And Now For Some Television

Just thought you’d like to know that John Lithgow is a national treasure and his new show, Twenty Good Years, (NBC Wednesdays) is very funny.

I’ve been a fan of Lithgow since he played the crossdressing (or was it transgendered? — somebody help me out here) pro linebacker in The World According to Garp. He’s often been a terrific, creepy bad guy in movies, but to my mind he really hit his stride as the clueless-yet-arrogant leader of the band of alien invaders in Third Rock From the Sun, sent to Earth to study the locals, and perhaps getting a little too chummy with them.

The new show looks great: a touching premise (that may have some legs), funny, intelligent writing and Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor as the odd couple at the heart of it.

In other news, 30 Rock, the Tina Fey vehicle produced by Lorne Greene, sucks ostrich eggs. It’s the lead-in to Twenty Good Years, and it is a study in what not to do if you want to put on a show. Black stereotypes, gay stereotypes, evil corporate executive stereotypes, diva stereotypes, cat-throwing and burping jokes. I almost said burping gags, but the word “gag” is too close to home. If you missed the premiere, lucky you. If you saw it, bet you won’t be watching next week.

I’ll meet you for coffee, and we can be home in time to catch Twenty Good Years.

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