End of the Year TV Exhaustion (AKA Sorry so few new posts)

Shane might be an ass, but it was about time someone took care of that barn full of zombies.

The last 4-6 weeks of the year are always a weird time for me and my TV.  First of all, I become exponentially busier around the holidays and secondly, there are so few new episodes of my favorite shows airing (and they air so sporadically) that keeping caught up feels like less of a priority.  This is not a bad problem to have, but it does explain my absence over the last week.  It’s not that I haven’t been watching TV, it’s just that so little of what I’ve watched has made much of an impact.  Yes, I thought last night’s Walking Dead mid-season finale was great (especially compared with the glacially paced episodes that came before it) but to be honest, I wasn’t all that shocked at the ending and had been actively waiting for Sophia to crawl out of that barn for weeks.  Homeland was probably the best show I watched in a week, but I’m so conflicted about the ways that the writers are manipulating Brody’s character (he’s a terrorist, but he has a good reason to be a terrorist) that the show leaves me feeling a little woozy.  And while I still enjoy the travelogue that is The Amazing Race, I am increasingly uninterested in the top four teams (good bye Bill and Cathi.  You will be missed) that I’m kind of just waiting for the season to be over. Continue reading

Quick Quotes: Happy Endings, Up All Night, Modern Family

Missy's freak outs every time she thought she was being fired were awesome.

Sorry about the lazy post.  I loved all three of these shows last night, but don’t really have the mental capacity to go deeper than listing my favorite lines today (this morning I told someone I couldn’t find my cell phone while talking to them ON MY CELL PHONE).  Hope they make you giggle as much as I did.

Up All Night – Chris has trouble hiring a babysitter and Reagan has trouble firing a single mom.  So, they kill two birds with one stone and hire the single mom as their babysitter. Continue reading

NBC’s Mid-season Schedule: My Thoughts

Yesterday, NBC announced some pretty major shifts in its mid-season schedule and I, like every other TV fan in the universe, have some opinions.  Here’s a look at the current NBC line-up:

And here is the mid-season schedule with some notes:

There are an awful lot of changes going on, some of which I approve and some I wholeheartedly do not.

Approve: Bringing back 30 Rock.  Even though I don’t really “get” it, it’s a pretty buzz-worthy show and using it to start off Thursday nights is a good move.

Disapprove: Benching Community.  Community is hysterical, hip and utterly watchable.  I understand that it doesn’t get the ratings that NBC wants to see, but I think it’s totally lame for the network to bench it without giving a return date.  It has me worried for my favorite study group.

Approve: Moving Up All Night to Thursdays at 9:30pm.  First of all, I think the 9:30pm time slot is far more appropriate for this comedy than its current 8pm berth.  Secondly, it has been one of the stronger freshman comedies this year so it makes sense for NBC to want it as a part of its strongest line-up.

Disapprove: Moving Whitney to Wednesdays at 8pm.  Look, I’ll admit that Whitney has its moments that make me giggle, but half-way through the season, the show is still leaving me pretty cold.  I guess I just feel like the characters don’t actually seem to like each other very much so why the hell are they spending so much time together?  On top of my own personal opinion, the general audience seems to be offended by the very fact that it was given a full-season pick up.  NBC would have been better off leaving Whitney off the schedule and moving Community to Wednesdays.

Approve: Pairing Smash and The Voice on Monday nights.  Hopefully Smash will live up to expectations and rock our socks off, but even without that, if The Voice lives up to its first season promise, Smash should be able to hold onto enough of that audience to survive.

Disapprove: Getting rid of Prime Suspect for new drama The Firm.  It was announced today that production on Prime Suspect has been halted and in its place, NBC is putting this remake of the Tom Cruise movie.  I haven’t seen anything of The Firm, so I really can’t judge, but I do like Prime Suspect so I’m disappointed to see it going away.

Basically, the NBC schedule is a sinking ship regardless.  As of right now, they don’t really have any tent-pole shows and they seem scared of the shows they have that do attract critical attention (ie Community).  I do give them credit for making some big shifts in order to try something new, I just wish that they did that with the integrity of their audience, rather than the numbers, in mind.

 

 

Afternoon Giggles: Up All Night & Happy Endings

I’m having kind of a meh day so it was nice to have the lines that made me laugh last night on hand for a few afternoon giggles.

I very much enjoyed Reagan's insistence on wearing a headband.

