Wednesday, April 07, 2004

TV loose ends

Speaking of cancelled shows, there are still two shows from my Spring TV Preview that I haven't blogged about, and they're nothing alike, but in the interest of tying up loose ends I'll review them together. I hate to be getting so thematically repetitive, but aside from the crazy blind man, it's been a pretty uneventful couple of weeks. (Actually that's not true at all, but the only drama has been work-related and I'm not, sadly, at liberty to blog about it.)

So Century City kinda sucked. Oooh! We're lawyers! But in the future! See, it's different! Oprah Winfrey is president! We go to holo-court! We have wacky cases about penile implants and 75-year-old boy bands who still look 20! Eat your heart out, David E. Kelly!

Okay, yeah, the thing is, fight against it though I tried, I kinda loved it. The more serious cases, such as one about cloning and another about virtual rape (man puts drug in other man's drink that allows him to see, hear, smell, taste and feel everything the drugged man is, and thereby gets to have very realistic virtual sex with his girlfriend) were kinda fascinating hypotheticals. In the cloning case, the technology isn't so far off in the future, and the ethical and legal issues, while speculative, were really intriguing.

The cast was mostly terrible, but I really like the woman who runs the firm, and I'm always happy to look at Ioan Gruffuld. BD Wong and Robert Guillaume showed up from time to time as a lawyer and a judge, respectively, and they're always excellent.

The show was just inexplicably, strangely compelling. So of course it's been cancelled.

Meanwhile, I love love love (without shame) Cracking Up. It's what I want Arrested Development to be. Y'know, FUNNY. (Sorry, kids, I keep trying to get into AD and I just can't do it. I watched this week and didn't hate it, but so far that's the best I can manage.) Yes, it's a little more traditional than AD, but it does have the quirky thing down, and it tries to push how fucked up and hateful it can make its characters. The key for me is that I still believe that these people could be real, and even at their most heinous and inappropriate I kinda like them. There's something sad about them so that I feel pity instead of loathing. Funny pity, of course!

Molly Shannon is stellar, as always. I'll watch her do anything. Jason Schwartzman is disappointingly bland, but he does have the thankless role of straight man to a house full of whackos. The guy who plays his friend is more charming than he has a right to be, and I think the older son might just be a comic genius waiting to happen. Plus he's cute.

There seems to be little continuity or character development from week to week (which is a drawback), so in the interest of staying on top of my viewing I'm not taping it. I figure I'll catch up in the summer reruns. Well, or it'll get cancelled and I won't care.

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