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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Hulu Report: Manhattan, AZ...

I may have mentioned a while back that I have been using Hulu.com and my laptop as a source of distraction while I engage myself in the all important work of the treadmill. Oh yea, I may be a fatass, but at least when a doctor asks me about exercise, I can answer in the affirmative without bending the truth. Unless of course, you don't think that walking in place while looking at TV is a form of exercise. Hey; I'm not going to debate you on the topic, but I do know that at least in some societies, walking on a treadmill is considered at least some form of exercise, and depending on what the definition of "is" is, I think I'm on safe ground here.

Anyway, on to the important topic at hand, and my discovery in the really far back pages of the TV shows available on Hulu, of something called Manhattan, AZ. Let me give you my gist of it, then you can see if it is worth a look.

So this LAPD officer works as an undercover vice squad guy (and I'll leave it at that) while his wife is busy being involved in Greenpeace intercepting fishing boats. Meanwhile, their 13 or 14 year-old son sits at home eating potato chips, playing video games, and looking at Internet porn. For some inexplicable reason, half-way through the pilot episode, the actor portraying the son as a fat porn watching dumpling is replaced by a healthy, thin kid.

Anyway, the wife, out on her Greenpeace mission is somehow caught up in a fishing net and is tragically killed - but is not discovered until she has been processed by the tuna fish company. Many tears are shed as several cases of canned tuna are lowered into a grave. (Not kidding).

The LAPD vice cop gets a call from the mayor of a town in Arizona called Manhattan and is offered a job that will allow him to leave all the stress of the loss of his wife and the vice squad in LA, and become the sheriff of this small, vibrant but peaceful town.

When father and son arrive in Manhattan, AZ and find that they are in a desolate town totally unlike anything the mayor (played by Chad Everett) has described, they begin to balk at the job. But of course, the new sheriff has already put 30K down on a house in the middle of nowhere with no refund.

Okay. The pilot was only mildly humorous and had I not been walking on the treadmill, I probably would not have made it through the entire 22 minutes. But episodes 2 and 3 have quadrupled in entertainment, humor and quality.

The town is loaded with really eccentric people like an A1C who works at the super secret "Area 61" Air Force Base where something strange is taking place; a retired couple fully armed with all sorts of weaponry who have made their home in an abandoned hardened missile silo, and many other freaks of nature who could have easily ended up in any number of Showtime or HBO series.

As you might expect, the sheriff and his son being the outsiders in this bizarre town have to deal with the latest crazy thing to happen as the mayor of the town who also owns the store, the diner, the bar and every other business venture in town attempts to capitalize on ways to make money.

Look, if you are my age, you will recognize Manhattan, AZ as an updated version of Green Acres. Much of the comedy is predictable, but so far, I enjoy the quirkiness of the characters. I think Chad Everett does a great job of really poking fun at himself (in this show, he is a retired actor who has been in every B movie ever made as a minor cast character), and the young kid (who by now is probably in his mid twenties) who plays the son (the thin one, not the fat one) is actually pretty funny.

Oh, and that is the other thing about it. This show apparently played on the USA Network in 2000, so it is 9 years old. Where was I when it was on?

Got 22 minutes to waste? Check it out on Hulu (or wherever you get your Internet TV from) and if you can get past the pilot episode, I think you'll be okay.

Now that you know I enjoy really bad TV, do you have a show I need to watch? Tell me about it or leave a comment.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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