UP ALL NIGHT – NBC has been trumpeting this episode for-what-feels-like-ever and therefore it was a little anti-climatic, but I still found it pretty charming and chock full of good lines.  Reagan was a typical type-A woman in labor, trying to control everything, but her reactions were pure her.  I loved the moment in the limo when she realized that this was her last moment with Chris without a child and her desire to do something crazy before they can’t anymore.  And even though the birth was an “only on TV” kind of thing, I felt like all of her crazy reactions stayed true to her character.  And it was kind of sweet to see how Chris became a stay-at home dad.  Also, the hair cut that Ava gave Missy was brilliant (as were Maya Rudolph’s “yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh” when Missy asked if it looked good/if she messed up her hair). Continue reading

Fall TV: First Week Report Card

Is it just me or does this season feel different than others?  First of all, we’re almost three weeks in and there has only been one cancellation (The Playboy Club as of this morning).  Second of all, there haven’t been any huge surprises either.  I feel like everything is just kind of hanging around the middle, waiting to be noticed.  It’s making me a little sad actually.  Anyway, here are my thoughts on the 14 new shows I’ve been watching.

Jason O'Mara is definitely bringing the charm to Terra Nova.

MONDAY

Terra Nova (Fox): The first episode was kind of exciting.  The concept felt new but rooted in basic drama structure and family dynamics.  The second episode didn’t exactly build on the first though.  It’s also not been a huge ratings winner so while I don’t see Fox canceling the show mid-season, I’m not sure it’s going to win a second. B-

Hart of Dixie (CW): I’ve already detailed all of the problems I have with this show, but will reiterate that despite all of that, I want to love it and will give it a proper shot as long as the CW does. C

2 Broke Girls (CBS): There was so much hype and buzz surrounding this series that my expectations were bound to be dashed and dashed they’ve been.  Beyond the laugh track, so many of the jokes are racist in nature that it can be a bit off-putting.  And despite my enjoyment of Kat Dennings, she feels boxed in and claustrophobic in the medium. B-

TUESDAY

This was probably my favorite moment in any show last week.

New Girl (Fox): I had mixed feelings about this show before it started.  On the one hand, it felt like something I would enjoy but on the other, Zooey Deschanel’s character seemed like such an extreme version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl that I was a bit wary.  After two episodes, I have come down firmly on its side.  I think the humor is quirky and a bit random and there are plot points that actually feel relatable.  Plus I cannot get the vision of Zooey having an argument with her ex-boyfriend while wearing all of her clothes out of my head.  B+

Ringer (CW): Oh Sarah Michelle Gellar.  My loyalty to you can only take me so far.  And I think four episodes may be about as much as I can take (the three that have already aired and tonight’s).  After jamming the pilot full of more plot than it could adequately handle, the show has become repetitive and circular in its narrative.  None of the characters are particularly likable and instead of fleshing out the most interesting one (Siobahn) the show has stuck her in Paris twisting her mustache and saying opaque things into a phone.  Also, it still hasn’t gotten over that atrocious green screen work in the first episode.  D

WEDNESDAY

Christina Applegate and Will Arnett from Up All Night

Up All Night (NBC): By far my favorite new show of the season.  The three leads – Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph – are endlessly funny and after only three episodes, their chemistry is really starting to gel.  As a whole, there are still some tonal issues with the show, but it has definitely improved over the course of its run which gives me high hopes for the rest of the season. A

Suburgatory (ABC): Granted, I’ve only seen the pilot episode of this Jeremy Sisto-led series, but what I saw left me a bit non-plussed.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, but I certainly didn’t love it.  I felt like there was a lot of apologizing going on (Cheryl Hines character is pretty heinous until she gives Jane Levy that bra at which point we learn that she does have a heart).  I’ll definitely stick with it for at least a few more weeks, but I’m going to need some more laugh out loud moments to really dive in.  B-

Revenge (ABC): I never knew how much I missed the classic primetime soaps of my youth (Dallas, Dynasty) until I became hooked on Revenge.  It presents itself so seriously and yet completely campy at the same time.  I am loving the way that Emily plots against all of the people who ruined her father’s life and can’t wait for her ultimate showdown with Queen Victoria.  A-

THURSDAY

I didn't realize how bad the clothes on Charlie's Angels were until just this moment. Oy are they bad.

Charlie’s Angels (ABC): I’m pretty sure Charlie’s Angels is not long for this world.  Though I will be forever loyal to Minka Kelly (thanks to her involvement with Friday Night Lights), this show is just not good.  The dialogue and performances are completely wooden, none of the characters are intriguing in the slightest (except for Minka’s.  I kind of wish she was still a badass car thief instead of someone trying to make good), and despite the fact that Charlie is voiced by Victor Garber, it is weird that these people work for a voice on a phone.  C-

The Secret Circle (CW): After my experiences with The Vampire Diaries, Kevin Williamson’s other supernatural CW drama, I’m not about to write off The Secret Circle too quickly, but so far, I’m not really digging it.  This could be because I find Brit Robertson to be a bit of a wet blanket, or the fact that the most intriguing character/actor so far is Gale Harold and the show really isn’t about him, or the fact that I don’t give a crap about anything that has happened thus far and the magic being created just isn’t all that cool.  I like it when cool things happen.  I like it even more when gross things happen.  So far, this show doesn’t have either of that (unless you count the opening fire which was actually awesome).  However, The Vampire Diaries got off to a bit of a sluggish start as well and yet once the ball got rolling, it never let up, so I will stick with The Secret Circle as well.  C+

