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What I Watched Last Night: My Boys and The Daily Show

I actually look forward now to watching My Boys every Tuesday night so I can continue to crusade against it. How many inane references to Chicago, sex, rock and roll, and baseball can one show make in an episode? My Boys keeps trying to top itself.

Here is my latest collection of reasons to hate this show.

From "The Free Agent:"

1. "Bobby and I are going with the Cubs to Pittsburgh." Okay, the main character, PJ Franlin, is the Cubs beat writer for the Sun-Times. Road trips are kind of a given.

2. They hang out at Crowley's. Nice try.

3. The strained premise of this episode is that PJ's new boyfriend, Hank, is like a free-agent pick-up; you never know how he's really going to fit in or upset team chemistry. Get it?

4. PJ: "The Cubs just can't win on the road either." Bobby (her Trib counterpart): "Yeah, it's a weird phenomenon how a team can have such great stats and the players look so strong but something's just missing." Yeah, it's a weird phenomenon to think a conversation like this would actually take place between two beat writers as if their knowledge of the game is less than the least knowledgable sports radio caller.

5. This show would be better if the intercut scenes from actual Cubs games, like a pop fly bouncing off Aramis Ramirez' head. They could call it My Cubs. Then we'd have something.

6. PJ and Bobby sleep together with virtually no lead-up, virtually no compelling post-coital conversation, and then the subject is dropped as if nothing ever happened. It's as if . . . Juan Pierre came and went at the cost of a few hot pitching prospects and no one said a word.

7. We did get PJ's evaluation of Bobby's sexual performance: "He had perfect attendance, but he didn't turn in all his homework." Okay, the show isn't about grade-school teachers. At least put it in baseball terms. Does that mean "He hit a home run but didn't touch third base?" I mean, I'm still really trying to figure out what that means he did and didn't do.

8. PJ's inexplicably girly best friend: "The way to get over someone is to get under someone new." Okay, great line.

9. "It's painful when the free agent you've invested in starts dropping flies" or something like that. Almost as painful as this voice-over. Couldn't they have put someone who knows something about baseball on the writing staff?

10. The character with a different rock shirt in every scene must die. He is not worthy of the Clash and Ramones, obvious signifiers as they are to the non-rock world. A real fan wouldn't be caught dead wearing those t-shirts.

From "Superstar Treatment" (two episodes air back-to-back):

1. "You try that new hot dog joint on Kedzie?" Um, no. And neither has anyone who lives in Chicago. Stop trying so hard.

2. PJ orders a "Leinenkugel." No veteran bar-goer orders a Leinenkugel. "Leine's" will suffice. Maybe put someone on the writing staff who knows something about bars.

3. "We met at the Belmont Club. I saw David Schwimmer there last week." Wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to discuss here.

4. The premise of this episode is that the dumb-but-hot chick gets "superstar treatment," just like superstar athletes who are allowed to get away with things no one else is. So they show "the guys" acting like third-graders in the presence of TV's version of a hot chick. Please. Their inner circle includes Jordana Spiro, I think they can handle it.

5. PJ buys a paper from a newsstand. We don't really have newsstands anymore, thanks to the mayor.

6. There are way too many things wrong with the lockerroom scenes and exchanges between PJ and a star columnist to get into here, but let's just say that maybe they should have put someone on the writing staff who knows something about lockerrooms, newspapers, and sitcoms.

7. When PJ lands a story on the sports cover, the Trib guy says, "Wow! That's cool!" She's the Cubs beat writer. She's had plenty of front page stories. And a Trib beat writer would not be impressed.

8. "You need to find a girl who's real," PJ advises her friend Mike. "Find a nice girl from Naperville." I kid you not.

*

Before My Guys, I saw a bit of Scarborough Country, which is actually a pretty good show, but Joe Scarborough wondering what the hosts on The View were doing talking politics because "it's a woman's show!" was a bit of a throwback.

*

After My Guys, I saw Bill Kristol on The Daily Show. After Kristol argued that Bush was right about going to war in Iraq because we haven't had a terrorist attack since 2001, Stewart said that by that logic, Bill Clinton's record was even better because eight years passed between attacks on the World Trade Center. Kristol countered with attacks on American embassies in Africa, and the U.S.S. Cole. Stewart countered with attacks in Spain and London. Kristol, having thoroughly been defeated, changed the subject instead of acknowledging that he was wrong. Instead he said "That's why Bush was right to take the fight to them," without any recognition that Iraq had nothing to do with any of it. Stewart's response: "That's why I thought we should go after al-Qaeda."

Kristol's insistence, as well, that we should put more troops in Iraq "and take a shot at winning" was beyond offensive, as if we're talking about toy soldiers here. Unless a troop "surge" includes the president's daughters and members of the Administration, Congress, and punditry - or unless it's a disguised mission to escort our troops out - a surge is immoral lunacy.

Pat Bataillon, our stalwart What I Watched Last Night contributor, is being treated via our Employee Assistance Program for watching too much TV. If you'd like to submit to What I Watched Last Night, contact the editor. And visit the What I Watched Last Night collection.



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Posted on December 20, 2006


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