Boob Tube: The Midseason Hustle

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Boob Tube: The Midseason Hustle

They’re baaaack! Those West Hollywood Glamazons we’ve come to know and love (or loathe) on The L Word have returned for their sixth and final season. And it seems we, the audience (those of us who are still watching, at any rate), are pretty much in agreement that we stopped taking this show seriously a few seasons ago.

But so what? What’s left is wildly entertaining, if read as a free-for-all parody of itself. And coming up this week? Elizabeth Freaking Berkeley, as the former apple of Bette’s undergraduate eye. I expect Berkeley’s debut to ramp up the camp another 10 notches. For real. I think this season of the show will begin to approach Showgirls-ian levels of jaw-dropping, ridiculous badness so delightful to behold that we can’t help but forgive the character assassinations and plot holes the size of Jenny’s ego. Wait. Wasn’t that last season?

So, I’m pretty open about my TV whoredom. Still, I don’t say this lightly… I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard (Ever!) at a TV show as I did at last Sunday’s series premiere of The United States of Tara. If you didn’t catch the show, proceed directly to Showtime OnDemand (or here) and park yourself in front of the tube. Writer Diablo Cody (who took home an Oscar last year for penning indie hit Juno) struts her fierce stuff, spinning delicious dialogue in every direction. Toni Collette is magnificent as Tara, a suburban mother of two who struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder (more commonly known as multiple personalities). Also a scene stealer? Keir Gilchrist, who plays her metroflexible tweenage son, Marshall, who I am officially adopting as my new TV gay boyfriend. (He sips chai, listens to Thelonius Monk and lovingly bakes “muffins of triumph” for his sister’s dance recital. Aww.)

tara.jpg

Oh, Grey’s Anatomy. You’re killing me here. Did we really need 10 gazillion episodes of Izzie frolicking with Ghost Denny before getting to this week’s long-expected punchline? It’s official. Kinda. Izzie’s maybe going to die. Well, duh! You know, she used to be my favorite character on this, what used to be my favorite show, so I really want to care. Really, I do. But I am so sick of Izzie’s godawful storylines that at this point whatever they’re about to throw at her begins to have the ring of a mercy killing. Paging Dr. Kevorkian. Code blue at Seattle Grace! Will someone please put this show out of its misery?

izzy.jpg

To Watch For Next Week…

Saturday! Sigourney Weaver stars as a devoutly religious mother who has a change of heart after losing her gay son to suicide in Prayers for Bobby (Lifetime, 9 p.m.).

Sunday! The Screen Actors Guild Awards (TBS and TNT, 8 p.m.). The sound of Tibetters gnashing their teeth all the world ‘round on The L Word (Showtime, 9 p.m.). The Henrickson family (all 12 of them?) takes candidate for fourth-wife, Ana, out on a first date on Big Love (HBO, 9 p.m.).

Monday! The season premiere of The Closer (TNT, 9 p.m.) and the series premiere of Trust Me, starring Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh (TNT, 10 p.m.).

Tuesday! The Muppets (no, really) pay a visit to the doctors of Scrubs (ABC, 9 p.m.). Lost’s Evangeline Lilly on Letterman.

Wednesday! The seven remaining cheftestants face down a team of contenders from previous seasons in a Super Bowl munchies challenge on Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.).

Thursday! Gordon Ramsay returns to browbeat a new crew into shape on the season premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (FOX, 9 p.m.).



Comments [51]

peacekitty's picture

Hi Julia and Tae, It's

Hi Julia and Tae,

It's definitely worth watching. I think that this film has done more good for the LGBT community than shows like the L-word or Queer as Folk. It's intended for young people who are struggling to come out in a religious community.

I'll definitely read the book. Thanks guys! xoxo - PK

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Xanadu's picture

Thanks for your thoughts!

Thanks for your thoughts!

