Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny.

It does sound like a bad cover band.

Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) took some time to grow on me, but the more time has gone on I am beginning to think that it is just the in-medias-res nature of the mini-series. Many of the people I have encouraged to watch BSG tell me that the mini-series is good, but that it takes a bit to become attached to the characters. I think this is because when BSG starts the characters are whole persons, and as viewers we are not given nice, easy, this-is-who-this-is introductions to them. I felt the first pull of sympathetic understanding when Kara confesses to Lee that she feels responsible for Zack’s death. She jeopardizes loosing her closest friend in order to be honest about the most painful experience of both their lives.

Oh, and did I mention that she is a total badass?

The big question for all of us is: what came back to life at the end of Season Three? In the episode “Malestorm” Kara flew into a storm and her Viper exploded; she died. But in the last moments of Season Three she flies up next to Lee and tells him that she has been to Earth, that she will lead the fleet there. (I am going to talk about this elsewhere, but right now I have to point out that Lee is the last one she speaks to before she dies and the first one she speaks to when she comes back. All of you Kara/Lee nay-sayers just ponder that for a moment.) But is it really Kara?

I refuse to believe, even for a second, that Kara is the last Cylon, even thought that would be the most obvious explanation for her dying but not being dead. In Razor the Hybrid told Kendra that Kara would lead humanity to its doom, but pardon me if I am disinclined to take a gross human/Cylon old dude living in a tub of gel at his word. The fact that she and Anders have not produced a child would maybe indicate that she is a Cylon, but that seems like fairly slim evidence. On the other hand, Tigh (Michael Hogan), Anders (Michael Trucco), Tyrol (Aaron Douglas), and Tory (Rekha Sharma) were part of the Resistance, three of them were the leaders of it, but Kara was a captive during the Occupation. (If you can’t see where I am going, or if you don’t actually know me in person, I think the final Cylon is Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell).) I just do not think Kara is the last Cylon. It would be too heartbreaking, both for her and for the audience. To suffer as much as she has and then to find out that she is not human; it just strikes me as unnecessarily cruel.

So, I am denying that she could be the last Cylon. Does that mean that she really did not die when her ship exploded? She looked fairly dead. Lee did not even want to send out a search party; he was sure enough that she was gone. The “Leoben” who guides her into the storm, to guide her to the next part of her journey, is not really Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie), and tells her that he never said he was, so maybe she is now something like that. A guide who looks like Kara and has all of Kara’s memories and feelings, but is not the same as the woman who died. Maybe it is like Season Three of Buffy when Angel came back from a hell dimension; she has been given her body back to fulfill her purpose. Maybe it was just plain wrong for her to be dead in the first place.

We will have to play my all time favorite game: wait and see.

The TV Girl

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Gaius Baltar

I need to prepare for what will happen on Friday. Season Four is starting, and I think that if I try to just jump into commenting after the premiere I will overload and only be able to sputter. So, as we all wait for each day to slog by, I am going to enlighten all of you about my opinions on some of the most import characters/plots/relationships/issues. These can only be brief overviews (so much has happened over three seasons), but I have to start somewhere, right? But please be warned; this is not for the faint of heart. If you have never seen the show, or if you have only seen parts, or if you just do not have as much time on your hands as I do, you cannot be upset with me for drawing upon my complete knowledge. I, as everyone already should, know who four of the final five Cylons are and if you end up finding out from me that is not my fault.

Why not start with the lowest of the low? The only appropriate punishment I can think of for Baltar (James Callis) is to be locked in a room for eternity with Lost playing on repeat. He facilitated the Cylon infiltration of the human military, murdered a man, gave Gina Six the nuclear bomb that allowed the Cylons to find New Caprica, participated (however unwillingly) in the systematic subjugation of the human race, helped the Cylons in their search for Earth, and (what I find most personally offensive) preyed upon the exhaustion and unintentional disparity among the fleet to stir up civil strife in order to divert attention from his own culpability. I would like to find one person who could even try to convince me that this man is not the most hideous example of desperate, self-serving, depraved, egomania.

Given all this, I think it was a good choice to spare his life at the end of Season Three. There is a strong possibility that I would just do anything that Lee (Jamie Bamber) says, but as objectively as I am capable of being, I think what he said at Baltar’s trial was for the most part right. The particular crimes they were accusing Baltar of could not be proven. Since there was no witness to his signature on the death warrant, therefore there was no way to fully ascertain the conditions under which it was signed, and the conditions do matter. Lee was completely correct to give the litany of the wrongs others committed with relative impunity. While I consider myself part of the loathing-Baltar camp, he was not the first to act contrary to civil and/or military law and he most likely will not be the last. Finding Baltar guilty might have been cosmically righteous but it would not have been right.

But one of the reasons BSG is so good is that there is never just one side to the story. What Lee does not take into account in his defense of Baltar is that those who have been forgiven for past transgressions all serve to actively participate in the protection and promulgation of humanity and human civilization. Baltar may have a dramatic function as a character, but he has no practical function in the society. He is a scientist, but he does not train others, nor does he devote himself to science other than when he needs to escape complications in another situation. For a while it was unclear what ship he even lived on. I do not believe the value of a human life is solely based on utilitarian capacity, but when it is a survival situation leniency is more understandable when the person is necessary. Baltar may not deserve to die, but does he really deserve to live? Is anyone obligated to give him food, shelter, or protection?

I know that we are not going to find out the identity of the last Cylon until the last episode, or at least very close to then. That does not mean I am not going to spend months speculating about the pros and cons of the possibilities. I am going to go on record right here and say that if Baltar is the final Cylon then a huge part of BSG will be turned into a big cheat. Even the small ethical debate I had above will be voided. I will be unbelievably upset.

The TV Girl

One Tree Hill (5): I Could Not Have Asked For More.

When it comes to crazy no one does it quite like One Tree Hill.

Karen came back, and with Andy! You have to be a longtime watcher of this show to remember Andy, Karen’s young boyfriend that it just didn’t work out with before she realized she was in love with Keith. It would have just broken my heart if Karen never moved beyond her grief for Keith, and I cannot imagine anyone more appropriate than Andy, the man Karen came out of romantic hibernation for in the first place.

But not so much a happy ending for Lucas and Lindsey, but that is the way it goes on soapy nighttime melodramas. I do have to wonder about the strength of a relationship when fiction is more informative than conversation. If I am learning anything from this show, it is to stay the heck away from writers, they are apparently always in love with someone other than who they say they are in love with. Skills’ analysis of the Lindsey/Lucas/Peyton situation might be the funniest scene ever to appear on this show. That boy is ridiculously funny and ridiculously underused. I would not leave my kids with him, but I would have him teach them deadpan commentary.

