Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Thank heaven. I thought I was really going to lose my mind; but they announced that the writer's strike is over. It's not that I spend all day in front of the tv and it's not that there isn't anything to watch. After all, there have been reality shows and talent shows and (thanks to the careful scheduling and saving of episodes) blissful first run shows of BOSTON LEGAL. (And while we are on the subject of BOSTON LEGAL, I just want to say that David E. Kelly is one of my personal heroes for always bringing great theater to television and hiring amazing talent to execute it; I have never not loved a David E. Kelly show). The bottom line, though, is that if I have to go much longer without new episodes of DIRTY SEXY MONEY and PUSHING DAISIES, I will combust, spontaneously. It is very rare that I develop an addiction to a show - it's been a long time. Not since Queer As Folk went off the air have I had a show that was appointment tv; and this season gave me three - the two I have mentioned and CHUCK. Thank God for the network that held on to two new episodes of CHUCK and gave them to us a couple of weeks ago to keep my spirits afloat.

I’m not a tv critic so I cannot break down what it is about these shows that makes them good tv. Other than the fact that they captured my attention (not an easy thing to do) and kept it (an even more difficult task), there isn’t any kind of structural breakdown that I can offer. I can’t give the point of view of a tv historian or a writer or producer who knows what makes good television. I only know that the premises are wonderful, the scripts are stellar and the performers exceptional. Let’s consider them, one by one:

What an original idea is PUSHING DAISIES and how brilliantly executed? Each episode is like a dream, where all the sensory buttons are pushed to the limits but with such committed and natural performances by a cast of genius level talented actors. And though DIRTY SEXY MONEY may be just another nighttime soap opera, the creation of these wonderful, flawed, loveable, hateable, intriguing characters who are placed into situations, it all makes for great theater! When it comes to CHUCK, it is every Walter Mitty’s dream come true: the story of an average guy, a dweeb with a high IQ who gets to live the life of a Double O. Who couldn’t love these three shows? PS, can I just say any show that puts the great Jill Clayburgh in the public eye is a winner in my eyes. She is one of the greatest American actresses of all time and we could all use a dose of her on a regular basis. I tell you, had the strike not ended, I was about to get out my dvds of the episodes that have aired and start re watching them. And I would have, had fate not intervened with a miracle.

The miracle’s name is ELI STONE.

They had me from the first commercial. One look at the wonderful (and wonderfully sexy) Jonny Lee Miller was enough; but once I saw Natasha Henstridge, Victor Garber and one of my favourites, Miss Loretta Devine (another great American actress) – well I was in. Wait. Wait. Was that my favourite boy singer, Mister George Michael? Oh, yeah, I was there. I was so excited for the pilot episode that I had it on my calendar. And it did not disappoint. The spiritual quest, the Don Quixote theme, the great acting, the dream sequences; AND Laura Benanti in the first episode! What??!! Yeah, baby. I was just about to claw my eyes out from lack of PUSHING DAISIES, DIRTY SEXY MONEY and CHUCK and along came ELI STONE to save the day. Now the strike is over and I see blue skies ahead.

Don’t get me wrong. I support the writers. I support the strike. I just need my stories. I NEED my STORIES!! It’s like crack (which I have never smoked, just FYI). But they are all coming back. Thank God. Thank whoever is responsible, out there in Hollywood.

Now I can get my damn tv off of those reruns of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Damn, that Regis Philbin is irritating.


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