Friday, October 16, 2009

Some worthwhile TV at last.

This is my second attempt to get this out, so I created a new blog to do it. This fall has brought welcome cool weather and cool tv. Let me recommend a few worthy entries, old and new.

1. THE GOOD WIFE is yet another law show but without the smarminess of THE PRACTICE and its off-shoot BOSTON LEGAL. Its contemporary catch is a cheating, lying public official facing the press with his long-suffering wife (think Elliot Spitzer), but there the similarity ends. Juliana Margules, who steamed up ER 20 years ago with the original Dr. McDreamy George Clooney, is now a mature woman with two teens who must go back to her law firm after being a homemaker for many years. She faces the hidden sneers of her younger co-workers, her mother, and the press, but she hangs tough and makes her case each week. Margules has the grit and lived-in quality of woman betrayed but ready to do battle.

2. Even if you hate musicals or teen emotional crises, give GLEE several chances. In this fantasy high school dramedy, kids in musical rehearsal suddenly expand to the football field or a Broadway stage as they purvey their personal problems (oh so many problems)into show-stopping numbers. The cast is nigh-perfect, and Jane Lynch as the obsessed cheerleader coach determined to crush the nerdy glee clubers is worth all your reservations. And Broadway veteran Matthew Morrison, a fine actor and singer/dancer, shines as the glee club sponsor and Spanish teacher. All the classic stereotypes are here: nerds, feckless principal and teachers, jocks, etc. But in this new wrapper, they do rock.

3. MODERN FAMILY throws together some delightful clashes for its new take on an old format. We have dad with his new Latino hottie wife and her child, dad's son who is married to an over-achiever wife who doesn't want her teen daughter to be the high school slut she was, and dad's other son who is gay and has just adopted an Asian baby with his partner. These people love each other, but each is very touchy, which makes for some great comedy.


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