Friday, February 8, 2013

Tom Goes to the Chair: Broke Girls, Beyonce and Buttplugs—the Week in TV

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 12:32 PM

All right, I know I promised that I would give you weekly updates of Girls, but it’s torturous. This week’s episode started—and I swear I am not making this up!—with the main character kicking out her gay roommate because he slept with a woman. He wants to take a chair with him, but she sits on the chair, sans underwear, and marks her territory by getting vagina all over it. Then she hosts a dinner party where the main topic of conversation is butt plugs. At the end of the episode, she takes a bath with a woman who is probably the skankiest character in the history of television. They end up splashing each other because the skanky one snotted in the bath water. All things considered, one of the better episodes.

As for television that’s worth watching:

—The Super Bowl was okay, I guess. I really liked the half-hour of dead air after the lights went out. Some blamed Beyonce, others thought it might be a terrorist attack, while still others remembered that New Orleans is a giant dump of a city and it’s surprising that only half the lights went out.

I didn’t want Baltimore to win, not so much because Ray Lewis is a clod (which he is), but mostly because they shouldn’t have gotten out of the first round. That ridiculous last play against Denver never should have happened. Then, San Francisco choked when they had first-and-goal late in the game.

I skipped the halftime show for about the 20th year in a row. I just don’t understand the whole thing about Beyonce. Put her in another era (say, the early '70s) with Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, and Roberta Flack and Beyonce would be a backup singer for a Vegas lounge act. Hell, compared just to Adele, Beyonce is a lounge-act back-up singer.

Quick quiz: Who performed at halftime of the first-ever Super Bowl? None other than Tucson-based Up With People and the University of Arizona Marching Band. That halftime show I watched because I was there.

The Super Bowl, which wasn’t even called that until the fifth game in the series, was just a match-up of the NFL and AFL champions. It was still a couple years before the merger that created the modern NFL. Interest in the game was so minimal that both NBC and CBS televised it and commercials went for about a buck-and-a-half.

The L.A. Coliseum, which seated around 100,000 back in those days, was maybe half full. They had gone around to the parks in all the ghetto areas of L.A. and given away free tickets. We rode from Pacoima Park to the Coliseum in this raggedy old bus and went to our seats in the end zone. By the end of the first quarter, we were all sitting around the 30-yard line, about halfway up. These days, in order to get those seats, you’d have to have a bank account on the same island as Mitt Romney.

—I watched Vegas, which stars Dennis Quaid as a folksy 1960s-era sheriff and the outstanding Michael Chiklis as a mob-marinated casino head. It’s all right, but by no means great. There are some soapy elements to it that I could do without, but the danger seems real enough. I really like the authenticity of early Las Vegas, but the show was heading into Generic-ville until an episode from a couple weeks ago.

The mob guys were moving in on another casino and they needed legitimate financing to make the deal. So they leaned on a straight-arrow bank official. The two mob guys go the banker’s house, where they are set upon by a bunch of old white guys who all look like Wilford Brimley. Turns out it’s the legendary Mormon Mafia which has been keeping things peaceful and Caucasian in the valley for more than a century. It’s a nice twist I didn’t see coming.

—Did you happen to see Fox News’ Chris Wallace rip Wayne LaPierre a new one on the Sunday interview show? If not, look it up. It’s brilliant.

30 Rock went off the air, but Two Broke Girls is still on. Explain it.

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