Tuesday, December 29, 2009

(My Personal) Top Ten TV Shows of the Decade! - Part Two

5. The Office (BBC, 2001-03; NBC, 2005-Present) - So this was a slightly harder show to appropriately place on the list, mostly because I've taken the liberty of lumping two distinct shows into one. Ricky Gervais' creation put 'mockumentary style' comedy at the forefront of sitcoms today and inspired the one and only Michael Scott that we all know and love. While the British version is arguably 'better' because it was the original, the U.S. version has spun-off an identity all its own - particularly one that plays better amongst American viewers. While there have certainly been lulls in the show (see the writer's strike season), from 'Diversity Day' to 'Niagra' the laughs keep coming. The mixture of awkwardness, romance, and day-to-day office monotony has proved a lethal combination for several seasons.

4. The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 1996-Present) - While The Daily Show began in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn, it didn't really become the show we all known and love until Jon Stewart came on board in 1999. Since then, The Daily Show has become a trusted source of comedic news - yes news - for viewers around the country. While Stewart takes great pleasure in mocking the current affairs of our great nation, he also presents them in a manner that has earned him immense credibility. Most importantly, he has shown no qualms with mocking all sides of the political world. Taking us through three presidential elections, The Daily Show has not only become one of the staple late night talk shows, it has also made politics cool again.

3. Arrested Development (FOX, 2003-2006) - If there is any more egregious show-cancellation in the history of network television, I can't think of it. What made this show so genius - the recurring inside jokes and layers of subtle, detailed and intelligent bits - is also what brought about it's demise. While unable to attract new viewers to this seemingly ridiculous show, Arrested Development succeeded in taking the thirty-minute sitcom to a place it had never been before. The sheer complexity of the on-going jokes and embedded humor relentlessly rewarded it's viewers but signed it's own death warrant. Luckily though, shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Modern Family have succeeded in continuing the tradition of laugh track-less, absurd comedy.

2. The West Wing (NBC, 1999-2006) - There are few greater contributors to television than Aaron Sorkin (see: Sports Night, Studio 60), and The West Wing is truly his masterpiece. Despite the fact that Sorkin only wrote and produced the first four seasons of the show, his blend of incredible characters, non-cheesy political idealism, and fast-paced dialogue set the scene for three more (slightly less) successful seasons. The West Wing indulged, in dramatic fiction form, America's love affair with politics and the office of the Presidency. Every character was impeccably cast and it's hard to imagine any of these actors (Sheen, Janney, Whitford, Spencer, Lowe, Maloney, Schiff, Hill) ever being more closely identified with another role. At its core, though, was the show's ability to portray the successes and failures of governing and public service, while still carrying a tone of idealism, optimism, and - yes - liberalism.

1. LOST (ABC, 2004-Present) - While many skeptics argue that LOST's true value remains to be measured by it's impending final season (*tear*), there is no doubt that the show has gone further and bolder into realms of mythology, sci fi, plot twists, and head-scratchers, than any other show on television. The wisest move made by the shows' writers and ABC, though, was their decision to set an end date for the series. While LOST admittedly 'lost' it's way in the third season, every episode since the decision to end the show at six seasons has remained on track and been packed with punch. There is no denying that LOST has demanded a LOT of patience and attention from it's viewers - clearly explaining why it's ratings have dropped off since the first season - but unlike other shows in this ambiguous drama/scifi/mythology genre, LOST has made itself otherwise accessible. The levels and layers of the show are what allow it to appeal to so many different audiences. There are those, like actress Evangeline Lilly, who turn to the show for its characters. At the heart of LOST is a group of people interconnected through family, history, coincidence, and fate, and seeing their story unfold has been the most rewarding part of the show for some viewers. Others, like myself, take greatest pleasure in the underlying mythology behind it all: What are the numbers? Who is Jacob? What is Smokey?; and slowly having these questions answered while springing up infinite more has kept many viewers turning back. And then there are the true LOSTies: the bloggers, the message board posters and readers, the total LOST nuts who I love, admire, and like to think of myself on the fringe of, that research and study LOST. It's no coincidence that ABC has developed 'LOST University', a place to actually educate yourself about the science, history, religion, and numerous other fields of study behind the show. All in all, LOST is a theatrical masterpiece that has millions of viewers eagerly waiting in anticipation for February 2nd. Maybe most importantly, though, LOST showed the entertainment world that no concept or creation was too much for television.

Honorable Mentions:
Friends - Many addictive seasons, many laughs, but defined the '90s more than it did the '00s and is therefore undeserving of a spot.
Sex and the City- Changed the face of 'chick-flicks' for television and redefined the way young adult women viewed life, love, careers, and sex.
Project Runway and The Amazing Race - Probably the next two best reality competition shows after Survivor. Great concepts, even greater challenges.
American Idol - Pop culture phenomenon, no doubt, but too frustrating and idiotic of a show in many ways to deserve a spot in the top ten.
How I Met Your Mother - The last worthy laugh-track sitcom in my opinion, but does not define the '00s in the way that non-laugh-track sitcoms have.
Gilmore Girls - One of the best shows ever put out by The WB/CW. Intelligent, witty, emotional, great acting, great stories, and if this list was just a few longer, GG would definitely have a spot.
Desperate Housewives - Marc Cherry's hilarious and dark social commentary on materialism, scandal, and 'American values' has had some serious highs and serious lows, but is definitely worthy of a mention.
Pushing Daisies - Far too short-lived. The concept of two lovers being unable to touch was fascinating but probably too much for American culture to really latch on. Still, PD, is without a doubt the most visually and aesthetically impressive show from the '00s.
Modern Family and Glee - It's too soon to tell, but critics have high hopes for where these shows will go based on their premiere seasons. If the current trend keeps up, it's likely they will come to define the next decade ahead.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

(My Personal) Top Ten TV Shows of the Decade! - Part One

First off - apologies for a very prolonged absence. Apparently I haven't quite mastered this whole blogging thing. Finals came around and I basically gave up TV blogging (but not TV watching, of course). Anyways, on to today's order of business: it's that time of year where the entire world seems to compile top ten lists (no, seriously, TIME Magazine did "The Top 10 Everything of 2009", and they're not kidding...they really did 'everything'...I mean, top ten new species? really?), but this year is particularly exciting as it has sprung tons of "Top Ten of the Decade" lists. In particular, there's been a few Top TV Shows of the Decade lists floating around the web, so I've decided to go ahead and write my own!

I decided to write my own list after reading some of the others for two main reasons: 1) I often disagree with the rankings of the shows, and 2) I don't watch some of the shows on the lists. Now, I know that a true TV writer would be able to make a list based on ALL TV shows of the past decade, but unfortunately I just haven't had the time to become that well-versed with some shows. So take my disclaimer seriously when I say: **DISCLAIMER** This list excludes widely-regarded 'top' shows of the decade, based solely on the fact that I either do not watch them at all, or do not watch them enough to faithfully put them in this list.

That being said, here are MY PERSONAL Top Ten TV shows of 2000-2009!

