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Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall TV Review: BROTHERS

Uninspired is the only word I can think of to use for this show. And I am not going to waste any more time on it because, looking at it's horrible ratings, BROTHERS won't be on the schedule much longer.

MY RATING: C-

Fall TV Review: THE CLEVELAND SHOW

I would watch FAMILY GUY if it werent for Baby Stewie. Trust me, I've tried. So it comes with excitement that I can say that I watched an entire CLEVELAND SHOW and didnt turn the channel. There is still an annoying child on display, but nowhere near the annoyance of Stewie. That bodes well for a show that was pretty much fun to watch.

MY RATING: B-

Saturday, September 26, 2009

TV DEATH WATCH: RIP, Beautiful Life

The CWs THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE: TBL was the first casualty of the fall. Also in danger are MELROSE PLACE (though not before Heather Locklear returns in November to give it her best), BROTHERS and DOLLHOUSE on FOX, and MERCY on NBC.

Fall TV Review: COUGAR TOWN

Falling somewhere between the awesome FRIENDS and the dreadful DIRT is this new Courtney Cox comedy, COUGAR TOWN. Miss Cox brings the funny again in this Florida-set older woman comedy about, well, cougars. But I think its more than that, too. Its also great to see a comedy thats all about finding sex, from the female point of view. Not since SEX & THE CITY has there been a more promising balls-out (literally) promiscous comedy than there is with COUGAR TOWN.

MY RATING: B

Fall TV Review: Modern Family

Of the comedies I have seen so far this fall, this one bored me the most. Which is so strange since this is the one critics have been raving about. I dont think the show is fresh at all. In fact, it uses the same mockumentary approach that is so done so much better on THE OFFICE and , improved in its second season, PARKS & RECREATION for that matter. Even the gay couple is a drag!

MY RATING: B-

Fall TV Review: the forgotten

The twist to this procedural is that the victim speaks to the audience from the dead. Other than that, its business as usual here. Zzzzzzzzzzz

MY RATING: C

NCIS: LOS ANGELES

Not much to talk about here, other than this new NCIS hits all the right notes. In other words, its hard to distinguish it from other CBS procedurals. Is this REALLY how we want our TV experiences to be filled with? MOre of the same? The show has a good tone, good leads, and great production values. But its just blah and cookie-cutter. No originality. Watch it be a HUGE hit. Grrrrrr

MY RATING: C

FALL TV REVIEW: FlashForward

Great production values, LOTS of hype, interesting story...so why was I let down? Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was a little bored by the pilot. Still, I love a good mystery and sci-fi bend to things, and this show makes up for that in originality. I just dont know how the show will sustain my interest for a whole year, let alone 4. Maybe the arrival of LOST-boy Charlie will help things. For now, the show ALMOST gets the B-grade treatment, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

MY RATING: A-

Friday, September 25, 2009

FALL TV RANKINGS: THE TEN SPOT

Of the first ten fall shows that I have seen and reviewed so far, here is how they rank:
1. VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW) A
2. EASTWICK (ABC) A-
3. GLEE (FOX) A-
4. ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (CBS) A-
5. THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (CW) B+
6. MELROSE PLACE (CW) B
7. COMMUNITY (NBC) B
8. THE JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) B-
9. BORED TO DEATH (HBO) C+
10. MERCY (NBC) D+

SHOWS STILL TO REVIEW THAT HAVE ALREADY AIRED: the forgotten (ABC); FlashForward (ABC); Cougar Town (ABC); Modern Family (ABC); NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS); The Good Wife (CBS)

Fall TV Review: MERCY

MERCY! HELP ME! This nurse-centric drama was torturous to watch. It's Grey's Anatomy meets ER meets NURSE JACKIE, only produced at a level that doesnt even come near approaching the brilliance of the above three cited medical shows. Further, the lead actress is so unlikable and unwatchable, behaving in a way that just doesnt seem any sort of realistic. BLECH!

MY RATING: D+

Fall TV Review: EASTWICK

From the opening shot of EASTWICK, complete with voice-over narration, this new ABC series smells of DESPERATE, HOUSEWIVES, that is. Which isnt a bad thing. During the hour, a GREAT cast of actors you have seen in recent TV shows, such as UGLY BETTY, EUREKA, KYLE XY, LIPSTICK JUNGLE, THE CLASS and BIG BANG THEORY weave their way through drama, comedy and biting supernatural. I really liked this one, and I hope that it's fun, mysterious tone serves it well all year long.

