Angus T. Jones, Minaj vs. Tyler, 'Liz & Dick,' Elmo and More: Tim Goodman Weighs In on the Week in TV
From the "Two and a Half Men" star's viral rant to the latest headline-grabbing "American Idol" feud, THR's chief TV critic weighs in.
Everything We Know We Learned From Television:
* Angus T. Jones is no longer the half man in the woeful but insanely popular sitcom Two and a Half Men. He manned up. He called the show “filth” and begged people not to watch it. Hell, I’ve been doing that for years and didn’t have to join a cult or religious carnival to spit it out. But hey, better late than never, little man.
* Raise your hand if you think Angus T. Jones is going to keep cashing the checks.
* You know that famous scene (well, it’s crazy-famous online) in Mad Men where Don yells at Peggy, “That’s what the money is for!” That’s what Chuck Lorre needs to tell Angus T. Jones.
* For the producers making that cautionary-tale documentary about kids in Hollywood, your funding just came through.
* The person most happy that Angus T. Jones went all filth and religion on You Tube? Modern Family’s Ariel Winter.
* When your name is Angus T. Jones, nobody ever wants to use just “Jones” on second reference. Or third. Hence, we’re going to keep sticking with the full name. And we extend an invite to the young actor to help critique some TV shows when I’m on vacation. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is filth. Please don’t watch it.” Or: “The Real Housewives of whatever city they’re in now represent filth. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. I do, however, kind of like Dancing With the Stars.”
* Angus T. Jones is not scheduled to appear in the next two episodes of Two and a Half Men. That’s coincidence, apparently, yet nobody messes with CBS and comes out unscathed. Angus T. Jones’ character Jake is in the military. Prepare yourself for a "very special” friendly-fire episode.
* Of the 3.5 million people who watched Lifetime’s telefilm Liz & Dick, how many were not playing some kind of drinking game as it ran -- a couple of hundred?
* Wait, the guy behind Innocence of Muslims turns out to be, as The New York Times wrote, “a former gas station manager, bong salesman, methamphetamine-ingredient supplier and convicted con man”? Why is this not a Lifetime movie as we speak?
* Let’s see if we can follow the logic here: Beyonce is the subject, star, director and executive producer of a documentary about Beyonce that will air in February on HBO? Does she also get a writing credit? Sounds less like a documentary and more like a -- what do they call those things? -- oh, yeah, advertisement.
* To those who are angry at Matt Lauer for Today show ratings and whatnot: Let’s take a long walk outside and a couple of deep breaths, people. Also, you are wasting your lives. Just FYI.
* Remember that dude called “Puck” from the San Francisco version of MTV's The Real World? TMZ says he’s in jail for stalking. Well, hell, at least the site didn’t ruin his career a la Elmo. And who was Puck stalking? Maybe it wasn’t a person. Maybe he’s been stalking that 16th minute of fame for nearly two decades now.
* Chevy Chase has left Community. Um, noted.
* When Chase left, it prompted NBC to remember that it had left the show somewhere in a basement in Burbank.
* Lindsay Lohan told Jay Leno she’ll talk to Barbara Walters, whom she stood up, “when it’s right.” Oh, honey, it’s never going to be right.
* Smash is returning to NBC. The question is, does it have to?
* Did Fox give Steven Tyler some kind of advance screener of Nicki Minaj or was Tyler just running his mouth off (the one where his previously knocked-out teeth were replaced) about her being a bad judge on American Idol? Remember when he was being taken to the woodshed about how lousy he was and how he was selling out and how he talked about body parts more than talent? Short memories. That’s what happens when you crank it to 11, man.
* Let’s see, Tyler mixing it up with Minaj and now Simon Cowell being threatened by some guy in Depeche Mode. It’s only a matter of time before The Spin Doctors or Chumbawamba get pissed at that girl who sits next to Britney Spears on The X Factor.
* Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) writing a drama for NBC is like Kurt Sutter writing one for PBS. Is there really a crossover audience here? Does NBC’s audience want a Downton Abbey-esque costume drama set in 1880s New York, following the pursuits of millionaires? It’s a nice get for NBC, proving that real talent actually will come there after the decades-long creative implosion on the drama side. And yet, The Gilded Age, as its called, seems like quite a stretch. Hell, wouldn’t be the first time a show and a network were mismatched.
* By the way, Downton Abbey was renewed for a fourth season. As if that was ever seriously in doubt. I want it renewed every year until we get to 1977 and have a punk version: God Save the Dowager Countess.
* PBS hasn’t listened to me much in the past (revamp pledge!), but it’s pretty clear that with the ongoing Kevin Clash situation at Sesame Workshop, maybe a little bit of proactive thinking would help (a third accusation against Clash, alleging he had sex with underaged boys, surfaced in a lawsuit Tuesday, and no one knows how many more of these will come to light or how long the litigation process or any potential legal issues will last). Hence, I suggest a new puppet – Hellno. Make him out of blue fur with kind of aggressively angry orange eyes and put him in all kinds of “learning situations.” Friend wants to steal candy from the store? “Hellno! That ain’t right!” (That’s all the puppet says in every situation.) Want to take one or two of “mother’s little helpers” from the medicine cabinet? “Hellno! That ain’t right!”
* That’s a Christmas hit right there, people.
* Go into a chat room without your parents' permission? “Hellno! That ain’t right!” Get in a car with someone named Snuffleupagus? “Hellno! That ain’t right!” Sesame Workshop, you can send me my cut right now.
* Hey, that guy Christopher Hudson, who runs that religious group the Forerunner Chronicles (and he’s the Forerunner) -- you know, the guy who was hanging out with Angus T. Jones in that YouTube video? Apparently he’s anti-Obama, anti-gay, anti-masturbation, anti-Jay-Z (so far a pretty tough platform to get elected on). His whole thing about Jay-Z and the Freemasons? Deep, man. Deep.
* Bring me the head of the Dowager Countess.
* The High Fives: 1. People who do crazy things for religion, which in turn fuels my entertainment. 2. A Liz & Dick prequel. Do it! 3. The Walking Dead. 4. Homeland. 5. Jay-Z.