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Category Archives: ABC

SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Black-ish “Pilot” S1 E1

I’m going to try not to get too deep in this review.   After all, this is a sitcom.   But I watched Black-ish and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  I loved the trailer and laughed out loud when Dre’s son Andre (Andy) came home and wanted to have a bar mitzvah and change his name to his hebrew one (either Shlomo or Shmoole…which I’m probably butchering the spelling.)   I loved the instant chemistry between Anderson and Ross.  In a 2 minute trailer, I totally bought them as husband and wife.   So I was very excited for this premiere.   But then I watched it all and for the most part I liked it but I do have a bit of “Mike and Molly” fear for this show.

Shows like this, where they push racial and cultural boundaries, are always interesting because it can insight passionate responses from viewers…both good and bad.  I’ve already seen lots of comments on this about how “white people won’t understand the humor” and “this show is racist and offensive” etc, etc.   I think everyone needs to take a deep breath.   In the simplest of terms, this show is about an African-American family living a hugely successful life (Dre is a SVP of his company and Rainbow is a surgeon) in the suburbs yet still trying to stay true to their roots…at least Dre is.   Now he has to remind the rest of his family how important that is as well.   The cast is led by Anthony Anderson, Tracey Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne.  But my favorite so far is Marcus Scribner’s Andre Jr.   That kid had the best lines and best material in the pilot.  First with the bar mitzvah.  He also wants to be called Andy (because it shows he’s edgy yet approachable), play field hockey, and hold onto his first boob (vs. holding onto his roots.)  I loved that kid.   And like The Goldbergs last year, I instantly felt like this was a family.  The chemistry between all of them was evident right off the bat.

This could be a groundbreaking show.    The kind of show that families can watch and have a great discussion about afterwards.   There are many people who argue, that shows like that don’t work on network TV any more.   Well, maybe not.   Unless it’s a well written, well thought out show that has the abilities to push the boundaries with humor to bring real conversations to the forefront.  And Black-ish has the potential to be that show.  I already have tons of questions.   I can’t directly relate to the internal struggle of an African-American man who came from a tough background to raising his family in the type of environment that was better than his and how he balances raising his children in a color free world yet staying true to their cultural heritage.  There is no way I can ever completely understand that.   But I’d like to understand it better than I do now.   And I’m curious to watch it and learn more about it.   For example, the one part of the show where I raised my eye brow was when Dre was upset that his daughter didn’t want to hang out with the only other black girl in the school and that she didn’t even refer to her as the “only other black girl in the school.”  His daughter responded by saying “I don’t know.  When I hear Liza Jackson I think of meatballs and turkey burgers.”  Isn’t that a good thing, that she didn’t see the color of her skin?   Why was Dre so upset?  I don’t understand.   I feel like the way his kids were talking about Liza is exactly the way you want them to talk about her…as a little girl, not a little black girl.   I would think so.  Look at how upset Dre was with his promotion.  He was hoping to break down barriers at his company by becoming the first black SVP.   But not the first black SVP of the “Urban Division.”  It took something away from the promotion for Dre and I do understand that.   But if your goal is to break down barriers then why drive the “blackness” so hard at home with your family?   It’s that the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve?   It’s confusing.    So I hope the show explores that a bit more because while I’ll never fully be able to relate because I’m not African-American, I could certainly be more informed and have a better understand than before.    I want to know why someone who wants his family as far away from the way he was brought up as possible, also wants to make sure his roots are still very prevalent in their everyday lives.   What specific parts of your roots are you referring to?   I really want to know.

But my “Mike and Molly” fear is that I don’t want the show to be all about “black” jokes.   With M&M, I didn’t want the show to be all about “fat jokes.”  Initially it was and then it toned down and went to everyday comedy with the fat jokes coming every once in a while.   The pilot of Black-ish was very heavy-handed with the jokes about fried fried chicken being too black for Rainbow (who is mixed race) and “if I’m not black enough can someone tell my hair and my ass.”   That’s all well and good but I hope they tone it down and it’s more background humor than the front and center humor.  I know that’s kind of the premise of the show but I think that humor can still be part of the show maybe not just every joke….like M&M was with the fat jokes.  It gets old after a while.  And I think this cast deserves to be more than one trick ponies because they’re pretty fantastic.

I enjoyed Black-ish and will continue to watch.   Not only because I find the show incredibly interesting but it’s also really, really funny!

