Read At Joe's
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 27, 2008
The 1970s was such a period of change that the-powers-that-be apparently decided a change of venue was necessary, sending the swingers SWINGTOWN out of town to sample the wildlife in the wilds of Wisconsin. (I am beginning to think this show makes ONE TREE HILL look subtle.)
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 24, 2008
Could THE MIDDLEMAN be any more fun? I don't see how. The scripts and performances combine to create such a wide-eyed sense of wonder that I would love to see this show on parent network ABC. Perhaps it could lead into the sublime PUSHING DAISIES. But whereas DAISIES is, in effect, a fable come to life, MIDDLEMAN is a comic book come to life.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 23, 2008
The Daytime Emmys tend to be a mixed bag of conflicting material: Juxtaposing kiddie programs with lurid talk fests, game shows and soaps is more mismatched than apples and oranges, but THE 35th ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARDS turned out to be much more coherent this year, and I believe that is because the children's content was mostly relegated to a taped wrap-up, avoiding mixing Elmo with EJ. Still, "coherent" does not equal "entertaining," and the show was the usual painful mishmash of clips, strained presenter "banter" and winners complaining about not having enough time to thank their fourth cousins and the guy who mowed their parents' lawn when they were kids. In other words, it was an awards show, and no one watches an awards show to be entertained; they want to know who won.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 20, 2008
Hmmm, it seems SWINGTOWN's Susan got religion — literally. She insisted on saying grace before breakfast and attending church. What brought this on? Could be that she saw her husband, Bruce, kissing Sylvia last week and finding a business card with her phone number? Or is it just plain old remorse over dipping her toe into the dating pool of swingers? Yep, that's it: Furious, she tells her husband "Sex has consequences." (And this was a decade before AIDS and the "safe sex" crusades.)
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 17, 2008
With GREEK wrapped up for the semester, ABC Family has introduced THE MIDDLEMAN in the 8 o'clock slot on Mondays. Recognizing the concept in the commercials, I pulled out my The Middle Man comic books — not the trade collection, mind you; I bought the individual issues, which started coming out way back in 2005. I know the series is billed as based on the "graphic novels" by Javier Grillo-Marxuach, but I'm old enough to remember when these things were called comic books, so that's what they are to me. Grillo-Marxuach, or "Javi," as he likes to be called, wrote for the first two seasons of LOST, and is an executive producer on MEDIUM.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 16, 2008
On DOCTOR WHO, the Doctor and Donna land in 1926, and crash a crash a society party at Eddison Manor attended by noted mystery writer Agatha Christie. Soon enough, someone is offing party guests in a manner reminiscent of Christie's novels. Yes, the Doctor is involved in a Whodunit? This story immediately reminded me of "Black Orchid," a story in which the Fifth Doctor landed in 1925 and got invited to a masquerade ball at Cranleigh Hall, where someone was murdering guests in a manner not unlike a Christie story. No doubt you all recognized the Clue references (Prof. Peach, in the library, with a lead pipe, for example.)
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 13, 2008
While I have always been a fan of time-travel stories, the 1970s was never even close to being my favorite era to visit. It still isn't, but I must admit that SWINGTOWN is actually making me hate the '70s less!
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 10, 2008
Last night was the season finale of GREEK, and the theme was Spring Break. Hey, I'm easy; all the show had to do to win a favorable review was show me Spencer Grammer (Casey) in a bikini. And the show took care of that requirement before the opening credits. Passing grade.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 9, 2008
As I expected, DOCTOR WHO kicked off with a bit of chicanery, as "The Doctor's Daughter" was not exactly what she seemed to be. (But she was also more — see my note at the very end of this section.) To the show's credit, it didn't try to pretend "Jenny" was anything other than a sort of clone grown from the Doctor's genetic material.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 6, 2008
SWINGTOWN, the new nighttime soap on CBS, is set in 1976 — and, ironically, this show never could have aired back in the actual '70s. In fact, there is some debate over whether it can air in 200 ... at least on CBS.