TV Gal Chops Down 'Trees'
While "Men in Trees" (sneak peek Tuesday on ABC at 10:02 p.m.) isn't, by any means, the worst new show this season (let's go ahead and give that honor to "Happy Hour"), it's the one that provoked the most visceral reaction of scorn in me. My level of disdain for the show far outweighs how offensive the show actually is. I tried to figure out what the actual issue is -- it's not that I don't like Anne Heche (she's fine and we made nice back when she was on "Everwood"). It's not even that the show rips off "Northern Exposure" (it's been awhile since we've had a series in Alaska). The problem is the show is one gigantic cliché where nothing rings even remotely true.
Heche stars as relationship expert, motivational speaker and best selling author Marin Frist. Marin is planning a dream wedding to the perfect man when she heads to Alaska to give a speech. On the plane ride there, she finds out that the man of her dreams is -- that's right -- cheating on her. After being betrayed, she decides, of course, to stay in Alaska. So during the course of the premiere, she battles a raccoon, plops around in her wedding dress (because of course she traveled with it) and begins a love/hate relationship with rugged outdoorsman Jack (James Tupper).
While watching it I thought, "You know what? I'm all set." I never need another TV show that begins with a woman calling off her wedding ("Friends" set the bar for that and everyone else should just let the dream go). I don't need any more women who set their whole life to restart when a relationship ends. And I don't need any more will-they-or-won't-they couples that seem to have nothing in common but the fact that they were cast on the same show. These done to death situations have exhausted me.
And it got me thinking, what else am I all set with? Well thanks for asking. It's good to get all of this out of the way before the new season starts.
I don't need to see any more season finale car crashes. "Saved" was kind of growing on me but I was so disappointed that in the final moments Wyatt and Sack were side-swiped by another car.
Also I don't need any more slow motion montages set to music -- please see "Cold Case" for clarification.
And maybe we could cut down on the tongue-in-cheek quips that come out of investigators on all the procedural dramas -- please see Gil Grissom of "CSI."
What hackneyed television situations have you had it up to here with? Talk about it on the TV Gal Message Boards.
Quotes of the Week
"You should stay here. I'm going to have to do a little bit of what I do to you at home." Brenda to Fritz on the season finale of "The Closer" just before she goes to interrogate the FBI agent. Thanks to Christie for the quote.
"Twenty-four times a year, you come in here spouting that you can help somebody." Dr. Cuddy to Dr. House on the season premiere of "House." Thanks to Yenae for the quote.
"This is too screwed up -- even for me." Christian to the mother/daughter pair on "Nip/Tuck." Well I should hope so Christian.
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Jim recognized that Tracy Scoggins, Cat Grant on "Lois & Clark" and Capt. Elizabeth Lochley on "Bablyon 5," was the mother of the mother/daughter team Christian was sleeping with Jim also caught Amanda Pays, Dr. Tina Magee on "The Flash" as Christian's interior decorator.
Judy has been watching "Vanished" and that's okay. She noticed Joseph C. Phillips, Denise's husband Martin on "The Cosby Show" as JT Morse. Phillips also plays Vivian's husband Marcus on "Without a Trace."
Michael O'Keefe, who I'll always remember as Jackie's husband Fred on "Roseanne," was the FBI agent trying to protect the mob boss.
Nicole recognized Amanda Seyfried, Lily on "Veronica Mars" and Sarah Henrickson on "Big Love," as Anne the woman accused of killing a music mogul on "Justice." Paul Schulze, Father Phil Intintola on "The Sopranos" and the doomed Ryan Chappelle on "24," is the DA on "Justice."
Diane and Heather were the first to catch Clare Kramer, Glory on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," was the yoga instructor suffering from scurvy on "House." Carter Jenkins, Miles on "Surface," last season was the son of the man in a vegetative state.