DVRs: 3+

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2014 Fall Preview: ABC

RETURNING SHOWS:

Dancing with the Stars (9/15)
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (9/23)
The Goldbergs (9/24)
The Middle (9/24)
Modern Family (9/24)
Nashville (9/24)
Grey’s Anatomy (9/25)
20/20 (9/26)
Scandal (9/25)
Shark Tank (9/26)
Once Upon A Time (9/28)
Resurrection (9/28)
Revenge (9/28)
Castle (9/29)
Last Man Standing (10/3)
America’s Funniest Home Videos (10/5)

NEW SHOWS:
Forever Sneak Peak (9/22)
Forever (9/23)
black-ish (9/24)
How To Get Away With Murder (9/25)
Selfie (10/30)
Manhattan Love Story (10/30)
Cristela (10/10)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Castle: Is Castle dead???  Of course not.   But I’m so curious as to what happened.   And when will we get that damn wedding!!!
Revenge: Revenge completely rebounded last year.   I’m back to being all in with this show.  Plus Aiden is dead (yeah) and David Clarke is alive (called it.)
Scandal: Where has Olivia gone with Jake and what does this mean for OPA and the rest of the gladiators?
SHIELD: Now that Hydra has destroyed SHIELD and Coulston has to re-build, what happens now?   Will Fitz be ok and remember that he told Simmons his feelings (finally?)    Then there’s Ward.  Can this character be redeemed after what he did to the team last year?   And can I please get some Thor on this show!!!
How to Get Away with Murder: talk about Must See TV Thursday night being back.   Grey’s (take it or leave it), Scandal and HTGAWM!!!   Can’t wait to see what Shonda has up her sleeves now.

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
Once Upon A Time: I still love this show but now the Frozen girls are coming.   After a while, can we forego bringing every stinking Disney character or fairy tale character into the story and focus on our core people?   Or maybe bring some back that we already met…like Cinderella and Malificent.
Nashville: Another show I like but there’s only so much TV to watch and I’m not sure this makes the cut moving forward.
Grey’s Anatomy: I’m not sure I care enough about these characters anymore to keep going.

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Dancing with the Stars
The Middle
Modern Family
Last Man Standing
Shark Tank
Cristela
Resurrection

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
#TGIT. When I was in college, Must See TV Thursday was Friends, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Frasier, and ER.   This was before DVRs, TiVO, and even VCRing your shows.   You made plans around these shows.    You never missed an episode.   Not because they were procedural or even serial where you can’t wait to see what happens next.    They were just well written, well acted, entertaining shows.    Well Must See TV Thursday is back and it’s all Shonda Rhimes all the time.   I’ve had my issues with Shonda Rhimes in the past.   Truth be told I still do.   But when she gets something right, she nails it.   She did with Grey’s Anatomy 10+ years ago.  I think the reason Grey’s started to go down hill was because Rhimes spread herself too thin with Private Practice and Off the Map (as well as trying to get other shows to pilot.)   Private Practice was never a great show.  It had some good characters and stories over the course of its 6 season run but was never Grey’s in its heyday.   Off the Map was just awful.   Good cast, bad show, bad writing.  I really thought Rhimes was better suited doing one show at a time.   Then Scandal came along.   I loved the pace, the setting, the story telling, and the characters.   Every episode felt like a season finale where I was always on the edge of my seat.   And since Grey’s is really running on auto pilot these days….chugging along until it runs out of gas…Scandal seems Rhimes’ big focus.   Now comes How To Get Away With Murder with headliner and powerhouse Viola Davis.  I can’t wait.   I’m a sucker for a good courtroom drama (see The Practice and The Good Wife.)   And in typical Rhimes form, if this drama has twists and turns up its sleeve, Thursday nights will go back to my college days…every thing else will revolve around that night.  As long as Scandal doesn’t suffer and HTGAWM lives up to the hype, I will be there every Thursday night.    Hopefully Rhimes has learned her lesson from past shows and will still head the creative but spread the wealth on the writing.
Tuesday Night Line Up. I was interested to see how a completely new line up of shows would do on Tuesdays night.   About 50/50 since only SHIELD and The Goldbergs made it to seasons 2 and Trophy Wife and Lucky 7 were sent to the recycle bin.   Now you have SHIELD anchoring Tues night at 9pm with a very strange lead in of Selfie and Manhattan Love Story and the being followed up by Forever, which looks somewhat interesting.  I’ll talk more about the new shows below, but SHIELD just barely got renewed last year.   It was really strong out of the gate but many people thought the show was slow and didn’t like the characters.   If people did hang on, the show got much better and faster paced.   But I also know people were frustrated with too many movie tie ins.   I think it’s a show with a very specific audience base and if they don’t like the show, you’re in trouble.   But ABC’s schedule was so bad, it was able to hang on.  But can it still hang in with those shows flanking it and going against new CBS show NCIS: New Orleans?

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
I haven’t seen any of the new ABC shows. I’ve seen many different clips and read many reports on the media site regarding the premises and directions of the new shows. So with that limited information, I would say I am most excited about How To Get Away With Murder and black-ish.   I’ve already touched on HTGAWM a little above but this show will center around Davis’ tough as nails criminal defense attorney/professor and her crew of law students fighting for an internship with her firm.   It sounds like a sexy, more sinister Legally Blonde, but not really.  It also stars names like Liza Weil, Billy Brown, and Tom Verica.   When I first heard of the premise of black-ish I thought, there is no way I’m giving this show a chance.   But then I read some reviews about the show and viewed some clips and long trailers on it.   I will absolutely be checking this show out.   It stars Anthony Anderson as a newly promoted EVP and very successful businessman raising his family in suburbia.  Sounds simple and it is.   Some may say they find the name and premise offensive.   I can’t say since I’m not African-American.  I’m just going to judge the show as strictly a comedy and it made me laugh.   Anderson is great.  Lawernce Fishburne has some fantastic one liners.    But the best has to be Anderson’s son Andre (or Andy) played by Marcus Scribner.  The most laugh out loud moments I had were watching his scenes.  He was fantastic.   Cristela, I won’t be watching.  Honestly by the time in premieres, I’ll already have my lineup set and I already watch too much.    As for Forever, Selfie, and Mahattan Love Story, I don’t know.  Forever seems the type of ABC show that will be canceled after 3 airings.  ABC has that track record lately and do I want to try to follow another show that I am just luke warm about?   I’m not sure.  I’ll probably DVR or On Demand the first 3 episodes and go from there.  Just on the name, I wasn’t going to watch Selfie.   But I love My Fair Lady and just out of sheer curiosity, I might check it out to see how this modern-day version plays out.   MLS, I like the lead actress’ character, played by Analeigh Tipton.    But the lead male, played by Jake McDorman, was just a jerk.  I know he’s supposed to be, but he’s not the kind of lovable jerk I could watch every week.   I found him repulsive.  So this is another one I’ll check out a few times to see if his assholeness softens as the show grows but if it doesn’t, good-bye.

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Revenge “Homecoming” S3 E11

When I first saw the preview for “Homecoming” after the fabulousness that was “Exodus” the first thing that popped into my head was that Emily Thorne is faking her amnesia.  Actually that’s a lie.  When she first said “Who am I?” in that promo, I gasped and said “Holy Shit now that’s the way to press to reset button.”   THEN I thought, no way she’s faking it.  But after watching the episode, now I’m not so sure.

In my mind, one of two things is going to happen (which means neither will) she’s either lost her memory for real and will get it back only to then fake it until she can come up with another game plan.  Or she’s doing a masterful job of faking it now and faking it with everyone until she can figure out what to do next.  At this point, I really don’t think she’s faking.  If she was faking, why in the world would she tell Charlotte that her dad is David Clarke?   And next week’s preview appears to show Emily showing her infinity box to Victoria.   NO WAY she’s faking.  Unless there is some king of CRAZY twist and scheme Emily has concocted she would never show that information to Victoria!    So if she really does have amnesia, which I think she does at this point, how long will she have it and when she does regain her memories, will she tell people?  And whom does she tell?

I love where the show is potentially going with this.  Because let’s be honest, you can only have a show of “revenge on the Graysons” for so long until people start to get tired of the premise because it’s going nowhere.  SO you have to do something to change it up.  I’ve always thought this was a 5-6 season show because of the premise but now with this amnesia and what it appears the Graysons will now discover about Emily, who knows where it goes from here.  It could possibly turn into revenge from both sides…Emily going after the Graysons (once she gets her memory back) and the Graysons going after Emily for lying and deceiving them for so long.   I love it!

And I’m just going to throw this out there….PUT EMILY WITH JACK!  No more Aiden.  No more French girl (although I have come to like her more than I did initially.)   This episode shows that Jack still loves her and I believe deep down, she still loves him.  Plus every scene they are in, sparks just fly!  Emily and Aiden…not so much, at least not for me.  So I’d like to see Aiden go and have Emily, Jack, and Nolan be the team that takes down the Graysons.

What do you think?  Do you like where the show is going with the amnesia angle?   Sound off below!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SERIES PREMIERES: THE COMEDIES

With me being away most of last week and just now getting caught up, I’m doing all the new comedies that I watched in one recap.

