Media hodgepodge

Some various thoughts for today…

1) Sesame Street is on right now, and Zoe has to be the most dysfunctional Muppet on the block. She has a pet rock that she insists (with PETA-like ferocity) deserves the same rights as living pets and people and Muppets. The bright side of this is that the writers let Elmo go ballistic over this (“It’s a rock! It’s not alive!!”), but then have humans preach “tolerance” to him – in other words, he has to put up with Zoe being a total loon, because she loves her pet rock.

I would love to see Elmo brain Zoe with that rock, and knock some sense into her furry orange Muppet head.

2) Everybody Loves Raymond ended its nine-year-run last night, and went out with a one-hour special before the actual show. The special detailed the filming of the last show (and the various cases of layrngitis that postponed it twice) and the actors’ perspective on the show and their characters. The best part was the peek into the writers’ room. The final episode was classic. Ray was his usual neurotic self, Marie was over-the-top in catering to him, Debra was actually more like she was in the earlier seasons (more above-the-fray and less annoyed), Frank was less abrasive, but still himself, and Robert and Amy were same as usual. It was a sweet way to end the series.

3) Star Trek: Enterprise ended last Friday. The last two-parter was extremely well-done, and was a bit of a tearjerker by the end. The finale show jumped ahead six years (making it ten years since the Enterprise had started its mission), which leaves plenty of space for novelists to play in. I have mixed feelings about the episode. I liked the TNG element of the show (placing it during an actual episode of TNG, The Pegasus, which was a personal crisis moment for Riker) because I thought it was ingeniously done and it was something unconventional. The Enterprise part of the show was a little harder to swallow. I thought that Shran the Andorian felt like more of a plot contrivance than a twist, so I can imagine several different ways to fit him into the episode without giving him a classic cliche (a kidnapped child). I was also disappointed in the way the writers dealt with Trip’s end. At least he did something totally in character for him, but it was agonizing to see one of the more popular crewmembers killed off simply because it was the last show (it was almost like you could see the writers going, “Hmm… let’s just kill him because we’re not coming back next year. Wouldn’t that just punch everyone in the gut?”). And unlike Spock (though that happened in the movies), or Sisko (who also “died” in the series finale of DS9), or even Data (having left behind a virtual duplicate in Nemesis) there is no hope of resurrection for Trip.

Is Star Trek really and truly dead? I’m not sure. I think the odds that it will ever appear again on TV are pretty low, which is a shame. But it will live forever in books, where no one ever has to die – unless you’re wearing a red shirt, of course.

4) ER will never end; it will be a dead horse that NBC has to carry out and put down out of its misery. It’s going to take some VERY slick writing to get things moving again.

5) Scrubs had better not end anytime soon, because that show has some of the funniest characters and writers on TV. The season finale had one of the best lines delivered by Dr. Cox ever.

I think I’m done for now. I will wait to pass judgment on American Idol until I see who gets voted out next.

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