Part One:

10. 24 (FOX, 2001-Present) - This counter-terrorism real time thriller could not have started at a more opportune time in history. At the precise moment when the country was at it's height of fear about terrorism, 24 showed the world that one man could - literally - save the world. In each season Jack Bauer successfully accomplished a one-man tour de force - in 24 hours. Following his every move in real time over a 24-hour period was not only thrilling and extremely rewarding in the end, it also introduced an innovative new framework to television. While some of the more recent seasons have seemed repetitive and lacked the punch of the original few, it's hard to ignore the mass appeal this show produced during the middle of the decade - as evidenced by facebook groups like "Jack Bauer for President".

9. Veronica Mars (UPN/The CW, 2004-07) - While I would love nothing more than to rank this show higher on my list, it's hard to ignore the few drawbacks in this otherwise incredible show. I'll start with the bad first: Nielsen ratings for VMars was terrible, with the show being canceled abruptly and to the dismay of it's cult viewers. The third season was very good, but not great, and when a show only lasts three seasons it's harder to ignore the weaknesses. As for the good: The first season of this show was arguably one of the best solitary seasons in television history. A simple concept - 'teenage detective solves cases around town while trying to solve the overarching myster of who murdered her best friend' - was executed perfectly with an impeccable cast, snarky humor, dark undertones, and high school romance.

Survivor (CBS, 2000-Present) - Whether you watched this show beyond the first season or not, it's hard to argue with the notion that Season 1: Survivor Borneo and Season 1 winner Richard Hatch changed the face of reality TV. Now, many seasons later (18? 19? I can't keep track), countless shows have tried to spin off the basic concept of Survivor but none have succeeded in topping the original reality TV master of the decade. The challenges have always been intelligent and interesting, and the locations? in one word: impressive. Whether the 'castaways' are facing jungles, oceans, rain, or scorching heat, the natural elements of mother nature continue to play a crucial role in the show, giving it the one element that almost no other reality show has been able to capture: reality.

7. 30 Rock (NBC, 2006-Present)
- Facing the competing threat of another show also based on a behind-the-scenes look at live sketch comedy (Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60), critics weren't expecting much from 30 Rock. Surprisingly, 30 Rock blew away expectations and (sort of) filled the void left behind by the departure of Arrested Development. Growing from cult favorite to three-time Emmy winner for Best Comedy, 30 Rock propelled mastermind Tina Fey into the Hollywood spotlight, and vice versa. The comedic antics of Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan only further fuel Fey's fire, giving real spark to this endlessly quotable show.

6. Friday Night Lights (NBC, 2006-Present)
- There are few words to adequately describe the delicateness and raw subtle emotions of FNL's characters and storylines, which are the show's true brilliance. Surrounding the residents of one rural Texas town and it's high school football team, FNL's heart-tugging plots, innovative camerawork and outstanding cast (someone please give Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton some freaking Emmy's or at least a goddang Emmy NOMINATION) have prompted NBC to fight for the show's survival despite bleak viewing numbers. Here's hoping the numbers turn around or that NBC continues to put up the fight, because this show certainly has a lot of heart left to give.

Part Two: ....to be continued!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Three Quick Things Re: 1) HIMYM, 2) Glee, 3) LOST

Each of these items isn't substantial enough to deserve an entire post, but here are three quick thoughts for today:

1) ***SPOILER ALERT*** If you didn't watch Monday's HIMYM then skip ahead.
For those of you who saw it - THANK GOD they put an end to Barney and Robin!!! "Barnman and Robin"....haha. Look, I love Barney. I love Robin. I predicted them together awhileeee ago...but it just didn't work. I'm not giving up on them in the long run (as in, maybe they can get back together in the final episode of the show), but nobody actually wants to SEE them together as a couple. Certainly not as 'disgusting' Barney and Robin. Look, fat Barney was pretty hilarious, but Robin was just gross. I just couldn't stop looking at her greasy hair...blech. Anyways, halleluljah to the end of that!! And now Barney can go out and seek her Canadian Variety show which is sure to be brilliance.

2) Glee tonight - WOOO a new episode, FINALLY, after two weeks of hiatus due to Fox's hosting the World Series!! Not only do we get Glee back, but we have the additional treat of finally seeing the song that I've been waiting all season for: Defying Gravity. Holy Crap ya'll, can anyone deny how excited they are to see the mini-Idina Menzel (Lea Michele) perform this?! Ok, I'm assuming she's the one that performs it, but if it's someone else that's fine too. I'm just EXCITEDDDD!!

3) LOST - If you haven't already seen this fan video, YOU NEED TO. It's a parody on The Lonely Island's We Like Sports, but seriously, I think it's even better. The number of LOST references they manage to squeeze in there is AMAZING. Like truly brilliant. In "We Like Sports" the two dudes are Guy 1 and Guy 2, but in "We Like LOST" its Guy 4, and Guy 8. AS IN THE NUMBERS. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. AMAZING. Anyways. Watch and enjoy (and find these two dudes for me because they need to be my friends).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'V' Series Premiere - What did you think?

I just finished watching the pilot episode of 'V' which aired last night, and my first thought was - 'Awesome!!' It was nice to FINALLY see the show that ABC has been hyping up for WEEKS. I'm definitely going to stick with it through the duration of it's first chunk (which I'll explain below), but here are my overall thoughts:

1) They packed a TON of information into that first hour. The pilot definitely had me at the edge of my seat (couch) for the entire first hour, but are they really going to be able to keep that up? I mean they introduced the V's, explained their characteristics, showed multiple plotlines amongst the humans, revealed the big secret about the V's, AND managed to uncover some V's amongst the people we previously thought were humans! All in an hour!

2) I can see myself getting sick of the storyline with Juliet's son pretty quickly. (DAMMIT, did I really just call her Juliet? I realized this about 30 seconds into typing this paragraph and once I realized it I figured I might as well just leave it in because approx. 50% of my 10-person readership will understand my mistake...haha). Anyways, ERICA'S son is quickly becoming obsessed with the 'V's and I totally understand why this makes for an intriguing plot line (i.e. mother vs. aliens + alien bff son) but I just worry that it'll annoy me if they drag on the mother/son conflict for too long. Now if they get him over to 'the resistance' side quickly, I can totally get behind that.

3) Anna totally gives me the heebyjeebys - in the best possible way. I'm psyched for where they can take her character.

4) Not loving Scott Wolf's character (Chad) just yet, but I really hope they go somewhere good because I think his inside eye into the V's could be really helpful - especially since he's already starting to doubt/question them.

5) The Erica-Dale storyline. LOVED that Dale was a V!! That's huge and I think that's going to be really really interesting in the coming weeks.

6) Elizabeth Mitchell. Sigh. I love you Juliet and I'm pretty sure you're dead on LOST, but Damon did promise that you'll be back on the show in some capacity (flashbacks maybe?), and it's nice to see you on here for now! And speaking of LOST.. V is certainly nowhere close to LOST in comparison, but this is looking pretty promising if they can keep things up....which brings me to my last point...

