by Libby Hellmann
Okay, I confess. I’ve become a TV junkie. I’m watching – and enjoying -- programs I never thought I would. Part of it has been the Chicago winter: I don’t remember ever spending this much time at home. Part of it is my effort to perfect the art of procrastination – I’m about 100 pages into a new novel, and rather than figure out what the book is really about, I'm staring at the tube. And part of it is that the shows are so available online. Or on DVDs. It’s much easier to watch an episode at 3 in the afternoon than to remember the night and the time it was originally scheduled.
So, with that… here’s what I’ve been looking at…
Lipstick Jungle: A Sex-in-the-City clone but with high-powered women, this isn’t a bad show. The women wear incredible clothes, they look fabulous, the men are sexy, and the story lines – well – they’re not new, but they’re palatable. At least on snowy afternoons. Turns out Brooke Shields can act, after all. Plus, Nico, who played Audrey on “24”, which we all know has been MIA this season, has helped stave off my “24” withdrawal symptoms.
Boston Legal: What a hoot! I love the satire. I love the acting. Even the plot lines, as hackneyed as they are, make me giggle. And William Shattner, James Spader, and Candace Bergen look like they’re having the time of their lives. This is just over-the-top fun.
Damages: Who said the serial thriller/melodrama is dead? Glenn Close did a great job, and the twists and turns, while predictable, were fun to watch.Nice digs too… the perfect starter apartment for the young couple, the great suburban mansion on the lake, the upscale New York coop.
Desperate Housewives: I’ll probably go back to it when it comes back, if only because my daughter and I used to watch it together. She’s in college now but usually calls during commercials. Sure, it’s campy, silly, unreal, and manipulative, but, for the most part, it’s pure escape. And their houses are always so clean.
Weeds: I’ve always thought Elizabeth Perkins was one of the most underrated actresses around. And who knew Kevin Nealon would be so good? Or Tanye Patano? The writing is razor sharp, especially when Heylia and Andy are around, the humor is just black enough, and every time Mary Louise Parker sips her frappachino, I really "get" Agrestic.
I’m also looking forward to the new season of The Shield… (does anyone know when it comes back?)… and, of course, 24 when it finally makes an appearance next season. I haven’t been great at watching The Wire, but I plan to catch up. And there are always reruns of The Sopranos.
What about you? ‘Fess up… what are your guilty TV pleasures?