Pushing Daisies, Christian Slater, MadTV Cancelled. Kath & Kim Still on the Air!

So last night the countdown started for Slater’s new show My Own Worst Enemy. It’s only going to get one season. Now a few weeks ago I wrote about how much I liked the show and conversely did NOT like another NBC show, Kath and Kim. I predicted K & K would not be back year, but so far that show has not been cancelled. In fact, that show as actually racked up all kinds of guest stars. They’re lining up to do the show! I also found out it’s an Australian import/remake, and that explains a LOT about why it makes no sense to me. I mean I loved Mad Max but I’m not the biggest fan of Yahoo Serious. But; ready to have your mind blown? NBC has ordered more episodes of the show despite the fact that this American version HAS been cancelled in Austria. Go f–king figure.

Last year around this time I also wrote about how I thought it was probably about time MadTV got killed, and so the news of that has also come to pass. It’s nearing the end of its run, but I think they’ve had about 14 years and that’s a big deal-but that seems to be the FOX does business; if they don’t kill off a show that’s great way too early it’ll stay on forever. But I don’t know? I’m taking a kind of perverse pleasure in the news about MadTV. I had a reaction like “ha! It got cancelled!” And an ironic twist I also got left by another woman, no not the one who left me that I mentioned repeated around this blog, AND not the one from out of town who left me-and we hadn’t even met face to face! No this was an entirely new women that didn’t want my company-and I get the feeling she was sitting around saying “ha! He got cancelled!”

But MadTV has made, I think, a significant contribution to the world of sketch comedy. Many, many memorable characters and lots of laughs. Not to mention the number of people who’ve gone through their doors to bigger and better things. A great job. Speaking of comedy, Amy Poehlor is supposed to be getting her own show. She’s the lady from Upright Citizens Brigade, who got on Saturday Night Live and become the Weekend Update person. Now she’s got a show that includes Quincy Jones daughter (She’s was “Jim’s” girlfriend for a minute on the Office. More trivia? Quincy also produced MadTV. More? OK, Amy is married to the guy that played JOB on the great cancelled FOX show Arrested Development).

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But let’s get back to the bad news. Pushing up Daisies has been cancelled. I know! It’s one of the few good shows and they’re killing it. People are not happy, so why are they doing it? It makes no sense right? Brian Fuller, who gave us the great Dead Like Me, is the creator of the show and he was on the first season of Heroes, so he’ll be going back to that show. And that’s good news. But the bad news is they just fired great comic book writer Jeph Loeb. By why are they killing good hour long shows. It’s the money. Hour long shows are expensive to make and if they only generate the audience and income of a half hour show they get killed. I’ve had to take a sort of philosophical approach to loosing good TV. In England they run shows for a much shorter period of time and a lot of the shows I love from there are only one or two seasons, so I learned to just accept this. The good news is that with digital format we can relive shows we liked a lot easier.

Kath and Kim is Awful and Christian Slater has a Good Show

The mentally challenged are funny! Or so NBC has recently decided with their new sitcom Kath and Kim. This is the same network running and WINNING AWARD’S for 30 Rock and the Office. They must feel like they owe Molly Shannon since she’s a Saturday Night Live alumni. But HOW DID THIS SHOW GET ON THE AIR? As best I can tell, the show is about a slightly stupid mother, Shannon, and a REALLY stupid and emotionally underdeveloped daughter-played by Selma Blair! Selma Blair? What corner is she so backed into that THIS seemed like a good idea?

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I guess the whole sort of “core” of the show is that these 2 women, and their age and developmentally appropriate male partners, are supposed to be “mall people.” You get the feeling some writer said, “man I ran into such an airhead at the mall, those kind of people just spend their LIVES there. God, I bet they’re just stupid 24 hours a day. Oh My God! I should write a TV show about it, and all those stupid people will be FANS and then the really smart people like ME can watch with a cool and aloof condescending eye!” Not realizing that she herself has to be an idiot to invest all that energy and FUTURE energies into spending time immersed in such a vapid and shallow venture. Some comedy shows are broad, like 3rd Rock from the Sun, where the characters are space aliens and that makes sense. But what happens when the characters are supposed to be normal but ACT like aliens? The show is horrible. I predict it will not be back next year.

Meanwhile NBC also premiered My Own Worst Enemy a few days ago starring Christian Slater. The show had pretty bad ratings, but I think it was pretty good. That’s because the premise is a Sci-Fi staple. Guy has a “spy” personality he doesn’t know about. Phillip K. Dick’s story about this theme was used for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone in Total Recall. I can’t remember the name of the book but another book that I thought was by Stasheff or Heinlein also had that type of story. Not to mention the John Woo movie Paycheck with Ben Affleck.

So this idea of an agent who voluntarily erases his memory is just an interesting premise. That Gondry film explores the idea too, but the motivation for the memory erase in that case is love and emotions in general. But these other works take the concept of job and lifestyle being removed from the conscious mind to a new level. Who are “you” really? Is it your collection of memories that make you “you?” Or would you be the same if you didn’t recall any of that at all? A totally separate person in the same body.

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And let’s here it for Slater. His acting has never been in question, but in this show he gives believable performances as both “characters.” There’s a comic co-worker in the show who has a similar split personality. But Slater is beginning to get a nice middle-aged gut, and those features of his face, that were unique as a youngster, are beginning to look positively satanic now. And that’s actually GOOD. We’ve had enough Johnny Depp and Ryan Seacrest to last us a lifetime, where is all the character in the face of male actors these days? The entire WB (now called CW) network is just littered with these plain faced bastards.