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Category Archives: NBC

2014 Fall Preview: NBC

RETURNING SHOWS

Football Night in America (9/7)
Sunday Night Football (9/7)
The Biggest Loser (9/11)
The Voice (9/22)
The Blacklist (9/22)
Chicago Fire (9/23)
Law & Order: SVU (9/24)
Chicago PD (9/24)
Parenthood (9/25)
Dateline (9/26)
Saturday Night Live (9/27)
About A Boy (10/14)
Grimm (10/24)

NEW SHOWS:
The Mysteries of Laura (9/17)
Bad Judge (10/2)
A to Z (10/2)
Marry Me (10/14)
Constantine (10/24)
State of Affairs (11/17)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Parenthood (Final Season.   I wish I could watch the Bravermans forever but I’d rather them go out on their own terms.)
The Blacklist (Who is Berlin and what is his connection with Red and Keen?  Is Tom really dead…I don’t think so.   What is Red’s commotion to Keen?  I don’t think he’s her dad then who is he to her?)
About A Boy (Favorite new comedy of last season.   Will it be as good in S2?)
Grimm (Nick has lost his Grimm powers.  Now what?)
Marry Me (This preview looked fantastic and it’s Casey Wilson so I’m in.)
A to Z (While I’m liking the cast, how does the show maintain telling the story of these two dating when the premise is that they date for 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days and 1 hour?   The assumption is they get married at that point but maybe it’s something else?)
State of Affairs (I like the premise but can Katherine Heigl pull off being a CIA analyst?)

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
None

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Bad Judge
The Mysteries of Laura
The Voice
The Biggest Loser
Law & Order: SVU

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Parenthood’s Last Season. Parenthood has NEVER gotten the respect it deserves and anyone who reads my blog or listens to my podcast knows, I have been screaming about people shunning Parenthood for years. From the lack of Emmy love to the weak scheduling of the show, Parenthood was the best show nobody gave respect to. Last year, Parenthood did get some love with a 22 episode season.   It wasn’t great in the ratings but the fan base was very loyal.   It reminded me of Chuck in that regard.   Never was a ratings juggernaut but wow did their fans love that show.   Parenthood is one of the best dramas on TV.  And the one thing I will give NBC credit for is that they are very good at giving shows like this their chance to say a good-bye to their fans with a shortened final season.   They did it with Chuck, The Office, Parks and Rec, ER, Friday Night Lights.    Shows that never were huge ratings getters (except for ER but not at the end) but had very loyal fans and NBC made sure these were wrapped up in a way to give their fans a chance to say good-bye.   I’m a big fan of these shortened seasons because there isn’t a lot of room for fluff.  And Jason Katims has done very well with short seasons of Parenthood…making each episode count.   But form what I’m hearing, this will be the biggest tear jerker season of them all (and that’s saying something with this show) due to a death in the family.   Who will it be and how will it end?
The Blacklist Time Shuffle.  Last year I thought The Blacklist would be a hit for NBC.   Please, please, stop throwing money.  Ok that wasn’t a HUGE stretch but since my prognosticating is historically bad, I’m proud I got that one right.  It was my favorite new show of the season.   I was never a James Spader fan and I fell in love with him in this show.   People will argue this role is not a big stretch for the typically smug roles Spader plays.   I don’t care.   He’s perfectly cast here.   Megan Boone was the wild card.   Could she hold her own with a powerhouse like Spader?   At first, not even close.   But she came into her own later in the season.   I still think she’s a bit stiff.  I know part of it is the character but I think part of it was Boone getting more comfortable with the character.   The cast was great, the storyline was riveting, and I’m already anxious for next Monday to get here!   But I’m concerned over the change in air date.    NBC hasn’t had a bona fide drama hit (not including reality shows) since Heroes in 2006.   It’s hard to argue that Friday Night Lights, Medium, and Chuck were hits.  Even though they all lasted multiple seasons and some received rave reviews and had rabid fan bases, they scratched and clawed to get renewed each year.  And yes, Heroes did crash and burn quickly but out of the gate, it was a huge hit and the buzzy show everyone was talking about.   That’s The Blacklist.  Everyone was talking about this show.   Fans couldn’t wait for it to come back.  So what does NBC do to it’s most buzzed about show?   Decides to put it on Hiatus in November for Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs and then return on a different night and time.   Why?   Why not Chicago Fire or Chicago PD?   Why pick your best show?   Just because people are tuning in Mondays at 10pm for The Blacklist, doesn’t mean they’ll tune in for State of Affairs…especially since so many people can’t stand Heigl and she hasn’t gotten the best reviews for this show.  So I’m curious to see how that impacts the show.   Viewers don’t like it when you move their shows around and history shows that it’s usually disastrous when you move new shows around.  If it’s established like Bones or Supernatural, those shows can typically survive it.   But if you’re new or relatively new (see what ABC did to Cougar Town) it can hurt your chances of renewal.  I don’t think that will happen here, but I will be keeping an eye on it.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
There are two pilots I’ve seen and the rest I haven’t.   Of the two I saw, one I think has potential to be good but it’s not there yet.  The other, dreadful.   But let’s start the positive shall we?

I enjoyed A to Z.   The pilot had some promise and I really liked the two leads Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti) who had some nice chemistry.   I think this show has room to grow and the cast gets a better feel for their characters.  It is a bit cliché in the sense that Zelda is the type A with no time for relationships and Andrew is a young man looking for the love of his life and is a total romantic.   In their relationship, he may be looking a little too hard for something that is or isn’t there while she is so closed off, she can’t see what’s right in front of her.   It’s a little reminiscent of “How I Met Your Mother” and not just because the titular Mother was played by the same actress playing Zelda.   But after fans being so disappointed with how HIMYM ended up, will they be willing to try another comedy following the love story of two people?   Marry Me is the one I’m most looking forward to.   It stars Casey Wilson and Ken Marino as Annie and Jake, a couple who have been dating for six years and are trying to figure out if they are ready to take that next step.   When they get back from a trip in which Annie thought Jake would propose (and didn’t) she calls him out and unloads years of frustrations about their relationship and the people in it.   Unfortunately for Annie, Jake was behind her on one knee and all the people Annie just destroyed emotionally were hiding in the background ready to yell surprise as Jake popped the question.   Oops.  It’s a show that seems very tight out of the gate and could be the best new comedy of the season.

As for the absolutely no, that would be The Mysteries of Laura and Bad Judge.   I watched the pilot of TMOL (please feel free to read the full recap on the main page) and it wasn’t pretty.   The show is completely disjointed, the writing isn’t good, and the dramedy has no part of either comedy or drama.    It’s a shame for the cast because Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, and Laz Alonzo are fantastic…just woefully miscast or trying to do the best they can with a bad script.  I don’t buy Messing as a top detective.   I can’t stand Lucas’ character.   The kids are so awful it’s hard to believe any child can be that disgusting.   Plus, I’m really tired of the stereotype show that lays out the premise of “buttoned up in my professional life and a hot mess in my personal life.”  Which is the perfect segway to Bad Judge.   Oh my word.  This show looks so bad I can’t even get through the 10-15 second promos.   Kate Walsh, what were you thinking?   This show isn’t funny, it’s embarrassing.   I’m also thinking this could be one of the first (if not the first) show of the season that is canceled.

In the “I’m not so sure” realm, we have Constantine and State of Affairs.   I have a feeling I’ll be watching Constantine because that is right up my husband’s alley.   A cross between Supernatural and Arrow..there’s no way we’re not watching.   Constantine follows John Constantine (Matt Ryan) who is about to give up the fight of protecting innocent people because his soul is already damned to hell.   But a series of events thrust him back into superhero mode and now Constantine is back protecting the innocent and sending the evil spirits back to where they came.    In November, State of Affairs takes over The Blacklist’s time slot.   SoA stars Katherine Heigl as a top CIA analyst (Charlie Tucker) who has close ties to President Connie Payton (Alfre Woodard.)    Tucker was engaged to her son and her son was killed as a result of a terrorist attack.   Now both women want the men/women responsible for killing him brought to justice and together they are working to make that happen…as well as deal with the every day dealings at the White House.   Normally this is the type of show that is right up my alley.   But I don’t know if I can buy Heigl in this role.   Early reviews are that she isn’t puling it off.   I’m willing to give this show, and Heigl, a chance.    But it does have a short leash.

 

SERIES PREMIERE RECAP AND REVIEW: The Mysteries of Laura “Pilot” S1 E1

It’s hard to believe the new season has kicked off.   And I’m not going to lie, I don’t like when networks do these “special previews” and premiere shows outside of premiere week.    One, I’m not ready for it yet.   Two, I usually forget the show is premiering because my mind has not kicked into that gear yet.   And three, it loses some of the pomp and circumstance (at least in my household) of premiere week.   It’s like the start of the NFL season.   To me, the season starts the first Sunday of the season.   10-12 games are on the docket for the day (usually my Eagles are one of those teams.)   I make my traditional chili, I get the beer chilled, my house is decorated in Eagles green, I have my Eagles jersey on, the phone is shut off, and I watch football for 10-11 straight hours.   It’s awesome.   The season doesn’t start on Thursday.   I hate Thursday games.   It’s one thing during holidays when nothing else is on but not every Thursday.   So I can’t get excited about that Thursday game because that’s not the start of the season for me.   Sunday is.   The TV Fall Season is the same way.   This isn’t premiere week.   Next week is.    I have nothing to do at night next week.  I will have all my DVRs set up, I will have my schedule of what I’m watching live and what I’ll watch on the DVR later.   It’s amazing!!    So I don’t know if it hurts or helps shows like The Mysteries of Laura (TMOL) to premiere early.  In one regard, there is very little competition so you have a better chance of getting a solid audience.    But that can also hurt you if your pilot isn’t the greatest but you build into your momentum and get better as more episodes come around.   If the pilot is bad or iffy, you may have already lost people after one episode.    It’s also a good thing because it’s been 4-5 months (if you’re Sleepy Hollow 7 months) since we’ve seen our favorite shows so people are itching for something new to watch.   And don’t give me the summer season has new shows now because there’s a reason those shows air in the summer (network shows I mean.)  It’s because TV viewing goes down significantly in the summer time and therefore not as much pressure for ratings for advertisers.    Bottom line, if you’re going to break the premiere week mold, you better have something people will jump on or else you’ve shot yourself in the foot.   TMOL might have just shot themselves in the foot.   If they get 10 million people to watch again next week, I will quit my real job.

TMOL stars Debra Messing as Det. Laura Diamond.  She is one of the top detectives in her precinct struggling to juggle her job, her marriage, and her kids.   Certainly not a new premise but one you hope due to casting, will have a new twist or new life breathing into it.   And as much as I love Messing, this character is as cliché as they come.   Her desk is a mess, her car is a mess, she’s late, she’s disheveled, and she’s unconventional.    The problem is, none of this resonates with me.  I don’t buy her as a detective let alone the best detective.   Seriously, what detective goes to a home to investigate death threats and sits down with the guests and has cake and wine?   Even her captain when he is offered wine says “oh I really shouldn’t.”  YOU THINK?   You are on duty aren’t you?    Isn’t there a rule about drinking and being on the job?   And this all happens after she shoots a perp in the ear while he’s holding a man hostage in the middle of a busy park.   And she picks the ear that closest to the hostage instead of the outside ear.    That’s great police work.    Then there are her parenting skills.    For an interview for a Pre-K school (because her kids were kicked out of the other one) she feeds her kids enough cough syrup so they are calm and almost asleep.   She must have overdone it though considering her one son pukes it up.   Then when her children are urinating on each other in public, instead of punishing them or freaking out OVER THE FACT HER KIDS ARE PEEING ON EACH OTHER FOR FUN, she asks politely asks them to stop.  No wonder her kids are monsters.    It also doesn’t help that her husband (soon to be ex) Jake (Josh Lucas) is just a big kid himself…but not in a good way.    He’s not Jack Tripper in Three’s Company where he’s funny and goofy and slightly frustrating because he’s just a big kid but he’s so lovable you can’t be mad at him.   Plus when he needs to buck up, he does.  Jake isn’t close to that.   He seems to shirk his parenting duties and when he is around his kids, he’s bringing them pizza and wrestling with them on the couch and then leaves.   When his kids are peeing on each other in the park, he thinks it’s funny and it doesn’t seem to phase him at all.    You’re probably reading this thinking what’s wrong with a dad bringing his kids pizza and wrestling around with them?  Nothing at all….as long as he steps up and is their father when it counts, not just their buddy.    I don’t get the impression Jake has time for the serious stuff…only the fun stuff.   So from a home life perspective, there isn’t one likable person in the Diamond household.

There was a case that I really didn’t care about.   This phone mogul was receiving death threats and everyone (except Laura) thought it was the wife.   Turns out it was Laura’s Captain (Elias from Person of Interest) who was the person who killed him because he was having an affair with his wife.   Ok I’ll admit I didn’t see that twist coming but it fell flat because the rest of the case was so uninteresting.    Because Captain Elias was obviously removed of his duties as captain of the squad.   Guess who just so happens to be put in his place?     That’s right…Laura’s husband Jake.    Which again, isn’t there something against spouses working in the same precinct let alone one reporting to the other?

I really wanted to like this show but I just didn’t.   I like a lot of the cast, independent of this show, but they all deserve better than this.   The writing is bad, the premise is worse, and there isn’t a likable character on the show.   Not to mention this show doesn’t seem to know what they want to be.    Is this a comedy?   Is this a dramatic cop show with some comedic elements?   Is it a family show?   And shows don’t have to be channeled into one vain or another…they can cross multiple angles (which Castle does brilliantly.)  But this show doesn’t seem to have a direction.    On top of that, I just can’t buy that Laura is so good at her job yet so awful a parent.  Mostly because I don’t believe she’s as good a detective as we’re being told she is.    Kate Beckett, Olivia Benson, Brenda Leigh Johnson….those are good cops.   Laura?   I guess shooting a perp with precision in the middle of Battery Park is supposed to indicate she’s the best of the best.   Or really dumb and really lucky.   I’m not sure.   But she didn’t come across as a confident, seasoned vet who commands respect in her squad.      Add in the husband being forgettable and the kids being beyond disastrous, I have no interest in seeing where Laura goes from here and what her mysteries actually are.

DVRs: 1

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “The Enchanting Mr. Knight” S5 E16

There are very few episodes of Parenthood that I can say annoy the crap out of me.   In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever thought that about Parenthood.   But last night’s episode had me spitting nails.   Decisions that were made, conversations that were had…..UGH.   So much bad in 42 minutes.    Let’s start with what got my blood boiling the most shall we?

Crosby and Camille

Words cannot describe how much I wanted to punch Crosby in the face between last week’s episode and this week’s episode.    At one point, I was listening to his incessant rambling with my mouth agape.     I couldn’t believe the things he was saying.   Who the hell do you think you are Crosby?   Yes you grew up there but it’s not your home, it’s your parent’s home.   I mean of course your childhood home is your home when you’re a kid and you live there.   But guess what?   When you’re married and have a family and have your own home, it’s not your home anymore.   And unless you’ve paid a penny towards the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc on the home, IT”S NOT YOUR PLACE TO SAY ANYTHING!!!   How DARE he get in the middle of this.   This is the Crosby I thought we sort of grew away from…the selfish, nosy, screwed up, self-centered jerk that thought the world revolved around him and every decision made in the world needs to be made in a way that makes him happy and his life easier.    Well he is back.

First he goes to Zeek to tell him that he knows he doesn’t want to sell the house and asks why he’s letting mom push him into something he doesn’t want.    And after Zeek very directly and beautifully tells him that it’s because after all his mother has done for this family, she deserves to have something she wants.   She wants to travel and if that means selling house to make her happy, Zeek is going to do it because she means more to him that anything else.    Then, since apparently that wasn’t good enough for Crosby, he goes to his mother and whines like a 7-year-old about selling his childhood home.  Notice he never talks about his siblings….it’s HIS home and HIS room.   By the way, since when do grown children say to their parents “when were you going to paint my room without telling me?”  I’m sorry Crosby, did you leave your wife and children and move back with your mom and dad and become 12 again?  As Camille reminded him, it hasn’t been his room in years.    And then the granddaddy asshole comment of all, he tells Camille she is selfish for selling the house.    SELFISH!!   He told his mother she was selfish for wanting to sell HER house.   Is he for real?    He actually made that comment with a straight face?    Well after losing my voice screaming at my TV, Camille responded better than I ever could:

Selfish.   Ok let me put this into some perspective for you.  I spent over 30 years of my life taking care of four kids.  Some of whom are still living in my house and coming home for lunch.  And I spent most of my adult life, compromising myself and what I want for your father.  I’ve always put myself second.  Or third.  Or fourth.  Or fifth or sixth.   I have cooked your dinners.  I have packed your school lunches.  I have driven you to play dates and practice and done your laundry well past when I should have.   And now when I assert one thing that I want, one thing, you and your dad and everyone else can’t take it.   So.  If that’s selfish, excuse me.

ROUND OF APPLAUSE CAMILLE!!!!  I seriously stood up (actually I was already up screaming at Crosby through my TV) and starting clapping and crying.    Good for you Camille.   You put your ungrateful, inconsiderate, rude, SELFISH, son in his place.   The worst part about it, it didn’t sink in with Crosby at all.  I don’t think he really listened to Camille and he got a little too much joy out of listening to his parents fight about this when he’s the cause of their fighting and pain.   And for all the times over the years Jasmine has scolded Crosby and given him a hard time, NOW all she has to say is “I told you not to get involved.”  Really Jasmine?   That’s all you can muster up?   Unbelievable.

I sincerely hope this storyline does not go down the path of Crosby getting what he wants and the house doesn’t sell.   Or if it doesn’t sell, I hope Camille leaves Zeek and her ungrateful son behind and goes on an adventure of a lifetime and do something just for her….because she deserves it

Sarah, Carl, and Hank

I used to like Hank.  He was weird and quirky, but I liked him.  Which surprised me because I HATED Everybody Love Raymond.   I found the show and Ray Romano, very unfunny.   But on Parenthood, I really liked his character and how Romano brought this character to life.    But this season, since they seem to be going down the “Hank Has Asberger’s” story line , it seems as thought Hank’s behavior has reached a new level of annoying.   Sure he was odd before but it was charming and sweet.   Now, he’s just a dick.   And I’m not sure if the Aspie suggested diagnosis is supposed to make us accept his rude/bad behavior or if his behavior is getting worse and we’re going to use an Aspie diagnosis to hopefully make people more understanding of Hank.  I know I’m saying the same thing but I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not sure which came first….the new ugly Hank or the Aspie story line.   And with all due respect, I’m great with one Asberger’s story line because I find it fascinating, I don’t need another.

This was another story that had me screaming at my TV.   Sarah was going to go away with AMAZING Carl to Zimbabwe, a once in a lifetime trip, and decided not to go after a nasty confrontation with Hank.   Her reason for not going….it’s the year of Sarah.   Really?   Year of Sarah huh?    So if it’s the year of Sarah, why did you let a man make your decision for you?    Isn’t the reason you’re now staying the exact reason Hank yelled at you for going in the first place….a man was distracting you and dictating your decisions?    Because when she decided to go to Africa, that was HER decision.  But her decision to stay was based off of being bullied by a man.   How exactly does that conform with her idea that it’s the year of Sarah?    Also it’s the YEAR of Sarah.  Not one week in the year if Sarah.    What is going to Africa with an amazing, smart, philanthropic, sweet stud  have to do with it not being the year of Sarah?  Is Sarah not allowed to go away during that year?   Can she not have fun?  Can she not have an outstanding experience both personally and professionally?   Because those seem to be the types of things you’d want to do in a year for yourself.   Am I wrong?    So instead, she’s going to let Hank bully and berate her into feeling bad about herself to stay because he’s jealous she’s going away with Carl.    Because let’s be honest.  Hank doesn’t care about Sarah being true to herself.    He cares that Sarah is going away with another man other than him.    Because if Sarah was going to Africa with Hank, I’m sure there would not have been a problem.   While Carl has always seemed to have Sarah’s best interests at heart, Hank only cares about himself.  Which is why I hope we haven’t seen the last of Carl because he’s a really good guy and I think he’s great for Sarah and I hope Hank goes back to wherever his daughter is and leaves the show.   Jason Katims, DO NOT put Sarah and Hank back together.    Carl was good for her.   For someone who always struggled to find herself and make her way in the world, Carl not only gave her support but self confidence, strength, and belief.  I don’t think you could have found a better guy for Sarah.   But what do I know.

