April 10, 2009

Five for Friday, part 4

Welcome to the long-awaited return of FfF. Apparently, it has been seven weeks since I've been able to come up with five comment-worthy subjects on a Friday, although - judging by what you're about to read - perhaps I should have waited seven more. You be the judge.

1. The good thing about Five for Friday is that even if each of the five items I write is only 21 percent as interesting as a standard SFTC post, you, the reader, still come out ahead.

2. As I've mentioned once before, for the last few years, I have been interested in approximately zero new TV series. Which was probably a good thing, since it gave me more time to do useful things like play word games on Merriam-Webster.com. Oh, yeah, and exercise.* Unfortunately, I'm at least moderately into four shows that have debuted since January. (How did network TV programmers know that one of my new year's resolutions was "watch way more television"?)

First among them is Trust Me, which follows Ed and Will (actually Conner and Mason, but you probably get what I mean) and their coworkers at a Chicago ad agency. Random Chicago references, the marketing world, and a good cast were enough to keep me tuning in the first few weeks, even though I thought it was all taking a while to come together. But either my senses have been dulled or Trust Me has sort of hit its stride in the last two weeks, and it's now a must-watch for me. The banter between the two main characters is always entertaining (not quite Rory-and-Lorelai-esque, but not bad) and Monica Potter's Sarah Krajicek-Hunter character (or maybe just Sarah Krajicek now) keeps getting more fun to watch.

I've also been tuning in to Lie to Me, perhaps because the name sounds so similar to Trust Me and I want to make sure I don't miss any Chicago ad agency hijinks. But also perhaps because it's almost exactly like House, M.D. - except that instead of watching Hugh Laurie unravel medical mysteries in spite of the lies his patients tell, we're watching Tim Roth unravel crime mysteries in spite of the lies his suspects tell.

Quickly, the other two shows I might have to keep watching are Castle, which manages to overcome major believability gaps because of the great lead characters, and The Unusuals, which debuted this week. Think of it as NYPD Blue meets... hmm... Mystery Men, except with less screen time for Dennis Franz's ass. It's tough to gauge after one episode, but if the Unusuals keeps up the uber-quirkiness combined with semi-realistic stories, I'll stay tuned.

3. Admit it. If you read a news story about a top-ranking intelligence official being photographed holding papers marked "SECRET" (apparently in capital letters, so you know it's serious) in such a way that the information on those papers was legible to anyone who zoomed in on the photo, well, you'd assume that the jackass in question was American. Nope, turns out they grow 'em dumb in England, too.

4. I realize the year is young, but I'd be willing to bet that I Love You, Man will hold its own for the next eight months and remain my favorite comedy of 2009. It wasn't an all-time great by any means, but I was thoroughly entertained and I laughed out loud several times. I'm just concerned that Hollywood is going to be unable to make a decent comedy that doesn't star either Paul Rudd, Jason Segel or Seth Rogen (who, almost miraculously, was not in ILYM) ever again. We'll see.

The movie scored extra points with me because Peter and Zooey (Rudd and Rashida Jones) get married June 30 in Santa Barbara. Which is pretty much exactly what my drop-dead gorgeous wife and I did. Cool, right? That same drop-dead gorgeous wife also made reservations for us at James Beach, the Venice restaurant where Peter and Sydney (Segel) have their first man-date. Fish tacos, here we come.

5. Apparently, someone out there took offense at my posts about octopi threatening to displace pirates as the "it" trend of the decade. Because, in case you missed it, pirates have muscled their way back into the headlines, hijacking stuff, and probably saying aaaargh and letting parrots hang out on their shoulders. I just hope that posting this item doesn't add fuel to the fire in the rivalry between eight-armed sea creatures and swashbuckling buccaneers.

Sadly, I fear we're headed for a massive octopus-vs.-pirate showdown on the high seas, sometime before the end of 2009. If that happens, you can be sure you'll read about it right here. You're welcome.

* Not so much on the exercise.


Daddy Geek Boy said...

I have all the eps of both Trust Me and Lie to Me stacked up on the ol' Tivo. One of these days I'll watch them.

As for I Love You Man...downright hilarious. That poker scene will live in infamy.

bugs said...

I haven't watched any new shows or seen any new movies. However, I thoroughly enjoy your reviews of the shows & your reasons for watching them.
I think you're very funny.