Seven Comfy Shows
by Jeff Lewis


Iíd like to share my opinion on some fabulous television shows.  Maybe someone will find this interesting.  If you donít watch TV, perhaps you should not read this.

(My editor told me to ďpunch upĒ the intro, but Iíve failed.  The presidential debates have made me tired, too tired to be punchy or uppy.  Oh well, hereís the list of shows:)

Arrested Development, Fox Ė I can watch this show over and over again.  I suppose it might be a little silly for some folks, but if you havenít seen it, you might as well give it a shot.  While that may not sound like a ringing endorsement, Iíve decided to employ a soft sell.  My wife says this is too soft a sell.  She would like to add, ďArrested Development is the funniest show in the history of funny.Ē  Like most fans of the show, I was worried that it would get cancelled, since it didnít crack the top 100 in the ratings, but its five Emmys probably guaranteed a full second season.  Rumor has it that there is an Arrested Development half-marathon from noon to five on FX this Saturday, October 16, 2004.  If you canít make that, the DVD of the first season comes out on October 19th and the season starts at 8:30 on November 7th.

Foyleís War, Series 2 on Mystery!/Masterpiece Theatre, PBS Ė If you like understated investigators that blink and nod their head in a very subtle, yet poignant way, youíll love Michael Kitchenís portrayal of Christopher Foyle in this British police procedural series set during the Battle of Britain.  Because of this series, Kitchen has risen to the top of my list of favorite actors.  In addition to blinking and nodding, he delivers a mean detached gaze, followed by a quick piercing stare.  More often than not, this combo produces a full confession.  The second season still is bouncing around on some PBS stations and you can purchase the first season on DVD.

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers, PBS Ė Iím not a scientist, so I canít comment on the content of the show, but itís interesting and Alan Alda is very nice.  (I studied History of Science, though, so Iíll have an opinion later.)  Itís worth watching the show just to see Mr. Alda treat people nicely.  Even better, you can imagine that you are watching my dad treat people nicely because Alan Alda is very much like my dad, only more famous.  Actually, my dad is more of a mix between Alan Alda and baseball player Andres Galarraga, also a nice man, except that my dad speaks Greek with an American accent instead of Spanish with a Venezuelan accent.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, HBO Ė The best part about this show is watching Gumbelówith his ďAs you can see by the smartness of my frames, I could have been a professorĒ glassesópretend to take notes while interviewing the commentators of each of the documentary shorts.  The rest of the show is pretty great too and compelling enough to watch even if you arenít a sports fan.  The show typically delves into weighty topics like racism and vomiting jockeys, but usually has at least one uplifting segment.  The upcoming installment, scheduled for October 19th, exposes the world of camel racing, controversy surrounding Chief Wahooís goofy grin and the injury rate among cheerleaders.

Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Showtime Ė The outspoken/unspoken comedic magic duo follows Houdiniís lead and denounces humbuggery where they see it.  Targets of their skeptical ire include UFOs, psychics, the New Age movement, recyclers, the death industry and anti-swearing activists.  Santa Voca!

Location, Location, Location, BBC America Ė Iím embarrassed to admit that Iíve conned myself into watching another reality series, but this one gives some good advice that may be handy if youíre planning on moving to the U.K. and want to buy a house.  One of the hosts is bald and the other one is not thin, so if you are tired of watching reality-based series with sexy hosts, this is a good option.

The Isaac Mizrahi Show, Oxygen Ė Iíve now been watching The Isaac Mizrahi Show, or as I still like to call it, The Mizri Mizrahan Show, for about six months.  Iím pretty sure that itís the best show on the Oxygen Network, which bills it as, ďFabulous, fun and always in fashion!Ē  I canít disagree with that, although I wish Mizri would stop wearing bandanas.  By the way, he answers fashion questions via email on his show.  I wanted to share his email address with you but I canít find it.  In lieu of that, Iíll be happy to answer any questions.  Iíve seen nearly every episode and have worn a fussy pant or two in my day, so I think Iím qualified to take a first stab at your emails.  If Iím stumped, Iíll ask my wife, who is good at matching.  If sheís at a loss, Iíll look for Mizriís email address again.

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Copyright Jeff Lewis, 2004