A professor of mine once asked my class to think about the ramifications of one person saying “I do” and the other person saying “I don’t.” Brooke dismissing Peyton’s concerns that it was Lindsey that called off the marriage seemed just too blasé. Peyton is right to be reluctant to run to Lucas immediately after his being left at the alter. It matters that he said yes and Lindsey said no, and I think it shows a minor bit of maturity on Peyton’s part that she pauses over the fact. She wanted to interrupt the wedding, but she does respect the enormity of marriage.

The lack of divorce talk in this episode tells me that Peyton is not the only one taking marriage seriously. I refuse to believe that Nathan and Haley are actually going to go through with the big D, especially with their nut job ex-nanny stealing their son.

Thank the high creator that Dan shaved! He is defiantly more threatening when he looks like he could be an upstanding citizen as opposed to looking like a caricature from a silent movie. I am not entirely convinced by the Dan-is-better-than-Nanny-Carrie ploy. She is obviously unbalanced, and could have genuinely hurt Jamie, but Dan is still a murdering bastard. I am not impressed that someone would put a child’s life in danger in an attempt to be a hero, and that is exactly what Dan did.

Brooke wants to have a baby? Wow.

The TV Girl

The Riches (8.5): Its Okay, My Timing Is Off Too.

I feel as rusty as Dahlia and the kids, so please bear with me and do not try to beat the living snot out of me with a baseball bat. If you are watching this show, then you know what that refers to. If you are not watching this show, I beg you to do so. Season One is only thirteen episodes, which is so easy to burn through, and we are only two episodes into Season Two, both of which can be found on iTunes and Amazon for download. If you live in my metropolis (and are not either JP or Kathleen) I will loan you Season One (it was twenty bucks at Target last week, how could I pass that up?) and you will be able to see the wonder that is The Riches. And then you will understand what I am about to say about the first two episodes of Season Two.

Sam had the money all along? What? Sam is so quiet that it would be really easy to forget that he is a) a little con in training, b) listening to everything going on, and c) quiet by choice rather than by stupidity. When he busted out that 40 grand he reminded everyone, family and audience, that he is a necessary and active member of the clan. I am starting to think he might be the smartest one of the Malloys.

But on the not smart side of life there is Dale. I do not know which side of him makes me want to rip off my skin more: the desperate sniveling sycophant, or the overly sexualized amoral bully (and murderer). I cheered (as much as I could because I was in my office) when Wayne kicked him in the balls. I wanted to cry when he was trying to convince Wayne that they are the same type of person. Since all signs seem to indicate that Dale will not be going anywhere anytime soon, and I do not want any of the Malloys to become (intentional) murderers, I guess I am going to have to deal with nausea Dale induces in me. And I do really, really want to know with whom he is talking to in prison. I think it is someone involved in the scam that put Dahlia in jail. I think Dale has found an equally revenge minded person to team up with.

I will admit what a terrible person I am and tell you that I laughed out loud when Wayne hit Hugh with his car. It was just such a funny moment; Wayne getting to do by accident what he deep down wants to do all along.

In the second episode we got to see something that even if we intellectually understood, we have not been exposed to the full emotional reality; a scam can be based on charity as easily as greed. There is a thrill seeing the Malloys pull a fast one on people with more money than morals and that reaction could let the viewer slip into a sense of complacency about what they do. I in no way agree with rednecks wailing on Cael, but the strong reaction elicited by using another’s tragedy to raise flee-to-Mexico funds reminds viewers of the ethical complexity involved in The Riches. We are pulled in both directions: we want the family to be okay, but we see what that will cost others.

The one downside to watching The Riches on TV: suffering through commercials not only for Dirt (yuck!) but also It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (double yuck!). The horrifying irony of the situation is that Kaitlin Olson, who plays Hartley Underwood on The Riches, is also a cast member of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so not matter what there is always the specter of a terrible show floating about a wonderful show, at least in my mind. Maybe Hartley will not return and that little problem will be solved.

The TV Girl

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Show: Dollhouse

There are a few of us out there with absolutely unachievable desires: a fourth season of Veronica Mars, a real and permanent Buffy/Angel reunion, a world where Grey's Anatomy never existed.

I will never have any of these things, but we all might get one ridiculously amazing consolation prize: a new show from Joss Whedon starring Eliza Dushku. The show is called Dollhouse. There have been rumors and plans and maybes floating around for a while now, but I have been hesitant to get my hopes up that the universe likes me enough to give me not only a new Joss Whedon show, but also to return the amazing Faith to me. Well, maybe I haven't learned my lesson about the cruel hand of fate, but I found out something today that has gotten me so pumped about the possibility of this show, I am willing to believe that this time it will be different, that I will not be shown joy simply to have it taken away.

What I found out is that Tahmoh Penikett has been cast as Paul Smith, the nemesis/love interest for Eliza's character Echo. Frakking Carl "Helo" Agathon! (Confused as to my excitement, see post below and follow instructions.) If I get even one episode of this show the universe doesn't just like me, it loves me.

The TV Girl

Random Info: Battlestar Galactica

I bring hope to those of you who have not as yet allowed Battlestar Galactica to make your world a more wondrous place.

One of the most daunting things about TV is the conception that you have to watch a series from its beginning to watch it at all. It is easy to tell yourself "I would not understand what is going on if I start watching mid-series." I agree that this is a legitimate concern, but the availablity of both episodes online and TV on DVD has changed the terms of the argument.

In the case of Battlestar Galactica you can avoid the problem altogether, because the Sci Fi Network is doing everyone a favor. Tomorrow night, Friday March 28th at 10pm/9pm (Central) the Sci Fi Network is airing an hour long Battlestar Galactica: Revealed. This is a program designed to give new viewers everything they need to know to start watching Season Four, which as you can see in the display to your right, begins next week.

Even though I have seen every episode of BSG (some of them so many times it is kind of sick), I will be watching, if only to see what the producers think is most important for viewers to know.

You have no more excuses for not watching one of the best shows on TV.

The TV Girl


I am so sorry. Not enough? Alright. I am so, so sorry.

I said before I went on vacation (which rocked by the way because my friends kick so much ass it is out of control) that I would have a new post up yesterday, but the truth is that I have so much to say that I got overwhelmed and had to crawl into bed with some BSG Season Three.

Have no fear, I am well rested and up for my (self-appointed) challenge.