Mom

This was probably my favorite comedy of the week.   This was one I actually forgot about until I was going through the grid and saw it on there.  I’m so glad I taped it because I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Anna Faris was delightful as Christy, the single mom and recovering alcoholic who is struggling with her relationship with mother (Allison Janney) and her daughter (Sadie Calvano.)  As hard as Christy is trying not to be her mother, she can’t help but fall into the same patterns.  Faris and Janney had fabulous chemistry as mother and daughter.   I haven’t seen Faris in a lot but when I have I’ve always enjoyed her.   But the one thing I noticed was how great her delivery was.  It was so natural and effortless.   Even the simplest lines had me laughing.  French Stewart was terrific as the owner of the restaurant Christy works at and stole many scenes he was in.  Nate Corddry rounds out the main crew as Christy’s love interest who is the GM of the restaurant and is also still married.

The one knock on this show, it’s a big cast.  Between Faris, Janney, Corddry, Steward, and Calvano, you also have Matt Jones (ex-husband), Spencer Daniels (Calvano’s boyfriend), and Blake Garrett Rosenthal (Christy’s son.)   There are a ton of people on this show and I worry it might be overkill.   Also, let’s keep the Christy crying to a minimum.    But the show was funny, the cast was strong, and I’ll be watching each week.

DVRs: 4

Back In The Game

Starring Maggie Lawson, James Caan, and Griffen Gluck, BITG follows the Gannon family.   Terry (Lawson) has moved back home with her son (Gluck) after a nasty divorce and moves in with her dad (Caan.)   Terry and the Cannon have a pretty salty relationship with their only real connection being a love of baseball.  Terry’s son tries out for the local team and doesn’t make it so Terry decides to coach a team of rejected kids and turn them into ball players.

I liked this show probably more than other people did.  It did make me laugh at times (Ben Koldyke and Leona Crichlow were great as Terry’s antagonist and new BFF) but I’d like to see Caan’s character toned down a bit more.  I mean really, who beats on someone’s car because their kid/grandkid is being bullied?   Really, a conversation with the parents would have been too much to ask?  That type of stuff drives me crazy because it doesn’t work.   Just give me some funny moments, some heartfelt moments (the scene where Terry sees all her college softball games on tape in Cannon’s basement made me tear up because my parents have the same thing) and let the show and the cast do it’s thing.   There isn’t a need for that type of over the top craziness.

DVRs: 3

The Goldberg’s 

This was another show I didn’t hate.  I guess not the best way to start a review, but it’s true.  I enjoyed parts of The Goldberg’s.  I’m a sucker for 80’s themed TV shows because there is so much nostalgia for me.   And overall, there were parts I really laughed at.   This show is loosely based on creator Adam Goldberg’s real family which includes mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon Covey), dad Murray (Jeff Garlin), pops (George Segal), sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia), brother Barry (Troy Gentile), and himself (Sean Gamrbione.)   There is a lot of yelling, a lot of name calling, and some nice warm moments.  Was it a bit goofy and silly, yep.  Were some of the characters a bit annoying, sure.   But it was an enjoyable 30 minutes.   I don’t think I’ll make a point of seeing it each week, but if it’s on, I’ll watch.

DVRs: 2

Trophy Wife

I love Malin Akerman.  All the props to her about this show were dead on because she is absolutely charming and delightful.  Akerman stars as Kate who meets Pete (Bradley Whitford) after breaking his nose at a karaoke bar with her BFF Meg (Natalie Morales.)  In the hospital she meets his ex-wife Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) and their kids Hillary (Bailee Madison) and Warren (Ryan Scott Lee.)  But then it gets better, she then meets ex-wife #2, Jackie (Michaela Watkins) and their son Bert (Albert Tsai.)  Instead of getting scared off, she marries him!  Hilarity ensues.

This could be one of the best ensembles on TV.  Between Akerman, Whitford, Watkins, and Harden, it’s hard to go wrong.  Luckily, they all work very well together.   Sometimes you throw a bunch of big names together and it doesn’t work at all.  But that’s not the case here.  You can see how Pete would have fallen for each one of these women but how he would have broken up with Diane and Jackie.  And as a result, you can see how he would have also remained friends with them.

The thing I like most about this show is the fact that this is not too far away from the norm for many people.  Many couples have to deal with ex spouses and kids from previous relationships.  So how does the new couple deal with all of that?   I have so many friends in that some boat and believe me, there are TONS of funny stories that come out.  So I have no doubt this show will work and will probably be of my favorites of the season.

DVRs: 4

The Michael J Fox Show

I was so looking forward to seeing MJF back on TV in a starring role and on a sitcom.  I couldn’t wait to see it because the early previews weren’t bad.  Plus, I have loved MJF since his Alex P. Keaton days on Family Ties.  How could I not love this show?  It pains me to say it, but I didn’t like this show at all.  The cast didn’t seem to work very well off of each other (except for Fox and Wendell Pierce.)  I love Fox and I love Betsy Brandt but I didn’t buy them as husband and wife at all.  Katie Finneran as Aunt Leigh was over the top, as usual.  I have yet to like that woman in anything yet.  And the kids were blah.  Although I did warm up to Eve (Juliette Goglia) towards the end of the pilot.  And don’t get me started on the crying, puking producer Kay (Ana Nogueria)…ugh, she’s awful.

Fox stars as Mike Henry, a former local NYC news anchor who is now a stay at home dad who is annoying the hell out of his family and in turn, they are bugging him.   He has a “chance” meeting with his old Boss Harris (Pierce) who begs him to come back.  Henry eventually decides to go back to work and both he and the family are thrilled.

My biggest worry going into the show was that the Parkinson jokes would be a little too much.  I was wrong.  The biggest problem with the show is the writing and the casting.  Not that the actors are bad….let me make that clear….they aren’t.   But, they don’t work well together.  All their scenes feel forced and unnatural like they are trying too hard to be this quirky family.  I doesn’t work.  I’ll watch a few more to make sure it wasn’t just a bad pilot, but I don’t see myself making it through the mid-season break with this show.

DVRs: 1

The Crazy Ones

Here’s another one I had high hopes for because of the cast and here’s another show I didn’t like at all.   Again, my worry was Robin Williams being too much.   Not the problem (at least not in the pilot.)  It’s the material and the fact that this cast is a bit stiff.  Although James Wolk and Williams played very well off one another.  I love Wolk and Hamish Linklater but this show doesn’t work for them.   Then we have Sarah Michelle Gellar.  I’ve heard before that SMG is a product of her material….if the material is good, she’s fine.  If it’s bad, she’s not.  She can’t transcend bad writing because she isn’t very strong.  I always thought that was a bit harsh because she was so good on Buffy.  But when Kelly Clarkson (who isn’t an actress at all) can put you to shame in a scene, it does make me raise a few eye brows.  SMG didn’t come across well in this pilot at all.  It was almost as if she shrunk back into landscape being around the powerhouse of Williams instead of trying to command the scene and hold her own.  The material wasn’t very funny and I was pretty bored halfway through the pilot.  I don’t know if I can follow this ad agency and their “clients of the week” each week because I’m not sure I care and I think the entire cast deserves better.

DVRs: 1

 

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2013 Fall TV Preview: ABC

RETURNING SHOWS:

