TV Gal Looks for the Funny
She's high on 'The Office' and 'Boston Legal,' not so much on 'The Class'
- "The Class" (Monday, CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Does anyone else think the amount of adultery happening on this show is bizarre? Is there something particularly hilarious about infidelity that I don't know about? I don't even mean this from a moral standpoint; I mean it's simply not funny to make these characters so unlikable. Ritchie went from very sweet to a little creepy. I guess we could hope that maybe Fern isn't Ritchie's live-in girlfriend or wife, but it certainly seems that way. And the whole Fern-is-a-janitor-where-Lena-works story isn't exactly a compelling shock. I didn't love this show when it first began, and this certainly isn't doing anything to endear me to it. Also a brief memo to the showrunners: Jason Ritter and Lizzy Caplan have absolutely no chemistry. None. Nada. Zip. Let's have them interact with other characters.
- "The Office" (Thursday, NBC, 8:30 p.m.): I have to tell you that I gasped out loud when Jim accidentally got Pam on the phone last week (raise your hand if you thought it was going to be Jan on the line?). Very few shows can pull off such a genuine moment of surprise. The Jim and Pam storyline works because it is so believable. They were so thrilled to talk to each other again, yet it was awkward. Jim is still hurt and Pam is enjoying her newfound single life. Several of you (my sister included) don't like that "The Office" has been spending so much time outside of the office this season. But I like that Jim is flirting with a new co-worker and starting up his tomfoolery (squeaky chairs, the search for potato chips) at his new workplace. And what I like the best is that I don't know how the Jim/Pam story is going to resolve itself. I don't even know if I want them together right now -- eventually, but not right now . I would like for Jim to date Karen and for Pam to find herself a little bit more. Also "The Office" continues to play Michael just right, pushing him to the brink of incompetence and then making us understand why he still has a job.
- "Boston Legal" (Tuesday, ABC, 10 p.m.): So, it's technically not a comedy, but sometimes this show provides the biggest laughs of the week. Especially when it goes to its most meta place of inside jokes and wink-winks at the audience. Lately, I've realized that I just have to go with the show and be, as Luke once said to Lorelai during happier times, "all in." So I can't worry about the bizarre cases (really, did we need to know about the cannibal?) or the repetitive cases (how many times do we need a husband who killed his wife or vice-versa?). I simply have to go with the flow because at its core the show is just a good time.
Quotes of the Week
"I have managed to get through my entire lifetime without touching anyone else's husband. It's not that hard to do." Nora to Saul on "Brothers & Sisters." Thanks to my mom for the quote. I told you she loved this show.
"I got nothing to do and nowhere to go until 'American Idol' starts in January." Christine to Barb on "The New Adventures of Old Christine."
"I think pop culture in general and this show in particular are important." Reporter Martha O'Dell to Matt on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Ah, they speak my language.
"Your dad was half-right. You have a thing for bad boys. You don't want to reform them, you just get off on judging them." Logan to Veronica on "Veronica Mars." I'm not going to lie to you. That fight hurt a little.
"Look around. You are in the heart of bachelor country, and as a woman, you are an illegal immigrant here. Now, you could try to apply for a sex Visa, but that only lasts 12 hours. Fourteen if you qualify for multiple entry." Barney to Lily on "How I Met Your Mother." Thanks to Betty for the quote.
"I think I slipped a disco." Jerry Springer on "Dancing with the Stars." Thanks to Jeff for the quote.
"So, like, the hatch blew off your underwear?" Hurley to Desmond after finding him naked on "Lost." Michelle was the first person to send in this very popular quote.
"What is the Dharma Initiative?" Dwight to Ryan during his sales training on "The Office."
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
I want to make sure everyone knows that Josh Henderson, Edie's often shirtless nephew Austin on "Desperate Housewives," was Bo Rider on "Over There," and let's all remember he was Ashlee Simpson's real-life boyfriend during the first season of the "The Ashlee Simpson Show" ( I believe you'll recall that I was strangely addicted to that show).
Susan recognized Hallee Hirsh as the missing girl on "Without a Trace." Hirsch was Mark's daughter Rachel on "ER" and Mattie on "JAG," and we saw recently her on "Grey's Anatomy" as Claire.
Michael recognized Krysten Ritter, the mayor's daughter Gia last season on "Veronica Mars," was Lucy, the girl Rory met at the art show on "Gilmore Girls." We'll be seeing more of her.
