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December 16, 2008

Well, a very convincingly nightmareish (yes, that’s the phrase and I’m using it twice) iCarly…too much of a nightmare and an excellent job by Miranda Cosgrove, but I can’t really call it a fun holiday episode. No, wonder of wonder, Hannah Montana pulls off the Christmas episode sweepstakes with the story of Hannah + the elf boy. Great exchanges between Oliver, Miley and Lilly and Robby Ray and Jackson were left to the riffing they do so very well. A solid hour by the Disney Channel if you add in the Wizards of Waverly Place Cupid gone amuck ep. Both casts are really solid comic ensembles and allow good writing and directing to shine.

Continuing the Disney note, the Suite Life on Deck seems to be stalling. Dylan Sprouse is doing great work, but the Cody gaga over Bailey storyline is more creepy/sad than funny (he’s no Agnes) and half the time London is written poorly. She’s a difficult character to write and it’s frustrating to see Brenda Song so often without the writing to support her comic talents — successful episode Boo You, quintessential London, not so much capital S STUPID as selfish and thoughtless. Bailey seems to be working when she’s not dragged down by having to deal with Cody. And sad to say, I like the teacher more since she spent an episode as a showgirl — I’m a sucker for a song and dance, and probably also a well turned ankle.

The True Jackson holiday episode wasn’t holiday enough, but I am liking Ryan more…it did prove that random pie violence among strangers can still provoke laughter (yes, three times — True’s taste at the end was good), but it’s not really a substitute for a food fight that develops in character (says the person who had Santa’s elves throw the makings of cookies(+chocolate syrup) all over her studio — it still smells a little like chocolate chip cookies are baking — for no real reason at all). Points for making vomiting more funny than gross — having it happen off screen helps. True seems to be developing nicely.

The Big Bang Theory — two weeks of very funny episodes. Leonard’s surgical resident girlfriend is showing some personality quirks that restores my faith in the no sane women would consider going on a date with Wolowitz rule. Sheldon’s computer generated voice knock great. Laundry room chats seem to be working.

Holiday banging: I loved Sheldon’s Leonard Nimoy reaction and Leonard’s whining about his leg on the couch with nobody noticing. Good to see Leonard and Penny retaining a bit of a spark. Also loved the Zac Efron reference; so very Wolowitz. You’d like to hate him, but he’s just so darn funny.

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