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Nevermind. :lol:

Nevermind. Laughing out loud

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Awesome, thank you..... ;)

Awesome, thank you..... Wink

Julia Watson's picture

Amen, lady. I get prickly

Amen, lady. I get prickly when people poop on TV. I think Six Feet Under was a real game changer for the whole medium. Long live Alan Ball! (Yay True Blood!)

Julia Watson's picture

D'oH! I forgot to DVR this,

D'oH! I forgot to DVR this, so I'll have to catch it on a rerun. I'm sure they will at some point... sounds worth watching for sure!

Not2Taem's picture

PeaceKitty, The family had a

PeaceKitty,

The family had a very heavy influence on this film. Have you read the book? It is also a little unfinished, but the story did need to be told.

Not2Taem's picture

It was a very nervous time

It was a very nervous time for me, though I tried not to let that show too much. My kid has always been very independent and socially aware/responsible. I got very lucky in the offspring department. Laughing out loud

The film they have listed on Logo is very light. I knew they were making it, and have seen the kids in clip from one on a couple of x-Gay musicians who played at one of the churches they visited. But I had never seen this one.

I am glad that they brought out the "discussion" among the participants about the pros and cons of being arrested. I am also glad that they at least briefly alluded to the fact that there were communication problems and errors in decision making that sometimes created difficulty for the people they left behind.

I am disappointed that it did not show any of the discussion around transgender issues and their exclusion of certain individuals from the second year because they did not want those issues to detract from their focus on the gay agenda. How many times have we heard that?

All in all though, they are an amazing group of young people.

Rusty's picture

I agree with you but I'm not

I agree with you but I'm not sure just remembering him from Queer As Folk. My daughter never saw it but the first episode she saw him in Desperate Housewives said she didn't "think the gay guy was right for Susan."

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Lezbeth's picture

Did you find the "Jackson"

Did you find the "Jackson" character (Gale Harold) believable? I've seen reruns of Queer As Folk so many times that it's hard for me to see him as anyone but Brian Kinney. I wonder if he'll ever shake off that character.

Lezbeth's picture

How cool that your kid was on

How cool that your kid was on that bus. I don't know about the Equality Ride, so that was why I was unsure.

peacekitty's picture

Hi Julia, I watched "Prayers

Hi Julia,

I watched "Prayers for Bobby" last night. Sigourney Weaver's performance was absolutely stellar as always. Her talent and technique really set her apart from most.

Although the second half of the film was very moving and the story of Mary Griffith was well told, I was a little disappointed with the first half that dealt with Bobby's life. The actor who played him is really wonderful, but I don't feel that the writer/director padded his story with enough substance. Maybe they didn't want to dwell on the depressing subject of his suicide, but I think they could have spent more time on Bobby and his thoughts and feelings that led to his suicide.

Other than that I think it's a very good production and I think Sigourney deserves an Emmy nomination.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Not2Taem's picture

Yeah, I know about the Big

Yeah, I know about the Big Gay Bus. My kid was on it. I thought that you were talking about a show on Logo where individual students were going back to their schools, and that made me think that it would be LIKE the Equality Ride, only without the group component.

Lezbeth's picture

I'm not sure what you mean

I'm not sure what you mean about 1/1. They got a bus, decorated the outside of it and rode together from campus to campus, making contact with students when they could, but mostly getting kicked off/barred from campuses. There's a whole list of the logo documentaries here:
http://www.logoonline.com/video/franchise.jhtml?ctid=1924

Another outstanding one is Brother Outsider--find out about the queer behind the civil rights movement. Pretty amazing that it was a gay man who advised MLK Jr. on how to do civil disobedience AND organized the march on Washington.

Not2Taem's picture

The Logo angle sounds

The Logo angle sounds interesting: Equality ride on a 1/1 level?

Rusty's picture

One surprise for me this

One surprise for me this season is Desperate Housewives. I stopped watching in the 2nd season, but this season dragged me back in. Last Sunday, the 100th episode was back to Season 1 quality with some excellent storytelling.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Hey Grace...... I edited my

Hey Grace...... I edited my comment about Daffy Duck, and I was told it was spam. Then it disappeared ?? What's up with that ??

