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Category Archives: Series Premiere

2014 Fall Preview: ABC

RETURNING SHOWS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Main Tab Updates

I have already gotten the Renew/Cancel tracker cleared and ready for this season.   As soon as shows are renewed or canceled, I will update.   The 2014 Fall Preview will be updated as I add the individual networks to the main page.  For right now only CBS is up but this week should have the rest of the major networks (not cable.)

The 2014 Premiere Dates have not been updated yet and that will be the last thing updated.   All the individual networks reviews will have premiere dates next to the shows.  So until that tab is updated, you can find premiere dates there.

 

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2014 Fall Preview: CBS

RETURNING SHOWS:

Survivor: Blood vs. Water (9/24)
2 Broke Girls (10/27)
Mom (9/29)
The Millers (10/30)
Hawaii 5-0 (9/26)
NCIS (9/23)
NCIS: LA (9/29)
Criminal Minds (10/1)
CSI (9/28)
The Big Bang Theory (9/22)
Two and a Half Men (10/30)
Person of Interest (9/23)
Elementary (10/30)
Blue Bloods (9/26)
48 Hours Mystery (9/27)
60 Minutes (9/21)
The Amazing Race (9/26)
The Good Wife (9/21)

NEW SHOWS:

Madam Secretary (9/21)
Scorpion (9/22)
NCIS: New Orleans (9/23)
Stalker (10/1)
The McCarthy’s (10/30)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:

The Good Wife: When have I not been looking forward to TGW?   Diane joins Florrick/Agos.  Eli wants Alicia to run for State’s Attorney.  Where is Lockhart Gardner now that both Lockhart and Gardner are gone?  (RIP Will.)
Stalker: I loved Maggie Q on Nikita and I’m always a Dylan McDermott fan.  This is the type of show CBS does well so I envision this show succeeding but you never know.   But I will be watching.
Mom: I loved this show.  I’m curious to see how it performs in its 2nd year and how the ratings are.  Last year ratings weren’t great but luckily other comedies fared worse than this show.   But with the buzz about the show and Allison Janney winning her Emmy for the role, I’m hoping people are checking it out.
Madam Secretary: I’ve never been the biggest Tea Leoni fan but she looks fantastic in this role.  It’s a very strong cast and I love the premise (I can never walk away from a political show.)   So as of right now, I’m all in on this show.
Person of Interest: Where do we go now with the team fractured and splinted apart?
The McCarthy’s: looks to be one of the best new comedies of the season.   Only bummer is that it’s premiering very late but I will be tuning in.
Blue Bloods: I just love this show.   I know the Reagans always do the right thing and it’s a little too cream cheesy for people but I can use more cream cheese in my life so it doesn’t bother me at all.

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:

Elementary: I have to be honest, I already started fading on this show last season so it isn’t looking good for me to keep up with it last year.

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:

All the NCIS
CSI
Hawaii 5-0
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Is CBS getting too stale.   CBS has been the dominate network for a long time.  A great sign for CBS is that they were actually #1 in the coveted 18-49 demo for the first time since the 1991-1992 season.  And because of that dominance there wasn’t a lot of changes in the schedule.   But look at the length of time for some of these shows….60 Minutes (46 years), 48 Hours (26 years), CSI (14 years), Survivor (14 years), Big Brother (14 years), The Amazing Race (13 years), NCIS (11 years), Two and Half Men (11 years), Criminal Minds (9 years), The Big Bang Theory (7 years), The Mentalist (6 years), NCIS: LA (5 years), and The Good Wife (5 years.)   Plus you had CSI Miami and CSI NY that were on for about 7-8 years each before they were canceled last year.   What they are doing is working.   But when will they hit the wall?    At some point they have to.  And look at the new shows coming out…another NCIS, Stalker (which is another “how do I solve a crime” show, Madam Secretary which is a political family drama (like The Good Wife is a legal family drama and Blue Bloods is a law enforcement family drama.)  Scorpion is really the only “outside the CBS formula” show.    Does the CBS magic run out?  There’s something to be said for “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”   But you do have to wonder if the magic formula that has carried them to so many season ending wins in viewership, will fizzle out if something doesn’t change or get freshened up.
Will Sundays be tough for Madam Secretary to find an audience.  I love football.  I LOVE football.  I especially love NFL football….Go Eagles!!!!   But you know what I don’t love…how my Sunday night shows (and DVR taping) get screwed up because when there is a 4pm game, it always runs long and it always pushes shows back and starting a wacky times.  It’s why I haven’t watched The Mentalist in 2 years (and after all these years still don’t know who Red John was…and don’t tell me.)   I think it’s really tough for a new show to get an audience on a Sunday night on CBS when the show could be delayed up to 40 minutes.  I know how much it frustrates viewers because I’ve had talks about it in regards to The Good Wife.  But since TGW is so amazing and already had an audience, it didn’t matter.  People will find ways to watch that show.  But a new show like Madam Secretary?   I think that’s going to be tough.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:

