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» Tuesday, June 10, 2008"'Taint Funny, McGee"
Now I remember why we had satellite.
Searching for some amusement on broadcast television last night, we settled on The Bill Engvall Show. We love Bill's comedy routines, from "Here's your sign" which made him famous to his observations on daily life. Bill's not vulgar, or stupid, or far out, just fun to listen to.
The series, on the other hand, is another story: it's not totally awful, just another formula sitcom. Bill's a therapist, your typical sitcom schook dad, married to Susan, a nurse. They have three kids, Lauren, Trent, and Bryan, two typical teenagers and a geek little boy respectively, who bear, without the more nasty sarcasm, a remarkable resemblance to Nick, Janie, and Michael in the British series My Family. Last night, Bill and Susan are waiting for Bill's best friend to arrive so they can go to a big game to celebrate Bill and Susan's anniversary. Friend gets delayed by listening to his sexy-voiced GPS system [eyes roll], so Bill and Susan start telling the story of how they met: Bill broke his ribs falling over a coffee table while waiting for his present girlfriend to show up to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their relationship, and when he went to the hospital Susan was the emergency-room nurse. Then Susan gets into a snit because she discovers Bill did not break up immediately with his girlfriend when he started dating her. (This all took place eighteen years previously!) Supposed wackiness ensues when Bryan falls and hurts his arm and Bill and Susan end up making up in...guess where...the emergency room.
If this plotline was a tomato, we would have bushels of them stretching to the horizon to represent how many times it's been used as a storyline in a sitcom. It's the same old tired story of the therapist/psychiatrist/counselor who's great at helping others but can't fix his/her own life. The little genius kid is cute but the same as every other precocious ten (or whatever) year old out there (I was having flashbacks of Danny Partridge, without the business saavy). The best friend is sweet but bumbling.
I thought it was just me, but when it was done, I looked at James and he made a face.
I'll stick to Engvall's stand-up routines, thanks. There I know I'm going to have a good time.
However, there is good broadcast news on the horizon: PBS's History Detectives starts new shows on June 30.