TGIF

Yay, Friday! (Or almost there, anyway, considering the hour at which I write this post).

Thanks to VCR’s, I caught up on my Wednesday night tv.

Caught up on “Alias” more or less. I like how the character of Vaughn is constantly being tested – last week, he had to overcome the guilt of having killed his (trecherous traitor of a) wife to succeed in the mission of obtaining the Scary Biological Weapon (something that literally freeze-dries people from the inside out). And, he’s always getting beaten up, but at least he punches back. Oh well. He’s still cute, plus the actor seems to be improving on acting techniques (doesn’t hurt that the writers are giving him more to do). πŸ˜‰ Oh, and Secret Agent Sydney’s dad, Our Man Jack, is still keeping weird secrets. Ah, Jack. What are you doing??

(this week’s episode was a weird fun episode – Sydney and Vaughn are American spies posing as Russian mercenaries paid to pose as American Ward and June Cleaver in training in a Russian spy training town taken right out of the ‘Burbs. It’s was so funny weird – but, seriously, the plot was also done by Mulder and Scully on “X-Files” (when those two FBI agents went undercover as a married couple in Psycho-Suburbia to take down the town’s resident monster)).

(sidenote – the latest commercials promoting the latest episode of NBC’s “Medical Investigation” appears to be about yet another remake of an “X-Files” plot – wherein actor Neal McDonough’s doctor character and his medical team are to investigate on a medical condition that makes a team in an Arctic base go wacko – heck, I can tell the Medical Investigation team to do what Scully did to save Mulder in the Arctic – freeze the people to kill the alien/ancient Earth virus).

And, I did try to watch most of NBC’s “West Wing” – Alan Alda as the Californian moderate Republican senator running for president – riveting. I liked him as Hawkeye in MASH; I liked him during his brief run on “ER”; the man is like Martin Sheen – he can do no wrong as an actor. Jimmy Smits as the Texas Democratic congressman who’s in a tough primary (against Gary Cole’s Vice President character and the “West Wing” former vice president who was shunted to the side for various reasons) — well, Smits is a great actor and his character is interesting, but … man, it’s Alan Alda. I’d hate to be a voter in the “West Wing” universe – hard to choose who could succeed Sheen’s Pres. Bartlett.

At least “West Wing” is interesting again, even if it doesn’t have its old spark (maybe it never will). I’m not sure if I’d want it to be renewed for another season. I’ve seen professional TV critics say that “West Wing” has been about the story of the Bartlett presidency and I agree. To say otherwise – well, it’d be a different show. Why not just do what ABC did with “The Practice” – make a spinoff (sort of the same show, different title and different characters and different tone…) – I can see it now – the spinoff: “The White House” and then NBC can run it for however long it likes with replacement characters and plots (like it does with “Law and Order” and its spinoffs and “ER”). It can work, really.

“Jack and Bobby” on WB – two running storylines, each echoing each other. Bobby in the early 21st century grapples with a moral dilemma – does he reveal to his mother that his older brother Jack is in serious physical pain after that nasty beating/mugging Jack endured several weeks ago, or does he keep it a secret, because Jack asked him to do so? Meanwhile, the scenes from the future has Pres. Bobby McAllister’s adminstration’s NSA advisor discussing how Adult Bobby dealt with a terrorist attack – by taking the hard moral road of not bombing a foreign country in retaliation until after evidence emerged (by sheer luck for Bobby) that American Christian fundamentalists made the attack. Ah. So, the writers of “Jack and Bobby” are deliberately saying their president is no Bush. Ok.

But, curious – each character made a decision that short term-wise wasn’t the best decision – College professor Grace almost allows herself to be blackmailed by her student – but decides to keep her principles (grade her student the C that the kid deserved) at the risk of having her affair with the TA exposed; Jack chooses to run in his track meet to overcome his fear of having been mugged – but his knee is badly damaged by his ignoring the doctor’s advice not to run; Bobby feels he lost Jack’s trust by revealing the truth – but he knew it was best for Jack; and Adult Bobby – that still unseen character – apparently was severly criticized for holding off on punishing any old terrorist for the bombing in US soil. Hmm.

Good stuff on the boob tube. Still in deep cold…

Wednesday

How do I choose what to watch at 9pm, when NBC has “West Wing,” ABC has “Alias,” and WB has “Jack and Bobby”? I at least have two VCRS, but this is nuts.

The latest “Jurisprudence” in Slate.com: Nicholas Thompson argues that having Antonin Scalia as Chief Justice is better for liberals, because (1) his idea of federalism can be to the advantage of liberals (ok, I buy that; once power is given to states, you can have the scenario that while the red states may ditch abortion rights and the study of evolution, the blue states can do otherwise); (2) if the liberals let Scalia be Chief Justice, maybe they can then negotiate for a moderate justice (would be nice to have another moderate around); (3) well, Scalia is a smart man (so, he will make the logical and legally correct decision, even if it isn’t always the preferably conservative one). Hmm. Well, at least you get to avoid a scenario of a Ch. J. Clarence Thomas.

Frigid cold. Argh.