All posts by Greg Bueno

Eureka is this summer’s …

Amy Amantangelo over at Zap2It made a list of summer substitutes. One I’d like to add is "Eureka is this summer’s Desperate Housewives".

Yes, it’s an odd comparrison, but something about Eureka reminds of the promising early episodes of Desperate Housewives.

Both shows are set in a community with a very defined social environment. A town full of geniuses where things routinely get strange is every bit as insular as a suburban community with a dark underbelly.

Both shows are also very funny, but hell — I could have made that comparrison with Gilmore Girls. But beyond the snappy, ’40s movie-style dialogue of Gilmore Girls, there’s a realism to the way each generation of Gilmore interacts with each other.

Eureka and Desperate Housewives aren’t saddled with that kind of undertone. They’re funny because they’re ultimately absurd. And the characters, on some level, buy into that absurdity.

Moreso with Eureka.

I’m glad the funny is back

The last three episodes of The Closer haven’t been big on the funny.

The best dramatic writing somehow includes the funny in all the righteous indignation. The West Wing managed it with random banter about falling satellites, Andrew Jackson’s big block of cheese and "abstinence-plus".

"Critical Missing" from three weeks back had no funny, and "Heroic Measures" was rehashed Law & Order. "The Other Woman" from last week had some funny but not as much as the shows from the first half of the season.

This past week’s episode, "Borderline" found Sgt. Gabriel channeling a vacationing Lt. Tao, Brenda bumming off everyone’s cell and Lauren Tom guest starring as a really crazy coroner.

Brenda’s indignation about the fender bender, though, was too far out, even for her.

But after some experimentation with the tone, the funny is back on The Closer. In time for the upcoming season finale. So soon?

Sebelia, you ass

So at one point in his life, Jeffrey Sebelia was suicidal. After that remarkable display of taking out his frustrations with Angela on her mother, it’s a pity he didn’t act on those urges.

Guess he never learned not to bring other people’s family in his own shit storm. Fucking junkie was just waiting for an excuse to whale on Angela’s mom.

What a fuckwit.

And what the hell? Fucking Vincent won a challenge. Did the judges even look at that damn collar? They complained about the space cadet sleeves on the Miss America dress, but they didn’t notice the damn collar?

As much as I think Vincent has all the talent of lint, Jeffrey’s childish ass needs to be thrown out.

The war for the future is taking too long to start

At this point, I’m just watching The 4400 to see how the overall storyline unfolds. This season started out really well, but half-way through, it started to drag.

I wasn’t all that fond of the freak-of-the-week format of last season, and I like the mythology of the show. But man — pick up the pace.

The twists in the plot of tonight’s episode, "Terrible Swift Sword", felt really anti-climactic. Yeah, I didn’t really see Jordan Collier’s ultimate plan either, but the whole build-up to it just felt pedestrian.

I’m prety sure I’ll be tuning in next season to see what happens, but this show is falling off my appointment viewing.

God bless you — you need it more than me, anyway

I knew the "Atheist/Christian" episode of 30 Days would infuriate me, but I soldiered through it anyway.

In this particular episode, an athiest named Brenda lives with a Christian family for 30 days.

First, let me disclose my own bias — I’m no fan of organized religion. I like spirituality fine, and I think spirituality and creativity come from the same primeval source. But the organization of spirituality is self-defeating — doctrinizing what’s supposed to be intuitive is counter-intuitive.

Monotheistic systems are the most problematic. There’s an inherent arrogance to the belief in one all-powerful diety, an automatic framing of perception in absolutes. It’s exclusionary and intolerant at the outset, regardless of the content of the tenets. Preach about love and good works all you want — there’s still the first commandment to deal with.

I’ll answer the question of my theism later.

Continue reading

The arm of NBC stretches long

Yes, NBC is the lowest-rated network on broadcast television. Yes, the former home of The West Wing and Seinfield must rely on a talent show and a Howie Mandel vehicle to stay afloat.

And while I don’t usually tune in to NBC except when the permutations of Law & Order are on, that doesn’t mean the Peacock’s feathers don’t stretch far.

In addition to NBC, parent company NBC Universal also owns Sci-Fi, USA and Bravo, three cable stations around which I surf constantly. And a number of shows on those networks have a Season Pass on my TiVo.

Continue reading

Vincent Libretti is made of kevlar …

… because it is infathomable how he keeps dodging the bullet. Has there been any point in the season where he hasn’t been one of the bottom three?

Having a single day to make a dress out of recyclable materials is … kind of dick. But it does make for great television.

Speaking about bullets, some bullet points:

  • I really like how Michael has come to the fore with his designs. He started out the season in the background, and now he’s won two challenges in a row.
  • Jeffrey needs to shut the hell up. The recyclable challenge was certainly up his alley, and yet I really like Michael Kors comment about Jeffrey’s aesthetic — ugly beautiful. I choose to interpret that as ugly beautiful.
  • Laura made a clean dress, which goes a long way in judging. But there isn’t much variety in her style.
  • Kayne — boy knew he had an ugly dress, and he made it work as best he could.
  • I’m glad Robert shook himself off from that boring streak. Tim disagrees, though.
  • Angela has really shifted her game. She started off the season establishing low expectations of her work, but now she’s really fighting back.
  • Allison stumbled on this challenge, which is a shame because she’s done such terrific work all season. I wished she could have gone further.
  • Vincent is beyond annoying. The magnitude of his delusion is astronomical. And he has no talent. Fashion was bad to him the first time around for a reason.