Can I have it back? It was kinda cute........ of course, that's just my over inflated ego talking.

I am very sad now. Sad

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Hey Itty and

Hey Itty and Kelakey.......

What in the world is up with your comments ??

itty's picture

Hey, Daffy Duck is on right

Hey,
Daffy Duck is on right now...
NOT that I'm watching!!!

Lake's picture

Don't forget Scooby Doo and

Don't forget Scooby Doo and The Jetson's!!!!! Wink

XO

Lake

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Well, since I work in

Well, since I work in television production....naturally, I rarely watch TV. Smile

I'm too critical, cynical, uninterested, critical...oh, did I mention critical ?? I know too many people, have worked on too many shows, fucked too many producers, and lived with too many actresses..... Shock

I prefer cartoons. The Bommerang/Cartoon Network is awesome...... I know that Yogi Bear won't criticize my omelets in the morning, and Doggy Daddy won't ask me to stay home from work so we can fuck all day. And.... Daffy Duck, well Daffy kinda gets me all worked up, but I've learned how to th-say no. Laughing out loud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyL_jIwqMmQ&feature=PlayList&p=DD4706FAE3...

LBDL
xxoo

P.S. I swear I don't use drugs, or drink excessively.

Julia Watson's picture

Frackity frick-fracking

Frackity frick-fracking motherfracker!

Tex's picture

Gotchya! How sweet it is! ;)

Gotchya! How sweet it is! Wink

Twitter Time @kdhales

Not2Taem's picture

Dang you, Tex! Those first

Dang you, Tex!

Those first few lines had me. I was in OH SHIT! mode before I realized you were yanking my chain. I was afraid you ladies had actually had some sort of spat (not lover's quarrel) and I had accidentally stepped into a pile of it in my teasing.

Nice Gull Shot! I bow to your prowess. Laughing out loud

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

I was home last weekend, so I

I was home last weekend, so I caught TLW at a friend's house. It was okay, but a bit, um, disjointed (for lack of a better word).

I also caught the start of BSG, and this one I recorded. Kind of like the whole recursive causality temporal anomaly line, though I was a bit pissed they had Dee kill herself.

US of Tara was fracking hilarious. Geez, she's a whirling dervish!

Lake's picture

I meant.....Tex's writing is

I meant.....Tex's writing is above anything on that show!!!

Lake

Lake's picture

Tex is writing is way above

Tex is writing is way above anything on that show!

Lake

minniesota's picture

Tex, they should have asked

Tex, they should have asked you to join the L Word writing team! Hahahaha.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

minniesota's picture

I love TV and I have eclectic

I love TV and I have eclectic tastes. I'll watch trashy reality TV and C-SPAN2 BookTV. I catch more shows online now so I can watch them when I have time.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

ElizKoke's picture

i am thoroughly enjoying

i am thoroughly enjoying United States of Tara. I can't wait for the next one!

AngieInChi's picture

Hey Erin, I watched "Go

Hey Erin,

I watched "Go Fish" last night and I loved it! I could see Troche's and Guinevere Turner's influence (writing/directing) in TLW season's 1 and 2. I appreciated the messages that were conveyed in the indie film. Since I'm absorbing as much info as I can about my new lifestyle, please feel free to recommend any other films and literature, for that matter.

Thanks,
Angie

Lezbeth's picture

A new show that came on last

A new show that came on last week, Lie to Me, may be one to watch. The main character comes off as a sleazeball, but I like the premise and the method. The idea of really looking at what people do with their faces when they lie is very cool.

I agree about Grey's. Sheesh. Everybody sleeping with each other, the Grey/McDreamy story line, the searching for ever more bizarre surgery situations--it's losing it's sparkle.

Logo is running some new documentaries like Equality U where former students rousted out of Christian Colleges travel to various intolerant colleges/universities to confront admin and students is good. More queer docs to come.

