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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter TV Review: ALCATRAZ

When I heard that this new FOX drama was basically a procedural with a twist, I was skeptical. But upon viewing this new JJ Abrams show set on an island - natch- I was hooked with its premise of 200 some-odd inmates who disappeared from Alcatraz prison back in 1963 and who are now resurfacing in the present day, unaged. Their is a mysterious mythology about why they are back, and who is behind them killing again. The second hour of the premiere reminded me a bit of the movie DIRTY HARRY - a fave. I was very entertained...so far, so good. And great to see Jorge Garcia back on TV. A

Winter TV Review: Lost Girl

Sorry, but something is just 'off' with this new SyFy series, which i believe is actually a Canadian TV production that the cable net bought, though I'm not positive. Anyway, the premise is this: a woman in her late twenties is a succubus and she drains people of their essence through a kiss. There is a whole mythology about good and evil forces who want to use her for their respective needs. It's talkie and not very exciting. C-

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter TV Review: Betty White's Off Their Rockers

Poor Betty White. I fear that after an amazing couple years where her star has shown brightly again, the razzle dazzle is over. At least it is with this stupid attempt at Candid Camera like entertainment. With OFF THEIR ROCKERS, senior citizens pull pranks on the youngins, and the results are less that stupid. In fact, these PRANK'D AARPers look so staged, its pretty obvious the show was just thrown together to capitalize on Betty's name. And Miss White doesnt even engage in any of the stunts. All she does is throw a few one-liners from her house. Those are the best parts. D-

Winter TV Review: Unsupervised

FX has a hit with ARCHER. Not so much with UNSUPERVISED, which is a poor attempt to mix Beavis & Butthead type humor with South Park. Its about some randy teen boys and their less-than-funny hijinks. Very immature, and very stupid. I can't see this one lasting very long. At least I pray it doesnt. D

Winter TV Review: Project Runway All*Stars

First the good news: All*Stars brings back 13 of your favorite former contestants from seasons past (including my personal fave, Season 1's Austin Scarlett), and boy is it great to see these contestants again. Now the bad news: No Heidi Klum, No Tim Gunn mentor, and no judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. Their replacements are very poor substitutes, but the formula is the same. And let's face it, you're watching All*Stars to see your former faves, so with that in mind, I give this show a B. But if I were to grade on the host, mentor and judges, I'd have to downgrade the show to a C-. But I'm feeling nice, so a B it is.

Winter TV Review: Touch

Fox's new preview of it's March-release drama starring Kiefer Sutherland blew me away. It was such a moving piece of television, with a beginning, middle and end. The entire hour was satisfying, and such a surprise sleeper for me. The story is basically about a boy named Jake who has never spoken a word in his life, but through the use of numbers and observation of the world at large, is able to find a way to communicate to his dad, and others. But the show is more than that, crossing the world and weaving seemingly unrelated story arcs into a 'wow' finale. This show has an epic feel to it, more like a feature film, actually. I worry how its going to play out as a series, but taking the pilot and looking at it as a movie, i was wholly thrilled, and definitely looking to see where creator Tim Kring can take it, and in the process, take me. There's nothing like this on television. It was fantastic. A

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter TV Review: Napoleon Dynamite

It was fun to revisit the characters from the 2004 Jon Heder flick on this FOX animated spin-off, and the voices are the same from the movie. But I guess almost ten years later, I've moved on from these characters. It's cute, not offensive, but also sooooo 2004. C+

Winter TV Review: ReModeled

Poor CW: they havent launched a successful reality show...ever. (Note: Americas Next Top Model was inherited from UPN when that net and the WB merged to create the CW). This 'reality' show is aimed at lovers of Gordon Ramsay's school of verbal abuse (not a fan here)... only this time the world is models and modeling agencies. It's a terrible excuse to think that audiences are turned on by screaming ego-maniacs. This show gets the first F of Winter/Spring.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter TV Review: The Fades

This dreary BBCAmerica supernatural show tries hard to scare, but the actions of the characters don't make a lick of sense. In the first 2 minutes a girl is walking down a dark alley obviously in distress (looks as if she knows all about demons lurking about), yet when she sees a hooded figure wimpering, she throws all caution to the wind and appraoaches him with 'Hello, ...hello, are you okay?' Of course its a demon and she gets attacked and killed.) That kind of storytelling turns me off and takes me out of the drama, and so once again I tune out yet another BBC production that doesnt live up to the hype. C-

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter TV Review: THE FINDER

I've never watched an entire episode of BONES on Fox, but I have seen bits and pieces of certain episodes, and have enjoyed the tone of that series. That magic tone that has kept the BONES lights on for over 5 years is sorely missing in the first regular episode of THE FINDER, a show starring the likeable Geoff Shultz from HAPPY TOWN a few years back. In THE FINDER he is rather smug and annoying, a know-it-all who may have some serious mental issues. The supporting cast doesnt help, and the laid-back setting of the Florida Keys is a yawner. C-

Winter TV Review: ROB!

