TV Trailer: Wet Hot American Summer on Netflix

I don’t know when Netflix will start airing the prequel series to Wet Hot American Summer, but I am counting down the days. Watching these actors (Paul RuddElizabeth BanksBradley CooperAmy PoehlerMichael Ian BlackJudah FriedlanderJaneane GarofaloKen MarinoZak OrthDavid Hyde PierceJoe LoTruglioChristopher MeloniMarguerite MoreauMichael Showalter, and Molly Shannon.) reprise these roles just tickles me so much. This is the best.

Weekend Binge: “Gilmore Girls” Season 4

Not every mom will spend your first night at college buying food for your entire dorm.

Not every mom will spend your first night at college buying food for your entire dorm.

It’s not that I didn’t watch Gilmore Girls when it was airing, just that it wasn’t “must-see-TV” for me at the time. THANK GOD for Netflix and the ability to watch all 7 seasons online! I especially love all of the things I notice watching the episodes in huge chunks instead of spread out over the course of the season. For example, I never realized how little emphasis was placed on romantic relationships on this show, especially during season 4. Sure, they were there. Lorelai (Lauren Graham) dated her father’s business partner, Jason/Digger and Rory (Alexis Bledel) dealt with the aftermath of Jess and another ramp up with Dean, but for the most part, season 4 was all about ladies doing it for themselves. Continue reading

Top 5: Favorite Episodes of Friends

Ross: Your money's mine, Green. Rachel: Your fly's open, Geller.

Ross: Your money’s mine, Green.
Rachel: Your fly’s open, Geller.

Friends is pretty much my favorite sitcom of all time which is why, when I came up with the concept of doing a Top 5 every week, I decided to start with my top 5 favorite Friends episodes. Let’s get the toughest Top 5 out of the way first.

In no particular order:

 

"That's MS. Chanandler Bong to you!"

“That’s MS. Chanandler Bong to you!”

1. The One with the Embryos (Season 4) – It is the heaviness of the A plot – Phoebe being implanted with her brother and sister-in-law’s embryos – in combination with the utter ridiculousness of the B plot – the quiz to win Monica’s apartment and the seriousness with which everyone approaches it – that puts this episode on my top 5.

Could I BE wearing any more clothes?

Could I BE wearing any more clothes?

2. The One where No One’s Ready (Season 3) – No one does bottle episodes better than Friends and this was probably one of their best (the other being “The One where Ross Got High”). Every plot in this episode is firing on all cylinders and they all dovetail to the same end.

3. The One with All the Poker (Season 1) – I love the way all of the friends come together to show Rachel their support at the end. And the rhythm of the comedy in that final poker game is just killer.

4. The One where Ross Got High (Season 6) – I have Mrs. Gellar’s speech memorized. It never fails to make me laugh.

Friends-the-one-with-the-morning-after2 Friends_the-one-with-the-morning-after5. The One with the Morning After (Season 3) – The episode that gave us “We were on a BREAK!” and yet still made me cry.

Sure, these are a little early series heavy, but what are you gonna do. Those are my Top 5.

Parks & Recreation: Is it normal to sob during a sitcom?

Last night’s episode of Parks & Recreation made me sob. No joke, total ugly cry on my couch. P&R has always sort of been the little sitcom that could and part of its success lies in its balance of over-the-top ridiculousness with honest human emotion. Last night’s episode was a perfect example of this.  Continue reading

Must Read: HuffPost Article on the State of the Network Comedy

Happy-Endings_320This article by Maureen Ryan has been passed around by every TV lover I know today and is a definite must read.  I find the changing TV landscape to be one of the most fascinating things going on in the business world these days.  If I could go back to school, I would study the television business model and how it’s changed and adapted (or not) over time.  Happy Endings is definitely one of my favorite comedies on TV right now and I would be bereft if it disappeared because it’s not well suited to ABC (which is just the truth) so I’m very hopeful that if ABC decides to get rid of it, a cable network will pick it up.  Its worked for Cougartown (another one of my favs that ABC threw away).

Ryan’s article makes some great points about why a show like Happy Endings is flailing – time slot changes, the way that ratings are reported, the fast-paced pop culture references – but I really think that it comes down to the whole Network vs Cable debate.  There are just too many channels producing original material and so much of it is actually worth watching that shows that are even a little less than mainstream tend to just get sucked into the ether of the big 4 networks.  I’ve become more and more picky about the shows that I devote my time to and this is the biggest reason why.  Happy Endings would be great on cable where it can push the limits creatively a little bit and may not have to deal with the spotlight of being on a big network.  When a show isn’t required to “save” a network, it tends to feel more comfortable in its own skin.

