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Moral Orel (2005)
Pales in comparison to other Adult Swim shows
I bought into the hype and watched Moral Orel when it first premiered. I was hoping for a good laugh--like with Family Guy, Aqua-Teen and countless other A.S. shows. Or I was hoping for some smart-writing, like the brilliant Boondocks. Instead, it's a 15 minute anti-Christian diatribe that gives new meaning to the word boring. South Park parodies right-wing Christians (and every other religion/group/demographic) in an intelligent way and South Park is something this show forgot to be: FUNNY. This is nothing but mean-sprited, axe-to-grind garbage. I am not a Christian, yet I don't understand why it's considered offensive to make fun of other religions (and rightly so), yet acceptable to make fun of Christianity just for the sake of doing so. There is a big difference between parody/satire and mean-spited bigotry. I'm sorry the writers hated their religious upbringing so much. But making claymation cartoons 20 years later is not going to help. Go seek therapy and get on with your life. Where's the 15-minute weekly show that depicts militant Islam and shows images of Mohammed? Oh that's right, that's offensive to Muslims. So nobody goes near it. Where is the weekly show that makes fun of a Jewish boy? Oh, that would be offensive to the Jews. So nobody goes near it. But it's open season on the always safe topic of Christians--again--and that's OK? Double-standard b.s. over and over again. .And once more, it's not even funny It's predictable, boring and you can see every attempt at humor coming a mile away. Yes, it's on late and no, nobody has to watch it. And based on how awful it is, eventually nobody will.
NYPD Blue (1993)
Incredible First Season
The first season of NYPD Blue (1993-'94) was one of the finest seasons of any tv show in recent memory. Ten years later, the first season still stands above and beyond anything since. While Dennis Franz became the center of NYPD Blue, and has done an incredible job, it was David Caruso who stole the show in Season 1. The brilliant breakout performance he gave was both a blessing and a curse for the show (and for his career) as he was gone in a contract dispute four episodes into Season 2. But for anyone who watches reruns of Season 1 on TNT or watches Season 1 on DVD, you are in for a real treat. The character development was extremely well-done, the writing top-notch and the storylines spread out over the entire season, not just tightly wrapped up in 60 minutes. Caruso, unfortunately, became the butt of many jokes after his career all but disappeared after he left this show. However, he has since rebounded nicely with CSI: Miami. It's too bad he didn't last on NYPD Blue because his character was the perfect partner for Franz' Sipowicz. Since he wasn't killed off, I continue to hold out hope that he'll make a cameo appearance again before NYPD Blue ends its run next spring. The other partners that came later couldn't compare. Especially Smits (Zzzzzzzzzzzzz). Season 1 features some great appearances by actors who were unknown at the time, such as Friends' David Schwimmer (4B), ER's Sherry Stringfield, Judging Amy's Amy Brenneman, The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick, not to mention the introduction of "Donna Abandando" (played brilliantly by Gail O'Grady). God Bless her and all her NY Ranger memorabilia. Her storyline with Medavoy was the first (and last) good storyline Medavoy ever had. Abandando is still missed. Other great characters included "James Sinclair" (played by Daniel Benzali who went on to star in the wonderful first season of Murder One) and Luis Guzman as Martinez' "Poppy". Each episode was an event, along the lines of The Sopranos nowadays, not just another hour of a cop show. The show went downhill after Season 1, albeit slowly, with ridiculous storylines that included killing off pretty much everyone Sipowicz was close too. Franz continued to shine--and still does. He is the sole reason this show has lasted as long as it has. There was a brief spark again when Rick Schroeder was on the show. Other than that, nothing has touched Season 1. As much as it was Caruso's Detective John Kelly that catapulted the show to its success in the first season, the best episode is the season finale and the perfomance of Dennis Franz when encountering Steve White on an old kidnapping case (the Bucci case). The name of the episode is "Rockin' Robin". Look for Franz' facial expressions when questioning White in the trailer about the kidnapping. His finest--and I mean FINEST--hour. And NYPD Blue's finest hour as well. Thanks to Bochco, Franz and Caruso for an incredible show. Well worth getting on DVD.
My Life and Times (1991)
The Best Six Episodes Nobody Saw
I know of only a handful of people who actually saw or remember this show. Some remember it fondly, others get it confused with "My So-Called Life" (which ironically stars the same actor, Tom Irwin). This was one of the most creative shows I had ever seen, with a concept that could have led to an almost endless number of episodes and ideas. The "Jessie" episode stands out as the most poignant 30 minutes of television I can remember. Watching how they handled a time-period/event that had already happened (i.e. the 1989 S.F. Earthquake in the pilot) and then seeing how they handled the future in '91 (i.e. New Year's Eve 1999) kept this show entertaining and original in it's brief run. It would have been a classic by now had it been allowed more time to find an audience than the six-episodes ABC gave it.