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Tuesday, 08 April
Win, Lose, Or Drawl

Did anyone see The Practice last night (and why, why am I forever addicted to cops 'n law shows)? Anybody? No? Yeah, that's part of the problem.

The Practice is pretty obviously desperate of late for eyeballs, because there's been a few troublesome things happening. One, they changed its broadcast day and time slot, never a good sign. Then, David E. Kelley tried to go back to the well one more fucking time with the pathetically pandering Girls' Club, a show featuring dynamite little hottie gals who were, um, let's see, what shall they be . . . lawyers? Yes, lawyers, says the indefatigably inventive Kelley. Fuckable lawyers! The show was on for about ten minutes and was seen by half that many people, one of whom was emphatically not me, because I pronounced it beastly from the moment I saw the first ad for it, and decided I'd go into ditchdigging before I'd watch it. So Mr. Kelley's TV cred took another kick in the sack.

Also, they're trying to manufacture some oompahs by having Lindsey leave Bobby. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, let me try and capture some of the nuance that this plotline has revealed. Give me a second. Okay, I've got it: Lindsey is leaving Bobby. Yes, it is that exciting. I think I need a fucking shower.

However, the really bad sign was last night, when they had a guest appearance by Andie MacDowell. Andie MacDowell? This is clearly the work of people with brain fever. Anybody who has any mind at all knows that this woman cannot act. She couldn't even act in a role that almost literally required no acting: I cite St. Elmo's Fire. All she had to do was stand around and be lusted at from afar by Emilio Estevez, which I grant is an alarming prospect in itself, but she didn't really have to do anything. Yet, incredibly, she was terrible at it, and everyone who's ever seen it has the same reaction: "How can she be so bad at doing nothing?" Somebody who can't act while doing nothing is likely going to be problematic when called on to do, ah, well, anything. So, not a good sign.

A worse sign was early on when somebody described her character as "incredibly smart." OKAY, EVERYBODY OUT OF THE POOL! I'M SORRY, OUT OF THE POOL! IT'S BEEN CALLED TO OUR ATTENTION THAT IT'S FILLED WITH BULLSHIT! I mean, I'm sorry. Look, Ms. MacDowell may be whip-smart in real life, I don't know her. But her acting has all of the depth of an onion skin; asking her to play "smart" is like asking Courtney Love to play "The Magic Flute." (I'll pause here a moment to ponder that startling arrangement of words and then quietly move on.)

So of course the episode was a fucking disaster, and it twitched bewilderingly from Bobby and Lindsey who-caresing us into the grave and then horribly moving to some ghastly scene featuring Ms. MacDowell clawing her way all over the set with a ham sandwich caught in her fangs. I think we know what has to be done. We take Andie MacDowell, and we seal her in a crate, and then paint the crate with terrifying biohazard symbols. A message will be painted on it: DANGEROUS MATERIALS INSIDE. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPEN UNLESS YOU ARE STEPHEN SODERBERGH.


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Comments

That was the most hilarious episode of The Practice I've ever seen. I HAVE seen Andy MacDowell in interviews and such, and referring to her as "incredibly smart" is an acting assignment next to which the Grand Canyon pales in comparison. Hence, the hilarity. Surely they knew how outrageous they were being? They mention her great intelligence more than once -- of course they couldn't expect anyone to get that impression from her acting, so they had to tell you. But Les Moonves sitting, bound, in a chair with duct tape over his mouth? How many people at CBS must have had that fantasy I wonder? I can imagine David Letterman taping and rewinding and watching it over and over and over again.

So what did Lara Flynn Boyle do to herself, anyway? Collagen or something. Horrible. It looks like somebody smacked her hard in the mouth. I thought it hurt to look at her before, now she really makes me flinch.

Comment number: 000610   Posted by: kath on April 8, 2003 08:34 PM from IP: 142.167.37.25

I have to say, though, that I enjoyed her brilliant vocal work in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. What wonderful aural nuance! Such a gem.

