First Impressions: “Hannibal”

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I was a bit reluctant to add Hannibal to my DVR this season. For some reason it felt like so many other failed shows that we’ve seen come and go – Supposedly prestigious, but not long for this world. The tone and look of the previews made me think a lot of Awake for some reason. I loved Awake and thought it was an amazingly inventive show for network television and was pretty disappointed when NBC didn’t follow through on that gamble by letting it grow a little bit. I am worried because here we are again with an elegant, intelligent, thoughtful, inventive show on NBC – shall we place bets on when they screw it up?

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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

The Sing Off’s Pentatonix Have a Music Video

I’m really sad that The Sing Off isn’t returning this year.  It’s been a bright spot in the reality schedule over the past few years and it’s pretty disappointing that NBC didn’t see that.  Anyway, Pentatonix, last season’s rightful winner, are getting ready to release their album and have an advertiser sponsored video to show for it.  I’m not gonna lie, the video is terrible and their version of Nikki Minaj’s “Starship” isn’t as innovative as the stuff they did on the show, but I feel like they deserve to be promoted so here you go.  Listen to Pentatonix and convince NBC that if they had just left The Sing Off as a winter replacement show instead of relying on it to launch new shows in the fall things would have been much better.

NBC 2012-2013 Schedule

NBC was the first up to present their 2012-13 schedule to advertisers and so far, they’re making the most changes.  They have 3 new dramas and 4 new comedies, they’ve moved Whitney and Community to Fridays, and they are bringing The Voice back in the fall.  Personally, I think there are a lot of bad moves on this schedule.

#1 They have created a Wednesday comedy block with no established lead-in.  I mean, they must have a lot of faith in Animal Practice and Guys with Kids to just leave them hanging in the wind like that. On top of not having a lead-in, they are paired with the slowly but surely declining Law & Order: SVU.  This seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

#2 The Whitney/Community move to Friday is about as ridiculous a decision as they come.  While I think that having Grimm follow Community isn’t a bad move (they seem to both have heavily male audiences) pairing it with Whitney is just weird.  The shows couldn’t be more different.  This will be Whitney’s third scheduling move in a year and it hasn’t done very well anywhere.  On top of that, it seems that NBC has decided to pair it’s most critically lauded show (Community) with it’s most reviled (Whitney).  It’s just a really weird move.

#3 I like The Voice as much as the next gal and I get that NBC thinks it needs to have a big reality competition on during the fall to combat both Fox’s X-Factor and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but enough is enough.  The way to combat those shows is by doing something different and The Voice is just more of the same.  I am TIRED of singing competitions.  There are too many of them and they’re exhausting.  I think that by adding The Voice to the fall lineup, NBC is diluting the brand and will probably see a big number drop in the spring.

Overall, there’s not a whole lot bringing me back to NBC next year.  I will love them forever for renewing Parenthood and Parks and Recreation and I will definitely check out all of the new shows (I’m most intrigued by Revolution and Animal Practice), but right now, NBC is low on my list of Must-See-TV.

Upfront Preview: See whats new and what’s renewed for the 2012-13 season (updated)

Alright everyone.  Take a deep breath.  A lot of shows have been renewed.  A lot of shows have been cancelled.  I don’t know where we’re going to end up in the end, but here’s where we stand as of 3pm on Friday May 11th:

NBC Renewed: 30 Rock (final 13-episode pickup), Comunity (13-episode order), Football Night in America, Fashion Star, Grimm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Smash, Sunday Night Football, Up All Night, Whitney

NBC New ShowsDo No Harm, Infamous, Revolution, Chicago Fire, The New Normal, Save Me, Go On, Animal Practice, 1600 Penn, Next Caller

NBC Canceled: Are You There Chelsea?, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Chuck, Free Agents, Harry’s Law, The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect

Fox Renewed: American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Bones, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Fringe, Glee, Kitchen Nightmares, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Simpsons, Touch, The X Factor

Fox New ShowsThe Following, The Mob Doctor, The Mindy Project, The Goodwin Games, Ben & Kate

Fox Canceled: Alcatraz, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, The Finder, House, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Terra Nova

ABC Renewed: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Castle, Dancing With the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Endings, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Shark Tank, Suburgatory, Wife Swap, Scandal, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23

ABC New Shows:  666 Park Ave., Nashville, Last Resort, How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, Red Widow, Family Tools, Zero Hour, Neighbors, Mistresses

ABC Canceled: Charlie’s Angels, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Man Up!, Work It, GCB

CBS Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Survivor, Undercover Boss

CBS New Shows: TBD

CBS Canceled/Ending: A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman

CW Renewed: Nikita, 90210, America’s Next Top Model, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl (final 11-episode season), Hart of Dixie

CW New Shows: Carrie Diaries, Arrow, Cult, Beauty and the Beast, First Cut

CW Canceled: H8R, One Tree Hill, Ringer, Secret Circle

In Preparation for Upfronts: NBC & Fox order new shows

Welcome back to my TV Scott Foley!