7) The formatting - ABC is apparently splitting V up into two chunks. They will air 4 episodes now and wait until March to air the other 9. ABC claims the reason for this is the Winter Olympics - now this makes sense to me, BUT my real question is, did the writers craft the show around this break also? If so, this could work very very well. My biggest concern about the show is it being just that - a tv show. V seems like the type of concept that could work brilliantly in either a movie or a miniseries but I worry about dragging it out over several seasons of TV. If they package it into miniseries, though, it has the potential to keep up the pace (maybe not as fast as the pilot, of course) and keep things interesting. Of course, other shows have tried to do 'segments' (like Heroes) and it has not always panned out. If, on the other hand, they are NOT syncing the storyline to the way the show is going to the air (and instead just leaving a gaping several month hole in the middle) then I'm pretty sure V will tank. No one wants to re-live the middle of the season break that LOST took in Season 3 because it was disastrous, frustrating, and overall unsuccessful.

Anyways, those are my snap judgments on V. What did you all think? Will you keep watching? Will it replace LOST for you when *GASP* it ends next year? How amazing is Elizabeth Mitchell? Is anyone else totally digging Father Jack?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The cast of 'Glee' sings the National Anthem at Game 3 of the World Series!

I may be hating the World Series right now (and truly, what's not to hate? the Yanks, the Phils, everything), but I absolutely loved the 'Glee' cast's performance of the National Anthem at Game 3! This was a pretty brilliant move on Fox's part - Glee hasn't aired because of the World Series, so what better way to promote their new superstar show than by sticking them smack IN the World Series. I usually get sick and tired of Fox's over-promotion of things, but this was a good move.

Also a good move: having Amber Riley (character Mercedes Jones) sing lead on the National Anthem. While Lea Michele's voice may be more theatrically fit for the show, Amber Riley definitely has the biggest voice and her leading the way was fantastic!

(Sorry I don't know how to embed the actual video into a post, but click on the link above to see the performance)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finally! A great Gossip Girl episode!

I've been waiting all season long to thoroughly enjoy an episode of Gossip Girl, and last night, it finally happened! I'm not sure if it was the roaring 20s theme of Chuck's party, the fact that his bar was named Gimlet, or Dorota's increasing amount of screen time - but I loved it all.

Ok, except for one thing - I'm still not quite sure I buy into the whole "Chuck called the cops/Blair called the paparazzi thing". I mean, I get that it was an interesting twist that they knew the cops would be coming ahead of time (since they called them after all), but I'm still not sure why that was better than just waiting for the cops to bust up the party themselves? Plus, do busted parties/clubs ever get GOOD attention? Maybe I'm not saavy enough with the new club scene, but I'm not sure I get that. AND, I'm kind of against the whole underground speakeasy bit. It's overdone in New York and has sort of lost it's intrigue (at least for me), so I'm not sure I'm loving where Chuck's "secret keys" idea is going.... BUT, that's it for my complaining, I swear!

Now for the good stuff - Serena's job as a PR person. I LOVE seeing her 'working the door' and in other less glamorous roles than she used to be in. She still dresses as fabulously (although I'd love to go ONE week without being blinded by boobage), but it's great to see her doing real work. And oh my gosh, was she really going to complain about having to deliver James Franco's underwear?

As for Chuck and Blair - there was a serious lack of chemistry/excitement from them these past several weeks but I think last night's episode got them right back on track: working together instead of against each other. "Chair" is at it's best when they are scheming against other people and I'm hopeful about where the writers will take them. Plus, it seems like they have the steam back in the relationship. Side note: do rich men in New York routinely present their ladies with gigantic boxes with beautiful dresses inside? I mean, really people, does this happen? It happens ALL the freaking time on GG, and Petrovsky did it for Carrie on SATC. I just don't get it, how do these guys know their ladies sizes? Ok....clearly I'm wayyy over-analyzing this, but it's something I've wondered for awhile. Regardless, Chuck seemingly has great taste in 20s flapper dresses.

Lily and Rufus - they were adorable. It was nice to see them not bickering for once, and the way Lily paid for trick-or-treaters to come by just to make Rufus happy was so in keeping with her character but still incredibly sweet. Rufus' love for all things Halloween was also adorable (and those "KISS" jack-o-lanterns were amazing!) and it was nice to see them apart from their children for once.

Queen J - I am SO pumped for where this storyline is going. Jenny is completely dead weight on the show when she's being nice and behaving. Her character only brings something to the table when she gets spunky/b*tchy, and that certainly emerged last night. Having her cronies dump yogurt on her own best friend/BROTHER's head was downright cruel, and her attempts to hide behind the fact that she 'has to be that way at school' are not impressing anyone (except Lily!?). I really hope they continue down this path with her, and hopefully this will give Eric more than a tangential role on the show.

Ugh, I don't have much to say about Dan and Olivia. Olivia annoys me less than I thought, Dan finally doesn't look icky this season, that's about it. OH but Nate's reactions to Dan watching Olivia's film were hilarious and priceless. Maybe the show should continue to relegate Nate to serving as comic relief since his stories this season have been D-U-L-L.

Anyways, here's hoping that GG continues on this upward trajectory!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Private Practice - Is anyone still watching this? Because I'm considering breaking up with it...

Yesterday afternoon (after the Longhorn's messy victory over the Sooners - woo!) I sat down to catch up on Thursday night's Private Practice episode, and 50 minutes later I felt like I had completely lost my football high. This is the third straight episode in a row (and there have only been three so far this season!) where I felt bummed out after it ended. Now when the season ended last year with the gruesome, horrifying steal-the-baby-out-of-Violet's-womb storyline, I figured we were in for a dark period before things turned light and happy again. But for some reason, even in its darkest moments, Grey's usually manages to make me laugh (or at least chuckle), cry (of happiness and sadness), and feel hopeful of things to come. Private Practice just isn't doing it for me.

Let's dissect some of the current storylines:

1) Addison - I'm so so so over Addison's pining for Noah. Seriously, the whole storyline upsets me not only because of the whole 'man emotionally cheating on his wife' thing, but also because it has made Addison completely moody and glum and depressing. She is the REASON I decided to give Private Practice a chance and she's just completely miserable right now! Not to mention it's completely killed her rapport with Naomi, which used to be another highlight of the show.

2) Violet - I get it, she went through complete trauma, but how long are the writers going to deem an appropriate amount of time for her to be grieving before she gets back to her normal self? Any less than 6 months to a year will seem unrealistic, but any more than a few more weeks will bore me to tears. They're going to have to tread lightly on this one. Also, I feel for Violet and the whole giving up her baby storyline - it makes sense to me and it's an interesting angle, but I'm also not sure how they're going to resolve this. Pete raises the baby and then Violet changes her mind and then asks for the baby back? Pete raises the baby and then Violet changes her mind and her and Pete get together? This seems messy all around...

3) Pete/Sheldon - I'm so glad the paternity issue is FINALLY resolved, but after leading us on about this for almost a year, it was resolved with absolutely no fanfare. It was so predictable, there was nothing very exciting tied to the reveal, and what does this mean for Sheldon now? My guess is that he'll slowly be faded out which is unfortunate because I found him amusing.

