tirade how they aren’t doing it right when he realizes that one of the actors is really dead. Of course, Shawn is trying to get on the case. He has an ‘episode’ in the office with lassiter and the chief, and of course is hired.

While in his office, he sets up a model of the battlefield and he realizes that only George Cheslow, the local dentist was in range to make that shot. Shawn makes Gus an appointment with Dr. Cheslow when they realize two important facts. Dr. Cheslow’s wife had been having an affair with Nelson and that Dr. Cheslow needs glasses but can’t wear them on the battlefield because Lassiter says they aren’t of the period. They realize that the dentist couldn’t have done it, because his vision wasn’t enough to make a shot straight through the heart of Nelson.

Lassiter busts on in and arrests George, saying that there are love letters at Poe’s house to his lover, Cheslow’s wife and one of them says that George threatened to kill him. Lassiter thinks he’s caught the killer but Shawn and Gus tell him he’s got the wrong man.

Shawn and Gus join the re-enactors do they can catch the killer. They go over to Mahoney’s jewelry store to get fitted for costumes, where the seamstress is Sally Reynolds, she plays a nurse in the battles and she’s also an insurance agent. She’s provided policies for half of the regiment, including Mahoney. Mahoney tells them how he supplies the uniforms and other items to the troops. One thing is Mahoney’s store that Shawn calls out is a box of C4 explosives. He tells Shawn that he uses that sometimes to make the explosions better for the crowds at the battles.

That night while camping out with the troops, Shawn takes a walk with Sally and she kisses him but then he falls and rolls down the same hill as Nelson. From that angle he realizes that whoever shot him, was up in the tree.

Henry ordered Shawn a pocket watch from Mahoney which he pretends to lose so that he can use his fathers precious metal detector. Of course, he only wants it to find the bullet that killed Nelson Poe, which he does; but he also finds a brass button belonging on someones uniform.

Shawn brings O’Hara and Lassiter to the field and has a ‘vision’ to lead Lassiter to find the bullet. They get a call and have to leave, but Shawn goes through step by step the day of the shooting as if he was the killer. He climbs the tree and Gus has him look for a notch in the tree and finds it. But it is aiming at the hospital tent. He then realizes that the real target was Sally.

The day of the re-enactment, Shawn and Gus steal Sally’s dress with the intention of Shawn wearing to find out who is going to try to shoot her. O’Hara stumbles upon them, and she decides that she’s going to be the one to go out there. She has a bullet proof vest on under the dress and a military helmet. Once out of the tent, they realize that there is no one there, but they find a tunnel under a tree. The tunnel leads to the other side of the battlefield. In Mahoney’s tent, they find his tunic and boots so they know he’s at the root of all of this. Right at that time, they hear the C-4 explosion.

They run over to Mahoney’s store, they now realize that he was using the C-4 to commit insurance fraud. Since Sally wrote a huge insurance policy on this store, he was going to rob himself and then claim robbery using the re-enactment as an alibi. Turns out that Sally was in on it, but Mahoney was greedy and was going to off her to keep it for himself.

Yet another episode of this show that has brilliant dialogue, witty banter and an entertaining storyline. This show has some of the best writing on TV today, it’s smart funny, not that dumb humor that people find so fascinating these days. My Name is Earl for example. Oh, I know there are tons of people out there that love it, but…. not me. I prefer witty more than slapstick.

I have this weeks episode to watch…. so, I’ll be back.

Psych- 8.4.06

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Episode #5 – “9 Lives”

A quick synopsis of the show should catch you right up. It’s not been on that long, but it’s something I look forward to on a Friday night. The humor and the catchy storyline is a huge draw to have me coming back each week. Not that it’s too hard, after all, I am a total self-admitted TV whore.

Shawn Spencer, played by James Roday, was raised by his decorated cop father, and he taught him to pay attention the smallest of details. He is watching TV and sees an interview with a witness but catches on based on his observations that he’s actually the culprit. He calls the cops to give them the ‘tip’ but ends up as their lead suspect. His way of explaining how he knew who the perp was, was by saying that he was psychic. Let the games begin.

Over these 5 episodes, we see his strained relationship with his now retired cop dad, played brilliantly by Corbin Bernsen. He’s a cop, so he’s not very comforting or emotional and Shawn just uses his wit and sarcasm to combat the distance between them. Through flashbacks in each episode, Henry Spencer tries to teach Shawn and sometimes Gus some life lessons, while these lessons are usually harsh they do serve Shawn well in the end.

His best friend, Burton Guster “Gus”, played by Dule Hill of West Wing fame, is a pharmacutical sales rep but moonlights with Shawn more often than doing his real job. The banter between these two is a riot. Shawn is always dragging Gus into precarious situations and he protests at first, but jumps right in. Shawn’s nemesis, if you can call him that, is Detective Lassiter, they constantly spar, but Shawn always seems to have the witty come backs and one ups him on each case.

The opening flashback shows Shawn and his father outside and Shawn very determined to get the prize from the cereal box. His father tells him to turn the problem upside down to solve it,and this lesson works well for Shawn in this episode. In this weeks episode, there is a string of killings that are being made to look like suicides, but clearly aren’t. Shawn takes the first victim’s cat and begins the ruse that he’s channeling the cat. He notices all sorts of minute details that the police miss that lead him to believe the killing was not a suicide. When the second killing happens, they aren’t killed in the same manner but the killer still makes it appear to be suicide. All the clues start leading to a 1-800 stress line and Shawn and Gus go in to investigate. They set up a fake psychic hotline in the janitor’s closet near the stress line. They chat it up with a few of the employees and the manager there to get some information. There seems to be a few suspects there but as always they are totally off base. Turns out, that the first victim’s brother is the culprit. Shawn hits redial on the phone, realizes it’s Officer McNab’s house and they rush right over there to save him. Officer McNab is a cop on the force that works for Lassiter, he’s sweet but dumb sort of character. Seems that he was so stressed about his upcoming nuptials, that he called the stress line and the killer listened in on the call. The killer works for the telephone company, so he’s been eavesdropping on calls to the stress line, then getting that phone number and going to the callers home to do the deed. Shawn gives the cat to McNab as an early wedding gift and Gus is relieved.

The show closes with Gus and Shawn eating cereal and chatting about their lives. Gus is hunting for the prize in the cereal box, but Shawn has already taken it up through the bottom of the box.

This one is playing on Friday nights, at 10pm EST on USA. For more information go to www.usanetworks.com/series/psych