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Monday Notebook & Viewing Catch-Up

By admin Published: November 16, 2009

Local folks should have noticed that WJW is carrying the Browns-Ravens game tonight (which makes me shudder just to think about). Fox's new episodes of "House" and "Lie to Me" have been moved to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. (I am double-checking on the exact start time, since "House" usually runs an extra minute on Mondays. UPDATE: A station rep tells me "House" will be at 7. But my DVR guide has 6:59. You may want to adjust your recorders for the earlier time to be safe.)

"Equalizer" and "Hot Fuzz" star Edward Woodward has died. Obit here. List of his credits is here. Like many Americans, I first noticed him in "Breaker Morant" (which was also a breakthrough for Bryan Brown). I watched him on "The Equalizer" from time to time but it wasn't a great series. Smiled, though, when he showed up in "Hot Fuzz," as if running into an old friend.

After the jump, notes on recent telecasts of "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The Office," "Community," the January Jones-hosted "Saturday Night Live," "Bones," "House," "Lie to Me," "The Amazing Race, "Survivor" and whatever else I can remember watching the last few days.

But first, in addition to TV watching and schoolwork, I spent a good bit of time at sports events, including two U of Akron men's soccer games and a U of Akron football game. The soccer team is now 20-0 and ranked number one in national polls. But its playing area is an embarrassment, especially with the new football stadium looming nearby. We regularly encounter newcomers to Akron soccer, including at Sunday's MAC final, and they are very surprised by the small venue, with bleachers on just one side of the field, a light pole blocking pretty much every seat's sightlines to the field, and a flagpole that most people can't even see during the National Anthem.

I am fond of UA, where I am a grad student and my wife works. Much is said about its vision for the future. I would like to think that vision would include better digs for the soccer team, which includes students who achieve academically and are a perennial national power.

And now on to the viewing ....

I'll miss the father-son team on "The Amazing Race" -- would have sent home Miss America first -- but they did not play well enough to survive. That's how it works sometimes. And we still have at least two likable teams in play. But the thing most people seem to want to talk about was the pixeling of Sam & Dan's crotches. As one of my friends asked it, "Was that peekaboo underwear or were they really excited"? I would just guess that the underwear was very tight, leaving little to the imagination. But it was quite a sizable area being pixeled.

While I'm on reality shows, could I just plead for someone to take out Russell on "Survivor"? It is frightening how single-mindedly successful he is in finding immunity idols, and cunning enough to keep going in the game. I hope he doesn't win, but on some level this is reminding me of the women's-alliance season, when a man ended up winning against all odds because no one else could put together, and keep together, a good enough group to beat him.

"Saturday Night Live" had a good night when Taylor Swift hosted, not so much with January Jones. It wasn't just her, although she seemed to be having a lot of trouble with cue cards (and with laughing at other people). The "Kathie Lee" sketches are played out, as are the Jon Bovi ones. But they keep trying to slam them home. I got to the end with fondness for three things: the party-planning film, some of the Kim Kardashian bit during "Weekend Update" (good impression, but the joke went on too long) and Fred Armisen's "I like Peggy" during the "Mad Men" Betty-fans bit in the opening monologue. (For those of you tuning in late, Armisen is married to Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy.)

"Grey's Anatomy" was also better a week ago -- with the children-in-jeopardy story -- than this past Thursday. As I have said before, the show has been stronger of late with the greater focus on the medical cases, and that was certainly the case a week ago. Yes, making the cases about kids is a pretty blatant way to jerk tears, but the show still made it work for me. That said, this past week's show was way too much melodrama -- the return of Izzie (bleh), the issues with the Chief (although the payoff that he is drinking again, and has been for some time, was pretty good), the new surgeon having a thing for Owen. Especially displeased with that last note. It was bad enough that we were dragged through her (and her, you may know, is Kim Raver) not being up on all the current medical procedures, because you knew she would get a redemptive moment before the hour was done. Then they had to add a romantic complication. Couldn't she just be an interesting surgeon without all the pot-stirring (see also Alex and the newbie, and the youngblood eyeing Yang).

But, you know, a happy Meredith is a more enjoyable Meredith.

I could ramble on at great length, but this post already feels out of control. So: Good "The Office," especially when it became clear that things are quite bad for Dunder Mifflin. Another good "Community," although the potential romance was kind of creepy when you consider the apparent age difference. I watched only the last part of the "CSI" "trilogy," but it was well done, with one of Fisburne's best performances on the show to date. OK "Bones," and certainly one that is moving along the Bones-Booth romance, or at least the acknowledgment of the romance. "House" did its flipping between fun and seriousness reasonably well, although the core case didn't really keep my interest; the House-Cuddy-Wilson stuff was much better, and I liked House's confession about his not wooing Cuddy years ago. "Lie to Me" continues down dark and twisted roads, and this one was all right until the end -- when the bar scene went far too easily and tied it up too neatly. But always nice to see Alicia Coppola.

And now a new week of TV viewing looms.

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