Peel it and see what you find to watch

Hey Look, It’s The Couch Potato Report for June 1st, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report Charlize is a monster and two monster TV hits, on different continents, come home.
Beauty. If we donít have it, we want it.
Even those that are totally happy with themselves have times when they wish they were more beautiful.
I know I do.
But even though you and I might focus on beauty, Hollywood is obsessed with it.
Thatís why any beautiful woman who willingly makes herself appear less than beautiful, mortal, or even ugly for a film, is a likely bet to win an Academy Award.
Three recent examples are Hilary Swankís in 1999 for BOYS DONíT CRY, Nicole Kidmanís 2002 win for THE HOURS and this past February the incredibly beautiful Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wournos in MONSTER.
I have been a fan of Theronís since she first fought Terri Hatcher in 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY, and I always thought she was very talented, but I never knew she could actually act.
MONSTER roves she can actually act, so good for her!
She completely vanishes into the character of Aileen Wuornos, a real-life serial killer and prostitute who murdered at least seven men in Florida.
MONSTER focuses on Wuornosí new and emotionally promising relationship with a young woman and combines that promise with the finality of some brutal murders.
The filmmakers do have compassion for Wuornos, due to her less than idillic childhood, but they also make her suffer for her actions.
Theron does a remarkable job becoming Wuornos. Itís a performance comparable to Robert DeNiroís in RAGING BULL.
Unfortunately, unlike DeNiro, her physical and psychological transformation takes place during a movie that just isnít very good.
Movie critics have spent a lot of time these past twelve months praising MONSTER, but unlike RAGING BULL, BOYS DONíT CRY and THE HOURS, MONSTER doesnít stand the test of time.
Whan I say time, I donít mean forty or fifty years from now, I mean that MONSTER doesn’t even stand up for the 109-minute running time of the film.
You will be overwhelmed by the acting of Charlize Theron, but the movie isnít as good as Theron’s performance.
It isnít even as good as the A&E Biography on Aileen Wuornos.
But if you like seeing films with great performances in them then MONSTER is a safe bet for you this week. If youíre looking for a great film, Iím sorry to say that MONSTER is not it, no matter what the critics have all said.
Due to her performance in MONSTER Charlize Theron has been featured on a lot of magazine covers over the past year.
In the late seventies and early eighties, many of those exact same covers were reserved for John Schneider and Tom Wopat, Bo and Luke Duke, some good ole boys, who were never meaning no harm.
THE DUKES OF HAZARD seemed to have something for everyone. Women could enjoy Bo and Luke, car lovers had The General Lee and anyone who liked short shorts had Daisy Duke.
MmmmmmÖ.short shorts!
Every week THE DUKES OF HAZARD told stories about a Deep South family of reformed whiskey-makers and their running feud with a greedy impresario and his chief lackey, a buffoonish sheriff.
Now you can enjoy those stories anytime youíd like as THE DUKES OF HAZARD ñ THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is now available on DVD.
This three-disc set includes all 13 initial episodes of the series from 1979 and if you are a fan that means something to you.
If youíre not a fan, then the fact that Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse, Boss Hogg, Roscoe P. Coltrane are available on DVD means nothing to you.
Iíll let you decide which one you are on your own.
Some decisions regarding watching or not watching, or now owning or not owning TV series are easy.
This week, in addition to deciding if you should buy THE DUKES OF HAZARD, you also get to decide if youíll buy COUPLING ñ THE THIRD SEASON.
I highly recommend the latter.
Oh, and bear in mind that this is the hilarious BBC show COUPLING, and not the atrocious NBC remake that the network tried to shove down our throats last fall.
A few weeks ago I told you how much the BBC series THE OFFICE made me laugh, well THE OFFICE canít hold a candle to how much I laugh while watching COUPLING.
COUPLING is funny because it has great characters, terrific actors, solid scripts, and that certain something a good comedy has that canít be explained.
The show may have started off with the same premise of six other friends who spent their time drinking and discussing life, sex, manners, and modern relationships, but the third season of COUPLING puts those comparisons to bed.
FRIENDS, on its best day, was never as funny as COUPLING.
Donít search for answers or analyze why, just check out COUPLING and enjoy more than a few innocent laughs. Okay, not all of them are innocent.
MONSTER, THE DUKES OF HAZARD: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and COUPLING ñ THE THIRD SEASON are available now at your favourite local video store.
Four letters: S. C. T. V!
The greatest comedy show of all time is debuting on DVD!
Oh, and so is Clint Eastwoodís MYSTIC RIVER, featuring the Academy Award winning performances of Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.
ALONG CAME POLLY is also coming out next week. That’s the one about a non-risk taker who meets an adventurous woman. Comedians Ben Stiller and “Friend” Jennifer Aniston star, but I’ll only briefly mention them as SCTV is coming out on DVD!
How can I be expected to focus on anything else?!? Oh, because itís part of my job…well, okay! Focus I will!
Iíll have more on SCTV, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!