…or, Brief Posts on Shows I TiVoed and Watched So Late That You No Longer Care What I Think About Them, If You Ever Did to Begin With:
* Gossip Girl. I had a similar experience with this show as I did with Reaper, though I never fell out of love with it as completely. Before the strike, I was starting to lose interest in the soap: I liked the writing and the performances, but—compared with, say, The O.C.—it threatened to become so dark and reveling in its corrupt milieu (Cruel Intentions-style) that I couldn’t enjoy it. Either the strike changed the show or it changed me. In the last month or so especially, GG seemed to rediscover its sense of humor and fun, reminding me of why I liked the show in the first place. Judging from what I’d read online this week, some fans of the show were underwhelmed by the finale, but I liked that it didn’t end on some obvious, overdramatic cliffhanger. (Though I do hope it finds a way to bring back Michelle Trachtenberg.)
* Top Chef. (Warning: We’ve gone past the 24-hour spoiler-warning window, but still.) I wasn’t sad to see Dale go, after the Goofus-and-Gallant Restaurant Wars mismatch this week, but I was a little surprised. Earlier in the season, he seemed like one of the strongest, most confident competitors, and I thought he was a candidate for the final three. As the weeks went on—though I still think he’s talented—his confidence started to look like defensiveness, and his skills more one-note. Still, I thought the judges would keep him based on past performance and boot Lisa. I’m glad they didn’t, if for no other reason that I love watching her stand sullenly at every elimination, arms folded and looking like she’s ready to head-butt someone. I still think Richard’s by far the favorite, but I’m pulling for either Stephanie or Antonia, and I think both (more likely Stephanie) have a shot. Also: I will watch any show Anthony Bourdain does, period. (“I feel like I’m in the back of Prince’s van!”) I wish they’d find a way to get him on the show weekly.
* House. I can’t really evaluate the season overall, not being a regular watcher. (Speaking of Watchers, Maureen Ryan is the ultimate TV-critic scholar of all things House.) But one general quibble. I’m generally a serial-TV geek, and I tend to look down my nose at “mere” procedurals. But House is one show that I wish would stay more, not less, episodic rather than doing long story arcs, for entirely selfish reasons: I rely on it as a reliably brilliant, no-commitment-required show to catch up on when I’m on vacation and away from my TiVo, or when everything else is in reruns. Still made me cry, though. Anyway, I’m not their fanbase: how did this season’s longer arcs (the Survivor-style competition, etc.) work for the hardcore Housies out there?
Also, I can’t help but be distracted by Kal Penn. If only Kumar had been a pre-law student and not a pre-med student.