Friday, October 27, 2006

This PSA brought to you by the CW

Though it pains me to remind loyal readers of this fact, I do watch "One Tree Hill." This probably makes me their only viewer out of high school. Which is why I'm spreading the word: In this week's episode, the CW has created the perfect public service announcement to stop kids from sharing personal information on the Internet.

The run-down: Peyton has been posting podcasts and vcasts about her life, including her experiences meeting her birth mother, then losing her birth mother to cancer. After finding out that she has a half-brother, Peyton gives him a call, and he doesn't want to talk to her. So she relates the story online and ends with a plea for her half-brother, Derek, to get in touch with her. Lo and behold, not too much later, a stranger shows up on her doorstep and says he's her brother. You can see where this is going.

But I'll spell it out for you anyway. The guy is not really her brother. He's P-S-Y-C-H-O. (Did you like how I literally spelled it out for you? I'm hilarious. That's why I have this blog. Anyway...)

Over the course of the next few episodes, fake Derek ingratiates himself with Peyton, and she's none the wiser. But in this week's eipsode, the truth comes out, and the viewer is treated to a truly terrifying segment during which fake Derek ambushes Peyton at her house (where he has cut the phone access), chases her around, literally drags her along the floor into her bedroom, and punches her in the face and otherwise physically manhandles her. When Peyton's friend, Lucas, arrives and tries to save her, fake Derek uses a taser gun on him until Lucas temporarily passes out! Eventually, fake Derek gets thrown out the window — only to disappear before the police can arrive and take him away, which means he's still out there (because apparently this episode wasn't frightening enough).

Perhaps you've seen the episode of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" in which Emma goes to meet an online predator. It was actually the pilot for the series, so I give them props for going so dark right away, but I've long felt that it wasn't scary enough to leave an impression on their audience. Now parents need look no further than "One Tree Hill." Show this thing to their kids, and they won't have to worry about their babies giving away too much information online. Of course, they'll have to tend to their children's nightmares, but that's only a natural byproduct of the best PSAs. I'll never forget one I saw when I was maybe 12, which featured scenes of people happily eating and drinking at a barbeque, followed by shots of bloody carnage after a drunk driving accident.

Anyway, if you want to check out the "One Tree Hill" segment in question, you can watch it on YouTube. Or start at the beginning of the episode here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Now that's good TV!

My God, tonight's season finale of "Project Runway" was such a nail-biter! In the past two seasons, I've thought it was fairly obvious who would win. But this time around, I kept flip-flopping until the final moments.

Personally, I thought that Jeffrey's collection was the stand-out, but based on the judge's comments, I couldn't tell whether they were leaning towards him or Uli. Even as I was listening to Heidi Klum say, "Congratulations..." I had no idea whose name was going to come out of her mouth. And then — sweet vindication!

Yes, I know that early on I named Jeffrey as my least favorite contestant, but of course as I got to see more of his personality and ostensible earnestness, my animosity declined. Not that he became my favorite person or anything. But I truly felt his collection was the best, and I was rooting for him. Unlike the rest of the nation, who apparently were dead wrong; check out the votes from Bravo's (albeit unscientific) online/phone poll:


America, you're so dumb. I'm smart. Ha ha.

Now bring on the "Top Chef" drama, baby!

Monday, October 16, 2006

How I Love "Your Mother"

Even though I got home from work dead tired tonight, barely able to keep my eyes open as I stumbled down my block, I couldn't resist watching the episode of "How I Met Your Mother" that I recorded tonight. And as always (except for that one time), I was not disappointed. Lily and Barney's cohabitation scheme. Marshall's man dates. Even a little spin of "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby" by Islands — during a montage no less! How is it possible that this show is so good?

"You two are just threatened because I'm a single guy moving in on your couples turf. Well, guess what — it's my territory now. I'm peeing all over brunches, fancy dinners, and musicals."
—Marshall, defending his accidental date with Brad

"You were supposed to be the vaccine, but you gave me the disease!"
—Barney, berating Lily for showing him that he could enjoy female companionship in his own home

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Man oh Manny, I hate your hair!

I was not at all pleased with Manny's haircut on the last season of "Degrassi." I thought it made her look old and seemed like the choice of someone either trying to hard or just going with the obvious trend or both. But believe it or not, this season's hairstyle is even worse! Seeing it on tonight's episode was awful because it was the first time this season that Manny has had a lot of close-up screen time. Oy vey, Manny, what have they done to you? You're so adorable under all that hair, I just want to take a pair of scissors and chop off the half-foot bangs and huge mane!

And while we're at it, what's up with the new opening sequence? I'm assuming they were trying to age up the credits since the characters — and presumably the audience as well — has outgrown the boppy, zooming tour around the campus. Good idea. I'm all for it. But in my opinion, the results are a miserable failure. Opening credits of "Beverly Hills, 90210," anyone?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Snuggly Betty

Oh my God, I LOVE "Ugly Betty." Because of some temporary DVR hiccup, I was sadly unable to record the premiere. At first, I was just slightly disappointed; despite the fact that there was so much buzz about how good it was, I figured that it wouldn't live up to the hype because nothing ever does.

But then I watched Episode 2, and found myself delighted from the very first ping of the background music playing behind the re-cap of the previous week's show. Since then, I've been looking forward to tonight's episode with as much — nay, dare I say it, even more — anticipation than that with which I await each new episode of "Studio 60" and "Gilmore Girls." And although less wacky, tonight's episode certainly did not disappoint.

Yes, there were a few instances of predictable dialogue that I wouldn't tolerate in a less earnest show, but "Ugly Betty" obviously has the same heart of gold as its title character. Plus, a twisted sense of humor. Thank goodness the cast is so talented — in particular America Ferrara and Ana Ortiz, who swing effortlessly between sincerity and comedy, and Vanessa Williams and Michael Urie, who are able to perform the absurd with facial expressions that convey the perfect mix of seriousness and self-aware amusement.

If you haven't already caught it, watch tonight's episode online. If you have some tropical ice treat to eat along with it, even better. Personally, I recommend Ben & Jerry's Jamaican Me Crazy sorbet.