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Spoiler Alert Thursday

Our TV died on Saturday and no local stores had the model we had decided upon when we went shopping on Monday. Even though Best Buy claims to have six of them in their warehouse–wherever it is–and even though I ordered it on Monday night, our new TV still hasn’t shipped. This really sucks for two reasons: (1) we have a small, ancient TV upstairs in the bedroom–a tiny 14″ CRT that weighs about a thousand pounds that lacks audio/video inputs–that I have to carry downstairs in the afternoon and back upstairs at bedtime and (2) new shows are already starting. Because our backup TV in effect sucks ass, we put re-watching “Game of Thrones” on hold with two or three episodes left. The next one is where Ned is executed. Unfortunately, the show cycles off of “On Demand” tonight–if our cable company is to be believed, but there is rarely reason to believe anything they say–leaving our re-watch unsuccessful. Since Saturday we’ve been filling up our suddenly open TV-time by re-watching the first season of “Boston Legal.” Of the two major “Bush Era War on Terror TV Shows,” “Boston Legal” is clearly inferior to and far more preachy than “Battlestar Galactica.” (I’ve never seen a single episode of the third “War on Terror” show–“24” and therefore cannot comment.)  Our decision to re-watch “Boston Legal” was prompted by Christopher Chance being added to “Harry’s Law” this season (a terrible show) and Alan Shore joining “The Office.” Overall, many of the jokes don’t bear re-watching: who remembers Trent Lott?

Apparently it has been on TNT for some time, but “Rizzoli & Isles” aired for the first time in Canada on Tuesday night. What a piece of shit! If this academic career thing fails, I’m totally becoming a cop of some sort in Boston because, clearly, they are overpaid–remember “Crossing Jordan’s” apartment? Angie Harmon’s apartment is practically the same. What is with former “Law & Order” ADAs moving to Boston to “star” in terrible, terrible, terrible shows? And why are they basically identical to one another? “Rizzoli & Isles” seems to recycle not only the theme song, but also character names! Great writing, guys. More unbelievable: the show seems to be based upon a series of novels. Watching this shit is hard enough–who’d actually read it?

Otherwise, there was a really boring episode of “NCIS.” Just when it seemed like Tony and Ziva would “do it,” Ray calls her and the preview for next week says he wants to get married, even though their relationship has been dead for months on account of him being kind of slimy and working for the CIA or something. There was also a completely forgettable episode of “Unforgettable.” I would not be sad if any of the still existing shows discussed in this post were eaten by the cancellation bear.


January 5, 2012 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays


  1. I’m glad to hear Rizzoli & Isles still sucks. The one who isn’t Angie Harmon played Kate on NCIS, correct? When we saw those two were in the same show, my wife and I thought it might be decent. We didn’t get through the second episode and never checked in on it again. Sometimes when that happens I wonder if the show found a rhythm after I gave up on it. That does not seem to be the case.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 5, 2012

  2. It was the pilot/first episode of the first season we saw. For whatever reason, we’ve been sparred this show until now. And, for whatever reason, someone decided to pick it up now. The first was the better decision. The one who isn’t Angie Harmon is Kate from “NCIS.” Somehow she’s worse now than on “NCIS.”

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | January 5, 2012

  3. Last night, we watched an hour or so of “MeTV,” which plays really old reruns — things like Dick van Dyke and Bob Newhart. I find that those sitcoms hold up pretty well, but what I’d really like to discuss were the commercials. Obviously, they were geared toward old people, and so there was a lot of Colonial Penn Life Insurance (familiar to me from watching daytime reruns of the Golden Girls as a child).

    There were also those commercials that have weirdly become the staple of second-tier channels, offering a lump-sum payment to those who have structured settlements of some kind. Are there really enough people in that category to warrant a commerical? And if there are only a few such people, doesn’t the fact that they have the money to run the commerical indicate that they’re ripping you off?

    Most striking, however, was the commercial for disposable catheters. They had a relatively young woman raving about how convenient they are and demonstrating how the applicator lets you keep your hands clean. It was appalling. It was followed by a cat food commercial promising that it didn’t include any processed or artificial ingredients — instead, it was made of (and I am not making this up) “life-source bits.”

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 5, 2012

  4. I like that they’ve been playing the same “Life Alert” (or whatever it is called) commercial unchanged for like thirty years.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | January 5, 2012

  5. The classic “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 5, 2012

  6. Re: Structured settlements. “Call JG Wentworth. 877 CASH NOW!” Every once in a while, I torment my wife by singing that song as we get ready in the morning, instantly causing it to be lodged in her brain. The downside, of course, is it has the same effect on me.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 5, 2012

  7. Yes, that one. The old man–the expert–he has great facial hair. It’s like he’s auditioning to be the next Colonel Sanders.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | January 5, 2012

  8. There’s a radio commercial in the Chicago area that’s ripe for that treatment: 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS….

    Apparently you donate your car to a children’s charity? And the kids take it out for a joyride or something? After hearing it a hundred times (even though I don’t normally drive), I still have no idea.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 5, 2012

  9. Oh wow, I almost forgot about my biggest TV experience of the past week: watching a couple episodes from the sixth season of MacGyver. We started watching the show a couple years ago as kind of a joke, but it seems to fulfill the role in our lives that aggressively bad new TV does in Craig’s — one needs something stupid to “unwind” with. By the sixth season, however, it is beyond the decadent phase. The episodes are all but totally unwatchable. One featured an old-school rap about the “Tough Boys,” a group of young “urban” vigilantes on an arson-based campaign to take back their neighborhood.

    What’s really sad is the token gestures they make toward MacGyver’s impromptu gadgetry. In season 5, they really lost track of that aspect of the character, choosing instead to focus on “social issues” (the fall of Communism really threw off their game, as there was a heavy espionage element that made MacGyver’s improvisation make sense to a certain degree — he couldn’t easily smuggle weapons, etc.). MacGyver is a mentor to troubled urban youth! MacGyver helps rescue a young girl from prostitution! (SERIOUSLY?!) Or in the most recent episode, which we didn’t finish — MacGyver helps out a young black kid who’s passionate about the environment, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time on the way to the environment fair he helped set up, such that he’s now suspected of shooting a cop. And I think there was some kind of conspiracy angle involved, too?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 5, 2012

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