Sunday, March 02, 2003

I saw where Bill Sherman has written about this week's new Bill Maher show; I didn't finish reading because I wanted to write about it too and didn't want his opinions to color mine. The first thing I thought was that this Larry Miller fellow, who I'm totally unfamiliar with, must not have anything better to do, because he has appeared on both shows so far. Is it that hard to get different guests? Anyway, he's not really all that bad...although he keeps trying to slip little pro-Bushy comments in and defuse them a second later with some quip. Sometimes he's funny, but I can't get a real fix on where he stands–which is not the problem that the second straight conservative blonde panelist, author and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, has. Often she came across as naive and narrow-minded as one would expect from one who accepts the Party line, hook and sinker. And then there was Ted. With all due respect to Michele and Jim T, I will not join any bitch-slapping crusades. I like Rall's cartooning and while sometimes he aims at targets that might be best left unfired upon, he does so with wit and is not dull, which is the whole point of political cartooning, if you ask me. He's supposed to provoke controversy. Whether or not you may like it or even agree with it is beside the point. Anyway, I wish I could say Ted was impressive, but for every intelligent comment he came up with, there were two that were less so, and often he just came across as creepy. Oh well. I was disappointed in Maher verbally chiding him for the "Al Gore's Presidency" remark; just because it's a fait accompli doesn't make what happened in our last presidential election right or any less outrageous. Move on? Get over it? Why? But that's Maher for you. He's never consistent in what he seems to think or say. Maybe he was just being pissy because Rall said it first, who knows.

The rest of the show was better than last week's, for sure. I could do without the variety show-type format; and he should probably forget about the audience question and phone-in section sa well, judging from the responses he's gotten so far. One fellow in particular last night stood there and took what seemed like 30 minutes to ask what should have been a 2 minute question. The news update fellow is hit and miss. Thankfully, there was no lame standup, unless I missed it when I left the room. I liked Eric Idle's skit, always great to see Pythons anywhere, but I thought the song went on and on and on a bit too long. I guess my problem is that I was pretty satisfied with Maher's previous show and its format, and the new one has just too much peripheral BS and not enough of what I want to see, which is debate and interesting panelists. If I want a variety show, I'll go watch SNL.

Be that as it may, I'll keep watching. Dennis Miller's show started out slowly too but got much better, IMO, before too long. We shall see, as I tend to say so often...

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