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Category Archives: New Shows

SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: The Following “Pilot” S1 E1

I read all the advanced reviews, listened to all the podcasts, saw the “Inside the Following” trailer.  This show was awesome!!!  It was so gripping and thrilling.  I haven’t been on the edge of my seat that much watching a TV show in a very long time.  Many people from the writers, to the actors, to the critics can really blow up a show’s premise, for both the good and the bad, and sometimes it can be to the extreme of what we’re really watching.  I’ve seen interviews where cast members say they are doing a show that’s really groundbreaking and thought-provoking.  Turns out the show is dull and boring.  I’ve seen show runners say shows are intelligent and  cerebral with intense twist and turns.  Then they turn out shows like The Killing, which was none of those things.    But in all the build up to The Following, I can honestly say, not one report was blown out of proportion.  The show was scary, thrilling, mysterious, creepy, gross, edgy, smart, and sadistic.  And I can’t wait until next week.

The show follows Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who is a former FBI agent responsible for capturing the world’s most notorious serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy.)  Hardy has left the bureau under, not so clear circumstances, but apparently has perfected his ability to imbibe copious amounts of vodka out of Poland Springs bottles.  It appears, at least today, that due to being stabbed in the heart by Carroll and not playing well with others, that Hardy was out.  It also might have something to do with his relationship with Claire but I’m not 100% sure if that’s accurate.  But Hardy is recruited back once Carroll escapes from prison.  From there, things happen very quickly and what we learn in the 42 minutes of air time is not what we (I should say I) was expecting.

First there is Carroll himself, the former college professor with an obsession over Edgar Allan Poe, turned collegiate serial killer.  I always complain that shows/movies give away too much of what’s going on in previews these days, but with The Following, nothing I saw in the preview really clued me into the bigger picture.   Probably because I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I went in expecting to see one thing and now it’s something completely different.  I thought this was going to be about Carroll escaping and starting his rampage all over with Hardy and crew trying to capture him.  I also thought, that’s going to make the series awfully challenging for many seasons to come if they are only ever chasing Carroll.  What we eventually learn is that his escape (and eventual immediate capture) is just the foundation for a much larger, more sinister plot than anyone could have imagined.    We also learn that you can trust no one.  You can’t take one character on this show at face value or else you could get Survivor blind sided.  It makes watching the show so much more enjoyable when you just don’t know who to trust.

Then there is the romantic triangle that is so bizarre when you think about it.  Carroll was married to another college professor, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea) who eventually falls in love with her husband’s captor, Hardy.  There are SOOO many questions here.  First, when did Claire and Hardy fall in love?  The one time line we were privy to this evening was in 2002 when Carroll comes home and throws his wife on their bed and she tells him the news that she’s pregnant.  They seem quite happy and in love at this point.  Did Claire already know Hardy at this point?  Was she already having an affair with him?  My guess is that she didn’t know about her husband’s extra curricular activities at that time, so when did she learn?  See I think, she and Hardy didn’t get together until later but my husband has a different theory.  He thinks Joey, Claire’s son, is actually Hardy’s and not Carroll’s.  Remember the scene where she hands the letter to Hardy and she says that “he knows” and Hardy tells her that he’s bluffing and he’s just pretending?   My husband thinks that in the letter Carroll tells Claire he knows Joey is Hardy’s kid.  That means one of two things.  One, that Hardy and Claire’s affair was happening back in 2002 and therefore she was pregnant with Hardy’s kid or two, that she was pregnant at that time but something happened and she lost the baby and got pregnant later with Hardy’s kid.  The former is more plausible because if Carroll is captured in 2003 (and not knowing months at this point) that could be a tight timeline for a second pregnancy.

Finally there is the cult angle.   Like I said earlier, I was expecting this show to be about re-capturing Carroll once he escapes prison and starts his murdering ways again.  But that isn’t the case at all.  This isn’t about Carroll anymore.   I mean it is because it’s his plan, but it isn’t JUST about Carroll because there are so many people involved that it’s bigger than we even realize at this point.  It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Charles Manson!!  I’m not a huge “cult” person because I find them amazingly creepy, and not in a fascinating way.  But this I do find incredibly interesting because I want to know how someone like Joe Carroll is able to get so many people to do what he wishes.   Why would they do this?   How does he get in touch with them?  How does he develop these relationships to the point where people would spend years of their lives following his lead?  Does he have a main point of contact on the outside helping him?   It’s unreal!!   And on a side note, I find it a little disturbing that I was more upset and cringing over the scene where we saw all the puppies who had been slaughtered than I was seeing 4 police officers brutally murdered in the prison.  When I saw that video with the cop with the puppy, I had to cover my eyes because if he hurt that dog and I had to see it, I may have been done with the show.   How wrong is that?

