Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-04-11 Entry: "A Mixed Sunday"

The last of the rom-coms, and the penultimate film bought during my bargain hunting last weekend, is "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" which I've frequently caught the beginning of but not seen all the way through. So here we go...

This film is really, really good. Very silly, but rom-coms have a tendency to forget the comedy at times. And that's a freaky looking dog!

And then on to "Swimming Pool" which will round out last weekend's purchases! I saw a good review of this somewhere and added it to my wishlist of purchases, but for the life of me I've no idea what it's about any more. Wow... 10 minutes in and I've already lost the plot... will have to try this again another time as I don't appear to be able to watch it now.

Instead we'll go with one of the musicals that's cluttering the shelf (there's four... or maybe five - is Bambi a musical?) - "Easter Parade" - which I'm fairly certain I haven't seen before. This started slow and ended slow, but the middle of the film was good.

I followed this with "Bambi" which hasn't really stood up over time like some of the other Disney classics. It's fortunate that it's short, but then what can you really do with a deer? He's not very vocal either, speaking about 100 words in the whole film.

And then, I ditch the films in favour of The West Wing with "20 Hours In America" kicking the season off, and they're out stumping in Indiana. But Josh, Toby and Donna get left behind by the motorcade.

A feature length opener to set up the election campaign, to beat Toby and Josh over the head with the problems everyday people live under, to set up Sam's search for more responsibility, to set up the potential war with the fictional middle eastern country of Qumar, and to give the President a new secretary.

Episode two (or three if you want to count the first one as two) sees Qumar calling the Us bluff by blaming Israel for their lost aircraft/Ambassador/people, but there's obviously another important story here considering the episode is called "College Kids."

Okay, they're following up on Toby and Josh's talk with a struggling parent last episode and trying to get tuition fees made tax deductible. They're also following up on the pipe-bombing and there's much talk with the secret service over hate groups. Leo's lawyer turns up again to help the President deal with the Qumar issue. Ooh! Josh's extremely cute girlfriend makes a reappearance.

The next episode is going to get interrupted halfway through because Charmed is back with their 150th episode... But in the meantime, more Mary-Louise Parker goodness as the third party candidate throws a wrench in the White House's plans.

Donna has to go to a self-help class run by an opponent's consultant. Sam gets interested in a race in Orange County where the Democratic candidate is in the hospital having suffered his fourth heart attack.

Hey, look, I failed to accomplish what I intended to do today, and I opened a bottle of wine when I was planning to go a week without alcohol... strangely though, they occurred in that order.

And then Charmed (although, I missed the first 30 seconds or so I think I can gather what happened) - Leo gets called away by the Elders to face his punishment for messing around with the Avatars. Which is completely ludicrous - stripped of his powers and relocated, then expected to find his way back to Piper. If he succeeds, he gets to live as a mortal with his family; if he doesn't he joins the Elders but never sees his family again.

And there he is, sunny old Texas, causing car accidents already! He's remembering bits of his former life as an army medic though.

Why is Billy Zane still here? Isn't he expected to die at some point soon? He has three weeks and he's got time to go skiing? Oh, okay, he dies tonight at midnight.

You know, I got thoroughly fed up with Cole when he was on the show, especially as they ran out of storylines for him after about 10 episodes, and he was then around for another series and a half, but it's nice to have him back here.

Why is John DeLancie helping Leo get back? Oh, okay, he's trying to persuade Leo he should return to the Elders rather than go back to his family.

So Leo becomes mortal, Billy Zane leaves, and the Charmed Ones need a new white lighter... wouldn't bringing Agent Brody back be a good idea about now?

Oh my god! New Charmed and then back to Mary-Louise Parker making balloon animals - okay, now my night is complete!

After the broken up mess that was "The Red Mass" we're on to "Debate Camp" which should theoretically see the President spending 48 hours in seclusion with his staff preparing for the single debate against his opponent. Joey Lucas is back. And there are flashbacks to their meetings pre-inauguration.

Yaaay! Mrs Landingham flashback... and we need more of this! But what's going on between Toby and his ex-wife. They clearly broke up over their inability to have a baby, but Toby appears to want to get back together with her.

Donna managed to get into trouble with the NSA in her first couple of days over a missile silo under the bowling green!

Tonight's last episode is "Game On" and Sam is in San Diego looking into that congressional race he was showing an interest in. Ah, Will Bailey makes an appearance, played by Joshua Malina, who needed a proper role since Sports Night. Okay, the candidate died, but they're still running the campaign. Sam needs to shut it down.

Oh, and there's the minor matter of a debate. Of course, the President will kill his opposition, but it'll get played as a close run thing because there has to be a little bit of tension going into election night in an episode's time...

And the tie gag is great...

Leo has to deal with the new Qumari Ambassador to the UN. While he's trying to turn a Qumari boat around that's armed with missiles that are intended for terrorists, the President blows his opponent away in the debate. And Sam throws his name into the contest for election in the San Diego special election (presuming, of course, that the dead guy wins).

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