MY RATING: A-

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall TV Reviews: Accidentally Bored Community

A B and C comedies get an A B and a C

In other words, the comedies A-ccidentally on Purpose, B-ored to Death and C-ommunity all premiered this week, and I think you'll be surprised which one gets an A, which a B, and the final a C. Going into season, critics have been panning Accidentally on Purpose as a dead on arrival show. I just didn't see it, though. Immediately I was laughing along with the characters, and it was just very comforting television. Sure, it's not brilliant, but it made me smile and it made me laugh. The concept involves a SF movie critic (Jenna Elfman) who realizes that 'condoms arent 100% foolproof if you dont take them out of your purse", gets pregnant from a one-night-stand boytoy chef, and then ends up living with him platonically (for now). The next show, BORED TO DEATH, airs on HBO and stars Jason Schwartzman. What SHOULD have been a solid comedy on HBO didn't elicit a single laugh out of me. Still, it has some potential, depending on where the creators go with it. Ted Danson steals it! The final comedy, COMMUNITY, has been a critical darling going into the fall. And, yes, THE SOUP'S Joel McHale is funny. Also, the supporting cast is also very good. It has lots of potential, and is worth another sample. But of the 3, the show that gets an A is ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, the B goes to COMMUNITY, and the C goes to BORED TO DEATH (which almost lived up to it's name).
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE: A-
BORED TO DEATH: C+
COMMUNITY: B

FALL TV REVIEWS: Accidentally Bored Community

A B and C comedies get an A B and a C

In other words, the comedies A-ccidentally on Purpose, B-ored to Death and C-ommunity all premiered this week, and I think you'll be surprised which one gets an A, which a B, and the final a C. Going into season, critics have been panning Accidentally on Purpose as a dead on arrival show. I just didn't see it, though. Immediately I was laughing along with the characters, and it was just very comforting television. Sure, it's not brilliant, but it made me smile and it made me laugh. The concept involves a SF movie critic (Jenna Elfman) who realizes that 'condoms arent 100% foolproof if you dont take them out of your purse", gets pregnant from a one-night-stand boytoy chef, and then ends up living with him platonically (for now). The next show, BORED TO DEATH, airs on HBO and stars Jason Schwartzman. What SHOULD have been a solid comedy on HBO didn't elicit a single laugh out of me. Still, it has some potential, depending on where the creators go with it. Ted Danson steals it! The final comedy, COMMUNITY, has been a critical darling going into the fall. And, yes, THE SOUP'S Joel McHale is funny. Also, the supporting cast is also very good. It has lots of potential, and is worth another sample. But of the 3, the show that gets an A is ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, the B goes to COMMUNITY, and the C goes to BORED TO DEATH (which almost lived up to it's name).
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE: A-
BORED TO DEATH: C+
COMMUNITY: B

Fall TV Review: The Beautiful Life

It comes with bittersweetness to review THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE on the CW, because I am liking the male model/female model sex and suds scenario, even though it does boarder on camp too many times. Still, it's brainless eye candy fluff TV that I miss in a soap world. Similarly, I enjoyed MELROSE PLACE, but it appears that both CW soaps are flirting with cancellation (unless Heather Locklear's return in November can save it). As for TBL, look for it to end it's short catwalk run before the end of the year.

MY RATING: B+

Monday, September 14, 2009

SMALLVILLE: What next?

I jumped on the SMALLVILLE bandwagon late (8 YEARS late), and as the CW series heads into season 9, I am still playing catch-up with all the previous seasons on DVD. As of this writing, I am just starting season 7.

Rumor has it that this season (9) will be the last, but if ratings for it's Friday night switch prove fruitful for the CW on that night, look for a tenth season to follow. The CeeDubs decision to replace SMALLVILLE with VAMPIRE DIARIES on Thursdays has already been a success since VAMP scored the highest premiere rating in the network's history. So DON'T expect SMALLVILLE to ever return to THursdays now. The best case scenario is to have SMALLVILLE do good on Fridays and make that a competitive night for the fledgling netlet.

I now want to look back on SMALLVILLE's past seasons:
1: A good start, but too many freak of the week storylines
2: The start of the bigger mythology to the series, but still felt a little contrived.
3: A good season, but Pete Ross sorely needed to leave much earlier. FINALLY, I wasnt sick of John Schneider in this season
4: HIgh shool's last year, YAY! But the worst season because of those damn stones and Lana's tattoo. Props to Jensen Ackles, but his descent into madness in the last half of the season sucked. The second meteor shower was cool! And gotta love that Lois Lane intro to a nude Tom Welling.
5: Bye JOhn Schneider! What an UNBELIEVABLE (and not in a good way) storyline of how Johnathon Kent rose to become a SENATOR! THen he dies, and MARTHA KENT becomes a Senator? Whatever.
6: Best season yet! (of the 6 I've seen): Hi Jimmy Oleson (and cute Aaron Ashmore), and what a rush to see the Justice League get formed. Also, the escaped phantoms from the zone was cool to follow. Last half of the season sucked..i didnt buy into Lana's love interest in Lex. But the finale with the dam bursting open was awesome.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FALL TV REVIEW: Glee

It only aired its pilot last spring (which I gave an A), and as GLEE returns, everyone wondered if the pilot was a one-hit wonder. Though episode 2 didnt hit the same highs as the pilot, it still had wit, humor, and unexpected drama and reality to it. ITs refreshing to have a high school musical play to a NON-HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL Disney phoniness. I am going to stay along for this ride!

MY RATING: A

FALL TV REVIEW: Vampire Diaries

I was looking forward to liking VAMPIRE DIARIES, but I had no idea how MUCH i would like it. For network TV, this pilot flew by and hit all the right buttons. It has that 'supernatural' feel to it that I have come to enjoy in CW shows like SMALLVILLE and, well, SUPERNATURAL. Its a great fit for Thursday before the Winchester Boys start their fifth season. Unlike MELROSE PLACE, DIARIES has an instantly likeable cast, and GORGEOUS GUYS to boot. Written with snarky wit by Kevin Williamson, VAMPIRE DIARIES is going to be teh pilot to beat for me.

MY RATING: A

Thursday, September 10, 2009

THURSDAY NIGHT TV PREDICTIONS:

8:00
FlashForward (ABC), New
Survivor: Samoa (CBS), 4.2 18-49 demo rating for Gabon last fall
Vampire Diaries(CW), New
Bones (Fox), 2.9 demo rating (includes both Wed/Thurs airings last season)
SNL: Weekend Update (NBC), ? ; till Oct. 15 then Community

8:30
Parks & Recreation (NBC), 2.4 demo rating

9:00
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 4.8 demo rating
CSI (CBS) 4.5 demo rating
Supernatural (CW) 1.2 demo rating
Fringe (Fox), 3.6 demo rating (Tuesday last season)
The Office (NBC), 4.0 demo rating

9:30
Community (NBC), New; till Oct. 15 then 30 Rock, 3.2 demo rating

10:00
Private Practice (ABC), 2.9 demo rating (includes both Wed/Thurs airings last season)
The Mentalist (CBS), 3.5 demo rating (Tuesday last season)
The Jay Leno Show (NBC), New, Fall 2009 Tonight Show averaged about a 1.4-1.5 demo rating

MY PREDICTIONS: ABC will improve on the night now that UGLY BETTY has been banished to Fridays (can we say 'au revoir, Betty Suarez'? SURE WE CAN!). Look for FLASH FORWARD to ignite the hour, but overall win goes to old reliable SURVIVOR. Second will be BONES, and possibly FLASH if it can sustain buzz throughout the season. I see VAMPIRE DIARIES riding the Twilight and True Blood wave in 18 to 49, and will leave the NBC comedies in last place for the hour. Seriuosly!
At 9 pm: All hell's going to break lose, and each network will be smiling. This is going to be brutal! GREYS has aged, and without Gil Grissom, CSI has seen its better days, too. Even THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK may have peaked by now. A show with momentum is still SUPERNATURAL. So where does that leave Fox's Fringe? OMG, this is going to be a fun hour to watch. I see CSI winning, with the NBC comedies taking third, but making it a close call for second on GREYS. I just dont see GREYS juice holding out much past this season. SUPER will do super, but FRINGE will win fourth.
At 10 pm: Long live THE MENTALIST, the hottest show from last year. And PRACTICE will do so-so. But LENO owns the hour when PRACTICE is in repeats.

FALL TV REVIEW: Melrose Place

It's going to have to get much better before I invest a whole year of my life into MELROSE PLACE. Reboots are always hard to do and rarely capture the original version's tone. SOrry to say that MELROSE PLACE 2009 is a victim of such fate. The only juice from the show comes from original cast member Laura Leighton (better than ever as Sydney) and newbie Katie Cassidy (BRILLIANT in the Heather Locklear role of Ella). Come to think of it, Miss Cassidy was the best thing going for HARPERS ISLAND this summer, and kicked ass (literaly) as Ruby on SUPERNATURAL. Let's hope the producersa and writers either ditch the boring new characters on PLACE (except for Dr Michael Mancini and his Brad Pitt-ish son, they were delicious too). The others, eh!

MY RATING: B-

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TUESDAY NIGHTS: My Predictions

Here is the TUESDAY lineup, followed by my predictions:

average from the 2008-9 season.

8:00

Shark Tank (ABC), 1.7 adults 18-49 demo rating for summer 2009 through 8/30.

NCIS (CBS), 3.4 demo rating

90210 (CW), 1.1 demo rating

So You Think You Can Dance (8-10p) (Fox), ~3.5 demo rating for Wed. & Thu. summer 2009 through 8/30

Biggest Loser (8-10p) (NBC), 3.3 demo rating

9:00

Dancing With The Stars (ABC), 3.8 demo rating

After Dancing finishes: Scrubs (ABC) 1.9 demo, Better Off Ted (ABC), 1.8 rating

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) New

Melrose Place (CW) New

So You Think You Can Dance (8-10p) (Fox), ~3.5 demo rating for Wed. & Thu. summer 2009 through 8/30

Biggest Loser (8-10p) (NBC), 3.3 demo rating

10:00

The Forgotten (ABC), New

The Good Wife (CBS), New

The Jay Leno Show (NBC), New, Fall 2009 Tonight Show averaged about a 1.4-1.5 demo rating

PREDICTIONS: CBS will once again dominate the night in overall viewers, but look for the CW to make some significant advances with the 18-49 crowd.

OVERALL AUDIENCE:
8 PM: NCIS will win the hour, followed by BIGGEST LOSER, then SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, then 90210, then SHARK TANK. When V premieres in November, it will run 3rd to NCIS and LOSER.

9 PM: DANCING WITH THE STARS results will win the hour, with NCIS: LA taking second, but dont discount MELROSE PLACE for 3nd. Still, I think BIGGEST LOSER results will actully take 3rd, leaving SYTYCD in last. THIS is going to be a seriously anaylized hour where the overall and the 18 to 49 winners are going to be very different.

10 PM: Of all the nights JAY LENO has to succeed, this is the one. Weak competition from newbies GOOD WIFE and THE FORGOTTEN won't give Jay much stress. In fact, look for Jay to be 2nd, closely behind GOOD WIFE, but ahead of FORGOTTEN.

BETTER OFF TED and SCRUBS return in Novembe.

The Long Hot (and HUMID) Summer is Over...

At least it was very humid in FLORIDA..GRRR! But for all my bickering about the horrible summer months in Florida, I wouldnt want to be anywhere else come Winter.

Except for maybe in front of my TV set! LOST says goodbye in a 2010 Feb to May rollout.

But before then, its FALL TV, BABY! And I will be reviewing each and every new fall show that comes down the pipeline, beginning with tonight's CW reboot of MELROSE PLACE.

But before then, I just want to list my favorite summer TV show newbies of 2009:

1. NURSE JACKIE: I was pleasantly surprised to fall in love with this new SHOWTIME dramedy. Merrit Wever is EXCELLENT as the green nurse in the group.
2 MICHAEL & MICHAEL HAVE ISSUES: Comedy Central hit comedy gold with this wry series starring Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black.
3. MERLIN: At times cheesy, this was still a solid, entertaining tryout for NBC. Ratings were woeful, so dont expect a second season stateside, unless BBCAMERICA runs the already-shot second season.
4. TOSH.O: Already renewed for a second season, look for this show to break out BIG when it's new episodes run. Its fucking hilarious, and controversial, too! I cant believe they get away with what they do.
5. WAREHOUSE 13: This SyFy show was slow to start, but is improving.

Sorry, but DROP DEAD DIVA, RUBY AND THE ROCKITS, 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, THE SUPERSTARS and (especially) DEFYING GRAVITY failed to make the cut.

I never did watch HUNG, but that can wait. It was renewed, too!

As for returning shows, TRUE BLOOD stayed AWESOME, and BETTER OFF TED kept me smiling. Look for season 3 of TRUE next summer, and more TED this winter on ABC.