The Week In TV: Betty White and the Rich Dicks
I've got clear eyes, a full heart, and can't help but notice that you seem pretty practiced at putting on panties with one hand while holding a gun. This was the week in TV Land:
• Because Facebook now controls us all, Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live a couple days ago after the booming popularity of a Facebook group dedicated to getting the 88-year-old to appear on the show. The episode was also a chance for some former female cast members to return, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, and Rachel Dratch. Maybe it was the presence of some of the better comedic writers of the show's past decade, but the episode was pretty solid. The return of "The Delicious Dish" was great, and Betty White was as great in the group as Alec "Schwetty Balls" Baldwin. But seeing Fey and Poehler behind the Update desk with Seth Myers was nice:
And here's a Debbie Downer sketch that made rehearsal but not the final show, despite the reunion of all the returning women in one scene:
• After airing last fall on DirecTV, the fourth season of Friday Night Lights returned to NBC on Friday. If you've been passing up this show because it's ostensibly about small-town Texas football, then you've missed out one of the best dramas of the past ten years. The fourth season is a good one -- I've caught about seven of the 13 episodes thanks to, um, completely legit online resources -- and continues to explore the lives of its major characters in realistic ways even as many of them wind up moving on and leaving town. The first episode, "East of Dillon," dealt with Coach Taylor's relocation to East Dillon High while Tami remains principal at West Dillon, as well as what Matt Saracen's gonna do now that high school is over and he's stuck in a small town with no way out. (Answer: Get more depressed.) The notion of forcing the coach to start rebuilding a program at a rival school is a smart play for two reasons: It lets the show realistically rope in a new group of younger actors to fill the spots left by graduating characters, and it pushes the series to grow and change direction at a point in its evolution when it could begin to feel flat. Really, I can't recommend the show enough, especially the near-flawless first season. So catch up on it and start watching already. Next year's season will be the last one.
• More Coco news, because why not: He paid a visit to Google HQ the other day for a 45-minute sitdown, and you know you'd rather watch that video than work. Enjoy:
• In Lost news, the series finale on May 23 has been extended by 30 minutes, meaning it will now run two and a half hours. Apparently there was just too much crucial info to get by with just a two-hour show. I admit that I'll be there to watch the whole thing, but I'm also beginning to feel the fatigue of watching a manipulative page-turner for six years, you know? The show is pure plot, with less emphasis on characters, so while it's a fun ride, there's not a lot of replayability. Do I really want to spend another 20 story hours with Ana Lucia? At this point, I just want the thing to end and end well.
• Speaking of J.J. Abrams, his new drama, Undercovers, has been picked up by NBC for this fall. The show follows a husband and wife who are retired from the CIA but are reactivated to agent status. Abrams is co-writing, producing, and directing the pilot, which will be his first pilot to direct since the first ep of Lost and the first TV episode he's directed since an episode of The Office in 2007. The premise is an obvious return to Abrams' Alias, but the new show is supposed to be a bit more comedic. (If you're looking for a straight-up Alias rip-off, only less complicated, USA's upcoming Covert Affairs should do the trick.) I'm hopeful, if only because I know how well a spy-action show can be with Abrams involved.
• Some more Justified news, because you know I loves me some killing: Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder, has been elevated to series regular. I love that he survived his showdown with Givens in the pilot episode: Boyd is too big and dangerous a character, and capable of generating too many stories, to be snuffed out so easily. What's more, the show's been picked up for a second season of 13 episodes, which will probably air next year. This year's season finale is June 8.
• Finally, Comedy Central unveiled its latest pilot slate this week, and the 22 series in the pipeline range from animation to blown-out web shows. I'm most hopeful about This Show Will Get You High, a sketch show from Upright Citizens Brigade performers, and Rich Dicks, based on the online video starring Nick Kroll and Jon Daly as a couple of wealthy L.A. douchebags. They might be slightly better known to some as the Ed Hardy Boyz, and Kroll's got some great character videos as Bobby Bottleservice, but the Rich Dicks are hilarious and awful, and will hopefully make for a good show: