Thursday, December 20, 2007

Making My Lists, And Checking Them Twice

One of my poker buddies, local deejay Jason Hawk, is obsessive about lists.

Bring up a topic - any topic - and invariably he will already have (or come up with) a list ready on the spot.

He might cut in with "Top five free safeties in the NFL right now who played at Big 10 schools" or "Best eight albums from 1974" or some such other bit of obscure list.

So, next week, it's going to be all lists, all week (unless the WGA strike ends). So feel free to critique my lists and come up with your own Best and Worst of 2007 in TV.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: If you aren't into game shows and reality shows, this might be a night to hit the town. NBC wraps up "Clash of the Choirs" (NBC, 8 p.m.) by expanding the finale into two hours. It goes head-to-head against "Duel" (ABC, 8 p.m.) and "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" (Fox, 8 p.m.) and "Don't Forget The Lyrics" (Fox, 9 p.m.) Is this a sneak preview for TV in 2008? God, I hope not.

The college bowl season kicks off tonight when Utah battles Navy (ESPN, 9 p.m.)

Finally, as reruns go, you could do worse than checking out "Supernatural" (CW, 9 p.m.), in which Sam and Dean find their dad's not-so-lucky rabbit's foot.


zodin2008 said...

To hell with almost all game shows and ALL Reality TV, though next week, I will watch "1 vs. 100" when it returns. I enjoyed that one but liked "Identity" even more.

(yet the one NBC airs year round is the one I loathe, "Deal or no Deal" - typical).

The all time greatest movie about LISTS of course is "High Fidelity".

John Cusack was on "Inside the Actor's Studio" a few weeks ago and they showed a clip from "Fidelity", reminding how well the concept of his character, Rob Gordon, using those top 5 lists were in relation what his character was going through.

On the flipside, my wife and I were livid that the "Studio" episode spent literally 3 seconds talking about arguably, his best film, "Grosse Point Blank". Thankfully, "Say Anything", "Fidelity" and "Being John Malkovich" all got plenty of pub, but "Blank" was my personal favorite Cusack film; I also loved "Serendipity" and it didn't even get mentioned.

(my wedding dance song was from that movie).

As for TV, with all shows now coming to a halt, I have been reduced to 1 hour of "Life on Mars" per week and we've been guiding through USA and Bravo, recording lots of old "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" episodes that we had never seen and have been watching those mostly. (along with recording movies since I have HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore and 2 Cinemax channels).

Sports is my other escape at this point, along with ESPN's "Around the Horn", "Hardball w/ Chris Matthews" 5 nights a week and the Sunday morning news shows like "Meet the Press". But that's what I have mostly gotten down to watching since shows have become scarce.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, there will be some dramatic stuff in the new year. The Lost promos that have aired during Duel have been awesome, and several replacement series are set to debut. Hopefully, that will last long enough for the strike to be settled.

zodin2008 said...

I am stoked about the return of "Lost" for at least 8 episodes - again - 8 episodes is better than NO episodes.

I am also looking forward to a few other 'returns' such as the full season of "The Shield" (I am still happily amazed they were able to complete the entire final season of one of the best shows ever without the WGA cutting it short), plus at least 7 episodes of "Jericho", an underrated show I really got into hardcore last season.

Plus, I know there's still a few current shows left with some episodes to air as of January and February like "Ugly Betty" and a couple of others.

As for any new shows premiering, the only new show I can honestly say I am completely psyched about is "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" because I am such a Geek about the "Terminator" movies. That said, I am not sure if I am excited or not seeing at the choices for the new Terminators in the series.

Summer Glau (River on "Firefly" and Tess on "The 4400") has plenty of sci fi credentials, but she seems like an odd choice to essentially play the Arnold role from T2 and T3 as the robotic protector.

I am more psyched about Owen Yeoman ("The Nine" and "Kitchen Confidential") as the bad guy Terminator, yet he is only listed as being IN the pilot according to IMDB.

I also worry that this ONE show I am looking forward to as a new show in 2008, it could end up being "Bionic Woman" Part II where the only interesting character is the one bad guy (Yeoman) just like Katee Sackhoff was the ONLY good thing about the downright awful "Bionic Woman".

Speaking of Sackoff, with BSG ending this year, can someone please make sure this woman gets to headline a well made, cool, action sci fi series (if possible) for the future, whenever this horrifying strike ends?

Boogie said...

No comment on the season ending episode of Saving Grace?
Cliff hanger for sure and Earl the angel will cetainly be needed down the road. So happy that the show is coming back next summer.
With the writers on strike I figured Grace would draw a crowd.

Phillip Ramati said...

The Terminator project is certainly going to be worth a look, though I'm fairly lukewarm about the franchise as a whole (me and my things about the internal logic of a script and all).

Boogie, I was totally remiss this week in not mentioning Saving Grace. I had pretty much given up on the show about halfway through, and it slipped my mind. But I still should have mentioned it in the Best Bets section, since it is one of the highest-rated cable franchises around.

zodin2008 said...

I've never even heard of "Saving Grace"? Is that the one w/ Holly Hunter that's been thrashed by critics as total smut?

Jonathan said...

Ahhh...the appeal of Cusack. I liked Cusack a lot more before I married a woman who would leave me in two seconds if he walked through the door and asked her. But you know what, he's such a charming guy, I might leave her as well if he asked me.

Still, do love "Grosse Pointe Blank," but I got to stick by the old standard, "Say Anything." I'm also a huge fan of "The Sure Thing" that was released so close to "Anything," most people forget about it, or think they are watching the same film when it's on. "The Sure Thing" has one of my favorite pick-up lines ever in a film; "Did you know that Nietzsche died of Syphillis?" Pretty sure I butchered two spellings there.

Looking forward to the lists, Phil; lists are always fun to debate and dismantle. You guys have a Merry X-Mas and all that.

Phillip Ramati said...

A merry X-Mas to you, too. I'm not quite as big a fan of Cusack as everyone else, but "Grosse Point Blank" is one of my all-time favorite films.

Paul said...

The top 4 reasons to make lists out of things:

1. Lists provide easily digestible bursts of information.

2. Almost anyone can join in the fun and help make up lists about almost anything on the fly.

3. Organization. Even if the list's purpose seems random or practically meaningless, lists are organizing something.

4. Jason makes them fun? Hmm.

. . .

I'll do my customary list of albums of the year. I don't know what else I'll list. I'll think of something. I have almost 10 days.