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What I Watched Last Night

Monday night is the only night in which TV puts me to sleep. Truly. Not just to sleep, but barely after nine o'clock Old People Early asleep, so I'm up at the crack of fucking dawn the next morning with nothing to do but look out my window for opportunities to stick my nose in my neighbors' business.

I just moved to a new neighborhood. I have seen my neighbors. I really don't want to know what they're doing.

Someone in charge of Monday night TV programming needs to please stop this before I need a hip replaced or start talking about goiters or something.

The wooze-inducing culprits last night were The New Adventures of Old Christine and CSI: Miami - I was more or less defaulted into watching CBS because I had already seen the Mythbusters guys try to replicate an Archimedes Mirror to harness the reflective power of the sun, possibly to incinerate Rachael Ray.

I was perfectly wide-awake during Two and a Half Men, which is pretty much the only consistently-excellent show CBS has. After four years, the Charlie Sheen-Jon Cryer program just proves that you can turn deep-seated cynicism and mean-spiritedness into a rewarding career as a TV scriptwriter. In last night's show, entitled "Castrating Sheep in Montana," Alan Harper (Cryer) gets a diamond stud in the "gay" ear (which gets all infected) and discovers how to recognize when a bad relationship with a demanding, lactating bitch has run its "natural course."

Interestingly, if you're not much of a speed reader and have never been able to read the often-engaging screenful of text that shows up for a nanosecond every week during the end credits, you can catch them all in one place here in executive producer Chuck Lorre's collection of vanity cards. You can even read those that nanoflashed at the end of Dharma & Greg. If you think your boss is the stupidest troll on the face of the earth who deserves a slow and hideous death, some of Lorre's cards will make you feel fortunate enough not to work for anyone in charge of paddling the entertainment industry's canoe.

I don't know why I even occasionally bother with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and The New Adventures of Old Christine, as I did Monday. Maybe if the Mythbuster guys had repeated the episode where busty junior buster Kari does some busting that required her to wear a kimono, I'd have tuned in. But they didn't. So I got stuck with Christine, which isn't all that funny except when Wanda Sykes shows up now and then. Wanda didn't last night, but Blair Underwood did, and I can't think of a way for anyone to make Blair Underwood funny.

I caught myself dropping off just in time for the season premiere of CSI: Miami, a show unable to decide whether Lt. Horatio Caine (David Caruso) should be a detective or a crime scene investigator since he seems to spend most of his time chasing around suspected felons for making fun of his name and getting confessions out of them by threatening to bring in Dennis Franz if they don't start spilling real quick. That's probably a good thing, because yesterday Horatio had a hard time trying to figure out whether the murder victim was shot or stabbed. So he asked the coroner at the scene: "Cause of death?" I would have loved for her to say, "Are you blind and stupid? These big holes in his chest killed him." But she didn't, leaving everyone unsatisfied.

So in last night's episode, some guy with a mustache turns up dead, there was lots of blood, many fingerprints were dusted for, and Dave spent a lot of time being bossy and treating everyone to his annoying manner of speaking that makes the world suspect he's taking articulation lessons from William Shatner aboard the Starship Enterprise. What happened beyond that, I have no idea, because Dave hypnotized me to sleep with his voice.

Maybe CBS can start a new spinoff for him when Miami runs its course. They can call it CSI: Somnambulist.

For more expert television watching, see the What I Watched Last Night files.



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Posted on January 9, 2007


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