TV in Print

Though unspectacular, this TV week had a few cool moments: the Secretary of Defense’s betrayal of Jack in the first ten minutes of "24," Karen’s "high" tea full of peyote on "Will and Grace," Michael Scott (Steve Carell) bragging about his old gang of "street fighters" on “The Office,” and a Puritan Moe on "The Simpsons" bitterly admitting that Homer makes his "humors go from sanguine to bilious."


OK, bear with me: Audrey Raines got an artery sliced this week by crazy evil patriot Henderson, forcing Jack to use a makeshift tourniquet on her arm.

But on the preview for tonight’s episode, that very Audrey is sticking a gun in Henderson’s face. Aren’t tourniquets a last resort when it’s a lose-a-limb-or-die situation? Perhaps Audrey’s relationship to Jack has granted her some of the superpowers he seems to have.

"The Bedford Diaries"

Everyone knows private colleges in New England are a hotbed of politically correct dogma, not schools lax enough to let students spend most of their time confessing their sexual exploits to a DV camera. If even one of those tapes got leaked to their media, the college would lose endowments quicker than Bill O’Reilly could call it all a symptom of society’s downfall. Also, regarding the sex lives of bland but attractive undergrads: who gives a shit?

"American Idol"

Anyone even half familiar with the show knows about that grey-haired guy Taylor who sounds like Michael McDonald, but what’s truly shocking is how much people in the U.S. love him. Sure, the guy can really sing and he doesn’t do that annoying melisma thing with his voice, but there’s got to be some other reason America keeps voting for him. Could it be that unlike the other male contestants, he’s only kind of a douche bag? On a different topic, the show’s ridiculous video of the contestants singing Kim Wilde’s "Kids in America" cut out almost all the lyrics to turn a song about suburban boredom and the apocalypse into a song about, well, those crazy kids in America.

"Will and Grace"

C’mon, this is the Jack and Karen show. As Grace grows more gross and Will more pathetic, the show’s series finale is like saying goodbye to friends you’ve been wishing would move away for years. A Jack and Karen spin-off would almost be redundant – they stole the show a long time ago.

"The Office"

Having seen the BBC’s "The Office" Christmas special on DVD, I have to admit Steve Carell can never be as funny as Ricky Gervais. However, Dwight on the American version is far funnier than his skinny British counterpart. This week, he got beat up by "street fighter" Michael after he bragged about his purple belt in karate.

"The Simpsons"

Seeing a Puritan Flanders (or Flandish) flagellate himself with a whip for thinking impure thoughts was almost as funny as Homer telling everyone on the Mayflower that he’d save them from shipwreck to make sure their fundamentalist Christianity took over the country in the 21st century. Oh, and there was Moe fearfully predicting that Marge, his Puritan fiancee, might turn whorish and start "exchanging pleasantries" with other men.

"Family Guy"

This week, Peter dealt pot to his own daughter, wrote awful erotic novels called "What I Would Do Sexually to Hillary Clinton," and extorted sexual favors from a female rat. My question is: why can’t this guy do? Will any "Family Guy" fans ever go "OK, that was too far," or has the show trained us all to love every transgression it can come up with?