Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Battle of the networks: Part 3

Today In Print

In the third installment of the tantalizing Battle of the Networks, the race is finally on with the tour-de-force premiere week on ABC. Since Monday, The Badger Herald has reviewed a smattering of mostly lousy primetime fare. I mean, did anyone actually watch the ill-conceived comedy in the CW's "Reaper?" Or truly enjoy FOX's abysmal attempt at a dramatic cook-off in "Kitchen Nightmares?" No, we didn't think so. But now, ABC proves a strong contender, offering up everything from the scandalous tales of the rich and stubborn in "Dirty Sexy Money" to the ironic telenovella of "Ugly Betty." Prepare to spend quality time with the boob tube in hopes of catching some, finally, decent television.

“Boston Legal”

Tuesday, 9 p.m.


While everyone else is psyched for the new season of "Grey's Anatomy," there are still a few of us secretly counting down to see scandalous Danny Crane in the so-called most liberal show on television. "Boston Legal" premiered its fourth season Tuesday, showcasing its brilliantly insightful evaluations on social and political issues and the outrageously funny behavior of the characters that have made the show popular.

In the 90-minute episode, instead of focusing on serious court cases, the show takes a rather casual turn. "Here we go again," Danny Crane (played by William Shatner) says as he gets arrested for soliciting prostitution in his own limousine, only to be rescued by Alan Shore's (James Spader) fling with a judge. Shore follows this by taking a big case against Stanford in which he celebrates a confused victory over his ex-girlfriend.

In this season, new characters are introduced and developed further. For instance, Katie Lloyd, a sweet-faced new lawyer, teams up with Jerry "Hands" Espenson to defend a first-degree murderer who confesses his innocence. The jury trial is carried onto the next episode. Furthermore, John Larroquette, from "The Practice," has landed the senior partner role, and Carl Sack serves as the new sheriff in town. Sack attempts to project conservatism on the firm by forcing Clarence, a cross-dresser, to withdraw from a drag queen singing contest. Clarence articulates that unlike other law firms, at the Crane, Poole & Schmidt people should not be afraid of being different. The nonconformist views and eccentric sincerity of the characters, as evident in this scene, is one of the reasons viewers are so drawn to the show. It is as if an independent soul in us hoorays as Clarence performs "Big, Blond and Beautiful" from "Hairspray."

So, the new season is ready to throw its weight around pound by pound by pound.

— Miri Joo

“Private Practice”

Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Chief Weber of the sensational hit series "Grey's Anatomy" had promised to hold Dr. Addison Montgomery's position as the "baby doctor" at Seattle Grey's Hospital for as long as possible, but it doesn't look like she will be moving back any time soon.

After being passed over as the new chief of surgery, Addison (played by Kate Walsh), a self-described "world class neonatal surgeon," had enough. She picked up her life and moved to Los Angeles, joining a small private practice as a gynecologist.

This anticipated "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff is less intense than the original, but its still riveting. The new series centers around eight doctors dressed in lavender scrubs. As can be expected, plenty of drama fills the plot, mostly involving dysfunctional relationships or flirtations.

The show begins with Dr. Sam Benette (Taye Diggs, ABC's "Day Break") watching Addison dance naked around her house and ends foreshadowing that she might be getting naked with Dr. Pete Wilder (Tim Daly) relatively soon.

This week's episode focused on three interwoven medical stories: an obsessive compulsive woman who lost her son and is down on her knees counting tiles in a store, a man who drops dead while trying to ejaculate into a cup in order to have a baby with his girlfriend, and a pregnant teenager who goes into cardiac arrest during labor.

It wouldn't be enough just to have this man drop dead while he was trying to get off. It gets more bizarre when the girlfriend and the wife fight over who will get the sperm from his dead body.

Addison is victorious in the end, winning over the support of her new colleagues by saving not one, but two lives.

After taking into account that this is an introductory episode and the plot and characters need to be established, the show has a lot of potential. Though I wish Addison, the adulterous surgeon, were still part of the cast of "Grey's Anatomy," I will watch "Private Practice" again next week ready for more drama. With any luck, a new character with looks equivalent to McDreamy or McSteamy will be introduced.

— Nicole Dorskind

“Dirty Sexy Money”

Wednesday, 9 p.m.

Oh, the woes of the rich and famous. What would they do without a high-paid lawyer to clean up their messes? Nick George (played by Peter Krause, HBO's "Six Feet Under") is the lawyer for New York City's richest family, the Darlings, in "Dirty Sexy Money," which premiered Wednesday.

