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July 16, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | July 16, 2008 |

There is a ton of TV news this week, as the big summer press tour is going on here in LA. And it’s full of good news and bad news. And frankly, regardless of the news, I should be a pretty miserable TV Whore ever right now because, on Sunday, I blew out a previously herniated disc. I’ve been laid up the past couple of days and now walk with a mighty gimpy gait. It’s already caused me to cancel a trip, and I suspect other fun things will be missed out on the future. And sure, when when I was able to ignore the pain and/or concentrate through a Vicodin-induced haze, I got to lay around watching TV instead of being in the office doing law-talking guy things. But it’s not as much fun as it sounds. Point being, I should be miserable as all get-out right now. And that’s before we even turn to the bad TV news that came down over the last week.

For example, my misery should be made worse by the fact that HBO’s co-president has put words to what we’ve all known pretty much since Day One: “I think it’s safe to report that the likelihood of a ‘Deadwood’ movie happening is slim to none.” Cocksuckers not worth the shit on my shoes, those HBO execs are.

Tomorrow morning, meanwhile, the Emmy nominations are announced. And although I know the Emmys are truly meaningless in the grand scheme of anything, I can’t help but get worked up every year over the shitty shows and people that get nods in the place of the deserving ones left off. And just knowing that this annual tradition awaits me tomorrow morning, should have me suffering from a healthy dose of anticipatory-misery.

On top of these things, my moratorium on law/cop/doctor shows, and the “Crash” TV show, is now over. Which means I have to report news like this: “Crash,” the wonderful new Starz series based on Pajiba’s favoritest Oscar-winning film ever, has been giving a launch date of October 17. So just three months until we can watch Dennis Hopper ham it up with a bunch of other folks in an interwovern story that will undoubtedly take race-on-TV to new heights as the press release explains that the show “explores the complexities of social and racial tolerance and the meaning of the American dream through characters whose lives intersect and collide as they strive to achieve that dream.” However, the release neglects to mention that this is all done with the subtlety of using a sledgehammer to close a window.

Oh, and since the moratorium is over, I have to tell you that it’s been announced that William Peterson is officially leaving “CSI” halfway through next season. And I have to tell you that TNT has greenlit a legal drama from Steven Bochco called “Raising the Bar,” starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar. And I have to tell you about USA’s “Royal Pains,” a show staring Mark Feuerstein as a former ER doctor who becomes an on-call doc for the rich folk who live in the Hamptons.

Worst of all, VH1 has announced a new reality show called “The Cho Show.” Take a guess which unfunny but formerly amusing comedian it stars. If you guessed Margaret Cho, you’d be correct. And if you think it’s preferable to stab your eyes out rather than watch the show, well, you’d also be correct.

And yet, despite all these things, I’m not miserable at all. But it’s not for the reasons you might think.

Sure, it’s good news that we have final confirmation that a Seventh Season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will be airing early next year. While last season wasn’t perfect, it still had enough laughs to warrant some more Larry David in my life, and I’ll take 10 more episodes, please. And I’ll definitely take some of “Treme,” David Simon’s new HBO pilot about New Orleans musicians and the city’s struggle to rebuild itself post-Katrina, as that sounds like the perfect canvas for him to paint some more of his brilliance on to (for the record, last Sunday’s premiere of Simon’s “Generation Kill” was excellent). But these good things aren’t why I’m care-free and happy as a clam.

dexter-power.jpgAnd yes, I love, love, love this new poster for “Dexter” which Showtime had Shepard Fairey put together in honor of the show’s upcoming appearance at ComicCon. But that’s not the cause of my joy either.

Nor is it because Scott Bakula, who I’ve had a man crush on ever since “Quantum Leap,” is possibly coming back to TV. Bakula has signed on to the TNT pilot “Men of a Certain Age.” That’s the Ray Romano show about three forty-something dudes who have been friends since college. Bakula now completes the trio of friends, also made up of Romano and Brauhger, and it’s quite an interesting group — if they’re able to click and have some chemistry, along with a heaping of good writing, they might actually have something here.

And sure, the fact that Jordana Brewster has signed on for a “Chuck” guest arc as a former gal pal to the secret agent nerd surely has the Libidinous Me doing cartwheels. But that just makes the Physical Me jealous, since an attempt at doing a cartwheel would likely lead to paralysis. And the Mental Me knows that Brewster, while easy on the eyes, is a mediocre actress at best, so this may not really be adding anything positive to the show in any event.

Shit, there’s even good news from PBS, which has announced that two well-received theatrical performances are being brought to the tube — Sir Ian McKellen in “King Lear” (no word on whether the televised version will, as the stage version did, show us Sir Ian’s naked little knight) and Kevin Kline in “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Tack on a documentary called “Parallel World, Parallel Lives,” about a quantum physicist (Hugh Everett) and his indie rocker son (Mark Oliver Everett of the Eels) and I find myself actually pulling out my cable lineup card to find out which of my fucking 8 billion channels is PBS.

But that’s not why I’m giddy either. This is almost it however — FX has given a 13 episode order to a new comedy which will follow “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” a few weeks after its premiere on September 18 (and speaking of “Sunny,” on top of the 13 episodes currently in production, FX has ordered 39 more). I’m sold just on the show’s name — “Testees” — but the show itself sounds pretty solid too: it’s about two friends/roommates who work as test subjects, with each episode focusing on them testing a new product, medication or medical treatment, including the usually negative side effects. It will premiere on October 9, and it comes from Kenny Hotz, the creator/star of “Kenny vs. Spenny” and a former “South Park” writer.

The hot-off-the-press and oh-so-thin rumor that Amy Poehler is in talks to star in that spin-off of “The Office?” Sure, that makes me happy, but it ain’t the cause of my Day of Content.

There’s even a Pajiba contest going on right now about movies set in my home states, and it warms the cockles of my heart to see write-ups about Robocop, Groundhog Day and Rocky, among the many wonderful PA movies (but come-the-fuck-on people, you best not leave out 12 Monkeys and especially Trading Places).

Hell, even in unrelated-to-TV news, there was an awesome quote this week from Megan Fox about how she thinks it would be awesome for her to do a whole movie in the nude. And while that steams up my computer screen, it ain’t what’s getting me over the misery hump either.

The reason that none of the bad shit above is bringing me down, the reason that I can feel no pain despite by ragingly bulbous L4-L5 spinal disc, the reason that there is nothing but joy in the heart of this little TV Whore, is not because of any of the above good things.

It’s because of one thing.


Fuck. Yes.

Sure, they’re ripping off “Survivor.” Who cares. This show is the tits, the bees knees, all that and a bag of chips. In fact, the only reason a season of “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge” doesn’t appear in our list of the best 20 seasons of the last 20 years is because you simply can’t just pick one season, they’re all so good. If I could run, I’d be running down the streets shouting with glee. But this will have to suffice. Get excited people!

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s seriously suffering from a severe case of the ouchies right now, and if anyone wants to send along a singing nurse who likes to fuck, well, he probably can’t take full advantage of that at the moment, but he’d appreciate the gesture nonetheless.

The Good, the Bad and the Herniated Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
July 9, 2008

Industry | July 16, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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