Tuesday, September 05, 2006

House Calls

Sorry about the lag in posts, but between the holiday, a sick dog and many, many hands of poker, I was a little bit occupied.

Tonight marks the third season premiere of one of the best shows on TV, "House" (8 p.m., Fox). Viewers who watched last season's finale may remember that our anti-hero, Dr. Greg House (Hugh Laurie) was shot by the disgruntled husband of a former patient. Most of the episode takes place as an illusion in House's head, and it ends with him being wheeled into an operating room.

Tonight's opener takes place about two months later, with a very different House undergoing both physical and emotional changes. Or has he? Not only has House been saved from the bullets, but his chronic leg problems and the constant pain that goes with it seems to be cured. A healthy, pain-free House also seems to mean a less grouchy, possibly kinder House. But are these changes permanent? House's colleagues struggle with the answer as House tackles two cases revolving around the use of a patient's legs.

I've watched Laurie for years, from his appearances as a twit in "Blackadder" to his unbelievably accurate portrayal of Bertie Wooster in the BBC adaptation of the P.G. Wodehouse "Jeeves" books years ago. He shifts gears really well to drama in "House," yet still manages to maintain a comic twinkle in his eye. Laurie's omission from this year's Emmys was among the biggest crimes on that farce of an awards show, and the supporting cast on "House" complements him perfectly.

TUESDAY'S BEST BET: I admit up front, I've never been a fan of "Nip/Tuck" but I know it has its own devoted following. Tonight is the season opener (10 p.m., FX) and I feel obligated to promote "Rescue Me's" former timeslot.

Viewers may also want to check out "Standoff" (9 p.m., Fox), a series I reviewed earlier but makes its debut tonight. The plot of the pilot wasn't especially realistic, but the chemistry between the two leads (Ron Livingston, Rosemarie DeWitt) is outstanding. It's very similar to another Fox show, "Bones," in that respect, where you watch more for the interaction between the leads than the case of the week.

TIME TO TUNE IN: Tonight marks the single-most important broadcast in the history of network television news, possibly the most important broadcast in the history of television itself. It's possibly the most important event in the history of the world.

I speak, of course, of Katie Couric's debut as anchor of the CBS Evening News (6:30 p.m.) If I seem to be over-hyping this, well, I can't be doing any worse job than EVERY SINGLE OTHER MEDIA OUTLET IN THE FREE WORLD, which has done nothing but promote this ever since Couric signed on the dotted line for her $15 million payday.

My question is, who cares? And I don't mean to single Couric out, because when was the last time network TV news was significant? People keep harping about the death of newspapers, but as a print journalist, I can point out that we still the most accurate and detailed account of things. Yet pundits and Wall Street keep telling the world newspapers are dying.

Yet, in the age of the Internet and 24-hour news networks (the things supposedly killing newspapers), how useful is it to have a half-hour news broadcast that no one watches for content any more? Surely that $15 million for Couric (and the millions given to anchors on the other networks) to sit and read headlines off prompters to news that most people have already heard could be better spent.

So, good luck and good night, Katie and CBS. Much like the rest of America, I could really care less.

1 comment:

Zodin2008 said...

I saw the Katie Couric thing and it was basically like "The Daily Show" without the funny. She interviewed Thomas L. Friedman (Author, "The World is Flat" and New York Times Columnist) & at the end of her newscast, she had "Thirty Days" creator and "Super Size Me" Author, Morgan Spurlock, at the end did a 'bit' where he ranted. Huh?

I guess CBS is trying to do something different to get people to care about the Evening News again (which I understand) since people now have access to 24 hour Cable news with FNC, CNN & MSNBC.

But really, if you are going to have Spurlock and Friedman, where the heck is Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

As for the new Fox premiers, well, I am not such a fan of "Stamdoff". The Chemistry isn't nearly as good as that of the talented David Boreanez-Emily Deschanel tandem on "Bones", and the plot was utterly ludicrous. I don't watch "House" and don't like Hugh Laurie. Sorry.