Monday, September 14, 2009

Please, please, please just say no to Jay Leno

Before I go any further, I just wanted to thank Kanye West for finally proving to the world just how much of an ass he is. Not that it really matters to me, since I've thought that much of him since he was obviously the only person who had no fun at "Dave Chappelle's Block Party," but I am glad the proverbial cat is completely out of the bag now.

But I didn't tune in for much else of MTV's Video Music Awards last night because, first of all, I'm obviously far too old, and more importantly because last night was just such an epicly good night of television in other places.

First up at my house came the two-episode finale-of-sorts for "King of the Hill," a finale-of-sorts because it was really just two really good episodes. I love the fact that, apart from that they all ended up eating Hank and Bobby's steaks, there really wasn't any big closing at all, just two naturally funny Bobby-centric episodes that showed why "King of the Hill" has always been funnier than anything else in Fox's Sunday night lineup - and a heck of a lot better than Mike Judge's latest movie, "Extract." R.I.P. Hill clan.

Next up was the season two finale of "True Blood," and man was that just a wildly entertaining mess. It hit me about five minutes into it that, even though what they had come up with all of Maryann's madness was just crazy enough to work, absolutely none of it came from Charlaine Harris' very popular Sookie Stackhouse novels (of which, since I'm nearing the end of book five, you can certainly count me as a fan.) And the ending (I'm just gonna have to assume that you've seen this by now if you want to)? If Sookie had somehow even agreed to marry Bill it would have just been way too much of a departure from the novels to even stomach, so I'm certainly glad that never happened (at least to his knowledge.)

But, amazingly, episode five of season three of "Mad Men" was still the best thing on TV last night, and by a pretty wide stretch. Poor Bertie giving birth while Don and his new prison guard buddy bonded over a bottle of booze? Priceless. And you can just tell that the schoolteacher is gonna be a femme fatale like Don just hasn't encountered yet. Of all his mistresses so far, Rosemarie DeWitt from season one would have to be my favorite, with Maggie Siff a close second, but you can just tell that the teacher will do more damage than the both of them combined, and I can't wait to see it unfold. And it really is amazing that season three so far is miles better than season two, which was just as much better than season one.

And I tell you all that to tell you this: In your mind, compare all that wild entertainment to what's going to be unleashed on NBC tonight and, for that matter, every weeknight at 10 p.m. or the foreseeable (or should it be "unforeseeable"?) future. Is there really anything worse you could imagine for primetime than FIVE HOURS A WEEK of Jay Leno kissing celebrities' asses? I can't come up with anything, and given the rather amazing amount of reality crap that pollutes most of the airwaves now, that's saying quite a bit.

Tonight will be a test of willpower for me, because I really like Jerry Seinfeld (Jay's first 10 p.m. guest), but I'm gonna stand strong and just say no. If I have any power at all (and, believe me, I'm well aware that I don't), please do me this tiny favor and never, ever tune in to this garbage. I have a feeling from everything I've read so far that, no matter how abysmal Jay's ratings might get, they're unlikely to pull him off the air any time soon because the show is just so cheap to produce, but we can still try, right?

OK, enough bile for a Monday morning. I'll leave you with something much more glorious: A making-of featurette for Wes Anderson's upcoming "Fantastic Mr. Fox." As you can see from this clip, Anderson clearly has the same respect for Roald Dahl and his work that Spike Jonze has for Maurice Sendak and his. Enjoy the clip, and have a perfectly passable Monday. Peace out.


jeremy said...

Never liked Jay Leno. Won't be watching.
Now, onto Mad Men. Didn't care for the episode. First of all, because I find the domestic aspects of the show rather boring unless it is work spilling over into domestic life. Secondly, the drug-induced hallucinations, I found, to be a waste of time. The real drama was unfolding at the office with Peggy and Pete, and there just wasn't enough of it. Looks like there will be next week, though!

Chalupa said...

Can't echo you more on Kanye West. I'm glad you brought up Dave Chappelle's block party because that film/documentary is just amazing. He brought in so many artists - he even reunited Lauryn Hill and Wycliffe Jean! Come on! Oh wait, maybe Kanye didn't like it because cooler and more important people were there.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think you hit it exactly right, there, Chalupa ... He's such an arrogant ass that I'm sure he couldn't stand to share the stage with so many people clearly more talented than him

And I can kind of agree with your assessment of Mad Men, Jeremy, in that I agree that the hallucinations were a bit much (and cribbed, frankly, directly from Weiner's previous employer, "The Sopranos"), but I really loved Don at the hospital, and I think they're building slowly, as they usually do, to something really great with Pete and Peggy (and mostly just because he's such a completely annoying little prat, Pete has always been one of my favorite "Mad Men" characters)