4) Sam - Sam is a certified hottie, and him and Naomi need to be together. This whole storyline with Bailey just bothers me and seems to be setting him up to take a trip to Seattle Grace as a cardiothoracic surgeon. If this happens I will surely stop watching PP altogether. The show is sooo not worth it without Taye Diggs.

5) Cooper - Cooper is one of my favorite characters and one of my favorite things about him was his relationship with Violet. Now that that's gone, I'm trying to get behind him and Charlotte but I just can't do it. His gesture at the end of this past episode (asking her to move in with him) was cute, but I still don't like the two of them together.

6) Dell - Where the hell is Dell? I could always use more Dell...

So tell me people, are you guys sticking with Private Practice to see if it emerges from the Dark Ages? Or have you long ago given up this Shonda Rhimes spin-off?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Recapping The Office Wedding! (a few days late, I know)

I've been meaning to do a post about Pam and Jim's wedding on The Office since Thursday night but things obviously get hectic over the weekend (especially with gamedays and what not!), but four days later, I'm still completely in love with the episode "Niagara". The opening intro had me chuckling out loud and the final montage had me wiping the tears. All in all it was one for the books - awkward moments, hilarious moments, sentimental moments, cheesy moments, all wrapped into one fantastic package. Of course I'll admit that it wasn't the PERFECT episode (I mean really, does any show have perfect episodes - oh wait LOST and the West Wing do...just saying..), and it had the usual bloated feel that all hour-long episodes of The Office have, but all in all I think it totally surpassed the immense hype that was leading up to it. Instead of doing an indepth recap though, I'll leave you with my top ten moments from "Niagara".

10. Michael's painting for the bride and groom, and saying that he had a second nude one at home for himself.

9. The intro with all the puking and Creed eating noodles - absolutely revolting and hilarious

8. Meemah solidifying her opinion about Pam's pregnancy based on the fact that she was forced to watch Bruno in her hotel room...amazing

7. Dwight's three wolves shirt

6. Dwight kicking Isabelle in the face during their aisle dance

5. Jim's rehearsal dinner speech: equal parts sweet and awkward

4. Kevin's TISSUE BOX shoes!! HAHA

3. The entire cheesy/hilarious/sweet 'Forever' Montage - particularly Jim and Pam's waterfall nuptials

2. Oscar's vogue moves while coming down the aisle...HAHAHA priceless

1. "Plan A was marrying her a long time ago...pretty much the day I met her..."

Alright, folks, I'm sure I'm leaving out many other stellar moments but point them out to me in the comments!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Man Shops Globe' Premieres on the Sundance Channel

A few days ago a friend and I had the opportunity to attend an event for the new television show 'Man Shops Globe' at our local Anthropologie store. The show follows Keith Johnson, global shopper for Anthropologie stores, as he travels around the world in search for unique and exquisite goodies. The concept is pretty awesome: Keith Johnson has the coolest job in the world, (as the show never fails to remind us), and he literally travels the globe in search of fantastic finds to decorate and sell in Anthropologie stores nation (and soon to be world) wide.

At the event we were able to watch the premiere episode, which took place in France, and overall I had mixed feelings. On one hand, Keith Johnson really does have the coolest job ever. What I would give to spend my life in antique markets around the world seeking out incredible works of art and furniture. On the other hand, though, the show left something to be desired. I can't quite put my finger on it but something about the people on the show felt a little impersonal. I wanted to know a little bit more about them, and what drives their tastes and purchases. Also, every time they made a purchase I wanted to know more about the item, or see it more closely. Maybe it was because most of the conversations were taking place in French, but I just felt like I wanted to know more! It's also possible that I just didn't find the furniture and art in France to be all that intriguing.

I think there are good things in store for this show though - in the coming episodes Johnson travels to South Africa, Turkey, India and a bunch of other places. All of these sound extremely promising, and as an avid Anthropologie fanatic I will surely continue watching! The first episode aired last night and for future episodes tune in on Wednesdays at 9pm CT (10 Eastern) on the Sundance Channel!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Comcast in talks to purchase NBC Universal?? Nooooo!!!

The Wrap broke the news yesterday that Comcast was in talks with General Electric about buying NBC Universal from them. My immediate reaction to this is horror.

I know, I know, it's almost impossible to imagine a world today without major media conglomerates, and I'm ok with that - but the thought of a cable company owning a content provider upsets me a LOT. I'll just go ahead and say that part of why this upsets me is because it's NBC. I hold a special place in my heart for the peacock network and believe that they often value their content more than their ratings, unlike their peer networks. Regardless, the thought of any cable company owning a broadcast network is disconcerting. Cable companies, for the most part, serve the purpose of delivering content to their viewers - not creating content (and the little content they do create is pretty worthless). I really believe that it is good for these two acts to be separated and that any cross-over could stifle creativity. Even more worrisome is the thought that Comcast could potentially prevent other cable companies from having access to certain NBC content.

Also, there may be certain FCC implications with all of this. I'm not sure what exactly the FCC's rules are for cross-ownership of cable and broadcast, but given the FCC's relaxing of cross-ownership rules in general lately, it seems like this may not be an issue? I plan to look into the regulatory aspects of this more because frankly, I find it fascinating, but regardless of all that, I am really not pleased with the potential for this deal to go through! Here's hoping The Wrap has their information incorrect....but, honestly, is it only a matter of time before cable providers and content providers are one and the same!? UGH!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JAM's Wedding Website!

Check it out guys - this is cheesy and adorable.


"He's a paper salesman. She's a paper salesman. Together, we're easily the seventh most interesting couple in Northeastern Pennsylvania paper sales."


Thoughts on the last several days of TV! (sorry for being MIA)

Whoa there - lots of shows to comment on since I last posted!!

First up: Flash Forward - Now general thoughts on this show seem to be positive and I agree. There were a couple of times during the pilot where I found myself a TAD bored or underwhelmed, but that last scene definitely hooked me enough to keep watching this week. Plus I adore John Cho, and his character seems great so far. It doesn't hurt that Penny from LOST (Sonya Walger) is on the show too, and her character is also intriguing. So far, I'm sticking with it!

Grey's Anatomy premiere - Holy crap, you guys. I was so so so bored. Those two hours felt like they went on FOREVER. Maybe it's because I already knew the resolution to the cliffhangers (Izzie lives, George dies), but I still thought I would feel more emotions at George's funeral or something, but instead they had that awkward laughing scene. Ugh, I just don't know. And I just can't get behind Christina and Owen. I mean they hardly know each other yet somehow she knows she likes him enough to stick with him through him choking her AND therapy?? I just don't get it... The stuff going on with the chief/mercy west, etc. seems interesting, but Callie's switching over to Mercy West happened WAY too fast. I don't know, I'm just not feeling it Shonda Rhimes....(but I've got nothing but Dartmouth love for you!)

The Office - Again, pretty underwhelmed. Not much more to say about this past episode. I AM super excited for the wedding though!! WOO!!

Survivor - Man, am I pissed that Betsy got voted out. I thought for sure she was legit and would get much further than she did. UGH. How frustrating. Now I'm going to have to pick a new favorite. Maybe if they EVER showed the other tribe I would know more likable people on the show, but right now this is a one-tribe show.

Project Runway - Yet ANOTHER disappointment (wow this past Thursday was NOT a good TV night for me!). I can't believe Ramon is gone! He was definitely in my considerations for top 5 or even top 3 and I just can't believe he's out already! I mean, yes, the 'thing' he made was hideous, and I know the results are supposed to be based on individual challenges, but come on he was fantastic!

Desperate Housewives - Talk about a stellar premiere episode! Action packed, and filled with hilarious zingers! Gaby had so many quotable one-liners I can't even begin to remember them all. I'm not at all surprised Mike ended up with Susan and I'm really glad they didn't drag that out too much longer. Plus, it'll now be great to see what sort of antics Katherine is up to. Also, HUGE movement in the storyline with Julie's strangling? I've heard lots of theories that the new Dad on the block did it, which is pretty genius, but I don't know...I'd kind of like it to be a little more than that. He was a huge creeper though, and same with his son!

How I Met Your Mother - Another classic episode from the HIMYM crew! I love the idea of the gang's doppelgangers and I'm really excited to see how they find the next two! I love when the show drops in little themes that get woven through multiple episodes (like the slap bet, or Robin Sparkles, obvi.) Also heard some big spoilery news that the 100th episode should make major waves in the 'search for the mother'. Given the frustrating history of how little attention the show actually pays to it's title, we will probably just see another stupid shot of the yellow umbrella or something.

Gossip Girl - Good episode, not as great as last week. I'm sooo over this whole Scott storyline and I was praying that it would be put to rest with him telling Rufus that he's Rufus' son, but not only did that not happen, now Georgina is on his tail and further miscommunication, meddling, and manipulating will surely ensue. I was realllly excited to see Georgina last week but I wasn't loving her this week. I do think her setting up Blair and Chuck against each other was pretty solid, but making her desperately pine after Dan doesn't really seem her style. Who knows, though. Also, I'm still totally over Serena. Sue me.

Alright those are my brief thoughts on the major players of last week. Last night I watched the Hills for the first time. I'm not gonna lie - it was pretty great. Crap. This might give me something to watch on Tuesday nights though! Lots of great stuff tonight - Glee, Modern Family, etc.!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughts on last night's TV (Glee, Top Chef, Modern Family, Cougar Town) and tonight's DVR overload

Wow - my Wednesday night TV schedule is filling up quickly! Wednesday has traditionally been my television night devoted to LOST, but until LOST returns in 2010, I'm happy to say that I have plenty of other Wednesday night goodness to look forward to.

First and foremost, Glee. I loved the pilot so much that I really feared I was setting myself up for disappointment when it came back on the air. But week after week I have been blown away by how consistently good this show is! Last night's episode focused on Kurt's struggles with coming out and his new role as kicker of the football team. The use of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' was fantastic (and props to the folks over at FOX for getting the rights to use all of these awesome songs on the show!!) and it was really nice to see some of the peripheral characters (Kurt, Tina, Puck) get much more face time. Now if only I can get an episode with lots of love for Artie! My biggest complaint about last night's episode was the lack of big singing numbers - but the preview for next week showed double treats: Kristen Chenoweth and Queen's 'Somebody to Love'. Another minor complaint from last night is the ridiculousness of the, now, two pregnancy storylines. I am all for taking dramatic and creative liberties with reality but I find it hard to believe that Will and Finn are stupid enough to be strung along by their leading ladies for much longer. Also, did anyone else feel some serious Friday Night Lights undertones (head cheerleader cheats on football QB boyfriend with rebel best friend receiver)? Not that I'm complaining!

As for last night's Top Chef - Let me just say these two things: 1) Kevin is the only person I find myself rooting for on a consistent basis. Everyone else just annoys me or is terrible. 2) I thought we were past the show being Top Scallops, but apparently not?

And who saw Modern Family!? - Alert the Presses, because we've got a real winner on our hands!! I don't think I've laughed out loud that much during a 30 minute comedy in awhile! The pilot of this new ABC comedy was witty, light-hearted and well-written but still gave the (many) characters depth. I'm really excited to see how this show moves forward, but for now it's definitely on my Wednesday night list.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Cougar Town. It was definitely amusing at times, and it was nice to see Courtney Cox back on broadcast tv in a humorous role, but there were just too many 'icky' moments for me. Her relationship with her son is sweet, but I worry that there will be too many more 'icky' moments with him walking in on her, and I'm just not sure I can handle that. Whether this remains on my Wednesday night list is TBD.

Tonight's jam-packed TV schedule includes the premieres of Grey's Anatomy and Flash Forward. Also on my DVR list are Survivor, The Office, Community, Parks and Rec, and Project Runway. Honestly, guys, I'm not sure I can keep that much TV up on Thursday nights (plus 30 Rock and Private Practice when they return)! Luckily, though, I have AT&T U-verse so I can record up to 4 shows at one. Still, that's an incredibly ambitious night so we'll see if all these shows make the cut past this week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All time best episodes of your favorite shows

I was at a dinner party recently, where someone asked the question "what are your favorite episodes of television ever?" Today, ew.com posted about the greatest episodes of good shows, and it got me thinking!

Entertainment weekly framed the question a little differently, but I've decided to think about the all-time GREATEST episode of a particular show. Let me further clarify - I may have a 'favorite' episode of a show (one that really warmed my heart, or brought together a storyline that I was really excited about), but when I say greatest episode, I really and truly mean the episode that I consider the masterpiece of the show. Without further ado, here are my picks for some of my all-time favorite shows (**P.S. some of this may be super spoilery if you haven't seen the show so beware!**):

1. LOST - "Through the Looking Glass" - Season 3, Episodes 22/23 (finale) - This was, for me, the single most mind-blowing episode in LOST (and television) history. It concluded the fantastic 16 episode run that took place after the incredibly awkward 12 week break in the middle of season 3. The events that unfolded in the underwater Dharma station were incredible: making contact with Penny's boat, finding out that the new people on the island were not from Penny's boat, and Charlie's death. The truly mindblowing element of the episode, though, is the 'flashforward'. This is what completely confirmed my faith that the writers knew where the show was going. I will never ever forget that last scene with Jack and Kate. Some of my (few) readers were with me when I watched that episode and I remember us all simultaneously freaking out. "We have to go back, Kate, We have to go back!!" will forever be my favorite line of LOST.

2. The West Wing - "Two Cathedrals" - Season 2, Episode 22 (finale) - This episode surrounds President Bartlett's decision to run for re-election. The flashbacks chronicle President Bartlett's long history with Mrs. Landingham and the real-time portion of the episode leads up to Mrs. Landingham's funeral. The scene with Martin Sheen shouting at God in Latin in the Church is one of the most moving scenes ever (and to this day I'm APPALLED that Sheen didn't win an Emmy for it), and the use of the song "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits is probably my favorite use of music in any TV show. In my mind, this is Aaron Sorkin's writing masterpiece.

3. Veronica Mars - "A Trip to the Dentist" - Season 1, Episode 21 - In this episode, Veronica finally finds out what happened the night of Shelly Pomroy's party. While the next episode (the finale) really ties up all the lose strings, this episode really gets the plot sprinting towards the climax, and the scene between Duncan and Veronica is one for the books.