Julia, Joel, and Ed

Oh Julia.  What are you doing girlfriend?   I know this is a brutal time for you.   But why, WHY would you go to Ed’s house…wait back up.  Why would you make Ed dinner, THEN bring it to his house, then decide that it’s an even better idea to stay and have dinner with him!    Seriously woman?   What are you thinking!   I have no problem with what Julia said to Ed at the sustainability garden (which was basically back off because you’re no good for me.)   And I can understand her back being up when Ed shows up at her home unannounced and uninvited to want to talk.   Ok Ed, what do you want to talk about with the woman you kissed and assisted in putting her marriage on the hot seat?   What made him think that was a good idea?    Just because Joel moved out, doesn’t mean he might not be at the house because of the kids.   Wow, talk about really dumb or really inconsiderate.

But in fairness to Ed, Julia was out of line in her verbal beat down.   Granted, she was probably pretty peeved he just showed up without warning, but that doesn’t mean her comments were accurate.   Her tone, however, was completely understandable.   While Ed kissing Julia (and Julia kissing him back) certainly didn’t make Joel more secure about his marriage, it was far from being solely his fault the marriage is on the rocks.   Ed was right to tell Julia to dig deeper to find the real reason her marriage is in trouble.   Eventually, our little Julia does realize he’s correct.   But you know what?   THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU MAKE HIM CHICKEN MARSALA AND BRING IT TO HIS HOUSE AND EAT IT WITH HIM!!    I mean was Katims just handing out stupid pills this week?   Sheesh.

I want my J&J back together.   They are both at fault and they both need to suck it up and work it out.  I know Julia wants to try but Joel needs to pipe down already, move back in, and work on his damn marriage.

Drew and Natalie

First things first.  Drew.  We need an intervention.  For your hair.  Have you never heard of scissors?   A barber?   A flowbee?   Get that mess under control.   You are an attractive young man but we wouldn’t know it because we can’t see your face behind your out of control Beiber.

Now, it’s time you kick Natalie to the curb.   You almost did last night.   You did put her in her place and tell her what I have been yelling about for weeks….you can’t have it both ways!   A little history.   Natalie and Drew connect at first and they’re hooking up and hanging out so obviously (because Drew’s adorable) Drew wants to give her his pin and go steady.   But Natalie, being a current woman of the 2010s, tells Drew to go pound sand.   They can be friends with benefits but nothing more.  After Drew tells her the benefit part has to come with something more, she says they can only be the friend part.   Ok, no problem.   So then why is Natalie going all Glenn Close/Alex Forrest on Drew?  As he reminded her last night, you’re the one who wanted to be just friends and now that Drew is trying to be just that, she disses him.     What is with people in this episode?

Like with Ed, I have to be fair to Natalie.  I didn’t like the way she treated Amy.   She has no right to be bitchy and dismissive when you’re the one who told Drew you’re just friends.   So because he’s not pining away for you, he’s the jerk?    Whatever.  But where Natalie was right was in telling Drew that when Amy’s stay was getting to Jennifer Jason Leigh levels, it was time to do something.   Drew wasn’t living his college life.  He wasn’t doing anything and experiencing things, both socially and scholastically.   He was missing out because Amy was going through a hard time.   And while it’s noble of Drew to want to be there for her and help her, he’s hurting himself and Amy by letting it go on as long as he had.    Time to cut the apron strings.   Couldn’t agree with Natalie more.   But where Natalie is wrong is making Drew feel bad for being exactly what she told him to be…a friend.  If you like him, speak up woman!   If you don’t, then shut your pie hole.   Either way, make a decision and stick with it because right now, you bug the crap out of me.

Adam and Kristina

I really have nothing to say on this front other than, I love them.   Best couple on the show.   Love the school they are trying to build and I hope it works out for them.   Oh and SUCK IT CANCER!!   You’re not going near my girl again!

That was a lot of anger for a Parenthood post wasn’t it?    Wow.  That’s so not like me.  Except for Crosby.  He usually brings out the worst in me even though he hasn’t lately.   So I guess he was due for a whopper.   And I get so frustrated because I’m an idiot and have a tendency to forget these aren’t real people.   But that’s why I love the show.  Katims, the writers, the actors…amazing.  I feel like I’m watching a real life family so when things happen I tend to react, strongly.   I’m uber attached to this family the way Max is attached to bugs and photography.   But I need everyone to wake up and get back on track.  No more calling your mom selfish or not going on sex trips with hot guys or having dinner with men you shouldn’t.   Let’s pick up the pace Bravermans.   I have big expectations as the season comes to an end!!!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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Mid Season Premiere Dates – UPDATED

Make sure you check out the main page for an update on the 2014 Mid Season Premiere Dates.  Game of Thrones, Mad Men, About A Boy, Believe, Survivor, the Amazing Race, and more have all been added.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in AMC, CBS, HBO, Mid Season, NBC, Premiere Dates

 

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Catching Up With…Parenthood

It’s dumb to say that Parenthood is having a good season.  It ALWAYS has a good season.  But there are a few story lines that really hit home with me so I’m going to touch on the big ones.

Joel and Julia

This was the couple that historically was kind of on the back burner in regards to the Braverman crew.  There is always Sarah’s drama (and Amber and Drew have had lots of story lines.)  Crosby and Adam are always front and center.  Then there was Julia.  Granted last year they got more juicy material with them adopting Victor after trying to have another baby, Julia losing her job, Joel going back to work.   They were getting more into the Braverman story line flow.  But no matter what was going on with Joel and Julia, like Adam and Kristina, they were solid.   Then this season hit.   What was once the second strongest relationship on the show (behind Adam and Kristina) is now disintegrating before our eyes.

In the last two episodes, Joel has become more suspicious of Julia’s relationship with Ed.  It got ugly last week when Joel punched Ed at a school function because Julia was trying to calmly ask a very drunk Ed to leave her alone and he wouldn’t.  So Joel stepped in and not so calmly took care of it.  It led to a painful exchange where Joel asked Julia if they were having an affair and she said no.  Let’s discuss that for a minute.  Do you guys think what she had with Ed constituted as an affair?  I don’t and here’s why.  While I do believe you can have an affair that doesn’t have any physical component whatsoever, I don’t think that totally happened here.  Julia and Ed really started as just friends.  That’s all.  And becoming a good friend with someone of the opposite sex (or same-sex if you’re gay) does not automatically mean you are having an emotional affair.  Let’s clear that up.  But I do think that it was starting to cross a line and may have crossed (I’m taking before the kiss) that line but I think as soon as Julia started to realize what was going on, she stopped it.  Granted I wouldn’t have done it the way she did, going over to his house I think sends a confusing message, which resulted in a kiss, but I think her intention was to cut it off.  See to me, an affair is something you choose to do over a period of time even knowing what you are doing is wrong.  Whether it’s physical or not, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen over night.  It’s a long process with two willing participants.  Are there jerks who cheat for no reason?  Sure there are.  But I think there is a difference between cheating and an affair.  Cheating is solely physical.  An affair is emotional, physical, spiritual…it’s a complex issue signifying a greater problem in an established relationship.  I know it may sound like semantics and for some people whether you call it cheating or an affair it’s the same thing and I understand that.  But for me, I think it’s two different things.  In this case the Julia/Ed thing hasn’t been going on that long.  They were just friends at first.  I don’t think it was until the last month that Julia felt something more.  And while she liked being around someone she could talk to and someone who understood exactly what she was going through, once it started to become more and that Joel was making an effort at home, she decided this had to stop.  I also think she was confused and alone and made some very bad judgement calls that I’m sure she’d like to take back.  But I don’t think I’d call it a full-blown affair.  I think it was a friendship that started to turn deeper because of her lack of connection at home as when it did, she ended it.   She should have ended it without a kiss but once that happened, she completely blocked Ed from her life.  And to be fair, she wasn’t completely honest with Joel when she said Ed kissed her and there was nothing back from her.  I don’t think so girlfriend!  You kissed Ed right back for a little while so don’t pretend it was all him.  But hey, at least she told Joel the truth in that the kiss happened.

Joel and Julia have had many gut wrenching scenes this year but her telling Joel about how unhappy she’s been and what happened between her and Ed and how the friendship evolved, was so sad.  But the worst was when she told him about the kiss.  You can tell this was killing her because she knew she was going to break her husband’s heart.  She looked like she was going to vomit all over the table and I was right with her because I knew what was coming.  It was awful.  And then to see Joel and how crushed he was and then how angry he was…it was devastating.  And I don’t blame him.  For the hurt he’s feeling, for the anger he has towards Julia, if I were in his shoes, I’d be the same way.  I can only imagine that nothing can prepare you for hearing your spouse tell you they kissed another person.   So what happens now?  Julia wants to go to counseling and Joel has said he’s done and that their marriage isn’t worth saving.   Ouch.  I really believe at this point he’s just so hurt and angry (and rightfully so) that he doesn’t want any part of Julia or their life together, except for the kids. I have to believe (or maybe it’s my wishful thinking) that they will work this out.  It won’t be this season for sure.  But maybe next season by the end, they are working their way back to one another and they’ll be stronger for it.  Fingers crossed!

I have to say, the way the writers have handled this is brilliant.  It’s not your typical cheating, soap opera story line.   This is how it goes down in the real world.  And in the real world, good couples and good people make bad choices and then have to deal with the consequences.  Some work through it with a lot of hard work and dedication and find a way to rebuild their marriage.  Others, it’s too painful and too hard because the trust is broken and they just can’t get it back.  So they have to move on.  And that happens.  I just hope in the case of J&J, the former happens instead of the latter.  But I’m scared because Katims seems to be the kind of guy that wants to take a hard road in a story line if it makes sense.  He hasn’t yet.  When Crosby and Jasmine had their issues and broke up, they got back together (ugh.)   When Kristina had cancer, she beat it and survived.  When Amber spiraled out of control, an accident happened but not too bad she couldn’t recover.  Nothing catastrophic has happened…yet.   So why do I have a bad feeling and J&J might be the first big casualty of Parenthood?  I hope I’m wrong but I just have a bad feeling.

Max

The story lines that focus on Max’s Aspberger’s Syndrome (AS) are so hard for me because I don’t have a family member or friend with that condition and the last thing I want to do is to come off ignorant or insensitive.   But I do want to discuss the handling of Max from Adam and Kristina’s standpoint.   But it’s hard because I can’t figure out if how Adam and Kristina are handling the situation with Max, is the correct way or not.  I understand that when Max does something awful (like he did with Micah) it’s because he doesn’t understand the emotional impact of his actions.  But his parents do.  Is trying to fix it with tickets to basketball game really the answer?  Isn’t it better (although harder) to explain to Max that when he is so honest, he can then hurt someone’s feelings or offend them greatly because not everyone sees things the way Max does.  And as a result, he could lose friends.  I mean I don’t want the boy to be afraid to try to make a friend again, but can he intelligently understand that point?  I don’t know.   I’ve tried to find some forums and blogs of parents with Aspie kids who may watch Parenthood to see what their take is.   Mostly I find that these parents hate the show and think that what Adam and Kristina are doing with Max is wrong.  That wasn’t always the case, there were some sites where people were very positive on the show and EVERYONE raves about Max Burkholder’s portrayal.  The big issue is Adam and Kristina and quite frankly, that’s always been my question.  Not being a parent I can only assume that parenting a child with AS is much different from parenting a neurotypical (NT) child (a child without a form of autism.)   But, if you’ve read any of my other posts on Max, Adam, and Kristina, I always question just how forgiving parents of Aspie’s should be when it comes to behavior.  Because I don’t know.  I watch the things Max does and says and I wonder how Adam and Kristina allow him to behave that way.   Some I understand he can’t control but does that give Max the right to behave however he chooses?   According to some of these sites I’ve read, it doesn’t.

In the case of last week with Micah, Max told him basketball was stupid and that Micah was an idiot for wanting to play because he’s in a wheelchair so he can’t play.  Adam’s resolution was ok then apologize and invite him to a basketball game and it will all be ok.  What?   Is he kidding?   I understand he wants to protect his son.  I understand he doesn’t want to see Max lose his only friend.  I get that.  But like Kristina told him, they can’t always clean up his problems for him.  At some point he has to realize there are consequences to his behavior and I don’t think Adam and Kristina have always taught him that.   Adam has to realize that Micah, who is a NT, isn’t going to be willing to forgive someone who was so rude and offensive to him and that bribing him with tickets to a Warriors game, isn’t going to cut it.   But instead of teaching Max this lesson, he tries to just make it go away.   How is this good for Max?   How is this going to set him up in the future to be able to cope with more challenging circumstances…like if he has as job and says the wrong thing and gets fired.  Then what?  He won’t have the coping skills to work through it.

