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Monthly Archives: September 2012

2012 Emmy Awards: Quick Thoughts

I have a crazy work day so I need to make this quick.

WHAT I LOVED

1. The best part of the night was Amy Poehler and Julia Louis Dreyfuss switching acceptance speeches.  The bit was awesome and it made me even sadder that Poehler didn’t win…AGAIN.   However, if she had to lose, I’m glad it was to JLD because she was fantastic in Veep.

2. The In Memoriam portion was beautifully done.  Classy, elegant, and moving.  I hate when people clap when you see someone’s picture come up.  It can be very awkward when certain people get more applause than others.  So I don’t know if it was directed or that’s how the audience chose to do it, but I’m glad all applause was held until the end.

3. Homeland for the Win!!!!  I had a feeling Claire Danes was going to win Best Actress in a Drama because she was phenomenal, but I wasn’t sure if Damian Lewis could pull off the upset over Bryan Cranston.  And he did!!!!  It was well deserved for both and then they take it home for Best Drama.  Couldn’t be more deserved.

4. Tina Fey and Jon Hamm’s presenter bit.  When is Tina Fey not hilarious and when it Jon Hamm not ridiculously handsome…and funny!

5. Modern Family bit with the actress who plays Lily.  Normally I would look up the young lady’s name but since I am in a HUGE rush this morning…I can’t…I’m sorry little Lily!!!  But that bit was funnier than anything they did all of last season.  It was great!

6. Jon Stewart getting man handled by Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon as he goes to accept his 10th Emmy.  Awesome!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

1. The poor timing at the award show.   Now I’m not the biggest Modern Family fan, but that was just wrong wrong….twice!!!  Once for the director and once for the big award of Best Comedy did the MF crew not get to say their thank yous.  Same with the writers for Homeland.  I understand you need to keep a tight running ship, but here’s an idea, let’s cut the dumb crap from the show so people who win can have more time to thank people.  Like the insensitive Kimmel “in memorium” skit.  Didn’t need that.  And here’s an idea, let’s move the “reality” tv awards to the same time and venue where Best Guest Star in a Drama/Comedy are awarded so we don’t have to sit through that.  That should cut some time and allow these people who have won the highest award in their craft some time to say a freaking thank you!

2. Jimmy Kimmel’s “In Memorium” to himself.  Not only was this is really bad taste but see point #1 above.

3. Jimmy Kimmel as host.  Never thought he was funny.  Still don’t.

4. The Modern Family category…Best Supporting Actor in Comedy.  I already touched on it when the nominations came out, but it so pissed me off, it needed to be mentioned again.   Do the Emmy voters even watch TV?

BIGGEST SURPRISES

1. Jon Cryer winning Best Actor in a comedy.  Now I don’t begrudge Cryer at all.  But come on people???  Are you serious with this?  Even Cryer was completely floored.  Congrats to him, but wow, I don’t get that one.

2. JLD winning Best Actress in a comedy.  I love Veep and JLD.  But this should have been Amy Poehler’s year.  Seriously, who has this woman pissed off that she can’t get any Emmy love?

3. Damian Lewis dethroning Bryan Cranston.  Good for Lewis.  He was beyond amazing in Homeland!!  But I really need to start watching Breaking Bad!

4. Missing and American Horror Story are Miniseries?   HUH?   So if a show gets canceled mid way through its run and only airs 8 episodes, it can be classified as a miniseries?  Ok.  And what’s the excuse for American Horror Story?  It had around 12 episodes and is coming back for another miniseries…oops sorry, season…this year.  So does that mean Suits, Rizzolli & Isles, Dexter, Mad Men, etc are all miniseries?  Well then why the hell wasn’t Suits nominated?

Overall, I liked the show last night because I always like watching my favorite characters/actors rewarded for all their hard work.  That’s the only reason I watch.  I don’t need to be entertained or see how clever the host can be (especially when they’re awful), I just want to see people getting their credit where credit is due.  And to bitch when the people who I want to win, don’t win….HA!  Maybe next year Amy Poehler!!!!

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in ABC, Emmy Awards, Quick Reviews/Recaps

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Left Field” S4 E2

I’m still recovering from watching this last night.  I didn’t get a chance on Tuesday so I caught up last night.  I saw some buzz about how this episode was a tear-jerker so I promptly stopped reading the internet so as not to be spoiled.  I’m so glad I wasn’t.   Although I must say, I’m watching the whole episode wondering “where the hell is the sad part?”  And then the last 2 minutes happened.

Crosby/Jasmine/Jabbar

I’m so hit or miss with Crosby.  He’s my least favorite Braverman because I can’t stand how utterly clueless he can be at times and how his self-absorption negatively impacts the people around him, yet it’s never his fault.  But then there are times he’s so awesome, I can see why his family has dropped him off the side of a cliff yet. Last night was not one of those times.

What I liked best about Crosby & Jasmine’s story last night was that it flashed back to the problems in their relationship when they broke up.  The writers didn’t forget about that (cough, cough, Glee.)  Jasmine made a point to say that she knew her controlling side was a big reason why they had their problems so she is trying really hard to lighten up.  With each episode, I’m liking her more and more!!!!   But Crosby doesn’t seem to be making nearly the effort Jasmine is.

Crosby made fun of Adam and Kristina scheduling their time (especially their sex time which will now forever be known as Funkytown!)  There is no way I’ll ever be able to hear that song, and not think of Parenthood.   First off, who does he think he is that he can just take Adam’s phone and start going through it?  Second, Earth to Crosby…most adult have appointments and schedules.  Especially families with children.  My husband and I don’t have children but we still have a schedule and we share it with one another.

