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Weekly TV Roundup: Nip/Tuck’s Premiere/Finale, Boldly Going Nowhere and America!, USA

Written by: Patrick Kelly, CC2K TV Editor

ImageNip/Tuck Breaks Ground, Folding One Entire Season Into One Episode;Why Animal Collective's New Album Should Have Sex with Fox's New Show, Boldly Going Nowhere; Television, and a Network, Provide New Proof That America Kicks Ass; and Why Chris Myers Must Be Friends With Cal Ripken.

Nip/Tuck’s Season Premiere….and Finale

I had absolutely no intention of writing about Nip/Tuck, the reason not being because it’s unbelievably superficial (which it is) and entertaining (which it definitely is). No, I had no intention of typing the words Christian and McNamara, because if you write about the show that means you are going to criticize it (subconsciously or aloud) and you can’t successfully critique something that incredibly vain, it just won’t go through. You can’t analyze the traits of a Ferris wheel; either the ride is fun or it’s not. Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about it, but then the unthinkable happened: FX and the writers of Nip/Tuck had the effin’ balls to air an entire season in one episode. One episode! This unbelievable skill of the writers aside, FX put an entire intense-ass marketing campaign behind the push for one hour of television. Unprecedented.Image

24 is going to be jeaeaaalous. Nip/Tuck’s premier/finale was simply groundbreaking as it was unbelievably prolific in cliffhanger moments, shattering the normal trend of having one or two split among over 20 episodes: Sean gets stabbed (multiple times) by crazy lady while performing surgery to save his daughter’s life and lies bleeding on the floor; Annie’s (Sean’s daughter) life is saved by Christian; Sean stabs and kills crazy lady who stabbed him; Sean survives, but is limited to a wheelchair; Liz has a lump in her breast; Liz’s lump is benign; Christian has a lump on his breast; Christian’s lump is malignant, stage 2 cancer; Christian has surgery to remove tumor; and, then, at the end of episeason, Sean walks. Then they show you what’s going to happen “this season on Nip/Tuck”.

And some people still can’t understand why Deadwood was so good…

Arrested Development’s Replacement

If you are fan of comedy or of awkward situations and enjoy good television, I'm assuming that you were (are) happy to hear that the creators of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are in the process of putting a new show on Fox. The show, Boldly Going Nowhere, is about the everyday boneheadedness of an intergalactic space crew (less Futurama, more Quark).

This might seem like old news to some: the reason I bring it up is there is word that the show could be picked up and shown as early as this season. That means that the show will have to have a soundtrack to help shape the feel of the show. And though it might be due to my five day DayQuil/Mucinex binge, I'm starting to think that a marriage between Boldly Going Nowhere and Animal Collective's new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, would be the most appropriate. I'm not really sure what the logistics of this gathering would be or if it would even be possible to marry an ambitious Fox comedy to a much-anticipated indie music release but, for some reason, it feels riiiiighhhttt (Dayquil).

If you’ve heard the album I shouldn’t have to explain, not because the connection between the writing of the It’s Always Sunny troupe—Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton— and the underwater rock—-named for the hypothetical, “if the ocean had a soundtrack…and a sense of humor”— of Animal Collective’s newest release is obvious, but for the reason that they are both incomparable to any of their contemporaries….and they’re weird (relative). And if you haven’t heard the album, then it should be obvious how good I think it is (best of the next year) by my unnecessary jamming of an album in to this weekly television update.

You’ve heard the album and you don’t think it would fit? You think the new Animal Collective album is transcendent and ground-breaking and genre-altering, thus deserving more of a fate then one season with the “low-brow” stylings of Charlie Day and co.? Just take Tony Hale’s (who plays Robot, a robot) description of the show’s pilot episode (from his interview with paste magazine): "The captain is afraid of a robot uprising and so his goal is to emasculate me. And he does that by—not that I had much hair to begin with—but he shaves just the front part of my head and leaves my hair in the back. And he also gives me a baby penis. His goal is to just totally break me down so I can't rise up and [take over] the ship.”  I can’t think of a better soundtrack (this is a compliment).

America!, USA

You can’t tell right now, but I’m literally shitting flags. Why? Because ABC, realizing that it’s not in good taste to flaunt superficiality in the middle of a “recession”, has decided to highlight “America”. Fuck yes. So how you do highlight America when all of the intangibles (which, just last year when superficiality was celebrated, were superficial) have already been covered (mostly by ABC and the ______ Makeover series)? An expose on a flag manufacturing company? A firework show? Hell no—You highlight the most American things of all: TSA, Border Patrol (Mexico and Canada!), Customs, Coast Guard, and the mutha fucking Post Office. Image

Homeland Security, USA (yes, that's really the name) is some sort of weird PR hybrid; it can’t tell whether it’s an infomercial (there are scenes taken straight out of the Border Patrol’s recruitment video), a reality show or a Discovery Channel-style “documentary”. Predictably, the show starts at the US-Mexico border where it shows, you guessed it, the Border Patrol busting shit and taking names (and, in a surprisingly truthful portion, scaring the shit out of a innocent family). Actually, nearly everything in the show is absolutely predictable because it has already been documented extensively. Really, Mexicans sneak themselves in to the United States through the desert? Drug smugglers hide cocaine, pot and people in their cars—Who the hell knew?

The show doesn’t offer anything of real value to anyone, except the occasional moment that is supposed to make you say, “Whoa, no way!”—the pilot episode’s moment being when someone tried to import dried dead bats (for eating) into the US. Other cultures: Carazy! Homeland Security, USA isn’t informative, interesting or emotional. The only two questions the show successfully poses are: Why it takes five border patrol agents to watch one border patrol agent inspect a car/truck/suitcase (I’m sure there are a bunch of inside jokes in the Border Patrol answering this question)? And why the people being busted/hassled choose to not have their faces blurred?

But the show really isn’t the point of the airing of the show, the title is.

Chris Myers Controls You

Though no one who matters cares, Chris Myers is a snarky overconfident highly paid Fox Sports reporter. Or as he might call it: a “sideline correspondent”. He covers the college football games that supplement the post-new year’s premium ad time. These facts would be completely unrelated to anything (and, therefore, not needed to be mentioned to anyone at anytime) if it weren’t for the fact that he controls the start time of the game that he is covering. While the fans in attendance stand and await kick off for each of the BCS games aired on FOX this season, they have to wait while Chris Myers interviews a person of importance…on the field. Everyone just stands there, waiting for Chris Myers to ask the head coach why the game, in which he invests an unbelievable amount of time and energy, is important and for that Chris Myers is overconfident and snarky.Image

Sure, it’s just an extra minute to wait for a game that lasts three hours. It’s obviously not that big of a deal. But that still doesn’t explain why he would feel the need to make everyone EVERYONE in the stadium and the millions MILLIONS watching on tv wait while he stands on the field and talks into a camera. The game is completely ready to happen and then there is just some dude is standing in the way of play. So, since we already knew he was more important than us by the way he apologetically talks down to each of his interview subjects, why didn’t he just schedule the interview a minute earlier? Or why doesn’t he conduct the interviews on another area of the field, like the bench area, where people are not expecting to play a very important (to some people) game. Because Chris Myers, for whatever reason, feels that he needs to reassure us that he is more important than the game itself (and therefore everyone else in the stadium).

Either that or the producers of the show want to remind the advertisers that they have complete and utter control of every televised aspect of the game. In which case Chris Myers isn’t that bad.