For today's ultimate piece of simpering knee-jerk commentary, check out Linda Stasi's New York Post rant about Sunday night's episode of "The Sopranos" in which, among other things, Michael Imperioli's Christopher Moltisanti mugged Lauren Bacall (as herself) for a swag bag. The beating of a "name-brand senior" seems to have really upset Stasi.
It wasn't a great episode of "The Sopranos." In fact, any episode that concentrates heavily on Artie Bucco -- it's about darned time David Chase dedicated an entire episode to Artie recovering his love for pure Italian cooking -- and on Vinnie from "Doogie Howser" can't possibly be great. But the problem with the episode had absolutely nothing to do with insufficient respect for Bacall.
This episode was absolutely the best thing to happen to Lauren Bacall this year, particularly since the only other 2006 memory I have of her involved the legend's mortifying inability to read the teleprompter at the Academy Awards, a disastrous appearance that prompted speculation of senility (mostly, she just needed glasses and she needed somebody on the Oscars technical staff to help her out). In the "Sopranos" episode, she seemed sharp and funny and she looked super. Fez from "That '70s Show" appeared in the episode and nobody thought he was important enough to mug for his swag. Lauren Bacall? She's worthy of screen time. Plus, if Bacall didn't mind sending up her image a little, she probably could have turned down the cameo. This may have actually amused her.
In addition, Stasi seems to have difficulties distinguishing between behavior endorsed by the show and behavior endorsed by one particularly pathetic character on the show. What better way to show how weak Christopher was than to show the wannabe Wiseguy mugging a little old lady for a basket of freebies? One minute he's snorting coke with a whore, the next minute he's mugging Lauren Bacall. Christopher is heading on another of his downward spirals and we can expect to see a Girl Scout kicking his butt within a couple episodes.
Stasi was also probably concerned with last night's episode of "24," which saw William Devane's Defense Secretary Heller drive his car off a cliff in an attempt to evade surveillance attempts by whatever shady cabal is attempting to take over the Earth on this day. This decision made Heller's daughter very unhappy (she may also have been miserable about the stab wound she acquired at the end of last episode, but forgot within 10 minutes as "24" characters seem to be able to do with any wound that doesn't lead to instant death).
I bet Stasi's very upset that "24" would dare treat 68-year-old semi-legend Devane in such a manner. He's no Lauren Bacall, but surely he warranted a more graphic on-screen death.
But does anybody really figure Sec. Heller's deceased? As I've already noted in the comments on another blog, merely driving off a cliff into a lake isn't enough to kill William Devane. He's like a vampire or a zombie or something. Bullets can't kill William Devane either. I'm thinking he's gonna have to be decapitated on-screen before I believe he's dead.
Oh and speaking of old folks who can't be killed: Everybody should take a couple minutes to go vote on the ultimate clash of the Titans -- Jack Bauer vs. Chuck Norris. So far, the race is pretty close.
It's nearly time for Love Songs night on "American Idol." I really should get drunk first.