Longhorn Football Season Is a Sitcom in the Making
Watching tape, both football and funny
By Joe O'Connell,
1:14PM, Fri. Oct. 9, 2009
Like coach Mack Brown, I spent the Longhorns’ bye week watching tape. My TiVo was chock-full of new sitcoms to evaluate. Let’s put them to the tape and see how the season, both football and funny, stacks up:
Cougar Town: Courteney Cox Arquette tries out her recently plasticized face and pouts her newly plumped lips while chasing young guys and bemoaning the other older women who pout their newly plumped lips and chase after new receivers, uh, men. Despite some valiant acting from Busy Phillips, I couldn’t make it all the way through the first episode, just like Colt McCoy won’t make it through much of the second half before the youngsters come in and take over against Colorado.
The Middle: Patricia Heaton plays a woman who is feeling old and quirky amid a much more talented cast of players, especially Frankie, the dwarkish version of Malcolm of Malcolm in the Middle (which this OK show seeks to rip off) who looks to be this season's Urkel. Consider him D.J. Monroe, the fast little guy who will score for you in a pinch and just might take over the running game if given the chance.
Accidentally on Purpose: I just got through explaining to a co-worker that Head of the Class was Welcome Back Kotter with smart kids. This show is Jenna Elfman playing Greg instead of Dharma. She’s another woman feeling the years (do we see a trend here?) and dealing with it by jumping in the sack with a younger guy. She ends up hanging with his crew and fitting right in, but in a maternal, world-weary way. Thank you, Jordan Shipley, the wise elder among the Horn receiving team. Elfman always makes me laugh, and Shipley always make me sigh with a consistency that is seeing this Texas team through some early season jitters.
Hank: Kelsey Grammer tries unsuccessfully to not play Frasier again. He’s instead a cranky, intense guy looking to coach his family into greatness despite it all. Come on, Will Muschamp, stop worrying and learn to love the sack. Your intensity is working (a lot better than this horrid show) and your defense will be the reason Texas stays unbeaten at least until January.
Community: Old, crooked guys go back to college and hit on younger women surrounded by a ragtag assortment of misfits in this Stripes imitation featuring Chevy Chase in a role that should be the last nail in the coffin of his career. Weird and vaguely funny in places, it’s mostly pointless. Kind of like playing the cellar-dwelling Buffaloes the week before Oklahoma, a team that is itself falling apart faster than Chase’s career. Saturday’s final score: 65-21 with the 14 of the 21 coming in the fourth quarter when Texas is giving its fifth string a workout.
Modern Family: A family led by weird patriarch Ed O’Neill, who is prone to odd diatribes, tries to hold it together despite a ton of dysfunction and mediocrity. One of the most entertaining new shows, but it’s an old one in Lubbock where Mike Leach is still convinced injuries to players never happen. He just tells the quarterback of the moment to keep tossing the ball. It’s lively and the action keeps coming, but afterward you might need a breath mint.
The Cleveland Show: Aren’t spin-offs supposed to be more than just another version of the original? How many players will run the ball for UT this Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine, and mine is a lot.
Glee: What the Longhorns will experience at the State Fair Grounds as they wallop the Sooners. It won’t be a blowout, but in the end it won’t be close, and there will be much singing and dancing in the streets of Austin. Best show of the new season, both football and television. More on that one next week.