Season 4, Episode 1 aired January 8, 2001

1. Intro
2. Don't Miss
3. Kim's Commercial Comments
4. Media Junkie
     -by guest writer Jason Friedman
5. TV Trivia
6. Favorite quotes of the week
7. Slave to the Idiot Box
     -by guest writer William Noetling
8. A totally unrelated link

1. Intro

Welcome back to the TKTV Newsletter! I hope everyone had very happy holidays and a fabulous New Year. New Year's is always one of my favorite holidays of the year, because really the whole point is just to have fun and drink champagne. (I tend to ignore the whole resolution tradition. I resolve not to break any resolutions, and that is best done by not making any in the first place.)

Okay, "The Practice" has been incredibly powerful this season, but I wouldn't mind seeing another storyline. Scott Wallace and William Hinks are great, but doesn't the firm have any other clients? Aren't there any other criminals in the city of Boston?

Finally, there is some justice in the world. Although "The Weber Show" is the highest rated new show on the air, NBC came to their senses, realized that it was only because of TWS's killer timeslot between "Friends" and "Will & Grace," and decided to pull the sad series for February sweeps. I'm taking bets as to what NBC is going to put in its place.

Fox's airing of "The Simpsons" episode "HOMR" last night was perfect timing. In it, the Simpsons attend an animation conference, and discuss how animation has been a growing trend on TV... at least, last year. Last week Fox just announced that they've renewed three of their animated favorites: "The Simpsons," "Futurama" and "King of the Hill." Sunday night wouldn't be the same without them.

Last but certainly not least, pay special attention to the Don't Miss section of this week's newsletter. It's mid-season replacement time, and along with new shows like "The Mole," "Sisters," "Temptation Island," "Popstars," "Grounded for Life," and "Gary & Mike," we can look forward to the return of old favorites like "NYPD Blue," "Jack & Jill" and "Celebrity Deathmatch" on a non-cable network.

Have a great couple of weeks! There won't be a newsletter next Monday due to Martin Luther King Day.


2. Don't Miss

Welcome to mid-season replacements
For details and lots more fun TV to look forward to, see


3. Kim's Commercial Comments

Kim is on a little vacation right now, but I thought I would use her column space to tell you about my favorite and least favorite holiday-themed ads of the past year. So, welcome to...

TK's Commercials Comments!

It doesn't have quite the same ring, but it'll have to do.

What spot has me laughing? The Power of Cheese

It's early in the morning. A little girl goes running to her parents to come quickly and see what Santa left them. The bleary-eyed parents stumble into the living room and their jaws hit the floor. Their living is filled with a myriad of huge generous presents, including a new car and a bicycle. The father comments to his young daughter that she must have left Santa some amazing cookies. "I didn't leave him cookies," she responds. "I left him cheese."

Ah, the power of cheese.

I've been loving this whole cheese campaign, especially the one where the guy is ice-fishing and fish use cheese to reel him in instead, but this holiday-themed one is tip top. I think part of the beauty is the child-actor they got to play the daughter. The way she says "I left him cheese" with an angelic yet calculating smile is priceless. Remind me to leave Santa cheese next year.

What spot has me groaning? Visa: The Grinch

Okay, so I'm going to get the wording all wrong, but basically, this ad starts with a reading of part of Dr. Seuss's timeless "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." The part that is being read is where the Grinch realizes that just because he stole all the trees and decorations and presents, he didn't manage to ruin Christmas because Christmas isn't about things, it's about a feeling. This is, of course, the moral of the whole durn story. Then Visa goes on to tell you that in case the Grinch was wrong, you should use your Visa card to buy all your Christmas presents this year because there's a chance that you could win their Christmas contest and get all your presents for free.

In case the Grinch was wrong!? What?! Argh. Way to take one of the greatest children's Christmas stories and warp it into exactly the opposite of what it was meant to be.


4. Media Junkie by Jason Friedman

Since this is the beginning of the year, it is time for the Best Of list. Here goes...
  1. The West Wing
  2. OZ
  3. Nash Bridges
  4. Sopranos
  5. Gilmore Girls
  6. The X-Files
  7. Once and Again
  8. Sex and the City
  9. That '70s Show
  10. Becker
First of all, since I don't consider it along with the other series, "The Corner" was extraordinary television. All three main actors were brilliant and the writing and directing is as good as any show. Yes, the director for all six episodes was Charles "Roc" Dutton. If I did put it with the others, it would be 1 or 2.

Also, I should mention that "The Late Late Show" with Kilborn is one of my favorite shows. It is funny every night. And nothing is more amusing than Yambo. Craig is great at getting guests to have fun.

