Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Remember when TV was fun?

In the past year or so I've become a lot more active on Twitter. In that time I've met some fantastic TV friends - people that write about Twitter on pop culture websites, have blogs, just love TV, etc. They are all lovely people and they are passionate about their TV. But here's the more important thing, every last one of these new friends are almost always responsible with their TV passion. They are smart, understand how the industry works, and they don't hate on people for not having the same opinions as them. It's lovely. BUT, while this group has been the upside to Twitter, I've also encountered a downside. The haters. The people who endlessly complain about the show they hate and yet continue to watch for some unexplained reason. The people who take precious moments out their day to write vile comments on articles, especially involving "shippers" of certain shows. It is awful to see, and makes me long for the days when we were all allowed to just enjoy our TV without worrying we may bring on the wrath of the haters. So I've decided to come up with five simple rules for watching TV and then choosing to interact with others on the interwebs. Take it or leave it. But I prefer you take it.

Rule 1: Don't Judge a Show by It's Pilot

Listen, all shows are winners right out of the gate. If you think a show may have potential, don't just dump it after one viewing. If you go back and check out your favorite shows, I'll bet you'll find those pilot episodes aren't as good as you remember. They can't all be the first two hours of LOST. Feel free to hate the show after 3 unfortunate eps. Unless the first one is really bad... then chances are it's a goner. Or it's Outsourced and will inexplicably last all season.

Rule 2: One bad storyline does not ruin the whole series

Writers are not magicians - they can't just endlessly roll out perfect storylines. Just because a show falters, does not mean the show is ruined. They can't all be winners. Because you don't like where one storyline is going - or even worse, where you assume it is going - that doesn't mean you have to stop watching the show or spend endless hours complaining about it. Just keep watching and see if it evens out. Or if you don't think it will, please check out my next rule....

Rule 3: If you don't like it, for goodness sake, don't watch it!

This is the worst. I can't tell you how many posts I've read in the last month alone about how people are watching some show they hate and spending their time complaining about how the show is awful and a waste of their time. The show isn't wasting your time, you are by watching it!!! If a show has gone so far off the rails you don't want to deal with it anymore, don't watch! If you think a show is dumb, don't watch! If you hate the person on the show, don't watch! Really, it is not a difficult concept. And if you are suffering from a severe case of FOMO, don't worry, because every single show out there is inevitable being live-tweeted by someone. Plus every show has a recap almost immediately available on at least 5 different websites. I promise, you'll still be in the know if you want to be. And this particular rule does not just apply to scripted series. Please use it for reality shows, singing competitions, talk shows, whatever.... TV is supposed to be fun!!! Don't hurt yourself. Or us by complaining about it.

Rule 4: The TV blogger is not your enemy

Why do people think that every blogger/writer needs to have the exact same opinion as them? And why do people always read non-biased articles as if they are biased? (For example, with Vampire Diaries articles: All Stelena fans think every article is biased in favor of Delena, and all Delena fans think every article is biased in favor of Stelena. Why??) And frankly, even if an article is completely biased, it shouldn't really matter, should it? So what if the writer is hard-core shipping the couple you hate. He/She does not write the show. And, now stick with me here because I know what I'm about to say is pretty insane, but the writer is entitled to their own opinion!! I KNOW! Crazy, right? Take a breath, think about what you want to say and try to phrase it in a way that doesn't sound vaguely like a death threat, mmmkay? Remember Thumper's mom....

Rule 5: Enjoy it

This may seem simple, but it's sort of where all of my annoyance is coming from. If you don't like watching TV anymore, maybe it is time to stop. You are ruining it for the rest of us.

All this being said, this doesn't mean I don't enjoy the snark and sarcasm. It is my first language, after all. But I also don't believe that snark and sarcasm equals hate and vitriol. And if you MUST be nasty in your TV viewing and commenting, be warned. We will mock you openly. Not just for your attitude and incomprehensible comments. We will also mock you for what is inevitably horrendous grammar.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CBS Upfronts: Fall Pilot Previews

So today CBS announced their new line-up. Hey guess what? There are some new cop procedurals to take the place of any they got rid of. I may die of shock. After The Good Wife, I take more of a look at the new stuff CBS has to offer because sometimes it isn't for 60+ people anymore. There isn't a lot on here - they already had a pretty full schedule and didn't make a lot of room for new stuff. There is also only one midseason premiere listed - The 2-2 (a cop procedural!!) which didn't have a clip package. BTW - say the name out loud. Pretty funny name for a serious cop show. 

Alright, let's take a look.