4. The Office - "Diversity Day" - Season 1, Episode 2 - Talk about starting off a show with a bang! While this is not my favorite episode of The Office, I still think it's the best. Some of the greatest one-liners are from this episode, but I'll leave you with my personal favorite: "Abraham Lincoln once said that "If you're a racist, I will attack you with the North," and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace." HAHA

5. Friday Night Lights - "Mud Bowl" - Season 1, Episode 20 - It was really difficult to pick one episode for FNL because every one is always so moving, but this episode really encapsulates the heart and soul of the show. So many things go wrong throughout the course of the episode but the ending is one of those heartwarming-while-still-soul-wrenching conclusions. Coach Taylor choosing to play the game in a cow pasture (so as to not lose home field advantage), after losing their stadium due to toxic fumes, is just genius.

6. Friends - "The One with the Embryos" - Season 4, Episode 12 - It was also nearly impossible to pick just one Friends episode (and this one will probably be the most hotly contested), but I chose this one because it gives us amazing glimpses into the quirks and history of each of the characters. Despite the huge storyline taking place with Phoebe, Frank and Alice (Phoebe's IVF procedure to try and carry Frank and Alice's baby), the trivia contest alone stands out as Friends' finest moment. "His legs flail about as if independent from his body!!" hahaha

7. How I Met Your Mother - "Slap Bet"- Season 2, Episode 9 - I haven't been a HIMYM fan for very long, but the "Robin Sparkles" video is a true gem of the show. I mean, really, who saw that coming!? That and the introduction of the Slap Bet, which will continue to play out for the duration of the show, were both AWESOME.

8. The OC - "The Dearly Beloved" - Season 2, Episode 24 (finale) - The is yet another one that I struggled with but luckily earlier this year SoapNet did an OC marathon where viewers could vote on their favorite episode so I had already thought it through. This episode is incredible because so many storylines come to a head. Kirsten's intervention leaves me in tears every time (when she turns around and sees Seth standing there!), Caleb's funeral (particularly Sandy's speech) is so emotional and moving, and the final showdown in Trey's apartment is exhilarating and shocking. And another shout out to music - Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" is my second favorite use of music in TV!

Alright, that was a long one guys, but let me know what your favorites are in the comments!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Best and Worst Moments of the 2009 Emmys

Last nights Emmys was leaps and bounds better than 2008. Summing up why it was so much better in two words: the host. Neil Patrick Harris was one of the best awards show hosts I've seen in recent history, and he really reignited a show that had been dying out in recent years. His opening number openly poked fun at the fact that no one watches these awards shows anymore - "Put Down The Remote" - while still thoroughly entertaining the audience. His singing and dancing (and word-memorizing!) abilities were stellar, and he kicked off the show with a bang! Not to mention how great he looked in the dapper white suit.

Besides NPH as host, here are my other highlights (and lowlights) of the 2009 Emmys!!:

Best Moments:

1) MICHAEL EMERSON wins the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his work as Benjamin Linus on LOST. I actually shrieked out loud when his name was called. I absolutely think he was the most deserving nominee in this category and I'm so so so glad he won. P.S. does anyone else find Michael Emerson incredibly creepy in real life too? His speech, while short and sweet and overall great, was still really intense. Maybe it's just his creepy eyes....

2) Kristin Chenoweth taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. This was certainly one of the biggest shockers of the night, and was much deserved! Emmy voters chose to pay homage to the late and great Pushing Daisies, and Chenoweth's acceptance speech was adorable and one of the best of the night.

3) Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog interrupting the usual droll by the 'Accountants'. If you haven't already seen this 42 minute internet gem, you should. NPH is brilliant in it, and last night's clip making fun of the internet was ironic and hilarious. "Buffering"....haha

4) Ricky Gervais - Has he ever made an appearance at an awards show and NOT completely stolen the show? As usual, he poked fun at Steve Carrell (saying that in the television world, Carrell is actually considered handsome, which must make Gervais 'above average'...HAHA), and was in my opinion the funniest segment of the night (followed by NPH's opening, Jimmy Fallon's voice-distortion bit, and Conan's facebook video).

Worst Moments:

1) Jon Cryer taking home the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. I can't even count the number of ways this was the most egregious award of the night. First of all, Two and a Half Men is a completely (in my opinion) worthless show, and everytime I've seen it I am dumbfounded at how it's so popular. Jon Cryer may even be a great actor, but you certainly can't tell by watching Two and a Half Men. Even worse though, was the list of incredible actors that he BEAT by winning this award. Neil Patrick Harris (DUH!), Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, and Tracy Morgan are all FAR more deserving of this award. Sigh. And Cryer's sweater vest was just a fashion crime.

2) Dancing with the Stars performing in the middle of the show. Does anyone have any idea what that was about? It was just awkward...

3) The repetitiveness of so many of the categories. Now I'll completely admit that many of these winners were perfectly deserving (30 Rock, Jeff Probst, etc.) but seeing the same names and faces year after year is getting a little old. Repeats from last year include: 30 Rock for Best Comedy, Mad Men for Best Drama, Glenn Close for Lead Actress in a Drama, Bryan Cranston for Lead Actor in a Drama, Alec Baldwin for Lead Actor in a Comedy, Jeff Probst for Best Reality Host, and The Amazing Race for Best Reality Program.

Saddest Moment:

The tribute montage. It was shocking how many incredible entertainers passed this year. Bea Arthur, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Walter Cronkite, Natasha Richardson, MJ, Paul Newman...the list goes on.

Overall, though, the Emmys were a very enjoyable three hours!! Let the countdown til next years Emmys begin, yet again!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards - Predictions

As usual, I am unbelievably excited (but prepared for disappointment) for this year's Emmy Awards!!! This year's Emmys are unlike past years for a variety of reasons. The ratings for the Emmys have been plummeting recently (and really, who's surprised, after last year's debacle with the 5 reality show hosts as Emmy hosts), and it's clear that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is doing everything they can to turn things around.

First, they expanded all of the categories to have more (too many, in my opinion) nominees in the hopes that more main stream shows and actors will receive nominations. They're also apparently changing the formatting so that the presentations go by much faster, thus attempting to cut the show down from the several hour marathon it usually is. But no matter what they do this year, I worry that it will not be able to hold up against regular airings of TV shows like Mad Men (even though it's nominated for so many awards!), and the Giants-Cowboys game. Regardless, I am super super excited for the show, and I'm settled in for several hours of red carpet watching before the awards!

Without further ado, I present my picks for the major Emmy categories:


My Pick: Lost - I said this last year, but it's all the more true this year: This was LOST's best season since season 1. Season 5, the next-to-last season of LOST, ever (*tear*) was phenomenal. It was a complete game-changer, and it did what LOST does best: answer our questions while blowing up 293488 more. I don't think the show really stands a chance, though, and I'm at least praying that the Emmy voters bestow this honor upon it next year after it's final season.
Will Win: Mad Men - The show won last year, and with all the hype it's received since then, it's almost sure to take home the golden statute yet again. I know I'm one of the very few people not on the Mad Men bandwagon, but it's hard to ignore all of the hype and Emmy voters are notorious for buying in to it.


