Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Smidgen of This, A Bunch of That



********YOU'VE BEEN WARNED*********

Who knew "Lost" could do comedy?

Last night's episode played up the show's ultra-serious tone with a tongue-in-cheek episode that killed off Nikki and Paolo, two of the most useless characters in the history of TV.

Earlier this week, I said "The Twilight Zone" probably deserved the title of the greatest show in the history of television, thanks in part to its clever use of both drama and humor. The poetic justice element present in "The Twilight Zone" was definitely there in spirit last night, as Nikki and Paolo met their rather ironic fate in their quest for diamonds they stole, then apparently lost, after the crash.

No doubt this was a case of the producers changing horses in midstream, offing two characters whom they never found a way to develop into the show's core, but to do so in such a clever and imaginative way serves as a reminder as to how good "Lost" can be.

By the way, I'm guessing that Hurley's line to Desmond ("Dude, that's like the lamest superpower ever.") was a tip of the cap to "Heroes" after that show made its oblique reference to "Lost" when Nathan Petrelli talked about how he could be trapped on an island as part of a bizarre experiment.

My other favorite Wednesday shows also had their moments, including Stephen Fry's guest run on "Bones," solving everyone's relationship issues in a coffee shop, and that great moment in "Friday Night Lights" in which Landry can't get to his dream date with Tyra because the car won't start. As he curses the heavens and gets out to fix it, it starts pouring rain. Landry's "Why me" moment and look to the heavens was just priceless. (I've had a few of those moments myself.)

BSG WRAP-UP: There have been plenty of stories all over the net about "Battlestar Galactica's" finale this week, but the best one I've read is here, courtesy of the TV Guy's little brother:,,20015932,00.html

LINE OF THE WEEK: Drea De Matteo, speaking at a conference on whacked "Sopranos" characters, talked about her move from one of TV's great dramas to the sitcom "Joey" on NBC:

‘‘They killed me on HBO, and then I went to NBC to commit complete suicide.’’

STANDOFF RETURN?: Fox has announced the drama, which has been on hiatus since the fall, should be back June 8 at 9 p.m.

DANCING VS. SINGING: Live "American Idol" trounced "Dancing With the Stars" highlights in the first head-to-head matchup Tuesday night. "AI" took in 28.18 million viewers, while the "DWTS" recap averaged 9.6 million. "DWTS" improved in the second hour, which was its first results show, going up to 17.9 million for its best-ever results ratings, but still fell second to Fox's "House."

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: No more NCAA basketball on Thursday, but still plenty of reruns by the networks. Go figure. ABC's lone new offering is "October Road" at 10 p.m., considered by most critics to be the worst drama on TV.

CBS gives us a night of new stuff, starting with "Survivor" at 8 p.m. and followed by a new "CSI" and "Shark," but the CW offers only reruns of "Smallville" and "Supernatural."

NBC is running a mini-"Office" marathon, with five previously aired episodes sandwiching a brand-new "Andy Barker, P.I." at 9:30 p.m.


Edge said...

I liked the Lost episode last night but hated it at the same time. I did like the 'Zone' ish thing they did, but hated the timing of it. It just seemed like a filler episode, had nothing to do with the rest of the story line. Why even bring up these two people, who where never even part of the story (besides them tagging along in that ONE episode). It just was a disapointment for me.

Friday Night Lights on the other hand just keeps getting better and better. I turned to my hubby and said how can people not be watching this show. It's like a mini movie every week. I can not express enough how good this show is. It will be interesting what they will do next (football) season.

Phillip Ramati said...

I'm not sure when else they could have timed this past episode where it wouldn't interrupt the main storylines. I thought the 'Zelig'-like approach of putting the two of them in all the key moments of Lost was a great touch. They probably shouldn't have added these cast members in the first place, but the way they got rid of them was inspired.

Here's just hoping Lights has another football season next year.

Jonathan said...

I think the whole idea of Nikki and Paulo was to bring them in as the outsiders. While Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, etc. were making big speeches and getting into fights, these two were just simply looking for their shit. And in the process stumbled onto a lot of the things that the bigwigs would discover later on (The Pearl Station, the other airplane, etc.). I thought it worked very well for the most part, and the "Twilight Zone" esque feel to it, especially the ending, was just brilliant.

Phillip Ramati said...

It very much was that Zelig/Forrest Gump approach of how these two were always in the midst of the big events, but always inadvertantly or in the background.

Zodin2008 said...

I guess when Lindleof and Cuse said Nikki and Paolo would become "iconic" characters back in a December Ent. Weekly Magazine interview after we saw their episode, I see what he had in mind.

That said, I wouldn't have minded Nikki sticking around if only vecause she was really nice to look at. Still, that was one of the best episodes of the year and it involved two useless, hated characters. Wow.

As for Hurley, my friend's dream in crossing "Heroes" and "Lost" would be to have the character of Hiro using his powers and he accidentally, for a brief second, ends up on the Island staring face to face with Hurley. The dialogue would be simple:

Hurley: "Whoa, dude, where did you come from?"

Hiro: "The Future. I am Hiro Nakamura, and you are...Hurley!"

Hurley: "Whoa, how did you know my name? Dude..."

Hiro: "Hurley, I am on a mission and I must go back, but you will get off this island. Also, the the big mystery to the island is..."

(and Hiro disappears before he can give Hurley all the answers. hat would be hilarious!)

As for "Friday Night Lights", that was the best episode since the pilot. The critics who said it would be were dead on. The intercutting scene between teh Panthers victorious and muddy playoff win vs. the near rape of Tyra, was powerful and showed a range of emotions. The Tyra incident and the episode as a whole had my wife in tears.

If the producers (aka Peter Berg) don't send this particular episode to the Emmy committee, they are doing themselves a disservice. How anyone could have seen this hour of TV and not nominated "Lights" for an Emmy is hard hearted.

Phillip Ramati said...

I'm not saying I didn't like this episode of Lights, Zod, because I did, but the best episode of the season far and away was the one in which Mrs. Coach confronts Julie about having sex with Matt. It's the best way of handling the teen sex issue I've ever seen, being both funny and poignant and not degenerating into an after-school special. That's the tape Connie Britton should be sending to the Emmy voters.

But this episode was great as well. I loved it when the referee called the teams together about cancelling the game, and how the players just said "We want to play." Another great moment.

Zodin2008 said...

I really wasn't challenging you, Phillip about which episode was better...they were both brilliant. It's like arguing whether a Mercedes or a BMW is a great car. They are both great cars.

And the teen sex episode should be the tape Connie Britton sends to the Emmys for her best actress nomination.