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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Winter TV Review: Real Housewives of Miami

After the awesome BEVERLY HILLS edition (A-), this Miami-set edition seemed too tame for my taste. Whereas I instantly was into the LA girls from the get-go, this Miami bunch is going to take some time (and drama) getting used to. Still, being from South Florida, its fun to have my state featured among the growing Housewife franchise (Orange County, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Beverly Hills...did I miss any?) C+

WinterTV Review: Shedding for the Wedding

A blatant rip-off of The Biggest Loser for couples who want a dream wedding (hence the shedding). I hope host Sara Rue finds something more, um, meatier to do in the future. D+

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter TV Review: Suspect Behavior

There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this CRIMINAL MINDS spinoff on CBS. This is trash TV meant to entertain through the kidnappings, slashings, killings and other dark materials that CBS seems to have built an empire on. It's one thing to air one or two of these types of shows, but to present almost your entire drama schedule on these kinds of cheap thrills has really gotten stale. How can these violent shows (and both Criminal Minds are the worst of their kind) be allowed, while showing something as natural as a bare butt or breast is considered scandalous? I don't get it, and I dont WANT to get it. F

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter TV Review: Mad Love

Many shows have been paired with HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER over the years (Big Bang Theory, Accidentally on Purpose, Rules of Engagement, The Class), but it's MAD LOVE that is the best companion fit so far. With an excellent cast consisting of Jason Biggs (American Pie), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Tyler Labine (Reaper) and Judy Greer (Arrested Development), this relationship comedy about love in New York has great promise, even though it was a tad predictable in the pilot. Still, with so many lousy new rom-coms on TV recently, it's nice to fall madly in love with this newbie. Let's hope CBS sticks by it. B+

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter TV Round-Up 2011

Here are the rankings of the new shows airing on TV this winter, judged solely on the pilot episodes only. To qualify, I will be reviewing every new show on the Big Five, be it a drama, comedy or reality show. I will also be reviewing all new scripted fare on the cable nets, as well as select reality shows such as FACE OFF on SyFy.

BEING HUMAN (SYFY) A-
SHAMELESS (SHOWTIME) A-
FACE OFF (SYFY) A-
SKINS (MTV) A-
MAD LOVE (CBS) B+
MR SUNSHINE (ABC) B+
MARCEL'S QUANTUM KITCHEN (SYFY) B
HARRY'S LAW (NBC) B
THE CAPE (NBC) B
RETIRED AT 35 (TVLAND) B-
EPISODES (SHOWTIME) B-
AFTER LATELY (E!) B-
LIVE TO DANCE (CBS) B-
WORKING CLASS (CMT) C+
PORTLANDIA (IFC) C+
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MIAMI (BRAVO) C+
OFF THE MAP (ABC) C+
LIGHTS OUT (FX) C+
SERIOUSLY FUNNY KIDS (Lifetime) C+
FAIRLY LEGAL (USA) C
BREAKOUT KINGS (A&E) C
AMERICAS NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT (NBC) C
PIER'S MORGAN TONIGHT (CNN) C
TRAFFIC LIGHT (FOX) C-
THE CHICAGO CODE (FOX) C-
EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES (PBS) C-
PERFECT COUPLES (NBC) D+
LET'S STAY TOGETHER (BET) D+
SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING (CW) D+
BODY OF PROOF (ABC) D
BOB'S BURGERS (FOX) D-
JAMES ELLROY'S LA (Invest. Disc.) F
ONION NEWS NETWORK (IFC) F
ONION SPORTSDOME (COMEDY) F
CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR (CBS) F

Winter TV Review: Traffic Light

This new FOX comedy isnt as bad as NBCs PERFECT COUPLES, though that's not saying much since I greatly loathed the COUPLES first two eps. With TRAFFIC, its the same old story of 3 couples in various stages of their relationships (BETTER WITH YOU also fits this mold on ABC, though I likie that one). The cast is uniformly unappealing, which is true of COUPLES, too. I look forward to MAD LOVE on CBS because at least that cast has a lot of great actors that I've enjoyed over the years. Til then,...STOP at this light and don't procede. C-

Winter TV Review: The Chicago Code

Similar in tone to ABC's DETROIT 187, CODE is a gritty police procedural that owes a lot to the fact that its actually shot in the Windy City, my old stomping grounds. But other than that, the show doesnt offer anything new. I was bored early on in the pilot, to be honest, though it was nice to see Jennifer Beals chomping the scenery. I think BLUE BLOODS on CBS is the best of the crime procedural lot this season, which is a genre that doesnt appeal to me. C-

Winter TV Review: Mr. Sunshine

It's great to see Andrea Anders (JOEY, THE CLASS, BETTER OFF TED) and Allison Janney (WEST WING) back on TV, and even though MR SUNSHINE (about the exploits of a 40-year old running the Sunshine Center in San Diego) didnt have balls to the wall laughs, it is still a good comedy with decent pacing and writing. It DOES need to get funnier, and it will. B+

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter TV Review: Seriously Funny Kids

Innocent and innocuous, this new Lifetime show hosted by Heidi Klum is nearly the same format as Kids Say The Darndest Things, only less funny. C+

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter TV Review: Ebert Presents At The Movies

Two thumbs down. The two critics taking over the very same seats that once supported Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert are sore and sorry replacements to that golden era of movie reviews shows on PBS. Yeah, it's impossible to replace Sisk and E, but I know the producers behind this revamped review show could have done better. C-

Winter TV Review: Fairly Legal

No doubt about it, this San Fran-set legal dramedy looks crisp and gorgeous with a good-looking cast. But it doesnt really offer up any excitement, and that's just unjust. C

Winter TV Review: Working Class

CMT's first original scripted show starring REBA ace Melissa Peterman and LOU GRANT himself Ed Asner is by the books in originiality. If it werent for the joys of Peterman's comedy schtick, this one would be a total stinker. Still, it has enough moments to warrent further sampling. But for now, it's just a C+

Winter TV Review: Face Off

As a fan of PROJECT RUNWAY, I was pleasantly surprised with the crisp production values of this reality show that does for effects artists what RUNWAY does for clothing designers. The judging was spot on, and the idea of having the winner of the challenge consult with judges on who should go home was a nice twist. A-