Fox Tuesday Night: First winners of the season (IMHO)

Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman) steals a dead woman’s dress.

I have read some wildly disparate views on Fox’s Tuesday night line up over the past few days but I come down firmly on the “pro” side of things.  I love everything about it.  I love that Raising Hope is just as weird and loving and demented as it ever was.  I love that Ben & Kate continues that trend but also ups the ante by creating a world much closer to reality than Raising Hope.  I love that the roommates on New Girl are starting to really gel (despite the fact that Winston still feels like he is shoehorned in there) and that Jess has become more than just a typical “Manic pixie dream girl” trope (although there is still definitely room for improvement).  And I love that The Mindy Project is trying to show a woman who is both girlie and professional and together and a mess and confident and awesome all at the same time without giving her excuses or judging her in any way.  Of the new comedies this fall, Ben & Kate and The Mindy Project are the only ones that have really made me laugh out loud. Continue reading

Returning Shows Quick Takes: Parks and Recreation, Castle, Bones, How I Met Your Mother

The list of returning shows that I watch is astronomically long.  It’s a serious problem and depending on how the new crop of shows do, I may have to make some cuts.  While most of the shows that I’m really looking forward to haven’t premiered yet – shows like The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Revenge and Homeland – a few of my favorites are back.  But are they better than ever?

Parks & Recreation: Still my favorite sitcom I think.  I just adore the characters so much.  On last week’s premiere I felt like a few of them were a bit too much like caricatures than actual people (especially Ron and Tom) but hopefully things will even out a little bit.  I really liked Leslie’s realization that outside of Pawnee, IN she doesn’t have much of an influence and that she used that realization to have more of an influence in Pawnee.  The big fish/little pond story has been done before, but never with such an optimistic fish.  Regardless, this show still cracks me up. Continue reading

New Show Reviews: Go On, The New Normal, Revolution, Last Resort, The Mob Doctor

I guess that the official start of the Fall TV season has come and gone since both NBC and Fox have premiered both new and returning shows over the past couple of weeks.  Although, I think it would be epic if no premieres occurred until after the Emmys (which are this Sunday 9/23 – mark your calendars).  I mean, what a great kick off to the season that would be!  Anyway, that’s not the case.  On top of the fact that NBC used the summer Olympics to give a sneak peak at Go On and Animal Practice, multiple premieres have been available online for a few weeks and I have watched them all.

Last Resort: Technically, Last Resort doesn’t premiere until next Thursday, but I caught it online earlier this week (on Hulu – love that site!) and I loved every second.  That doesn’t mean it’s perfect – far from it – but I am totally hooked.  I am so glad to see Scott Speedman back on TV and in a character who is far different from those I’ve seen him play before.  While, like Revolution, there are a lot of characters and different threads being set up in the pilot, I am interested in where these stories are going and intrigued about who these characters will turn out to be.  I think one thing that really separates the handling of such large casts of characters is that on Last Resort they are compartmentalized very definitively and separately – there is the submarine crew (headed by Andre Braugher), the island inhabitants, the NATO workers, and the people in DC.  I’m excited to see all of these threads weave together and split apart.  But, I’ll be honest, like with the beginning of Fringe which I basically stuck with simply because I am a big fan of Joshua Jackson, I watched Last Resort mostly for the Scott Speedman factor and that will probably keep me coming back until the show itself finds its legs and grabs me. Continue reading

Bunheads: Color me confused

Fanny (Kelly Bishop) helps herself to Michelle’s (Sutton Foster) unpacking.

How do you feel about Bunheads?  ABC Family’s show about a former Las Vegas Showgirl who moved in with her deceased husband’s mother has me a little stumped.  I’m not sure that I like it, but I can’t really say for certain that I don’t like it.  Things in the plus column: Sutton Foster (who is proving to be a great comedienne and perfect for creator Amy Sherman Palladino’s writing), the opening credits, the rat-a-tat language, Kelly Bishop’s tightrope walk between elegant and bohemian, and the potential for actual dance in every episode.  Things in the minus column: the “quirky” townsfolk, the lack of structure, the uncertainty about what this show is about – is it about Michelle and Fanny’s relationship?  The ballet school?  The teen dancers’ struggle?  Michelle’s quest to find success?  Fanny’s innate awesomeness?  I’m just not sure. Continue reading