I'm missing Medium and Eli Stone--love that paranormal stuff.

There were many, many fans who freaked out over the announcement that season 6 was L Word's last. I'm thinking IC is doing what she can to make those who will miss it let go.

Lezbeth's picture

I watch TV, too, well sort

I watch TV, too, well sort of. Usually my computer is on (VP much of the time). I press the mute button when I want to concentrate on a blog and turn the sound back up while clicking ads and looking at links. TV in the background is also good while drawing. That said, very little on TV has me looking at it throughout the show. It takes a lot to pull my attention exclusively to that screen.

Rusty's picture

Motherfrackin Gaeta

Motherfrackin Gaeta

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Fastgurrrl's picture

OMG, Tex,

OMG, Tex, bwaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaa! =)

peacekitty's picture

That was really weird Tex.

That was really weird Tex. lol xoxo - PK

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Tex's picture

Dear Tae, thank you so much

Dear Tae, thank you so much for your concern of Kelakey and me. Your comment has upset her, and she has asked that I respond to your inquiry. Yes, we have "split up." It was an extremely hard decision to make, but one we both found necessary in order to move forward with our lives. You see, we could not stay off of each other. Day in and day out we found the primal want of each other's bodies too much - marathons of rolling and wanting. It was impossible to work, write, eat, breathe - our very lives were in jeopardy from too much desire.

We were in the midst of a mini-crisis - Kelakey had not been visited by the big red machine - I feared that I had gotten her pregnant. The tension was mounting daily - so many thoughts for me - how could I have been so irresponsible? How could we be so irresponsible? Will I have to commit? Will I have to make an honest woman out of her? Thank goodness those questions can remain unanswered - Aunt Flo is visiting Kelakey. I assure you, we learned our lesson - we will make sure that from now on we use some sort of birth control while making love to other women......

Enough mini-drama for you Tae?

Always hot,

Tex

Twitter Time @kdhales

Steph H's picture

I agree - there are so many

I agree - there are so many great shows that are a much higher standard than movies. Especially the stuff coming out of the US of A at the moment. I have the DVD box set of the first series of The Wire ready and waiting (which people say is better than The Sopranos which means it must be pretty good)and I think I got through Season 2 of Dexter in a weekend - it's genius! Have to agree with Julia on Grey's though - Season 5 just started here and I don't know if I can be bothered.. blah blah blah....

Well, trash reality TV is an indulgence that not many people own up to but I am not ashamed to say that I partake on a not infrequent basis. Although, Gordon Ramsay is getting a bit tired for me now...

TV rocks!

Robin Rigby's picture

The answer to the question of

The answer to the question of why do shows lose their way at the end (and I definitely wouldn't say 'always') is "for different reasons". While there are multiple writers, there's usually one person who steers the ship- the show runner. Sometimes the creator of the show is the show runner, but sometimes not. Bryan Fuller created "Heroes", but Tim Kring is the show runner. Since I'm a fan of Bryan's I watched "Heroes" in the first season but I think Tim Kring botched the concept and I stopped watching it. I think that's because Bryan Fuller is a creative genius who could have taken the show in unique and unusual directions (just watch any of his other shows) but Tim Kring probably doesn't share his vision.

Sometimes though the show runner or the producers don't have a clear concept of where the show is going to go beyond the first season or two and if they don't have some clear view then they have to make it up as they go along. Without a clear plan they can lose sight of the characters. As any writing coach will tell you, it's all about character. A good TV show knows before the pilot is even shot what's going to happen to the characters in one year or five.

As for going out on a high, it's always about money. As long as the show is making money they'll keep it on the air. Since "Friends" was making money despite it's six stars record breaking salaries, it stayed on the air (that show lost it's way in the middle of it's run, but then found it's way back) for a decade. A show like one of my favorites- "Deadwood" had a big ensemble cast (about a dozen regulars) and it was a period show and because they were constantly building the set since it's the story of the birth of a community it cost HBO about $2 million per episode. At that price, HBO said they couldn't continue to pay for it and cancelled it after 3 years.