Since "Homicide" left the air, I have been hesitant to label another show a definite #1, but "The West Wing" was top to bottom phenomenal last year. I was glad to see a deserving show actually win some Emmys. The best one on the show is Bradley Whitford (Josh), who didn't even get nominated last year. The writing is extraodinarily entertaining. (Yay, Aaron Sorkin! -TK)

This leads into another show that is superior in the writing area: "OZ." It is brilliantly brutal. Even on HBO, it redefines "edgy television." The amazing aspect is the high quality of acting; the entire cast is amazing. The fact that none of the cast has been nominated for anything is a joke. Tom Fontana writes every episode. I guess if you can write multi-story drama this well you don't want anyone else to do it. The number of different story arcs going on at once is like nothing else on TV.

I'm sure my most controversial pick is "Nash Bridges." Before you disagree with me, watch the show! It is the only show on TV that delivers good action and good comedy every week. Don Johnson is a great core for the show; he is glib but still likable. Cheech, as his sidekick, is always amusing and they have great chemistry together. And the show is even better now that they ditched Yasmine Bleeth.

"The Sopranos" was downgraded this year due to an uneven season. Let's face it, the first couple of episodes were not good. It also suffered from the death of Nancy Marchand. That being said, it is still exciting television. One only has to see the reserved James Gandolfini interviewed to see what a great performance he gives. It reminds me of the transformation that Dennis Franz goes through for Sipowicz. Edie Falco is perfect as the mafia wife. And you gotta love Paulie Walnuts and Dante. But, can someone please tell me what Lorraine Braco does that is so great?

The last show that deserves some elaboration is "Gilmore Girls." I strongly urge anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a shot. The two lead actors play very well off each other. Lauren Graham is the young mom. She is a funnier version of Jenna Elfman that is a solid actor and not annoying. Alexis Beidel is the wise daughter but not in an annoying "Dawson's Creek" way. There are many quirky supporting characters that are fun. It is always very interesting and well written.

TKTV is always looking for new guest writers. Do you have an idea for an article? Write to TK with the subject of "guestwriter."


5. TV Trivia

Last week's question was: Adam Goldberg, one of the stars of the recently cancelled "The $treet," guest-starred in a few episodes of "Friends" as who? Bonus if you remember what his pet was.

Ah, yes, that "Friends" trivia always gets the biggest response.

First prize goes to devil man. Congratulations!

Honorable mentions go to Suzanne B. and Jarett G.

The correct answer was Eddie, Chandler's temporary roommate when Joey moved out in the second season. He had a pet goldfish... a Pepperidge Farms Goldfish cracker.

This week's question is: who played the original Michael Wiseman on CBS's one-season wonder "Now & Again" before his brain was put into a bio-engineered body?

Send answers to TK at with the subject of tvtrivia. Winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers.


6. Favorite quotes of the week

From Dharma and Greg
Larry: My little brother pulled the tail off my Davy Crockett hat and I beat the crap out of him, but that's because without the tail it's just a furry yarmulke!

From Two Guys and a Girl
Germ: Hey, man, your new chick is hot.
Berg: She is my mother. She is not hot, she is warm and snuggly.

From The Simpsons
Intelligent Homer: I'm a Spalding Gray in Rick Dees world.


7. Slave to the Idiot Box by William Noetling

I just figured out a title for this column. Isn't that special?

For this week's column I'd like to take a look at the 2000-2001 Television Season, and what we've gotten to watch so far. This will be a multi-part column, since I don't want to monopolize too much space in the newsletter. This week we'll take a look at NBC and Fox, the networks I find myself watching the most, therefore have to do the least research on.

We'll start over at Fox, since that's the network I watch the most. So far we've seen John Goodman try to be convincing as a gay man in Normal, Ohio. While I liked the show itself, and thought the few episodes I saw were really funny, I wasn't convinced. Neither was Fox. It got the axe just a few weeks ago. Coming soon to Normal's former time slot will be Grounded for Life, starring Donal Logue, who I've been watching for some time now... well, at least since Medicine Ball. If you haven't seen The Tao of Steve, go see it now. I highly recommend it.

