TV week

Some interesting stuff on TV this week … Ready. Set. Go …

“American Idol.”

What a difference a week makes.

With the guys on Tuesday night, Casey James and Alex Lambert were the top guys who had me smiling widest after their performances. A far cry from last week.

I’m liking the innocence Lambert brings to the stage, and I loved his tone on John Legend's “Everybody Knows,” while James garnered a new respect from me for his rock-solid guitar playing and strong vocals on Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don't Want to Be”

As for the girls on Wednesday night, unfortunately, I missed Crystal Bowersox’s opening performance night -- because I was flipping channels, trying to find the mammoth KU/K-State game, which for some odd reason wasn’t shown in this region, and I had to resort to following an internet feed -- but I sure was glad to see her back after a hospital-run that could have threatened her life on “Idol.”

Of the females I did see, none were better than Paige Miles and Siobhan Magnus

While her storyline isn’t as memorable as some others -- say Katie Stevens' grandmother who has Alzheimers, or Crystal “Mamasox” -- I can’t recall a bad performance by Paige. I really enjoyed her take on "Walk Away," and she’s solidifying herself as a sleeper in the competition. So much so that I could see her winning the whole shebang, a la Jordin Sparks.

When Siobhan announced she was singing Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” I rolled my eyes and thought, no way, she’s gonna do that justice. But lo and behold, she took it to new heights; it was a delight to watch and she blew Idol Nation away with her ending “glory note.” However dark and odd her personality, as the weeks pass I’m increasingly developing a soft spot for Miss Siobhan Magnus. (Randy: It was dope!)

I’m not going to go any further than that because there’s still very, very little I’m enjoying about this season of “Idol.” (Katelyn Epperly's Coldplay cover: love the song, didn’t love her slooooow version of it.) … Even the group performances, which I usually enjoy, are unbearable to watch.

The four who were canned tonight hardly came as a surprise. When Haeley and Lacy were invited to center stage with Ryan, I cared so little that I was tuning out. Both should have been gone weeks ago; Of Haeley’s awful Wednesday night performance, Kates noted her version of “The Climb” actually made Miley Cyrus’ torturous version sound pleasant.

It is amusing to me, though, the ways some of the early “safeties” react to Seacrest’s proclamation that they’re not going home … Seriously, guys, the producers are not going to knock off the first name they tell Seacrest to call (I’m looking at you Tim Urban). In case you haven’t heard, "American Idol" has a whole hour to fill with sappy drama, panning camera shots and horrendous pauses. Oh, and we have to listen to the knocked-offs perform one more time for a reminder of how bad it was the first go around.

On one more note, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance from our Milwaukee boy, Danny Gokey, and I might just have to get his album … It was great to see him so happy and excited about life.

* * *

“The Office.”

I’ve had my frustrations over the years with “The Office,” too, but the show has rarely failed to deliver on its most-hyped episodes (Think: The post-Super Bowl show, Pam & Jim’s wedding.) … I was laughing a minute into tonight’s very special baby episode as Dwight got personal to compete with Jim’s and Pam’s sales (“I need a baby … sometimes I wake up cradling a gourd.”)

The laugh-out-loud, instant-classic lines came one after another -- with Oscar serving up my favorite line to Michael who becomes upset his hospital bag isn't packed and starts by looking for a dictionary: “The hospital will provide dictionaries. Bring a thesaurus” (as he looks wryly at the camera).

Michael’s interest, anxiety and joy for the whole process was, at times, even more amusing to watch than the emotions of Jim and Pam. Michael playing shadow to Jim as he tried to console Pam in the lunch room was another instant highlight. And Michael showing no restraint as he walked into the delivery room, holding a handful of gigantic balloons, while Pam was giving birth.

The sidestory of Dwight and poor Angela mapping our a parenting contract was just as hilarious ... My heart melted when Jim learned him and Pam were having a little girl … I was laughing with tears in my eyes as the male lactation consultant tried to help Pam while Jim sat nearby trying to distract himself with a magazine … And I couldn’t help but smile at seeing Pam and Jim trying to figure out the nuances of early parenthood …

Oh, how the memories and images of those first few days came rushing back

* * *


Last year, I couldn’t get enough of it.

This year, I’m not sure I want to keep watching.

But despite all the endless waffling from fulfillment to frustration, like “Idol,” that’s part of the show‘s hook: It’s almost impossible to predict what’s going to happen from week to week and you hold out hope for the big reveal, the ah-ha moment, the underdog to emerge victorious.

That said, I wasn’t giddy after watching this week’s episode -- ok, that fight scene with Sayid and Dogen was pretty dang good. But I was more thrilled to see Dogen and Lennon get whacked near the end and some movement toward getting the island gang out of that crazy temple. As if the sideways storylines aren’t mind-boggling enough, the whole premise of hiding in the temple caught on about as well with me as the whole Kate-and-Sawyer-in-cages travesty of Season 3.

* * *


Having read a ton of copy about the show last summer and fall, and having been beat over the head the last few weeks with the endless, but enticing promos from NBC, complete with that catchy-cool bah-ba-ba-bah music, I could hardly wait to see “Parenthood.” Not to mention, it’s got a strong cast (Patty from “American Dreams”!!) …

I watched with great anticipation on Tuesday night and … eh. It felt like a darker “Modern Family,” without the mocumentary-style interviews, but with the angst and drama of “Brothers & Sisters.”

I’ll keep watching for now. But my interest in it may have flatlined.

* * *

“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Haven’t watched a second of it.

I wasn’t a fan of him before. I certainly won’t be now, considering the mess he fostered at NBC. And no parade of celebrities stepping onto his stage is going to change my mind.

Here’s a good read, submitted by my friend Ann, that sums up my argument beautifully

* * *

“The Marriage Ref.”

Having been beaten with promos for “Marriage Ref” as well, my sentiment one week ago was: “Looks like a waste of time. There’s no way I’ll watch that …”

It is a waste of time … But ah ha! It’s a dang-funny waste of time.

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