CBS doesn’t have a ton of new shows because their schedule is already so strong. Only five shows! My top three are Madam Secretary, Stalker, and The McCarthy’s.   Madam Secretary follows Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst turned history professor, who is asked by the President to become the new Secretary of State when the current Secretary dies in a plane accident.  Elizabeth learns to battle the politics of a high-ranking position in the White House while balancing a very busy home life.   The cast is amazing: Tea Leoni, Keith Carradine, Zeljko Ivanek, Tim Daly, Patina Miller, Geoffrey Arned, and Erich Bergen.  It appears well written, acted, and directed and I can always use another political drama to keep me going (since House of Cards isn’t back until February.)  Stalker stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as lieutenants for the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit that investigate, you guessed it, stalking incidents.  It’s your typical CBS procedural crime drama looking at a different type of crime and who are the people who solve them.   And I will be watching.  Lastly, The McCarthy’s.   Another great cast headlined by Laurie Metcalf and Jack McGee.  It follows the McCarthy family, a tight-knit family from Boston who loves their sports and The Good Wife.   Ronny (Tyler Ritter…son of John Ritter) is looking to move away from his crazy family until is father (McGee) offers him the assistant coaching job at his high school.   Ronny is neither athletic nor likes basketball so it’s really curious to his two brothers and sister how Ronny was the man picked for the job.   I’m always impressed when an ensemble comedy gels right off the bat (like Brooklyn Nine-Nine did last year) and this is another comedy who has their act together right out of the gate.  CBS isn’t normally known for their comedies the way they are their dramas, but I think this one is a winner for them.

As for NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion, I will definitely pass and probably pass. I don’t watch the other NCIS shows so I have no interest in this new one.   Scorpion looks to have an interesting premise but to be honest, I can’t stand Katharine McPhee’s acting.  She’s horrible.   It’s so bad, she takes away anything that’s good from the show when she’s on-screen.  And this one won’t have opportunities for her to sing to make up for the lack of acting.  But since she’s only one character in an ensemble show, I will check it out and see how much she ruins it.   If she’s relegated to the background and the rest of the show is good, I’ll power through.   If she’s front and center and the show is mediocre, I’m out.

 

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SERIES PREMIERES: THE COMEDIES

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

Mom

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

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

DVRs: 4

Back In The Game

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

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

DVRs: 3

The Goldberg’s 

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

DVRs: 2

Trophy Wife

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

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

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

DVRs: 4

The Michael J Fox Show

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

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

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

DVRs: 1

The Crazy Ones

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

DVRs: 1

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Pilot” S1 E1

Even better than the 3 minute previews I kept watching over and over again.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (BNN) was fresh, funny, engaging, and touching.   Yes you read that right, touching.  I’ve heard many comparison to this show and old classic, Barney Miller.  I was too young to watch Barney Miller so I can’t comment but I do know how highly regarded Barney Miller was so for BNN to get that type of analogy is a HUGE compliment.  I just laughed the whole time and throughly enjoyed each and every character.

