Friday, May 05, 2006

Nate Night on TLC

Monday night was “Nate Night” on TLC. As I was settling into my Monday night tv viewing... I noticed that back to back episodes of programs airing on TLC featured minor characters named Nate who actually turned out to play pivotal roles in both programs.

Monday nights usually start out for me with 24.. it sure won’t be the Devils Monday night since I don’t get OLN and apparently they won’t be on FSNY till Game 5! 24 has slipped a bit this season since Edgar's death.... (could "Edgar dropping dead" be the term that replaces "jump the shark"?) This past Monday's episode did pick up a bit as Jack stowed away on a plane in search of the tape that proves the President is a bad guy. (In real life, 6 years of newspaper articles prove our President is a bad guy!) Jack spent the whole hour within the confines of the aircraft. First, he knocks out the air marshall and then he drags the wrong guy to the luggage compartment before Chloe calls in to tell Jack that the bad guy is actually... the co pilot!! Incidentally the pilot is played by Richard Gilliland... who is married to Jean Smart (who plays the first lady) and also acted with her on Designing Women back in the 1980s..

Chloe however is turning into the star of the show.. She was forced out of CTU because of insubordination.. even though head honcho Karen now realizes that Chloe and Jack might just be right about the President being a bad boy! Chloe ends up at a hotel bar.. hooks up her high tech computer system and is all set to save the world, when... she is approached by a drunken prospective suitor who meanders over from the bar. Unfazed, Chloe invites him to sit next to her.. and with a straight face.. zaps him in the arm with a taser. (At least she didn’t cut it off with a light saber; good thing George Lucas doesn’t write 24). And, while the Poor Drunk Guy was lying there.. Chloe was doing her thing! Only on 24!

By the way “Lost” has now surpassed 24 as the show with the most shocking twists after Wednesday’s episode when Michael gunned down 2 of the “good” characters. Or were Ana-Lucia and Libby really “Others” as has been rumored? Talk about your “whatcha talking about Willis?” moment. I’m sticking with my theory… all of the Lost peeps are willing participants in a big experiment with this Dharma group and they have been implanted with false memories (shown in “flashbacks”) and amnesia about their involvement with this project. That explains the cures for cancer and paralysis.. I also think the “tailies” are all “Others”.. which may explain why Michael gunned down the 2 chickies.

Anyway, after the intensity of 24.. I usually need some brain candy to recuperate so I have been switching over to TLC for Shalom in the Home with Rabbi Shmuely Boteach. SITH (Shalom in the Home.. Not the sith from Star Wars!) features Shmuely counseling a family but it drags too long.. and if they do an hour show.. they should do 2 families... Shmuely travels around in a little camper (stocked with kosher food I’m sure!) and sits there watching closed circuit TVs of the family in crisis... Then he dispenses his advice.

I used to watch CSI Miami at 10pm , but David Caruso's horrible acting just got to be too much for me.. Also, since seeing her in Breast Men... any TV acting involving Emily Proctor is just anticlimactic. For some reason.. last Monday I wandered on back to see what was going on with CSI. Cute little plot: a couple of murders on a randy cruise ship... and for the most part Caruso wasn't doing too much overacting compared to a typical show.. although his oddball little love affair with his colleague's ill sister is just a tad shmaltzy.

One cool twist to CSI Miami.... do you notice how the Law and Order shows (except Criminal Intent) always start with some irrelevant characters minding their own business and whammo… they come across the big crime scene that launches the episode. You never see those characters again.. They’re just Law and Order pre opening credit filler roles.. a notch above "extras" in the acting stratosphere. CSI Miami had a scene like that a month or so ago involving a couple who were throwing money around while being chased by cops on a drawbridge.... which when it draws reveals a dead body… which led to the plot of that program. Well, a couple of weeks ago, the pre-credit couple were the subject of an entire episode which started with the brief scene we saw in the beginning of that earlier episode but continued on with the perspective on the money tossing couple! Nonetheless, its a bit much to watch Caruso after a full hour of 24!

