Random Thoughts On Upcoming Episodes I Haven't Seen Yet

What comes to mind while browsing next week's TV listings

Just some thoughts that come to mind while browsing next week’s TV listings at the invaluable Futon Critic:

– The Futon Critic himself has a review of the post-Super-Bowl The Office episode.

– I still don’t get why Lie To Me feels a need to have two mysteries per episode. (This episode is a replacement for the actual third episode, which got delayed, and which also has two mysteries.) They’re just going to double the risk of running out of plausible mysteries, all the while jamming every episode so full of mystery-solving that there’s no time for character moments. House may be formulaic, but the “meanwhile” from its upcoming 100th episode is a character-based subplot, not a slightly lighter version of the main mystery.

– What does Damages have in common with Two and a Half Men? They both title every episode after a line of dialogue from the episode that only makes sense when you hear it in context. (Damages‘ next episode is called “I Agree, It Wasn’t Funny”; Men‘s next episode is called “David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie.”)

– Speaking of Two and a Half Men, next time you watch one of Chuck Lorre’s shows, note that his shows use writing credits differently from almost any other prime-time show. Every episode of his two shows has both a “story by” and “teleplay by” credit (except for the pilots) distributed among different members of the writing staff. Apparently Lorre decided to more or less eliminate the first draft and the corresponding “written by” credit; the episodes are almost entirely written in the room, and then the episode assigns story and teleplay credit (and therefore royalties) to several writers. NewsRadio used that system too in some of its episodes, but not all.

– I know Knight Rider is going to be canceled and deserves to be, but plot descriptions like next week’s make me wish that they’d done the retool (dropping the terrorist-fighting stuff and getting back to cheesy ’80s-style stories) earlier. This story, you’ve got to admit, is a real Knight Rider story in every way:

Mike’s old Army friend recruits his help to investigate the suspicious death of a tough-as-nails drill sergeant Jack Burber. Mike learns that the drill sergeant was participating in an underground fight club for military veterans for extra money. In order to find out what really happened, Mike has to infiltrate the fight club and try not to get himself killed in the ring.

Why couldn’t they have done stories like that in the first place? Then they might actually have become a (cheesy but entertaining) success.

– I look forward to any How I Met Your Mother episode that offers the opportunity for more Canada jokes.