BNN follows Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his fellow team of detectives as they figure out just how their new CO, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) will lead their precinct.  See their last Captain let them have fire extinguisher races, so JP is hoping Holt will be just as deferential.   Yeah, not so much.  In a hilarious meet cute, JP is doing his best robot impersonation of the CO while Holt is standing right behind him.   You think Holt is just going to rip into him.  Instead, he tells him that he does a terrible robot impersonation and that he’d like to see him wear a tie.  This back and forth, power play between the two men continue throughout the episode with Holt telling JP he’s been doing too much manscaping and being relished to the records room by not following orders, to JP telling him he’ll dress more appropriately while he’s wearing the tie but no pants and speedo.

The best part of the Holt/JP relationship is that this isn’t the typical smart ass cop getting one over on his boss.  Holt is smart, driven, and very in tune with his crew even though he’s only been there for a few days.  So just when JP thinks he’s gotten one over on his new Captain, Holt turns the tables on him and gets the upper hand.  I love that!   And I think it helps that Samberg and Braugher have fabulous chemistry.  They play off of each other very well with Samberg’s razor-sharp wit and silliness and Braugher’s monotone and stone face delivery.   What makes this work is that Samberg is playing JP as a guy who likes to have fun yet takes his job very seriously.  And while most people want to hate the guy who’s the best and who is also a jokester, push the envelope type of guy, Samberg has such charm and a good balance between the silliness and seriousness that you can’t help but love him and wish you worked with him.   And Braugher, with his deep, commanding voice and huge presence on-screen, is able to play off that because he takes his job just as serious but also has a sense of humor that can have his people relax around him, but also know, they need to follow his command.

The touching moment came at the end of the episode when they are on a stake out and we learn that Holt captured the notorious disco killer in the 70s (loved the hair and suit on Braugher by the way) and JP wants to know why it took him so long to have his own command.   Holt tells him it’s because he’s gay and that the NYPD, at that time, wasn’t ready for a gay commanding officer but when they were, they used him as a publicity stunt and put him in roles that would promote the NYPD as a gay friendly organization.  Now that he finally has his own command, he doesn’t want to blow it.  JP, apologizes to Holt and tells him he feels like a jackass.   This is the type of scene that let’s me know what a great show this will be.   I love comedies when they have heart.  They can take a step back from the humor and give us a real moment with these characters that draw us in and then can find a way to seamlessly and subtly bring the humor back to return us to the comedic element of the show without being disrespectful to “the moment.”  And that’s what happened here.  Holt beared his soul and we got some good insight into why he is the way he is and JP was honestly upset for how he’d been behaving.   Samberg played this scene so well because it could have come off as insincere when after his apology he immediately sees the killer they are targeting and he announces how awesome he is.  But it didn’t.  JP was very genuine in his remorsefulness but Samberg found a way to make that stick when he was very careful about the tone he used in bragging about how he spotted the killer…it even made Holt laugh.

As far as the supporting cast, I was interested in each one of them and can’t wait to find out more.   You have tough as nails Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) who is as scary as they say and absolutely perfect in her delivery.  Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) who has a crush on Diaz and is as clumsy and awkward as they come, but a hard worker and sweet man.  I’m sorry but that muffin scene has me howling every time I watch it. Sgt Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is a former field detective turned sergeant because once he had his twin girls, Cagney and Lacey (LOL!), he was fearful of losing his life…cue the scene where he shoots up a mannequin at a department store because of his sheet panic…priceless.  Gina Linetta (Chelsea Peretti) is the office manager and a civilian who is the eyes and ears of the office who has yet to learn she has a filter.  And finally Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who is partners with Peralta and has a contest with him to see who will have more arrests.  She’s very driven and just wants to prove she’s one of the boys and tough as they come.  I love this girl already and let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before she and JP are together romantically.

It’s a fabulous cast, a great show, and I can’t wait for next Tuesday already.   If you haven’t checked this show out, this is a must watch!

DVR RATING: 5

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Sleepy Hollow “Pilot” S1 E1

This was one of the shows I couldn’t wait to premiere.   I have always love Washington Irving’s story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I loved the movie with Johnny Depp (my husband and I watch it every Halloween.)  So when I found out it was going to be a TV show, I was thrilled yet skeptical at the same time.   How are they going to pull this off for a TV series?   It’s a pretty simple short story so how do you stretch it out over 22 episodes a season for potentially 5-6 seasons?   You put a spin on the original story…that’s how!  Are they going to be able to pull it off?   Time will tell but for now, I’m in 100%.

