Friday, February 18, 2011

Episode 609

I'm writing this while sitting on the floor of SFO, waiting to board my flight to LAX (four-hour delay and counting). As much as I love the people-watching, this does mean I'm missing Thursday-night TV, including an episode of The Office called "Threat Level Midnight." (Can. Not. Wait.) To console myself, I'm going to write about a few things I loved this week on TV:

1) Michael Emerson on Parenthood. The one drawback of that otherwise flawless show is (and my driver in LAX agrees) the one-note portrayal of Max, the middle-schooler with Asperger's.  I'm not sure if it's the fault of the writers, the directors, or the child actor with a tremendously difficult role to play, but Max - who should be one of the show's more dynamic and sympathetic characters  - falls flat.  In any case, Michael Emerson (with just the right amount of Ben Linus in him) guest starred in this week's episode as a man with Asperger's - and he gave one of the most nuanced performances the show has ever seen (which is saying a lot given the knock-out talent on the regular cast). It's worth checking out ( - sorry for lack of links, I'm writing this old-school Notes style and will even if you don't follow the show.  P.S. Can we agree that Michael Emerson is the Christoph Waltz of the small screen?

2) The new ad campaign. This is a little less exciting when I can't link to examples, but let's just say that Taye Diggs, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck made me want to pick Feeding America next time they ask me to choose a cause at Whole Foods. Commercials for charities that don't rely on Sarah McLachlan songs to elicit the tears are always okay in my book.

3) Elmo showing Padma who's boss.  The stars of Sesame Street were the (best) guest judges (ever) on Top Chef: All Stars this week. The challenge was to make cookies worthy of Cookie Monster. When one chef made a cookie with cinnamon and it was mistaken for cardamom, Padma, in true attempted-snobbery style, informed the Muppets that "cinnamon and cardamom come from the same part of the world." Elmo then retorted with what every viewer was thinking (and I quote): "TMI." 

Speaking of TMI, my butt is a bit sore from all this floor-sitting, so it's time to wrap up and take a stroll. Hey, it could be worse; it's 10:45pm on a Thursday - I could be watching Outsourced.

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