The Cocktail Party Primer (Episode #17) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The Cocktail Party Primer (Episode #17)

January 4, 2008 by  

The eggs have been nogged and the plums sugared, and the first New Year’s resolutions have already crashed and burned. indeed, the holiday season is over. The writer’s strike, however, lurches onward with no signs of abating. I’m busy steeling myself for the upcoming horror of Ryan Seacrest doing master of ceremony duties for the Super Bowl, plus it’s prime frizzy hair weather around here, so I won’t be out and about much this weekend myself. If you’re suffering from a similar festivity hangover, here’s a bit of news to keep you company through a long weekend of virtuous tread milling and abstentious wheatgrass juice. Or whatever it is that people who make resolutions fill their time with in January.

  • I must have been a very good girl during 2007, because although it’s not official yet, it seems I have gotten the thing I wanted most for Christmas. What, you ask, was this thing that I desired to see wrapped up in paper and on Christmas morning? All I wanted was for Bionic Woman to go back to the dark pit of poorly acted, clunky dialogue-laden hell from whence it came so as to never torment humanity again, and it’s looking like that’s what happened. I never really talked about ol’ Jamie Sommers here before; I couldn’t bring myself to. I loathed it so much, anything I could think to write about it was vitriolic enough that it seemed beneath my dignity, such as it is, to let it see the light of day. How a show with such a marvelous premise and talented creators could devolve into a steaming pile of ugliness not even Katee Sackhoff kicking ass and taking names could save it, I’ll never know. But it seems our long national nightmare is likely over, and Michelle Ryan’s quivering, moony eyes will trouble us no more. Happy New Year, indeed.
  • Apparently, teenagers like to get busy. Even perky, wealthy, religious teens with successful TV shows just love to bump uglies, as the saying goes. Object lesson: Miss Spears, the younger. Sixteen-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, star of the Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, announced that she was pregnant by a 18 year old guy she met at church. Although season four of Zoey is already in the can, Nick has yet to decide whether they’ll air it or just sweep it under the biggest, heaviest rug they can find. In a twist so dripping with irony it made Alanis Morisette slap herself on the forehead and say, “Oh, now I get it!” Spears matriarch Lynne’s forthcoming book on parenting was put on indefinite hold by its Christian publisher. Canceling the book’s release was an obvious response to the crisis, but I was a little surprised it occurred to them to do it. It’s hard to underestimate the good judgment of a company that looked at Britney Spears and thought, “Hey, who raised this shiny little train wreck? Do you think she’d share her wisdom with the world?”

  • On Wednesday night, the late shows returned with, well, not so much a vengeance as a grunt and some desperately waving jazz hands. Whether or not the whole business stinks a bit of broken picket lines is up for debate. I took two things away from the experience. One, Jay Leno (in addition to possibly being a dirty scab who actually wrote his opening monologue) is not amusing to me. With a cadre of talented writers, I can just barely tolerate him. In their absence, he’s a twitchy chin mutant whose voice and gestures make me shudder as they suck the funny right out of the room. Conversely, Conan O’Brien, when playing fast and loose, possesses an amusingly manic enthusiasm that rather reminded me of the time my brother gave my mom’s Boston terrier beer. The show wasn’t good, precisely, but sort of awkwardly deranged in a way that I sort of enjoyed. And now that I think of it, Let’s Give Bean the Dog Some Bud Light might be exactly the kind of unscripted segment that Conan could be interested in as the strike wears on. Call me Conan, we’ll do lunch.And speaking of Conan, NBC took advantage of his unscripted return to demonstrate once again how woefully terrible the networks have been at generating public sympathy and good PR for their side of the WGA strike dispute. From smugly scolding tone they employ on to their smarmy little leaks to Variety, the producers have looked about as warm and sympathetic as Stalin kidnapping children to be playthings for his rapid pet raccoon. So no one should have been surprised when they channeled Dr. Evil wielding a big black marker and cut Conan’s critical comments from the official transcript of the show, as if by hitting the delete key, they could redact them from existence. When people noticed, NBC claimed it had all been a big mistake and put them back. Then they went back to their offices on Mount Doom to continue making voodoo dolls of the writers from 30 Rock and feeding kittens to their krakens.

Martha Smith is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor. She writes mostly about food, TV, and other things that can be enjoyed while sitting down.

Filed under TV News


6 Responses to “The Cocktail Party Primer (Episode #17)”

  1. The Cocktail Party Primer (Episode #17) — All This Nonsense on January 4th, 2008 3:57 pm

    […] reading this post by: Give Me My Remote For more… RSS […]

  2. Kristi on January 4th, 2008 4:25 pm

    I watched Conan’s opening last night and it was actually really funny! I was pleasantly surprised 🙂

  3. CFO (not my initials) on January 4th, 2008 8:48 pm

    Zoey 101 is on Nickelodeon, NOT the Disney Channel. So it will be Nickelodeon that decides whether or not to continue Jamie Lynn Spears’ show.

  4. SOF on January 4th, 2008 9:52 pm

    I think Zoey 101 is on Nick. Not completely sure, though

  5. Martha on January 5th, 2008 4:28 pm

    Isn’t my face red. Indeed you are both correct, Zoey 101 is indeed on Nickelodeon. Minus fifty points for me.

  6. CFO (not my initials) on January 9th, 2008 5:48 am

    It’s okay, Martha.
    Although I cannot award you a Schrute Buck, I will give you a Stanley Nickel.