A Gifted Man

Patrick Wilson!! But he doesn't have his shirt off once in this clip package... Boo! I'm sure he will at some point though, so best to tune in. This one seems to be filling the void that Medium and Ghost Whisperer have left - a person who sees someone who is dead. Based on the clips, it is just the one dead person, but who knows where it is going. I may have to give it a shot on Patrick Wilson alone. He is fantastical in every way. Also: Julie Benz.

How to be a Gentleman

Not sure about this one. It looks like if they don't fall into a repetitive joke and allow the characters some growth this could be fun. The cast is full of wonderfully funny people, especially Dave Foley and Rhys Darby. But sometimes I find CBS allows some of their comedies to remain very broad jokes with little movement, and this has the ability to fall into that trap easily. I want the people on it to succeed, so even if I don't watch, I hope it does well.

Person of Interest

Let's see... this show is produced by JJ Abrams (win!), it is written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan's brother and writing partner (win!), and it stars James Caviezel and Michael Emerson (double win!). The concept seems interesting - plenty of room for an underlying mythology but allowing the viewer to focus on a "case of the week." Plus Benjamin Linus talking about special numbers warms my heart that is still very much grieving for LOST. I will be checking this one out for sure.

Two Broke Girls

For those of you who pay attention to my Facebook, you know I have a massive girl crush on Kat Dennings. So obviously, this show has a big plus right off the bat. I think the preview looks okay. Again, like I've mentioned for MANY of the comedies over the past few days, if it can get past the broad strokes in the premiere, it has potential. And for the record - broad strokes in a premiere is not a bad thing. Go rewatch the series premiere of Friends. Ain't exactly the best thing ever. BROAD comedy. So I'll try this one. Again... Kat Dennings.


I really like Poppy Montgomery. I didn't watch her on Without A Trace because, well, like I've mentioned, I don't really get into the CBS crime procedurals. At all. NCSI Cold Case NY Miami Vegas. Whatever. Not for me. Sorry. But she was in a Lifetime movie I loved. HA! And she has her red hair back. Now, am I going to watch this one? Meh... I don't know. It seems interesting, but I don't know how many more crime dramas I can take on. I will probably give it a try for an episode or two, but if I don't LOVE it.....

And that's it. Thanks CBS for having so few! Tomorrow..... expect me to squeal because CW is up. That's right - Rachel Bilson, Gale Harold and SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR each have a pilot. Get. Ready.

Let me know what you think......

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ABC Upfront: Fall Pilot Preview

There a few new series on ABC I have been very excited to see previews for, so I was very happy this morning to finally see these videos. Sad news to come out of this mornings upfronts: Cougar Town on hold til midseason. Boooo. I'll be consoling myself in a Big Carl. While I do that, let's take a look at the new shows ABC has to offer this year.


Charlie's Angels
Well, this clip shows exactly what you'd expect - girls in tight clothes/skimpy attitude kicking butt and spouting slightly cheesy dialogue. I'm cautiously optimistic for this one. I adore Minka Kelly and the other two girls I've liked in some things too. But it is on opposite The Vampire Diaries, so it will be a DVR show, for sure.

Last Man Standing
I think Tim Allen can be funny. Especially in kids movies - this clip package even manages to work in a Toy Story reference to remind us of that. But this show just comes off as fairly chauvinistic. And more importantly, unfunny. So it's a no for me.

Man Up
I am not sure what in this clip was supposed to make me laugh. But none of it did, soooooo.... again, no. I don't even really know what it is about. Sigh.... (at least ABC still has comedies on the air I enjoy, right?)

Once Upon a Time
This is one I've been very excited for. I love the mix of mythology, fairy tales, fantasy. All of it. Plus it has some great writers on board. The cast is fun (Jennifer Morrison on a show where she will be used appropriately?). And it just seems new and exciting. I hope it doesn't disappoint me.

Pam Am
This series is another Mad Men-esque series, in that it takes place in that same time period. It looks visually stunning, and I'm not just talking about the very pretty faces in the cast. I think it looks like it could be really great. There is intrigue, romance, humor. It is one I wasn't sure about from the description but I'm more sold on now that I've seen the preview.

I adore Emily Van Camp and her ridiculously long eyelashes. Not really a fan of Madeline Stowe though, but since she is the villain, I guess that is okay. This show looks like it could be one of those one-season mysteries that never goes beyond the season (Point Pleasant, Harper's Island) but that isn't necessarily a bad thing for me. If it is good and lasts, great. If it only goes a season, it looks like it will be a good ride.

Two things immediately wrong with this show. 1- In order to keep your kid from having sex you move to the suburbs? Really?? Have you been to the suburbs? 2- The father of the teenager girl is played by Jeremy Sisto. JEREMY SISTO??? Ummmmm...... How old am I??? Sigh. Anyway, it looks okay. But there is no laugh track, so bonus points!