After telling Jasmine how lame Adam and Kristina are, he went above and beyond to show how it awesome it was that they were so “unscheduled.”  He didn’t want to commit to a time to going out with friends because of his work schedule so he blew it off.  Ok, that’s not so bad.  Then, Jasmine make a beautiful, healthy dinner and Jabbar wasn’t too happy about it so Crosby said they’ll blow it off and go out for pizza.   That’s bad.  The creme de la creme was when he forgot to pick his own son up from school because he didn’t remember Jasmine telling him.  That’s beyond bad.  I was really pissed at Crosby about the dinner fiasco and I was more mad a Jasmine for letting him get away with it.  She should have excused herself and Crosby from Jabbar, and she should have told Crosby why doing what he did was unacceptable.  The fact that she would even have to EXPLAIN that to him is preposterous, but that’s Crosby.   Seriously, what message does that send to your son that all the time mom just spent making a nice healthy meal for her family was not nearly as important as “bucking the rules” and going out for unhealthy pizza (though sooooo much more delicious than salmon….I’ll give them that!)   How completely disrespectful to Jasmine and what an awful message to send to your child.   Then you forget to pick your child up from school and when your wife is upset about it, you yell at her to calm down and take it easy because it was a simple mistake.   Is he kidding?

Episodes like this are why it’s so hard for me to like the character of Crosby with any consistency.  It obvious how hard Jasmine is trying to compromise for their relationship, yet Crosby is still Crosby.   Yes he agreed to do the calendar thing at the end of the episode, but it shouldn’t have to come to you forgetting your son to do it.  Crosby needs to stop comparing himself and his life to his siblings so he won’t make so many dumb decisions.  But that’s never going to happen so it is what it is.  Poor Jasmine.  I never thought I would say that again!!

Sarah/Drew

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Sarah isn’t a good parent.  She loves her children more than anything and I know she would run through fire for them to protect them and keep them safe, but she’s clueless.  I think she wants too much to be their friend instead of their parent.

What we all saw coming in the last episode happened…Amy broke up with Drew.  Sarah then goes into Sarah mode by telling everyone and then acting like an idiot in an effort to help.   Like when Drew got a text and she shouts at him “that’s probably Amy now begging for you to take her back!!!”   Really?  What is wrong with you?  Your son just had his heart-broken for the first time.  How about using some common sense and telling him that if he needs someone to talk to, you are here for him and that you love him.  That’s it.

Then, you tell his most upsetting moment to date to your new boss who barely knows any of you and ask him his advice.  When it’s quite scary, you retreat, but the damage is done.  Drew’s biggest heartbreak is already out there.  Later, Drew is talking to him about it and Hank actually gives him some good advice..it’s ok to be sad.  When Sarah goes to see Drew later that night and asks what he and Hank talked about and how she doesn’t think it’s a good idea to talk to Hank about these things, Drew tells her what he said and she has a change of heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Sarah, I just don’t like when she gets weird like this with her kids…especially Drew.  Just be normal. Realize your son may not be comfortable talking to you about this (and having you spew the fact that he was dumped by his girlfriend to everyone in the state of California.)  Give him his space, tell him you’re there for him, and let it go.  And I know it comes from such a good place because she loves her children more than her own life.   That’s why I’m always able to look it past it because I respect how much she wants her children’s lives to be happy and fulfilled.   But Sarah, I’m begging you, give the kid a break!

Joel/Julia/Sydney/Victor

Like Julia, I haven’t really warmed up to Victor yet.  But this episode helped a little.   Victor was afraid to go to school.  Not sure why, but he was.  He kept playing sick (and lots of video games) in order to avoid school.  Eventually, they got him to go but he wouldn’t get out of the car.  So Julia promised him that she would stay in the parking lot, the whole day, so that if he needed anything, she would be right there.  So he went in.   When it was recess, he came outside and the first thing he did was look for her.  When she waved and smiled, he did it right back.  Heading into the yard, he turned to look for her one more time.   It was so sweet.

Later that night, it’s 3am..I must be lonely!!!!  Sorry, broke into a little Matchbox 20 there.  3am and Joel comes downstairs to find out what Julia’s doing.  She’s catching up on work because she didn’t go to the office and she tells him the whole story.  She thinks Joel is going to be upset with her and he just kisses her and tells her what a great mom she is.  The relief comes over her face as she buries herself into him ready to cry.

I loved this scene.  I love seeing how this is impacting their relationship.  I can imagine that bringing a child around Victor’s age into the house, could tear some families apart.  J&J are getting stronger and closer.  It’s great to see because for so long, Julia was the 9-5er and Joel was Mr. Mom.  Now we see Joel getting his career back off the ground while Julia is making more sacrifices to stay at home when necessary.  It’s a 100% partnership with them.

I have to wonder how that’s going to impact Sydney?  So far, she’s been great during this whole thing.  But I have to believe that at some point, she’s going to rebel.  And it’s going to be against Julia.   Julia didn’t sacrifice work to stay home for Sydney (at least not that we saw) and Julia is letting Victor do things Sydney was never allowed to do.  She only a kid.   I’m waiting for her to act like one and pitch a fit over this…LOL!

Adam/Kristina/Max/Nora

Nora is flipping adorable.  That’s really all she brings to the table right now is cuteness galore.  So it had to be mentioned.

I’m not going to get too much into the dog thing other than to say, how cute were those Golden Retrievers?  I wanted to take them all home with me.  I’ve brought this up before but I would love to talk to someone who has experience with kids with Aspberger’s.   How much of Max’s behavior is the autism and how much of it is him misbehaving?   And how can you tell the difference?  When he was screaming at Adam to “write the check, write the check” I just wanted Adam to yell back, “hey when you make the money, you can make the demands.  Until then, shut it.”  But I don’t know if that’s the autism or not.  I can see how his reaction to learning the dog was sold is a result of the autism as well as when he was correcting Adam colloquialisms.  But that scene I wasn’t too sure.

Up until the end of the episode, I was wondering when the tears were supposed to hit.  Because when I read the episode will be a tear-jerker, I’m thinking it should have happened by now.  Those people who said that were lying!!!!   OH NO!!!!  And not only did a few tears fall from eyes, I was inconsolably crying…even 10 minutes after the show stopped.  Even now it’s taking everything I have not to start again.

I loved the way this scene was filmed.  There was no dialogue.  You just watch what is happening at a distance and you let their expressions tell the story.  I’ve said every season, there is no better facial actor on the show than Monica Potter.  In fact, I think she’s the best on all of TV right now.  Starting with her mammogram, there is no script.  Just a song so moving, I thought I was watching the Sarah McLachlin/SPCA commercial.   In case you’re wondering what the song was, it’s Iron & Wine’s Naked As We Came (click to hear.)   All we see is the test, Kristina being called in for the results, her reaction to the news, Kristina driving to meet Adam and Max picking up the dog, Adam seeing her and knowing something is wrong, Kristina putting on a brave face for Max, Adam coming to her and Kristina telling him the results of her exam, and the hug.   What a scene.  As always, Potter hits it out of the park, but Peter Krause really brought it even during his brief moment when he hears the news.  It was so touching and sad.  I just wanted to run through my TV and bear hug them and tell them it was going to be ok.   But will it?   Parenthood is at it’s best when the family rallies around one another.   Kristina and Adam are really going to need it, I have a feeling.

BEST.SHOW.ON.TV.  PERIOD.  The writing, the acting, the music…everything.  The Best.   Well, this and The Good Wife.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 30 Discusses New Shows Go On, The Mob Doctor, Revolution and More!

Episode 30 of For the Love of TV podcast is now up here.  Check it out or download from iTunes.   Episode 30 discusses the following shows:

  1. The Mob Doctor Series Premiere
  2. Go On
  3. The New Normal
  4. Guys with Kids
  5. Revolution Series Premiere
  6. Bones Season Premiere

Let me know what you think!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Podcast

 

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SERIES PREMIERE REVIEW: The Mob Doctor “Pilot” S1 E1

This will be a short one considering the ratings last night.  In my predictions podcast, I had The Mob Doctor as my 2nd runner-up to Guys with Kids as the First Canceled Show of the season.  Well, looks like that will be my first wrong prediction because I don’t think The Mob Doctor makes it past the 1st week in October.

The premise is great…a great doctor with ties to the mob having to keep her connection secret from her job and her boyfriend.  Because of this connection, she’s constantly having to cross the line of ethics with her work and the safety of her family.     Sounds awesome right?  Well, it’s not.

The biggest issue I had was that the baseline of the story was never really developed well because there was so much going on.  It was a mess.  With a show named The Mob Doctor, the first thing I want to know is how is she connected with the mob?  Now they did explain that her brother got into trouble with the wrong crowd so she agreed to do somethings for them to help pay back his debt.  But in the scenes with James Carpinello and William Forsythe, I got the impression there was a connection long before her brother getting into any trouble.  So what was it?   I would have liked establishing some clear connection in the pilot but that didn’t happen.  Forsythe made the comment when Jordana Spiro’s Dr. Grace Devlin was treating him in his home that she was always like family to him.  He was asking sweetly about her mother, they were quoting poetry together.  So how did that start?  How did they get this “friendship” started?   I don’t know how you don’t clearly lay that out in the pilot or at least give the viewers some insight into their relationship.

Then you have her chaotic work life where she appears to be one of the top doctors in the hospital.  She’s similar to Jada Pinkett’s Smith character, Christina, on Hawthorne, where she’s the best but she doesn’t follow the rules and she always bends them to get what she wants and everyone in the hospital bows down to her as a result, because she’s the best.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  But worse than that, was everything that went down.  First there was a boy she operated on and for some reason was pulled from that case.  Later the boy died because the attending dismissed her care notes and the following doctor followed the attendings instructions instead.  Oh and by the way, Grace and this other female doctor get along as well as Crystal Carrington and Alexis Colby.  Showing my age with that reference.  Then, she calls out said attending for his bad treatment to the chief of surgery and asks he be brought up to the review board.   She’s really making friends that Grace.  While all that is going on, the daughter of a friend of her mother’s, who’s 14, comes in and she’s pregnant.  Grace wants to terminate her pregnancy so her father doesn’t kill and she can still go to private school on an athletic scholarship.  QB1, her boyfriend, (also a TV reference not deeply entrenched in 80s flashbacks) doesn’t like this idea, especially not after she lies to the father and tells him it’s a ruptured ovarian cyst they need to remove.    Finally, Grace is doing a landmark surgery with the chief on a mob informant.  However, Michael Rapaport wants him dead and wants Grace to do it during the surgery or else he’s going after her brother.   I’m not kidding.  This was ALL happening in the pilot.   Talk about aggressive.  It was too much!  All that didn’t need to happen in the pilot.   I don’t think that much happened in the pilot of Lost.  And that was just her work life.

Cut to her personal life where she seems like she could care less about her mother, who is in remission from cancer.  And her brother is a little asshole who gives her nothing but crap during every scene they are in together.  Hey jerk off, you know your sister is the one who bailed you out after doing…whatever it is you did that the writers didn’t feel was important enough to share with us.  In the 7 minutes we dealt with her family, I hated the brother, and Grace went down a few notches in my eyes for being such a bitch to her mother, who seems a delightful woman.