We start off in the 1700s during the Revolutionary War where a British Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison) is fighting for General Washington and the Americans against the British.  Huh?  We learn he defected to our side and became a spy for Washington.  Anywho, here comes the Hessian with his broad axe and super creepy mask to fight Crane.  They duke it out colonial style and the Hessian gashes Crane across the chest while Crane chops his head off.  He is rushed to the infirmary where his wife Katrina is there trying to nurse him back to health.  He blacks out.  Next thing we see, he waking up in a cave 250 years later.   He’s walking around surprisingly well for a man who was frozen in a cave for 250 years.   But he does almost get run over by a tractor-trailer because he’s admiring this amazing material he’s noticed on the ground….asphalt.   Suddenly, Crane realizes he isn’t in Kansas anymore and runs to town.

Meanwhile, we meet Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) who is having dinner with her partner talking about how she’s heading off to Quantico.  Let’s pause for a minute.   I’m not sure why shows do this.  We learn that Abbie has been accepted to the FBI and there are only a handful of these positions available and she’s received one of them.  It’s obvious this is something she wants and is a huge deal.  But you know what’s going to happen already…she’ll meet Crane, she’ll get wrapped up in this case and she’ll blow off Quantico.  Now, I’m not an expert in the area of law enforcement but I do know that if I received an offer to go to the FBI, our nation’s top law enforcement agency, meanwhile a revolutionary war solider and a murderer with no head is running around my town, I’m out of there as fast as you can say Quantico.  I’m not sure why this needs to be interjected in because in my opinion, it knocks her decision-making prowess down a few notches in my eyes.  Just let her be the detective in Sleepy Hollow when this all goes down.  Sheesh.  Ok, back to the story.   She and her partner get a call about wild horses at a property not to far away and they go check it out.  The wind picks up and the thunder and lightning start…..you know that’s never a good sign….and when they get there, the owner has been decapitated and the partner and Abbie meet the not so dead Hessian sans head.  Promptly the partner loses his and Abbie watches the Hessian ride off into the moonlight.   Why didn’t the Hessian go after Abbie?

Crane, who almost gets hit by a police car, get arrested for the murder because, I’m not really sure why.  Abbie comes into the station with her Capitan, Frank Irving (played by Orlando Jones) and when telling him the story of who she saw, Crane completes the description for her.  I thought one of the most well constructed parts of the show happens here when Crane asks if Abbie’s been emancipated and Abbie calmly tells him that yes she is a female detective to boot.  He’s thrilled because slavery always bothered him.   This was very well done because it nodded to the audience that they know we aren’t stupid and that logically, Crane being from the 1700s, would have a much different opinion on a black woman interacting with him.  So they address it with humor and dignity at the same time.  It was great.  Irving wants Crane in an asylum but Abbie thinks he can help her figure out what’s going on.  So she goes against her Captain’s orders and takes Crane to his “cave dwelling” to get some more answers.  While taking him there, he passes a priest whom he recognizes from his time in the infirmary.  Strange.  Is everyone in this town over 200 years old and looking fabulous?   Unfortunately, Crane never gets to chat up the padre because the Hessian has found him and lopped off his head while the priest tells him “I’ll never tell you where it is.”  Where what is?   I realize how dumb this question in later on.

As the rest of the episode unfolds, we learn Abbie has a sister and when they were young, were in the woods when they came across four strange white trees.  They also claim to have seen some sort of object around the trees.   They weren’t sure if it was a person or an animal of some sort, but when no one believed them, Abbie’s sister went insane.  We learn Ichabod’s background when he’s strapped to a polygraph (another great scene.)  We also meet Katrina.   Now I’m not sure where Katrina is.  She’s in some land where she’s trapped and she’d really like to get out but only Ichabod can help her.   She tells him that the Hessian is actually one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (yes you read that right and no this didn’t turn into a Supernatural review) and that if he finds his head (which is buried in her grave) it will awaken the other Horseman and bring them to their land which would cause a cataclysmic problem.  She tells him that the Hessian was buried under water and Crane was buried to protect himself because on the battlefield, their blood mixed and now Crane and Hessian are forever linked…which is why they arose at the same time.   Utterly confused and scared, Crane urges for more information but Katrina forces him to wake up and he and Abbie start working together to figure out what the hell is going on.   Abbie goes to her partner’s office and learns that he has been investigating these strange phenomenons for quite some time.  He even knew the story of her and her sister.  When she tells Crane what she found, she realizes she needs to complete the work of her partner and help Crane in stopping this Apocalypse from happening.   Um, this would be a great time for her to call the Winchester Boys for help…just a suggestion.