Apartment 23
Yes. Yes! James Van Der Beek (as himself) and Krysten Ritter. Snarky snarky fun! I like it. I have nothing more to say.

Good Christian Belles
Oh I get it, ABC is deciding to hold off all the funny until midseason! Okay. This one has Chenoweth (!!) and a bunch of other awesome people. But really, after Cheno, what do you need to hear? Oh and the last exchange between Leslie Bibb and Annie Potts - so very very very true. I know from experience.

The River
Someone hold me. Just the trailer alone creeped me out! But man, does it look good. I don't know if I'll be able to watch it alone in the dark, (Just kidding, I KNOW I won't) but I definitely want to watch it. Plus it is another Spielberg outing. That guy must really hate being at home! He has 89479 movies/tv shows coming out this year.

Can't tell too much from the clip. But the cast is quality. And it's Shonda Rhimes - but not doctors! I always give anything Shonda a try though. So why not this one. Plus I can hope Henry Ian Cusick calls someone "Brotha." It will make the whole show worth it.

Work It
I'm thinking they must be kidding with this. I'm waiting for Ashton to announce this is the start of Punk'd coming back.

Soooo.... this one has barely shot anything yet, so the clip package is minimal. So minimal that Ashley Judd is only in it as a narrator. The footage appears to only be of the stunt doubles. While it sounds like it could be good, I think I'll wait to see something real before I actually make any judgments.

Alright, tell me what you think!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

FOX Upfront: Fall Pilot Previews

Fox was up next at the upfronts today, debuting their new shows for the fall and mid-season. Some look like a lot of fun. Plus they are sticking with what they know - Another Deschanel sister, another Hart Hanson (Bones spin-off), another JJ Abrams vehichle. If it ain't broke, right? I left out the X-Factor, because, really... do you not understand what that is? Besides a season long Simon and Paula reunion special, of course.


Terra Nova:
For the second year in a row, Terra Nova is on the Fox pilot list. But for real this time, it is going to be on TV! It has Jason O'Mara, the bad guy from Avatar and Dinosaurs! Can it really go wrong? Well, sure. But DINOSAURS! Sigh... I'm so a sucker for genre.

The New Girl
Look how cute Zooey Deschanel is! That is basically what I have taken away from this preview. Other things: DEPUTY LEO!! (I love Max Greenfield). And they are going to have to reshoot basically this entire pilot because Damon Wayans Jr is still on Happy Endings (yay!) so look for a new roommate. But I think it looks cute and sweet and I'm interested to see where it goes beyond the pilot.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Yeah.... I'm not too impressed by this. I just found most of it annoying. I like Jamie Pressley, and that guy from Desperate Housewives. But nothing in this really stood out.

Allen Gregory
Do you like the Fox animated comedy block? Well then check out this new addition. I think it looks amusing, but I don't normally watch those shows. I think they are funny and often check them out in syndication, so I guess we will see if this one gets that far.


Well, if there is a Bad Robot logo, I'm in. That's all it takes, to be honest. I will follow those Bad Robot people anywhere. Literally. I stalk them. So let's see.... JJ Abrams + Jorge Garcia saying the name Jack + references to "the island" + heavy mythology? Ummmm.... Yeah I'm so there. Let's hope Vincent the dog shows up at some point. And in non-LOST news, Parminder Nagra and Sam Neill are great!!

The Finder
I enjoyed the backdoor pilot that aired during Bones a few weeks back, so I will be watching this one while Emily is on her maternity leave. Just in case you didn't see the episode, here is the clip package Fox put together for today's panel made up of scenes from the Bones episode. (PS Saffron Burrows character was not well recieved and she was conspicuously missing today. Not sure if she'll be making it on to the actual show).

Napoleon Dynamite
It's the movie in cartoon form with the voices of the original cast. So there you go.... Not sure if you need anymore information than that! And if that isn't enough for you..... well, you guys are idiots. :)

So there you have it! Let me know what looks good to you and which you are already sick of hearing about. 

More tomorrow!

NBC Upfronts: New Pilot Previews

It's that time of year again. When new TV series roll out their previews in the hopes of being the Next Big Hit come fall. Today, NBC started off the network upfronts with a long list of new shows for the fall and mid-season.
Here are a look at all of them and my first reactions:


The Playboy Club:
This show has been getting a lot of "Mad Men-esque" comments, which is easy to see. It's in the 60s and there is a lot of smoking and drinking. But while Mad Men is often quiet and understated, this has about 20 girls in the Playboy Bunny outfits and a guy getting killed with a stilleto. So, not so understated. More "Mad Men meets Las Vegas." I'm interested to see it, but wary of the cheese-factor.

