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''Old Christine'': Old Idea?

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 26, 2006

I've been working my way through some of last night's TV, which I missed because of a meeting and a need for sleep. The only thing I saw in real time was ''Two and a Half Men.'' Funny still, good cameo from Mr. Tyler. (For some recent news about Tyler, see here.)

Caught up with ''How I Met Your Mother.'' Some good parts -- Barney is still one of TV's great characters -- but mixed feelings about other things. Not a fan of the dramatic moments, as I have said before. And there was a point last night when I began to wonder if they've made Marshall the new Ted -- writing all this wistful stuff for him because Jason Segel might manage to make it interesting. So far, not so good. Oh, and I had already watched ''The Class,'' which still isn't giving me a reason to turn on the TV at 8.

And so to ''The New Adventures of Old Christine,'' which went for a big jaw-dropping ending where Old Christine's date turns out to be the father of New Christine. Might have been funnier if I hadn't started thinking, didn't ''Two and a Half Men'' do something like this last season? In fact, it did a version that, if memory serves, was even more insanely complicated -- Alan's ex dated the father of Alan's current girlfriend, whose mother spent some time (see how nicely I can do euphemism?) with Charlie.

I know that sitcoms borrow notions from each other all the time, but there should be some kind of rule about not grabbing an idea that's been done by the comedy that airs right before yours -- especially when the lead-in comedy has been around longer and is more successful, so its viewers are probably yours, too.

Oh, well. Still waiting from last night: "7th Heaven.'' And it may wait awhile, since the TV and the DVR will be rolling tonight. (''House,'' ''NCIS,'' ''The Unit,'' ''Dancing With the Stars,'' ''Smith'' ...) Also, at some point I am going to have to come up with a new title for this blog, as it more clearly expands into pop culture. The best thing I have come up with so far is ''Beacon Pop, Caffeine-Free.'' So, yes, I have to work on that...

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