Comment number: 000611   Posted by: Joe on April 8, 2003 09:12 PM from IP: 165.247.25.150

What, you don't think Courtney can, um, "play the magic flute"?

Comment number: 000612   Posted by: Cat on April 8, 2003 10:17 PM from IP: 12.224.111.37

Yeah, she's gonna kick yer ass!

You made me snort milk out my nose.

Comment number: 000613   Posted by: mike on April 8, 2003 10:51 PM from IP: 216.173.212.234

I think you and me should start a flaming contest. Who can hate things that are essentially inconsequential more. Now I understand why losers concerned readers ask me if I'm foaming at the mouth.

They don't know the sheer joy of hating crap soooo much.

Comment number: 000614   Posted by: Anil on April 8, 2003 10:54 PM from IP: 66.108.7.149

i need to start emphatically not doing things more often. right now. i'm going to emphatically not be productive right now. crap.

Comment number: 000615   Posted by: nick on April 9, 2003 05:23 AM from IP: 64.48.129.75

I stopped watching The Practice. I mean, how many times can Lindsay be stalked, Rebecca be blown up and the secretary chick be secretly videotaped. This show jumped the shark long before the time slot change.

Comment number: 000616   Posted by: Patti on April 9, 2003 07:35 AM from IP: 65.206.64.66

This show jumped the shark long before the time slot change.

You may be right, but still, bringing on Andie MacDowell is more or less conceding defeat. If they had any imagination, they'd have had her stalking Eugene. Then, at the episode's feverish climax, Eugene would have picked her up and crushed her against his billboard forehead like a beer can. Who wouldn't watch that? I mean, besides everybody.

/me flames Anil

A flaming contest sounds great. We should make it a yearly event.

Comment number: 000617   Posted by: Skot on April 9, 2003 07:56 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

I'm still waiting for Eugene to fucking do something already. He's like a taxidermied cobra poised to strike. Every episode he's about to snap, but then, oh wait, he's really dead, I forgot.

Comment number: 000618   Posted by: mark on April 9, 2003 09:09 AM from IP: 66.47.18.130

A flaming contest sounds great.

I think I'm actually legally obligated to participate in these.

Comment number: 000619   Posted by: TheBrad on April 9, 2003 11:32 AM from IP: 216.151.40.226

Only if Skot likes his beer cold and his television loud.

Comment number: 000620   Posted by: Snarky on April 9, 2003 01:08 PM from IP: 198.151.13.8

This comment dedicated to the Steelworkers of America.

Comment number: 000621   Posted by: TheBrad on April 9, 2003 02:07 PM from IP: 216.151.40.226

Keep reaching for that rainbow, Brad.

Comment number: 000622   Posted by: Skot on April 9, 2003 02:10 PM from IP: 140.107.120.123

I am unfortunately reminded of being forced to see Michael while on a date. You know Michael, the horrible movie with not only McDowell, but also Travolta and written/directed by the execrable Nora Ephron.

Any movie in which William Hurt is the most charismatic thing on screen...

don't sing us your song about pie, Andie, DON'T.

Comment number: 000623   Posted by: beigy on April 9, 2003 03:37 PM from IP: 12.231.118.180

They should bring back John Larroquette. Joey Heric brings the funny, every damn time (they didn't kill him off after I stopped watching, I hope).

Comment number: 000624   Posted by: Ernos on April 9, 2003 04:14 PM from IP: 68.14.33.149

A worse sign was early on when somebody described her character as "incredibly smart."

I am reminded of a trailer for the film Chain Reaction a few years ago in which the grizzled announcer voice said of Keanu Reeves: "He knows ... too much." It took me almost five full minutes to stop giggling, much to the annoyance of those around me.

Comment number: 000675   Posted by: alkali on April 14, 2003 09:26 AM from IP: 208.51.155.42

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