Again, I am so sorry.

The TV Girl

Friday, March 14, 2008

Need To Know: Spring Break

So here is the deal party people. I am going on vacation for a week and a half. There are friends to see and bars to patronize. Do not get me wrong, I will be engaged in quite a few TV related activities; a new episode of How I Met Your Mother on Monday, the release of Battlestar Galactica Season Three and the Season Two premier of The Riches on Tuesday, a re-watch of The Office Season Three, probably a few episodes of Supernatural sprinkled in there. But I will not be writing and posting anything new until March 26th. I hope that my (on average) 20 readers will return then, and if you do not, it was nice to have you while I did.

Happy Easter!

The TV Girl

Lipstick Jungle (5.5): Everything Is In Shambles.

Before I say anything else, even joking about some mythical Harry Potter prequel is utterly cruel to rabid fans such as myself. I became biased against this episode as soon as I found out that Wendy and Nico were going to Scotland to woo Ms. Rowling into handing over said book.

As mean as the Scotland trip was for HP fanatics, it was exorbitantly worse for Nico. Not the brightest idea to invite your lover on a business trip but how heartbreaking to hear your best friend say that you would be a bad mother. I have to question the logic of further alienating someone who is emotionally unfulfilled enough to have an affair. Of course you would be a disingenuous friend if you didn’t tell someone when he or she are doing something wrong, but to hurt them and insult them will only encourage them to continue doing the thing you thought was wrong in the first place. This is why interventions are planned and have coaches. I like that the episode ended with the Wendy/Nico fight unresolved. What they said to each other is more than a quick hug can take care of.

Do I have to give my post-modern ovaries back if I say that I think it is kind of sweet that Joe (Andrew McCarthy) bought Victory’s company? It verges on her having the status of a “kept woman,” but he had a rational business explanation and he just wanted to help her because he cares about her. This girl has the business sense of a past-due potato, so I am inclined to think that her rejection of Joe, when she found out that he was her investor, is just a really expensive hissy fit. The best way to prove you are an intelligent and mature woman is to understand you limitations and accept legitimate help when you legitimately need it. There is nothing wrong with crying when you have to make a tough choice, but there is something wrong with making a bad choice to prove an immature point. Allowing Joe to be her business partner, but moving out of his house would best serve Victory.

The TV Girl

Reaper (6): Happy To See It Back.

One of my coworkers called this show “freetarded Buffy.” I did not have the energy at the time to disagree with him, and as time goes on I realize that it is not worth it to do so. Reaper is not nearly as good as Buffy, but I find it immensely entertaining, so take that guy who isn’t reading this.

Jamie Kennedy’s parody of Jack Black’s Dewey Finn from School of Rock was without a doubt the best part of my yesterday. The depths of pathetic that is the rock-and-roll-dream makes for comic gold. A guy like that, who allows his delusions of talent to alienate his wife and make him willing to sell his soul to the Devil, deserves to get his hand bitten off by a cannibalistic escaped soul.

And poor little Sock. It is finally time for him to grow up, and I foresee this being awkward and hilarious. It is sad times when not only to we have to see our parents as human beings, but that they see us as adults.

Sorry to complain, but could someone light a fire under Miss Andi? I do not think Missy Peregrym is an untalented girl, but she is showing about as much enthusiasm for her role as wet toast. An extra cup of coffee, something more to do as a character, electric shock, anything to wake this girl up so that I stop falling asleep every time she appears onscreen.

And while I am complaining, I am not a big fan of the new timeslot. First of all, I really despise networks for moving things around all the time, it makes it very hard to establish a rut, I mean routine. Second, Reaper in my Supernatural timeslot just doesn’t work. The lighter side of evil is great for early in the week, but by the time Thursday rolls around I need something a little meatier. I see a direct correlation between how exhausted I am and how dark of a show I need. I could completely get on board with a Monk/Psych type relationship; Reaper would be a descent show to lead into Supernatural. (Okay, please do not point out that it would be an opposite structuring, since Monk is the serious show and Psych is the silly show, I am aware.)

I wish Sam’s girlfriend was not going to turn out to be nuts. I kind of like her (and see above for my opinion on the other love interest).

The TV Girl

Random Info: Battlestar Galactica

I can only speak for myself, and kind of my sister, when I say that I have an anticipation ulcer for the new season of Battlestar Galactica. While Razor was like a big swig of Mylanta, as April 4th approaches I am once again beginning to feel my insides churning and burning with a mixture of excitement, trepidation, and (the smallest bit of) sadness. If you are in a similar way, and have seen all of Season Three, then go to 'Watch With Kristin" at E! to see an amazing promo clip for Season Four. It is like a tiny swig of Mylanta, which I desperately needed. I think I will go watch it again.

The TV Girl

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Amsterdam (6): Joss Whedon Did This Before.

Chiseled features, solving crime, looking for love in all the wrong places, immortal. You have no idea how much I wish I were talking about Angel. Alas, I am not. I am talking about John Amsterdam, the main character of New Amsterdam, a show that began airing on Fox three Mondays ago.

Now, I wonder if I would be as under-whelmed by this show if I did not love Angel as much as I still do. There is nothing wrong, per se, with New Amsterdam. The premise is ridiculous, but entertaining enough. John (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was one of the early Dutch colonists to the New World, and he was stabbed through the heart saving the life of a Native American woman during a battle. Out of, I guess, gratitude the woman and her friends bring him back to life (who knew herbal healing could resurrect the dead). He will not die until he finds “the one” with whom his soul will be united. So, he has been living on the Manhattan Island for almost 400 years, waiting for this girl. And twenty minutes after we the viewer meet him, he thinks he meets her; Dr Sara Dillane (Alexie Gilmore) who tries to save his life when he has a heart attack because of chasing a murder suspect.

I am not trying to be a brat, but I would put down even money that the lady doc is not his one and only, but rather it is his feisty and enigmatic new female partner Det. Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson), who he also met just before said heart attack. But here is an example of what I mean by being under-whelmed. I feel like I have already figured out the show, because it is so closely related to a show I have seen in its entirety and love very much.

I am not opposed to New Amsterdam. I will probably continue watching until Gossip Girl starts up again. There are some elements of this show, that if properly pursued could establish some individuality. John has a friend named Omar (Stephen Henderson), a sixty three year old African American man. In the second episode we find out that Omar is John’s son. Interesting concept; he will outlive his children because they age beyond him. Also, John is a recovering alcoholic. He has been in AA since the 1960s. Furthermore, in each episode so far, the present story resonates for John as a comparison for an experience in one of his past “lives.” Despite some seriously hokey facial hair, it is kind of neat to think about how one would understand the modern world in light of living through, say, the Civil War.

