April 24, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: Apr 24, 2008
Wednesday night's 8 o'clock wasteland — BIG BROTHER 9, DEAL OR NO DEAL, 'TIL DEATH and WIFE SWAP...really? — means I can stop to pick up dry-cleaning and Snapple on the way home from the train without missing anything even remotely resembling entertainment. (The N.Y. Rangers don't kick off the next round of the NHL playoffs until tomorrow night.)
Yesterday, I was concerned that I would make a lousy AMERICAN IDOL fan because I didn't gush over the same shoddy performances that the "professional" judges did. Well, perhaps I was too harsh in my judgment — of myself. Turns out America agreed with my diagnosis that Carly was just a screamer who relied on her backup singers to carry "Jesus Christ, Superstar" while she wailed (a tactic seen more commonly among child singers to make them appear to have "big" voices) and strutted. Yes, despite Simon's out-of-left-field endorsement, Carly was sent packing. Of course, judging by the way Simon, Randy and (especially) Paula fawned over her on the way out, anyone who tuned in late could be forgiven for assuming Carly had won. (Given the relative success of past "losers" vs. "winners," perhaps she did.) Next week the hopefuls tackle the Neil Diamond songbook. Wouldn't you love to see the behind-the-scenes knife fight over who gets to belt out "America"?
This week's LAW & ORDER marked Jesse L. Martin's last case as Det. Ed Green, and the-powers-that-be gave his character a storyline-dictated exit. The veteran detective was brought up on charges for whacking a bookie. I'm sure everyone was just as shocked as I to learn that Green had a gambling problem. Considering that he managed to hide it not only from his co-workers but home viewers, how much of a problem could it have been? Detective Green refused to defend himself, which any experienced TV viewer (ahem) instantly recognized as a signal that he was protecting someone — probably a woman. Bingo! Despite the story's collapse into cliché, Martin got the chance to do some actual acting. Instead of trying to fill the late Jerry Orbach's (ex-Lennie) quippy shoes, Martin (who also played Tom in Rent) was allowed to emote all over the place. Apparently he's been saving his tears all these years, because Green looked absolutely stricken as his lady friend April confessed her role in the shooting. In the same episode, Anthony Anderson (ex-Marlin, K-VILLE; ex-Antwon, THE SHIELD) debuted as Det. Kevin Bernard, an investigator from Internal Affairs who talked a tough game, but was very sloppy/lazy with the details. He'll get the chance to shape up starting next week, when Bernard becomes the new partner of Jeremy Sisto's Det. Lupo.
And that means Anderson will be working my beat…the Night Shift.