January 24, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Ahh … the post holiday season, known for its massive weight gain, unkept resolutions (usually about fixing said weight gain), the return of schoolwork and never-ending snow. What else is it known for? The return of shows from their midseason hiatus and the birth of midseason shows. Here’s what’s up with your favorite means of procrastination:

Post-Hiatus Shows:
Honestly, does anyone remember the last time that Lost was on? The long awaited second half of the third season returns on Feb. 7 for a sixteen-week run of all new episodes. Back in November (because, really, it has been forever), we left Ben on the operating table, about to bleed out unless the Others (who, at this point, really should have asked their captives for a better name) let Sawyer and Kate go and when burying Eko, Locke discovered a message from him.
The new season will pick up with a love triangle, the outcome of Ben’s surgery and a look into Juliet’s past. I just hope that the show will pick up, period — while still more enjoyable than most shows on television, the storylines have been meandering in circles as the producers attempt to find a direction to send it in.
Luckily, Grey’s Anatomy has returned, making the Lost hiatus a bit easier to bear. Grey’s, which won Best Drama series in the Golden Globes, returned from its break with a two-part episode.
It turns out that the year before, Addison, tragically gorgeous as always, aborted Mark Sloane’s baby. Mark finally comes to terms with it by realizing that he would be a horrible father, and Addison heals by hooking up with Alex. Even though the intern/attending thing is getting a little old, they both deserve something good in their lives.
Izzie finally takes her inheritance to the bank so that she can be cleared for surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery that she’s supposed to perform on a girl with a severely bent spine doesn’t go through because, irony of ironies, her mother lacks the funds to pay for it.
Izzie, predictably, donates the money but gets kicked out of the surgery by Bailey for once again being too involved with her patients. (I wanted to point out that this time, Izzie saved someone’s life instead of killing him/her, but the TV screen kept Bailey from hearing me. Stupid screen.)
Burke and Christina are still not speaking, while Meredith and Derek are being cutely boring — her snoring problem is keeping McDreamy from McDreaming. Meredith confronts her father who is still skulking around the hospital, and he admits that he didn’t fight to keep her in his life. She somehow forgives him for this because she gets her snoring from him, and he in turn solves the sleeping situation.
And for the main event: George’s father asks to go through with the surgery even though the cancer spread. At first it seems like he’s doing better, but in the end he goes through massive organ failure, and the O’Malleys decide to take him off life support. This prompts Burke to realize that giving his girlfriend the silent treatment is a little immature, and he tells Christina that he hasn’t experienced any tremors. Christina, in turn, does her best to comfort George, and it turns out her Dad died when she was nine. Poor, poor George. Hi, tear ducts; it’s been awhile.

Mid-season Replacements:
There are three kinds of television shows: the smart shows that make you think, the guilty pleasures that make you happy and the crap that makes you wish you were a deaf-mute. While Dirt, Courtney Cox’s new FX show about an overambitious tabloid editor in Hollywood, isn’t bad enough to make you wish to lose both sight and hearing, it for sure warrants the removal of at least one of those senses.
In theory, it should have been a guilty pleasure: scandal, celebrity and lots of pretty, naked people. In reality, the combination of awful acting, a weird, unconnected subplot about Cox’s schizophrenic photographer and potentially the worst, most clichéd script since the WB’s The Mountain put it in the third category without even a thought — probably the same amount of effort the producers put in when they made it. Even worse were the lewd, crude and completely unsexy sex scenes. If I wanted to watch bad porn, I would.
It’s possible that if the show had been satirically campy, as its premise seemed to suggest, it would have at least been mediocre, but Dirt dug its own grave in the way that really awful shows tend to do: by taking themselves way too seriously. Towards the end, I think that we’re supposed to empathize with Cox and the horrible decisions she has to make for her job, while being simultaneously disgusted by the actions of Hollywood’s most beautiful. Instead, all it made me do was yawn.
Even the promise of Courtney back in the role of a reporter with a death wish like in Scream and the never-ending mockery that could accompany it couldn’t save this show. Hopefully, unlike in the Scream movies, this time both Cox and Dirt will bite it.