telefetish: January 2006 Archives

Love Monkey

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I should start by saying that, to an extent, I drank the KoolAid when it came to this show. All day long, although I'd forgotten the specific reason, it occurred to me that there was something on tv tonight that I'd planned to watch. And when I got home tonight, and scanned the guide, it hit me. I thought I'd give Love Monkey a go. I must admit to being underwhelmed, enough so that I will review the show almost entirely in the form of lists:

    5 opening lines to imaginary reviews of Love Monkey
  1. It's hard to believe that, at one time, Tom Cavanagh did John Stewart better than John himself.
  2. At last we have the answer to the question of what would result if High Fidelity and Jerry Maguire married and had a child: Love Monkey.
  3. Love Monkey wants you to believe that it's a mix tape, but in the end it's more like Now That's What I Call Hipster!
  4. Love may be a marathon, but Love Monkey was more like a sprint, as they gave away more plot points in the final five minutes of the pilot than most shows do in a season.
  5. Jason Priestley fans who have been wondering what he's been up to lately now have a reason to watch television again.
    5 characters from Love Monkey that I'm pretty sure I've seen before
  1. Agent with the heart of gold (and apparently, as several characters attested to, a "golden ear") who's in it for the "right reasons" (Cavanagh)
  2. Gal pal who secretly pines for our hero (Judy Greer)
  3. Married guy pal who repeatedly tries to win admission from single buddies that it's okay for him to be married (Priestley)
  4. Ex-jock guy pal who pretends to play the ladies, but is secretly gay (Christopher Wiehl)
  5. Slimy ex-boss whose only interest is the bottom line (Eric Bogosian)

Okay, those are the only lists I could come up with, but I think you get the idea. If there's nothing else on, I might give it another try, but by and large, I can't imagine that it'll last too long. Here's a bad sign: the show opens by contrasting the "perfect day" that he "tells his parents about" with his actual days. Problem is, he's supposed to be in his mid-30s, and this conceit works better with someone in their early 20s who's trying to make it. The show feels like it's written by 30- or 40-somethings trying to imagine what it would be like to be in their 20s again. The disjunct isn't all that jarring, but it was off enough to be offputting for me.

Oh, and #4 in the first list was really weird. They did this closing montage where they literally gave away plot points left and right, all stuff that the main character himself apparently doesn't know. It's the kind of thing that you put into a pilot for the network execs, but you take it out if you expect your show to last more than 6 episodes. At least, that what I would think. Otherwise, you're undercutting your point-of-view character as everyone around him knows more than he does. It's a losing strategy.

But hey, that's just me. I hoped for more.

Positively Wonderfalls

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So my question is this: if the gift is purchased via consultation with one's Amazon Wishlist, then what's the proper distribution of giftly credit? Granted, I didn't actually buy this for myself, but I'd like to imagine that I deserve some credit for having selected it in the first place...

The next highlight in my 1st ever Blog Parade of Holiday Engiftiture is the DVD boxed set for the series Wonderfalls (IMDB). You might rightly ask "Hunnnh?!" for this series lasted all of four episodes, and while I have a vague recollection of hearing a little critical buzz about it, I never personally saw an episode myself the first time around, and I'm betting most of you didn't either.

That, however, was a mistake. Think Joan of Arcadia, but instead of God inhabiting the bodies of extras to prod Joan, it's a series of stuffed, mounted, and/or cartoon animals that offer rather oblique advice to the lead character Jaye, and a great deal of mileage comes from questions of whether it's God, Satan, or her own psychoses speaking to her through these animals. The show takes place in Niagara Falls, and Jaye is a disaffected 24-year old with a philosophy degree from Brown who works retail (in a kitsch store) and lives in a trailer.

The show is really, really quirky, and I mean that in the best of all possible ways. It's both easy and unfortunate to see why the show itself was unsuccessful in its brief run on FOX, but that shouldn't stop you from queueing it up through Netflix or taking a gamble on it the way I did. I've been watching an episode or two a night (the set has 13 episodes), and have been thinking about spreading them out a little more so that it's not over too soon. It's that good. The episodes themselves are almost Seinfeldian in their plot structure and the way seemingly unrelated events and/or characters come together. In all, it's made me conscious of how difficult it is to sustain good programming on television--if a show isn't picked up by the viewing public pretty quickly and heavily, it doesn't stand much of a chance.

Oh, and the theme song is written and sung by Andy Partridge of XTC fame, which is either a good or a bad thing. Good for me.

That is all.



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This page is a archive of entries in the telefetish category from January 2006.

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