Ok I’m going to go out on a crazy wild limb and say that Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) is one of the followers.  I know I know, I’m nuts and it’s only the first episode so why do I want to make a crazy prediction so early.   Because it’s fun!!  This show has already proven that you can’t trust anyone.  Look at Maggie Grace’s adorable gay neighbors who loved her and were there to protect her.  Not so adorable and lovable now are they? Although I said to my husband when the second guy showed up that I didn’t trust him and that I thought he was in on it.  Then there’s Joey’s nanny who’s obviously been with Joey and Claire a long time.   Yep, she’s one of them too.  And Carroll has already gotten one law enforcement officer on his side so I wouldn’t put it past him to reach higher.  He obviously has the intelligence, the charisma, and the arrogance to pull it off.  I wouldn’t put it past him to have a FBI agent in his pocket.  Weston seems the perfect choice at this point.  He’s young, he’s smart, he has a man crush on Hardy and his work, he appears to want to get to know him better and learn from him, he knows the case backwards and forwards, and no one would suspect him.  So I’m all in on Weston being part of the cult.

The big question is why?  Why is Carroll doing this?  Is it because Hardy and his wife had an affair and he wants to get back at both of them?  Is it because he can and he wants to see how far he can take this?  Is it because he’s bored and Angry Birds just isn’t cutting it any more (pardon the pun.)  I have to believe he has a master plan that has levels we haven’t even begun to think of yet.  But I can’t wait to see where this show takes us.

One of the reasons why I think this show works so well is the chemistry between Bacon and Purefoy.  Is it Hopkins/Foster worthy?   Not quite, but it’s pretty damn good.  The scene where Carroll has been recaptured and he explains to Hardy his plan is so chilling, Purefoy knocks it out of the park.  Bacon also does a masterful job of showing his intense anger and disgust while keeping his composure.  You can see the wheels spinning in his head as Carroll unloads all this new information onto him.  It should set up a beautiful, sinister dance between the two of them for the rest of the series.  But I will say one thing.  Agent Hardy, the next time you get a hunch, please please please, bring back up with you!  Why you would go to the Lighthouse by yourself, is beyond me.  And while we’re on that, I’m heartbroken Maggie Grace was killed.  To survive an attack by a serial killer only to learn that the people you trusted for three years, worked for him and led you right back to him only so he could finish the job?  And to expose what happened to her to Hardy the way he did?  Just, evil!

I want to take one brief moment to comment on the violence of the show.  There have been many people commenting on it and since I have a forum to put in my two cents, I’m going to.  I think we live in a society today where violence is all too present.  With technology advancing, it’s easier for people to find more ways to be destructive and deadly and it’s incredibly scary.  There was no worse display of that than what happened in Newtown, CT just last month.  It’s raised many topics about gun laws and gun control.  It has also resurfaced the discussion on violence in video games, movies, and TV.   And I can understand it.  Tragedies like this hit everyone hard.  And even when there isn’t a tragedy current in our heads, many people find it unnecessary to show the levels of violence that many games, movies, and TV shows so graphically display.   But I also understand that we live in a society where people have the creative rights to depict and tell stories as they choose.  Storytellers have the right to broadcast and film their stories as they feel is necessary to tell the best story or get their message across.  And just as they have the right to do it, people who don’t agree with it have the right to not support it by not purchasing those video games, not buying tickets to those movies, or simply changing the channel on their TVs.

This show won’t be for everyone.  It’s dark, it’s gruesome.  And while I’m someone who abhors violence, especially against children and animals, I can also put shows like this in their proper context.  Because for me, I find shows like this compelling.   I want to know how the FBI would attack a situation like this.  I want to see how they profile a twisted individual.  I want to see how they learn and adapt to get smarter and better so that they continue to get evil like that off the streets.  I want to see if I can figure this out right along with them.  Now is this a documentary on the BAU of the FBI?  Of course not.  It’s a TV show for entertainment, not a History Channel expose.  But shows like this don’t happen in a vacuum.  They do research and have consultants that aid with adding realism into a fictional show.  Now scenes and situations will be dramatized for effect but there are storytellers who like to have as much realism as possible when telling a story like this.   And what it all comes down to is that this is fiction, not reality.  If people want to watch a show like this (that is brilliant right off the bat), I think it’s absolutely ok.   If other people want to crucify it for its violent nature, that’s absolutely ok too.  The beauty of this age of TV is that there are hundreds of channels for you to pick from on Monday nights at 9pm.  If The Following isn’t your bag, it’s a shame but I get it.  And I respect your right to watch something else.    Just respect my right to want to watch it.

What did you all think?  Did you like The Following?  Are you as hooked as I am?  Or were you just too creeped out by people stabbing themselves in the eye to come back?   Let me know!

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SERIES PREMIERE REVIEW: Deception “Pilot” S1 E1

I’ve read a lot of reviews on the series premiere of Deception.  I had a conference call this morning and I was bored so I read reviews!   Just kidding boss…(not really.)  It was fascinating to see the early reports.  People either all out hated it or loved it and thought it was better than Revenge.   My opinion, somewhere in the middle.  I didn’t think the show was awful or incredible.  It’s a decent show that has potential.