My Pick: 30 Rock - Another fantastic season for NBC's golden child. This season was arguably 30 Rock's best, with all-star guest actors like Oprah and Jon Hamm and incredible episodes like 'Generalissimo'. How I Met Your Mother also had a great year, but I still think 30 Rock deserves the win.
Will Win: 30 Rock - Barring an upset from HIMYM, I expect Emmy voters to stick with what they know best. Despite having already won the past two years, it seems unlikely that the voters will turn to newbie nominee Family Guy or more obscure picks like Flight of the Conchords.


My Pick: Hugh Laurie, House - I'm saying the exact same thing I said last year: How Hugh Laurie has never won for his role as House is beyond me, so his Emmy is FAR overdue.
Will Win: Hugh Laurie, House - I'm putting it out there and really giving the Emmy voters some credit this year. Yes, Jon Hamm would be a more glamorous choice given all the Mad Men hype, and it's possible Bryan Cranston will win again after how lauded he's been for his role in Breaking Bad, but I'm really going out on a limb here and saying that the Emmy voters will finally get it right.


My Pick: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock - He submitted the 'Generalissimo' episode to the Academy this year, which was a very wise choice, as it was his best role since the episode where he counseled Tracy by playing his mother and father (best. scene. ever.). I never get sick of Jack Donaughy and I think he deserves the award yet again.
Will Win: Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory - Parsons is getting a lot of buzz for his role on Big Bang Theory, and from the few episodes I've seen of this show, I have to admit the buzz is deserved. He's pretty stellar in his role as geeky emotionally detached Sheldon and it would be really nice to see a lesser-known name *cough* NOT Tony Shaloub *cough* take home the statute.


My Pick: I don't care for or watch most of these shows so I'm not particularly attached to any of these characters. Elisabeth Moss holds a special place in my heart after playing Zoey Bartlett on the West Wing, but I'm hesitant to give anything to Mad Men.
Will Win: Glenn Close, Damages - She won last year and from what I've read, it's hard to argue with her winning again.


My Pick: Tina Fey, 30 Rock - Fey was showered with publicity and praise after her portrayal of Sarah Palin on SNL, but I think that praise will carry over to her nomination for 30 Rock. Liz Lemon was on fire yet again this year, and a win for Fey is never unwarranted.
Will Win: Tina Fey, 30 Rock - There's still hype behind Christina Applegate for Samantha Who, but a cancelled show doesn't bode well for her chances. I think they'll give it to Tina yet again.


My Pick: MICHAEL EMERSON, LOST - This award last year was far and beyond my greatest disappointment. I have absolutely no idea why Emmy voters are so completely idiotic as to not give this award to Emerson for his portrayal of Benjamin Linus on LOST. Many seasons later we STILL don't know if Ben is good or bad - and that, to me, is genius. This wasn't Emerson's best season on LOST (I'd say last year's was definitely stronger for him), so the fact that he didn't win last year does not bode well for this year. At least I'm prepared for the disappointment.
Will Win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad or John Slattery, Mad Men - Paul's chances look pretty good after Cranston won best actor last year, bringing Breaking Bad to the foreground in Emmy voter's minds. But it'll be really hard to ignore the incessant Mad Men chatter, which means the award may go to Slattery.


My Pick: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother - For the love of god, please give this award to NPH already. With him hosting the Emmys this year, NPH winning would be particularly legen - wait for it - dary. (yes I went there).
Will Win: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother - Last season was Barney Stinson's best (finally giving him some dimension through his love for Robin) and with NPH as host this year, I really think the Emmy voters will finally get it right.


My Pick: Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy - Grey's definitely picked things up this past season, but Wilson's portrayal of Bailey continues to be one of the highlights of the show. My biggest concern though, is that voters that would give it to one of the Grey's ladies will split votes with Sandra Oh's nomination.
Will Win: I'm honestly not sure. I've heard great things about the ladies of In Treatment, but I'm still hopeful for Wilson this year.


My Pick: Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies or Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock - Chenoweth was yet again amazing on Pushing Daisies, and the show's cancellation is all the more reason to bestow her with this honor. Regardless, Krakowski has been consistently awesome on 30 Rock and I would be very very pleased to see her take the award home.
Will Win: Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live - From what I've read, Wiig single-handedly sustained SNL after Fey's Palin portrayal ended, and that's a pretty good reason to put my money on Wiig.

Well that's it for my picks. Get ready for tonight!!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Season (19) Premiere of Survivor Tonight!

So tonight is the premiere of the nineteenth - yep count 'em - season of Survivor, and I totally forgot about it until 5 minutes ago when I set my DVR for The Office! There's really no reason why I should have forgotten, as I have my trusty fall premiere spreadsheet and CBS has been airing non-stop promos about the so-called 'bad guy' on this season's Survivor, but I still found myself really excited when I re-realized that it's on tonight!

I only re-discovered my love for the show two seasons ago. I - like the rest of the country - watched Richard Hatch win Season 1...and then stuck around for another few seasons before moving on. I've been told that some of the absolute best seasons occurred in the interim when I stopped watching, and I've been meaning to go back and netflix some of those. I only got back in to Survivor for Season 17 - Gabon, and I have to say, it was sort of disappointing. Regardless, I forgot how creative and awesome some of the reward and immunity challenges could be so I stuck around for Season 18. Season 18 was much more exciting in the middle with some awesome blindsides and great challenges, but I still don't feel the excitement I felt when watching Seasons 1, 2 and 3. Here's to hoping that Season 19, Survivor Samoa, is an awesome one!

Tune in - NOW, it starts in a few minutes!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Comedy Night Done Right' - NBC Thursday Night Premieres!

I. Cannot. Wait. for NBC's Thursday night comedies to return!!

Thursday night on the Peacock network has been a long-standing tv tradition in my life. What used to be NBC's 'Must See TV' of the '80s and '90s has evolved into today's powerhouse of 'Comedy Night Done Right'. But despite the slogan change, Thursday nights on NBC are still 'must see' for me. Which is why I absolutely can't wait for tomorrow!

Tomorrow marks the return of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and the premiere of NBC's new Thursday night comedy, Community. Since I already commented on Community a few days ago, I'll leave that alone for now.

The Office:
I am so so so excited for the return of The Office. While there were definite lulls in the show last season (and to some extent, the show hasn't fully recovered from the travesty that was the writer's strike of 07-08), it definitely seems to be on the upswing. Last season's penultimate episode, 'Cafe Disco', is one of my all-time Office favorites (all-time favorite probably being 'Benihana Christmas'), and the finale threw us some fantastic teases for this season's story arcs.

First and foremost - JAM (Jim and Pam, obvi.). JAM is engaged...getting married soon...AND PREGNANT?! They didn't explicitly reveal this in the finale but all signs point to Pam having a bun in the oven. Now who else is insanely excited for this?? I can't even imagine the antics Michael is going to pull when he finds this out (um, hello, he completely lost it when Jan was pregnant - this is bound to be even better), and there have been spoilers on the internet via Mindy Kaling on twitter about JAM's wedding, which should be awesome.