New Amsterdam is still in its “potential” phase: with proper planning and attention to character development it could become an engaging and rewarding (lighter-) drama; resting on premise and prettiness it will peter out in a few more episodes and be relegated to cancellation obscurity.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Tree Hill (5): I Have Been a Lousy Bridesmaid, But Haley…

I can genuinely say that I was not in any way expecting Haley to tell Lucas he should not marry Lindsey. I knew when she picked up the phone after finishing the last pages of Lucas’ new book that she was calling him and not Nathan, but I was prepared for something along the lines of “do you think I have made a mistake?” As viewers we have been given time to get to know Lindsey, so even though I do not want them to get married, because he is supposed to be with Peyton (and then we run the risk of a Dean/Rory cheating situation, which I have no interest in living though again), I think that Lucas and Lindsey as a couple are not too bad. If Lucas has really moved on, Lindsey is a decent choice. I am intrigued as to Haley’s reasoning for her proclamation.

Why does Haley seem so unconcerned with her own life? She is done trying to change Nathan? What does that really mean? Haley cannot be this defeated. Speaking for myself, it is not fair those of us who have supported them for so long. High five to Nathan for turning “Daddy is living on Uncle Lucas’ couch because he and Mommy are getting a divorce” into “Daddy is in a time out.” This is quality parenting people, take notes.

It might be wrong to point out unintentional hilarity, but I am still laughing this morning about Dan and his “date.” He told her he had a grandson, so the boundaries of age-appropriateness were already violated, but did he not look like he was just out of prison? (I have to refrain from full on mocking the facial-hair, as my bratty little soul wants to, because my oldest brother sported something very similar in a family portrait. It haunts me to this day.) Her “shocked” face should be an instructional video on YouTube: this is the slightly-constipated-like facial expression you make when you realize you just had sex with a sociopath.

Speaking of the less than talented, I would not be opposed to seeing little Chase (Steven Colletti) stick around. I am just not on board the whole Owen train. Call me a prude, but he just looks too old. It gives me a Rachel/Uncle Cooper flashbacks type of vibe.

As for Rachel, while I applaud Brooke’s heart, as a viewer I did not miss her, and do not care to see her return full time. She came in as a character to be the trampy troublemaker when Brook was growing out of that phase, but it just never really worked. Rachel never accomplished anything as a tramp (never managed to get the guy, whomever it was) and her whole self-loathing bit was way too mousey. Too bad she is a druggie, but Tree Hill is better off without her.

But, I did not realize until last night just how much I missed Lucas’ extremely pretentious voice-overs quoting the greats of literature (usually out of context). Always terrible, always amazing.

Tim and Bevin got married and had a baby? Random, very random.

All of this topsy-turvy-ness will be set to right in one week, when none other than Karen Roe returns. Oh how I have missed Moira.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random Question: The Wire

The Wire series finale aired on Sunday. It was on HBO for five seasons. I have never seen one single minute of it. But I have a great deal of time at work, and I basically read thing on the Internet all day. The last two days I have been reading reviews of said series finale. My brother Basil highly recommends this show (or at least he did to our younger brother Lafayette, not actually to me). I am intrigued by what I have heard and read, but it is all so vague. "Best drama on TV," "most intelligent writing," "gritty picture of urban reality." I am not dissaggreeing that these kinds of phrases provide description, but my question is: can anyone help me orient myself to the proper perspective so that I can begin watching this show?

That is kind of a long question.

The TV Girl

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Info: How I Met Your Mother

So, Britney Spears is guest staring.

My Weekend Fling: The Riches (8)

I do not quite know where to begin in reviewing this show. I can say that after watching the entire first season over the weekend (it is only 13 episodes, so not even a challenge) I am excited for the new season to start on March 18th. The season finale was a perfect mix of cliffhanger and resolution. I want to know what happens next to the Malloys but I do not feel like I am being unjustly propelled into another season of a show that will only disappoint me. (I will use an example to illustrate what I am talking about. I watched a couple seasons of a show called MI-5. Most of the episodes, around 90%, were tedious and impossible to figure out what happened. The characters were flat and the romantic storylines were ludicrous. But the season finales were unbelievable. The stories were exciting, the characters vivid, the performances impressive, and when the finale ended I had the immense desire to watch the next season, despite the fact that I knew already that the next season would be boring and arduous. At the end of Season Three I broke the cycle of manipulation and parted ways with this show. I have not regretted my choice, and I use this show as a personal cautionary tale to remind myself that one episode does not redeem a whole show.) The fate of Wayne, Dahlia, and children is uncertain, but minor storylines were wrapped up so they could move forward.

But let me move backwards. The Malloys are: the father Wayne (Eddie Izzard), the mother Dahlia (Minnie Driver), the oldest son Cael (Noel Fisher), the daughter Di Di (Shannon Marie Woodward) and youngest son who dresses as a girl Sam (Aidan Mitchell). They call themselves “Travelers” but I am fairly sure ordinary society would like to stick to the traditional “Gypsies,” but I am splitting hairs. They live out of an RV, run scams to make money, do not have social security numbers, do not pay taxes, and are part of a large (but rather inbreed) family that has a base camp in some forest in the South. Dahlia is released from a two-year stint in jail, where she developed a drug addiction, in the series premier. It is obvious from the get go that Wayne and the larger family are experiencing some difficulties, the details of which take up a nice chunk of the first episode, so before long they are out on the road again, and an altercation with one of the camp members (in a Ben-Hur type race, only in RVs) results in a luxury sedan crashing off the road. The Malloys try to rescue the victims, performing CPR and attempting to help. But the couple, Doug and Cherien Rich, die and the Malloys assume their identities in the Riches new home: Eden Falls (ha ha, get the joke). Hilarity ensues. Okay, well, sort of.

The premise of The Riches did not do much for me when I first heard about it. In fact, it seemed kind of creepy, and well, it kind of is. But the characters realize that what they are doing is kind of creepy. They talk about losing their souls by moving into “the dead guy’s” house. And they think that the real Doug and Cherien may have lost their souls because the Malloys have taken over their lives. But the premise is a vehicle to explore some of the fundamental complexities of human existence: how does a marriage survive when trust is broken; when does a lie become the truth and the truth become a lie; how do parents respond as their children grow up; if there a division between who you are on the inside and who you present to the world, how do you draw that line; is family all we really have; can we make any substantial change to who we are, or are our changes just accidental (superficial); when is giving-up prudence not cowardice; do we have a right to a certain type of life?

While the themes, the questions raised and addressed, are quite serious, the show does not take itself seriously. The Riches reminds me of Ben Jonson’s plays; there are so many ridiculous things happening, and it is incredibly funny, but the ridiculous propels real stories about the ambiguities of moral judgment. The neighbor in Eden Falls, Nina (Margo Martindale) makes ostentatious phallic pottery in her garage (and the viewer eventually finds out why). The neighborhood shrew Hartley Underwood (Kaitlin Olson) got her arm bitten off by a crocodile, but she is also a kleptomaniac. The man who may prove the Malloy’s undoing is as sniveling an excuse for a human being that modern therapy is capable of producing. And the Malloy’s schemes and plots are priceless. My personal favorite is when they impersonate missionaries to get social security cards for the children.

The Riches is infernal comedy; it is hard to say that any of the adult characters (I will address the children in a moment) are “good” people because everyone is fallen and impure. The show utilizes contrast; the evil of one is always in comparison to the evil of another. They discover that the real Riches were selfish and unloving, so Wayne and Dahlia are doing more good with the available means than those to whom it rightfully belongs. Dale Malloy (Todd Stashwich), Wayne’s nemesis whom happens to be in love with Dahlia and is trying to gain control of the family from his dying father, is one of the nastiest people on TV. This is a dude that even when he has recently shaven still has a two-o’clock shadow. On Homer Simpson it is funny, on real people it is kind of my definition of icky. I fully support anything anyone does to thwart and frustrate this man. The concept of comparison is used for more than the characters. The Traveler camp is filled with RVs, and the RVs are filled to bursting: trinket, clothing, memories, the sum of which represents a traditional way of life and a communal heritage. The homes of Eden Falls are decorated with objects that serve no purpose and only highlight the sterility and artificiality of the lives lived inside. To fit in with his new neighbors Wayne rents a silver Mercedes, to embrace her new role Dahlia buys a red Mustang.

The Malloys lie, cheat, and steal, but within their cosmos they are attempting to be the best people possible. You might not want to like them, but (fairly quickly) you do. One reason that the viewer (or at least me) likes them is the children. Sam says the least of any of the characters, but I think I love him the best. Sam is an artist. He changes the trials of his life into a sweeping mural, he wants the world to be painted with beauty, and he actively draws others into his vision, especially ones who could potentially be left behind. Sam is not a cliché; he is a respectfully rendered character with an aesthetic soul. Di Di accepted the female lead in her family while her mother was in prison, but now that Dahlia is back, Di Di is confused as to whether she is child or an adult. Even when she is being a bit of a brat, you wonder in what other way should she react given her circumstances. Her desire for a “normal” life stands in opposition to Cael’s desire to return to their old one (again the contrasting). Cael is not a caricature of a lazy teenager who has no desire to better himself. Rather Cael sees the difference between being a liar and being a hypocrite, and sees the only “honest” life is that of a liar. My hope is that Cael never quits smoking. (I think it would make me sad in a similar way as when Ryan never smoked again after the Pilot episode of The O.C.) I want Cael to keep smoking because it functions as an indication of his attitude towards a situation. He lights up when a family dinner has turned disastrous because from his perspective there is no way to make the situation worse. (Dale also smokes, but he uses the time of lighting a cigarette to try to intimidate people. Dale is an evil smoker, Cael is an awesome smoker. Do not be brainwashed by liberal propaganda; smoking is unhealthy, but there are good smokers and bad smokers. But I digress.)

There are a few assumptions The Riches makes that are distracting; capitalism is inherently corrupt, Christians are homophobic. These examples are almost incidental within the scope of the show, and things that are just culturally unquestioned, so I should not be a harpy about them, but for a show that exists outside the box it is vexing to see such pedestrian material employed.

By the way, the cast performances are fantastic. Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver are playing pretty far from type, and they are phenomenal to watch.

The TV Girl

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lipstick Jungle (6): I Warn You, God Might Strike Me Down.

It would never work between then long-term, and it is utterly ridiculous for me to think this way, but I am totally rooting for Kirby and Nico. I am sure as retribution for this, someday I will be cheated on, and where will all my infidelity-encouraging be then? But this woman spends her entire day with sharks and bottom-feeders: people who are either making her job impossible or who want her job. Her husband ignores her, and while I am kind of endorsing the adultery here, I do not buy into the “he/she cheated first, that makes it okay for me” justification. And we all know Nico’s husband is cheating, but she did not know when she started the affair (in fact at this point she has vague suspicions that she has not even vocalized yet). Wait, back to my point. Her husband is self-absorbed (not in a narcissistic way) and inattentive. And then there is this dude, whom from her perspective is just a kid, with all the sincerity and hope only twenty-five year olds are capable of. He pays attention to her with only a limited agenda, listen to what she wants (her rules), assents to her wishes (going on the date with the actress), but doesn’t let her push him around (refusing to go on another date). I know the show is glamorizing adultery, I know in my heart that I believe infidelity is wrong, but I cannot help it; I have been suckered into seeing this relationship as more functional than her marriage and I want her to be happy. (Tangent: this is the opposite reaction I have to all things Grey’s Anatomy. I hope all those people stew in their own self-made misery and then possibly fed to blackbirds.) I can’t believe I am trying to justify this. I should stop now while I have a shred of credibility left.

The TV Girl

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Tree Hill (4.5): I Wish You Could See My Confused-Face.

I am a bit perplexed, so this will be short.

Now let me get this straight. Haley stays with Nathan when he is a drunken, non-rehabilitating, mullet sporter, and is being an all around bad father and husband. But now she wants a divorce? Jamie did not almost drown because Carrie kissed Nathan (and call me an apologist all you want, I think there is a distinction between who kisses whom). Neither Haley nor Nathan was watching Jamie; they are equally to blame for allowing their argument to supercede the safety of their child. Haley was perfectly happy a couple episodes ago to spend her time butting into others’ lives, which naturally devalued her family. I have no sympathy for her. But the idea of Haley and Nathan not being together is so strange. I am willing to give it a chance, see what they are like separate this time around. It is always so delightfully atrocious when they are broken up. What could additionally complicate matters is this specter of a possible paternity issue; I know that if your child almost dies you are prone to be possessive, but there was something in the way Haley said “my son” that struck me as another hint that the divorce may pale in comparison to the custody battle.

