I've also developed an appreciation for the Outback commercials. Maybe I just like Aussies since I think the new Aussie gecko (for Geico Insurance) is hilarious.
Saw John Denver on PBS last night. I know it's common to make fun of Denver; what impressed me (it's all that American Idol I've been watching recently) is what a mighty fine tenor the man has. He CAN sing.
I ended up watching 60 Minutes last night, not something I usually do. It was a pretty good 60 Minutes. One of the sections was about the NYPD and how they have expanded their police force to include a lot of anti-terrorism intelligence gathering. The 60 Minutes host kept saying, "So, you are saying that the FBI and CIA are incompetent?" and the police chief kept saying, "We just like to have the information quicker." Watching it was a libertarian's dream come true. Yes! Small city organizations are more effective and more easily streamlined than large bureaucratic organizations. Yes! Yes!
The second section I watched was about donor babies (male donates sperm to a sperm bank) and how kids are seeking out both their half-siblings and their donors. The 60 Minutes guy kept saying, "So, you really think of yourselves and brothers and sisters?" to half-siblings which was stupid because technically, they are brothers and sisters. What I thought most amusing was a lesbian couple who had picked a donor because he was a doctor of critically ill children "so he must be kind," and they wanted to raise a sweet, kind child, etc. This guy has come forward, and he is exceptionally handsome, very articulate but shall we say . . . a trifle self-centered. It wasn't so much the matter of his donations that struck me. He was very forthright about his sense of responsibility for "his" kids. He's willing to bridge the information gap, but they aren't his problem. Which, legally, they aren't. Nevertheless, there was something a bit chilling about this abundantly confident, excessively handsome man, who refers to himself as a hunk, shrugging over the number of children out in the world that he has sired. Not exactly someone whose genes I would pick if I was trying to raise a "kind" child. (If I was raising an ambitious, self-interested guy, well, yeah, maybe.) But I thought it was amusing that the lesbian couple had made all these assumptions about this guy based on, mostly, his own description. He was also a very popular choice, so he's got a lot of kids out there.
And then they showed a clip of Andy Rooney's diatribe over the ickiness of governments supporting the lottery which is being played mostly by low-income individuals and individuals on welfare. He's right, of course, but I don't see the lottery going away any time soon. Playing the lottery, as I argue in one of my folklore papers, is like believing in Marxist theory: it's a comfortable performance that softens the hardship of one's financial state. (While doing absolutely nothing about it.)
Cold Case was also different from usual. Cold Case is possibly the most romantic show on television. Every week, it's a new couple who loved each other in the past but were divided (by prejudice, hatred, jealously, etc.) after which one of them died. 15, 20, 30 years later, that death is being investigated. Like if Hamlet decided to look up the reasons for Romeo & Juliet croaking. Romance is all very well, but Romeo & Juliet gets tiresome after awhile. This Sunday's episode was somewhat different from usual since it involved a serial and a current-day rescue. Nice change.
I still can't believe in Courting Alex. I don't think the sexual tension is there. They need to stick Jenna with someone like the young guy from Out of Practice (which is coming back). Courting Alex seems to be building off of the old Dharma & Greg idea of two incompatible people (easygoing individual and uptight individual) nevertheless being smitten with each other, but the boyfriend on Courting Alex doesn't seem different or unusual enough; he doesn't wear suits--big deal. And it's not easy to believe that Jenna Elfman's character is a tense person; she simply doesn't exude tense. (Unlike Gibson--Greg--who did and still most effectively does.)
New great show (well, great show on DVD): Rosemary & Thyme, which is kind of a modern Miss Marple, only with two Miss Marples (in their 40s) who run a gardening business (and happen to stumble over buried bodies and poisoned victims, etc. etc.) A sort of Cadfael meets Miss Marple meets Cagney & Lacey show.