Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Another new television season is upon us, and from what I've seen so far, go buy some new books. Last night was my first taste of several new shows (through the magic of the remote I was able to be disgusted by two or three shows at a time). Here's what I saw:

"8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," "In-Laws," Bonnie Hunt's new show (what's it called?), "Hidden Hills," and "Frasier."

The first three of those are "new" shows, but from very old molds. I actually had hope for "8 Simple Rules" (despite its awful title) and "In-Laws" because of the casts. Even familiar, pleasant personalities couldn't save these shows from their complete lack of originality. Then there's Bonnie Hunt. Why the Hell does she have another pilot on? Hunt had made 8 pilots in the last 12 years, and all of them have bombed. Why does she still have a career?

"Hidden Hills" was not copied from an old mold. It was copied from a recent mold ("Malcolm in the Middle"). Of the new shows, this is the one with the most promise. Of course, that's not saying very much.

Finally, "Frasier" rounded out the night, with the wedding(s) of Niles and Daphne. The only truly funny moment (of the show, and the night) came towards the end with Saul Rubineck showing up as Daphne's former fiance, Donny. We can only hope that this will be the final season of "Frasier," a once great show that has gone well past its expiration date.

Actually, the funniest thing on all night was a Bud Lite commercial. Woman calls man at work and says, "Tonight let's play 'Stranger.' When one of us gets home, the other will be dressed up in a French maid's outfit, wearing a blonde wig, and carrying a six-pack of Bud Lite." (Guy's expression shows he's into it). Later, the woman, now dressed in the sexy maid's outfit and wearing the wig, picks up the six-pack and goes to answer the door. There's the man from earlier, dressed identically to the woman (and holding a sixer of Bud Lite), "Oh, you meant you were going to dress up..." She slams the door in his face. The neighbor down the hall opens his door, looks over at the guy in the French maid's outfit and says, "Well, hi there, stranger!"

Tonight I'll be watching the season premieres of "Ed" and "West Wing" (as well as the finale of "Big Brother"). Let's just hope that these two shows still have the power to entertain that they did last year.

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