Friday, March 06, 2009

TV stuff

I've now watched last week's Fight of The Conchords episode three times and it gets richer each time. The actor who plays Prime Minister Brian will hopefully win an Emmy. I've never seen lunacy portrayed more believably, mostly because he wisely underplays everything. He risks throwing away his best lines and that makes them all the stronger.

For me The Office is having a pretty bad time of it this season. Two of the episodes have been very good but most are mediocre at best. And last night's was terrible. You could finish just about every gag thirty seconds before the punchline and the amusing central premise--Valentine's day for the lonely--was drowned in bad awkward jokes. They recycled the bit where Michael gets everybody in the conference room and asks them to speak honestly about some embarrassing problem in the past--in this case a love affair that went wrong. In the old days they couldn't miss with this set-up but this was not only lame it went on too long was damned dull. And Dwight started over the top and worked up from there. I sensed they were giving him extra bits because the director sensed he had a turkey on his hands. Unfortunately the lines weren't funny.

You had to feel sorry for The Office crew when 30 Rock came on immediately after. Crazy-brilliant with so many sharp performances--one of the stand-outs being by Patt LaPone--with plot twists coming so fast the pace got almost giddy. Tina Fey was at her flustered best and Alec Baldwin is never better than when he's trying to actually do something nice for somebody. And failing at it.

I have high hope for the Amy Poehler sit-com coning along in a few weeks. The promos keep pounding away at "From the creators of The Office." Right now that's not all that reassuring.

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

THE OFFICE has been weak of late, and CONCHORDS has been sharper...30 ROCK has been a bit uneven, but even the weaker episodes usually have a sharp bit or three that was usually missing, or perhaps trampled out of, Fey's writing for SNL back when.

Don't know if you like SCRUBS, as I do, but this probably last season has been a sort of victory lap for the cast, the writing a bit better than it has been in the previous season or so.