Up All Night

This one has me ready to tune in. It's a concept I understand - parenting. And cursing in front of your baby. To be honest, any comedy that beeps out cursing works for me on some level. I'm easy like that. (I miss you, Middleman.) Christina Applegate is effortlessly charming in this - and it is probably easy for her to play a first time mom heading back to work since she is a first time mom heading back to work. Maya Rudolph is always brilliant. Brilliant, I say! And Will Arnett is playing, get this, a guy who is not a total douche! I'm excited, because I love him and it will be nice to actually love his character too. Comedies are hard to judge, but so far, I'm interested.

Free Agents
Ok, before I get to how I feel about this show - it stars, Anthony Stewart Head who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, I'm feeling almost obligated to give it a shot. One of my life goals is to have Anthony say something wise and fatherly to me while cleaning his glasses. That being said, I think it looks.....okay. I giggled a few times, but I'm not sure if it is going to bring the funny enough to compete with some of the other amazing comedies out there right now. I think Hank Azaria is very funny, and I'm happy to see Kathryn Hahn in something other than the "best friend" role for once. The concept isn't exactly new (comedies hardly ever are, though) but if it is done right, it could be great. Is this one done right? We'll see, I guess!

No. Just, no. First of all, I do not enjoy laugh tracks. Please, show, I'm smart. Don't tell me when I should be laughing. Or worse, "woo-ing" at something that is meant to be sexy. Plus, I just didn't find 95% of this funny at all. I'm not watching.

Prime Suspect
This one I am excited to see. The original series, starring Helen Mirren, was wonderful. Helen, being Helen, leaves incredibly large shoes to fill, and I think Maria Bello is a great choice. She is a subtle actress who can pull off just about anything and hold her own against some actors who often chew the scenery. I also think the large male supporting cast is full of actors that are talented, and I'm excited to see on TV. Here's my worry: playing the "woman being harassed in the boys club" angle too hard. It's 2011, we get it. Being a female detective in the NYPD, especially running Homocide, is a tough gig. I don't expect warm and cuddly, but I don't want it hitting that cliche so hard it gets annoying. I'm also a little sick of cop shows.... But despite that, I will be giving this a shot.

This genre show follows the decendent of the Grimm Brothers. He's basically a Winchester now - hunting the demons and such. The cast is good and I love a supernatural/mythology show. Plus, it is produced by a Buffy alum, so of course I will give it a try. But I'm nervous for it - for some reason the fine people at NBC thought it would be a good idea to schedule it in the same time slot as Fringe and Supernatual. Ummmm.... the target audience is already committed to TWO other shows, people! Sigh...


Are You There, Vodka? It's Me Chelsea
My, that title is cumbersome, isn't it? I'm thinking they are going to need to shorten that sucker. AYTVIMC doesn't really roll off the tongue either.... This one has laugh tracks too (boo) and the comedy is broad to say the least. I'm not very interested, despite enjoying several members of the cast. I don't know.... Chelsea Handler is funny, but I don't see myself enjoying this one a lot.

So this one.... looks like a trip. To sum up, a guy, his wife and his son get in an accident. When he wakes up he is in one reality where his wife survived and his son died. Then he closes his eyes, and opens them to enter a reality where his son lived and his wife died. Cheerful, no? It looks very well done, the cast is full of amazing actors. BD Wong and Cherry Jones, two fantastic actors who have done a lot of theater work, play his two therapists, which is should be wonderful to watch - they will be great at the subtleties of a scenes where there is only dialogue. I'm not sure how this is going to do - shows like this tend to lose viewers quick - but I am definitely curious to see it.

Meh. I adore Amanda Peet. I think David Walton is cute and funny, but this 4 minute teaser could barely hold my attention. I felt like it was the same, incredibly broad, 2 jokes over and over.

Best Friends Forever
First of all, big blow to this show: Adam Pally's charater will have to be recast because Happy Endings was picked up (YAY!). He is delightful. I think this clip looks pretty lame. I barely laughed. But, it doesn't really show much, so I'm still reserving judgment.

First of all, no, this is not just another Glee. Yes, there are people singing. But it a completely different show. This is about a Broadway production which is a bit more cuthroat than the world of a high school show choir. I'm excited for this because I am a sucker for anything musical, especially musical theater. And one of the stars, Christian Brole, was in the original cast of Legally Blonde (he was Emmett). I can't wait to hear him sing. Plus Jack Davenport is just dreamy. The funniest thing to me is the last moment says "And Introducing Katherine McPhee." Ummm.... I think we've already been introduced to her on a little show, you  may have heard of it, American Idol. Silly NBC people. (Of course, if this show was about a guy and it starred Taylor Hicks, I think the introducing would have been completely acceptable.)

So.... what do you all think? What will you be watching? What are you absolutely staying away from?

Fox shows up next!