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I Love Television

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Hey, slacker! Cut your hair! Get a job! Contribute to society! Make me a sandwich! And most importantly, show some GODDAMN RESPECT for Presidents' Day! That's right – it's Presidents' Day this week (Monday, Feb. 20), which means it's time to dump that too-cool-for-school attitude and pop some deserved props for those brave souls who sacrificed their sanity to lead our country. (Except for Bush, who's lucky he doesn't get a foot in his nutsack for screwing this nation into oblivion.)

And I'm not just talking about Washington and Lincoln either! Apparently there were at least 41 other presidents (including that dickwipe Bush), each with a fascinating story to tell. Take for example the 13th president, Millard Fillmore, who served from 1850 to 1853. Did you know that Fillmore was originally President Zachary Taylor's vice president and only got the job because Taylor died of acute indigestion? And when he was unable to secure the support of his own party (the Whigs) for re-election, Fillmore accepted the nomination of the "Know Nothing Party"? (That's desperate!) And that just before he died, he drank a bowl of soup and uttered those famous last words: "The nourishment is palatable"? Yay, presidents! There's so much to learn!

But along with the Fillmores, the Garfields, the Van Burens and the Polks, there are a host of TV presidents that also deserve our consideration, if not our vote. For example …

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet (The West Wing, NBC, 8 p.m. Sundays) A founding father of TV presidents, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is also the most complicated. Dealing with multiple sclerosis, as well as domestic crises that would make Bush poop his presidential panties, Bartlet still has time to be a great leader as well as a hard-ass jerk.

President Charles Logan (24, Fox, 9 p.m. Mondays) The very opposite of Bartlet, Logan (Gregory Itzin) got his job in a very Fillmore-esque manner after President Keeler's plane was shot down by mean terrorists. Indecisive, politically paranoid and rather sweaty, Logan is no former President Palmer (in that he's a pasty lump of cookie dough, as opposed to Palmer, who's a wicked-hot black guy).

President Laura Roslin (Battlestar Galactica, SCIFI, 10 p.m. Fridays) Oh, surrrrrre. Now it's all popular to have a woman president on TV. But it was President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) who broke the mold when she became commander-in-chief of the surviving members of the human race on Battlestar Galactica. (True, this all takes place in the distant future, and true, she was 43rd in line to become president, after the Cylons nearly wiped out the entire government – but she's still twice the man Bush is.)

President Mackenzie Allen (Commander in Chief, ABC, 9 p.m. Tuesdays) Clearly TV's hottest president … although that's not saying a lot. President Allen (Geena Davis) also pulled a Fillmore by ascending to the office after her predecessor croaked. Pros: She's tough, liberal-ish, and her husband is the "First Lady." (HAW!) Cons: The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it. I mean, C'MON! Millard Fillmore never needed collagen implants!

President Roslin for President!
steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, FEB. 16
8 P.M. WB SMALLVILLE
Clark runs into yet another DC comics superhero: the half-human, all-hottie Cyborg!

8 P.M. UPN EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS
A challenger tries to beat Chris' top Asteroids score. Nerd fight! Nerd fight!

FRIDAY, FEB. 17
8 P.M. FOX TRADING SPOUSES
TiVo Alert! Do NOT miss the best Trading Spouses ever, when "God warrior" Marguerite Perrin has a gagging, on-camera religious freakout!

10 P.M. SCI BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
When the Pegasus takes off on its own, Adama opens up a can of Galactica whoop-ass.

SATURDAY, FEB. 18
8 P.M. ABC CAST AWAY
(Movie, 2000) Not a great movie, but it's totally worth it just to see Tom Hanks knock a tooth out of his head with an ice skate.

SUNDAY, FEB. 19
8 P.M. ESPN2 KNIGHT SCHOOL
Debut! Sixteen students vie for a single position on a college team – but have to impress hothead Bobby Knight first!

8 P.M. NBC WINTER OLYMPICS
Speed skating, alpine skiing, bobsledding … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

MONDAY, FEB. 20
8 P.M. FOX HOUSE
Dr. House treats a supermodel who's addicted to heroin – sorry, it's not Kate Moss.

9 P.M. FOX 24
When terrorist mastermind Bierko threatens the government, Logan poops his presidential panties!

TUESDAY, FEB. 21
8 P.M. FOX AMERICAN IDOL
It's ladies' night when 12 of the female finalists sing for Randy, Simon and menopausal Paula.

10 P.M. FX THE SHIELD
Kavanaugh closes in on the Strike Team and Vic starts sending out resumes.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22
9 P.M. ABC LOST
The original two-hour pilot – for those who haven't seen it a bazillion times.

11 P.M. BRAVO PROJECT JAY
Special! The hilarious and charming winner of last year's Project Runway takes on NYC!

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