The basic premise is Joanna Locasta (Meagan Good) is an NYC detective who was informed by her old partner and current FBI agent Will Moreno (Las Alonzo) that her best friend Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson) has died of a drug overdose.  Since the FBI was already looking into the Bowers family for other crimes, he wants her to go undercover and infiltrate the family to see if she can find out what really happened to Vivian (both think she was murdered.)  He asks her because Joanna grew up with the family because her mother was the Bowers custodial manager and she and Vivian were best friends.  She agrees and the story begins.

We meet the Bowers family, the patriarch Robert (Victor Garber), the step-mother Sophia (Katherine LaNasa), troubled son Edward (Tate Donovan) and his “estranged” wife Samantha (Marin Hinkle), playboy Julian (of course he’s named Julian) (Wes Brown), and youngest sibling Mia (Ella Rae Park.)   Basically, everyone is a suspect (except Mia in my opinion) and they all have issues…drug, sex, something creepy and mysterious.  They’re nuts.  Who can you trust?   Absolutely no one!   Last night on Twitter, I went out on a limb to say that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, eventually, that Sophia and Edward were the “good guys” on the show because they are coming across as the biggest asses right now.  However, if Sophia stayed deliciously nasty, I wouldn’t hate it!

There were many twists and turns for the pilot!  With the big one being that SPOILER ALERT……Mia is really Vivian’s daughter not sister……….SPOILER OVER.  And it confirmed the idea of something more sinister happening to Vivian when we see the close up of a wicked bruise on her check that has a distinct imprint on it and at the end of the episode we see SPOILER ALERT…….Julian hunched down and crying on the docks with a ring in his hand that matches the same pattern on Vivian’s face.  He then hurls the ring into the Hudson River………..SPOILER OVER.   We also see that Edward and Samantha are having issues.  I would go out on a limb to say they are separated over something Edward was alleged to have done.  They have their typical soap opera type cryptic conversation that leads to much speculation as to what the hell they are talking about. He also grabs her quite a bit, which I don’t like.  But she’s very afraid of him and he’s very aloof about life in general.  So what’s going on there?  The big question is can Joanna keep her secret about who she is, other than “Who Killed Vivian” of course!  We did have someone find out that she’s really a cop but he was killed before that storyline could have gotten really interesting.  But who killed him?  Is it the same person/people who killed Vivian?

What did I think?  I liked it.  Was it the greatest hour of TV I ever watched?  Nope.  Was it the worst?  Nope.  I was surprised how harsh some other critics were on the show.  It’s a nighttime soap so it’s going to be campy and silly at times.  I mean seriously?  Tate Donovan is Victor Garber’s son?  Did Garber turn 75 and I didn’t realize it or is Donovan really 40 years old?  I think not.  Garber’s 64 and Donovan is 50.  You do the math.  But this is not the first nor the last time there would be age issues on TV shows (see Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney on Frasier.)   The one comment I saw in a few reviews that I agree with is that if you’re going to be a nighttime, campy soap, act like it.  Don’t try to be a serious show when you clearly aren’t.  And Deception does seem caught in a little bit of that “are we a serious show or a soap?”  Except LaNasa.  She got the memo.   And she’s great!  If Deception can realize who/what it realize is, I think the show will be fine.  I’m still not sold on Good as the leading lady yet.  She doesn’t command the screen the way Emily van Camp, Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett Smith, or Kyra Sedgwick can.  But I’m willing to give her a chance.  She’s good but not as dominant as I’d like her to be.

What did you think of Deception?  Will you keep watching?  Did you hate it as much as some of the critics did?

DVR Rating: 3 DVRs

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 32 Covers Homeland, Ben & Kate, Nashville, How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, & More!

New podcast is ready to go!   Click here to check it out or make sure you download it from iTunes.  And if you like what you hear, I’d love a review on iTunes!!!  And if you don’t, keep it to yourself!  😉

This podcast reviews the following:

  1. Homeland
  2. Scandal
  3. Parenthood
  4. Nashville
  5. Go On
  6. The New Normal
  7. Ben & Kate
  8. Last Resort
  9. 666 Park Avenue
  10. Elementary
  11. The Mindy Project
  12. TV News

Some of the shows don’t have full-blown reviews (like Go On and The New Normal.)  They just have some thoughts and feelings.  But it’s broken out in chapters so you can skip to what you want to hear.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DVRs:  1 DVR

 

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

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

SYNOPSIS

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

WHAT’S WORKING

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

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

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

WHAT’S NOT WORKING

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

DVRs: 4 DVRs

 

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

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

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

WHAT’S WORKING

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

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

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

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

WHAT’S NOT WORKING

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

DVR RATING:  3 1/2 DVRs

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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