This Week In TV: Miracle Cures From Alien Civilizations
The Yankees won, Doug Hoffman lost, and I'm thinking of joining a neighborhood dad garage band. This was the week in TV Land:
• 30 Rock continues to be the quickest comedy on the air and the spiritual descendant of Arrested Development. This week's episode was stuffed with more meta-jokes than ever, including Liz and Pete's multiple looks into the camera, Jack's dismissal of the Olympics as pointless just before plugging NBC's impending coverage, and the hilarious use of Cisco Systems taglines in running dialogue as way to both collect a check for product placement and mock the whole process at once. The jokes are solid, the stories are energetic, and it's always fun to watch again later in the weekend to soak up a second time. (Really, NBC's entire Thursday comedy block -- Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock -- is the only thing worth watching on the network in primetime.)
• Did you see V? The pilot episode covered way too much ground, going from alien invasion to the formation of a resistance in like 44 minutes of screen time, but still, it could be fun if they do it well. However, the reference to "universal health care" was just bad writing, and the only thing right-wing nutbags needed to wonder if the show's aliens were meant to be a stand-in for Obama. Spoiler: They're not! The working poor want health insurance, not miracle cures from alien civilizations. But good try, guys!
• I'd like to invite the good folks at Comcast to jump up their own asses. I ordered cable from you guys for my new place, and your tech came out and said the apartment needed to be rewired. Two days later, a second tech -- an independent contractor who hires out to Comcast -- said my cable set-up was fine, and that the Comcast employee had just cute the wires and left, likely because he didn't want to do the job, then erased his visit from the records system. Then, despite the fact that the Yankees won the World Series on Wednesday, your digital guide still had a Game 7 (a game that did not exist) programmed for Thursday, meaning I couldn't record Fringe on Fox. Look, I know you guys are the largest cable operator in the U.S. with revenue of like $30 billion a year, so you probably don't give two shits about customer service at this point in your journey to become an all-consuming behemoth, but sweet fancy Moses, I don't think it'd kill you to hire better people and may more attention to what's on TV.
• The season finale of Mad Men was last night, but I haven't watched it yet, so I can't talk about what happened. Wild guesses: someone got punched, Don suppressed his emotions, something unsafe happened around or involving a child, and potent references were made to modern American history.
• Oh yeah: In the ongoing saga of Southland, TNT has picked up the former NBC cop show, nabbing the rights to air the remaining six unaired episodes. So with the seven eps from the first season, that gives them all 13 that have been produced, and they'll begin airing in January. If it goes well, they might re-start production and give the show new life. Here's hoping they do, though they need to keep it as far as possible from the people behind The Closer.
• Taylor Swift hosted SNL this week. She's a nice kid, but it's tiring to hear people talk about her in awed tones because she writes her own songs. I kind of expect that from artists, you know? Anyway, the digital short was actually kind of cute, and a dig at Twilight, which is always welcome:
Looking ahead to the rest of this week, Fox brings back Glee now that the World Series is over, and the second episode of V's four-ep fall run will air before the show takes a break to return in the spring. What are you people watching? What do you think I should be watching?