Upfronts are next week!  That’s totally crazy.  I’m still waiting to hear the fate of some of my favorites (specifically Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Community, and Cougar Town) but we’re starting to get some news on the new shows that the networks are ordering.  Just today, Fox picked up 5 new shows including The Goodwin Games by the creators of How I Met Your Mother.  I was fortunate enough to sneak a peek at the pilot script and it had me laughing out loud.  Plus, it stars Scott Foley so one third of my Felicity triangle is complete!  I’m also excited about the Mindy Kaling comedy but nervous for what it means for The Office despite the fact that I’m sort of over that show.

 

 

The cast of 1600 Penn includes Bill Pullman as the president and Jenna Elfman as the first lady.

Here’s a more detailed look at what NBC is taking to series so far.  In my opinion, Revolution looks like it will start out great and intriguing and then devolve into a big old mess – the cast is too big.  The most promising of the NBC slate definitely looks to be 1600 Penn which stars Josh Gad as the black-sheep son of the President of the United States.  The photo alone makes the show look hilarious.  I’m sure there will be plenty to dissect when the schedules are officially announced next week.

Mid-Season Review: Scandal, Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, & Best Friends Forever

The cast of ABC's new show, Scandal

Despite the fact that it seems a little late in the season to be debuting new shows, a slew of them have just hit the airwaves.  I caught the pilot episodes of Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 and Best Friends Forever On Demand a couple of weeks ago and was charmed by both of them while Scandal‘s premiere last week left me on the fence a bit.

Dreama Walker & Krysten Ritter of Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23

First of all, while Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt 23 is a great title, taking the “itch” out of “bitch” is annoying.  Man up, ABC!  ”Bitch” really isn’t a bad word anymore.  But the show itself has a lot going for it in my opinion.  Krysten Ritter is what Kat Dennings wants to be on 2 Broke Girls but isn’t – she is caustic and sarcastic while at the same time not completely without compassion.  James Van Der Beek is hilarious playing the exaggerated version of himself that he has been perfecting over the past couple of years in Funny or Die sketches.  And, so far, Dreama Walker seems to be holding her own.  I think the writers made some really good choices with her character – giving her a backbone instead of making her a complete pushover for Ritter’s character to walk all over.  I’ve only seen the pilot, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this show develops.  It really does seem to be a hipper, edgier version of 2 Broke Girls and without the laugh track and multi-camera shooting style, Apt. 23 definitely comes across as more authentic. Continue reading

Awake: Second episode second thoughts

In the green world, Mike & his partner, Bird, solve the case (Steve Harris & Jason Isaacs)

I really really liked the pilot for Awake.  The story of a police detective, Michael Britten (played by the lovely Jason Isaacs) who gets in a car accident and begins to live in two different realities: one in which he and his teenaged son, Rex, have survived the crash and one in which he and his wife, Hannah, survived.  He has a different partner (the veteran, Bird or the rookie, Vega) and therapist (the more touchy-feely Dr. Evans or the more pragmatic Dr. Lee) in both worlds as he works through murder investigations and tries to figure out which world is real (although at the end of the pilot, he seems fairly convinced that they both are).  I thought it was moody, interesting, well-acted and brought a new element to the typical procedurals.  However, after last night’s episode, I’m not so sure about the direction the show is heading in.   Continue reading

I’m Saying “Adios” to American Idol for Good

Steven's default is pervy, J.Lo always looks so concerned, and Randy doesn't seem to understand that it's not cool to refer to people as "dawgs" anymore.

I haven’t watched a single episode of American Idol this season.  Blame it on singing competition fatigue, blame it on the fact that American Idol contestants have no one challenging their belief that they are good singers.  But me, I’m blaming it on the fact that every one of the contestants I have seen sound exactly the same.  I told myself I would watch the top 24 this week and see if any of the contestants sparked anything in me, but after watching the boys on Tuesday I couldn’t bring myself to get through one of the girls on Wednesday (although, on the advice of Dave Holmes at Vulture I did check out Jessica Sanchez and while she was not terrible, if that’s the only talent he chose to highlight with a video in the top 24, it doesn’t bode well for this season).  In general, I just felt that all of the guys were totally bland.  On top of that, the judges added absolutely nothing to the conversation.  They barely said words.  I am embarrassed for everyone involved with the show at this point.

I think I just believe Adam, Cee-Lo, Christina and Blake more. What they say is usually interesting and at the very least I know that they're not judging on looks during the first round. The same can't be said of Idol's first auditions.

Especially because I have been watching The Voice on NBC and it appears to be the exact opposite of American Idol.  It is built on actual singing talent and judges who seem to have something at stake as well.  I don’t know what the age cut-off is on The Voice, but there are few, if any, young teens vying for a spot on the show which makes for far more interesting contestants.  The contestants on The Voice appear to have actually lived lives and bring that experience to their performances.  On top of that, the judges actually have authentic personalities and aren’t afraid to spar with one another and rib each other which is far more entertaining than just fawning all over the contestants.  No, they don’t give cutting remarks to the singers they don’t turn their chairs for, but that’s not entertaining to me so I don’t miss it at all.  My one complaint is that sometimes this show can focus too much on the judges’ themselves.  I’m not the hugest fan of when they perform together because I think it pulls focus from the goal of the show, but I will admit that I like their collaborations with their teams.  Plus the coaching portion actually feels like coaching and not like they’re trying to change their contestants entirely.  Bottom line: the talent is more interesting and diverse and the judges are more entertaining on The Voice.  So I’m saying “adios” to American Idol.