What’s the point America? It seems like every time I really get into a show it gets cancelled.
Today I learned of the pretty much certain death of one of those said shows. Better of Ted will not return tonight with its counterpart Scrubs (2.0). The show about middle management and office sociology echoes that of NBC’s The Office, except without all the whiney documentary and general downhill slide that that particular show has been experiencing. Don’t get me wrong I love The Office; it was one of my favorite shows. But it doesn’t hold a flame to what Better Off Ted was. For however smart The Office was, Better of Ted was smarter.
Posts Tagged ‘TV’
What’s the point America? It seems like every time I really get into a show it gets cancelled.
Despite being based on a novel, this TV show falls flat on its face (see Dexter for TV shows that actually do well when based on a book). Billed as the next Lost, ABC’s FlashForward seemed to have a good premise. The previews looked exciting and new. What I found though was a show particularly hard to watch. Apart from the first 20 mins of the first episode which seemed to head in the correct direction, the show began a headlong spiral into obscurity and feeble stories.
As I watched this week’s episode of ABC’s new half hour comedy on Wednesday, Modern Family it dawned on me that this was definitively the best new show on television. The mix of comedy is both smart and calculated and of course funny. The characters are understandable, quirky likable and the storylines are interesting and usually beyond funny.
So today’s big TV news revolved around the NBC ‘in front’ presentations. Infront presentations are basically an advertising/network thing for deals and such, but the TV community takes notice because it’s when a network announces its plans for the coming TV season. Today we got the official word on a number of NBC shows, although one was still conspicuously left off—chuck. It hasn’t been canceled and it hasn’t been renewed (I vote renewal). Today is also when the names of the pilots who have been picked up are announced. I was looking at some trailers for said pilots, and I definitely think this is the best one by far, and I can’t wait for it.
Staring Joel McHale (I lurrve the Soup, it’s the best show on E!) and Chevy Chase (?!!) it tells the story of a Lawyer who has an illegitimate bar degree, and now has to go to community college (gasp!). Anyway, it unfolds from there. Watch the trailer:
Also Mercy looks good…
There are two new shows on my radar right now. The first is a comedy from the creator of my favorite comedy show that used to be on television (that is, arrested development), Mitch Hurwitz. In fact it even features some of the stars from that amazing TV show including Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. The show is sit down, shut up. Based on the Australian show of the same name (except animated, where the original was a live action sitcom) the show fits nicely into its 8:30 slot in FOX’s (fox the same company that cancelled arrested development) Animation Domination Sunday.
So why is it good?
Well I haven’t actually said it was good yet. But I will. Though it might be a little too soon to tell (having only seen one episode), the half hour comedy has the potential to be a spectacularly good program. Mixing animation on top of real photographs the show does something I’ve never seen a network animation do before. Next is the comedy. While some have called it nothing “above sniggering double entendre. Seemingly preoccupied with impressing teenage boys,” I think the comedy works well. One of my favorite parts of the show is Mitch Hurwitz style of comedy which includes the small double entendre (small nuts, rush the d, Miracle Grohe), which then builds to a bigger joke later in the episode/season.
Another Arrested Development?
The show would appear to be off to a start that mimics arrested development, creating a core group of viewers who truly enjoy the show. But then again it might be too early to tell. The whole show is very fast paced, and the number of cast members is somewhat astounding I can definitely see the point that the show is abrasive and a little off putting. In my half asleep state I was caught unawares as the show launched quickly into motion. Regardless what anyone else thinks, or any of the critics think, I’m going to continue watching this show, because I’m interested to see where it goes from here.
…Although for it to fail would be alright so long as Mitch Hurwitz moved straight to the Arrested Development movie…
you can watch it on hulu.com here!
This Thursday marked the end of 15 years of ER. Over the past decade and a half, the peacock has brought America through the halls of County General in Chicago and into the lives of the people who worked there. It is probably for this reason that this show resonated with the people who watched it week in and week out. The serious character development that made ER the program is was, as the characters struggled with the everyday life of an emergency room.
Ever the Same
So it is sad to see this program leave its hallowed spot at the end of Thursday night. Even for a casual viewer like me, ER has always been something of a spectacle. An hour of non stop drama, both in the thick of a heart pounding mass casualty trauma, and with the heart wrenching complicated relationships and lives the staff lead. While the show might have fallen from it high back when its first seasons were airing, the core dynamics of the show have remained the same (at least for the episodes I have watched). It’s been good these past few weeks and especially in the final episode to see characters from years gone return to the show, reprising their roles and showing why we love ER. If you haven’t had a chance to see the Retrospective, take a look at it on HULU. You can see the effort and emotion that the actors, directors and writers really put into creating a show with such a reputation and history.
(It was also nice to see the opening credits return from their three year hiatus)
After It’s Gone
It was a show that survived the reality show invasion, remaining tied to the network that had developed the movie-like program. And what doubles the gloom following the departure of such a strong player is the thought that there won’t be a chance for another ER. With Jay Leno taking the 11pm time period, larger budget products cant get a foot in the door with NBC instead looking to the lower cost talk show as an option for entertainment. You can see my opinion on late night, talk shows and jay leno here.
One More Thing
I’m a huge fan of Michael Crichton—Michael Crichton being the brain behind the beginning of ER. So it’s kind of sad to say that he never saw the end of the show he started 15 years ago. It’s also sad to say that there won’t be anymore amazing books by this one of a kind author. So rest in peace Dr. Crichton, your novels, shows and movies will forever assert your creativity and intellect.
(Spoiler alerts for those not up to the exact current episode [us])
So this past week the oceanic six returned to the island. In doing so lost answered the main question it had going for it this season. That is, how do the oceanic six get back to the island? But in typical (frustrating, yet entertaining) lost fashion, they start all new questions. Questions like WHY did they go back to the island. Why in 36 hours did 3 of 6 go from definitively not going back, to turning up on a plane at the airport? Also what happened to Aaron???
But the main reason I like lost is its references. The title of this latest episode is 316. Well, ok 316 is the flight number of Ajira airways on its way to guam—the flight that the oceanic six (five), plus Ben and Locke are on. But look a little closer, draw some connections. John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John Locke. And then Locke’s ‘suicide’ note (yea I don’t believe it was suicide…), “I wish you had believed me.” This is GREAT writing!
Oh and everyone’s gotta love the guest appearance of Frank Lepidus. “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”
I’ve been laughing along with the first season of FX’s show Testees for the past couple of night. I’d never even heard of this show before discovering it on Hulu.com, but have since jumped headfirst into this perverse and humorous half-hour comedy.
The show centers around two twenty-something’s whose job is to test products before the general public gets them. The products are bizarre to say the least but create the bulk of the situational humor in the show. Even though the majority of the show centers around the two main guys, Peter and Ron, and the occupational hazards of working at Testico, there are sub characters who contribute either to the main and subplot (sometimes constructively and sometimes not). Kate and ‘Nugget’ dysfunctional friendship often leads to humorous antics. It’s the show’s creator Kenny Hotz’s Character, Larry, plots that really irks me to the point where I dislike episodes in which he features heavily. Having said that the best episodes are by far:
Ep 03. Memory Loss (Awkward (read: Awkward!) Humor)
Ep 05. Uber-Glued
Ep 09. Jelly Bean Omelettes (Ron/Peter sections are LOL-funny)
Ep 11. Pineapple Shampoo
Ep 12. Project X
Here’s to hoping this show gets renewed for its second season with more shows like the ones listed above.
Yesterday the announcement was made to stop packing. That’s right Jay Leno is staying at NBC…“but how can that be? Conan’s taking his seat and Conan’s is replaced by Jimmy Fallon (who’s house band I’m skeptical off). And besides leno is past his prime” you yell (ok so maybe the last part was my input). But the execs at NBC have decided to keep Leno at the Network at a five night a week 10pm slot. With that you can pretty much kiss your bubble shows goodbye—with Lipstick Jungle and My Own Worst Enemy already in the can. What does that mean for the 10 hours of prime time left to be scheduled? Well we’ll still have comedy Thursdays, then geek Mondays (chuck and heroes), a double dose of Law and Order, medium and life might make it through alive, which combined adds up to 6 to 8 programming hours. Shows like Friday Night Lights and Knight Rider though will probably see their end. With ER gone after this season, NBC probably did the right thing by filling their lame duck of 10pm slot with easily produced (and cost effective) duck shit.
But I’ve held the long opinion that late night is dead. I’m sorry, but there are only so many times you can photoshop advertisements, or use the same joke about a unpleasant dog or Abraham Lincoln. The writers strike really spelled it out for me, Conan unscripted was great and unpredictable, but the first week back they slipped right back into a dumb and pointless joke about canoeing.
Do I think he’s going to do well? Only if he can bring his 1130 audience to the 10 o’clock time. Will I watch it? No.