This Jamie based scenario (that could very well never happen on the show) was not the only daddy-issue going on last night. We were not privileged with the information either of what Nathan said at the hearing, or if Dan received parole (have to leave some material for next week). Smart money would wager Dan is a free man, but that is not a smart choice for the show. What really irked me during Lucas’ “Keith was my true father figure” speech was the fact that he failed to mention his baby sister. Karen’s daughter by Keith lost her father before she was even born. That is a rhetorical powerful argument (even if heavy on the pathos), and Lucas, the writer, the one who is supposed to know what to say, just (I do not know) forgets to mention it? To prove someone else has a disreputable ethos you have to have an impeccable ethos, and getting up in front of correctional employees and acting like you are the only one affected by an action is not the way to go. But to be fair, I am beginning to think none of these characters have ever encountered logic before, and so it is wrong of me to expect them to be aware of it, let alone use it properly.

The most illogical of all things would be to believe you could treat another’s severe drug addiction from your beach house. Brooke, hate to be the one to tell you this, but drug addicts lie to perpetuate their habit. A truly good friend would have taken Rachel to the rehabilitation facility, but stayed in New York so he/she could visit everyday. Doing the right thing does not always make us feel like a “good” person, and if that is our main concern governing our choices then we do a great disservice to those we claim to be helping.

Finally, and possibly most puzzling of all, is how unbalanced this episode was. Peyton’s “down with the man” storyline stood out as unnecessarily juvenile when interspersed with marriage dissolution, drug overdose, and near-avoided drowning. The theme of the episode was obviously “dealing with the reappearance of a person you knew in the (relative) past.” Peyton’s former boss fit into this category, but they could not dredge up someone for Peyton’s drama-dram past to give her plot some more oomph? The difference between her plot and the other characters’ was so jarring it seemed that she was being used as filler. Why treat Peyton that way?

Again, I am a bit perplexed.

The TV Girl

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For the Love Of: How I Met Your Mother (7)

There is not much for me to write about today. The Writer’s Strike might be over, but as you can see on the right-hand list, new episodes will not be arriving for another few weeks. So that I do not have as thin a week as last, I have decided to start a new series; “For the Love Of.” This differs from “My Weekend Fling” series (shows I Netflix entire seasons of and watch in one go), because this series covers shows I follow on a regular basis, but have not had the opportunity or inclination to write about thus far.

Most people are highly embarrassed to admit they watch a CBS sitcom, and they rightly should be. Despite “gripping” procedurals, CBS is the last dog in the network race. I believe they do themselves no favors by continuing Big Brother. There are good shows on CBS, but they always seem to be bracketed by things you would not make inmates watch. For years the sitcoms that air on CBS have been unfunny at best (Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens) and shrill at worst (Two and a Half Men); this genera is the most difficult for this network. It was just not appropriate to disclose your viewership of a CBS sitcom in mixed company. Then along came How I Met Your Mother, and CBS may not have changed that much, but all of our live became just a bit brighter. My brother Basil first mentioned the show to me. I was immensely skeptical; even my profound love of Alyson Hannigan (Buffy) and Jason Segel (Freaks and Geeks) could not untie that shame-knot in my stomach when I contemplated becoming one of “those people” who watches CBS sitcoms. About a year ago, spurred by a strange moment of desiring something to talk about with my brother, I Netflixed Season One. I watched the entire season, all 22 episodes, in one night. (I did not have work or class the next day.) I was like a woman possessed. I have been a devoted fan ever since.

How I Met Your Mother is a show where the title actually corresponds to the content of the show in a literal way (as opposed to the show where the title is some cute joke that makes me want to puke). Narrator future Ted Mosby (voiced by, who the hell would have thought, Bob Saget) decides to tell his two adolescent children the entire story of how he met their mother. This is the format of the show; every episode begins and ends with the narrator. The story, for the children and the audience, begins with the engagement of his best friends Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan). Ted (Josh Radnor) decides that it is time for him to start looking for that long term special someone, and he thinks he has discovered her in Robin (Cobie Smulders). What looks like is going to be a run of the mill show (boy and girl meet and for seasons we watch them get together, break-up and get back together) is turned on its head when at the end of the Pilot episode we find out that Robin is know to the little Mosby’s as “Aunt” Robin. How I Met Your Mother is a show about how you become the person you are when you do eventually find the love of your life.

I was excited to find out that Robin does not become Ted’s wife. I am not a huge Robin enthusiast, but in all fairness it is not really her fault. Robin is one of those characters that the other characters talk about as being funny, smart, and interesting, but none of her dialogue is particularly funny, smart, or interesting. Ted sees Robin as amazing, but as a viewer I find her underwhelming. She would be a fine character if a point had not been made about how spectacular she is supposed to be.

Robin’s merits may be a matter of debate. What is beyond any question is that Barney is one of the most fantastic characters on TV. Neil Patrick Harris’ performance is flawless; he has pinpoint accurate comic timing, complete awareness of his body as a tool for comedy, and his voice inflections convey all the tiny shades of difference between one type of sarcasm and another. There is not one single moment on HIMYM that as a viewer you doubt that this man is his suit-wearing, womanizing, high-fiving character. If you think Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock is genius, well give Neil a try, because I think, as excellent as Alec is, Mr. Harris is astounding. And in Barney the actor’s form has been united with perfect content of character. I would not be able to see what a wonderful actor this man is if his character were not so distinct and only a wonderful actor could bring this character to life. Barney is an amalgamation of Joey (from Friends)’s sex drive and M.O., House’s wit and self-absorption/delusion, Shawn Spencer (from Psych)’s creativity for the carnivalesque, GOB Bluth’s distaste for marriage, and Mr. Big’s wardrobe. I hope this description has not deterred any potential viewers; Barney has affinities to all these characters, but he is unto himself. In a smaller, but no less important way, I think that like George and Jerry, Barney will become a culturally absorbed character independent of the show from which he sprang.

The other characters are not too bad either.

I will be honest and tell you that I did not tune in last night to the rerun of How I Met Your Mother. (A last minute dinner invite induced me to spend the evening with actual live human beings.) It was the episode “Slapsgiving” and it is one of my top five favorite episodes. There is turkey, sex, slapping, and singing; it is legen wait for it dary.

