Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On the Lot: better late than never

OK, so I'm seriously lagging on my weekly ON THE LOT recap. Just now I'm sitting down to watch last Tuesday's episode. Waiting seven days should tell you that the thrill is gone, not that it ever really was there. Last week delivered several press screenings, and I simply didn't feel like watching it. There you have it.

Anyway, Kenny and Mateen were eliminated. Then there was some description about the rest of the competition and when it will end, but I zoned out while typing this and don't really feel it's necessary to go back and check. Adrianna Costa just mentioned that there are three weeks left before the show is put down. Mark it on your calendars.

Really, though, you have to give props to ON THE LOT for completing its run. CBS unceremoniously pulled the plug on Mark Burnett's PIRATE MASTER and is replaying the remaining episodes on the internet. And here's how much I was invested in that show: I won't be checking out what's left. Neither Burnett production was destination TV; they were background TV, white noise to accompany other activities while deposited on the couch.

On to comedy with a hint of romance night!

Zach's THE BONUS FEATURE references other movies, including the work of Lucas, Spielberg, and Zemeckis. Nice bit of sycophancy in paying homage to the show's executive producer and pals. There is one cut where I thought he crossed the line--in other words, edited to a shot that didn't match with the direction the characters were looking--but it turned out to be a confusing edit rather than a "wrong" one. Zach has appeared to be a Spielberg-in-training from day one, and this cements that impression. Good job bud in keeping the product placement less blatant.

Adam gets outdone in the sucking up, inserting just a DreamWorks homage in GIRL TROUBLE. He references the studio's AMERICAN BEAUTY in addition to going old school with THE GRADUATE. It's so nice to see originality at work. < /sarcasm>

Will finds his way around dialogue again with UNPLUGGED, a romance between two desk lamps. I've mentioned before that he seems like someone who would be home at Pixar, and this has a LUXO JR. vibe all over it. Still, it's cute and clever. How can I argue with that?

Andrew's KEEP OFF GRASS is as bad as the wrecked lawn in it. It's supposed to be about a protective lawn caretaker discovering that two superheroes have destroyed his yard and garden. The problem is that most of it is the superheroes bickering while he obliviously tends to a flower. The judges seem impressed, though.

Sam's AMERICAN HOE has a title that someone else ought to recycle, but that's about all that should see the light of day again. The story is about a guy who gets the wrong stamps for the wedding invitations. (He gets a farming series rather than the love stamps.) There's one good joke in it, but the rest of it is pretty dire. The couple is unpleasant and unfunny. FYI to those on the coasts: while "nipple" may be interchangeable with "teat", I don't think I've ever heard the n word in relation to milking a cow.

Jason's OLD HOME BOYZ leads to a breakdance-off at a fifty year reunion, but there's more build-up than payoff. The most notable element may be Lin Shaye cast as an object of desire, which runs counter to the comedically grotesque women she's most recognizably played in the Farrelly brothers' films.

Ooh, the winner will get to feature Jerry O'Connell in his film for tonight's episode. Just think what an advantage it will be to have the star of TOMCATS and KANGAROO JACK!

For all one of you awaiting these recaps, I'll get to tonight's show faster. Only three left!


  1. Words cannot express how much I loathed Jason's film. What a letdown from the flash of originality he showed the previous week.

    But I disagree with you on Sam's stamp comedy. While his execution might have been off (the wife was shrill, and the final joke was predictable), the situation was actually a real one (brides do obsess over the stamps on the wedding invitation), and one I've never seen before in movies or TV. And I liked the groom's underplaying.

  2. I'll give you Sam showing a real situation, but the execution was mostly lacking. But that says it all about what we're looking for now: a glimmer of humanity/originality rather than aping what we've seen a million times.

    Yes, Jason lost the good will he built up the previous week...except America loves the guy. #1 for this?!