I've often found former SNL funnyman Rob Schneider (Sensitive Naked Guy) to be fairly annoying in his feature film stints, but on the new CBS comedy ROB! he is actually genuinely funny as an OCD ordinary-guy who happens to wed a stunning Mexican woman - all to the dismay of her extended family. The pilot sets up this he vs. them sitcom, and a lot of the jokes are stereotypical, for sure. But watching Rob try to win them over wins the audience over in the process. B-

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter TV Review: JANE BY DESIGN

ABCFamily does it again: Another stinker in a long-line of dramas that pander to the teen set (Pretty Little Liars, Secret Life of American Teenager, Make it or Break it, Greek, Nine Lives of Chloe King, Lying Game, Switched at Birth...more?). JANE tries to be like a younger UGLY BETTY, making the canned ABC show starring America Ferrera look positively classic. D+

Winter TV Review: House of LIes

Unlikable characters in a dramedy about crisis managers for big businesses got off to a lackluster start, even though we saw Don Cheadle's bare booty in the first 30 seconds. It was nice seeing Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell again, but sadly this isnt the type of show I wanted to see her in. Also, the freeze frames where Cheadle's character steps out to address the audience wear tiresome after the first couple tricks. Very boring show, for sure. D+

Winter TV Review: THE FIRM

Yeah, I remember seeing the Tom Cruise feature that this NBC reboot is based on, and I wasnt much excited about that film back in, what, 1993? So when I saw Josh Lucas take over the part, running with brief case in tow from some mystery men, I wasnt at all impressed. Then came the whole 'call the wife, report that it's happening again' blah blah crap, and I was further bored. But what really tuned me out was the shift to a typical law procedural, as if this format hasnt already been done to death. And so, THE FIRM, I give to you my final verdict: C- (and that's being generous!)

Winter TV Review: Celebrity Wife-Swap

I was never a fan of ABC's WIFE SWAP, but I did enjoy the recent celebrity edition that premiered to decent ratings. There's something about it that's addictive. To those who don't know the concept by now: two wives swap places and live a week in the life of the other's shoes, first going by the origin house rules, and then mid-way erecting their new rules. B-

Winter TV Review: MOBBED

Last spring, FOX aired a one-off special/pilot of HOwie Mandel's flash-mob series. This review is based on that pilot, for which I found the concept a fun spectacle, even though the editing of the show took away from the flash-mob feel that one gets from watching YouTube clips. Since then, Fox aired another episode over the holidays, and last week began airing MOBBED weekly. To me, the fun is gone, but from last season's pilot, I enjoyed the show enough to give it a B


Watching this comedy based on the book by Chelsea Handler (Are You There Vodka, Its Me Chelsea) is a mixed bag. I dont think Laura Prepon was right for the lead...its like watching Donna from THAT 70s SHOW. But when Chelsea Handler appears as her sister Sloane, she nails it, and makes the whole experience surreal. It was also great to see GLEE's Coach Bieste appear in the pilot playing a lesbo. 'Bout time! C+

Winter TV Review: Work It

I know I wasnt supposed to laugh at this cross-dressing sitcom, but I did. It's not as gentle as BOSOM BUDDIES, nor do the two guys in this 2012 version particularly look like women (okay, Angel does). But just like BB, Work It works best when the two guys are in dresses and surrounded by the ladies they work with and for at a pharmaceuticals business. Ratings have sorta tanked, so if you like this escapist comedy, you better enjoy it while it lasts. ABC predicts COUGAR TOWN will take over its slot in the coming weeks. Oh, and for those who are upset over the content, trust me, I understand. But I'm gay, and I still found the humor in guys donning dresses. B-

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter TV Review: Angry Boys

There's no questioning the genius of creator and star Chris Lilley in his new HBO show ANGRY BOYS. He is very good at immersing himself into the characters...the prob with BOYS is that it isnt funny. But I don't want that to detract from Chris' moments of brilliance, especially when protraying Gran - the ballsy woman who whips the angry boys into shape. C-