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Tuesday, September 21, 2004
TV Round-Up
I'm incredibly behind in my watching of Stargate SG1 and Stargate: Atlantis. I'm slowly trying to play a bit of catch-up here.

Stargate SG1--Covenant
I almost get the feeling that this episode and the following Atlantis episode are going to be a lot more important to the bigger picture as the respective seasons wind along. Not that there was necessarily anything really wrong with either episode, but it just felt like there had to be more to it than we got here. Of the two, I'll give SG1 the edge this time around for being more enjoyable. Billionaire Alec Colson has the goods on the governmental cover-up about the existence of aliens and threatens to expose it on live television if the governments of the world don't fess up within 24 hours. When no proof is given, Colson exposes his evidence in the form of an alien body he grew of aquired DNA. Our heroes then discredit Colson, try to bring him in on the secret for the greater good and end up seeing Colson go down after his buddy cooks the books to discredit him on the orders of the Trust, a shadow organization who is above the law and knows of the Stargate project (Sound much like the Consortium anyone?) The first half of the story was quite good as we see Colson taking steps to expose the project and our heroes reactions. But where it turned a bit was once we figured out that Colson's right hand man was up to something. From there on, it was just a matter of waiting for the other shoe to fall. Again, I think this one is setting up some things for future episodes...

Stargate: Atlantis--Underground
The Atlantis crew realizes that supplies will be limited and has Teyla take them to world of the Genii, who have traded with Teyla and her people in the past. Shepard offs medicine in exchange for food, which the Genii want a high price for--until Shepard shows off how to use C4 to get rid of pesky stumps for planting more food. Before you know it, we find out the Genii have a huge underground bunker system, aren't the tranquil Amish people we thought they were and have nukes they'd like to use against the Wraith. Somehow they were able to bring down a Wraith ship and get a memory core that has revealed where some of the Wraith ships are. Their idea--a coordinate attack using the C4 to set off nukes and take out the Wraith. Again, I had the feeling all throughout this one that the Genii were hiding something and waiting for that other shoe to drop. That may have ruined some of my enjoyment of this one, despite the fact that I was happy to see former DS9er Colm Meaney get some work. In the end, the two sides double cross each other, leaving with an ominous tone from the Genii about not making them enemies. Surely the two should see the enemy of my enemy is my friend but apparently, that is not the case. I have a strange feeling we haven't heard the last of the Genii. That said, this one felt like a lot of set-up but no big payoff. Yes, we find out there are a boatlaod of Wraith ships out there and that we have a new enemy, but that was in the first and last moments of the episode. Everything else felt like a lot of filler.

Listen Up
A couple of years ago, CBS attempted a sit-com based on the columns by Dave Barry called Dave's World. That show was moderately amusing but didn't like up to the source material of Dave's columns. Fast forward a couple of years and they're trying the same formula again--this time around it's from the material of Tony Kornheiser and it happens to feature Jason Alexander, trying desparately to prove he can do more on TV than play George Costanza. Unfortunately, this show doesn't show that. If anything, this is just George with a wife and kids and no Jerry to bounce off of and be funny (Malcolm Jamal-Warner tries but he's just no Jerry or Kramer). The first episode is standard stuff--Tony can't up with an idea for a column until he writes about a feud with his daughter without asking her first. Hilarity ensues until the final, touching moment when we get a Doogie Howser-like image of Tony writing his next column. You can almost here the "awwwwwwwwwww" track. I wanted to like this sit-com, I really did. I like Tony Kornheiser. But I think it might have been better to get Kornheiser to play himself in the role. When I see Jason Alexander in this one, all I keep seeing and hearing is George from Seinfeld.

Everybody Loves Raymond
I like Raymond, but I'm already sick of hearing about how this is the final season for the show and we're only in the first episode. And it feels like this could be a potential jump the shark type of episode--parents move to retirement village, brother and sister-in-law move into old house across the street. Honestly, it felt like we'd slipped into bizarro universe and I kept waiting to see Deborah sit up and curse that it was only a dream. Instead, it wasn't one. I am left wondering if this might not have been a better series finale rather than a season opener.

Two and A Half Men
The sit-com heir apparent to Raymond, but at least it's funny and entertaining. Sure, we're not breaking new ground here, but at least it doesn't feel tired. Charlie's support group was a riot as was Alan's attempts to be part of it. Yeah, it's fun to see Sean Penn and Elvis Costello there, poking fun at their public image, but the real comedy gold is seeing Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer play off each other. I know this one gained steam over the summer in terms of audience. I just hope they stay around for the full season.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/21/2004 02:01:00 PM | |
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