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Monday Notebook, Catching Up on TV

By admin Published: September 28, 2009

In case you missed it, my story about the movie "More Than a Game" (with comments from director Kris Belman, coach Dru Joyce II and LeBron James) is here. I will have a review in the Beacon Journal later this week, but I think the Sunday story makes clear that the review will be favorable.

The weekly DVD column, topped by the John Krasinski-Maya Rudolph film "Away We Go," is here.

After the jump, some notes on the recent telecasts of "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Bones," "The Office," "Saturday Night Live" and its Thursday edition, and "The Amazing Race." Spoilers included.

"Grey's Anatomy" had a big plot element to deal with -- the death of George -- and I got a little misty here and there. But the two-hour premiere still felt overlong and a bit ponderous, with the Mercy West merger feeling too much like a contrived attempt to shake up the dynamics among the characters. The framing of Ellen Pompeo in shots to hide her pregnancy was a distraction, the issue of whether to donate George's organs was silly (these are doctors -- why would there be ANY hesitation) and, in all the talk about who was close to George, why did Meredith never come up? She slept with him -- disastrously, to be sure, but still slept with him. Bailey's still good, and I liked McSteamy's reactions, both the George's appeal to women and when Derek was fooling him. But not a great episode.

It was interesting to see "Grey's" deal with economic issues at the hospital, since it appears that a number of shows are weaving the economy into their stories -- probably because they, too, are feeling the pinch. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" found the crew watching dollars, understaffed and overworked -- and I have to think Riley's departure was a cost issue, especially with whatever they're paying for Sara's return. Beyond that, a good episode, with that "Matrix"-y opening, a good case and a sense that the team is going to be more in the manner people liked with Grissom. Nick continues his move into Grissom-ness from last season, especially now that he is officially second in command; Ray is no longer the rookie (efficiently handled), Sara provides a way to at least allude to Grissom. Very enjoyable, although I am skeptical about the cliffhanger ending, which is apparently going to introduce another serial killer.

"Bones" has been having fun with pop-culture references for some time now, and the most recent episode found it digging into James Bond lore, both specifically and with generic stuff. I liked the tossed-off mention of Universal Exports, for instance. But they obviously would not/could not pay for rights to use the specific brand of a James Bond car (like Aston Martin) since the car mentions were kept vague. OK episode, though, and as entertaining as the parade of interns has been, good to have them settled on one.

"The Office" was one of those plot-advancing episodes that didn't do much for me in terms of humor, especially after the wide-ranging comedy of the week before. "Saturday Night Live," meanwhile, bored me terribly both on Thursday and Saturday, and no amount of accidental f-bombs is going to make it any better. Even Kenan Thompson, who makes me smile if not laugh, went on too long in his showcases.

Nice to have "The Amazing Race" back, although I have not settled on a favorite team yet. Liked the starting-line challenge, but the sushi roulette bit went on too long.

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