April 07, 2004

Tuesday TV Round-Up

“24”: Unlike last year, when the show blew all the great stuff in the first half and was stuck with nothing but boring nonsense for the last twelve hours, Season 3 has saved the best for last after a lackluster beginning- establishing a two-pronged set-up for the final seven episodes in which a terrorist madman has control of a lethal virus and is blackmailing the president with it, while a hotel is filled with guests infected with said virus.

I can forgive the producers for once again introducing a never-before-seen supervillain just for the last few episodes, only because Reiko Aylesworth (Michelle) looks really, really hot when she’s waving a gun and screaming.

But whatever happened to Jack’s heroin addiction subplot? Or the mysterious baby? And besides, it’s never a good sign when a show’s commercials include some variation on, “now is the time to come back and start watching again!”

“Real World: San Diego”: I’ve gotta say, this season has disappointed me after the strong beginning- nothing but arrests, drinking, and arrests-for-drinking, only occasionally interrupted by Frankie’s way-too-disturbing-for-reality-TV dysfunctions. Yes, we learned last night that she’s a “cutter,” though she’s not nearly as interesting a character as Maggie Gyllanhaal in “Secretary”; luckily we had Dr. Drew handy to explain it it all. I’m with EW recapper Josh Wolk:

After this show has spent the past few months fetishizing dumb people drinking, humping, and generally being irresponsible, then any random, serious Life Lesson moment seems comically discordant.
Especially when it's such a one-shot: As the coming-attraction segment showed, next week we're going to go right back to seeing Brad dry-hump some girl while the rest of the roommates peek into his room. It's like splicing an afterschool special into the middle of a ''Girls Gone Wild'' marathon. ''Show us your boobs! Show us your boobs! Hey, wait, that girl's got bulimia, and she needs therapy. But hey, girl behind the girl with bulimia, show us YOUR boobs!''

“The Shield”: Television’s first male-on-male oral rape- damn, that was some intense stuff, and should set the tone for the rest of the season. It may add a new layer of complexity to Aceveda’s character, but still, why have it happen to the “bad” good guy instead of one of the “good” bad guys (the Strike Team)? I guess they used up all their sadism points when they robbed the money train, burned that guy's face on the stove, and killed one of their own men.

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 7, 2004 09:46 PM

I have to say I was impressed with Benito Martinez's performance so far. The character of Aceveda hasn't exactly given him the chance to flex his acting muscles to this point.

And outside of killing Terry in the first episode, the Strike Team hasn't really been "bad-bad".
Michelle is super hot when she's packing...and do you really want them to revisit the baby plot? That was just to make Chloe look suspicious.

Everything else Vic and the boys have done has been excusable: who cares if the Armenian mob gets ripped off? Armadillo deserved it, and I can't cry over the gangbangers and perverts that Vic has shaken down or beaten up. Looking back, the killing of Terry strikes me as a "pilot shocker", out of character with just about everything else we've seen from the Strike Team since (for example: Lem is concerned about the wounded Armenian he shot at the heist).

Aceveda really isn't that good either, he doesn't want to bring down Vic for the sake of justice. He wants headlines for it.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at April 7, 2004 09:58 PM

That would be another fantasy baseball name- "The Strike Team." Especially next time a mid-season strike is possible.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at April 8, 2004 12:54 AM

From the USA Today "Shield" article: "That's when Ryan and his researchers went to work to learn about the lingering effects of male sexual violation."

In the course of their research I'm sure they must have come across and read Jarrod Reich's article on the subject. If so, they should acknowledge Jarrod in the credits.

Posted by: Joe at April 8, 2004 01:02 PM

I don't think dramatic TV shows often acknowledge their research sources.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at April 8, 2004 04:25 PM

Bill -
I was being facetious; Jarrod Reich was a Brandeis classmate of Steve and myself who wrote an article about male rape - there are probably many more articles on the topic, but that's the only one I've heard of (though it's worth noting that Jarrod's was specifically about men raped by women, so didn't specifically speak to the topic covered on the show).

Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2004 12:25 PM
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