Thursday, September 16, 2004

TV: Yawn! Hold on! There IS TV worth watching!

The TV season is off to a colossal yawn. Well, it was until I finally caught a new show worth catching.

That show is Jack and Bobby. Here in Brampton, I watch it on CKVR channel 20 on Sundays. It's worth seeking out. The show is told in flashback form, the interviewees all in 2041, talking about an ex-president, his early days, his interesting family. The talking heads set up a variety of scenes that help you find out just who Jack and Bob McAllister are, shown in their high school years in the present. It takes a whole first episode to tell which one becomes the future president. It does so with finesse. You almost miss it.

The show, which features Christine Lahti as the scenery-chewing mother of the boys, is a treasure for the language. The show is wordy. Sometimes wordy to the point where I fear less-literate viewers might tune out. But give it a try. Please. PLEASE!!!! This is a series worth watching.

As such, it stands out amongst the new entries in my video-tape library. Joey? A laugh or two, and I really quite like Drea DeMatteo. But there seems to be too many dim-wits in this group for my liking. The rocket scientist nephew doesn't exhibit smarts. Even the next-door potential love interest lawyer seems less than forceful. (And I already miss Ashley Scott, the former Dark Angel/Birds of Prey hottie, who piloted the role, but didn't make it to primetime) It has to grow to grow on me. Maybe, maybe not.

Medical Investigation also suffers from the (lack of) pulchritude factor. Neal McDonough might catch the ladies' eye, but he doesn't do much for me. It's a humdrum medical show with not one thing to make it worth watching instead of something else average. Not bad. Just not better than average.

Same thing goes for Hawaii. Maybe the show would look better if North Shore hadn't gotten to the 'Bra' beat first. That's 'Bra', as in the Hawaiian corruption of Brother, not the bikini top. There's a good Hawaiian show out there. It's called Magnum PI re-runs. The eye-candy is a bit hit and miss in both island shows. Tamara Craig Thomas, the Canadian cutie, has never looked better in Hawaii. Nikki DeLoach and ex-OC siren Amanda Righetti light up the increasingly dull North Shore. But where are the island girls? Lots of beach shots, but no starring roles. Both shows can be watched. But why?

The last of the debut shows I've seen is Father of the Pride. An adult animated show. And the effort is wasted. Ralph Bakshi proved long ago that smutty cartoon animals are just as boring as witless humans working with boring scripts in live action fare. The animation is very good, but familiarity breeds contempt. And after a while, you forget just how miraculous such animation is, technically. With the cost of this show, I'd expect an early cancellation and a release on DVD of the complete series in time for Christmas 2005. But the nine-month lead-time for each episode might mean we are stuck with this stinker for the season.

Let's take a brief moment here to say a sad farewell and R.I.P. to the one decent summer-time series. The Days was the rarity amongst family shows. The kids were all likeable, although imperfect. And the parents were likeable too!!! Shows about pregnant teenagers and pregnant 40-year old mothers don't survive. But they should have. I will miss The Days.

NOW, go set your VCRs for the double-episode of Jack and Bobby on Sunday if you have other plans for the early Sunday evening.

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