Wow, so a lot happened in that episode.  As pilots go, I thought it was VERY well done.  I like the idea of putting a twist on story we’ve all come to know.  Actually, the writers didn’t have a choice if they want this to last a few seasons.  I think the chemistry between Mison and Beharie is fantastic and they play off each other very well.  Especially their timing comedically.  Their banter is very natural and when you’re taking a heavy topic and putting a comedic spin on it, you need actors who call pull it off and they do.  I’ve always loved Orlando Jones (although he’ll always be Clifford Franklin from the Replacements for me.)  But I wonder if he knows more than he lets on.  Maybe it’s unfair because Captain Renard from Grimm was part of the scheme that now I think every police Captain is in on it, but when Abbie was leaving her partner’s office, Irving had a look on his face that said “boy I hope she didn’t find the secret stash of information I know about in here.”   Because it’s clear there are some town folk who know what’s going on.  John Cho’s unfortunately short-lived performance cleared that up.   Usually if a headless solider from the Revolutionary War shows up in your apartment, chances are you’re slightly freaked out and running for your life.  But Cho’s character simply told him “I know where it is.”  The “it” Cho was referring to was of course the horseman’s head.   So it’s clear there are some people around town who know what’s going on and many who don’t.  I’m sure over the course of the season and series, we’ll be introduced to many towns people who may or may not know or who may have a connection or rooting interest in seeing these Four Horsemen come to life.  And I think the big question for me right now is what does Abbie have to do with all of this?  She and her sister saw the trees and the creature all those years ago, she’s the only one willing to give Crane the benefit of the doubt, she saw said creature again at the end of the episode (which nearly made me jump out of my skin), and the Hessian didn’t kill her when he had the chance.  Why?  I can’t wait to find out!!!   Finally, how is it that some people have made the journey 250 years and look exactly the same?   How did that happen?   Are there more people from that era walking around we haven’t seen yet?   And where the hell is Katrina?   So many questions.

One day into the new season and already I’m bursting with excitement for the new TV season.  This was great start.  I didn’t get to see Bones yet but I heard the premiere was pretty strong.    And I have a good feeling this one might stick around because the critics were mostly positive on this show going into the premiere and I hope the ratings were solid.  They should be because there is no competition right now so it was smart of FOX to start the week early.  But what did you think of Sleepy Hollow and are you as hooked as I am?

DVR RATING: 5

 

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SERIES FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: 30 Rock “Hogcock” & “Last Lunch”

Series finales are always tricky.  You invest so much time into the characters and their stories that when it’s going to be the last time you ever see them all together, you want something amazing.  You want something special.  You want something that make sense.  You want something that stays true to the characters.  You want closure.   You’ve all heard the shows people list as the biggest disappointments, in terms of series finales…St. Elsewhere, The Sopranos, Seinfeld, Lost, Chuck, The X-Files, Roseanne, Life on Mars.  Most of the time, your feelings on the finales are subjective.  Depending on what you wanted to get out the finale, you may have loved it while others hated it and vice versa.  However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard one person out there say the St. Elsewhere finale was wonderful.  Universally, it was hated.  But you have very divided camps over the Lost finale.  So you never know.  And depending on the type of show, you may be looking for resolutions to storylines and mysteries while on other shows, you may be looking for a sentimental farewell.  I would say that 30 Rock falls into the latter category and in terms of last night’s finale, it hit some home runs and in other areas, it struck out completely.

I always felt that this was a cast that truly loved working with one another.  Yes there were some things that happened with some of the actors off the screen during its run but all that insanity aside, the 30 Rock team was a family.  I loved reading all the articles leading up to the finale where you heard how hard it was for some of them to say good-bye and how emotional the final episode was from the table read to the final airing.  The cast also agreed to get together and watch the finale together.  They loved what they produced just as much as we loved watching it.

