April 25, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: Apr 25, 2008
Thursday nights present a veritable embarrassment of programming riches — so much so that it's hard to settle on one show.
I started out with SMALLVILLE, which itself began with a high-tech robbery by a ninja, who turned out to be…Jimmy Olsen? What the frak? It was part of an overly elaborate plan by the Department of Domestic Security, which wanted Jimmy to turn in Chloe, because the DDS assumed Chloe was hacking secure files and redirecting satellites for terrorist-related purposes. Silly DDS — Chloe was just looking for Brainiac! The Chloe who hijacks satellites related to terror plots works for CTU on 24!
Hmmm…wheelchair humor on MY NAME IS EARL. Good to see they're casting a wide net for their jokes.
There's still time for a quick check of tribal council over at SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA — FANS VS. FAVORITES to see James out Pavarti for scheming to oust Ozzy last week…and Ozzy reacting like he'd just sat on a red-hot railroad spike. Hmmm, maybe after witnessing last week's mugging, Jason should use the immunity idol…. No? Too bad. Of course he was voted out. From now on, finding that hidden immunity idol should be regarded as a plague similar to that cursed tiki statuette from THE BRADY BUNCH, or the Zuni fetish doll from TRILOGY OF TERROR.
The new episode of SUPERNATURAL (finally!) tackled so-called "reality" shows with a spoof called GHOSTFACERS (because they face ghosts instead of running away). Real ghost hunters Sam and Dean find the poseur posse investigating a house that really is haunted, and by a particularly nasty spirit. One of the wannabes ends up dead but still saves the day (this is SUPERNATURAL), and the Winchesters make sure video footage of real spirits never sees the light of day by frying the Ghostfacers' electronics with an electromagnetic bomb. I chuckled at the scientific solution to a "spiritual" problem. Sam and Dean have rarely appeared to be more in control, and the witty script soundly skewered the melodramatic conventions of "unscripted" shows. The whole episode was probably some kind of meta statement on "reality" series continuing to shamble along, zombie-like, even though their pop-culture bubble has burst, but the still-increasing popularity of AMERICAN IDOL and DANCING WITH THE STARS seems to contradict that. Of course, The CW's own impending FARMER WANTS A WIFE seems to argue that the genre really is dead.
Oh, looks like THE OFFICE was funny — I forgot to switch channels during the commercials enough....
Which brings me to LOST. If you watch, you know it's nigh-impossible to boil this show down to a capsule, but suffice to say the episode featured a Ben flash-forward detailing what happens when he gets off the island, which amounts to going after Charles Widmore's daughter (poor Penny!) and recruiting Sayid to his cause by serving up the man who killed Sayid's wife, Nadia. Back on the island, Ben's daughter Alex was callously murdered, along with a host of other islanders we'd never seen before, by the mercenaries from the freighter. The new mystery: Why did the body of the freighter's doctor wash ashore with its throat cut when the people on the boat claimed the doc was alive and well? My favorite bits: Ben being all Phantom of the Opera at the piano, then hopping up and pulling a shotgun out of the bench when he heard "Code 14J" was activated. Ben somehow summoned the Smoke Monster to punish the mercs for killing his daughter. (Great touch: Ben emerged from his secret chamber with his arms stained black by something: He literally got his hands dirty!) Hugo makes a great babysitter, doesn't he? And, I know they say doctors make the worst patients, but even I have seen enough medical series to diagnose Jack as suffering from appendicitis, so why can't he?
I guess we'll learn in next week's Night Shift...