So what’s wrong with the show?  I can’t tell if I like Grace or not.  All she did was run from her job, to her house, back to her job, to the mob garage, back to her job, back to her house, to a mob boss’ house, and back to her job.   Spiro must have lost 5 pounds just running from place to place in this episode.  At certain points she was very endearing and at others she was very distant.  I think she was trying to play tough but it really came across as confused and scared.  She seemed to be running around the whole time with this “what the hell is going on” look on her face.  It’s probably representative of how the audience felt watching this pilot.  And even thought there weren’t that many characters introduced, I still felt like I didn’t get a chance to really know any of them…except maybe Forsythe’s Constantine (great name for mob boss by the way.)  I think I liked him the most.  What does that say?  I’m rooting for the mob boss.  Yikes!

In all seriousness, the premise of the show is good, but the execution is terrible.  It’s all over the place and the characters have no identity.  It’s a lot like another recent show, The Cape.  And we all know how that turned out.  Sadly, I don’t think this show is going to have a chance to see if it can right itself and be the show it has the potential to be.  Especially not on FOX who is faster to pull shows than Usain Bolt is to running 100M dashes.  See, the references got a lot more recent by the end!

DVRs:  1 DVR

 

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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Bones “The Future in the Past” S8 E1

Bones is back!  And with REALLY bad hair….poor girl.  When last we saw B&B and our favorites squints, Pelant had set Brennan up for murder, Caroline and Booth for assisting her or covering up what they new, and Brennan went on the run with Christine and her dad until her name was cleared.

Let’s get right into with Pelant. I love the episodes revolving around his character and Andrew Leeds is brilliant in the part.  I love psychological killers.  Nothing scares me more than really intelligent people who can think 10 steps ahead of everyone else and are so sinister and take so much pleasure in toying with people’s heads.   That’s Pelant.  Especially since Brennan is as smart as she is and Pelant has been playing her like a fiddle.  Bones and Hart Hanson have done a fantastic job with this arc.  I’m not going to lie, I was slightly upset when they captured him (for a few reasons) because I thought that was the end of Pelant.  But my husband and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  My fear was it was going to be Pelant somehow killing one of our own. But it turned out, Pelant was not who he said he was and was able to get out and extradited back to Egypt.  Say what now?   Let’s think about this for a moment…

When this first happened, both my husband and I thought “it shouldn’t matter who he says he is because the evidence still point to him.”   The more I thought about it, that’s not exactly true.  When Brennan “solved” the murder of Pelant’s guidance counselor and was able to nail him for it, it left me with an uneasy feeling.  Brennan always needs 100% conclusive forensic evidence before declaring her findings.  But not in this case.  There were no finger prints.  No DNA tying Pelant.  Only the idea that he was once heavy-set because his gait appeared altered as if someone who used to carry around lots of weight on his joints was no longer carrying it around.  Therefore, he would need a lighter weapon (like a sword) to kill the counselor.  Well that’s great, but where’s the proof?  All of Pelant’s high school pictures were forged (foreshadowing.)  So how could they scientifically prove that?  Then there was the part about Max having lunch with Pelant’s father who told him about being either a WWII vet or someone who collects WWII memorabilia (I can’t remember) therefore remembering his father had a sword that could match the murder weapon.  Well wasn’t that convenient.  The “solving” of this case really bothered me and it felt forced and fast and very shoddy for the usually particular Dr. Brennan.  Maybe it was the really bad wig throwing her off.  Seriously couldn’t they find Deschanel a better hair piece than that?   Sweet Jesus.

So as a result of no real forensic evidence, it doesn’t matter if he’s Christopher Pelant or Christopher Reeve, there’s nothing tying him to the murder.  Now, there is all the copious amounts of circumstantial evidence piled up against Pelant.  But guess what, if he isn’t really Pelant, then nothing is tied to HIM.  All the fingerprints on Pelant say he is Bassam El Fayette (I think), and Egyptian national.  Back to Egypt he goes and out of FBI custody and jail.   Uh oh, guess this saga isn’t over just yet.     But the biggest twist of the night came at the very end.  As Pelant was walking out the door, he hands Brennan a Marigold.  Apparently a Marigold represents grief and pain.   Who knew a flower could be so cheery in its message?   She throws it in the trash.  We then see a hand reach down and pluck it out of the trash.   The hand belonged to Special Agent Seeley Booth!!!   Well shit, now that would be a twist!!!!  But no.  It was Special Agent Hayes Flynn (Reed Diamond.)

Now I’ve read some people’s thoughts on this who took that to mean that Flynn is going to go after Pelant in his new role in Domestic Terrorism.  I didn’t take it that way AT ALL.  I think it meant that Flynn and Pelant have been working together.  I also read people who took this as Pelant changed his identity to Fayette while in jail.  Again, I don’t agree with that.  Either one of two things happened.  Pelant didn’t change his identity from jail, Flynn did it for him.  Or, Pelant was never Pelant…that was the false identity…he was Fayette all the time.  That’s the one I’m going with.  I think he had a backup plan in place so that if he ever was arrested, his partner could easily erase his fraudulent life and become who he really is…with no criminal ties to him at all.  Pelant always thinks 10 steps ahead.  And that didn’t change here.  He was prepared for this to possibly happen and when it did, he knew exactly what he needed to do to get out of it.