I didn’t watch 30 Rock right out of the gate.  In fact, I hated the show.  Not because I had ever seen it, but because it was the Modern Family of the Emmys back in its prime.  It won all the awards, it got all the great reviews, everyone buzzed about how this is the greatest comedy since Seinfeld.  I don’t know if it was because I felt like I was left out of the club or it was just over exposed, but every time I heard about 30 Rock, I would cringe with disgust.  But then, about 3 years ago, I took a trip to Italy.  Anyone who has ever traveled a significant distance knows that in addition to movies on the plane, there are now episodes of TV shows that you can watch.  On my flight to and from Rome, the NBC comedies were playing.  I was already over in Italy for business when my husband flew over to meet me.  All he talked about the whole time was this episode of 30 Rock that he watched and that we have to start watching this show.  He was laughing so hard, he could barely tell me why it was so funny.  When we get on the plane to come home, he was giddy with joy that the same episode is airing on the way back and tells me we have to watch it.  I begrudgingly agree.  The episode was from Season 2, Episode 5: Greenzo.  For you die hards, you know this one immediately.  This is the episode where so many hysterical things are happening, you lose count.  First you have David Schwimmer playing Greenzo, this energy conscious, superhero that teaches kids and adults how to be more green (complete Jack Donaghy idea).  I’ve never been a huge fan of Schwimmer’s but he is fabulous in this episode.  Then you have Pete and his wife Paula who are sneaking around having sex in Liz’s apartment.  And to top it off, you have Kenneth throwing, what will come to be, his very last party.  That scene is Jack’s office, the day after the party. maybe one of the funniest things I’ve seen on TV.  Basically, Kenneth throws the worst parties and the only person who ever had the stomach to go, is Liz.  But all of a sudden this huge rumor starts floating around about who will be there (from rappers to foxy boxing) and it gets out hand.  It gets to the point that the people who started the rumors (I think it was Grizz and Dot Com) start believing it’s true when they hear how it has spun.  It’s insane!!!!  And after watching that, I was hooked.   My husband and I put it on the Netflix season pass, or whatever you call it, and watched it from beginning to end.  It became our Scrubs.  So when we’d have a bad day or just are exhausted from everything, we’d pop in some 30 Rock, and all would be right with the world.

I’m a huge Tina Fey fan.  And no, it’s not just because she’s a local Philly girl who grew up 10 minute from me, and constantly put Philly sports teams in her episodes.  Ok, so that’s part of it.  But it’s because she’s so smart, witty, funny, and fearless.  She created and performed one of the most layered and interesting characters of all time.  Liz Lemon is a mess but yet so together at the same time.  While her love life was a disaster and she always had some sort of food in her hair, she was anything but a ditz.  It would be so easy to set up the funny for the ditzy leading lady who can’t get out of her own way.  Instead, you have a woman who’s very good at her job, incredibly talented, and in many ways, so incredibly sure of herself, and she can’t get out of her own way.  When you really break down Liz, she’s someone who knew exactly what she was good at and what she wanted to do and therefore made herself a very successful career.  She was a loyal friend to a fault (which I always admire in a person.)  She wasn’t afraid to be the geek that she was.  She never tried to hide it or apologize for it.  It’s why her relationship with Jack worked so well.  It’s why her friendship with Jenna lasted as long as it has.  It’s why she could handle that crazy group of misfits she called a writing staff.   Liz was very well aware of who she was.  And even though there were times where certain parts of her life confused and scared her, at her core, she was still the sharp and sassy girl who just really loved Cheesy Blasters.   I’ll really miss seeing her on my screen.  Liz Lemon showed that even though you’re the tops in your field, you don’t always have it together and it’s good to have people you can count on to get you through those tough times.