Sundays are pretty solid for the "fourth" net, which by now is firmly established in the minds of its viewers. I really like the scheduling of almost all of their animation in one block, with Family Guy being the exception. (Hey when is that coming back anyway? I love that show). Futurama is one of my personal favorites, but that's simply because I know one of the guys who works on the show. Still, I've been a Matt Groenig fan since his Life in Hell days, and I'll support whatever he does. King of the Hill is getting a tad long in the tooth, but at least they are letting the characters age, unlike its other cartoon brethren. Sometimes I feel like the characters on that show are really caricatures, but then I remember, it's animated. I still can't believe that The Simpsons is in its 11th season. It is still consistently the funniest and wittiest show on TV, and I try not to miss a single episode. Heck, I still watch as many re-runs in syndication as I possibly can. Malcolm in the Middle is in its sophomore season, and while it's starting to get a little old, it's still pretty damn funny. Which brings us to The X-Files. I've never been a HUGE XF fan, but I've watched the show on more than one occasion, and I keep up on the ongoing story-lines. Creator Chris Carter has proven this year that he doesn't need David Duchovny's ego to keep the show going, and while Gillian Anderson still isn't convincing me that she's an FBI agent, her acting is getting better as her character shifts from being the skeptical one to being the believer. Robert Patrick... what can I say? Perfect casting. And today I heard that Anabeth Gish is being brought in for three episodes beginning February 25th, and will return next season. Va-va-va-voom!

Monday nights on Fox are also solid, and though I can't stand Ally McBeal, my girlfriend loves it. I finally caught an episode of Boston Public, and I couldn't figure it out. I guess that might be due to the fact that I graduated high school 13 bloody years ago. Tuesdays are my favorite Fox night now, with That '70s Show, Titus and Dark Angel anchoring. I always liked That '70s Show, but Titus was the dark horse for me. I never watched it until last summer. Damn, that thing is FUNNY! Do yourselves a favor and catch it. The rest of the week is where Fox has problems. I can't even tell you what else is on Fox, because, frankly I don't know. Sunday and Tuesday, those are Fox nights in my house. The rest of the week, no way Jose.

Our friends at NBC are up next. NBC isn't having a banner year so far. Its big star vehicle The Michael Richards Show has come and gone already (like that was a surprise). I watched about 10 minutes of that piece of dreck, and couldn't stand it. I don't know what NBC was thinking. Kramer was only one-fourth of Seinfeld's success, and there was no way in hell he could carry a show on his own with the same character. In fact, the only new show that NBC has that is doing at all well is Ed, and they've already changed its time slot. Actually I was pretty happy with the change, since I watch other stuff on Sundays, when Ed premiered. Ed is actually everything the advertising makes it out to be, which is rare in television. You can catch Ed on Wednesdays now. Unfortunately for me, Wednesdays are my dart-throwing night, so I miss it quite often. Cursed... err, I mean The Weber Show is pretty bad, and it's got a plum line-up spot. On the con side, it's got bad, bad acting from Weber, and most of the rest of the cast, but on the plus side, it's got Amy Pietz and Chris Elliott as regulars, and the J. Peterman guy from Seinfeld shows up every now and then. I don't know how Steven Weber sold his soul to the devil, but where do I stand in line? I finally caught an episode of DAG last night. Can't say that I've missed much, and that's really too bad, since I like David Allen Grier, and I can actually tolerate Delta Burke. Heck, I remember when she was attractive way back when (when she starred on HBO's First and Ten). The show is just unfunny, though there are some humorous moments with the President.

NBC's veteran shows aren't faring much better than its new shows. Though ER is having its best season since the early years (again, the advertising isn't lying), Friends and Will and Grace are stagnating completely. While Friends still has a little spark in it, you can tell that the actors on Will and Grace appear to be going through the motions, especially the two leads. I think they should rename it to Karen and Jack. I guess that The West Wing is doing well. I don't really know since I've never seen it, and I'm probably not about to start. I know it won the best drama Emmy last year, but honestly, I don't have time to watch a show that's been on a year already. The whole Daphne/Niles thing over on Frasier is making me ill. Every time I watch it they're having some kind of lovey-dovey moment. It's sick. I swear, if I wasn't in a relationship, I would wretch every time I watched that show.

Will someone please explain to me why 3rd Rock from the Sun is still on the air? Is it just to give the WWF stunt casting by having Chyna guest star once every few months? Did John Lithgow follow Steven Weber's footsteps?

I've never given Law & Order, nor its spin-off SVU, much notice, though I know they have huge followings. Likewise, I know absolutely nothing about Third Watch or Providence. Hey I can only write about what I see right?

Next issue: The WB and UPN. As always, if you'd like to read more of my crazy writing, check out my website at Remember, it's only fiction.


8. A totally unrelated link

Why Iraq's buying up Playstation 2s


If only I could get that wonderful feeling of accomplishment,
without having to accomplish anything. -Ashleigh Brilliant