Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Guest Star

I'm still sick, but have a project due soon, so I dragged the files into bed with me. For background noise, I switched the television box to its "ON" setting, then altered the "channel" until I ended up on channel 23, which they call "ME-TV," and which runs old shows ranging from the Burns and Allen to Mad About You. It was on this station that I found The Facts of Life the other day.

I sometimes find this station fun to watch when most of my attention is elsewhere because you can often find actors on their way up the Hollywood ladder before they commanded enough respect not to have to take these gigs. You can also, it seems, catch stars on their way back down the ladder, as I discovered flipping through last week and discovering a Charlie's Angels with Jim Backus and Phil Silvers in the middle of a ridiculously complicated plot involving the kidnapping of ice dancers so that they'll be replaced with agents of a group with an eye on assassinating some Arab leaders during the oil embargo. Or something.

First up today was an episode of 21 Jumpstreet with an appearance by an enormous-haired Brad Pitt. Although he was a series regular, and therefore not quite germaine to the post topic, it was interesting to watch Johnny Depp before he had much skill as well. The episode was a rather heavy-handed look at teenage suicide. Pitt had a small appearance as a kid who gets mad when someone jokes about the recent suicide of his girlfriend's brother. I had never seen the show when it was on in the first place, so I felt a little stupid leaving it on.

A show I did used to watch (albeit when I was nine) came next: The A Team. It began with the time-honored drugging of Mr. T in order to get him on an airplane. The story centered on a group of New York small businesses who were being shaken down for "insurance" money by local toughs. Yaphet Kotto (the real-life son of a king, and who had already appeared in Roots and Alien) played the crime boss who needs to be taught a lesson. For some reason, this guest spot does not appear on his IMDB listing, but Pitt's episode of Jumpstreet is on his.

A side note to those of you thinking of starting a protection racket: Try to avoid some of the mistakes made by Kotto's crew. They were taking so much money from the shopkeepers that the owner of the bakery confessed to Hannibal, "We don't have enough money left to stay open for another month." If you're gonna take money in exchange for not wrecking people's shops, you need to leave them enough money to continue operating their businesses. Aside from the possibility that this will help you avoid a run-in with the A Team, it also protects your source of income for the future. You really need to think long-term. I cannot stress this enough.

I later caught an episode of Alias on another station which featured Office creator and all-around comedy darling Ricky Gervais as a bombmaker seeking revenge.

Capped the day by watching Hugh Laurie host Saturday Night Live. Not nearly as funny as I'd hoped. They really didn't use him very well, which is weird considering A Bit of Fry and Laurie was one of the funniest sketch shows I've ever seen. I'm betting Mr. Laurie isn't at fault. At least House will be back this week.

So it was kind of a surreal day, tv-wise. It is my fervent wish that I will stop being sick soon, and that this will be the last television post for a while.


CC2383 said...

Very fascinating stuff!! Did you know that yesterday there was a "House" marathon on the USA network?!?!?!

The Moon Topples said...

I can only hope you are mocking me with the "fascinating" comment. I did not know about a House marathon, but I don't have cable and I own both seasons, so it probably wouldn't have altered my life a whole lot.

Also, how is it that you can spell "fascinating," but tend to use "your" in sentences like "Your evil?" Just wondering.

CC2383 said...

I despise the apostrophe

The Moon Topples said...

and the letter "E" ?

CC2383 said...


The Moon Topples said...