Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, May 16, 2003

Idiot Boxing Again: Part Five

See previous posts. Breaking up The Pitches (TP) and My Highly Opinionated Snap Judgements (MHOSJ) on the networks' new fall series by day yadda yadda. All times listed are Eastern and PM, and TP quoted verbatim from the nets.


ABC: Threat Matrix (8:00) - TP: Our nation is a target. An attack could come at any time, from anywhere around the globe. Against this rising threat, the Homeland Security Agency has created a highly specialized, elite task force trained and equipped to counter anyone or anything that threatens our nation. The head of this super-secret team is Special Agent John Kilmer. Working with cutting-edge technology, this clandestine team fights the many faces of terror to keep America safe. The one wrinkle in Kilmer's dream-team is his ex-wife, Frankie. She's as beautiful as she is fearless and lethal. Together they've averted disasters of all kinds, except their marriage. MHOSJ: Again, not enough digits to count how many ways this premise offends me, but by now if you don't know my feelings about the Homeland Security Agency, glamorizing spooks just because they're Our Spooks, the seemingly obsessive need to add a physical descriptor like "beautiful" whenever a female character is mentioned but never for a male character (excuse me, 99% of all Hollywood actors are "beautiful," okay?), and the idea of exploiting and sensationalizing real-life fear and tragedy just to make a buck - heck, even the offensiveness of the title itself (combining a scare word with a misleading association to a hot movie franchise) - I'm afraid no explanation is possible.

NBC: Coupling (9:30) - TP: Let's see if we have this straight... Steve's with Jane but he's suddenly hot for Susan who met Steve through Jeff whom Susan used to go out with though she's just dumped Patrick despite the great sex so Patrick's asked Sally out which bugs Susan since Sally is her best friend... Based on the outrageous British hit series of the same name, Coupling concerns love and lust among six thirtysomethings who are either involved, formerly involved or looking to become intimately involved -- often with each other. The result, not surprisingly, is a very involving comedy filled with eye-popping situations and equally jaw-dropping one-liners. The comic possibilities for pairings appear as limitless as the characters' desires for Coupling. Wild comedy... Insatiable laughs. MHOSJ: True confession time: My husband loves the "outrageous British hit series of the same name," which runs on a local public TV station every Friday night at 10:30, at which time I usually walk pretty quickly out of the room. I don't see either of us getting into the American knockers knocked-up knock-off.

TheWB: Steve Harvey's Big Time (8:00) - TP: "...people of all ages in this country can do incredible things and that's missing from television. All you need to know is how to get their stories out of them. If you can do that, viewers will be amazed at what they'll be watching." - Steve Harvey From television to film to his hit syndicated radio show, America can't get enough of Steve Harvey! So we're teaming up with the award-winning comedian once again to create a primetime talk/variety show in the tradition of the golden age of television. Showcasing Harvey's stand-up talents and inimitable quick wit, the show will forego celebrity interviews and instead spotlight everyday people with extraordinary and humorous gifts. One of "The Original Kings of Comedy," Harvey has shown an uncanny knack for bringing out the very best - and the very funny - in regular people. From executive producers Steve Harvey, Rushion McDonald (The Parent 'Hood) and Madeleine Smithberg (The Daily Show, Late Night with David Letterman) in conjunction with Telepictures. MHOSJ: I guess, once again, I'm not part of America, because I can certainly get enough of Steve Harvey. (See previous "little going a long way" comments vis a vis John Larroquette and Whoopi Goldberg.) Although I do like his quote about good stories, and I like that it's a variety show (although it's labelled on the WB's site as a "reality" show!), so I'll probably watch this. (Of course that's what I said about Wayne Brady... is that show still on the air?)

TheWB: Run of the House (9:30) - TP: Sally, Kurt, and Chris are three perfect examples of "The Boomerang Generation," which, as the name implies, refers to kids who grow up, leave home for college, and then come right back to the nest. For their younger sister, 15-year-old Brooke Franklin, the sociological phenomenon is a lifesaver since her parents are always away on vacation. Left to fend for themselves by their globetrotting parents, the four create an unusual surrogate family marked by the usual sibling rivalries and power plays. Somehow they manage to overcome the pettiness, however, in a uniquely genuine attempt to create a nuclear family in the absence of one. Realistic, funny, and hopeful, this is a family comedy from Tannenbaum Co., with creator Betsy Thomas (My So Called Life), executive producers Rob Sternin & Prudence Fraser (The Nanny), and director David Trainer (That 70's Show) for Warner Bros. Television. MHOSJ: Cute premise, sounds fairly winning and harmless. And it's got Mo Gaffney and Joey-- 'scuse me, Joe Lawrence in the cast.

Concluded above...