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A Mess of Viewing

By admin Published: February 22, 2010

My life, especially my weekend life, has been filled with obligations, not least among them reading (and trying to figure out something to say about) Herman Melville. Can't escape him. Even this morning, when I was looking at an old VHS of 1999's "Alice in Wonderland" (guess what I'm working on), it began with a trailer for the Patrick Stewart "Moby Dick." But I am still managing to turn out my DVD column. I have also been watching TV here and there, and after the jump, I have a few notes.

I am, of course, an "Amazing Race" loyalist and so have been tuning to the current season. Some amusement, but last night's telecast overall was less than thrilling. Even the usual editing tricks did not make the result all that surprising -- Grandma/Granddaughter were so clearly far behind and unlikely to catch up. Was somewhat impressed by the Cowboys, who had not looked imposing in the first telecast, but they really gained the advantage because of others' carelessness -- "Amazing Race" has long taught certain things, including that you need to be sure of your itinerary. A bigger problem, though, is that the personalities have yet to prove particularly interesting, and several are so obviously low-key that they are getting very little screen time. I hope things improve.

Caught up with Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" on Sunday -- that's how life is going -- and thought it was one of the better ones. The flashbacks were nicely done, especially in the way it had thought about Miranda's hair, and I liked seeing how Richard's drinking began. The physician's oath was a bit much, but James Pickens sold it. And I hate it when we're shown Callie as a doofus; she's too good a doctor for that. And the show has treated Izzie's various nutty acts with so much sympathy, I am all the more impatient with Callie being reduced to comic relief.

I am not at all a fan of Evil Russell but he said something very smart when he observed on the first installment of "Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains" that tribal council was going to force the heroes to be villains. And that was even more true in the second episode, when James in particular became so savage and divisive. At least when Sugar was taken out the first week, it made sense; the turning on Stephenie just seemed vindictive. In fact, I am really disheartened by the heroes right now -- Rupert sulking, James in a fury, Tom not bringing the tribe together. No wonder I was feeling more engaged by Boston Rob, whom I have hated on his other reality-show appearances; he's not only seeming likable in the context of Coach and Evil Russell (and even more so when he decided to go back to being the old Rob), he's seeming likable when compared to the heroes.

My weekend also included selected sports viewing, including bits of the Olympics, Akron-VCU and Cavs-Magic. Not much to cheer about in the latter two cases.
But I don't think I watched anything from beginning to end; even USA-Canada hockey was a series of channel-flips to catch the score. Same thing with TCM's "31 Days of Oscar." While I love it, I don't want to overload the DVR, and I have already seen the movies I care most about. And most of them I have on DVD to boot.

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