The big question is, how will this all end?  I don’t think it’s going to be with Booth arresting Pelant for good like we thought happened last night.  I think it will be with one of our tried and true, killing him.  That was made pretty clear when Hodgins had his hands around Pelant’s throat and was squeezing with everything he had.  Hodgins later told Sweets about this and he told Sweets that he could tell in Pelant’s eyes that he wanted him to kill him.  Flash to later in the episode when Sweets was talking to Angela and Brennan about Ethan’s code and told them that Pelant is even scarier now because he wants one of them to kill him.  Max also mentioned to Booth that the only way this is really going to end is if Pelant is dead.   So I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that’s how it’s going to go down.  The question is who will kill Pelant.   And as sinister as this sounds to say, I hope it’s someone significant. It can’t be Brennan or Booth…it will be too easy to get around that.  But I hope it’s Cam or Angela or Sweet…someone we aren’t expecting and I hope it has major consequences.  I’m not saying I want any of those people to leave the show, I just think from a story telling aspect that it would be sooo much more interesting to see that fallout!   But if I had to guess now, I think Brennan’s life will be in danger and Max will be the one to kill him and somehow Max will die as well.  I don’t know how that all plays out, but that’s my guess.

What did you think of the Bones premiere and are you enjoying the Pelant arc as much as I am?

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in FOX, Recaps and Reviews, Season Premieres

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Go On “Pilot” S1, E1

I know we are going onto episode three tomorrow night but I’m just getting around to talking about Go On.  Go On is the return of Matthew Perry (again) to headline a show.  Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine failed miserably.  So will the 3rd time be the charm for Perry?  Not only do I hope so, but I believe it will be.

SYNOPSIS

Matthew Perry is leading man Ryan King…a snarky sports broadcaster who recently lost his wife in an automobile accident.  To deal with the tragedy of losing his wife, his company insists he enroll in group counseling.  The group is led by Lauren (Laura Benanti) who we learn has no background or expertise in psychiatry but has lost 40 pounds through Weight Watchers and became one of their leading motivators.  Joining Lauren is a calamity of characters with some wacky problems (like Sonya, who uses cats as a substitute for issues with her boyfriend) to serious issues (like Owen, whose brother is in a coma after a terrible accident and Owen really struggles with talking about it.)

WHAT’S WORKING

The cast is solid.  Perry is his typical charming, witty self.  I know there are many people who don’t like Perry because they feel he plays Chandler Bing with every roll.  But I don’t think that’s the case (see his guest role on The Good Wife.)  Perry is playing a beguiling, funny, witty, sharp character that was popularized by playing Chandler Bing.  And as a result, when shows are looking for someone to play a character with those types of qualities, Perry fits the bill perfectly.  It’s the same with Jack Nicholson.  If you need a womanizing asshole with a wise ass sense of humor, who’s better than Nicholson?   No one!  Same here.  And since I love Perry, I’ll watch him any day of the week.  He wasn’t what killed those last few shows….the writing did.  But that’s not the case here.

The rest of the cast is very complimentary.  It’s a fine line between quirky and lovable and annoying and stupid.  Especially when trying to write about a cast of people in group therapy for many different reasons.  It can’t be too sad, or sappy, or out there…then you turn people off.  But so far, the writers and the cast have done an excellent job of selling funny, weird, and sentimental.  I loved the scene in the second episode where Ryan takes George (who’s blind) to a Lakers game and Ryan is giving George the play-by-play.  George tells him to knock it off, because he’s driving him crazy, and to close his eyes and listen the game.  It will tell you all you need to know.  So far though, I like everyone…especially Anne, Owen, and George.

I read one review where the critic talked about this show having a Community feel to it.  And I think they’re right.  Community is about a common element bringing a group of people together who would never normally socialize with one another.  Go On has that same premise.  I love seeing all these different personalities meshing together.

WHAT’S NOT WORKING

Right now, not much.  The only thing I will say is that Benanti hasn’t had a chance to really shine yet.  So far she’s been rather boring…which pains me to say after watching her Tony Winning performance in Gypsy on Broadway.  She’s amazing!!   But in this role, she’s really dull around this wacky, motley crew.  It’s early, so I’m holding out hope she gets better as we get to know her more.

John Cho is also pretty wasted in his role.  He only shows up sparingly so I’m not sure what the direction for his character is moving forward.  Again, it’s early so they may figure something out.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I like this show and will keep watching it.  At first I thought the potential love interest for Perry’s Ryan would be Benanti’s Lauren.  After episode 2, I’m now thinking it might be his assistant, Carrie (Allison Miller) or we may have a bit of a triangle…even though there has been no indication of a romantic relationship between Lauren and Ryan yet.  It’s still way too early after the loss of his wife, but you know it’s coming.  But since I’m in no rush for that, just keep bringing on the comedy surrounding the therapy group and I’m good!

DVRs: 4 DVRs

 

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RENEWED SHOWS: Episodes

This bit of news made me very happy this morning!!!!   Showtime has renewed Episodes for a nine episode Season 3 run.   Yeah!!!  I don’t know why it couldn’t have been more but beggars can’t be choosers.  I’m just happy one of my favorite comedies will be back next year!!

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Renewed Shows, Showtime

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW : The New Normal, “Pilot” & “Sofa’s Choice” S1, E1&2

And so it begins!!!!  The new TV is finally underway and some shows have already premiered this week.  Can you believe it?  I know I can’t.  This summer flew!!!  I’m sort of happy, though, that there are some early premieres because it will make it somewhat easier to discuss all the new shows and returning premieres, and give them their just due.  First on the 2012/2013 docket….The New Normal.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this show.  Some people love it, some people hate it.  Some people already assumed it would be awful because it’s a Ryan Murphy show.  I have to admit, I had my reservations after he completely destroyed Glee, how this show would fair.  But my initial assessment….I liked it.

WHAT’S WORKING

The premise for this show is simple.  A gay couple is looking for a surrogate to help them start a family.  Enter Goldie Clemmons who is looking to start over after finding her husband cheating on her.  Goldie would like to go to law school and set a good example for her daughter, Shania.  Andrew Rannalls and Justin Bartha are fantastic!  Georgia King is delightful and Bebe Woods is adorable.  Rannells and Bartha are terrific as Bryan and David.  David is the partner who loves sports and was the mathlete in high school.  Bryan, I believe is a writer, who is the more flamboyant of the two, who loves to have a good time and has a great quick wit.  The thing I like most about Bryan is that he has a huge heart.  He isn’t as plastic as he appeared at times in the pilot.  I didn’t think they were going to show him in the best light for becoming a dad.   But in Sofa’s Choice, he did a great job dealing with what he thought was Shania ruining his couch as well as being there for her when she was having a rough time at school.  Bryan has a HUGE heart and you can see how David would fall in love with him.

Goldie is so sweet I get a cavity every time I watch her on-screen.  She may be a little green to the ways of the world, but she’s strong in her own way.  She has opened her eyes to the potential that is her life and she is determined to give her daughter a successful role model while keeping her own dreams still very much alive.  I love it!!!  What a great message to send.  She will do whatever it takes and work as hard as she can, on her own, to make this new life for her and Shania.  That’s something I can watch and root for every week!

Shania is also a nice ray of sunshine.  I’m usually not a huge fan of kids on-screen because they annoy me, but she is really good.  She’s smart beyond her years and has this delightful quirkiness that would normal irk me but with her I find completely charming.  And I like that she has found a kindred spirit in Bryan.

This is a show I can see watching for a while because I am truly invested in each character (save for Nana Jane) and what happens during this whole process.  How do they all get along during the pregnancy?  What happens after the baby is born?  Would Goldie consider doing this again for them?  How will this all impact Shania?   How will having a baby really impact Bryan and David and their relationship?  Will I ever see the baby in that awesome sweater Bryan bought?  If the show can keep it focused on these four and really develop these characters, I can see tuning into the New Normal for many years!

WHAT’S NOT WORKING

Do I even need to say what I have an issue with?  Let me start with the small issue before I go on to the huge bigoted one.  NeNe Leakes is my small issue.  I’m not a big fan of reality TV personalities turning into “legit” on-screen actors.   Not because they can’t, but it’s usually because they aren’t very good.  Leakes isn’t bad but I don’t understand her point on the show.  She’s Bryan’s assistant (although I’m still not 100% sure what he does for a living) and other than her few lines to him in the beginning and a punch line for Ellen Barkin’s Nana, what else does she bring to the table?   Maybe that will change overtime but I don’t like how she’s being used so far.

As for Barkin’s Jane Forest character…there are no words.  I’m serious.  I’m not naive.  I know there are racist, bigoted, homo-phobic people out there.  But you know what, I don’t find them funny.   It’s one thing if you want to have a character that pushes the envelope in their thought processes and there are ways to incorporate that stereotypical element, into a show that can be humorous.    But how Barkin’s character is written, it’s not humorous…it’s cringe-worthy.  In the pilot, she goes on and on about not liking the lesbian couple walking down the street.  Then she talks about how selling Girl Scout Cookies, one of her competition “jewed down the price so she lost.”  She calls Bryan and David “salami smokers.”  Finally, when Rocky (Leakes) walks in, she panics thinking one of “her kind of eggs” is going in her granddaughter’s body.  The second episode is worse.  Like Jane making a comment like “I studied past presidents that used to own people like our current president.”   Ouch.  But the line that had me the most pissed off from an offensive standpoint and as a TV viewer was when Jane opened the door to Bryan and David’s bathroom to see Rocky there and she says “are you sure you’re even supposed to be using this one?”  I have no way to clearly articulate how much that bothered me.  Does she really think it’s 1950?   Does she really think blacks and whites have to use separate bathrooms?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Again, how is that funny?   Maybe I’m too uptight about this.   Maybe I’m too dumb to understand the humor.  But for me, this character is so over the top it appears more a marketing ploy than a plot driver.  And maybe that’s why I’m so annoyed with the character…because she’s so forced.  She can’t just make one comment, she has to make four or five (sometimes in the same insult.)  It’s lazy and it’s bad writing.  But it’s Ryan Murphy so of course there will be bad writing and of course he will put shock in area to create a buzz even if it doesn’t work from a storytelling perspective.  Because let’s be honest, can you name one good story he’s told on Glee the last three seasons?  Yep, me neither.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I like The New Normal.  Honestly, if they got rid of Nana Jane and found a purpose for Rocky, it would be an awesome show.  But the good parts, so far, really out weigh the bad ones so I am sticking with it.   That is until Murphy finds a way to screw this up as well.

DVR RATING:  3 1/2 DVRs

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in NBC, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Family Portrait” S4 E1

This is absolutely one of my favorite shows on TV.  And every season, I can’t wait for its return.  The fourth season of Parenthood did not disappoint with a very touching episode that surprised me because I’ve never liked Haddie.  So let’s start there because there was a lot going on in this episode.

Haddie/Adam/Kristina/Max

I had a feeling Sarah Ramos wasn’t going to be back much this season once we learned she was off to Cornell.  I wasn’t all that upset either because I’ve never liked the character of Haddie.  I never liked how whiny she was and how selfish she could be.  Plus, everything is the world seemed to annoy the crap out of her.  She was written perfectly as a typical teenager and Ramos did a great job executing it to a tee.  Still doesn’t mean I have to like her!   Most of this episode revolved around Haddie leaving for college.  Here’s what I don’t understand.  This is the week before she leaves correct?  So why was Kristina and Adam trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag (as my husband loves to say?)  Obviously Haddie wants to spend time with her friends before she leaves and she should have the right to do that.  Why would you put shopping, parties, family visits, and immediate family time all within the course of this one week?   Couldn’t you have spread it out over the summer?  It was already going to be stressful enough for all of you that week leading to Haddie heading East.   Why make it that much more stressful on all of you?

One of my biggest pet peeves about Parenthood (really the only one) is how the show always has people talking over each other.  I hate it.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in reality because I don’t think there is anything ruder than talking and having someone completely disregard the fact that you are speaking and begin to speak over you.  It’s as if that person is saying “what you’re saying is so insignificant and has so little value, that I am going to begin speaking because I couldn’t care less what you have to say.”   Sorry for the mini soap box, but it had to be said.  So when it happens in Parenthood, it drives me bonkers.  Adam/Kristina/Haddie/Max have always been the worst about this on the show.  Every scene they are in it’s as if 2-3 different conversations are going on.  It’s hard to follow and not the least bit entertaining.  The scene at the burger place was awful.  First, if you want to take Haddie out to celebrate her, why not ask her where she wants to go?  Second, knowing you have a son with Aspberger’s, wouldn’t you call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure they serve the same burger that your son always gets?  You know what will happen if they don’t and if you’re trying to make a nice family outing, keeping Max in check would be a good idea.  Third, how dare Kristina yell at the people behind them.  You all know I love her character but this bothered me.  Your son is pitching a fit, your oldest daughter and yelling back at him, and your youngest baby has just burst into screaming tears.  When the man turned to look at them, Kristina yelled to have him mind his own business because that wasn’t his family.  Well guess what?  When your family disrupts other people’s families from enjoying their meals, they have the right to give you the stink eye.  If you don’t like it, then make sure all hell doesn’t break loose when you go out to dinner.  I’m not saying it’s easy and I can appreciate how challenging it can be.  But you also can’t be upset with other people who may be annoyed that your family is keeping them from having a quiet, enjoyable meal.

Even with those few annoyances, overall, it was a really sweet episode for these guys.  One of the things I think the show highlighted beautifully is just how difficult it is on the sibling of a child with Aspberger’s.  We always see and hear about the parents view-point, but it’s nice to see how hard this has been on Haddie.  Haddie tries to have a nice moment with Max telling him how much she will miss him and loves him and that she appreciates his special qualities of honesty and directness.  She even gives him a present to let him know how much she cares.  But you see her get nothing back from Max.  That has to be hard and I thought Haddie handled herself very well.   Haddie always has to be the bigger person and when her parents don’t always discipline Max the way they should (like the way the blew off him destroying her room to look for his lizard) it’s hard to not want to take it out on him and it’s understandable when she does lose it.

We also got to see Kristina’s side of her baby girl going off to college.  You see how she really wanted some girl time with her daughter before she leaves.  She really puts it in perspective when she says “she’s never going to live here again.”  Actually, that’s a good thing.  You should want your child to be self-sufficient and independent.  It’s a sign they’ll be ok.  But from a mother’s view-point, her baby is grown up and moving on.  And while she’s thrilled for her, it crushes her at the same time because everything is moving to a new stage in their lives.

The scene that really got me, was the final scene.  Even though I knew it was coming, it still got me.  Haddie is at the airport about to board her flight and her parents are keeping it together (Adam’s just fine but Kristina is really trying hard to be strong and not cry) and Haddie is also very stoic.  But as soon as Haddie gets in line, she runs back to her parents, crying her eyes out, and gives them a huge hug.  It was awesome.  And I was so happy for Adam and Kristina because they got their reassurance that Haddie is going to miss them just as much as they will miss her.  Oh man, did I cry!!!

Crosby/Jasmine/Jabbar

I’m still not happy Crosby and Jasmine are married but I guess I’ll get over it at some point.  But I thought their story of the week was very interesting.  Crosby noticed Jabbar praying and wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that.  When Jasmine and Crosby confronted her mom about it, I loved seeing them as a united front and on the same page.  It was the first sign to me that I could start to like Jasmine again because that shows she’s grown.  Before she would have taken her mother’s side but not this time.  She and Crosby were a team and told her mom that something that significant should really be up to them to teach Jabbar.  And I agree with them 100%!  But her mom had a great response…then what do you plan on telling him and teaching him because he deserves to know something.  And she’s right.

Crosby goes to see his mom and dad and asks them about their spiritual background and how they handled this with them.  I was conflicted about this because in one sense, shouldn’t Crosby know his parents view points on religion and spirituality?  Wouldn’t that have already been discussed and wouldn’t he know the results of those conversations?  In another sense, I really respected how Crosby took this seriously.  Seriously enough to go to his parents and ask their advise since they didn’t grow up in a house where religion was prevalent.  He and Jasmine talked about it and he asked her what about her religious upbringing did she like.  Now of course Crosby said something that made me want to smack him upside the head (he’s usually good for at least one of those per episode) which was “well I don’t want my son belonging to some club I’m not apart of.”    Oh really?  So if Jabbar wants to be on the football team or a mathlete or part of the German club or drama club, you won’t let him because you won’t be part of it too?   That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!    Ultimately, I think Crosby made the right decision and followed his mom’s advise in letting Jabbar figure out for himself what religion and spirituality will mean to him.   It’s a fascinating debate because can children really figure that out for themselves?  Probably not.  But there is nothing wrong with opening him up lots of different faith-based religions, learning about them, understanding them, and letting them choose which speaks the most to them…especially if religion isn’t a huge presence in your life.

