The Husband:

While we, the children of Saint Clare, have found the time to write about many of the biggest shows on television (and even some small ones), there is only so much time and energy we can spend on this site. The truth is, we watch a whole lot more than what ends up on the site, and since I watch most of these on my own and yet never find the ability to write about them, their absence is mostly my fault. But no matter. For those that fall through the cracks, I have here a grab bag of the 30+ shows I watch in addition to whatever ends up on the site. These are the ones that slipped through the cracks. And hell, I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting (and also not even bothering writing about, which tend to fall under instructional/educational stuff like anything on Discovery), so if you think I’ve forgotten something, please let me know. (And no, I don’t watch any CSI or L&O shows, so don’t even try to get all up in my grill.) Here they are, the missing shows of the 2008-2009 television season, in alphabetical order.

24

I really should have written at least some criticism on this season, but work piled up and I simply didn’t have the time. It started off as the most intelligent season with some of the most compelling political questions being thrown around (welcome to the show finally, “debate on torture”), but by the fourth time Tony twisted his alliance and Jack was infected with the disease, I kind of stopped caring. Great first half of the season, though, and I think Renee is the best new character in a very long time.

Adult Swim (Xavier: Renegade Angel / Superjail! / Squidbillies / The Drinky Crow Show / Metalocalypse / Delocated / Robot Chicken / Etc.)

Thank you, young people of Adult Swim (who I have spent some time with, don’t forget) for freaking my mind week after week, and giving alternative comedy a major boost in America. And for freaking out my wife.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

Better Off Ted

It took me a couple episodes to latch onto the tone, but once I did I simply couldn’t get enough from this latest product of the mad mind of Victor Fresco. Check out some episodes online, then watch Andy Richter Controls the Universe (his previous show), and I guarantee you some of the oddest network comedy in a very long time. I still think Portia DeRossi is trying to hard, though, and should take a page from the book of Fresco mainstay Jonathan Slavin.

Castle

Bring it on, Nathan Fillion. Hypnotize me with your nostrils and your addictive but borderline-stupid mystery writer-cum-detective series. (Although how weird was that Judy Reyes episode? What the hell, Carla Turk?)

The Celebrity Apprentice 2

So sue me, I liked Joan Rivers. And the addition of the phrase “Whore Pit Vipers” to the television lexicon.

Celebrity Rehab (Sober House) with Dr. Drew

So help me, I can’t stop watching. It’s just a disaster. I will say, though, that I like the drama in the rehab far more than the sober house, as the latter seems to exist simply to destroy any progress the celebrities made in rehab. And now having seen all three of his seasons of Taxi, Jeff Conaway’s fall from grace is fishbowl television at its finest.

Dating in the Dark

Really fun, actually. I hope it gets a second season. I also hope that more matches will be made, and that people stop being massive failures.

Dirty Sexy Money

Everything I needed to say about the failure of the second season of this show can be found on this blog, and it ended its truncated run by turning itself inside-out by revealing that the show’s central mystery, who killed Peter Krause’s father, was a bust since he wasn’t dead after all. What the hell, Dirty Sexy Money? Oh well, your cancellation made room in Krause’s schedule for the much anticipated (by me) adaptation of Parenthood coming to NBC mid-season.

The Goode Family

It took a few episodes to find its footing, but by the end of its sped-up summer run, I was a major fan of the latest Mike Judge effort. (R.I.P. King of the Hill.) Vastly misunderstood by viewers who only watched the first episode, it, just like KOTH, found a middle ground between conservative America and liberal America and found the ability to make fun of both without drawing blood, choosing to love instead of hate. Some of the voice cast was misused (why was my beloved Linda Cardellini in the cast?), but as a Berkeley native, I had a blast relishing in mocking the stereotypes of my own people while rediscovering what it is I love so much about them. The bull dykes were also two of the most original characters of the season.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

The Great American Road Trip

Any show that has two contestants debating over which is more correct, “y’all” or “youse,” gets major points in my book. A nice and forgettable summer trifle after a long, way-too-hot day. Silly, yes, but I can’t say it was bad. And it was a definite improvement over the similar family-based season of The Amazing Race. (I’m sure The Soup is really grateful for this show, too.)

Heroes

Oh god, kill me now. Volume 4 was a marked improvement over #3, for sure, but I just don’t care about anybody anymore. And yet I feel that I need to keep watching. It’s too late to give up now. There was one great episode this season, though, and that was the flashback one surrounding Angela Petrelli’s stint at a mutant internment camp. Why can’t they all be this good?

Howie Do It

Yeah, I watched it. Shut the fuck up. About one-third of it was funny, and as I watched it on Hulu at work, it’s not like I wasted any of my own time. Howie Mandel is savvier than you think, but I wish he would return to his wilder roots.

How’s Your News

This Parker-Stone produced MTV show revolving around reporters who are developmentally delayed confused the hell out of me initially, but once I realized there wasn’t a mean bone in its body it became a warm bit of fun. I want a second season, dammit. These are some of the most joyful television subjects I’ve ever seen.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show

Better than the first season, but I’m still glad I only watch this online while doing something else.

In the Motherhood

Worst opening credit sequence of the year. Some pretty funny material hidden underneath unfunny slapstick. Horatio Sanz got thin. Megan Mullally couldn’t find a rhythm. I still think Cheryl Hines is oddly hot.

Lie to Me

I unfortunately didn’t start watching this until July, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. While gimmicky to a fault and not nearly as intelligent as it pretends it is, this Tim Roth vehicle about an FBI specialist who studies the subtleties of the face (OF THE FACE) is clever, compelling and well drawn. I’m not sure about the addition of Mekhi Phifer’s character, but we’ll see how it works out next season, especially with Shield creator Shawn Ryan at the helm of season two.

Life

This cancellation reallllly hurts. One of the unsung gems from the 2007-2008 television, this, the smartest network cop show in recent memory, took its great season one energy and hit the second season with all it had and came up with a compelling, hilarious, devilishly clever and gleefully violent run that was only marred by a major cast shift during the final few episodes. (I’m looking at you, Gabrielle Union. Your presence was what I like to call a massive failure.) A Zen-obsessed cop recently released from prison after serving over a decade for a murder he did not commit, this show had the best cases of them all. It also gave me one of my favorite hours of television of the year in an episode that revolved around a seductive assassin, fertilizer and pigeon aficionados. And at least the major serialized storyline (who framed Damien Lewis and why) got paid off in a major way thanks to the ever-reliable Garret Dillahunt.

lifeshot

My Boys

Putting PJ and Bobby together was a great idea, but your nine-episode seasons are too short to gain any momentum, and the spring training season finale was a bust.

Nitro Circus

Moronic glee.

Numb3rs

Man, did they put Charlie through the ringer. First, he nearly gets his brother killed with a miscalculation on his part, he questions his own validity as a mathematician and then Amita gets kidnapped just as he decides that he wants to marry her. Otherwise, another fine, if somewhat uneventful, of this show that never captured the glory of its über-nerdy first season. Also, thanks for all the great guest star work, but sometimes it gets laid on a little too thick, such as in “Sneakerhead” which brought together Bruno Campos, Patrick Bauchau, Dr. Edison from Bones and Eve. (And points for making the Liz Warner character actually bearable. I fucking hated her in season 4.

Privileged

So apparently the CW thought that their best idea ever was to get rid of this show, the smartest show on the UPN/WB merger since the Buffyverse, one that was technically pulling in bigger numbers than 90210, one that was a delight to watch and deeply addictive, and make room for what is sure to be one of 2009-2010’s worst new offerings, Melrose Place. I gotta tell ya, this cancellation hurts. While I wrote recaps and reviews of the episodes way into its freshman (and only) season, the looming axe, as well as a more heavily serialized structure, turned me off from writing on the final stretch of episodes, and I told myself that I’d only recap them if the show came back. Lo and behold, another Joanna Garcia vehicle has gone down the tubes. I’ll miss you oh so dearly, Ms. Too-Smart-For-The-CW Palm Beach satirical melodrama known as Privileged.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

Rescue Me

I thought it was a great season, and thanks to an extended number of episodes (it didn’t air in 2008 thanks to the writer’s strike), the show was able to focus much of its energy on pages-long dialogue-happy battle-of-wits in nearly episode, which to be is melodrama heaven. Gone is the maudlin tone, returned is all the comic energy, and the stories seem to actually progress instead of just flopping around like a dying fish. Leary and Tolan deserve major praise for bringing the show back up to snuff. And now having seen all of Newsradio, I love any chance I get to watch Maura Tierney, although I’m still not going to watch ER. (I am proud to have only seen three episodes of that show ever, being a Chicago Hope fan.) Special shot-out to the Sean cancer storyline, if only to allow Broadway actor Steven Pasquale (husband of Tony winner Laura Benanti) the opportunity to belt out some songs in a handful of hallucination scenes.

Samantha Who?

One of the biggest upsets of the last two years was the rise and fall of this light-hearted, occasionally gut-busting amnesia sitcom that started off the talk of the town, only to waste away its final episodes after the conclusion of the actual television season. Ending on a shitty cliffhanger (Sam’s parents are getting divorced, so Mom is going to live with you and your formerly-estranged-but-now-love-of-your-life lover), we nevertheless found out who caused the accident that brought about Sam’s amnesia, Jennifer Esposito finally made it with the towel boy, and Melissa McCarthy continued to be one of the brightest stars of the year.

Scrubs

Like Privileged, I hesitated to continue writing due to the threat of its cancellation, but now it’s continuing on into yet another season (albeit with some major changes), so I really have no reason to stop writing about it. But let’s just say that while the hurry-up to conclude its many disparate storylines often felt rushed (those two Bahama episodes felt especially odd), the conclusion to J.D.’s years-in-the-telling tale was a lovely way to conclude the season. (No props for the awful awful Peter Gabriel song that accompanied his final walk down the hallway, as laughably bad as it was when I heard it in the remake of Shall We Dance?)

The Shield

I don’t have to tell you how amazing the final season was. Watch it. Seriously. You owe it to yourself to experience one of the hardest hitting cop shows of all time. Like The Wire, a Greek tragedy hammered into modern-day policework with some of the most finely drawn characters around. And oh man, did those final three episodes pack a major punch. Ouch, indeed.

Southland

Quite a bit like The Shield, really, had it followed Michael Jace’s beat cop instead of the Strike Team. A little too dour at times for me to really give a crap, and the sprawling ensemble needs to be cut down (which is what I hear it’s doing for the second season), but this L.A.-centered procedural has a lot going for it, not least of which its pitch-perfect direction. (I especially dig the long shots, including my favorite, which involved a cabin and a K9 unit bringing down a perp.)

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Surviving Suburbia

A sitcom in serious need of finding one tone and sticking with it, this sometimes-sweet-sometimes-brutally-cruel suburban comedy worked as well as it did because of Saget as well as G. Hannelius’ performance as the precocious daughter. Still, all the jokes about disabled people, pregnant teenagers and strip clubs really didn’t mesh together with the clichés of the genre.

Survivor: Tocantins

I love Survivor, but this was one of the most boring seasons in its ten-year run. I don’t think I gave a shit about one person, and I simply couldn’t find anything compelling to write about. A waste of a good location.

True Beauty

The right person won, the losers got (mostly) schooled in this trick show designed to expose the douchery involved in modeling, Ashton Kutcher made another heroin-like show, and I concern myself for months with how they can pull the trick off a second time in the next season.

The Unusuals

When grading a cop show, I tend to focus on three things — the tone, the characters and the cases. A bizarre, pessimistic yet comedic take on all those wacky cops we’ve seen throughout the years all thrown together (one is deathly afraid of…death, one has a brain tumor, one talks in the third person, one is a closeted socialite, etc.) pushed into some remarkably dark territory, The Unusuals had tone and characters down pat, but suffered at the hands of some DOA storylines. But oh man, did the tone ever make up for most of the show’s shortcomings. Great ensemble cast, too, although I would have recast Eddie Alvarez.

Rather unusual.

Rather unusual.

Worst Week

A breezy and often hilarious slapstick comedy based off of a British hit, it could never regain its momentum after moving away from the initial “week” of the title. Kyle Bornheimer is a true find and made the more unbearable misunderstandings and embarrassing moments of the show (of which there were many) all the more palatable. I’m not the biggest fan of comedy based around humiliations, but this show found a likeable ability to have its characters not completely despise each other at every moment. This was, to say the least, very refreshing. Big points for giving me the biggest network TV laugh of the year (when Bornheimer wakes up his brother-in-law only to be thought a murderer) but major negative points for pushing back a major character-based episode into a weekend spot months after the show had already ended its run.

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The Wife:

A part of me feels like catching up with Eli Stone is too little too late at this point, as we are now nine episodes into the season, leaving only four after this before the show goes away forever, but Eli Stone, while this season has faltered a bit, doesn’t deserve to go away with a quiet whimper. It’s a good show. And it’s too bad people don’t watch it. I realize just now that’s its basically Private Practice – Medicine + Spirituality + The Law. (I’m basing that half-assed math solely on the fact that the shows are both about ethical dilemmas and how to approach them.) And if people won’t watch a medical show about Big Ethical Question that’s a spin-off of another highly successful medical show about people sleeping with other people, what hope is there for a show about a Prophet-Lawyer? The answer, evidently, is not much.

Seven episodes have aired since we last wrote about this show, largely dealing with the break-up of Weathersby, Posner & Kline and the reforming of those partners as two distinct legal entities. Jordan broke off to form Weathersby Stone with Eli as the other managing partner, successfully avoiding a breach-of-contract suit by proving that his newfound interest in pro-bono work was the original intent of Weathersby, Posner & Kline based on a cocktail napkin he and the other two partners signed containing the first draft of their mission statement when they formed their firm. From there, Posner and Kline try to seduce all of Weathersby Stone’s loyal employees by offering them the kind of money their newly pro-bono counterpart cannot. Taylor stays with her father, as does Keith, who has stepped up to become a much bigger character this season, while Matt Dowd goes where the money is and, much to Eli’s dismay, Maggie Decker, too, turns to the dark side, lured with the promise of being able to choose her own cases as head of the pro bono department.

From there, Eli has gone on to break up Maggie’s marriage (after having a vision of her fiancé cheating), as well as break up his brother’s marriage (after having a vision of Laura Benanti cheating on Nate with, uh, Eli). He’s gotten really good at breaking up engagements this year. But there’s more to his relationship with Nate than just Laura Benanti’s fickle affections. After getting his visions back from Nate and discovering their father’s journal, he grapples with living his life and knowing his fate. Ultimately, Dr. Chen convinces him to burn the journal (but not before making a secret copy for himself). However, desperate to unlock the journal’s secrets, Eli starts participating in a very dangerous kind of acupuncture called The Dark Truth, which Frank refuses to perform on Eli more than once, thus leading to a rift in their friendship as he turns to rival acupuncturist Dr. Lee (Melinda Clarke) for help. Meanwhile, he receives a vision about a burning building, complete with Victor Garber’s Jordan Weathersby singing the most strangely keyed version of “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” I’ve ever heard, leading Eli to take on a drug trial case for a wealthy businessman that turns into an emancipation hearing for that man’s son when, after Eli helps his father get permission to run an MS drug trial that could save him, contradicts the son’s own wishes. Eli needs to prove that the father (the Jim of the song) did not have his son’s best interests at heart, and he achieves this by having Nate look into Jimmy’s medical records, thereby discovering that his father had falsified his CT scans to show that his son’s MS had not worsened, thus allowing him to swim on the Olympic team. (Complicated, I know.) Nate’s testimony in the case means that he can no longer work for St. Vincent’s, the hospital at which Jimmy’s primary care physicians worked. Instead, St. Vincent’s offers Nate an extremely large amount of hush money to keep their shoddy and falsified medical records under wraps. Thus, while risking Nate’s job, Eli actually puts his brother in a pretty sweet position, financially, giving him the means and free time to ask Laura Benanti to marry him. And then Eli has that pesky vision. And Laura Benanti finally sings something. (Finally!) And then she leaves Nate on their wedding day, despite Eli’s best efforts to keep himself away from her. As it happens, he could do everything in his power to make sure he didn’t reciprocate, but there was nothing he could do about Laura Benanti’s feelings for him.

Pity. She looked fucking amazing in that wedding dress.

Needless to say, this leaves Nate furious with his brother – putting their father’s vision that they were to work together in dire jeopardy. It’s difficult to explain in a catch-up post just how intricate the late Mr. Stone’s journal has been to the Nate-Eli relationship, but it has been a good plot thread to keep this season together. Last season was about Eli coming to terms with his gift and learning how to use it, and this season has been about how that gift affects other people – especially the brother who didn’t end up with the vision-providing deadly aneurysm.

Couldnt we just have a threesome with Laura Benanti and call it a day?

Couldn't we just have a threesome with Laura Benanti and call it a day?

Meanwhile, Maggie is struggling to find her place at Posner & Kline and, other than plugging up an intel leak at Weathersby Stone, hasn’t been doing very much at all. She pines for Eli, but stays away when she isn’t met with quite the same reaction. Poor Julie Gonzalo goes underused again. It’s like on Veronica Mars – her character had such potential at the beginning of Season Three . . . and then it just petered out. I guess we’ll never find out how she ends up with Eli and a baby in the future now.

Keith got a good multi-episode arc with guest actress Tiraji P. Henson (who deserves a Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Benjamin Button; she also deserved that same accolade for her work in Hustle & Flow, but they let her sing with Three Six Mafia in the live performance of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” so I guess that’s a decent consolation prize). Henson starred as Angela, Patti’s daughter, a promising medical student who was arrested for a DUI when she wasn’t drunk. Keith managed to get her off that charge, while falling for her, until he finds out that she tested positive for cocaine. Angela insists that the false positive was because of some antibiotics she had been taking for a cold (which she probably shouldn’t have had even a glass of wine with, if warning labels on drugs are to be believed). Angela later gets suspended from medical school when she is accused of stealing drugs from the nurses station – a charge she tries to disprove, coming to blows with her mother over her drug addiction and, in the process, allowing Eli to discover that Patti once had a severe alcohol problem that was only solved by Jordan setting her straight. Henson and Loretta Devine have a great scene together during this confrontation, and it allowed us to see Patti as something other than a sassy black side character. (She’s great and all, but I often worry about black actresses being pigeonholed in the sassy black friend role. Or, sometimes, as the “magical negro” trope.) While Keith doesn’t get to end up with the girl, he does manage to help Patti and Angela have a real, honest relationship and assures mother and daughter that, while Angela probably can’t return to that medical school, she can find a way to work in medicine if she still wants to and make her mother proud.

And then there’s Matt and Taylor, whose strange relationship has taken up a lot of screen time this season and has culminated in a pregnancy. They’re learning how to be a couple, how to be good parents and, mostly, how to not be a Big Giant Douche and a Fucking Ice Bitch. In the latest episode, they thought, briefly, that there would be a chance their baby would have Down Syndrome, something that made Matt immediately want to find ways in his life to accommodate a special needs child, while Taylor turned straight down abortion alley. In actual human life, having a baby does change a lot. It certainly changes who you are as a person. I’ve just never seen a baby used as a character-changing plot device in this way. I mean, we’ve seen the dude-needs-to-shape-up-and-be-a-dad thread before (Knocked Up, Worst Week . . . oh, dozens of other examples), but I’ve never really seen it work both ways. And so deliberately. There is absolutely no reason for Taylor and Matt to be having a baby other than to see how they, as characters, react to this change. This plot, for me, is probably the strangest part about this season. I see its function, but I don’t really understand its necessity. Oh, well, Taylor won’t have that baby before the final episode airs in two weeks, right? I won’t have to care about this plot very soon.

Even with that weird baby plot, I will miss Eli Stone, and not only for the Victor Garber and Loretta Devine and Johnny Lee Miller’s very strangely large head, but for its heart and its faith. Much like Pushing Daisies, this show asks us to believe in miracles, and to have faith. It’s certainly not subtle about that approach, especially when George Michael appears in your living room and insists that you gotta, in fact, have faith, but I think we need things that ask us to believe in miracle-working lawyers and candy-coated pie shops filled with Anna Friel in beautiful dresses. If not for the landscape of arts and entertainment, where in the world are we asked, so blatantly, to indulge in hopes and fantasy?

That, and I’ll miss playing “Hi, Broadway actor!” with my husband when Broadway vet-fueled Eli and Daisies are gone.

The Wife:

Something about the first two episodes of this season of Eli Stone just isn’t recapturing the magic of the first season. I think part of what made the first season so interesting was that a.) one vision in every episode involved singing and dancing that usually culminated in an awkward moment where only Eli himself appears to be participating in this activity, which was always smile-inducing and b.) Eli’s quest to understand his strange new gift lead him on an interesting, Bryan Fuller-esque spiritual/philosophical quest that often had extreme ramifications for those around him.

In our first two episodes, “The Path” and “Grace,” the only person who seems to really be affected by Eli’s visions anymore is Jordan Wethersby, his boss. To be fair, with Eli’s aneurism removed, the first episode had Eli’s visions (and aneurism) falling to his brother, Dr. Nate, who, like Eli, struggles to understand his new gift. In meetings with Sigourney Weaver, Eli’s imaginary therapist filling the role of God, she tells him that one person in his family always has to have the visions, so if Eli were to reject this burden, they would transfer to someone else. Eli, seeing his brother’s potential to have a normal life with Laura Benanti and her autistic son, begs Sigourney Weaver to get his visions back. So too comes the aneurism.

Why is it that therapists, lawyers and adoption counselers are the only roles this lady can get anymore?

Why is it that therapists, lawyers and adoption counselors are the only roles this lady can get anymore?

Nate was literally affected by the visions for a time, and Jordan was directly affected by Nate’s sole vision of a crane collapse at a bank in which Jordan was trapped when the event came to pass. Nate had to re-enter the vision state with Eli and Dr. Chen’s help in order to find Jordan’s location in the building to help the search and rescue team dig him out. After his recovery, Jordan commits so fully to Eli’s pro bono work that he decides to take the entire firm in a new direction, helping only those clients with whom he feels exhibit good morals, essentially. Jordan committed to Eli’s pro bono work last season, so this change of heart after Eli’s visions (by Nate proxy) actually saved him makes absolute sense.

But my issue with this new story arc of Jordan Wethersby vs. Posner and Kline is that all of the Eli-related legislation from the first season was ultimately a question of faith vs. empirical evidence, and that core dialectic spilled over often into the cases Eli lobbied himself. The clash of the titans among the WPK partners is a question of “some money gained ethically” vs. “lots of money gained the way we always gained it,” and that is a less interesting core question for me. Eli’s visions usually brought in cases that affected the people in his life (like Silver Terrace, a low income housing complex where many of his secretary’s friends lived that was going to be the epicenter of a massive earthquake) or had visions specifically about protecting them (like the Golden Gate-destroying earthquake that almost claimed the life of Julie Gonzalo’s fiancé), so a vision of Katie Holmes? What’s the deal?

like roses, only smellier.

Hot dogs: like roses, only smellier.


While I liked the idea that Eli had a vision of Grace because somehow the two are soul mates – she has a congenital heart condition that could kill her at any minute, just like his aneurism; he likes pro bono work, she likes pro bono work – I was a little dismayed that, ultimately, Eli’s vision in this episode didn’t do what his visions are primarily meant to do: help someone. I did like the fact that Nate sent Grace the Marvels’ ticket to facilitate the two of them meeting in accordance with Eli’s father’s notebook (they’re a family of prophets, you see), because I think that notebook will add an interesting aspect to Eli’s struggle to know his deceased father and add another dimension to how the visions work.

I’d really like to see Eli Stone get back its magic, because its the idea of magic and spiritualism and faith in contrast with the rhetoric of the empirical law that really makes this show work. Oh, and I certainly don’t remember the Legislation-of-the-Week from the first season being quite nearly as schlocky as the soldier story from “Grace,” so let’s tone down the schmaltz, shall we, and get back to the good stuff.

The Husband:

Eli Stone was one of the unsung champions last television season, an intelligent lawyer show with fits of whimsy, great character interactions, intriguing ruminations on spirituality and fate and a whole lot of pretty sweet song-and-dance sequences, thanks to such previous Broadway stars-turned-cast members such as Victor Garber (Godspell, Merrily We Roll Along and Sweeney Todd) and Loretta Devine (Dreamgirls). (Unfortunately, Laura Benanti, who won a Tony during summer break, didn’t get any singing time as far as I can remember.) Now, it’s struggling to extend its charm into more than the first season’s 13-episode short order. I think my wife broke it down pretty well for you guys right above as to what’s going wrong, and I couldn’t agree more.

I do have my own major gripe about this show, and it’s how it has been treating San Francisco as a setting recently. Sometimes it gets a few things right (the show’s law offices are in this crazy SoMa monstrosity that you just can’t miss) and what it got wrong I didn’t really mind (SF’s City Hall does not look anything like the SoCal architecture of the one that appears on the show, but at least it looks like California). Sure, not every show can be Journeyman (which, aside from the confusing location of the Vasser house, got a great deal of the geography and location work right, thanks to a traveling film crew and people behind-the-scenes who seemed to actually give a crap), but this most recent episode of Eli Stone really bothered me.

Seeing this much blue at The Stick is just wrong. So wrong.

Seeing this much blue at The Stick is just wrong. So wrong.

During “Grace,” Eli and his brother attend a Marvels game, the local baseball team, for their final game before the stadium is to be destroyed. It’s fine to change the name of the Giants to the Marvels (I’m the guy who has been amused for nine years about all the fake team names in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday), but it’s another thing to show a wide shot of the stadium and have it be Candlestick Park (sorry, it will never be 3Com or Monster Park to me) where the actual San Francisco Giants have not played since the year 2000. And the stadium-wrecking detail, that’s clearly meant to evoke the current demolition of Yankee Stadium. Why would they even bother going this route when there is so much wrong with what they’re saying, and the details don’t seem to have any reason to be there in the first place? San Francisco is not New York. Not in any way. It has its own very special and very unique personality, so these decisions baffle and irk me to an unreasonable degree.

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