…let’s see how everyone did, shall we? Some definite surprises.
NEW SHOWS I’M TRYING OUT
The Good Wife: A- I really thought this worked. Julianna Margulies was great and the writing was good, it’s the best hour long drama I’ve seen in a long time (maybe since season 1 of Damages?…which was really more of a thriller). It’s also nice to see a lawyer show that isn’t quite a procedural and a drama that isn’t just a drama…so far it’s a nice blend of the two. I’m optimistic.
FlashForward: B+ This was interesting. I’m still totally into the concept, and I think the execution was mostly good. Some really great clues were presented to a fascinating larger picture and the acting was pretty solid. I do have some complaints (of course I do!) the biggest of which is the unreality of which this epic (and global) situation was presented and yet within a few hours everyone has cell service (no way), everyone seems to have power (also no way), and despite some looting shown and viewers being told that half the country is under ‘martial law’ we really see non of that reflected in the quiet eyes of our main characters who are pretty much just going about their daily lives as if everything is just fine.
One of the main characters – Dr. Olivia is actually calmly sipping a fancy coffee and questioning her friend (another doctor) about where he was the previous day in a completely peaceful hospital setting. I’m sorry, that place would be a shitstorm. There would be no coffee…there would be only chaos.
Does anyone not remember Hurricane Katrina? That was ONE city destroyed and it took a months for people to get basic things like medical care, food, and evacuation. And still today, YEARS later that city and many of its people are still suffering greatly. I know that they want to move this plot along and so they can only spend a small amount of time on this, but it really took a huge logical leap for me to come along with them that this is the reality in Los Angeles less than 24 hours after a global event of these proportions. Hopefully the show won’t ask me for anymore logical stretches anytime soon as I think I’ve used up all my mental leaps for this show.
Community: B+ This is the surprise hit of the list. I laughed out loud…probably half a dozen times and the cast felt like they’d been together for years, rather than a pilot episode, which often has a lot of rough edges. I’m not sure where they’re going to go from here but it was definitely good enough to hook me into a few new more episodes.
Bored To Death: B+ In addition to having the “best opening sequence ever!” I thought this was a good start. A little slow, likely because the premise and character were nicely laid out, leaving little room for “the action!”, but I love all three main characters already. Ted Danson delivered a hilarious performance that looks like it will only get better. Zach Galifianakis was great as the best friend and I personally really liked Jason Schwartzman’s understated performance, but I’m a fan in general. I think the only thing I’m worried about so far is that women seem to be a bit underrepresented and even stereotyped a little…but 1. It’s only a first episode and 2. As I’m sure Adam would say, “not EVERYTHING is about women, Kelly,” and he’s right…but it wouldn’t hurt to have a solid female lead or supporting character in there. Hint. Hint.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: B+ A welcome addition back into my line up. I’m not great with uncomfortable comedy (The Office was hard for me at first) and Larry David is the MOST uncomfortable comedy guy of all time…but I love this show anyway. The improv, the great guest stars, the “Seinfeldian story lines”…it’s all good.
Modern Family: B- Funny, but not as funny as the ads had led me to believe. I’ll give it another chance, maybe two, but it isn’t working on all the levels the way Community is yet. There were some moments of pure comedy genius though (the BB gun and the Lion King theme song being two that stuck out). Because the three families in question are related (a father and his two grown children and their respective families) it keeps the cast a little white, which I find a little uninteresting. They are obviously trying to get away from that and be more diverse – two gay men and a Vietnamese baby, and Dad’s new Latina wife and son…but when you count it up you still end up with seven white folks and three non-white (one of whom is a baby and probably will be for the foreseeable future). But it’s only the first episode and maybe they will find a way to work in even more MODERN diversity, which is part of what I think I expect because of the title.
The New Adventures of Old Christine: C This left me wanting. There were a few funny bits, but not enough to carry it. The chemistry between the cast is great, they all feel like old neurotic friends, but Wanda Sykes was by far the funniest and most watchable. Everyone else seemed a bit pale in comparison (no pun intended).
PREMIERES OF SHOWS I ALREADY WATCH:
The Office: A- A really solid opener. Laugh out loud funny. I always forget how great this show is when I’m away from it for a while. It gets docked because Michael seemed to have regressed a little from his growth last year.
30 Rock: n/a Please come back 30 Rock…I miss you!
SHOWS I’VE ALREADY BEEN WATCHING:
Top Chef: A- Top Chef is a good show, what can I say. Padma and Colicchio are great hosts, the show creates solid incredibly difficult challenges, and because there are two challenges per episode (quick fire and elimination) the show moves at a breakneck pace. It’s just really good reality television.
Project Runway: C- Tim Gunn is still the savior of the show, and I honestly don’t even mind it being in LA this season (Adam does…a lot) but the designers aren’t as interesting and possibly aren’t as talented, although it’s hard to tell because the challenges have been fairly ho-hum so far. The show is also seriously hurting from the lack of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. Lastly, I HATE watching Lifetime’s commercials. I really can’t watch this show unless it’s Tivo’d because the commercials for the other Lifetime shows make me want to vomit.
SHOWS I PRETEND I’M NOT WATCHING, BUT LET’S FACE IT, I AM:
Flipping Out: A- My friend Jason is in trouble for getting me addicted to this show. Jeff Lewis, who constantly seems like the biggest dick of all time (and sometimes genuinely is) is actually one of the funniest driest people in the entire world. He’s that guy that says something super sarcastic and cruel and while you’re waiting for him to cut it with a smile or a laugh, he just moves on. But he was joking…he WAS totally joking. But you’ll always be wondering. Jeff Lewis is one in a million and I’ve ended up totally loving him despite his dickishness. Also, Zoila for the freaking win.
The Rachel Zoe Project: B+ Yeah, I’m one of those people that likes Rachel Zoe. She has her faults sure, but compared to the divas I usually see on reality TV (I’m looking at you, you worthless housewives) she seems shockingly down to earth. I don’t know, I just think she’s trying her best. I find Taylor pretty annoying (and I would never hire her – she should be careful if she does leave Zoe) but when she takes the gigantic stick out of her ass she’s pretty funny. Brad is so easy to watch it’s like eating cookie dough….if he doesn’t come out of this with his own show (or something) I’d be shocked.
House Hunters: B; House Hunters International: A- Explaining my addiction to these shows is difficult, but in HH Regular edition’s case I think it mostly comes down to a desire to no longer be a renter. I want to own something rather than flushing my money down the toilet each month to a landlord (and I live in Manhattan – so it’s usually more than your average mortgage payment that I flush). In HH International’s case it comes down (I think) to an intense desire to travel and be more worldly.
NEW SHOWS I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF AND AM REALLY GLAD I’M NOT PLANNING TO EVER SEE AGAIN:
Accidentally on Purpose: Jenna Elfman, you had your chance, it was called Dharma and Greg. It sucked and yet it stayed on the air FOREVER. Let it go. Give someone else a chance. I do love Ashley Jensen though, she was one of the best things about Extras. Also, why are these characters ALL white. I’m so sick of white people (myself included).
Gary Unmarried: Didn’t Jay Mohr used to be funny? What happened?
SHOWS THAT I TRIED AGAIN, BUT STILL CAN’T LOVE
How I Met Your Mother: Despite my deep deep love of Jason Segel, and my affection for Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan (Willow 4Eva!) I just don’t get what people love about this show. I’ve tried many times over the years to “get it” but I just don’t. It’s not like I think it’s the worst show on television…it’s not bad…I guess I just thought our standards would be higher for “best show ever!” which is what I always hear from the die hard HIMYM fans. I watched the premiere and I didn’t laugh out loud (maybe once) and at the end I was all, “Eh.”
Also, at the risk of getting yelled at by millions of HIMYM fans, Josh Radnor is totally the weak link in that cast…yet he’s sort of the “star”. This annoys me. Lastly, since I said it for Elfman’s new show, I think I have to say it here as well…this cast of characters are REALLY white. I’m so bored of all white all straight characters…no matter how pretty they are.
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