Friday, April 27, 2007

Hank believes he has discovered a new disorder: AD-DVD-D

Hank: I have always treasured the air of mystery about you, Phyllis, but why do you persist in your refusal to watch DVDs with me? You spend countless hours surfing through cable channels and watching less distinguished fare. Is it fear of commitment? Attention Deficit Disorder? (I still wish you would borrow some Ritalin from one of your students, sweetie, just to try it out.)

Because if it is neither one of those things, I am forced to wonder if it is a trust issue, like that time when I would not let you tie me to the bed because I was afraid you would get up and turn on The L Word.

Phyllis: I've told you before that it all dates back to when I was reviewing movies for AARP and I had to watch too many mediocre videos. It came to be a chore, and I still haven't gotten over it. DVDs also lack the publicness of TV, because even if I am watching What Not To Wear, I at least know that somewhere, someone else is watching too. Lots of people watch What Not to Wear, by the way. And even if all of the "immature" kindergarten teachers, "frumpy" new mothers, or "slutty" middle-aged women all end up looking the same at the end of the show, just hearing how mean Stacy London is to them makes it all worth it. I know you don't know what I am talking about, but someone does.

Hank: So what you want from What Not to Wear is what most people want from God, which is a sense that you are not alone. Fine. But don't you think there are other people somewhere watching Infamous or the third season of Homicide too? I never hear you talking on the phone with these other people who are watching. I can't understand what good they are to you. They are probably recording it on Tivo while they watch DVDs, for as much as you know.

I think you are addicted to overstimulation. You like commercial television because you want the commercials to come and give you an excuse to change the channel for a few minutes. You dislike pre-recorded movies because you know what you will be watching for the next few hours and that bores you. And if I am perfectly honest, I often feel the same way. Maybe Neil Postman was right about people like us.

Phyllis: You are not wrong. I do love watching three shows at once, so fine. And it does fill me with a little bit of dread to know that I have to sit on the bed and watch TV--I'm sorry, a movie--for two whole hours. But there is a solution to this: take me to the movies? I have no problem going to the theater where all the other people I don't talk on the phone with are also watching movies.

Unbelievable House

Phyllis: Of all the unconvincing aspects of House--Cameron's matching vests, pants, and jackets; Cuddy's va-va-voomage; Foreman's velvet blazers; House's pink shirt; Wilson's equanimity (his clothes are boring)--what do you think is the most unbelievable part of the show?

Hank: The most unbelievable thing to me, Phyllis, is that they said there was going to be a dog and there wasn't any dog. You can imagine how I feel about this. Was it not Chekhov himself who said that if you're going to put a dog over the mantle in Act I, that dog had better bark by Act III?
I lack your fine eye for sartorial matters, sweetheart, but I did think that Foreman's velvet smoking jacket was too shiny. All I can think is that Omar Epps had some kind of rider in his contract that let him wear that jacket. But I have to say that Cameron is the most unbelievable to me this season. It is not the clothes that bother me. It's the bangs, honey, and the face, the way they're so composed all the time. Every time a patient goes into defib, I expect her to shout, "I need a stylist! STAT!" And I do not even want to start on the Permanent PMS they have given her this year. I don't mind her being a bitch, but she is not an interesting bitch.

Phyllis: Hank. You are a man. I don't think that Cameron is a bitch--it hurts me just to say the word. I think the problem with Cameron is that the writers don't know what kind of woman/cliche she is: does she has a crush on her boss? is she a ball buster who has no feelings (for Chase, her real-life soon-to-be-husband)? is she the sensitive one with the dead husband? is she the annoying one? I sort of dislike all of the possibilities, but I think making her want House is the stupidest. Making Cuddy have some ambiguous thing for House is also stupid. The writers need to write a really great character for House to fall for, really. That would make Cuddy and Cameron (and Wilson?) more interesting.

Hank: They didn't do so hot last time, Phyllis. Sela Ward? The woman is all eyebrows. Her face has the expressive range of a bobblehead doll. All she can do is Career Woman and Horny Career Woman. Don't you remember Sisters? She's the one who made Julianne Phillips look deep.

Who would be a good love interest for House, in your estimation? I am probably alone in thinking that Lisa Kudrow would be an interesting choice, but God knows she needs the work. Michelle Pfeiffer is a housewife now, isn't she? It can't be much fun being the first person to hear David Kelley's every thought. It's a prestige show and I'll bet they could get some long-in-the-tooth Hollywood A-Lister to do it. The question is, which one?

All this talk about House has reminded me that we are neglecting the writing of our pilot for the show about a hospital that only treats characters from other TV shows. I mentioned it on the Golden Gables chatboard and several people were very excited.