Saturday, July 12, 2008

If you're going to go over-the-top, might as well have fun!

Subject: TV
The last ep of Doctor Who finally aired on the BBC last week. And it will probably be the last regular airing for a while, as next year it's being taken over by the writer of some of the better episodes, and they're only going to have a handful of "specials".

The cliffhanger for the next-to-last episode was the usual fun jaw-dropper, but the finale itself was a bit silly (to be kind). But fer crying out loud, it's Doctor Who, not some sort of high-drama! The silliness and scenery-chewing and triumph is all part of the entertainment package. A little eye-rolling now and then doesn't hurt it overall.

Especially when it's obvious that everyone involved is having a blast doing it. It's infectious. It's a blast to watch. If it were a live show at the theatre, it would bring the house down.

There's another little silly bit of potential-fun that just started on one of the lesser corners of cable TV. It's called The Middleman, and it's kind of a cross between Get Smart (the classic Mel Brooks TV show, of course), Pushing Daisies, and Torchwood (but in a good way. No really!).

I'm not convinced that they're having the same kind of "fun", but it's definitely a bit over the top. Slightly-geeky hipster gal gets a job as a sidekick to a goody-two-shoes "fixer" of comic-book-worthy problems. Lots of straightforward cliche-slinging and attempt obscure-reference-dropping. "Frank Herbert Middle School" was amusing, but "J.R. 'Bob Dobs' Memorial Airport" was quite a snarky coup, I thought. A rival gang of Mexican wrestlers, replete with masks. Funny.

It's dumb fun, but it's been tottering closer to the "dumb" side on occasion. The writing is that same kind of self-aware patter that Pushing Daisies was pushing, and for all I know (and I'm too lazy to check), there's some crossover there (it's airing on "ABC Family", so it's all from the Disney Corp.)

It's probably, ultimately, a waste of time, but I'm not figuring on watching it religiously. The barrier-to-entry for downloading shows like that is really low, and sometimes wasting a little time is just what the neurons ordered. And if it's fun, well, bonus!

No comments: