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Monday Miscellany

By admin Published: October 5, 2009

Here we are at the start of a new TV week, and I still haven't gotten through everything that I planned to watch last week. ...

That's the blessing/curse of a new TV season, and of having a life that involves things other than watching TV. That said, besides the things already mentioned in previous posts, I did squeeze in "The Amazing Race" last night, the previous evening's "Saturday Night Live" and last week's editions of "Survivor: Samoa" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." (CBS is so colon-friendly on Thursdays, the other show should be "The: Mentalist.")

"The Amazing Race" was reasonably well-paced but rife with annoying contestants -- the loud lawyer Lance and Keri, the poker pair Maria and Tiffany-- and foolish behavior. The eliminated team, Marcy and Ron, never indicated any sense of urgency, and they should have realized much sooner that the best way to figure out a Vietnamese word is to ASK VIETNAMESE PEOPLE. Sign reading, not such a good idea. I'm still laughing at Mika and Canaan seeming to think that the water puppets would move closer IF ONLY THEY DANCED. And when you know you have to roll a heavy animal model a long distance on a little cart, you go for the giraffe? Really?

At the same time, I was entertained. And there are likable players, including the Globetrotters and the Gary-Matt father and son team. I'm still watching.

I'm not so sure about "Survivor," where it looks as if one team is so horrible it will be down to almost nothing when it gets to the merge. Of course, part of that is due to Evil Russell, who made clear early on that his main interest is not winning but messing with the other people. And I don't know how long I could stand watching him do dirt. Fortunately, things got much more interesting when Jaison led the movement against Russell's scheming and forced the would-be puppet master to go along with the vote-out of the hideous Ben. For one thing, Bilious Ben -- who reminded me of that obnoxious minion to Coach, another case of a guy who seemed even worse than his mentor -- is gone. For another, Russell has to realize that he's not in control. And that could lead to lots of scheming leading up to the merge.

"CSI" was of note because it gave us more background about Ray, as well as clarifying the source of the memorabilia he keeps with him. Beyond that, not that great an episode, with a weak mystery.

Still, I would rather watch "CSI" again than sit through "Saturday Night Live." Ryan Reynolds tried gamely as host, and the cameos by Scarlett Jo, Madonna and Lady Gaga had some value. But even the moments when it appeared they were on to some really edgy, funny material -- as with the Obama opening, the "Family Feud" sketch, or the crime/dance sketch -- ended up disappointing. Nor was the digital short much -- and how scary looking was Elijah Wood?

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