Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall TV

Fall TV is in full swing! Some shows have already been canceled (Lone Star, My Generation, OutLaw, and The Whole Truth) and there haven't been any real major hits like last year's Glee and Modern Family, but there are about five shows that I truly enjoy. In no particular order, here they are:

1. The Event This show is like 24, LOST, and X-Files all rolled into one! The first episode absolutely intrigued me, and I made sure everyone I know was watching the second episode! The show is a mystery in that the audience only knows very little about each of the principle characters. It's been revealed that aliens landed in Alaska sometime in the 1940's and the government, or some super secret group, has been keeping them locked away from the public. The show has kidnappings, abnormal medical mysteries, terrorist threats, and government corruption. Whatever you like, this show has... good storyline included!

2. Raising Hope I love this show! It is hilariously funny and awkwardly funny all in the same half-hour. An eighteen year boy, Jimmy, knocks up a murderous hottie. She gets the chair, he gets the kid. He's raising his daughter, Hope, while living with his parents and great-grandmother. The dynamic of this family brings new meaning to young family comedy. The parents were young themselves when they raised Jimmy, so he's trying to learn from their mistakes in raising his own child... with them learning as well. It's sweet, funny, charming, and a must for your DVR!!

3. Hawaii Five-0 I didn't think I would like this show... but Scott Caan has made me a believer! The first two episodes were great in story line and visuals, but by the third it was starting to feel redundant in the crime department. I wish they would explore why the main character decided to stay in Hawaii, and maybe explore the supporting characters more too. The only reason I keep watching is the dynamic between Scott Caan and anyone else. He's great! And you should check it out at least once to see him.

4. The Defenders Jim Belushi makes this show great. There were two other new lawyer shows that started this season as well, and they have both been canceled. Why? Because they didn't have Jim Belushi. He plays a lawyer really well! His character is not just another swarmy lawyer, he cares about his clients and knows how to manipulate the law/jurors/judges to get what he wants. The storylines are nothing new, but the way The Defenders approaches them, specifically Jim Belushi's character, makes me keep this new show on my DVR.

5. Grey's Anatomy I know what you're gonna say, "This isn't a new show." Well... it kind of is this season! If you think about it, so much has changed from that first season: the cast, the writing, the storylines. Originally there were eight people shown in first casting picture. Three of those are gone, replaced by six new and dynamic characters. And I think that the writing has gotten better as well as the storylines (bye, bye weird ghost issues). Grey's Anatomy has been sort of a rollercoaster series, but one very much worth the ride! I feel like it has had new life breathed into it, and so I put it on my list of new favorites! It's my list, I can do what I want!

Friday, August 13, 2010


There aren't many shows this summer that have grabbed my attention... the summer was starting to look bleak. Then I heard rumblings in the TV world of a show called "Rubicon." Mystery and intrigue were the key words thrown around a lot; the show's catchphrase is "not every conspiracy is a theory." I wasn't sure what the show was about in terms of characters or plots, and since it was on AMC I wasn't really sure I was going to check it out (No, I'm not an AMC fan for all you mad men people, ugh!). But I kept hearing about the show and reading up on it, so I got interested. One person wrote that "Rubicon" wasn't like anything else AMC had produced. I decided to give it a try.

Within the opening credits some old guy commits suicide, and the camera tilts down to reveal a four-leaf clover. Hmm... okay, a clue to remember. Then we get into a think tank of code breakers. Not so much clues the audience needs to pick up, but a lot of character development. These people are smart, especially Will Travers, the main character. We start to see some connections between the co-workers and then BOOM, another guy dead (or is he?!?). About half-way through the show I start considering every new character the next dead person. But there were no more deaths, just a lot of clue finding and breaking to try to uncover the plot.

I'm not sure how the show will run; if this one puzzle will carry through the season or the series. But so far I really like it. I've only watched two of the three episodes, and I've heard the third one is amazing. I like that the show doesn't drag on the puzzle pieces; once Will finds a clue he can usually break it, or find someone else that can (like that old, retired guy). I know we haven't met all the pieces to this puzzle, but what's even more interesting is that the pieces/characters are really well developed. Everything is interconnected and has meaning. A show that makes you wonder what's around the corner, and doesn't make that corner too far off.

Check it out when you can! Just be sure you're not too sleepy or trying to do something else at the same time. "Rubicon" is a show where you must pay attention, because every detail is of value. "Rubicon" is on Sunday nights, 9/8c, AMC.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer TV

What idiot starts a TV blog in the middle of summer?!? Oh yeah... me. Sorry for the hiatus, I'll be better now. Promise.

ABC has turned Monday Night into Date Night. Tonight is the return of Dating in the Dark (8/7c); a social experiment of how we judge each other in the dating process. It's actually not too bad of a show, an interesting concept that obviously did well enough in season one to bring it back. My one wish for this show is that they would update on the couples afterward. ABC's other dating show is the new Bachelor Pad (10/9c). This show has the rejects from the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows in a Big Brother type setting. It should bring all the hook-ups, break-ups, and drama of both shows, we'll see if it brings the ratings.

Speaking of Big Brother! This show is my summer guilty pleasure! I don't know why I love it, but I do! It's like watching a bad car wreck or something, you can't look away! This season is the year of the saboteur... which the contestants voted out in week 1. But... in good ole' Big Brother fashion, they're bringing back a saboteur for two weeks in the form of Ragan. I hope he does well... I like him and wouldn't want this to spoil his game! I'm on the "get rid of Rachel/Braden" bandwagon. Not just because they can be annoying at times, but because they're obviously a huge threat in the house. She keeps winning HOH and he keeps winning POV; that's a troublesome pair. One of them has got to go. I'm also not really a fan of the Brigade... they're gonna be trouble at some point. And not just for the rest of the house, for each other as well. I predict Matt is the first out of that alliance; his crazy little lies are going to catch up with him!

Summer TV is here now, but never fear - Fall TV is just around the corner! Most shows start back up in the first two weeks of September! Can't wait!!

Monday, June 21, 2010


The new show "Scoundrels" premiered last night on ABC, and we watched about 20 minutes of it. It wasn't that it was "that bad," there just wasn't anything great about the show.

The show opened with mom & dad being intimate, getting interrupted by the police with a search warrant for... something? I don't remember because I was too distracted trying to remember where I knew the police officer from. It's actor Carlos Bernard who played Tony on 24. Right... so now what are the police doing there?

Mom runs around to each child; well, the ones that are there. But she's not so much panicking as she is making sure everyone is there and putting on a smiling face. Almost like the boss is over for dinner and everybody better be on their best behavior. I didn't get it; if these people are on first name basis with the cops, why is she running around to put on a good impression?

Dad gets arrested for... something? And we meet twin #1. He looks nice, clean shaven. At home we meet twin #2, he's got long hair and a natty beard. Twin #2's hair looks really bad, so I was curious if it was the same actor doing double duty. Yep! According to IMDB Patrick John Flueger plays both twins. Lame.

There are also two daughters. The eldest is a blond with typical blond material. No originality there. The youngest is a familiar face from the later years of "Gilmore Girls." She is smart but doesn't go to school. She lies to her teacher and principal about having lupus, and the mother is just now finding out. This is the only character who I'm remotely interested in, but I know I'd have to watch all the other stuff to see what's going on with her, and I don't care that much.

Like I said, we turned it off after 20 minutes because there was just nothing there that grabbed us. I'm not sure what the ratings will say, but if the show doesn't pull in more than 4 million viewers I have a feeling I'm not the only one who won't miss this show.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What's On Tonight? Tuesday, June 8

FOX - Hell's Kitchen (new)
NBC - America's Got Talent (repeat)
CBS - NCIS (repeat)
ABC - Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night; NBA Countdown
ABCFamily - Pretty Little Liars (series premiere)

FOX - glee (new)
NBC - America's Got Talent (new)
CBS - NCIS: LA (repeat)
ABC - NBA Playoffs; game 3

NBC - Losing It With Jillian (new)
CBS - The Good Wife (repeat)
FX - Justified (season finale)


Can you believe it's the season finale of "Glee"?! And as I recall the events of the season, I remembered it's only the first season!! Although it did premiere last May, "Glee" made an unprecedented move and aired its' pilot after an "American Idol" at the end of last season. Then waited until September to start its' regular season. That was a gamble that payed off huge!

I have three sister-in-laws, and none of them watch "Glee." I feel like I've done a dis-service to not have them on the "Glee" bandwagon; I've somehow dropped the ball. So this article is for them, to convince them to join the nationwide "gleek" movement! A recap of sorts, and what I like most about this season's favorite show!

The music. What makes "Glee" stand-out among all the other shows? The music. The glee club sings every episode, at least three times each episode! Most of the songs you'll know; they sometimes add a song that you might not know, but that's ok. They're all good songs. And available on itunes the next day! So you can watch "Glee", then listen to it the rest of the week! Glorious!

The characters. Here's a list of characters and what you need to know about them going into the season finale:
*Mr. Will Schuester - the choral director of McKinley High's glee club, New Directions. He's newly divorced after his wife pulled a fake pregnancy stint earlier this season. He's been playing the field recently, but fan favorite is guidance counselor Emma.
*Coach Sue Sylvester - the cheerleading coach who is out to get the glee club's budget for her trophy winning cheerleaders. She tries each episode to get either the kids off their singing game, or Mr. Schuester in trouble so that the club will be disbanded. But she's oddly like-able, and easy has the best lines of the show!
*Rachel - the diva of the New Directions. She's dated Finn, Puck, and most recently Jessie, the lead of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline. Rachel also just recently discovered that her biological mother is the director of Vocal Adrenaline; she's been raised by her two gay dads who we won't meet until maybe next season.
*Finn - sport jock who likes to sing. He first dated Quinn until he realized that he isn't Quinn's baby daddy (Puck is), and still has feelings for his latest ex-girlfriend, Rachel. Finn is also dealing with the new relationship his single-mom is having with Kurt's single dad.
*Kurt - just as much of a diva as Rachel, but not as well accepted in the McKinley High population. He and his best friend, Mercedes, recently joined the Cheerios (the cheering squad) to try to be more accepted - some days it works, some days it doesn't. I guess it depends on if it's "Gaga Week" or not!
*Mercedes - best friend is Kurt; she recently quit the Cheerios because she didn't like the hierarchy of the school status system. She likes to help people, recently offering a room to Quinn for her baby drama.
*Quinn - dated Finn, but got pregnant by Puck. Her parents kicked her out for her "situation" and she was living in Puck's house until Mercedes offered her a better living situation. The baby is supposed to arrive this season finale!
*Puck - jock who joined New Directions to be closer with Quinn; but he also likes to play the field. He's the BA of the group, but can show his heart sometimes too.
*Artie - wheelchair bound student who is dating...
*Tina - goth/Asian girl who can sing!
*Santana & Brittany - the "other" girls in the glee club. They joined on orders from Coach Sue to infiltrate the club, but have since admitted that they love singing. They both like the boys, a lot. They're both pretty quiet unless Santana says something mean or Brittany says something stupid. (My favorite line "did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?")

The characters are all pretty great. Even the "evil" Sue Sylvester has a heart as more layers of her character are revealed. You get invested in each of their lives, and though they might not be featured every episode, when they are it's like catching up with friends. There are no mysteries you have to remember about each one, just little dramas that are sometimes familiar, depending on where you fell in the high school hierarchy.

So please watch tonight! In the finale, "Journey," we go to Regionals where New Directions face their rival Vocal Adrenaline. Quinn is due to have her baby, and Coach Sue is of course scheming something! Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban are set to appear as themselves.

Join the "Glee" bandwagon! Buy the itunes songs! And get your gleek on!

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's On Tonight? Monday, June 7

Summer season is upon us! The shows that might not do so well during the regular season can find a home during the summer. CBS is offering reruns of their highly popular Monday night comedies, so if you missed the hilarity of "How I Met Your Mother" or "The Big Bang Theory," now's your chance. Here are your other options:

Last Coming Standing (8/7c, NBC) New host, Craig Robinson, introduces us to the new batch of comics in the seventh year of this funny competition.

The Bachelorette (8/7c, ABC) There are 14 guys left to court Ali; by the end of the two hours only 11 will be left. Special guest appearance by the Barenaked Ladies.

Lie to Me (8/7c, FOX) The sophomore season picks-up after a hiatus since December. It's definitely a ratings challenged show, although it has been picked up for next season.

Secret Life of the American Teenager (8/7c, ABC Family) In the third-season opener, "Do Over" is about birth control, lies, and relationships.

The Good Guys
(9/8c, FOX) Tonight the detectives follow vintage cars thieves in this "Bait & Switch" episode.

Little People, Big World (8/7c) Two episodes fill the hour: "Dwarfs in Space" and "Molly's Sweet Sixteen."

The Cake Boss
(9/8, TLC) The boss makes a cake for the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, also his youngest son wants an ice-cream cake for his birthday.

True Beauty (10/9c, ABC) In "The Secret" contestants are tempted to give up the secret of Penn & Teller magic trick.

Persons Unknown (10/9c, NBC) This is the pilot episode about strangers brought together under mysterious terms. It's written by Christopher McQuarrie of "The Usual Suspects." Yes, please.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kate Plus 8

She's back! Kate Gosselin and her gaggle of children!

The new TLC show "Kate Plus 8" (starting tonight at 9/8c) stars the newly single mom with her eight children. The new show is basically the same as the old "Jon and Kate Plus 8", just without Jon. We'll see the sextuplets celebrate their birthday (they're turning 6!), a trip to Florida, and the daily life of the popular family.

I'm guessing people will tune in... I'll let you know the ratings if/when I see them. It seems people watch this show like they watch a car-wreck. You have to slow down and see the madness. I watch the show, but not at the first airing; I usually catch a rerun during the week. And I like seeing the kids; having only three kids I'm amazed at watching Kate taking care of 8! The series is a bit different now with the kids in school most of the days: we get more trips & extravagant day-trips than the everyday, "at-home" struggles.

But the show is back after "production struggles" - a lot of legal mess dealing with Jon and the use of kids in front of the camera. There are two shows on tonight. The first hour at 9/8c is the birthday episode "6th Birthday Surprise", and the next one at 10/9c is "Inside Kate's World," where I wonder if we'll get to see any of Kate's "Dancing With the Stars" stint.

This is the first of Kate's shows; her next "A Twist of Kate" should premiere sometime this year.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What's the Point?

So I've been writing for three days, and I want to clarify the blog's purpose.

I am a TV Nerd. I enjoy reading about TV shows, their ratings, and even their plot/character developments. I also find it interesting how networks program the shows. For example, next fall CBS is moving "Survivor" from Thursday nights to Wednesday nights at 8pm, and putting two comedies in its' spot ("Big Bang Theory" and "$#*! My Dad Says") to rival NBC's comedy hour. This intrigues me, and I'm interested to see if this move helps CBS with their current domination of the networks (they are currently No. 1!).

So this blog is to share with the world my thoughts on TV shows, why I think they work... or don't work. I'll let you know about new shows coming out, or old shows returning. You'll read about TV show ratings and viewership, but I'll try to keep that stuff to a minimum 'cause I think I'm the only one who really likes to read about that stuff! I probably won't do many recaps of shows, there are plenty of other websites writing about every detail of last night's favorite shows. This blog is a different take: what TV shows are on, and why I think you should be watching them. I hope you enjoy!

Friday Night Wasteland

Every night of the week you can usually find some good shows on TV. Well... most every night. Friday night is the Wasteland of TV programming. It's because networks can't ever find a show that works.

You see, there are four different types of programming: scripted shows, reality shows, sporting events, news magazines. But none of these really work well on Friday nights because viewers are not always home on Friday nights. At least one or two times a month people will usually find other things to do than sit in front of the television. Which makes it really hard for networks to schedule shows. Some have tried niche' (or specialized) programming: CBS had a two hour block of the supernatural last season with "Ghost Whisperer" and "Medium." It has since canceled "Ghost Whisperer." This fall they are pairing "Medium" with "CSI:NY," which makes me wonder if they're trying to kill "CSI:NY."

That's the other thing about Friday nights: it's a theory that networks put shows on Friday night as a death sentence, the official pink slip for a show. It's like a network isn't sure what else to do with a failing show, so they put it on Friday nights. Last year ABC put "Ugly Betty" on Friday nights after a drop in the ratings. But then "Ugly Betty" started doing well; it had found an audience! And what did ABC do? Moved it back to better real-estate, Wednesdays at 10p.m. Where the ratings dropped again and the show was eventually canceled. Why not just leave it on Friday night? Because Friday night is a wasteland...

So tonight your viewing options are:
FOX: Past Life (new); House (repeat)
NBC: Friday Night Lights (new); Dateline (new)
CBS: Medium (repeat); Flashpoint (new)
ABC: National Spelling Bee (my choice)
other: Whale Wars (Animal Planet, 9/8c)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Burn Notice/Royal Pains

USA is the cable network that knows good shows. It started with "Monk" back in 2002. Over the last 8 years they've built a network that should be respected by all, including those "big networks."

Tonight USA has not one, but two season premiers that you should watch. "Burn Notice" at 9/8c, and "Royal Pains" at 10/9c.

"Burn Notice" starts its' fourth season tonight, and from what I've heard it's getting better and better. Jeffrey Donovan plays Michael Weston, a spy who was given a burn notice (basically kicked out of the spy business), dropped off in Miami, and now is trying to figure out the who & why of the burn. It's the mystery of the show that is always in the background. But that's not the reason you should watch... the characters draw in the viewers. There is a special case each week that Michael works with his pals Fiona & Sam (played by Gabrielle Anwar and Bruce Campbell, respectively) that truly shows the characters at their best. The dynamic between the three is fun and interesting. Season four should be filled with more fun characters (I hear Burt Reynolds is set to appear), and more spy-intrigue. I urge you to check it out!

After "Burn Notice" stick around for "Royal Pains," kicking off its' sophomore season tonight. Here's the premise: brothers Hank (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan (Paulo Costanzo) set-up an on-call doctor agency in the Hamptons. It's basically a medical concierge business with Hank as the doctor and Evan as the money man. Problem is, there's no more money. Last season ended with Evan admitting to his brother that he had given all their money to their father, Eddie. Season 2 picks up right where we left off, with the brothers dealing with money issues, paternal issues, and medical issues. Henry Winkler is playing Eddie, so there's another reason to tune in!

Spy Games and Medical Mysteries... what more do you need from a network that is bringing it's A-Game! For a special treat, check out this video of USA stars rapping... holla'!!


Yes, I know FlashForward was canceled. The last of its' 22 episodes aired last Thursday (5/27/10). But why did this show get the axe? And why won't another network pick it up? Here's why...

It basically boils down to ratings and staying power. FlashForward started out strong, pulling in close to 15 million viewers at the beginning of the season (Fall 2009). But after an almost three month break, viewers must have forgotten about the show. The finale, "Future Shock," only had about 4 million people watching it. That's ten million people who stopped watching. Ouch.

But here's why I think all those people stopped watching: no staying power. There were weeks that FlashForward stayed on my DVR until a friend insisted that I watched. "Just wait to see what happens with [this or that character]." That's what got me watching again... and then I remembered why I liked the show. But the show could be forgettable. I'm not sure if there were just too many characters (I counted a total of 14 story lines, not including the foundational investigation of the flashforwards), or if the writers didn't do a good job of leaving mysteries on the forefront of the the series. A little less of one and more of the other may have balanced things out, and possibly could have given FlashForward a future.

So ratings and staying power: those are the reasons FlashForward probably won't find another network to pick it up. Sometimes a series gets lucky and finds another home; remember Southland? NBC canceled Southland, and TNT picked it up. But the difference between Southland and FlashForward are those two essentials: ratings and staying power. Southland had buzz around it, people were tuning in... not so for FlashForward. Remember those ten million people that stopped watching? Yeah, so do those other networks. Sorry FlashForward, insert lame joke about not seeing this happening in your future...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance

Season 7 of the reality dance competition "So You Think You Can Dance" started last Thursday (5/27/10). The new episode airs tonight featuring auditions in the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles.

I like watching the audition episodes, it's compelling and creepy at the same time. We get introduced to dancers who make it to the Las Vegas audition with hopes to make it to the Top 10 (a change in format from the previous seasons' Top 20). But we also get those people who are clueless in their dancing abilities. The judges are almost always correct in their assessments; but sometimes they don't like something that I thought was good... but then again they're the experts and I'm not!

I'm not sure how many more audition episodes there are before the actual dance competition. The Top 10* has already been linked here if you really want to know! But with a new judge (Mia Michaels), the return of Cat Deely (love her!), and a new format - "So You Think You Can Dance" is already on summer's Must Watch List!

The Good Guys

There were three reasons why I wanted to watch "The Good Guys" (premiere 5/30/10)

1.) Bradley Whitford, 2.) Colin Hanks, 3.) Matt Nix (creator of Burn Notice). I was looking forward to this comedy/action because I really liked Bradley Whitford in "The West Wing", I think Colin Hanks will follow grandly in his father's footsteps, and I enjoy the style and story of Burn Notice. I figured it could possibly be a perfect storm for FOX to rival NBC's "Chuck" comedy/action genre (and I'm a big fan of "Chuck"!). But I was wrong.

Here are the reasons I WON'T be watching "The Good Guys"
1.) Bradley Whitford. He looks bad... really bad. He wasn't ever the "cute one" (on "The West Wing" he stood next to Rob Lowe who covered that title pretty well) but he never looked bad. I'm guessing he gained the weight and did terrible things to his hair for the role, but it's so distracting. He goes on and on about "the good ol' days" and fights against those new-fangled devices called computers. I like Bradley Whitford, but not in this.
2.) It's cheeky... very cheeky. A 70's style cop show that had us remembering "Starsky & Hutch", but not in a good way. My husband liked it, I did not.
3.) It's kind of random. In the pilot episode there were two familiar faces (Nia Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and character actor Tom Amandes of "Parenthood", "Eli Stone", and "Everwood") that we'll never get to see again. Really? Not that their characters were all that compelling, but were they there for only one episode? Random.

So I won't be turning into "The Good Guys" again. My husband said he might (good news for all those ad agencies looking for the 18-34 male demographic) but that's only if nothing else is on. Sorry Good Guys, the perfect storm missed on this one.