George decided to check out "Standoff" and caught Tom Wopat, Luke Duke on "Dukes of Hazzard," as the actor holding his kids hostage at the beginning of the episode. George remembered that Wopat also popped up on "Smallville" last season as Senator Jack Jennings. George also caught Bryce Johnson as the boyfriend of the girl being held hostage. Johnson was Josh Ford on "Popular" and Cuddy's assistant on "House." He was also Corporal Oliver Brandt last season on "Nip/Tuck."
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for September 11 to 17
One the fifth anniversary of the most terrifying day in US history, ABC concludes its controversial miniseries "The Path to 9/11" Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC. Harvey Keitel, Stephen Root, Donnie Wahlberg, and Patrica Heaton star.
The final moments of this week's "Weeds" (Monday, Showtime, 10 p.m.) totally surprised me -- I actually said out loud, "Oh that is not good." I love that the show continues to totally surprise me. You should be watching this season. If you are, let me know what you think.
"Dancing with the Stars" is back, baby. The show which I am positively addicted to returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC. I'm just hoping that Ashly DelGrosso who tried her best with Master P last season fares better with Harry Hamlin. And let me go ahead and predicted that Jerry Springer will be the first one voted off in the results show on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
So you know my big issue with "Nip/Tuck" is that the characters have become like caricatures of themselves -- where nothing -- not a serial killer, not a son who gets involved with a white supremacist, not a life coach who sleeps with their son seems to phase them. That's why I'm happy to see that Sean and Julia will be affected by their baby and his genetic disorder and thrilled that we're all set with the brother/sister/Carver nonsense. But I remained a little one-eyed about the show. For instance, I'm not sure what Christian having a threesome with a mother/daughter team brings to the series. Personally, I thought Christian hit rock bottom a couple of seasons ago -- I don't need any more proof of his downward spiral. Also I'm not sure what to think about the seeds they planted that he's romantically attracted to Sean. Christian has never been sexually inhibited so one would think he would have figured this out years ago and something about this particular story line screams "shock value," but I'm going to wait and see how it all plays out. I was particularly disappointed that by the end of her first episode, Brooke Shields had gone from being Christian's therapist to sleeping with him in 44 minutes. Much like "Rescue Me," it gets a little boring if everyone wants to sleep with Christian. This week (Tuesday, FX, 10 p.m.) look for guest stars Richard Chamberlain and Jacqueline Bisset.
Meredith Vieira joins Matt, Al and Ann Wednesday on "The Today Show" at 7 a.m. on NBC. And, as you know, I've already fearlessly predicted that Meredith will be the only one still in her same place one year from now. Katie will be on CBS Morning News and Rosie will say she enjoyed her year on "The View" and decided not to return. Oh, simmer down now, you know how I love fearless predictions.
I really try not to judge anything until after I've seen it. So even though there's been a lot of hoopla about this season of "Survivor" (Thursday, CBS, 8 p.m.) and how the tribes are divided by race -- I'm going to see how it plays out before I comment. I will say that this certainly seems like one gigantic ratings ploy for an aging series that has not been the fodder for water cooler discussions in quite a long time. But after all the brouhaha, my guess it will be business as usual for the aging, over-exposed series.
Did you miss the best kiss of the season? Check out the season finale of "The Office" at 9:20 p.m. on NBC.
Say goodbye to The WB on Sunday night when on its last night as a network, The WB airs the pilots of the shows that defined the network. Beginning at 5 p.m., you can catch the pilots of "Felicity," "Angel," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer and "Dawson's Creek." On Monday, the brand new CW network begins, but strangely "7th Heaven" and "Runaway" don't begin until September 25.
That's all for today. I will be back next week to talk about how my TiVo died on me -- one morning I woke up and it had just crashed. I simply wasn't ready to talk about it today but will accept all offers of sympathy. Perhaps next week I will be strong enough to discuss this ultimate betryal. Also next Monday kicks off the official premiere week so we'll take a look at the season premiere of "How I Met Your Mother" and "Grey's Anatomy" (Sara Ramirez joins the cast full time) and "Desperate Housewives." I'll also take a look at new shows "The Knights of Prosperity," "Smith" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and much, much more. See it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at email@example.com.