-- Monk to Dr. Bell
(S07E05) You kind of knew when you put together the words Monk and submarine you were going to get an unusual episode, didn't you? As a longtime Monk watcher, you know that enclosed places are not Adrian-friendly environs, so when an old friend of Natalie's -- hottie Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as her late husband Mitch's buddy, Lt. Steve Albright -- asked Monk to investigate a suspicious death on the U.S.S. Seattle, trouble would ensue. Was it a contrived situation to get Monk trapped on board? You bet, but you accept that and move on.
What made this episode unique was how Monk reacted. Initially, he ran for the hatch like a crazed three-year-old. But then Adrian concocted a coping mechanism. This was a Monk first. To deal with claustrophia, he envisioned Dr. Bell by his side.
I've been listening to magician Penn Jillete's radio show for awhile now, and it's become perfectly clear that no matter how much he likes you, he'll still insult you. During yesterday's program, which you can listen to here, he and guest Criss Angel spent the hour slamming David Blaine and his stunt in front of Lincoln Center. This isn't the first time Penn has lobbed insults at Blaine, although he always prefaces those insults by saying he does admire Blaine as a performer. Penn's assertion is that most of the card tricks Blaine does could easily be learned by anyone in under six minutes. Of course, one should take Penn's penchant for exaggeration into consideration, as well. Angel, also a fan of Blaine's, claimed he has already done Blaine's underwater stunt, having been submerged in a tank for twenty-four hours. Since math wasn't my best subject I haven't been able to figure out how twenty-four hours is the same as seven days, but there you go. Penn also reiterated something he's been saying all week, which is that his partner Teller has been underwater for more than eleven minutes on more than one occasion as part of their stage show, considerably more than the current record of eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds. Of course, Penn then adds this caveat: "Of course, he was cheating."
So yeah, it's a bit after the fact, but if you want to hear magicians talking smack, it's worth a listen.
When the main emphasis of your ABC special is trying to hold your breath for longer than eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds, the special itself probably doesn't need to be longer than a half an hour. You can try to stretch it to an hour, but you'd have to add a lot of filler. If you go for two hours, then the special becomes both an endurance test for the magician and the home audience.
Well, as you probably know by now, David Blaine did not break the record for holding one's breath underwater the longest. Granted, if he actually did spend seven days underwater and his body had taken the punishment it supposedly had, lasting for seven minutes and eight seconds was a feat in and of itself. Of course, to get to that point we had to sit through a lot of shots featuring Blaine sitting underwater among sharks and stingrays, or falling into water, or talking about water. Also, we get to hear about his "journey" to his "human aquarium" at Lincoln Center, including all the crazy stunts he had done up to that point.
So we've already told you that Surface is the best new show of the season, and why you should be watching it. I recently talked with Carter Jenkins, who plays Miles, the shy, curious, lizard-loving teen who started the whole thing when he brought an egg he found in the water into his home and now might be turning into a lizard thing himself. He called from California, after wrapping up filming on the NBC show for the season.
Carter Jenkins: Bob!
Bob Sassone: Hey man, how's it going?
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