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Friday, November 21, 2008

TV Potpourri: "Daisies" done, "Sunny" wraps, and a Colbert Christmas

Some random TV business to take you into the weekend ...

The rumors are true: ABC confirmed that it won't be ordering new episodes of critically-adored, ratings-challenged series "Pushing Daisies." While the dreaded c-word wasn't used, multiple sources told Entertainment Weekly that "Daisies," along with "Eli Stone" and "Dirty Sexy Money," were officially goners.

As Adam noted a couple days ago, "Life on Mars" -- which shows so much promise but is far too melodramatic and hokey -- got picked up for four more episodes (a Season One total of 17) and will follow "Lost" on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 28. While an enjoyable show for the most part, "Mars" is too incredibly flawed to get excited about this early in its run. For example, why hasn't "Spaceman" Sam Tyler raised the possibility that if he's really from the future, he could "predict" -- or at least not be surprised by -- actual events in the news that he should already know about? Don't you think that would get someone's attention at the police precinct if he was bringing some Biff-like sports almanac knowledge to that week's Knicks-Celtics game? Think, "Mars," think.

No more "Sunny": "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" ended its remarkably quick Season Four run last night with a grandiose ode to Dayman/Nightman via Charlie's ridiculous musical/marriage proposal for his long-beloved waitress. First, nothing will ever top the Dayman/Nightman introduction from Season Three's "Sweet Dee Dates a Retarded Person," so last night's season finale couldn't help but feel like reheated leftovers at the very outset.

And like most of "Sunny's" disjointed Season Four, "Nightman Cometh" had moments of sporadic greatness -- Frank's troll toll, Mac's cat eyes and lame karate moves -- but ultimately felt a bit too rushed and forced to match the series' greatest moments (especially when compared to last season's dance-off extravaganza featuring cough medicine coated brownies.) Save for last week's "Extreme Home Makeover" episode (who can forget the taco bed?), the gang's ode to poopies, and random brilliance in the form of gorilla masking and Charlie's wildcard, "Sunny" felt a bit off this season in terms of overall direction. It's still the funniest comedy on TV. But with Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney getting more "Sunny" episode orders, and more script work for a new series ("Boldly Going Nowhere" on Fox), there might have been too much on the ol' work pile this year to really flesh out the series.

Finally, a reminder: Stephen Colbert's Christmas special, "The Greatest Gift of All," with Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Jon Stewart airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central. With bleak economic news all but ruining Christmas for a lot of folks this year, you may as well bank a few laughs before December doom kicks in.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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