Friday, March 16, 2007

Hey...Howie Mandel ISN'T on

I'm watching NBC's new shows right now. They're pretty good. Actually, Andy Barker P.I. was very good. I didn't see the entire thing - I was flipping over to watch a documentary on Hong Kong Kung Fu flicks, and also the 'Raisins' episode of South Park. Anyway, Andy Richter is perfect for the part of a C.P.A. fallen backwards into being a gumshoe. Honestly though, as expected, Arrested Development's Tony Hale pretty much makes the show. So yeah, I'd say it's a keeper.

Raines, starring Jeff Goldblum, has kind of turned into a pleasant surprise. First of all, it's this new...not Noir Redux, but like meta-Noir; it takes the structure of a detective story, the quirks of Chandler novels & Bogart films, and then slathers them with self-aware sarcasm (the victim has a Double Indemnity poster in her bedroom, Goldblum references Kathleen Turner in Body Heat). It worked spectacularly in Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Raines is similar, only scaled down for the small screen. Jeff Goldblum is also well suited for this new formula like Robert Downey Jr was. I don't know, maybe it's me - I'm a sucker for Noir & detective stories, from The Big Sleep to Chinatown to Memento. Second, well, if I was NBC, I would've publicized the fact that the show is directed by Frank Darabont, director of one of our generation's most beloved films, The Shawshank Redemption. So, that's good too. Third, the show is packed with great players. Nicole Sullivan sticks out, finally finding life after Mad TV that isn't a soda commercial; her sarcasm reflects Goldblum's. Relative newcomer Linda Park is intriguing, so I'll be keeping an eye on her. And here, get out your trusty IMDB and check out these names of excellent character actors: Matt Craven, Malik Yoba, Paul Scheer, Tracey Walter, & Ryan Hurst. Oh, and the first episode's victim is played by the gorgeous Alexa Davalos, who is kind of like a sexy version of Felicity (she's got that mane of curls that is muy caliente), and who was the only reason to watch The Chronicles Of Riddick. She should be a star by now, but be patient - she's going to pop up this November in The Mist, Darabont's third Stephen King film adaptation (after Shawshank & The Green Mile).

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