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Thursday, March 4, 2010

TV Potpourri: Favre on "Tonight," "Breaking Bad" marathon and "The Office" baby no one cares about

AMC's "Breaking Bad" still doesn't get as much love as the network's other award-winning drama, "Mad Men" ... but no worries. Its fans are a devoted bunch, as evidenced by recent voting for a six-hour viewers choice marathon to air March 19 at 7 p.m.

The winning lineup includes two episodes from a strike-shortened Season 1 -- "Pilot" and "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" -- along with four from Season 2 -- "Grilled," "Peekaboo," "Better Call Saul" and the "ABQ" finale. The marathon will also feature interviews with creator Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and the rest of the cast. It'll then be repeated (minus interviews) on March 20 starting at 10 a.m.

Of course, while I'm firmly convinced first-timers would be hooked watching six of the series' best episodes in easy-to-digest marathon form, you really should indulge in the full experience. Season 1 -- again, a scant seven hours of viewing because of the writers' strike that year! -- is already out on DVD. Season 2 will be released March 16, just in time for Season 3 to debut March 21 at 9 p.m.

Whew. That's a lot of dates to digest. Get further up to speed at the official Breaking Bad Web site -- one of the more comprehensive I've seen for a TV show. You can enjoy tons of extras and Season 3 trailers, along with this hilarious Web site from Walt's sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, played by the amazing Bob Odenkirk of "Mr. Show" fame.

And baby makes three: Hour-long "Office" episodes aren't anything new. Unfortunately, they also aren't very good, either.

Following an Olympics-related hiatus, "The Office" returns tonight ... except with a new face showing up. That's right: Jim and Pam are bringing Baby Halpert into the world.

This probably should be a bigger deal -- alas, until I saw Mindy Kaling's Tweet this morning, I forgot that it was even happening -- but frankly, "The Office" has lost so much of its mojo in recent years, I just can't work up a fresh doody in the ol' diaper.

However, noted TV critic Alan Sepinwall has already seen the episode, and while acknowledging the show's recent slump, says, "A baby isn’t going to kill 'The Office,' either. As the title suggests, this isn’t a domestic comedy. We spend a lot of this hour on Pam getting ready to have the baby and then on the couple’s awkward first few nights as parents in the hospital.

"But going forward, the baby won’t have any more physical presence on the show than Phyllis’ husband, Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration). The characters will likely be complaining of fatigue and the other headaches that come with a newborn, but the baby’s not going to be working at Dunder-Mifflin.

"So, no, the baby isn’t the problem, no more than Jim and Pam’s relationship was. Rather, what’s hurting 'The Office' this year is a clear lack of direction."

Preach on, brother.

That Favre guy: And finally, if you aren't sick of Brett Favre or Jay Leno (and really, shame on you for being so tolerant), the two will talk about the secret to undermining others on NBC's "Tonight Show". Also, we really hope they wear matching denim shirts.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Favre agreed to be on tonight's episode since he was already going to be in Los Angeles after his daughter was invited to attend the season-finale taping of the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana Show."

Favre is scheduled to appear as the second guest following Matthew McConaughey. According to an NBC employee who spoke to the Pioneer Press on condition of anonymity, Favre will be asked about "his future, as well as how he liked playing in Minnesota, if he's ever missed a game and what he does in the off-season."

Seriously. How can you even think of going to bed before 10:35 p.m. tonight?

-- Thomas Rozwadowski, trozwado@greenbaypressgazette.com

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