Noy Thrupkaew

Noy Thrupkaew is a Prospect senior correspondent.

Recent Articles

Fox's 24 Could Be More:

The creators of the insanely plotted Fox show 24 threw bedraggled viewers a bone recently -- a March 12 episode that relied more on dramatic heft than frenetic pace. It was a welcome turnabout: Keeping track of the kidnappings, murders, and split-screen multiple story lines that make up "the longest day" in counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer's life has been exhausting. Unfortunately, the show's writers followed up that beefy, character-driven episode with yet another slip into the implausible/predictable plot twists that usually stalk B-grade horror movies. As a fellow viewer told me, "One thing I can't handle is how much this show is predicated on stupidity." Much of that stupidity is embodied in the form of Bauer's teenage daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). While her dad (Kiefer Sutherland) tries to stop an assassination plot against an African-American presidential candidate, she sneaks out of their home, gets kidnapped, develops a Stockholmian attachment to one of her kidnappers-...

Celebrity Boxing Fantasies:

T his week the world of boxing sank to new lows: The city of Washington, D.C., granted the squeaky-voiced pugilist Mike Tyson a license to fight, and Fox aired Celebrity Boxing , featuring Tonya Harding v. Paula Jones. There's a depressing logic in the connection between the two events. After all, if Tyson -- a convicted rapist who has sunk his choppers into two opponents -- gets licensed to box, then why not Harding? To her own thuggish credit, the infamous ice skater's supporters bashed opponent Nancy Kerrigan's knee. Harding's also done time for attempting to brain an ex-boyfriend with a hubcap. But Fox's triple-card event didn't even have to deal with licensing issues because it wasn't classified as boxing -- it was called "entertainment." Unfortunately, it was barely even that. Boxing can be a ferocious, balletic display of mental and athletic prowess. When it's not, the promoters at least try to build a good back story full of trash-talking heat. Some battles are lucky enough to...

Who's Your Daddy?

A merica, you know Bernie Mac. You might remember him from Spike Lee's The Original Kings of Comedy . He was the guy who made you squirm with his talk about America being too scared to give an angry black man a TV show. He riffed on the nieces and nephew he took in after his sister ran afoul of a drug problem, and he yelled about going upside the kids' heads. Remember him? Well, Bernie got his show -- The Bernie Mac Show on Fox -- which dramatizes the family story he introduced in The Kings . The bristling anger is still there, the pop-eyed indignation, the fade-away jump shot of his comic delivery -- all push sliding into a conspiratorial grumble. But this time, his TV family helps round out the show. The kids in particular, with their loud and bratty tantrums, their power to undermine his authority, give his dyspepsia a context. Now you know why he wants to go upside their heads. Bernie Mac is not aiming to be Bill Cosby, that sweatered, tootling role model of a black dad and doctor...

Survivor Sucks, Boston Public's Worse. . .

E very season of CBS's Survivor has to open with a barf shot, and this season was no exception. The spew-scene came before the first commercial break last Thursday night. On a turbulent three hour boat ride to the show's latest extreme landscape, a faceless female character propelled lots of white frothy stuff into a black bucket. Through her mouth, of course. The barf serves as a reminder that Survivor is coming from the gut (that elemental place from which both power and primitive instincts spring). It typically makes its appearance on the contestants' rough journey to an obligatory exotic locale -- Pulau Tiga, the Australian Outback, Africa, and this season, Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands near Tahiti. But in Survivor 's particular brand of sadomasochistic TV (SMTV) , it seems that vomiting -- visceral though it may be -- isn't enough. Perhaps it doesn't summon the primitive sufficiently for Survivor creator Mark Burnett. So he's also littered his show with stone idols and...

Glutton Bowl Gold

F or those of you tired of the spandexed, Apollonian beauty of Olympic bodies, TV had a special treat Thursday night -- FOX's The Glutton Bowl: The World's Greatest Eating Competition. As the teeny ladies of ice skating were warming up, thirty-four athletes of a different sort were smacking their bellies and glowering at each other, preparing to demolish bowls of mayo, sticks of butter, and other delicacies in the network's latest headline grab. As TAP sports expert Richard Just pointed out to me recently, skeptical viewers of ice skating and speed eating alike may have found themselves wondering: "Is this really a sport?" The Glutton Bowl's two commentators did their best to convince us, throwing around athletic terms like "in the zone" and "digging deep." Greg Shea of the International Federation of Competitive Eating , sweat beading on his bottle-tanned skin, expounded upon "two-bite methods," "rabbit-like techniques," and the perils of "lockjaw." Despite its WWF-esque "sports-...

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