Amy Nicole Miller's picture

Julia Thanks for being

Julia
Thanks for being shameless about your TV whoredom! There are so many quality shows right now, almost all on Showtime and HBO (Dexter, Californication, Weeds, Big Love, etc), so I get annoyed everytime someone slams TV as a brain-cell killer. It's not only pretentious but really innacurate. Some of the shows I watch are ten times better than recent movies I've seen. (my love of trashy reality shows is another topic)
My point is thanks for being out about your whoredom and keep it up. Also, fellow TV lovers, please comment and let's talk because most comments here start with "I don't watch much TV but..."
xoxo

Steph H's picture

TLW season 1 was great -

TLW season 1 was great - everything Erin said it was although I have to say, I don't rememer any low flying tampons when I was watching it. Such a shame that it didn't maintain that quality....

Xanadu's picture

Questions I have been

Questions I have been pondering ... since The End is Nigh for TLW ...

Why do shows always lose their way toward the end (or well before the end?)

Is it really that hard to maintain the quality of scripts, when you are surrounded by copious writers and other talented creative types?

Is it lazyness, smugness, ego or the creator's inability to let go of control of their 'baby', that ultimately dooms a show?

When will Hollywood learn that it's better for a show to go out on a high (i.e. Once and Again), rather than wait until it has lost the plot and become a pop culture joke? ... leaving fans disappointed and questioning.

Not2Taem's picture

If you liked it so much, why

If you liked it so much, why didn't you continue with it?
LUV the tampon comment! Laughing out loud

Not2Taem's picture

Kelakey, Do you not have

Kelakey,
Do you not have anything on now?

Off topic: Did you and Tex split up? I noticed on 40 Something she said she would have to get you back this way for Spring Break. Such a short romance... But then, you never get past the really hot newness of it all.

*ducking, in case you are a pitcher*

:twisted:

Tex's picture

What? Tampon?

What? Tampon?

Twitter Time @kdhales

Lake's picture

I'm out of the loop on most

I'm out of the loop on most shows.....however a couple of weeks ago.....I watched a show called 'My Redneck Wedding' Yes this is a show.....it's on CMT....An adopted sister married her brother....yet people are freaked out about same sex marriage.....WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh and to make the show even better..(sarcasm) Tom Arnold is the host. Anyone can get on TV these days....sign me up...I'll think of something to put on....Wink

Lake

AngieInChi's picture

LOL@"it knocked my tampon

LOL@"it knocked my tampon out"!

"Go Fish" just came in the mail from Netflix. I'm watching that this weekend and looking forward to it.

The first season of TLW was great.

minniesota's picture

Julia, I missed Top Chef this

Julia, I missed Top Chef this week due to work but took a peek over at Bravo and see that Jamie hasn't been sent packing her knives yet.

Oh, oh, oh, wasn't the opening two hours of LOST mind blowing! I managed to be in my hotel room Wednesday night to see it.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Erin Blackwell's picture

i only ever saw some early

i only ever saw some early episodes of L Word & only on dvd, but i thought the first season was SO SMART it knocked my tampon out. so funny, so with-it & right-on. i'd never seen anything like it. well, i had, "Go Fish," the Troche-Turner film, which was even MORE amazing, because so grassroots. but i liked L Word's glam LA silliness because the production values & talent (mostly) was so HOT & the script strategy was so savvy.

"easy to achieve, difficult to maintain." — noël coward

TheInsomniac's picture

I just watched USofTara on

I just watched USofTara on Fancast (I think it was slightly edited.) My favorite part was when her alter-ego "T" smokes a joint but then Tara is the one who gets the munchies. The little brother (your new TV gay boyfriend) kind of reminded me of Ugly Betty's little brother.
Thanks for the recommendation!

Insomniac