Sarah/Mark/Amber/Drew

I’ll run through this part quickly.  I’m not sure why Mark was brought back.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Jason Ritter.  But it’s pretty well-known that he’s going to be in another show mid-season that Jason Katims is creating specially for him.   So he’s not going to be around.  At this point, I don’t know why Sarah just couldn’t have denied the proposal off-screen and she comes back this season single.   I though his speech to Camille was sweet about being in the picture but at the same time I was just screaming at my TV: “come on!!”  It’s a picture!!!!  I can see if other fiances were included in the picture and now he isn’t but Kristina wasn’t allowed in until she and Adam were married.  Jasmine wasn’t allowed in.  So why should it be any different?  I don’t agree with Camille’s stance, but if that’s her decision, so be it.  She should have held her ground.  Seriously though, I can see not wanting random girlfriends and boyfriends in the picture but fiances?  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  And what if one of her children didn’t believe in marriage and lived like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell?  Does that make the significant other any less family?  I think not.  Also, why not take two pictures?  One with mom, dad, and the kids and one with mom, dad, kids, significant others, and grandkids?

Sarah is searching for a new job outside of bartending and when scheduling the photographer for the family picture, noticed a Help Wanted picture in the window.  She asks Hank Rizzoli (guest star Ray Romano) if she can put her hat in the ring for the job.  I have to say, I wasn’t thrilled with the addition with Ray Romano because I was not a fan of his.  I never found him particularly funny and I hated his sitcom.  So I was nervous. I am shocked to say that I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed his character.  I liked his banter with Sarah.  I thought they had a nice connection…he’s the grumpy curmudgeon while she’s the bubbly, aloof, optimist.  She has no experience and she lies to get the job.  It fails horribly (from a logistical standpoint) but the family loved her and Hank couldn’t help but notice how great she was with the clients.  So he decides to hire her full-time to be the client liaison while she learns more about the photography business.  And I like where this is going!

Amber continues to make bad decisions but I don’t care because I love her character.  But I do have to ask, what happened to her job with Kristina?  I thought she was seeing that through and now she’s working at the Luncheonette?  I hope that gets explained (and I hope Kristina still has her job!)  But she sleeps with the lead singer of this band only to find out he has a girlfriend.  She tells Crosby, who tells Adam, who decides to fire the band.   (Loooooooooooooooong deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.)  I was with Amber, I can’t believe Adam fired a paying customer because he upset Amber.  If anything, he should have been upset with Amber for AGAIN mixing work and pleasure to disasterous circumstances.  But at the same time, I LOVED how protective he was of her.  Ultimately, she’s still his niece.  And as he explained to Crosby who was giving Adam a hard time “you don’t have a daughter.”  I get that.  I still think it was absurd that a 20-year-old with no business experience had to explain to a 40+ year old with 20+ years of business experience that he can’t make business decisions on his personal feelings.  But I still loved the scene with Peter Krause and Mae Whitman.

Drew, kind of bores me.  I don’t know if it’s the character or the actor, but Drew is a drip.  I’m sorry.  And it looks like Amy will be breaking his heart next week.

Joel/Julia/Victor/Sydney

Wow, this is tough.  Joel and Julia are really struggling incorporating Victor into the family.  I like this storyline because I think it’s fascinating to see how you bring a child into your family who is much older.  I would guess Victor is around 7-8 years old?  So Victor has thoughts, feelings, and opinions already developed.  This isn’t something J&J can develop from scratch like they did with Sydney.  I can’t even imagine how difficult that is.  And I can appreciate the predicament of letting Victor do things they wouldn’t normally do to make him feel loved and wanted yet needing to discipline him to the point that you are truly treating him like family (to Joel’s point.)  How do you know that line?  When is the right time to stand up and say you’re in my house you need to live by my rules?   Each kid is different so how do you know?    And it just broke my heart when Julia said “I’m trying to fall in love with my son.”   You can see this is killing her.  You can see how badly she wants this but it’s hard.

I have no doubt this will work out because I think J&J are great people who want this child to have a great life.  But the process to get there will be amazing to watch.  And I’m sure it will get worse before it gets better.

Whew!!!  What a premiere!  I know it sounds like I’m being really hard on the show.  Maybe I am, but I just love it so much that when there is something I don’t like, it usually hits me harder than it should!  The ratings have me nervous, they always do so I hope Parenthood continues to have enough of a following to last a few more seasons.  Because I LOVE the Bravermans!!!

 

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NBC Moves Up The Premieres of Go On and The New Normal

Most everyone in the world has already seen the premieres of Go On and The New Normal, either during the olympics or on-line.  So NBC decided to make a move.

Instead of “premiering” these shows on their normal time slots of Tuesday 9pm (Go On) and 9:30pm (The New Normal, both shows will premiere their pilots Monday Sept 10th at 10pm (Go On) and 10:30pm (The New Normal.)

I don’t like this.  I mean it’s not catastrophic or anything, but I’m not a fan.  These are new comedies on NBC you are trying to develop.  And let’s face it, NBC hasn’t done a great job in this area (or many areas) in recent years.  So why premiere a show on an off night, at a different time, one day earlier?  Why?  There are still people who haven’t watched these shows and if they tune in on Tuesday, because that’s when you’ve been telling them to watch for about a month now, and see the second episode and not the first, it may annoy your viewers.   Like I said, is this a HUGE deal, no.  But I’m trying to understand the reasoning.

I can see if they were planning to premiere the show a week later or two weeks later and they want to get a jump on the competition by moving to a time where many shows aren’t premiering.  Since the big premiere week is the 24th, if Go On and The New Normal were originally scheduled to premiere at that time, I can see wanting to bump it up.   But they’re moving up one day.  HUH?  Are they that desperate to get The Voice lead in?  Is that the strategy here?    But isn’t The Voice results show the very next night, right before the Tuesday block of Go On and The New Normal?  I’m confused.   But this is NBC so should it surprise me that they make a head scratching decision?  Not really.

So for those of you ready to watch Go On and The New Normal for the first time this Tuesday, you better change that.  Because they are now on Monday.   But still check in on Tuesday because new episodes of both will run on Tuesday in their regular time slots.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in NBC, New Shows, Premiere Dates

 

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