It’s also why I think this relationship with Hank has to stop.  I used to think it was good for Max and now I don’t think it is.   When Max was telling Hank about the situation with Micah, Hank agreed with Max.   That is not what Max needs to hear right now, especially not from an adult.  Max needs to understand that you cannot speak to people who way.  But Hank is basically telling him that he’s right and Micah’s wrong.  NOOOOOO!!   Not the message that should be sent!  But we’re starting to see Hank tangle with his own inner demons wondering if he’s a long-lost Aspie himself.   And with all due respect, while I think it would be fascinating to see an undiagnosed adult learn about having AS 40+ years later, I just don’t want to see it.  I don’t.  I don’t mind Hank as a fringe character but not as a character with his own story line.  I just don’t need that right now.  And Max doesn’t need Hank right now.   I think Adam and Kristina need to get Max back with a one on one counselor (like they had with Minka Kelly’s character) and get him back on the right track.    Because if things keep going this way, Max is going to be a very lonely person one day.  If Adam thinks his heart is breaking now, try watching your adult AS son that you didn’t help, that you didn’t give coping skills to, struggle in his adult life because you didn’t handle him in the way that was best for him because it was too hard for you.   That will be a tough pill to swallow.

Other Stories

In other news, Amber initially wants nothing to do with Ryan anymore and coldly (but understandably) shows him the door and asks him to go as fast as he can.  After Ryan and Zeek talk, Zeek goes to Amber and tells her that while she’s hurt, she does love him and should at least say good-bye to him.  Eventually Amber does just that and we have a very tearful good-bye to a character I liked very much.  He isn’t ready to be with Amber right now and this whole wedding thing was happening too fast.  But it sucks it had to end like that.  I guess it could have been worse.   Just please, please, PLEASE…don’t kill him over there.  I don’t think Amber could survive that.

Sarah got a job as a photographer with Surf Shop, or something like that, with a little help from hottie Dr. Carl and from the fact that Hank was so obnoxious in his interview that the contact for Surf Shop didn’t want to work with him.  Problem is, she has no equipment, studio, or experience.  So she goes to Hank for help and he’s a real douchbag about it.  He makes her admits she’s in over her head and makes her pay him 50/50 of the job.  I understand he doesn’t do charity work but you know what, you lost the job because of your attitude.   At least the person who got the job has a connection with you and has asked that you work together so you’ll be getting something instead of nothing for the gig.  Sarah hasn’t always been my favorite character because of her choices and the way she handles things drive me crazy, but she’s been much better this season and I think she’s really trying to make a career for herself.  So what that it’s a bigger job than she’s ready for and who cares how she got it.  She has a chance to prove herself and make a name for herself.   And Hank made her feel bad about it.  Screw you Hank.   If I were Sarah, I would have gone to another photographer and worked with them instead.  Or, spent some money and got the equipment and started studying hard to get as prepared as possible for the job.  Nothing beats experience but she doesn’t need Hank.

That’s pretty much the big stuff.  What are you thinking of Parenthood?  What do you think about this whole J&J story line?    What do you think about the way Adam and Kristina are handling Max?  Are you sad about Amber and Ryan?  Are you hoping Sarah succeeds?   Sound off below!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: 2014 Golden Globe Awards

I say this every year…I love the Golden Globes!  It’s one of three award shows I look forward to every year with the GG being my favorite (the other two are the Tony’s and the Emmy’s.)   I love watching everyone get all boozed up and either presenting or accepting awards.  It’s fabulous.  Plus, as Amy Poehler put last year, it’s where the beauty of movie stars rubs elbows with the rat faces of TV.  Love her.  AND SHE WON!!!!  Ok I’m jumping ahead.  But I’m starting with her and Tina Fey.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted again this year.  Just when I was nervous they couldn’t top last year’s brilliance, they did.  I honestly believe it has something to do with their friendship.  You’ve seen other pairs over the years host award shows and they are so stiff and uncomfortable with one another because they don’t know each other as well.  This doesn’t happen all the time.  But recently, it seems to be the case.  As with James Franco and Anne Hathaway and Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.  And don’t even get me started on the year the reality hosts “hosted.”  What a disaster.   But Fey and Poehler know each other so well, they work seamlessly together.  They just fit.  They are the female Turk and J.D.  You can’t imaging Chris Turk without John Dorian right?   Just like I can’t imagine with Tina without Amy.  They are perfection and they were again last night.  From the fantastic opening monologue to Tina introducing her “son” Mr Golden Globe Randy, to Poehler making out with Bono once winning her award, they didn’t have a bad spot all night.  My two favorite jokes had to be these two zingers:

  • “Gravity is nominated for Best Film.  It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die then spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”
  • “And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio”

The only thing you could say that was bad, was that they weren’t on stage enough.  There was probably a good hour to hour and 15 minutes where you didn’t see them at all.  But there are a lot of awards to get through so I can understand that.  I just wish the spacing was better so we didn’t go so long without seeing the dynamic duo on stage.

