Entertainment Weekly

And, before I go to sleep, I checked out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the entertainment magazine. Dated October 10, 2003, it’s the Photo Issue – “The Year’s Best Pictures,” with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones on the cover (probably to promote their upcoming movie). Love these kinds of issues – glossy pictures, and more glossy pictures. Plus funny captions. Got to love the funny captions. And, the articles…

Notable lines from this week’s issue, for laugh-out-loud value:

1. Re: The review for “Miss Match,” NBC’s new show for Alicia Silverstone as a divorce lawyer/matchmaker –

“The most successful dramas on television provide hours of face time with just the kinds of people we try hard to avoid in real life – cops, lawyers, surgeons, judges, and pretty much anyone who analyzes bodily fluids for a living [in reference to the CSI folks, probably]…. Do we really need another season chockful of pervy miscreants with high-speed Internet connections and the gruff cops in no-nonsense footwear who stalk them? Survey says: no.” (Entertainment Weekly, “Love Connection,” Carina Chocano, p. 109, October 10, 2003).

2. Re: a line about the Showtime channel’s sci-fi series, “Jeremiah” –

“Chances are you didn’t catch the first season (or know there was one), so here’s the premise: Jeremiah (Luke Perry) and his pal Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) are two of only a couple thousand survivors of a pandemic, and now they’re fighting evil people for control of the deadly virus. Yes, Dylan and Theo are humanity’s only hope. And, this second-season premiere finds Jeremiah reconnecting with his long-lost dad and Jurdy getting some help from Sam Gamgee – sorry, Sean Astin [as guest star]…. Extra points for best random grouping of former teen stars, but there’s little reason to watch beyond that.” (Entertainment Weekly, “What to Watch,” review by Jennifer Armstrong, p. 115, October 10, 2003).

Dylan and Theo? Gosh, even the imagery is just… bizarre. And the Lord of the Rings reference. Ah, only in Entertainment Weekly.

P.S. – Angel’s season premiere on WB this Wednesday – it was actually fun, in the Buffy/Angel usual kind of way. This is going to be quite a season.


Okay, does anybody notice that the McDonald’s “Chicken Breast Strips” commercials are on the air way too much? Kind of ridiculous – “Ooh, look, real chicken meat!” – as if that makes it healthier (it’s still fried chicken; a McChicken without the bread, lettuce, and mayo). I’ll likely end up eating this latest item, but do I have to see the commercial twice in a row? (okay, not exactly; in between was a car ad or something).

Then, there’s the weird Buick Rainier ad. It’s weird for a lot of reasons. First, odd name for a minivan/SUV hybrid. Second, the ghost character who comes forth to guide the engineers to design this hybrid vehicle – wearing a fedora and nice suit to look like he’s a classic 1950’s Good Olds Guy mascot (umm, yeah, Oldsmobile is a different type of car, I know). Third, the appearance of the head engineer/auto designer, whom I recognize is the actor who plays the lead character for ABC’s “Threat Matrix” (the series about a Dept of Homeland Security special forces unit). By the end of the Buick commercial, the engineer character looks proudly smug, thinking, “Yes, I listened to the ghost, I’ve built it, and they will come!”

Well, I don’t know if people will go for the car or not, or else be confused that this is actually an ad for “Threat Matrix” (which, I could discuss in another blog entry, but suffice it to say that it’s a strange, cheesy show; did anyone hear the joke about it, calling it “Threat Nemo”??? It remains to be seen if the series is more than a joke, but it’s a guilty pleasure right now, just waiting for it to try something really silly, not just be a brazen take on current Homeland Security issues).

Season Premiere

Okay, so my first blogging attempt consisted of comments on television and books. Ah, well, they are of my interests, high-brow or not.

Anyway, I’ll stay on topic. I thought the season premiere of WB’s “Everwood” was quite good. When it first started last season, I didn’t think it was that much better than average. Yes, WB heavily promoted it and it had seemed pretentious, with the whole “Yeah, we’re a good family quality WB show” look to it. The series follows the misadventures of Dr. Andy Brown, his children, the brooding teen Ephram and happy-go-lucky Delia, as they moved to their new home in Everwood, CO, from New York City after the death of Mrs. Brown. The lives of the other Everwood denizens also get portrayed. It can seem very mundane (“Oh, look, a show about a Rockwellian small town; can we get any more sweet and precious around here?”), and at one point, when I channel-changed to WB, I found that it tiresome to keep watching Ephram’s tirade about how Andy was a bad dad for not being around, for being too busy being Super Neurologist, and for moving them out of New York City (which, he has a point, since Andy was probably taking his grief too far). Andy’s attempts to be the new general practitioner in Everwood could be trite. Andy’s medical rival, Dr. Harold Abbott, seemed too smug, and the Abbott teenagers, Bright and Amy, were too perfect. I couldn’t see why Ephram even had his crush on Amy, besides her being pretty (I thought her stubbornness seemed annoying).

“Everwood” is no “Dawson’s Creek” substitute. There’s no Dawson-Joey-Pacey love triangle, even if “Everwood” tried to play out the Ephram-Amy-Colin storyline. You see, there are – gasp – adults on the show.

But, yes, “Everwood” is a WB show, with WB characteristics – the teens are all moody, making pop references, etc. But, no, not one character is perfect, they’re flawed and all very human. You want to shake them, smack them on the upside of their heads for their bad actions; hug and admire them when they do well; and, their actions have consequences, for good or not. I would end up glued to watch for a whole hour, without originally meaning to do that. I didn’t even plan to watch this season’s premiere – but ended up doing it. It’s moving television, without being saccharine.

In the season premiere, Andy is feeling guilt for having operated Colin, who died off-screen in the end of last season’s finale. The town condemns Andy, for losing their local hero. Amy won’t forgive Andy, for taking away the love of her life. Ephram wants to be on his father’s side, but hates how the town’s alienation is affecting the Browns, as if Andy’s kids had to suffer for Andy’s sins. Is Amy taking her grief too far? Will Andy explain what happened? It’s quiet turmoil, if you can believe that television still does that anymore. I know it’s up against Monday night football, but it’s a great alternative.

Now, enough about a season premiere; I have to watch a series premiere already. Hmm. Should be interesting.