So last Monday... having watched CSI.. I opted to watch the midnight repeat of Shalom in the Home. The show featured a Jewish guy who met a chic from Turkey.... he converted to Islam (I can just see Shmuley cringing at the pre production meeting hearing about that scenario!)... The couple has 2 kids.. but now they don't get along. Shmuely went to visit them.. and yadda yadda.. the guy was adopted.. felt left out.. the kids came along.. and now he feels left out because the kids get most of the attention. Shmuely shows up in his space ship.. takes them rock climbing... and oy gevalt... the jew-turned-muslim has tattoos! Where is the Aish Foundation when you need them? How much of his lower lip did Shmuley bite off on that one.. considering he was once a Lubavitcher?

How does a Nate fit into the episode? Well.. the wife has had the baby sleeping in the bedroom and the tattoed hubby was forced to the guest room. No way Jose says Shmuley... Out went the baby..and it was time to add some spice to the marriage! Shmuley arranged for the wife to get a massage at a spa by a guy named Nate... but Sneaky Shmuley is soooooooo sneaky... How sneaky is he? He is so sneaky he knocked the husband out with a mallet... gave him another bris and sent him to Lakewood to study Talmud!....

No just kidding,... Ol' Shmuley took Nate out of the room.. and the massage was given by the hubby instead... After a while the wife realized what was going on.. and the couple got to re-ignite some of their passion... while Shmuley watched on a closed circuit TV and realized he would be going to Hell for looking at a topless woman getting a massage. I really admire Shmuley because he puts aside his personal feelings on a lot of these issues...(intermarriage.. tattoos.. topless women) for the sake of bringing shalom to the home! Good for him!

After SITH... another show came on afterwards.. about this huge 700 lb guy named John something or other. I’m gonna ruin the ending by telling you they get you attached to him and he dies at the end. This guy is so huge he cant get out of bed.. and spends the whole day perched on his side. He is married! to a woman who has a heart of gold but a mouth missing many teeth. She stands by him... (he was only mobile during the 1st year of their 7 year marriage)... and even takes care of his sister.

John gets evicted from his apt.. so his family decides to send him to the midwest to a nursing home that rehabilitates the morbidly obese. He goes there.. gets caught with a hidden stash of candy.... but sadly dies before he can even get settled in. He even jokes with a cute nurse about washing her back... but in the context of what should be a lascivious comment.. you realize that this guy wouldn’t be able to do anything even if the nurse re-enacted some of the movies that he was probably watching when the cameras weren’t rolling!

John meets another fella there... named Nate! Nate came there a few months ago.. He’s a younger guy in his mid 20s.. (John is in his late 30s) and they become friends.. Nate plays the gee-tar.. and visits John in his room where they sit and chat. Nate has already lost a lot of weight.. maybe 100-200 lbs... and still has a ways to go. After John dies.. Nate drives from Ohio to John's hometown in MD where he sings a truly beautiful song at a memorial service... By the way.. John was cremated.. I too was curious who the lucky pall bearers were gonna be.

The program does have a bittersweet ending. Nate ends up meeting a very cute girl who is a single mom and it looks like they are going to end up together. The end of the show shows Nate and his little cutie with her kid playing at a playground.. and you can't help but root for Nate to end up better than John did.

The show ended at 2am.. and after 2 hours of Nate night on TLC.. the best part of it all was... I ended up missing Rita Cosby! Yippee.. A night without Duke Lacrosse or Natalee Holloway! If only they could figure out what the heck was happening on Lost last Wednesday!

1 comment:

Judging Pumpy said...

"Nate Night", wow that's impressive. My own name isn't all that common on network television, but check out George Murdock's character in this 2002 episode of "Judging Amy" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0617218). And little more than coincidentally, it aired on my birthday. And not only that, but ten years earlier, I was in a college musical and played a character named "Norman"! Conspiracy theorists, indulge thyselves!