The Week in TV: We Can Only Mock the Living
• Most of the major shows and networks were in repeats this week, which threw my viewing habits off a bit. It's not like I only watch the big four networks; in fact, I usually only watch a few shows on each. But having a week of repeats and schedule changes (even The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report were off!) meant I had to do the unthinkable and journey outside my comfort zone. And for that, I paid.
• Blah blah blah Jersey Shore is terrible. Everyone knows this. I mean, from the first ads before the show even premiered, it looked like the new pinnacle in stupidity. This was the week that MTV aired the episode in which one of the dumb trashy girls got full-on clocked in the face by a big brawny dude in a bar. They'd run the clip all over the place, ensuring that it found its way to every last corner of the intertubes, but when the ep aired, they cut the shot and put up a screen about how domestic violence is wrong and you should never
exploit people for Nielsen ratings hit someone or something. Whatever. Way to not even try to hide your double standards, MTV. This show is absolutely abysmal, full of uneducated, self-obsessed people who are not at all acting for the cameras. They are actually this rotten, for real. Ugh.
• The Golden Globe nominations were announced Tuesday morning. Now, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors bad stuff more than good -- hey there, House! -- but there were some solid choices in the batch. Glee got more TV noms than any other show, and 30 Rock, The Office, and Dexter got some love, as well. But really, nominating Jeremy Piven again for Entourage? Think outside the box, folks.
• You know what's on Bravo that's worth watching? Nothing. It's all cooking competitions, fashion competitions, and spoiled upper-class housewives sniping at each other. Even the stuffy and overly pretentious Inside the Actors Studio is feeling the effect; the show that used to interview performers like Paul Newman now has Bon Jovi on. Yes, that Bon Jovi. Apparently a supporting role in U-571 gives a guy license to talk about his "craft."
• This Tuesday, ABC Family is airing 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory featuring interviews with the original cast! This is still one of the weirdest kids' movies of all time. Here's hoping the young actors were also scarred by that guy selling knives from a push-cart.
• NBC trotted out another Saturday Night Live Christmas special, though instead of just airing a two-hour clip show, Thursday's A Very Gilly Christmas had filler sketches and intros featuring Kristen Wiig's Gilly, a moronic and shy young girl. Part of me wonders if Gilly is supposed to be intentionally unfunny; maybe the whole gag is, "Wouldn't it be crazy if we actually thought this was funny?" Then again, maybe I'm giving them just a bit too much credit. Anyway, it's always good to see "Schwetty Balls."
• Good news: HBO's The Pacific, a follow-up of sorts to Band of Brothers, will debut Sunday, March 14, and air weekly. It's a 10-part miniseries produced once again by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg (who both really love America's Favorite War), it follows Marines in the Pacific theater during World War II, so it doesn't have any of the same characters as Band of Brothers. It looks pretty solid, though. Best of all, it stars Joseph Mazzello, who apparently did not disappear after Jurassic Park but is totally alive.
Looking forward to this week, there's not much else going on aside from, well, Christmas. In that spirit, what are your favorite Christmas TV episodes? There are a ton to choose from, but I usually go with The West Wing's "Noel," 30 Rock's "Ludachristmas," The Office's "Christmas Party," and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Amends." That's just for starters, too.