The TV Girl

Random Info

I have never done a happy dance of joy this early in the morning, but there is a first time for everything, and this is totally worth it. While going through my morning routine (see post below) I found out that two of my favorite shows have been renewed for the 2008-2009 season. And those two shows are: Supernatural and Gossip Girl. The most despised show of evilness (otherwise known as Smallville) has also been renewed, along with two of my guilty (except that I do not feel this emotion) pleasures: One Tree Hill and America's Next Top Model. Announcing the Fall line-up (what got renewed, what is not coming back, what is new) is usually done circa late April/early May, but this year has been so ridiculously crazy anyway. So why not make good choices and make viewers aware of them? Make no mistake, the renewal of Supernatural and Gossip Girl are good, good, good choices. Another year with the Winchesters, another year with the Upper East Siders, what wonderful news in the morning.

The TV Girl

Monday, March 3, 2008

Random Info

Okay, KP asked me a question. I mention Kristin all the time, and I thought I had made it clear who she it, but I am mistaken. This is not a person that I know in real life, though I hope someday to meet her. I also hope to have a job similar to hers. She has a page on the E! Network website ( and it is called "Watch With Kristin." It is in the drop down menu under "Gossip." My friend Lauren clued me into her site. Kristin is the television correspondent for the E! Network, so on her page are interviews with TV actors/actresses, show producers and creators, information on upcoming plotlines, recaps of the previous evening's shows, and coverage from TV sets and TV related events. She is a bit enthusiastic for my taste (translation, she likes many shows I cannot stand), but she always has funny interviews, and the latest news. I check her page probably half a dozen times a day. The stuff I think is really important I have been passing along, but if you are like me and cannot stand not knowing what is going to happen next, (or want to know about shows I am ignoring) this is where I get all my information. Reading Kristin is a set part of my morning routine, right after my e-mail, my bank account, and right before the NY Times.

Veronica Mars (8): Season Three, Was It Worth It?

For hard-core Veronica Mars fans, like myself and now KP, the real reason Season Three is worth watching is the moral victory. Season Three is the weakest season, but when you get to the end you realize that this show was cancelled because the TV watching population is idiotic. Season Three is worth it to kindle a burning coal of righteous indignation in your heart.

Attempting to attract more viewers, the producers changed the format of Veronica Mars. Instead of a season long overarching mystery, there are two mysteries (nine and seven episodes each) and five completely episodic mysteries. (Just as a really inconsequential side bar, this is a mirror of the way Angel developed. That show move from episodic villains to season long struggles.) The format change was intended to make the show accessible; people would not be put off by the idea that since they had not seen the beginning they would not know what was going on. I like the format change for the very reason that Season Two disappoints me. Since the emotional impact of Season One’s mystery is not reproducible, having smaller cases allows the viewer’s interest and attachment to be compatible with the time he or she spends with the case. The finite interest the case can evoke is matched to the time it is open.

The two cases are not equal in my opinion. The first is a redressing of the Hurst campus rapes, which are introduced in Season Two. The second is the murder of Dean O’Dell (sorry to spoil this if you did not know). The first case is more thought provoking; what will people do to prove a point, when does justice become vengeance, when is trusting the people we love more important than finding the truth? The second case is more tawdry (and sort of more compelling); extra-marital affairs, drug-addict exes, gambling, fake suicide, shattered hopes, and unfortunate accidents. The inequality as I see it is not in either the merits or the execution of the respective storylines, but rather in the conclusions. The character reviled to be the campus rapist just feels like a cheep scapegoat. There is a logical incongruity in this character being the culprit, so you end up feeling like they just picked someone out of a hat. (There is an unforgettable Logan scene as a result of who the rapist is. It is one of the funniest things that happens in all of VM, but the scene would exist no matter who the rapist turned out to be, so it is just kind of band-aid to the spirit, not really a redemption of the conclusion.) The conclusion of the second mystery is much more satisfying. It is surprising, but prepared for. Also, it doesn’t come across as smug (which the first mystery does). The explanation of why the person does what they do is plausible, realistic, and compatible with the personality as reveled to the viewer. It is a more film-noir, potboiler storyline, but it works out logically and is appealing to the viewer.

I said above that Season Three is the weakest season, and there is an obvious reason for this. The overextension of Season Two turns into just cast-packing in Season Three. New characters are added, and they do not have enough to do to justify their immediate acceptance. One of these characters is Wallace’s roommate Piz (Chris Lowell). After the immediate bonding experience of retrieving his stolen possession, all of the characters act like he has always been there. For a show that began with such a reticent, untrusting heroine, it is irksome that acceptance is given without reservation. Similarly with Mac’s roommate Parker (Julie Gonzales), who after being given a compelling plot importance, disappears and reappears at almost random intervals. She vacillates between major and minor character status, frustrating the viewer. Wallace is reduced to almost a cameo, and both Veronica and the show suffer. My friend Calah is particularly bothered by the fact that in Season Three we seem to be exposed more often to Veronica’s flaws than her strengths. Part of the problem is that Veronica starts as a distinct and (in some ways) mature character; there is not a lot of room for her personality to expand. I think that the reduced influence of both Wallace and Keith accounts for Veronica’s increased unpleasantness. She is still Veronica, still one of the smartest, funniest, most engaging characters, and I still love her, but don’t be surprised to be a bit annoyed with her overzealous independence in Season Three. In a way, this is what happens in the first year of college, but the problem is that Veronica’s actions have fairly serious repercussions, and she seems determined to ignore the relationship between her choices and the resulting consequences. The most egregious offense occurs in the season finale (and it still makes me sad that it is a season finale, not a proper series finally). While I had no desire for a “happy” ending, the way we leave Veronica seems unnecessarily bitter.

Even with problems, Season Three is still better than ninety percent of the shows airing during 2006-2007, and I anything that has taken its airspace on The C.W. pales in comparison. The producers of Veronica Mars did everything that they could to get people to watch this show. I was willing to make concessions if it allowed my show to remain, but America wallowed in collective bad taste and thereby deprived me of my love, and the show of a chance to rectify its missteps. While I will never watch Season Three with the joy I experience watching Season One, I genuinely cherish the entire series. Veronica Mars is a decisive testament to the potential of television as a medium.

The TV Girl

Lipstick Jungle (6): At Least It Is Not Cashmere Mafia.

In an effort to be completely unproductive on Saturday, I browsed the major network websites looking for something to watch. I have seen all the ads for Lipstick Jungle over the last month, and while I was not bristled by it (as I am by the very title Cashmere Mafia, who came up with that?), I did not feel strongly inclined to tune in. Well, sloth is the mother of desperation, so I said what the hell. I am pleased to report that while Lipstick Jungle has flaws, there is every indication that this show will only improve over time and become an endearingly entertaining show to relax with.

