Tue, Feb 20, 2018 05:37 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-17 life & times
'Raymond' getting even better
NBC to keep 'Las Vegas'
Cletus Turner

"Everybody Loves Raymond" (click for larger version)
Everybody knows that I don't like the series Everybody Loves Raymond. I just find Ray Romano irritating and most often, the plots just are too dumb for me to like.

Remember, there are exceptions to every rule, and I found that out this week. It seems Ray and Debra, played by Patricia Heaton, are having marital problems. Big shock. However, this is one time Everybody mined gold, not horse hockey pucks.

It seems Robert, played by Emmy winner Brad Garrett, and Amy, played by Monica Horan, are getting on Ray and Debra's nerves Amy gives Debra marital advise and Robert gives Ray marital advice. To say that Ray and Debra don't take their observations sitting down is beside the point. Here are two people barely married for three months thinking they can "fix" what ails a marriage that has lasted for over eight seasons. Ray and Debra become very snotty and very upset. They snide remarks offend Robert and Amy, who declare they were only trying to help. The final straw for Debra is when Amy gives her a book on marriage. Robert is not over upset until Amy then says she has one for Robert and Ray's parents, Marie and Frank. Here is where the fun really begins. Marie, played by the incomparable Doris Roberts, is no push-over. Robert tries to stop Amy when she starts talking about Marie and Frank's marriage, but to no avail.

The really funny part is Marie does not yell at Amy. Instead, in a very funny moment, Frank (played by Peter Boyle) and Marie impart wisdom about marriage. She even says there is room for hate in a marriage. There are times when you hate your spouse. But, because you love them, you forgive them and move on.

It a very classy and uncharacteristically funny episode, Everybody shows those who are not married an important message. For those who are married, it is just a reaffirmation about what marriage is all about - give and take. Kudos to CBS and Everybody's writers for a really good episode. Now, if you can just get the rest of you series' episodes to be as funny.....

4 suns

NBC really needs to wake up and realize that when a show is NOT working, it needs to be pulled. I don't understand the need to hold on to Whoopi. I must admit, I love Whoopi Goldberg, but I can't stand her new show. It is NOT funny in the least. I have tried for three episodes gleam some value out of the series, but it just didn't grow like it should. I don't expect spectacular things out of a series right from the start, it needs a little time. Well, it's been four weeks and I haven't seen any improvement. When the first ten minutes of a show relies on racial jokes, something is wrong. For instance, Nasim, played by Omid Djalili, declares that "black women are too bossy" and Whoopi responds that "you need to go down to the Korean drycleaners." This is followed by her mimicking Korean speech patterns. While this might be humor to some people, playing the racial slur card in the first month shows that the writers don't know where to go with this show. Now, there is talk of going on "hiatus" with the show and retooling it. I say scrap it, cut your losses and move on to the next try.

"Las Vegas" (click for larger version)
1 sun

Nip/Tuck just doesn't seem to quit. It is so compelling and engrossing that I just can't miss an episode. Dylan Walsh as Sean and Julian McMahon as Christian are just perfect together.

Dylan plays Sean as weak, yet strong and the episode on Oct. 14 just proved what an actor he is. Sean goes to the drug lord that is forcing the good doctors to operate on women who came into the country illegally with contraband hidden in their breasts and threatens him. The reason? Escobar, the drug lord, threatened Sean's family.

On the other front, Christian begins to see the mother of his unborn child in a new light. Often, we see Christian as a self-important pig. Often, he is. However, there are glimmers of a different Christian which makes us want to like him even when he does those crazy, and often horrible, things. McMahon gets the credit for that because he make it REAL. The soundtrack to the show is 80's music and that just makes the whole show seem even better.

Notes from the couch:

NBC has decided to have more episodes of Las Vegas made. In all, 22 episodes, which is a full season, will be made. The show has been doing well versus its competition and NBC wants to commit to the show before it's snatched up by some other network.

CBS has the top three new dramas. Navy: NCIS, Cold Case and Joan of Arcadia are all rumored to be close to having CBS commit to a full season.

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