Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Rock Star: INXS - If you're not watching this show, you should. It’s on twice this week: tonight at 10PM and tomorrow night at 9PM. The premise is that the remaining five members of INXS are looking for a new lead singer to sing with the tracks they have already written for their upcoming album. The series is awkward, uncomfortable, assuredly causing a dead man to roll in his grave, and everything else we look for in a reality show. But the question needs to be asked: to be the lead singer of INXS: privilege or punishment--discuss.
Perk of the show: imagining host Dave Navarro leaving his current wife, Carmen Electra, for co-host Brooke Burke.
- Visit the Rock Star: INXS website.

House - Even though every episode is more or less the same plot structure--patient comes into hospital with simple diagnosis, symptoms get all crazy and out of control, patient is almost dead, Dr. House says it's a common cold or stomach ache, they treat the cold or stomach ache with an IV drip, patient gets worse, House finally figures out what the disease really is from an off-handed statement made by the girlfriend/father/mother/priest of the patient about a trip they once made to an exotic island--Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie, the sarcastic star of the series makes for a dramatic and compelling show. Most hospital shows follow the blueprint of ER--take Grey's Anatomy, for example--but House is a medical Law & Order with very little focus on the characters' respective private lives and every episode has a mystery inevitably solved by the end of the hour. Moreover, the cast is an impressive collective of real actors. Omar Epps has made himself a name in movies, Robert Sean Leonard was a reputable stage actor (also from Dead Poet's Society) and Laurie, an accomplished British renaissance man, delivers his sarcastic asides with an impressive American accent. You may have missed it the first time around but the summer repeats are reason alone to stay home for House.
Perk of the show: You don't have to follow the series like 24 or Lost. Tune in whenever you want and enjoy an hour of well-acted television.
- Visit the House website.

Rescue Me - Denis Leary is a man. Not like I'm a man. He's a man-man. Leary smokes like a chimney already on fire, he drinks the harshest whisky legally available, and he curses like curse words were invented for his use only. I feel emasculated by just watching Denis Leary on TV. When the Irish comedian speaks, I am suddenly unsure of what I possess in my nether region. Nevertheless, for an hour a week I spend an hour in his company because Rescue Me is terrific television. Leary is Tommy Gavin, a New York City firefighter still dealing with 9/11 even after all his colleagues have since moved on. Gavin struggles with alcoholism and searches for his estranged wife and children all the while putting out New York fires. After a string of TV failures, Leary is finally a hot commodity.
The first season is now available on DVD and can be rented from Netflix.
Perk of the show: You feel like a man just by watching the series.
- Visit the Rescue Me website.

Other recommended summer viewing:
Stella - Comedy Central's new quirky cult show deserves to be more than an inevitably cancelled series
Entourage - Ari Gold is one of the best characters in the history of television.

Summer disappointments:
The 4400 - I wanted this to be a great. I wanted it to be an X-Files. I wanted it to be compelling. I didn't want it to be a hokey science fiction series but it is.
The new set of the Daily Show - The show is supposed to make fun of the cable news channels, not look like them.
Average Joe: The Joe Strikes Back - The worst, cruelest programming ever and every one involved will most likely end up in Hell.


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