I am not going to go into detail about the premise of the show. It is your basic “women with high-powered jobs, amazing wardrobes, and complex personal lives” type show, but with some elements that distinguish it from its progenitor Sex and the City. (Both shows are based on novels written by the same author.) For example: two of the three main female characters are already married, so this is not just an exploration of how single women fill their time; the high-profile career is not always on the upswing, Victory (Lindsay Price) is having a complete professional disaster; not everything fits into teeny-tiny purses, the most realistic part of the show is the pack-horse necessity of transporting all a woman requires during the day; and most noticeable, the show is not tied together by a central intelligence narrator who recaps the life lesson for the audience at the end of the episode.

The distinctions give the show room to develop its own personality, but as I said above, there is need for growth. One major stumbling block for this show is the opening credits. I want to put these opening credits and the Season Three Veronica Mars opening credits in a room together and maybe they would confuse each other out of existence. Most shows now do not have theme songs; either a pop song is imposed upon it (Dawson’s Creek, Friends), or the show title flashes on the screen for a moment set to a snippet of instrumental music and the cast list runs on the bottom of the second scene (Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies). Therefore it is kind of nice that Lipstick Jungle attempts old-fashioned opening credits, but the outcome is just ridiculous; the pictures that make the show appear to be a shoe commercial, and the trite fortune-cookie expressions of the breathy vocals seem immensely incongruent with the age-range of the characters.

Furthermore, the interaction between the main characters is not exactly forced, more kind of stiff. Wendy (Brooke Shields), Nico (Kim Raver) and Victory are supposed to be best friends, and the more casual conversations appear natural and realistic. It is when things get sentimental that plausibility gets stretched. Almost as if the show creators feel the need to apologize for the hardness these women adopt due to their career demands, the displays of feminine solidarity are hyperbolic, and I mean that in the classical sense. As I viewer I believe that these particular women would feel the kind of attachment to each other that they express, I just don’t believe they would expresses it in the way that, and to the degree to, these scenes are written and staged. I am not accusing the show of falsity, just overstatement. As the actors become more comfortable with their characters, and as the personalities are developed, I think there will not be such a sharp contrast between the drinking moments and the hugging moments. Sometimes there is just some creakiness when a show starts out.

And despite the creakiness, I do not foresee myself abandoning ship. I am not in a place in my life where I can “relate” to the concerns these women face, but in general they are bright, funny, and sympathetic women. What I find most compelling about them is their (for the most part) lack of self-pity. Nico has a, shall I say, interesting demarcation of priorities; when she meets Kirby (Robert Buckley) the twenty-five year old with whom she is having an affair, she asks him to guess her age before she tells him that she is married. Yet, she confronts honestly the reality that her actions have consequences. She hasn’t really made a choice yet, but she isn’t wondering why things are going wrong. Victory is affected by what others say about her, but she doesn’t allow that to stop her from pursuing what she thinks is right for her life and her career. Even though Wendy faces complex logistics in her marriage, she recognizes that a oh-poor-me attitude will only make things worse. It is refreshing to watch women who practice what they preach, and not be preachy. I do not necessarily want to be any of these women, but I do not want to throw rocks at them.

On a shallower note, Brooke Shields verges almost on the tranny look; she has all of this hair that does nothing to frame her face, which makes her features look harsh and her hair look fake. Cosmetically she needs to be softened. I adored the detail that her character does not try on shoes in the store because the clerks judge her for her long feet. It made for just a funny little moment that both humbled her character, and reminds the audience that fashion is not magic.

As a very, very shallow conclusion, Kirby (what an unfortunate name) is a wonderful piece of eye candy. Soulful eyes, disarming smile, beautiful body; I would totally have an affair with him. I am trying not to get attached; I don’t think he will stick around long. But I will thankfully enjoy the view while available.

The TV Girl

quarterlife (0): Not All Experiments Are Successful.

Maybe I have been watching Ratatouille too often, but I decided to go out on limb, try something new. It is not that I am unwilling to try new shows (I watched just about everything that premiered in the fall), it is just that I am tired of falling in love and being disappointed by unnecessary cancellation. But when I heard a rumor that the web-based show quarterlife (I did not forget to capitalize this word, this is how is looks on the web site) featured none other than Majandra Delfino (you know, freaking Maria from Roswell) I had to give it a try. I missed its network television premier on Tuesday, but I had an hour to kill Friday afternoon. There doesn’t seem to be much danger of my falling in love, and cancellation may be for the best.

I learned two things. First of all, Majandra is not in the Pilot episode. Disappointing, and based on the second thing I learned, I may not stick with this show to see her when she shows up (according to IMDb she is in 5 of 6 episodes, so I can only assume she is in the next).

The second thing I learned, and this is ironic, is that twenty-five year olds blogging is extremely annoying. I am only twenty-four, so I have about six more months before I become extremely annoying. The premise of the show is that the main character Dylan (Bitsie Tulloch) begins a video blog on a beta site called, you guessed it, “quarterlife.” While she calls herself a writer, Dylan does not seem to have a single creative idea in her finely structured head, so she talks about her friends. This serves the technical purpose of introducing the audience to the other characters, but it makes Dylan weak and repugnant right off the bat, and it smacks of laziness on the part of the show’s writers. Furthermore, Dylan’s assessment of her friends is self-righteous and immature. She says she “sees what other really feel,” which seems unlikely, since she doesn’t manage to see much outside of herself, and her dislike of those around her. She operates on the assumption that calling yourself an artist or a writer absolves you of any moral obligation to those who may be affected by your choices. And while she has every right to her opinion about her friends, she really has no right to post it on the Internet. (I only talk about my friends’ taste in shows, there is a difference.) She demands that her friends raise awareness of hybrid cars and she cannot manage to run a comb through her hair. Who at the age of twenty-five thinks it is appropriate to go to work, at a place that seems to be career oriented, looking like a ragamuffin? I admit there are days I have gone to work looking less than stellar, but honestly! According to Lisa (Maitie Schwartz) the nymphomaniac, Dylan is a strong woman because she can give herself an orgasm. Somehow I have missed the logic leap the show took to reach this conclusion. Apparently in reaction to men defining women according to their sexual significance, women will do so for them. Whether you objectify yourself or let someone else do it, you are still an object. But, good for Dylan for having a least one talent.

Before I choke on my own hypocrisy (critiquing something for being overly critical), I will warp this up. Quarterlife takes all of the awkward and difficult parts of the post-college but pre-marriage/children/home time, but manages to present the difficulty as the glory, instead of addressing the difficulty as difficulty. Similarly to the age range the show centers around quarterlife is neither engaging fluff nor compelling drama. It just is until it is over.

The TV Girl