Speaking of layered characters, one of my husband’s all time favorites in history is Jack Donaghy.  When we first meet him, you think he’s going to be one thing.  But over the course of the series you realize he’s not just the stiff, one-dimensional, pompous ass you expected.  Like Liz, he’s very layered with his own demons that he fights, just like everyone else.   And the more you learn about Jack and the more he opens up to us, the more you completely get him and is some ways, admire him.  Talk about fierce and determined.  But when it came down to it, in many ways, he was just like Liz…a strong, smart, successful career man, who’s strong in his convictions,  with a screwed up love life/personal life.   But how he handled it and approached it was so different from Liz.  And it was this approach to life that made his business and personal relationship with Liz so amazing and wonderful to watch.   Plus, he had the best lines on the show.

If I go through every character on this show, I’ll be here until Community premieres next week (side note….yeah!!)  So I’m not going to do that but I had to talk about Liz and Jack. As for the episode itself, as I mentioned in the beginning, it had some good moments and some not so good moments. The fact that The Rural Juror was brought back into the mix, was fantastic. And not only did Jenna get to sing one more time, but she did a song about the Rural Juror that no one could understand. It was awesome!!!! And by the way, you could tell that Jane Krakowski was crying during that entire episode. Even in the scenes where she wasn’t actually crying, you could see that her eyes were completely bloodshot and puffy. Don’t get me wrong. She still looked amazing. You could just tell this was really emotional for her. Especially in the scene where they take her mirror away from her. Classic Jenna! And the small montage of Jenna through the years looking at herself in that mirror was a fitting recap for her character. I like that they got to do one more show of TGS before shutting everything down, to keep Tracy from getting $30 million dollars. The best part was at the end of the show (meaning TGS) all the people who worked on the show, were brought out on stage for the curtain call. I can only assume that was all the crew for 30 Rock. While I haven’t been on board with Criss as Liz’s man, the best part of the whole storyline was when the newly adopted kids arrived and they were basically a mini Jenna and mini Tracy. How perfect was that!! Probably one of my favorite moments was Liz’s scene with Tracy (which had come full circle back to where it all started with them…the strip club.) Liz gives Tracy the “hardcore truth good-bye.” She tells him what most people don’t have the guts to say. That they were only friends because they worked together and that they probably won’t stay in touch. That she won’t call on his birthday and he’ll invite her over but not really mean it. But the best line was when Liz said to Tra “because the human heart is not properly connected to the human brain, I love you and I’m going to miss you. But tonight might be it.” That one line perfectly sums up what this series was about. People who would NEVER be friends outside of the environment they were forced to be connected by, grew to love and care about one another. I loved it and it was a fantastic moment for those two characters. And I just have to say, I love that they poked fun at the worst series finale in TV history (that just so happened to be on NBC) when the last scene was Kenneth with the snow globe making it seem like it was all in his head (or the head of the writer sitting in front of him.) Please look up St. Elsewhere finale to get the reference.

While there were those moments I loved, a few things bothered me. First, I hated the way they used Salma Hayek and Julianne Moore. What a waste of returning characters. I read they weren’t going to do much of that because they wanted to keep it about the core cast, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to bring someone back, I would much rather have seen Dennis Duffy or Devon Banks. But Moore and Hayek were not used well at all. Also, I hated the “Kenneth is President of NBC” story. I know that was really from the previous episode but it certainly carried over and it’s absurd. I would rather have seen Kenneth being a NBC page forever, because that’s what he loved to do. Finally, I hated Jack leaving NBC, once he finally gotten what he had always wanted, to be CEO, because he wasn’t happy and he needed to find his bliss. What? The man who has been nothing but ambitious and ruthless about getting to the top now doesn’t want it? What? This seemed so out of character. I hated it. However there were two saving graces. One, that he discovered the idea for the clear dishwasher and promptly turned his boat right back around. And two, his moment with Liz. He was trying so hard to find the words to let her know how he felt about her and used so many ancient anecdotes that she finally cut him off and said “I love you too Jack.” And he smiled that awesome Donaghy smile at her. It’s just a shame they wasted the entire finale episode having Jack Donaghy not be Jack Donaghy.

In the end, I liked the finale and thought it was a great sendoff for what was, in its prime, the best comedy on TV. It was certainly time for 30 Rock to go. It just hasn’t been the same the last season and a half. But I’m glad, like Liz Lemon, it went out on its own terms.

 
 
 
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