Sunday, January 1 1995
CBS probably wanted it clear from the start that The Ellen Show, unlike Degeneres' previous series, is not a 'lesbian show,' but a show in which the main character just happens to be a lesbian -- an uneasy and unclear difference to be sure.
Everyone in Stuckeyville seems to have an anomalous background and perspective on life, so the advice that Ed gets ranges from the practical to the absurd.
Perhaps there should be a redistribution of sorrow here, a socialism of tragedy. Spread the misery around so everyone can have some. Let Elizabeth be pregnant and let 'Dr. Dave' get sued for malpractice and pass the brain tumor on to someone else who can 'use' it.
In 'Enterprise', all of the neato gadgets that have become Star Trek mainstays -- tricorders, phasers, communicators -- are new to the characters.
The specter of the mechanized legal system is the lasting impression of 'The Execution of Wanda Jean'. Despite questions about her mental state, despite the expressed wishes of her victim's brother and mother, despite Wanda Jean's prayerful optimism, the process of her execution is relentless.
'DAG' is a sitcom about a top Secret Service agent named Jerome Daggett (David Alan Grier) who was once head of the Presidential Detail's elite A-team.
Her beigeyness is relevant here as well: Alba is on record as being Spanish-Mexican-French-Danish, but more to the point, [her character] Max Guevera is a non-white-girl starring in a world where the people in power are still overwhelmingly Caucasian.
Agonising over life decisions whilst looking hot is the hallmark of the teen drama.
Police Chief Mannion's know-it-allness is grating, no doubt. And like many crusaders before him, he maintains this attitude no matter what happens, blaming everyone else for what goes wrong.
Then something fantastic happened. About two-thirds of the way through Season Two, some dead weight moved out of Wisteria Lane, and in their place came some exciting new plotlines.
This plot comes to revolve around the couple's troubles with money -- it becomes an emblem and manifestation of Zora and Franklin's mutual and separate fears.
In 'Deadline', Dick Wolf's new show for NBC, no one, least of all the self-satisfied Wallace Benton (played with plumy waspishness by Oliver Platt), seems to care a fig for the story.
In Dark Angel, Max's apparently tireless pursuit of her weird past... means that she's always trying to define herself as part of something, a race, a community, a politics.
'The Downer Channel' is the type of stuff high school videos are made of.
The modern family is wonderfully fluid, apparently able to absorb any permutation of race, religion, gender, or class; its recombinations of conventional marriage or divorce,
It tickles, but rarely provokes the full-on belly laugh you'd expect from such talented performers.
For the Dudesons, it's all about the commotion, the more extreme, the better. For them, pain is a reward. For us, it's more frightening than funny.
'Citizen Baines' symbolizes the lack of imagination driving so much of prime-time.