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''On the Lot'': ''Comedy'' night, again

”On the Lot”: After two directors are sent packing, the remaining six turn in ho-hum comedy shorts

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On the Lot

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Mark Burnett, Steven Spielberg
Reality TV

”On the Lot”: ”Comedy” night, again

Last night at 9, pulling a late-nighter at work, I got a call from my landlord Tony back in Brooklyn. He said some guys installed a new dishwasher yesterday afternoon at his place, right above mine, and they cut the power in the building for a while, so — heads up — I’d probably have to reset my alarm clock when I got home. Wait a minute, I thought, maybe in the blackout my DVR reset itself! Maybe On the Lot didn’t tape! In a flash, I was positive that there was no TV Watch in my future last night. And I felt even better moments later when I ran into my hilarious fellow summer-suffering TV Watcher Mandi Bierly in the hallway, and I told her about my awesome power outage, and she one-upped me by announcing that the show she writes about — the other bad Mark Burnett product that no one watches, Pirate Master — got canceled yesterday. For an instant, I felt so abandoned, I could’ve punched her. But when I came to, I realized that this was good for Mandi and good for me, because perhaps it was a cosmic sign that my TV Watch would also be canceled, at least for one night.

Then, at midnight, I finally made it home, fired up my recorded programs list, scrolled past all the good stuff I wished to hell I could have watched instead, and there it was, like a turd on top of an Easter basket: last night’s episode of On the Lot.

So here were are. Howdy. Nice to see you this morning. Sorry to complain so much about the gig, but…. Actually, I’m not sorry. What the hell else is there to do with this show except bitch about having to watch it? That’s basically all that the 12 or so of you who are still commenting on the message boards do. It works for me, too.

At least last night, we got a pull-out date: Aug. 14. Barring some kind of Congressional interference or mission of mercy from Fox, then is the finale, three long weeks from now. We took long strides toward the finish line at the beginning of last night when two people got kicked off — YES! But the outset of this elimination presented the same problem that all the eliminations on this show do: I can never remember at first who directed what last week. And last night I was so depleted and zonked that I couldn’t even remember who anyone was. That Southern fella in his cap — is that Kenny? Which one’s Kenny again? Kenny’s the werewolf-haired one who went home first (and he’s not the redneck). See ya, Kenny! Mateen went next. See ya, Mateen! I personally would’ve kept Mateen, because Mateen’s movie last week was better than Andrew’s (so I recalled, after re-reading my own TV Watch), and also because it’s slightly [insert your own adjective here] that this show ushered out all the girls — and now the black guy — first.

So we’re left with six white guys, and judging from the fact that
(1) Sam’s movie last night was poor enough to get him sent home, and
(2) the final shot of the night revealed that Sam is half a foot taller than the other five contestants, who are all almost exactly the same height,
we are not only going to watch five white guys next week, we are going to watch five INDISTINGUISHABLY SIZED white guys next week. That is ominous. In my nightmare, I picture Fox keeping this show alive past Aug. 14 by cloning one of these people, and then having six identical Zachs or Wills competing against each other every Tuesday night into infinity, while I, turning totally insane, have to keep TV Watch-ing it past the end of times.

Might as well get to last night’s inescapable films, then. It was — yet again — ”comedy night.”

”The Bonus Feature,” by Zach. Probably his worst film. Guy and girl are inserted into classic films, including Fisher’s Star Wars and Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. What a suck-up. Still, I like the way Zach smiles and is polite. He should win the whole thing — next week, if possible.

”Girl Trouble,” by Adam. The Kate and Allie kid proves he’s a slightly better actor than last week’s car-chase movie indicated. Like Zach, Adam throws in a few homages — to DreamWorks’ American Beauty (suck-up!) and The Graduate. Unlike Carrie (who once again admired a movie’s ”beginning, middle, and end”), I saw that end coming.

”Unplugged,” by Will, who introduced it by saying, ”I never really made a movie that I could sit my kids down in front of the TV and watch.” Hmmm, were there double penetration shots in ”Glass Eye” or ”Lucky Penny” that I didn’t notice? Just teasing, Will! It had its problems (that moment with the pulley was missing a shot or two, and how would two cubicle neighbors never have met before?), but this was by far Will’s best movie, a tale of cute desk lamps in love. I’m not crazy about Will’s movies, but the judges are, and America is, and if he keeps going like this I will come around. The race is down to him vs. Zach, with Jason as possible spoiler.

”Keep Off Grass,” by Andrew. I always love it that the introductions to these little movies always feature the contestant saying something well past obvious. ”I’ve got to make a short film every week that stands above the rest,” said Andrew before his movie unspoiled. Wait a minute, he does? Is that what’s going on here? These guys are actually making these movies themselves? Hey, that’s a great idea for a show!

”American Hoe,” by Sam, who — you knew just from the title — made a movie unfit for Will’s children. The judges (including thoughtful City of Angels director Brad Silberling, who did good all night long) didn’t like it, but the ”American Hoe” joke is the only thing that made me laugh, so once again on that flimsy criteria I’m inclined to keep Sam, even though his ”ambiguous” ending didn’t come together.

”Old Home Boyz,” by Jason, who finally made a movie about his greatest character: himself. He imagined what he’d look like in 2044, and sent that guy off to his high school reunion for a dance-off. The old man playing old Jason deserves the season’s Best Actor award.

So Jason comes in first last night. Unless Will does. I’m not going to pick the loser. Why? Because I don’t really care, MWAH-MWAH-MWAH-mwah-mwah-mwah! That’s where you come in, America. Who should walk?