Lisa recognized Lindsey McKeon was the girlfriend who stole her boyfriend's playbook on "Veronica Mars." McKeon was Taylor on "One Tree Hill" and Tessa in the season premiere of "Supernatural."
Justin Chatwin was Eddie the undercover FBI agent in Locke's flashback on "Lost." He was Tyler in the "Traffic" mini-series, but I remember him as Tom Cruise's son who was miraculously alive at the end of "War of the Worlds."
Tom recognized Chris Mulkey as Mike, the head of commune Locke was living in. Mulkey was Hank Jennings on "Twin Peaks" and Collier on "Any Day Now."
Judy and Hilton were the first of many TV Gal readers to be very excited about the Trekkie reunion happening over at "Boston Legal." There's cast regulars William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois, of course. And Armin Shimerman, Quark on "Deep Space Nine" as Judge Brian Hooper (don't forget he was also Principal Synder on "Buffy"), has a recurring part. And Ethan Phillips, Neelix on "Star Trek: Voyager," is currently playing Michael Schiller.
That was a nearly unrecognizable Maggie Wheeler, the infamous Janice on "Friends" and Linda on "Everybody Loves Raymond," as the lawyer representing Curtis Ames on "ER."
Michelle and Candi wanted to be sure we all knew that L. Scott Caldwell, Rose on "Lost," was on both "Cold Case" and "Ghost Whisperer" last week. Let's give this woman her own show.
And I can only hope this is the beginning of many "Everwood" stars coming on "Brothers & Sisters." Treat Williams played Nora's date and Keri Lynn Pratt, Missy on "Jack & Bobby" (and who we recently saw as Hayley on "Veronica Mars") played Amber on "Brothers & Sisters."
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for the week of October 23 to 29
FOX shuffles its programming this week in an effort to save the low-rated "Justice." "Prison Break" returns Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX and "Justice" moves to Monday at 9 p.m.
It's a Logan throwdown. Logan v. Logan. A veritable Loganapoolza! Matt Czuchry, Logan on "Gilmore Girls," guest stars on "Veronica Mars" Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the CW. Laura San Giacomo also reunites with "Just Shoot Me" co-star Enrico Colantoni when she guest stars as a woman wanting to investigate her cheating husband.
Can you believe we had another Locke back story and we still don't know how he ended up in a wheelchair? This week on "Lost" (Wednesday, ABC, 9 p.m.) the Others focus in on Sawyer.
I still think "The Nine" (Wednesday, ABC, 10 p.m.) is the best new drama this season, but I am concerned that the second and third episode hasn't been as good as the show's stellar pilot. What do you think?
So, I kind of like this whole Chloe and Jimmy relationship on "Smallville" (Thursday, CW, 8 p.m.), but I really simply can't accept Lex and Lana? How about you? This week (Thursday, CW, 8 p.m.), we find out why Oliver and Lex really don't like each other.
Those of you who have read my column for a long time know of my devotion to "90210." I never missed an episode. And it occurred to me the other day that I've never, ever missed an episode of "ER" -- not in 13 years. None of the original candidates are there any more, the whole Susan and Mark storyline is so long ago it almost seems like it happened on another show, it's hard to remember that this is the series that launched George Clooney to superstardom and there are times when I have such a sense of deja vu (how many times has the ER been under attack? How many times has one doctor had to deal with a disaster? How many times has Abby changed her hair color?), but each week the show pulls me in. I can't not watch.
And I'm obviously not the only one: NBC has scrapped its original plans to put "ER" on hiatus at midseason for the new drama "The Black Donnellys." Why? Because the show's ratings are up and the drama is winning its timeslot. That's because "ER" never coasts on its previous success. They introduce new characters (love John Stamos), still attract the big guest stars (see Forrest Whitaker and John Mahoney) and continue to have compelling story lines (I love the Neela story line). Do you still watch "ER"? If so, talk about it on the TV Gal message board.
There are times when we simply aren't going to agree on a TV show and I'm afraid "Men in Trees" (Friday, ABC, 8 p.m.) is one of them. I've given the show another chance and then another one and we can still go ahead and file it under: not for Amy. While I'm thrilled to see Abraham Benrubi on a regular basis, I'm still having trouble caring about the characters. But it's okay, we don't have to agree on everything and I promise to still check in on the show from time to time.
That's all for today. I will be back next week to talk about return of "The O.C." (where I hand out my most improved show award trophy, bitch) and check in on this season's newest hits "Heroes" and "Jericho" and much, much more. Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.