Monday, September 25, 2006


I plan to watch 'Shark' for its first two episodes. After that, I'll check out 'Six Degrees'. I may come back to 'Shark', maybe not. Thursday nights are my Saturdays, and I'd rather go out without the bother of setting up the VCR (aside from 'The Office' and 'My Name Is Earl', of course.)

And I picked just the first two episodes because I wanted to see the debut and because my friend Shirley will be appearing in the second episode. She's playing Judge Vivian Bell, one of Stark's poker buddies, along with Robert Shapiro playing himself. If the set-up proves to work, who knows? It would be nice for Shirley if it turned into a recurring gig.

Otherwise, I wasn't wowed by the show. I like James Woods a lot and he's great in the role, even though his Sebastian Stark is not a likable guy. But there was nothing compelling about his performance to keep me coming back to see what happens next to him, as is the case with Hugh Laurie as 'House'.

And without that sleek costume as Seven of Nine, there's nothing really about Jeri Ryan as his boss in the D.A.'s office to make me want to keep watching either.

As a matter of fact, it was the dress-down and firing of one of his assistants that turned me against Sebastian Stark. My hope is that the creator of the show has plans to bring that character back again in the future. Perhaps as a defense lawyer who has learned from the experience and gets the chance to wipe the courtroom floor with Stark, wiping that smirk off his face.

Here's the Toobworld take.......

When 'Spin City' premiered with Barry Bostwick as the Mayor of New York City, it had to be placed in a different TV dimension (possibly the same one where one could find 'Hail To The Chief' and 'Mr. President'). If a TV show was going to portray anybody else but Rudy Giuliani as the Mayor (or now, Mike Bloomberg) then it couldn't be the same Big Apple as found in the main Toobworld. (By the way, both Giuliani and Bloomberg have appeared as themselves in their capacity as Mayor on 'Law & Order'.)

So even though I'm unfamiliar with the local politics of the City of Angels, I think the same courtesy has to be accorded to Los Angeles. It's one thing to have a fictional character intent on running for the job of Mayor in L.A., as is the case in 'The Shield', and something else entirely when you have a fictional character holding the position.
In the Real World, as should be the case in Toobworld, the Mayor of Los Angeles is Antonio Villaraigoso. He cemented his credentials for Toobworld by appearing as himself on 'George Lopez'.

But on 'Shark', the Mayor is Manuel Delgado. At least they kept him an Hispanic, but it's still not the right man.

Therefore, 'Shark' has to be shipped out, and so why not to the dimension of 'The West Wing'? It seems as good a place as any, at least until there's some mention of Dubya being in the White House.

No matter which dimension it winds up in, 'Shark' won't have any problem keeping a few of its cultural references. For instance, the defense lawyer's chair in Stark's basement mock-up of a courtroom once belonged to Clarence Darrow. Darrow was portrayed by Henry Fonda, Tol Avery, and Kevin Spacey on Television.

And even though the events of "Inherit The Wind" were fictional and based on Darrow's involvement in the Scopes Monkey Trial, they are also part of the TV Universe thanks to three productions of the play for Television. Surely, one of them must be the real deal for the 'Shark' dimension. So the judge's bench which Stark claims is from "Inherit The Wind" would be either from the movie versioni starring Spencer Tracy, or from the Broadway play; most likely from the movie.

And since those are different universes of Mankind's creative output, the judge's bench has no real bearing on the integrity of Toobworld. (I'd say however that the 1960 movie - as far as Toobworld is concerned, - was based on the "real life" events as seen in the TV production.)

Wolfgang Puck is also appearing this week as himself. But because 'Shark' is now off in some other dimension, the Master Chef's televersion doesn't help make any connections to the many other shows in which Puck has been caught in the act of being himself.


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