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After the Bunny Hopped...

By RD Heldenfels Published: April 17, 2006

I did not expect to go this long between posts, but the days filled themselves up -- chasing down a cat to take to the vet, putting a fence back up around a flower bed, Easter morning at church, grocery shopping, giving the grill its spring inaugural. Today at work I was hip-deep in a non-TV project, now finished.

Watching was done, too. Friday night, we kicked back with ''Serenity,'' the big-screen continuation of ''Firefly.'' Sunday night was devoted to '"The West Wing'' and ''The Sopranos,'' and in between there I caught up on ''Veronica Mars'' and ''Gilmore Girls.'' I keep thinking the viewing menu included something else, but right now I can't remember what it was.

Notes on all that viewing:

-- I laughed more at ''The Sopranos'' than at any other recent episode as the guys exhibited their homophobia in so many different ways. For Paulie, of course, it was all about him. Tony's stumbling explanation of how guys get a free pass for any homosexual acts in prison was priceless. And I really like the way they're treating Christopher's NA sponsor, the latest in a line of characters who are not hoods but still want to hang out with some.

At the same time, though, the guys' reaction to Vito's secret life reminded us how unenlightened they are about many things; even young guys like Christopher can't handle the idea of men with men. Even though Tony was less dismayed than the others (and nice to see that his change brought us back to his post-shooting introspection), even he felt social pressure from the others -- until that pressure was a challenge to his authority.

As for Vito, I'd like to think that he has found a place where he can be himself and is out of harm's way; the implication in Tony's attitude was certainly that Vito is fine as long as Vito doesn't come back. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as out of harm's way on this show, as we saw early on in the ''College'' episode.

-- ''The West Wing'' offered some civics lessons, as Santos is learning that even a transition period comes with hard lessons, and old friends are not necessarily the best new allies. And it held out some fun hints of what could be if the show wasn't ending now, by beginning to fill some staff positions. But overall the hour dragged, and I expected more for Bartlet's farewell to Leo than false bonhomie bucking up everyone else.

-- ''Gilmore Girls.'' Emily is right. It's time for Lorelai to step into the middle of the Luke/April situation. It's sure not easy emotionally for Lorelai to keep herself apart. And it appears that just about everyone else on the show has had more conversation with April than Lorelai has.

As for ongoing plots. the Rory and Jess thing was a waste of air time (even if it gave the promo makers something to hang the episode on). And Rory is just a bore to watch (partly because Alexis Bledel is bringing little to the part), her attraction to Jess no more convincing than her ambivalence about Logan. Not a great episode overall. Luke's accompanying the field trip kept seeming to go somewhere, only it had nowhere to go. And for all the kerfluffle about Lorelai's parents being in town, why has it not occurred to her that they might be house-shopping for Luke & Lorelai -- a very Emily wedding present, yes?

-- ''Veronica Mars.'' Not bad, and it feels as if we're getting closer to something on the big mystery. Some interesting visuals on the dream sequence. Lot of empty air, though.

-- ''Serenity.''  Of the three folks under this roof, I am the one least enamored of ''Firefly,'' so I may not be a great judge of ''Serenity.'' While it wasn't completely lacking in entertainment, it never elevated beyond being a so-so action picture. Of course, on a Friday night when we were all eager to kick back, I appreciated the way the movie made few demands on me.

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