i'll always dial the "k" for you
J.D. & Turk cannot believe they have to follow The Biggest Loser on NBC's line-up.
I've been meaning to write some about the current television season, which just wrapped its November sweeps period, for a while now. I was a little hesitant to do so, since my pal Angie does such a bang-up job over at her blog The Brain Drain, but I've decided to weigh in nonetheless. Since there's nothing I really bother to watch on Monday nites, I figured that I'd start with what I consider to be worth watching on Tuesday (aka today):
That's right, folks. I'm all about the ladies Gilmore once 7pm CT rolls around. Despite having an egregiously cheesy theme song, the WB's Gilmore Girls is smart, incredibly quick, extremely funny & manages a level of soapiness that I can happily endorse. Lauren Graham has been as witty & beautiful as ever in the show's fifth season, which has seen her character Lorelai finally get together with the ornery local diner owner Luke. Thus far, executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino & her staff have done a good job keeping it interesting (yet not laboriously-so) for the show's supercouple - you know, the couple that is hinted at, toyed-around with, has its sexual tension played with time & again, etc. I hate it when shows don't know what to do once they put a supercouple together (ER w/Carter & Abby), or when they wait until the last possible second to put their supercouple together or back together (Friends), but Gilmore seems to be doing quite well thus far in setting up conflict & obstacles for Luke & Lorelai while still allowing the audience to enjoy their relationship as it develops. The other titular "Girl" is Lorelai's cute & brainy daughter Rory, played by the utterly delightful Alexis Bledel, who is dealing with several boys during her sophomore year at Yale after going mostly relationship-free last season.
Of course, Gilmore Girls is still overflowing with the mile-a-minute dialogue & pop culture references (which will likely make the show quite dated in years to come) that has become its trademark over its first four seasons. Where a show like UPN's Veronica Mars (which both EW & Angie seem to love, but I think is nothing to write home/here about) will make a random Strokes reference, Gilmore will instead mention Rilo Kiley lead singer Jenny Lewis, as was done a couple months back, just shortly after the release of RK's More Adventurous LP. Gilmore Girls stays as up-to-date as possible.
As Eppy from clap clap blog, another Gilmore fan, deftly notes in the comments section of a Quo Vadimus post, The O.C.'s Seth Cohen wouldn't exist but for Adam Brody playing almost the same character previously on Gilmore Girls, as the boyfriend & bandmate of Rory's best friend Lane. And after Brody left for sunnier pastures, Sherman-Pallidino brought in former-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach (check out his official site) as Gil, an aging guitar player w/a sandwich shop & a family who still wants to rock, to replace Brody's character in Lane's band. Now that's genius, people.
The Village Voice did a nice Gilmore Girls write-up back in October. Tonite's episode is a re-run of the season premiere, for those who want to catch up.
MP3 The Shins - "So Says I"
As I posted about last spring, Portland OR's indie popsters The Shins actually appeared on last season's "spring break" episode of Gilmore Girls. The band performed this track, the first single off of their Chutes Too Narrow LP.
Back in 2002, a Gilmore Girls soundtrack entitled Our Little Corner of the World was released, though it did not include this lovely track by Sam Phillips, who provides much of the show's score. I can recall having heard the opening section of "How To Dream" during many episodes, and the use of Phillips' warm voice & lilting guitarwork helps the show maintain a continuity of tone from week to week. From her 2001 album, Fan Dance.
BTW: Womenfolk has featured Phillips not once, but twice, & rightly so.
Coming off a slightly down year, NBC's emmy-worthy medical farce Scrubs is having an outstanding fourth season. After finally destroying the show's own supercouple of Zach Braff's J.D. & Sarah Chalke's Elliot in disastrous fashion (after allowing him to pine after her for too much of season three), Scrubs is back to what it does best: oddball-yet-heartfelt comedy.
One thing that Scrubs may do better than anyone else is how it uses its guest stars. Scrubs doesn't book people every week for the showy novelty of it (I'm looking at you, Will & Grace), but actually takes advantage of their talents to make the episode work better. In the past, some of my favorite guests were brought in to play off of John C. McGinley's mercurial Dr. Cox, such as Eric Begosian as Cox's raging shrink or Chris Meloni as the slightly cracked pediatrician for Cox's son. This season began with an entended eight episode stint by Heather Graham, who played a flighty-yet-observant psychiatrist who became a friend & mentor for Elliot, gradually helping that character build the confidence she'd always be somewhat lacking. We've also seen Tom Cavanagh (formerly of Ed) reprise his pitch-perfect role as J.D.'s loser brother for two episodes, Julianna Margulies show up as a malpractice attorney who hounds Turk & romances J.D. for another two, and a really funny appearance by Matthew Perry, who made his directorial debut in an episode that also featured his real-life dad.
A couple weeks ago, TV Shows on DVD tipped me off to an interesting tidbit. In this season's ninth episode, Donald Faison's Turk got a new phone number: 916-CALL-TURK. Apparently, calling that number will connect you to a message from Faison or can also go through to an actual phone on the Scrubs set, which cast members & others answer from time to time. How cool is that? I have yet to call, because I really can't think of anything worthwhile to talk about (on second thought, I could ask Chalke about The 'Bu). There's more info on this at the show's official site.
From the description of tonite's episode, it sounds like it might be the dreaded clip show (I hate them so), but hopefully I'll be proven wrong.
Scrubs also put out its own soundtrack in 2002. It included this track, the show's theme song, by Chad Fischer's LA-based band Lazlo Bane.
The rest of the Tuesday nite line-up is pretty scarce. FX usually plays its hand on Tuesdays, but Nip/Tuck ended its second season a little while ago & The Shield doesn't return for its fourth until 2005. I do sometimes tune in to NYPD Blue, just to see what Zach Morris is up to these days. I'm finding it amusing to see how Bochco & Co. write around Sipowicz's personal life, since the actress who plays his wife left the show last year. It's Blue's twelfth & last season, and while I've never been a real fan of the show, for whatever reason I'm moderately curious to see how it wraps up.
In other TV-related news, apparently I jinxed it with yesterday's post. As reported by USA Today & many other news sources, it appears that Scottish actor/comedian Craig Ferguson has been appointed as the new host of the Late Late Show on CBS. I'm sorry Michael. I guess it's back to the funditry. I don't think it was my fault, but you can still blame me if you want.
That took too long to write...apologies for posting so close to primetime.