Favorite Moments

  • Emma Thompson’s Presentation.  She strolled right up on stage with a martini in one hand and her Christian Louboutin’s in the other.   Brilliant!  She was obvious feeling good but was still completely together and absolutely charming on stage.  A+ Ms. Thompson!
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Big Night.  There has been a ton of controversy over this.  I don’t get it.  I think B99 is damn good show.  It’s funny, well written, well acted.  This was a show that right from the pilot was cruising like this show has been on for 3 seasons.  The cast chemistry is fantastic.  They all play off one another so well.  It’s very natural how the dialogue and reactions flow.  B99 didn’t have the yips early on like some comedies do and then hit their stride.  They hit their stride in the pilot and haven’t looked back.  They just aren’t getting the big ratings.  I don’t think Dads as a lead in helps.  But this is a solid show that against that competition deserved the win.  As did Andy Samberg.  Great writer, great delivery, excellent comedic timing, his chemistry with Andre Braugher is perfection.   Absolutely well deserved honors on both fronts.  Season 2 here they come!!!!
  • Diane Keaton.  When I’m 68 years old, I hope to look 10% as good as Diane Keaton.  She.  Is.  Gorgeous!  She gave a beautiful speech last night honoring the disgusting Woody Allen and was gracious, classy, and elegant as always.  I’ve heard a few people are upset with honoring of Woody Allen and by extension, Diane Keaton’s speech accepting the award on his behalf.  I’ll talk about Woody Allen below but I think people need to revisit their hostility towards Keaton.   She was asked to accept an award on his behalf.  What is she supposed to do?  Get up there and talk about what a vile person he is?  Of course not!  And she has a much different relationship with him than many other people do so if she wants to salute her friend, so be it.  Not to mention, it wouldn’t have been appropriate for her to rip him to shreds….and who knows if she would want to.  I don’t know what she feels about him personally.  But professionally, he helped launch her to stardom.  So I can understand if she wants to be very benevolent in her speech.  Plus, this was an award honoring his career, not his personal life choices.  I think she did a wonderful job and looked spectacular in doing so.
  • Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston.  The final year of Breaking Bad and the show and Cranston got much deserved props (from what I understand.)  I’m one of the few idiots in the world who have not watched one second of Breaking Bad.  However, it is on my Netflix and the husband and I are planning a major marathon this summer because we don’t have one friend who watches this show who has ever said a bad thing about it.  And of course all the national press it receives is off the charts.  And I already know I’m going to love it so I already know how happy I am that BB and Cranston won last night!
  • Matthew McConaughey.  All right, all right, all right!  Love him!  I was really happy for his win last night because he was so good in “Dallas Buyers Club.”   He’s on fire lately with tons of movie and a hot new TV show, True Detective, to boot.  He’s come a long way from Dazed and Confused!!  But man, please put those 45 pounds back on….waaaaaay too skinny still.
  • Speeches: Amy Adams, Amy Poehler, Alex Ebert, Alfonso Cuaron, Andy Samberg, and Elizabeth Moss.  I love heartfelt speeches and each one of these people gave a touching, emotional, real speech that I just wanted to mention them.  Other speeches were good as well but these really stood out to me.  Moss gushing about her talented brother and thanking her mom and hoping she’ll be 1 tenth the woman that she is…wow did I need some Kleenex.  Adams honestly saying she’s was hoping she’d just get a commercial someday….look at her now.  Cuaron explaining that he told Sandra Bullock not that “he was going to give her herpes” but that “he was going to give her an earpiece.”  LOL, classic.  Ebert thanking the production team for “letting him try all over their movie.”  Poehler for just being Poehler.  And Samberg for being so completely surprised and having no speech just winging it and “thanking everybody” including his “team.”   Oh and I also loved Dan Goor, one of the co-creator’s of B99 who said in regards to him not going to med school “that this was way better than saving a human life.”
  • Taylor Swift not winning.  Enough said.

Not So Favorite Moments

  • Jacqueline Bisset’s Speech.  What.  Was.  That?  Seriously, has she stopped talking yet?   You want to talk about being CRAZY uncomfortable watching someone on stage and that was me watching Bisset.  What the hell was she talking about…when she was talking.  It took her 30 seconds just to start talking then when she did, she never stopped blabbering some sort of gibberish.  Wow.  I was happy for her to win but I don’t ever need to see a speech like that again.
  • P Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs, whatever he’s called this week, hitting the Ciroc a little too much.   Diddy, stop.  Just stop.  Not everything is about you.  You were presenting but the night is about the nominees and the winners.  NOT YOU.  So back off and let these people have their moment.   On a side note, U2 totally blowing him off when he came in for a handshake was hilarious!!
  • Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon’s presentation.  I love both of these comedians but this just fell very flat.   And it went on too long.  It’s disappointing too because these two are talented and funny but last night was bad.
  • Woody Allen getting the Cecil B DeMile Award.  I don’t like Woody Allen as a person.  I think he’s disgusting.  But that’s besides the point.  Woody Allen is one of those directors and film makers that either people love or hate.  You either get him or you don’t.  I don’t like his films and I don’t get him.  I never did.  Maybe I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate his work (although I can appreciate the longevity of his career) and that’s why I’ve never been able to understand the gushing praise over his films.  But that’s my opinion.  Many others will disagree and that’s fine.

What did you think of the GGs?   What were your favorite or head scratching moments of the night?  Let me know!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Award Shows, Golden Globes, NBC

 

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REVIEW of NBC’s The Sound of Music LIVE!

Since Nov 30th 2012 when NBC announced that they would be doing a live show of the Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood as Maria, I have been waiting with anticipation to see how it would unfold.   You see, the Sound of Music is my FAVORITE musical of all time.  I love it.  I’m also a HUGE live theater and Broadway fan.  It’s one of the musicals I adored growing up that I’ve never seen a professional production (along with The King and I and Oliver.)   So I was really curious to see how NBC was going to pull this off.  I don’t think it was the bomb most people on Twitter last night were claiming it to be but I also don’t think it was as sensational as others claimed.   It was an ambitious risk that I think if cast a little better and maybe staged a little better, could have been spectacular.   Instead, it was a nice 3 hours of entertainment where some parts were fabulous and others were, well, not so fabulous.

As soon as I hear Underwood was cast as Maria, my heart stopped, and not in a good way.   No I was not one of those people comparing her to Julie Andrews.   NO ONE CAN BE JULIE ANDREWS.   To try to compare Underwood to Andrews is like comparing Joe Montana to A.J. McCarron.  It just isn’t fair.  My concern was, could she act the part?  I was pretty sure she could sing it but is she any sort of actress?  And if she isn’t, that’s a pretty big role to thrust her in, LIVE, for her first acting gig.   So I was skeptical.  Also, with a million brilliant Broadway actresses out there, why not showcase one of them?   Simple, NBC felt they needed a “name” to get young viewers to tune in.   I think who would have been perfect is Laura Osnes.   She a big Broadway star right now, she’s been nominated for Tony’s and it’s all due to a little reality show on NBC a few years back called “You’re The One That I Want.”   She was the girl who won the reality show and landed the role of Sandy in Grease on Broadway.  How cool would it have been for NBC to bring her back on the network that gave her her big break and have her star in this show and showcase how well she has done since the reality show.   Win-Win.   But I guess they felt they needed a really big name to sell it.   Unfortunately, my fears were confirmed last night.

Underwood did a great job with the songs.  I still feel she’s a bit nasally for me but she pretty much nailed every song and note.   And those are not easy songs…especially The Lonely Goatherd.  Singing is about breathing and there are some points in that song that it’s hard to find a place to take a breath to hit a note, especially when you’re jumping around on a bed and running around a room.  Add in the fact that your adrenaline is pumping and it’s a lot more difficult than it appears.   I was worried for her with Do-Re-Mi because when she skipped into the courtyard, you could hear she was out of breath and couldn’t sing so much as she needed to speak some of the song.  And this is right before the money notes at the end of the song where she really has to hit a few high notes and you need your breath to do that.  But she was able to compose herself and smartly toned it down while everyone else was singing so she could catch her breath and hit those notes.  But that’s where her experience with concerts and events helps her because she’s used to singing a couple of hours a night and she knows how to take care of her voice.  So I would give her thumbs up for a pretty great job vocally.

