Friday, February 16, 2007

Welcome to Pop Fridays

As part of my ongoing effort to write about more than just politics, I’m instituting Pop Friday. Why? Because I’m a bit of an entertainment junky. And I have opinions.

• Does Heroes know how to spin a yarn or what? Even when the show focuses on my less-than-favorite characters, it still manages to enthrall.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip should just stop trying to be profound and go for funny. The show is good when it’s funny. When it’s serious, it’s as plodding as the worst seasons of The West Wing.

• Having children means I don’t see a lot of movies. But I did see Little Miss Sunshine. Well-constructed movie. Great laugh payoff at the end. But I don’t get why it’s nominated for so many Oscars. It’s a trifle of a movie. But then so was Shakespeare in Love and that actually WON the Oscar.

American Idol is down to the final 24. I watch the show and enjoy the show every year but I’m wondering if they’re close to jumping the shark. Are they choosing the best voices or are they just plugging people into preconceived slots? The overweight black girl who can belt it out. The young sensitive white guy with a nice falsetto. The gorgeous girl with great pipes but no distinguishable personality. The somewhat alternative husky voiced girl who will get voted off early because there aren’t enough modern songs for husky voiced girls. I could go on. We’ll see how this season shapes out. Taylor Hicks, last years winner, is perhaps the least talented American Idol yet, despite coming out of the biggest field. Hopefully, this year, viewers won’t be so sucked in by a barroom voice and spastic dancing.

30 Rock is surprisingly funny. My Name is Earl is fading but still watchable. Scrubs is good for a few laughs. The Office is the most ingenious comedy on television. And, suddenly, NBC has the best comedy line-up in the last decade, if not longer.

• I finally finished reading Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. It took me 18 months to get through the nearly 1,000 pages. I put it down many, many times in order to read other things. It’s as dense and winding as a Victorian novel. It could be 400 pages shorter and still feel overly long. And yet, despite all that, it is one of the most satisfying books I’ve read in years. The ending is perfect in a way so very few novels are.

That’s it. See you next time.

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