The premiere begins with Nick explaining that his father was the family lawyer and he swore to never be like him. However, after his father's untimely death in a plane crash, Nick is offered $10 million to be the Darlings' new lawyer by the head of the family (played by Donald Sutherland, "Pride and Prejudice"), Tripp Darling. Unable to turn down the money, Nick's first day is filled with some truly Hilton-esque clean-up duty, ranging from bailing the coked-out Jeremy Darling (Seth Gabel) out of jail after a yacht he won in a poker game was discovered to have smuggled immigrants, to paying off Attorney General Patrick Darling's (Billy Baldwin) transvestite hooker.

The premiere quickly foreshadows some complex, dramatic storylines that would be intriguing to see pan out, but the show is nothing new. It is clear in "Dirty Sexy Money" that ABC is trying to pull from the already successful, unnecessarily intricate storyline structures of hits like "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives." The network is trying to capitalize on the public's increasing infatuation with the real-life rich and famous by introducing some fictional ones this season, but is doing it the wrong way with "Money." "Desperate Housewives" is running out of people to kill and cheat on, and the same will happen with this show.

However, Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland are fantastic. Sutherland plays a very sincere Tripp Darling, who seems to be the only honest member of the family, and treats Krause's Nick George like the son he was never able to raise in the right way. The two actors could very well carry the show on their own shoulders.

— Taylor Paul

“Ugly Betty”

Thursday, 7 p.m.

"Ugly Betty" did well in its first season with lead actress America Ferrera winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe, among others. Several big names, such as Rebecca Romijn and Vanessa Williams, added a touch of experience to the supporting cast.

Last year's season finale ended with the world of Mode magazine in a mess. People were heartbroken, in hospitals and even in other countries. This season kicked off simply doing what every great show does, coming back right where it left off.

The premiere starts with Betty (Ferrera) running around, doing her best to get her dad back from Mexico, get food to her boss who is in the hospital and forget about her love who moved away to be with his pregnant girlfriend. Betty is a good person who has her funny aspects, like the braces and wild sense of style.

There is plenty going on in this premiere, and it is a little hard to keep up. Wilhelmina is marrying her boss, Bradford Meade, who might be the receptionist Amanda's dad. The plot easily gets muddled at these moments.

There are, however, some highlights to the show. It may be filled with jokes only funny to the writers, but when it comes to Betty's sister, Hilda, there is a twist I don't think anyone was expecting.

Hilda's fiancé was shot in the season finale, and we were left unsure if he lived or died. In this first episode, we see Hilda and her love in her bedroom talking of their upcoming wedding. Before anyone can breathe a sigh of relief, the show takes a turn when we see Hilda not hugging her fiancé but a pillow. "Ugly Betty" may be an ironic tellenovella, but it returns to its roots at key moments.

If you are a fan of "Ugly Betty," then I am sure this season will be just as good as the last. If you haven't yet gotten into the outrageous show, then you might want to do a little background reading before trying to play catch up with all the twists and turns.

— Samantha Overgaard

“Grey’s Anatomy”

Thursday, 8 p.m.

Change is everything; for some it's a new year, a new beginning, new classes, new friends, and for millions of us, it's a new season of "Grey's Anatomy."

Season 3 of "Grey's Anatomy" picked up right where it left off, and (most) of the doctors are back and ready to save lives. George failed his big exam and has to repeat his year as an intern, Christina was left at the altar and now Dr. Burke has resigned, Meredith's half sister, Lexi, has joined the new team of interns, Dr. Bailey is furious that she is not chief resident and Izzy still loves George and is not ready to move on. Yes, there's tons of drama, but let's face the facts — you, or at least your non-jaded friends, love "Grey's!"

This episode was just a preview of the intense drama that is about to come, and it doesn't seem like the show will suffer too much without Addison and Dr. Burke, who have left for reasons that should be left to the gossip columns and the bowels of Internet forumdom.

Meredith and Derek might have commitment problems, but clearly the attraction is not gone, as they ended the episode with even more break-up sex. Izzy is still the same easily influenced, overly emotional doctor that she has always been. Here, she saves a deer's life that was hit by a car. On a more exciting note, the episode ended with George confessing his love for Izzy. Previews for next week show him ready to leave his wife, Callie.

While this episode's theme was that of change, much has remained the same. The beginning of the episode was very similar to the series premiere of the show from three years ago. Bailey's words were reused by the new residents for a metajoke that shows "Grey's" is still all about the fans. Get ready to laugh at Christina's sarcasm and Izzy's craziness, empathize with Meredith's painful life and fall in love with the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" all over again.

— Nicole Dorskind

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *