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Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall TV Review: Puppies Vs Babies

This new show on Animal Planet pits video clips of puppies vs clips of babies in 16-bracket game grid. Pretty predictable stuff, but also kinda fun to pass the hour. B-

Fall TV Review: Million Dollar Mind Game

Its easy to see why ABC is burning off this new game show on Sunday afternoons: The editing is frenetic, and the premise just isnt that engaging. The jist: A group of 6 friends(or coworkers, etc) have to answer guestions to get to the million dollars without getting 4 wrong ones during the game. Its pretty much a premise thats been done before, and much better. D+

Fall TV Review: Once Upon A Time

ABC's new fantasy drama was easily the most satisfying new drama premiere of the fall, and had me clapping at the end (a rarity these days). I like the two worlds of the fairy tale lore and modern day intermingling, and the cast is top-notch. Jennifer MOrrison is fantasic as Emma - the woman who returns to Storybrooke Maine to discover her past. Well-cast and a visual delight. A+

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall TV Review: Man Up!

Whoa! Just when I thought a comedy couldnt get worse than ABC's LAST MAN STANDING, along comes MAN UP - an even less funny sitcom than the Tim Allen tragedy. Also on ABC, Man Up doesnt do men any service - it presents us as total buffoons. After 15 minutes, I realized I hadnt chirped a single laugh. And that's just pathetic. F

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall TV Review: Enlightened

This new HBO dramedy surprised me. It plays like an indie movie, with little slices of Laura Dern's life. From the opening scene of her corporate meltdown (laughed my ass off with her screaming face in the elevator as she tries to tear the doors open)to the dramatic inspiring finale as she looks up and see a turtle floating in the water (Yep, i shed a tear). Its well-acted, and a refreshing break from the Showtime dramadies that rely too much on things like cancer (BIG C), addiction (NURSE JACKIE) and mental illness (UNITED STATES OF TARA). A-

Fall TV Review: Last Man Standing

Tim Allen's new comedy is so riduculously embarassing. My how far the once-mighty have fallen. His old-school comedy shtick doesnt work in 2011 the way it did when HOME IMPROVEMENT ruled the tube throughout the nineties. At least back then the writing was clever. Now Tim just comes across as a boor to his kids. Each set-up to his jokey wisdom is groan-inducing. There is not a bit of heart either to his curmudgeon-like character, and he is also woefully homophobic (a further step backward). I can't see this show surviving the season, not when ABC has such a rich Wednesday night with The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family and Happy Endings (With Cougar Town and Don't Trust the Bitch in Apt 23 on deck). D

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall TV Review: American Horror Story

Thank GLEE creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuck for kicking off a spooky new show on FX that has ghosts, sex, men jerking off, rubber-suited mystery man fucking Connie Britton, a creepy house, weird twins, and sooooo much more. Plus an EXCELLENT Jessica Lange. This show proves that CABLE is the destination for edgy drama. A show like this would have been so watered down on broadcast. Only cable can do this adult spook show justice. Dylon McDermott and Connie Britton and Jessica Lange act their asses off, by the way. A-

FALL TV REVIEW: Mad Fashion

Sure, its another reality show, but when the subject is PROJECT RUNWAY fan fave Chris March, the result is a hoot. I love his gang, and I love this show. A bit predictable, but Chris brings a flair to it that others have tried (and failed) Bravo, BRAVO! B

FALL TV REVIEW: Fashion Hunters

SNOOOOOOZE. This one is about a group of people in NY who hunt for high-end clothes on a dime. About as interesting as watching a turtle cross the road. Sorry, Bravo. D+

Fall TV Review: Bedlam

Poor BBC, you just don't know how to make an interesting genre drama. I was BORED with BEDLAM, a ghost-in-a-hotel misfire. D

Fall TV Review: Dirty Soap

E has just about scraped the bottom of the celebreality barrell with this misfire that follows the personal stories of soap actors. Now, normally in a show like this follows normal people, one can smell its all an act. But knowing that its bad-acting soap actors 'acting' bad for the cameras makes this a real pile of stink. D

Fall TV Review: Majors & Minors

It's on The HUB, and its about young kids trying to make it in the music biz. There is no elimination, just lots of teaching the do's and dont's of the biz. Mindless. C-

Fall TV Review: Homeland

Showtime has a new drama on the air. Critics love it, but the pilot, to me, was ugly to watch. I realize the content is strong subject matter, but I just didnt feel like a happy camper watching this well-acted series about a possible rogue soldier returned after being a POW for over 7 years. Claire Danes is the (un)stable agent trying to convince Washington that he's now a secret spy/terrorist. If this is your type of show and subject matter, you'll probably like it. I prefer more escapist TV. C-

FALL TV ROUND-UP 2011

ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC) A+
TERRA NOVA (FOX) A
PAN AM (ABC) A
CHARLIE'S ANGELS (ABC) A
THE SECRET CIRCLE (CW) A-
AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX) A-
ENLIGHTENED (HBO) A-
GRIMM (NBC) A-
NEW GIRL (FOX) B+
HELL ON WHEELS (AMC) B+
SUBURGATORY (ABC) B+
REVENGE (ABC) B
WHITNEY (NBC) B
RINGER (CW) B
PROJECT ACCESSORY (LIFETIME) B
MAD FASION (BRAVO) B
UP ALL NIGHT (NBC) B-
X FACTOR (FOX) B-
2 BROKE GIRLS (CBS) B-
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS) B-
DAVE'S OLD PORN (SHOWTIME) B-
PUPPIES VS BABIES (ANIMAL) B-
PLAYBOY CLUB (NBC) C+
A GIFTED MAN (CBS) C+
PRIME SUSPECT (NBC) C
PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS) C-
HOMELAND (SHOWTIME) C-
ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS (NBC) C-
FREE AGENTS (NBC) C-
BOSS (STARZ) C-
MAJORS & MINORS (HUB) C-
HART OF DIXIE (CW) D+
ALLEN GREGORY (FOX) D+
UNFORGETTABLE (CBS) D+
THE HEART, SHE HOLLER (CARTOON) D+
MILLION DOLLAR MIND GAME (ABC) D+
FASHION HUNTERS (BRAVO) D+
LAST MAN STANDING (ABC) D
BEDLAM (BBCAMERICA) D
DIRTY SOAP (E) D
GOOD VIBES (MTV) D-
MAN UP! (ABC) F
REED BETWEEN THE LINES (BET) F
H8R (CW) F

Fall TV Review: RINGER

Sarah Michelle Gellar does double-duty as twins Bridget (trashy) and Siobhan (Rich). Lots of twists and turns make this show a sudsy fun surprise. An unfortunate fake-CGI boat scene nearly drowns the show, but by episode 2 I was hooked on finding out more about this unraveling mystery. B

Fall TV Review: HART OF DIXIE

Rachel Bilson is SOOOO unbelievable as a doctor, that I had to moan and groan just five minutes into this new drama. Then she is uprooted and sent to a hick-like small town full of quirky characters who embrace her and welcome her with open arms. Rachel, who wanted to practice in the big city, decides to stay in smallville instead. Whatever! D+

Fall TV Review: A Gifted Man

Hmmm, a show about a guy who sees ghosts on Friday night on CBS? PERFECT! But wait, this medical show is about a jerky doctor who has to get redeemed first by seeing visions of his recently deceased ex-wife who 'teaches' him to be a better person, and thus a better doctor. Eh, not for me. With that said, awesome production values. C+

Fall TV Review: Person Of Interest

I had high hopes for this JJ ABRAMS show because it brought back to the small screen the excellent Michael Emerson (Ben Linus to you LOSTies). Michael is good here, as is James Cavaziel. But it being CBS means the show is going to explore crimes in typical procedual fashion. This one has the benefit of being a bit sci-fi in nature, or rather science fact depending on who you ask. In a jist, Emerson's character can predict crimes that are about to happen from a high-tech piece of software that he created. The pilot was slooooow to go, and so I tuned out. Maybe it got better? C-

Fall TV Review: Unforgettable

Poppy Montgomery is one of my favorite actresses ( I thought she did a great portrayal of JK Rowlings in the recent Lifetime biopic). But with Unforgettable on CBS, she is stuck with a by-the-numbers procedural that the network consistently throws at viewers. There is nothing original here at all. SIDENOTE: dramas are tanking this season, while comedy is king. Could we finally have a reversal and start to see the once-mighty CBS start to tank, too, because of their over-reliance on crime shows. One can only hope. But back to Unforgettable: If you care to know, its about a woman who never forgets any little detail in her life. I guess only a few people in the world have this, including Marilu Henner. For me, the show should drop the first two letters and then there would be an accurate name for the series. D+

Fall TV Review: How To Be A Gentleman

As I type this review, CBS has just officially cancelled this new comedy after it was moved from Thursday to Saturday after two low-rated airings after BIG BANG. The show WAS about a guy who rooms with a jerk (Kevin Dillon) as he writes a new column called 'How To Be A Gentleman'. The only thing really funny in the opener was Rhys Darby from FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS. I hope he finds something else soon. Dave Foley was funny, too...but they arent the leads, and so...RIP, Gentleman. B-

Fall TV Review: 2 BROKE GIRLS

For a show that has received tons of hype and loads of ratings and critical glory, I am in the minority that hasnt particularly warmed to this new CBS laffer. I love Beth Behrs in the role of a formerly rich girl, but Kat Dennings is too annoying in the one-dimensional role of her roommate/co-worker. I also think the supporting cast at the restaurant is mis-fire, save for Garrett Morris. The ongoing subplot is that the girls are trying to raise 250,000 to start up a cupcake business. At the end of the first episode they have roughly 350 dollars. Cute gimmick. B-

Fall TV Review: REVENGE

Emily VanCamp shines in this soapy ABC sudser about a girl who returns to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people who wronged her father and sent him to jail. Each episode ends with Emily's character drawing an X over that night's victim. I love me a nightime soap and I am fascinated to see how far this gimmik can work. So far, it's guilty fun on a night of ABC comedic fun. Dont take REVENGE too seriously and you'll love it, too. B

Fall TV Review: Suburgatory

Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto are good as a daugher who has her father move her to the suburbs after he finds condoms in her drawer. Cheryl Hines steels the show as a nosy neighbor, and the cookie-cutter look of the show sets it apart. Still not totally sold on the show, but i likey so far. B+

Fall TV Review: NEW GIRL

The rumors are true: Zooey Deschanel IS adorkable in the new FOX comedy NEW GIRL. I can't say the rest of the show is original (it reminds me of Happy Endings in many ways...or a new take on Threes Company with the sexes reversed and an extra guy thrown into the mix). Still, this is powerhouse vehicle for Zooey and she makes the most of it, engaging the viewer in her special take on a quirky girl in the city. B+

Fall TV Review: Prime Suspect

Oh, poor Maria Bello. How you annoy me so. And its not just that hat...its your whole take on the Jane Timoney character that Helen Mirren mastered for the BBC. Maria, your NBC show reeks of procedural excess that CBS does so often. I bid adieu, Miss Bello. C

Fall TV Review: Whitney

This NBC laffer harkens back to the days of MAD ABOUT YOU and SEINFELD, and its not a total mess. In fact, I rather enjoy this kind of show...its much better controlled than the rash of romcoms that invaded last season (Perfect Couples, Friends With Benefits, Happy Endings, Mad Love, etc etc). By zeroing in on Whitney Cummings and her live-in BF, the show has a chance to provide some idiotic fun. I mean really, how many single-cams does the universe really need? A few classic multi-cams are good, too. Just ask CBS. B

Fall TV Review: THE PLAYBOY CLUB

This NBC drama had the hype, but not the viewers...and became the first casualty of the season. The show was a bit bland for network TV and would have been a better fit on Showtime. Also, the storylines were rather weak and derivitave. Long-term it was hard to know where the show could go...would an ongoing series set in a Playboy Club be enough to sustain viewers? In the end, it just had the air of failure all around it. Bye, bunnies! C+

Fall TV Review: THE X FACTOR

This FOX music reality show is known more for the reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul than anything else, and the opener was rather lackluster as it meshed AMERICAS GOT TALENT with AMERICAN IDOL. Throw in some VOICE-like coach work in the coming weeks and the end result of X FACTOR is ...nothing original to report at all. Still, if you like the above shows that it resembles, you should find something to like about X. B-

Fall TV Review: Terra Nova

This highly-anticipated FOX series was 85 million + 2 years in the making, and the result was worth the wait. From the dystopian future to the bare-bones dinosaur past comes a family adventure set in a strange old world. It has lots of promise, but may have been a bit too tame and too Spielbergian. Still, with all it's hype, it was going to be hard to impress everyone. I am on for the ride, and I hope FOX sticks with it because this is the kind of TV that is so out of the box different from what the other nets are tossing at us. A

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall TV Review: Pan Am

This nostalgic look at flight attendants during air travel's golden age is crisp, fun, well-written, and quite nostalgic. I also like how it doesnt revel in Mad Men-smoke fests. There is also an element of espionage and intrigue which has left me breathless for more. A

Fall TV Review: Charlie's Angels

This updated version of the seminal 70's classic doesnt quite live up to the original, but it is an interesting take on three girls being hired by an unseen Charlie and a HOTTTT new Bosley. Minka Kelly is so-so, but the real star of this update is Rachel Taylor. I just wish the show had gotten more sampling because it is thisclose to being canceled. I just hope it survives to episode 4: "Angels in Chains" with Lois Lane Erica Durance. A