''Real World,'' Tina Fey, and 20 other reasons to be thankful | EW.com


''Real World,'' Tina Fey, and 20 other reasons to be thankful

The year hasn't been such a stinker after all, says Josh Wolk

The Real World

(David: Jimmy Malecki)

”Real World,” Tina Fey, and 20 other reasons to be thankful

Working at an entertainment magazine is like being given a license to whine: ”This TV show stinks, that movie makes my brain atrophy,” and so on and so on. But over the Thanksgiving weekend, I began to reflect on all the GREAT things about being paid to squat in the sitz bath of pop culture. So if you’ll pardon me for being positive, here is a list of what I have to be thankful for as an Entertainment Weekly writer.

? The always compelling and kinetic opening sequence to NBC’s ”West Wing.”

? John Travolta, for maintaining ”Battlefield Earth” was NOT a failure, thereby making all my self delusions seem trifling by comparison.

? Fox’s decision to double run new ”Malcolm in the Middle” episodes, for no other reason than it means they’ll be rerunning Bryan Cranston’s spectacularly hypersincere roller boogying from last season more often.

? The fact that my EW colleagues don’t tar and feather me for admitting that ”3rd Rock From the Sun” makes me roar with laughter.

? Everything about Fox’s ”The Simpsons.” But if forced to narrow that down, I’d have to say especially Professor Frink and Comic Book Store Guy.

? The hilariously deadpan Even Steven segments on Comedy Central’s ”The Daily Show” with Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert

? That I wasn’t living with the CBS ”Big Brother” cast.

? Emergency exits on planes, so I have an option if they start playing ”Ladies Man” on my next flight.

? The touching and comical siblings at odds film ”You Can Count on Me.” See it, you’ll be thankful too.

? Orifices. Because without them, there’d be no ”Jackass.”

? Conan O’Brien and his writers. Not only because they’re consistently hilarious, but because anyone who will reference the comic strip ”Momma” in a bit deserves credit.

? Cable syndication. Because it means that even short lived (but fantastic) shows like ”Get a Life” and ”Freaks and Geeks” can pop up in reruns.

? ”Saturday Night Live” news anchor and head writer Tina Fey. Sigh.

? Patricia Heaton’s withering glare on CBS’ ”Everybody Loves Raymond”… just as long as it’s never turned on me.

? CBS’ ”Diagnosis: Murder,” because it’s always there when I’m in a hurry and need a generic punchline.

? The musclebound, comically self involved David from MTV’s ”Real World: New Orleans,” for making me believe that cartoons can walk among us.

? Chris Rock’s ”Controversy LaRue” character, the ultimate ”Def Comedy Jam” parody.

? The American public, for not making ”Little Nicky” a hit, and therefore not encouraging that sort of thing.

? CBS’ ”Late Show” announcer, Alan Kalter, for being David Letterman’s best foil since Chris Elliott.

? That Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of HBO’s now canceled ”Mr. Show” just wrapped their first movie, which brings me one step closer to seeing it.

? HBO’s ”Oz,” for consistently reminding me that being incarcerated is something I should steer away from.

? My job, for allowing me to rationalize this kind of wanton superficiality in the name of ”got to pay the bills.”

So, what are you thankful for? (And PLEASE keep that whole ”health and happiness and rainbows and puppy dogs” stuff to yourself. What, are you trying to make me look shallow?)