I am definitely enjoying the goofiness between Whitney Cummings and Chris D'Ella on Whitney

Whitney (NBC):  I’ll admit that the advance reviews of Whitney put some bad preconceived notions of this show into my head and the pilot lived up to them (outside of the nurse seduction scene).  However, the second episode improved on the first in terms of numbers of laughs and NBC’s recent full-season pick up gives me hope that this show will continue that trend.  But the general sitcomminess of the show doesn’t have me holding my breath for that outcome.  B-

Prime Suspect (NBC): The overt sexism of the first episode of Prime Suspect was a huge turn off for me, but by the second, the writers had toned it down and combined it with a great performance from Maria Bello.  I am actually surprised that this hasn’t been more of a ratings success, it is a procedural after all, but still hopeful that NBC will stick with it for a while.  B

 

SUNDAY

Karine Vanasse makes being French cool again.

Pan Am (ABC): I want to like this show more than I do.  I love the look of it – the sleek 60′s costumes and retro furnishings – but the story so far isn’t really compelling to me.  I think it has oodles of potential (especially in Christina Ricci’s character) but needs to stop focusing on Margot Robbie’s Laura who is a total sap and a whiner to boot.  B

Homeland (Showtime): Out of all of the new shows this season, Homeland is the most serious and the most intriguing.  While I love Up All Night and definitely consider it my favorite new show of the season, Homeland is something special on a completely different level.  It is super intense, has superb performances, and only one episode in, I don’t think I could live with myself without finding out whether Damian Lewis’ marine is a traitor or if it’s all in Claire Danes’ head.  A

 

Wednesday Night Funnies: Up All Night, Modern Family & Happy Endings

Chris apologizes to Reagan for moaning about her sweatpants.

Up All Night (NBC): Chris makes a new friend at the playground who encourages him to try to subtly get Reagan to step away from her sweatpants and help keep things sexy and Reagan has to deal with Ava who blames her for losing the love of her life, B-Ro, complete with 90′s flashback.

“That’s like 40% more butt” – Chris “I don’t like to put a number on it, but that’s about right” – Chris’ new playground friend. Continue reading

TV News: Little Blips

Oh Happy Day!

ABC Family has renewed Make It or Break It!  Music to my ears. [Vulture]

Coming off this summer’s Teen Wolf success, MTV is hoping to capture some more scripted magic in a bottle. [THR]

Up All Night just got a little more awesome with the addition of Blythe Danner.  [TVLine]

Check out songs from Glee’s 3rd season premiere.  [TVSquad]

Quick Take: Up All Night and Free Agents

So far Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are not letting me down.

Up All Night: I have so many good feelings about this show!  I have been looking forward to it because of the actors – Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett – and they did not disappoint.  The main thing that struck me was just how normal Applegate and Arnett’s first time parents, Reagan and Chris, seem.  They interact in a loving and supportive way, but also with a sense of realness.  Rudolph’s Ava is a little out there, but not as annoyingly arrogant as I assumed she would be.  I laughed quite a bit and love the pacing of the show and how it crammed in a bunch of plot (Reagan’s first day back to work, Chris’ first day alone with the baby, a cleanse at the office, trying to have an anniversary celebration on par with what they’ve done in the past) without feeling cramped.  Everything moved really quickly and yet nothing received short shrift.  I really hope that they keep the show’s observational tone throughout the series and don’t throw too many contrived twists into the narrative.  Seinfeld was able to be a show about nothing and I think if this show takes that model it could be something really new and different. Continue reading

Fall TV Previews: 10 New Shows I’m Looking Forward To

While assessing the new crop of fall shows, I came to two conclusions – either I want to watch a show because of the cast or because of the concept, rarely both.  The first new show of the season premieres next Tuesday and I cannot wait.  Especially because that series is Ringer which is bringing Sarah Michelle Gellar back to the small screen for the first time since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended in 2003.  Though most new shows and returning shows won’t premiere until the following week, here are the shows I’m most excited for, in no particular order. Continue reading

Fall TV Premieres: 10 New Shows I’m Looking Forward To

While assessing the new crop of fall shows, I came to two conclusions – either I want to watch a show because of the cast or because of the concept, rarely both.  The first new show of the season premieres next Tuesday and I cannot wait.  Especially because that series is Ringer which is bringing Sarah Michelle Gellar back to the small screen for the first time since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended in 2003.  Though most new shows and returning shows won’t premiere until the following week, here are the shows I’m most excited for, in no particular order. Continue reading