Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday Night in front of the TV

(I've got this whole VCR thing down now. Although I still yearn for TiVo--and a better picture than my rabbit ears provide...)

Last night's episode of Earl got him back in "list mode" but completely missed the mark in my opinion. Catalina snapping a picture of Joy crapping her pants? Joy baking Ex-Lax into cookies? Lame transsexual jokes (seriously--"You have a weiner, right?) and naked pictures of Alyssa Milano? Was this episode written by fourth graders?

My Name is Earl generally has a sweet--yet not saccharine--childlike quality to it. Last night "childlike" was replaced by "juvenile." The running joke about psychologically @#$% up women who fall in love with prison inmates by having Earl and Frank sign up for "ConvictMatch" online to score girlfriends on the outside was humorous--but the rest of the show fell far below its usual standards.

The Office, on the other hand, was in rare form last night--back to its half hour format and "chuffa-free" as Kelly Kapoor's alter ego Mindy Kaling would say. The show revolved around Michael's attempts to film a commercial for Dunder-Mifflin featuring the people of the Scranton branch. As he introduces his staff to the ad agency guys, he refers to Stanley as being "urban"--to which Stanley takes umbrage having been born and raised in a small town--and Phyllis as the office's "Mrs. Butterworth--the less urban Aunt Jemima."

In addition to the making of the commercial, the Dwight-Angela-Andy triangle story was featured. Andy, clueless as usual, keeps asking Dwight for advice on how to score with the uptight Angela--who had one of the best lines of the night when she said she didn't like the mystery genre because, "I hate being titillated!" This only adds insult to injury for Dwight, who's already in excruciating pain from the breakup and he retreats into a fantasy world online spending hours playing Second Life, where his avatar is named Dwight and is a paper salesman--but can fly. Jim tells him he can't believe how much time he spends playing the game. Dwight retorts that it's not a game--there are no winners or losers. Jim replies, "Oh there are losers..."

That pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole Second Life thing. Reminds me of the post I wrote about the social networking phenomenon. I mean what kind of nutjob spends their time obsessing over fictional characters and logging hours and hours in front of a computer screen? Uh--well, wait a minute...hmmm...let's get back to The Office...

So anyway, things get so bad with Dwight that his Second Life avatar has a Second Life avatar, but just when you think the salt couldn't get rubbed in his wounds anymore, Andy corners him in the snack room to tell him about his breakthrough with Angela. Seems they got to actually kissing the other night (as opposed to just necking which for Angela means "just necking" as in rubbing each others necks against each other...), and Angela closed her eyes and kept whispering, "Oh, D." Andy, in his lovably idiotic fashion, thinks "D." is short for "AnDy," but Dwight realizes that Angela is fantasizing about HIM when she's kissing his co-worker. What a great scene that was!

In the end, Dunder-Mifflin headquarters decides to go with the bland, generic ad produced by the ad agency. Anyone else think that Michael's version--while cheesy and lacking in production values--was far superior? Very clever and creative.

On Ugly Betty, a still grieving Hilda starts hanging out with other widows and ignoring Justin's metamorphosis into a Rebel without a Cause version of his late father. When Justin is brought home by the police for stealing her car and smashing it into a tree, she finally snaps out of her quilting and kvetching with the old biddies.

Daniel and Alexis deal with the loss of advertisers with Wilhelmina plotting to destroy Mode by forcing them to cut costs with inferior quality. Alexis decides they should ask Bradford for money, but when Daniel takes the blame for the magazine's failure and she sees her father lash out at her brother, her memory returns with a vengeance. She remembers that the accident was her fault because she took Bradford's car on which she had a thug cut the brake lines.

Claire sees an invitation to Wilhelmina and Bradford's impending wedding and snaps--stealing a rifle and poised to shoot. She is stopped by the sight of her two children and their father all together. She tells her escaped prison mate Yoga that Wilhelmina did what she couldn't do--made them a family. She decides that the two of them will take off to Italy. It looks like the writers are finally giving the character of Christina more to do than stand around measuring underwear models as it appears she has an abandoned husband that no-one knows about.

The main story of the night was Betty and Henry of course. Betty decides that she and Henry must avoid each other until Henry returns to Tucson in five months. To help get over her feelings for Henry, she decides to do the internet dating thing. But when she shows up for a date at a bowling alley, her match--who is no great prize himself--is disappointed and eventually ditches her by ducking out. Henry, who has been clued in about the date by Kenny (a hysterical David Cho!), shows up at the bowling alley and the two decide to stop avoiding each other and just be "friends." Their platonic attempts are foiled by "couples night" at the bowling alley and "date night" later at a restaurant--complete with romantic violins.

Eventually, Henry agrees to quit Mode, but Betty lets her heart overrule her head and decides to spend whatever time they have together. Very sweet and a semi-happy ending to the show, but now the whole Henry/Betty thing is just getting old for me. The burgeoning relationship that had me tickled on last night's episode was the one between snooty Marc St. James and the Cliff, the photographer at the underwear model's shoot. At first, Marc disses Cliff for the ripped but ditzy model Gus, but ends up ditching Gus to watch Psycho at Cliff's apartment. In my opinion they make an even cuter couple than Betty and Henry. And watch out--it looks like Gio is back for next week's episode!


  1. I loved Cliff! Like the blogger on, I would date him if he wasn't fictional and gay.

  2. Wasn't he adorable? I just loved his speech to Marc. He's on for at least two more episodes--yay!