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57 Channels and Something On

Here’s a something about the TV we’ve been watching lately. It didn’t dawn on me until now just how gay these shows are. We’re talking wrapped in a rainbow flag, tottering around in pink platform heels GAY. My viewing habits aren’t really that gay. I watch a lot of PBS, too — and not just In the Life. Anyway, here goes:

  • Kathy Griffin: Strong Black Woman (Bravo) Premiering last night, Griffin’s latest stand-up special premiered is being repeated often this week. Hilarious as usual, even though she tells a dog story that goes on too long and there’s not enough of her trademark no-holds-barred celebrity dish during this go ’round. C’mon, you just know she could fill a few hours alone on that bitch Star Jones.
  • Will & Grace (new episodes on NBC and repeats on Lifetime Television for Womenâ„¢) Full disclosure: I never got into W&G until the last year or so. It always seemed too unbelievably stupid to me, a bunch of gay people prancing around and talking about their own gayness. But then I impulsively TiVo-ed the episodes with hunky guest star Bobby Cannavale and started realizing how good the scripts are. Now we’re doing double duty, cramming on two repeats a night while viewing the new shows every Thursday. I have to admit that the show really did hit a serious slump in 2002-04 from which it never fully recovered. The new episodes remind me of the later years of Friends in that it’s morphed into more of a soap opera with laughs than a true sitcom. Will that keep me from catching the series finale on the 18th? No way.
  • How It’s Made (Discovery) and Back to the Blueprint (The History Channel) Two great programs that delve into how things are made and built. How It’s Made is a solid French Canadian import that demonstrates just what the title says on various common household items, with unobtrusive narration and a no-frills style. I love seeing the multitude of steps that go into the manufacturing process, and those automated robot arms are always fascinating to watch. Blueprint follows host Marty Dunham as he renovates and shares neat background info on various historic home and building styles. The combo of history and how-to might be more appropriate for the HGTV channel, which is probably why the History Channel slots the show into an unforgivably bad Saturday morning time slot. New episodes have popped up in the last few weeks — catch ’em while you can.
  • Bette Davis Month (Turner Classic Movies) Bette Davis is probably my favorite actress, and TCM is giving me plenty of opportunity to savor her more obscure films. Bette’s tasty Pre-Code era has already been broadcast, but there’s plenty left later this month. I highly recommend the enjoyable new documentary on her life and career — Stardust: The Bette Davis Story — which will be repeated on May 18th and 25th. The doc deals in familiar territory, but before this I never realized the full extent of hatred daughter B.D. Hyman had for her famous mom. What a sour-faced, unpleasant woman.

4 Thoughts on “57 Channels and Something On

  1. Eric on May 15, 2006 at 5:13 pm said:

    Have you been watching Top Chef?

  2. No, I haven’t. Is it any good?

  3. My friend and I had the same thing with W&G – we thought it was the worst show ever, and then had a complete turnaround, and now can’t understand how we could have hated it so much. People always come in when I’m watching it and say ‘how can you watch this crap?’ and I try to explain the phenomenon of how it seems like crap, but isn’t… they don’t believe me :D.

  4. It’s interesting watching the repeats this way, going through a full season in about 2 months. Right now we’re in the part where they tried to hide Debra Messing’s pregnancy with all those lame “she gained weight” jokes.

    By the way, I love your weblog, which I just discovered earlier this week. You have excellent music tastes!

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