But the acting, wow, that just, wow.  It wasn’t good.  It was pretty bad.  The line deliveries were so flat and you could tell it was very unnatural for her.  Maria is a sweet and loving but feisty and fun young woman desperate to find her place in the world.  I got none of that last night.  What I got was a singer who can’t act desperately trying not to screw up on live TV by trying to remember all of her lines and blocking to the point where the acting part had to go out the window.  And to be fair to Underwood, I don’t blame her.   Acting is not her forte.  It isn’t.   But she was given the chance to do the role of a lifetime so of course she’s going to do it.   At first I wanted to blame the director for this partially because it’s her job to work her and teach her who this character is and how she needs to bring that to life.  Maybe in rehearsals she was better but when the live show came, she got really nervous and went into a shell.  It happens.  But you could see it was very staged…”this is when I need slam my hands on the desk, this is when I should kick my feet, this is when I should put my hand on Liesl’s shoulder.”    It just didn’t work.  I also didn’t sense any chemistry with her and Steven Moyer (Captain Georg von Trapp.)  He had more with Laura Benanti (Baroness Elsa Schrader.)  In fact people were actually rooting for the Baroness to win Georg’s heart this time.  I’m serious.  On Twitter there were #TeamBaroness hashtags everywhere!   You know it’s bad when the audience wants Georg to choose Elsa instead of Maria.  I felt bad for Underwood because when she was in scenes with Benanti, Christian Borle (Max Detweiler), and Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess) she was blown away.  She couldn’t come close to their abilities and skills to command a stage and a scene and it was painfully obvious.  I mean for the love of God McDonald has 5 Tony awards.   FIVE!!   I could spend all day talking about Underwood’s lack of acting chops but I think you get the point.   So overall I give Underwood a lot of credit for taking a role she shouldn’t have been given in the first place and for singing the hell out of it and giving it her best shot.  She did the best she could and I applaud her for that.

Moyer was serviceable as the Captain.  He certainly looked the part and he could sing but he seemed uncomfortable on the set at times.  Moyer has been a theater actor in London so being on a stage is nothing new to him.   But I think what people don’t understand is how much theater actors feed off the audience in their performances.  Because you act very differently in front of a live audience vs. cameras on a set.  Blocking is different, the projection of your voice is different, deliveries are different.   So here is a stage production happening with no audience on a TV set with cameras.  So you have to act as though you’re on stage in front of an audience yet there isn’t either and there are cameras everywhere.   So I can see how that takes getting used to and Moyer took a while to feel comfortable with it.  And since Moyer has been doing TV for a while now, I think he forgot at times that projecting your voice doesn’t mean you have to shout at people.  But he was fine as the Captain.  And it’s hard when your leading lady isn’t really giving you much to work which is also why he came across better in scenes with Benanti and Borle than he did with Underwood.

As I think everyone would agree, the highlights and standouts from the show were McDonald, Benanti, and Borle.  When they were front and center, it was like everything went to a new level.  My jaw is still on the floor from McDonald’s rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and I knew it would be.  That was the one song, I couldn’t wait to hear and a box of tissues later, I wasn’t disappointed.  Even Underwood couldn’t keep herself from crying at the glorious sound that emanated from McDonald’s vocal chords.   She is just genius.  And leave it to Benanti and Borle to make two characters I never cared about, my favorites in this rendition.  I’ve been fortunate to see both of them on stage.  I even got to see Benanti’s Tony winning performance in Gypsy.  So when my husband turned to me a said “hey isn’t that the chick from Go On?”  I said, wait until you hear her sing.   Then he says to me “oh wait, she was in The Playboy Club too…I heard her sing there.”  I just shook my head.  Then she started her number.  By the end, my husband’s iPad was down and his mouth was agape. “Holy Shit.  She can really sing.”   It made me chuckle.  But when Benanti and Borle were performing you could tell they were at a different level.  Even when Benanti went to speak to Moyer in another room, someone was stepping on her dress and it halted her movement.  She gracefully and without skipping a beat, asked the gentleman to excuse her, grabbed her dress, and spoke her line again.   Total pro.  Borle, as usual, had great comedic timing and worked well off everyone he was around.   He was great.

Finally, we have the kids.  I loved them.  From Liesl to Gretl, they were all wonderful and did a fantastic job!  The only one who seemed slightly nervous and awkward was Michael Nigro who played Fredrich but nothing that took away from anything and really I’m nitpicking.  He was fine and had a very good voice.  Michael Campayno  (Rolf) was also a nice standout.   I believe he’s a senior at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and showed very well.  Plus, what a voice.  I hope to see him on a Broadway stage someday!  Same with Ariane Rinehart (Liesl.)  She had a very pretty voice and was a beautiful dancer.  That young lady might have a future on the stage!

As for the show itself I think the big problem the audience had was that people were expecting a live version of the movie.  All throughout Twitter last night people were ranting and raving that My Favorite Things should be in the bedroom and that there was no puppet show and what are these random songs that Max and Elsa sing, why were they put in the show, and why did they take out I Have Confidence?   It’s because this wasn’t the movie!  This was a reproduction of the original stage production from 1959 starring Mary Martin.  The only addition was Something Good which was written for the movie and added to stage productions later on (it replaced at song called No Ordinary Couple.)  Although I will say the 1998 Broadway revival (which marked Benanti’s Broadway debut at 19 years old and eventually took over the role of Maria from Rebecca Luker) did add I Have Confidence to the show and some stage productions will do that.  But last night, they chose not to. But all the song placements and staging were based off the original stage production.  So I think that was hard for people.  I also saw a lot of comments on “no one is better than Julie Andrews so why try.”   That’s ridiculous to me.  While in my opinion, Julie Andrews has the best voice I ever heard and is one of the best leading ladies of stage and screen, to say no one should ever do a show again because someone was that good is absurd to me.   I applaud NBC for doing something different and trying something new.   I loved the idea.  I think we all agree the casting of Maria could have been better but besides that, I thought it was a great idea.   Have an issue with the casting but not with the idea.   I think another issue that while the sets were beautiful, some were very busy and dark and hard to see the actors.  I’m thinking mainly about the mountain/hillside scenes where it was dark and way too many trees and the angles the camera had to go at times blocked the vision of the actors.    And can someone please tell me what the white noise sound was in the background?   Was it a fan to keep the actors cool?   It was really prominent at times and very distracting so maybe next time NBC can get fans that are a little quieter.

After having said all that, what did I think?   I think it’s the Sound of Music and therefore I enjoyed it.  Does casting the wrong Maria really throw a monkey wrench into the performance, yes.  But does the casting of others and their performances make up for that a little, yes.  And is it still The Sound of Music?   Yes.  Would I buy the DVD, no.  But you better believe I’m downloading Audra’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from iTunes today!

What did you think?  Did you love it?  Hate it?  Find a middle ground like I did?   I’m curious to hear what other people thought.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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