  • 20/20 (9/6)
  • Dancing with the Stars (9/16)
  • Last Man Standing (9/20)
  • The Neighbors (9/20)
  • Shark Tank (9/20)
  • Castle (9/23)
  • The Middle (9/25)
  • Modern Family (9/25)
  • Nashville (9/25)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (9/26)
  • Scandal (10/3)
  • Once Upon A Time (9/29)
  • Revenge (9/29)
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos (10/6)
NEW SHOWS:
  • Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (9/24)
  • The Goldbergs (9/24)
  • Trophy WIfe (9/24)
  • Lucky 7 (9/24)
  • Back in the Game (9/25)
  • Betrayal (9/29)
  • Super Fun Night (10/2)
  • Once Upon A Time in Wonderland (10/10)
SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
  • Castle: Castle proposed to Beckett.  What!!!!
  • Revenge: Revenge had a fantastic first season but a sub par second season.  Will it rebound this year?
  • Scandal: What does the last line of last season mean….Dad?
  • Grey’s: There’s no way Richard’s dead right?   RIGHT?
  • Nashville: I’m pretty sure Rayna and Deacon are alive but what will be the result of that crash…both physically and emotionally?
  • All the new shows this season for ABC.
SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
  • None
SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • The Middle
  • Modern Family
  • Last Man Standing
  • Shark Tank
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
  • Revenge’s New Show Runner.   No one will disagree that Revenge seemed to lose its way last season (can you say The Initiative.)  And according to new show runner, Sunil Nayar and ABC Entertainment President, Paul Lee, Revenge stumbled and was too confusing last year.   The fans would certainly agree. So Nayar’s main task to is build on the storylines from Season 2 but using the template from Season 1 that worked so well.  That includes bringing back the “revenge of the week” episodes that were so much fun the first season.  According to reports (and an interesting promo) the premiere really resets somethings and sets up the series for an amazing season full of twists and turns (but in a good way.)   I can’t wait.   Because as bad at times as last season was, Emily told Jack who she really was, Victoria’s son is back in the picture, and how will everyone deal with the loss of Declan.
  • Sandra Oh’s Last Season on Grey’s.  Grey’s was going to be in my “I Will Only Give This One More Season” section until the news of Oh leaving the show came out last month.  I’m kind of done with Grey’s but even though over the course of the series, Cristina was not one of my favorite characters, Sandra Oh is a fabulous actress.   So I’m curious to see how they write out one of the originals that is such a HUGE part of the show.  She’s Meredith’s person after all.  I can’t imagine Meredith without Cristina and vice versa.  So will Cristina go out alive or dead?   I’ll be tuning in to find out.
  • New Show Tuesday Night.  I can’t remember the last time I saw an entire night full of new shows.  Tuesday is all in on the new shows with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, and Lucky 7.  I’ll talk more about each of these in the new show section but I’m curious to see how these will do in the ratings.   Usually there is at least one strong existing show to anchor the ratings for the night but ABC is really relying to the new shows to beat out NCIS, NCIS LA, Person of Interest, The Biggest Loser, and The Voice.   Ouch.   Good luck with that.  There is a ton of buzz around SHIELD but will it be enough to jump-start the evening?
EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
  • I haven’t seen any of the new ABC shows.  I’ve seen many different clips and read many reports on the media site regarding the premises and directions of the new shows.  So with that limited information, I would say I am most excited about Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Betrayal, Trophy Wife, and The Goldbergs.  I want to really like Back in the Game and I’ve heard good things but I’ll have to see.  The jury is out for me on Once Upon A Time In Wonderland…I don’t know if I need to fairy tale shows.  And I have 100% ZERO interest in Super Fun Night and Lucky 7.  I’ve watched all the promos and you know it’s bad when you’re getting annoyed at having to sit through 3 minutes of a promo video of a show and can’t wait for it to be over.   That’s how I felt about Super Fun Night.  When I watch shows like that, like Free Agents and Whitney a few years ago, I wonder how these shows ever made it to pilot.   HORRIBLE!!  Both SHIELD and Betrayal look fantastic and I think Revenge is the perfect lead in show for Betrayal…it will be a good soapy night on ABC!!  I’m usually pretty hard on the comedies but I really enjoyed the promos for The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife.  There were many times I laughed out loud and I see good potential for both.  And the cast for Trophy Wife is insanely good….Bradley Whitford, Malin Akerman, Marcia Gay Harden, and Michaela Watkins.  ABC for the most part has, on paper, a solid line up of new shows.  But also liked lots of their new shows last year and most of them were canceled so what do I know!
 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in ABC, Fall Preview

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEWS of Scandal, Grey’s, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, and Elementary Coming Soon

Heading out for the weekend so I will recap these shows Sunday and Monday.   Lots to talk about!   Here’s a quick preview:

Castle: Rick proposed to Kate!!!!   Rick proposed to Kate!!!!  But what does this mean for them going forward and is this really a good thing?  I’ll discuss.

Grey’s: Callie and Arizona had quite the blow up.   Who’s side am I on?   Come back to find out.   Plus, Richard better not be dead!!

Scandal: Enough already.  Ok enough!   Either keep Olivia and Fitz together or break them up but ENOUGH with Olivia running around saying “we can’t do this.”  I’m so done with that.   Did you know David was wearing the white hat all along?   Did I?  And what about Quinn becoming baby Huck and Huck’s reaction to it.

How I Met Your Mother: FINALLY!!!   We got to meet her.   Now we just need Ted to meet her.   But when Carter Bays says this will be the longest wedding in the history of TV, does her really mean that next season will cover the span of only 56 hours?  I don’t know how I feel about that…or maybe I do!

Elementary: haven’t watched it yet but I will by Sunday, so don’t spoil me!

Have a good weekend peeps!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in ABC, CBS, Season Finales

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Castle “Target” & “Hunt” S5 E 15 & 16

WOW.   Just….wow.  Easily the two best episodes Castle has ever done.  It was very reminiscent of the two parter they did a few seasons ago (Tick, Tick, Tick & Boom) where I was on the edge of my seat dying to know what was going to happen next.  But what put this twofer (a little 30 Rock reference) ahead of the others was the emotional tug on your heart-strings from so many angles in addition to the action packed portions of the episodes.

Believe it or not, I’m going to start with the 3 negatives so I can get them out-of-the-way and because they were so minor.  First, I thought Dylan Walsh was woefully underused as a guest start.   In these twofers, Castle has always had really strong guest stars from Adrian Pasdar to Dana Delaney who have been excellent in their roles and really added a strong character base to such a plot driven series of episodes.  I was really excited to see Walsh as a guest star because I’ve always been a fan of his.   But because this was so Castle focused, Walsh really wasn’t needed.  I think we only saw him for about 5 minutes in “Hunt” so for me, you could have cast any actor to play that part because he wasn’t as integral to the story and didn’t seem to enhance it at all.  Second, the lack of Beckett and Castle working together on this.  Now I know they did, but not in their usual way.  Again, this is minor because I liked the way she was more Kate the girlfriend than Beckett the cop in these episodes.  She was there as the woman who loves him and is broken over seeing this happen to Alexis and to him.  I was hoping to see them go off to Paris together to get Alexis back but I applaud Marlowe for taking the daring risk of not doing that because it honestly made better sense for the story.  Rick would leave Kate behind because he couldn’t risk her doing the things he needed to do to get Alexis back because she is an officer of the law.  He, on the other hand, is a desperate father frantically trying to save his little girl.  Therefore, he can use his contacts, however shady they are, to get the information he needs and not put Beckett in a difficult situation.  And even though it was the right call and I agreed with it 100%, there was a part of me, who so loves seeing them work together, sad that the one time you really need Beckett’s skills to team up with him, is the one time we can’t see it.   Finally, the CGI of Paris was horrible.  Wow, it couldn’t have looked any worse.   But that’s all for the negative.   See I told you it was minor!

I’ve read many articles over the years where the cast of Castle doesn’t get their due credit for being “serious” actors.  Because this show has many episodes where the goofiness and silliness is played up, the serious tones don’t seem to carry as much weight.  After watch “Target” and “Hunt” I would defy anyone to tell me these people aren’t serious actors.  I’ve always said that Stana Katic is painfully underrated for her acting skills.  She’s one of best on TV in my opinion who can really hit certain notes from a comedic side as well as a serious side.   She has the chops for both.  And over the years, she has gotten stronger and stronger.  Her best scene of the twofers was when she was questioning Hanson’s girlfriend and that girl gave her nothing but attitude and disrespect.  The next thing you know, Beckett kicks her chair so hard that chick goes flying off her chair into a wall and Beckett gets in her face screaming about how she’s in her way of finding a missing girl.  Holy. Shit!  I’ve seen Beckett get fired up before but this was something different.  She would have been last person on earth (well maybe second after Castle) that I would have ever messed with at that point.  She was brilliant!   This was a combination of cop being agitated at a person blocking her investigation and a girlfriend so angry that this bitch would block her ability to find her boyfriend’s missing daughter.  Not a good combination for little miss sassy pants!

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Alexis character.  I certainly don’t dislike her but I always thought she was written a little too perfectly.  And I know I’m being a hypocrite because I’m always the first one to defend the Reagan family on Blue Bloods and they (except for Danny at times) are written the same way.   But it’s one thing for adults who have been around a long time and who are bound by the law, to be so black and white, good vs bad in their convictions.  It’s a whole other thing for it to be a young girl in high school to be so righteous.  See how I justify that?   But seriously, Alexis seemed way too mature for her age.  Now is there something wrong with showing a responsible, respectful, good person?  Absolutely not.  In fact, I wish we saw more of that.  But no one is THAT perfect.  I mean this girl never made a mistake.  EVER.  And making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human.  So that’s always been my gripe with Alexis.  But I have to admit, there was no one rooting for her to be saved more than me.  And Molly Quinn was sensational.  True to Alexis’ character, she played her as calm and cerebral during the early parts of the situation always looking out for her friend.  It wasn’t until she was able to Skype her dad and see him that she lost it a bit.   And I would be the same way.  If I saw my dad, I would lose it.  It wasn’t until later when she realizes that not only is she not in NYC but she’s in Paris, did she really get scared.   And later when we saw her in that cage not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing where her friend was, not knowing if she was going to live, did we see her eyes swollen and red with fear.  I’m glad she played it that way and they wrote it that way because as strong and as smart as Alexis is, she’s still a 19-year-old person with no training or experience in these situations.  You bet she’d be scared out of her mind.   My only gripe is at the end when she is rescued and Castle brings her back home, when she’s walking up to her front door, all she says very cavalierly is “wow I’m so glad to be home” like she had a really bad flight back from spring break instead being held hostage for days by crazy people.   Maybe it’s me, but I would still be a little more shaken up and she seemed like she was ready to just get back to normal.  Even with that, Molly Quinn, you were outstanding!!

So 1,200 words in, let’s get to our main man and all that went down for him.   Because not only did he have to save his daughter’s life, but in the middle of all this mayhem, he meets, for the first (really second) time in his life, his father!   Nathan Fillion was BRILLIANT in these episodes.  He didn’t just knock it out of the park, he drilled it to the moon!  The first scene we really see a whole new Castle is from last week’s “Target” when he asks Beckett to have a moment alone with the man who drove the van with the girls in it.  I know there has been much discussion over this scene and my opinion is that I have no problem with it.   He’s a father desperate to find his daughter and this man is his only lead.  You do what you have to do to find her.  No issues at all with that.  Extenuating circumstances cause people to do extraordinary things they wouldn’t normally do or condone.  And I think it was even better that we didn’t see it!

So Castle has left everyone behind and has headed to Paris to find Alexis.  Her friend Sara was released but Alexis was not.  Fearing she’s not collateral damage, he high tails it to Paris to use his contacts there to track Alexis down.   One of Castle’s old connections, that he used to help him with some of his books, introduces him to man named Jacque who will help him find Alexis.  Jacque is able to help and tells Castle the kidnappers want 3 million in Euro in exchange for Alexis.  When they go to the drop point, in a move I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t see coming, Jacque turns the tables on Castle and puts a gun to his head and takes his money.   Just as Rick is about to meet his maker, bullets start flying from an unknown location and all the baddies (including Jacque) are taken out.  Castle turns around to see Mr. Barbra Streisand standing there telling him that he’s the good guy and that he should come with him immediately.  When back at his place, Castle sees all the pictures of Alexis on the wall and Jackson Hunt (that’s the name he gave to Castle) explains to him that this whole situation is his fault.   That Alexis was kidnapped because of him as a payback for killing a former KGB member’s wife and child years ago.  Castle is understandably confused and asks how this could have anything to do with Alexis and that’s when Hunt tells him that they went after her because he was careless and slipped.  They went after her, because she is his granddaughter.  “Rick, I’m your father.”  As if this man doesn’t have enough to deal with….WOW!!!!!  Now that’s how you introduce a long-lost father into the fold!

My fear with this storyline is that I really thought Brolin was going to end up being a bad guy.   Turns out, he’s nothing of the sort.  He’s actually a hero in many ways.   We learn that he had a wonderful night with Martha but being a spy, was called away on an assignment, he couldn’t disclose that to her, so he left.  A year later he learns about Castle.  Then Castle learns that his father has been keeping track of him all these years and that they even met once.  Curious, Castle asks when.  He tells about the time they were in a book store and Castle was looking for something to read and his dad recommended Casino Royale.  “That was you?” Rick asks him and he confirms it.  Castle tells him that’s the book that made him want to become a writer.  Aw.  Then Hunt tells him the words every kids wants to hear from their father “Son, I’m really proud of you.”  The look (and the tears) in Castle’s eyes were indescribable.  It was beautiful.  I loved the way the writers and the actors handled this moment and this whole encounter.   It could have been really cheesy or really cliché.  Instead, it was so perfectly handled.  Brolin played it so well.  He was very matter-of-fact about his life without seeming cold and distant.  He also told Castle how he followed his life and career, as any proud parent would, without being creepy.  It was perfection.  And Rick, well talk about bad timing.  Your whole life this enigma finally comes back and instead of having a Walton’s type reunion, you have to pull all that aside because your daughter’s life is at risk.  And to top it off, once his plan to rescue her is enacted, they just have to run and not look back.  He won’t know if his father made it out or not and that’s the way it has to be.   So no steak dinner reunion for these men.  It’s hi, nice to meet you, love you, now let’s go bomb these KGB freaks ok?

His plan works like a charm and Alexis is rescued by her dad and pop-pop.  When they get home, Martha and Kate are both there so excited to see them and hugs and kisses are flowing everywhere.  Castle walks into the kitchen where a package arrived for him.  He opens it up and inside is a copy of Casino Royale.  Dad is ok!!!!  He then looks at Martha with a huge smile on his face and says “mom, there’s something I have to tell you.”  Face to black.

What an amazing set of episodes from Castle.  I really have to say that I am so impressed with how Andrew Marlowe has handled this season.  He finally puts his leads together, Beckett’s mother’s storyline is no longer a who done it but a how are we going to catch him direction, Alexis is kidnapped, and Rick meets his father.  And the fans were worried Season 5 might suck with Caskett together.  Please!!!!  This show is better than ever!!!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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