Also, don't forget Holly (Michael's soulmate of Human Resources/New Hampshire fame), who returned in the season finale with the heartbreaking news that she was dating someone else. I don't expect this to last incredibly long, though, because the writers of The Office have proven to be less cruel than the writers of Friends. I mean, hello, the 'will they/wont they' of Ross and Rachel spanned TEN YEARS, but The Office writers knew well enough to give us Jim and Pam after a few seasons of teasing. Everyone knows Michael and Holly are PERFECT, so I expect the writers to let us have that one as well.

There are also some really funny storylines that have been teased in the Promo for Episode 1, so I'm really excited to see where they go with those.

Parks and Recreation:
So I'll be completely honest here, I just don't have a ton to say about this show right now. I gave it a shot for the first few episodes, and maybe my expectations were too high, but I just wasn't that in to it. I adore Rashida Jones and Aziz Ansari and generally like Amy Poehler a lot...but I just don't know... Aziz Ansari is definitely the saving grace of the show, and I may watch it just for him (and if you don't already follow him on twitter you should), but I can't say I'm in love. Amy Poehler's role feels a little too Michael Scott-esque, but it's not quite as hilarious this time around. Maybe I judged too quickly (and I have to admit I didn't finish the season), but I've yet to hear someone give it a RAVE review.

As excited as I am for The Office to return, tomorrow night will not quite feel the same because 30 Rock isn't back until OCTOBER FIFTEENTH. Right now NBC is (smartly) using The Office as a lead-in to Community, but once Community has had a few weeks to gain viewership, it'll shift up to the 8/7 CT slot allowing 30 Rock to fall back in after The Office. 30 Rock was BRILLIANT last season (kicking off with the Oprah episode, and HELLO, Generalisimo!? - amazing!) and certainly deserves the Emmy for Best Comedy in my opinion (more on the Emmy's later), so I really can't wait for it's return!

Monday, September 14, 2009

NEW Fall 2009 TV Shows - My Picks!

Every summer I spend a very brief amount of time looking through the list of new Fall premieres and make hasty decisions on what shows to watch and what shows to skip. My past hastiness has often led me to miss the premiere season of some INCREDIBLE shows (read: Lost, Veronica Mars, The Office), but I generally manage to catch up soon thereafter. This year, with SO many of last seasons shows cancelled (read: Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle, Pushing Daisies), there is a plethora of new shows to pick from. I decided to invest a little more time in my decision-making so I don't miss out on anything amazing. Here are my picks for this fall:

1. GLEE - Fox, Wednesdays at 9/8 CT - If you haven't already seen Glee, you are absolutely missing out. Fox aired its Pilot back in May (and a few other times this summer), and last Wednesday (9/9) was the Season premiere with episode #2. Glee is hands down the most excited I've ever been about a new show based on one episode alone. The pilot is sheer brilliance and the second episode doesn't disappoint either. It's about a high school glee club (cheesy sounding, yes), but it's made by the creator of Nip/Tuck so there's an edgy-dark humor to it. The best part of the show is the singing - it stars Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison who are both broadway stars (and ADORABLE, to say in the least), as well as other humorous favorites like Jane Lynch (as the cheerleading coach), Iqbal Theba (as Principal Figgins) and Jayma Mays - of Heroes and Ugly Betty fame (as the neurotic Guidance Counselor). The ensemble cast is overall fantastic, the singing/song choice is amazing (see: Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing', Amy Winehouse's 'Rehab', Kanye's 'Gold Digger'), and it is definitely the hour of television (until LOST comes back) that I'm most looking forward to! If you haven't already seen it, the pilot (and I'm guessing ep. 2) are available on Hulu so catch up as fast as you can!!

***** and now for the rest in much much briefer form*****

2. Accidentally On Purpose - CBS, Mondays at 8:30/7:30 CT (premiering Sept. 21) - I don't put a lot of stock in CBS comedies (Two and a Half Men, that Julia Louis-Dreyfus show, exception being: How I Met Your Mother), but I'm willing to give this show a shot for one reason alone: Jenna Elfman. Dharma & Greg was a great show solely because of Jenna (and does anyone remember that awesome movie about her and the priest and the rabbi), so I'm going to give this one a try.

3. Community - NBC, Thursdays at 9:30/8:30 CT (premiering Sept. 17) - I worship the house of Thursday night NBC Comedy. The Office and 30 Rock are two of the greatest television gems of this decade and NBC in general makes incredibly-wise programming decisions so I'm obviously going to watch this. I've actually seen the Pilot already and it's good. There's character development that I'm excited to see, and Joel McHale and Chevy Chase are reason enough to watch.

4. Cougar Town - ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30 CT (premiering Sept. 23) - My reasons for watching this are similar to that of Accidentally on Purpose. The irony of hoping that ABC puts out a good comedy show is not lost on me, BUT I do love Courtney Cox and the premise of 40-year old cougars is mildly hilarious.

5. Flash Forward - ABC, Thursdays at 8/7 CT (premiering Sept. 24) - Dramas are something I DO trust ABC to do well. The premise is pretty cool - a bizarre event occurs that allows millions of people to briefly see flashes of the future - and I'm all about adding a new psuedo sci-fi-ish drama to my schedule since LOST ends this year *tear*. Plus I absolutely adore John Cho of American Pie and Harold & Kumar fame and will watch anything he's in.

6. Modern Family - ABC, Wednesdays at 9/8 CT (premiering Sept. 23) - Again, not sure I can trust ABC with 30 min comedies, but the cast looks pretty stellar so I'm going to try this one out. EW.com sent me an invitation to view the pilot ahead of time but I haven't gotten around to it so I'll post my thoughts if I end up doing that before the premiere.

Shows I will consider if there's enough good hype after a few episodes:
Melrose Place (so far, not looking good)
V (because I adore Elizabeth Mitchell)
The Vampire Diaries (because who doesn't need more vampires in their life)
The Good Wife (despite being a law student, I don't enjoy lawyer dramas so it'll take a lot for me to get on board with this)

Bursting with Thoughts

Uh oh....it's been almost a solid year since I posted on this thing, but I'm sitting in B.A. and I'm bursting with television musings and I have nowhere else to put them but here! So here goes....

Fall 2009 Television Premieres!

A few fall premieres have already taken place (Glee - we'll get to that later, Project Runway, Top Chef, 90210, Mad Men, etc.), but this week really marks the height of Fall '09 Premiere Season. Tonight begins with Gossip Girl, and I have to admit, I'm not as excited about it as I would have thought/hoped.


I was racking my brain trying to remember where we left off (and then stumbled upon tvguide.com's very handy refresher), and I think the only coming storyline that excites me is the one involving Georgina as Blair's roommate. Other than that, I'm sooo over Nate and any possible love interests he is going to have, and I'm incredibly apprehensive about what they're going to do with Chuck and Blair (Bluck? Chair? Has a pop-culture couple name been coined for them?). The writers gave the viewers what they wanted at the end of last season by finally bringing these two manipulating, pastel-colored dressing, drama queens together, but it seems impossible for them to not have trouble in paradise. Ok, fine, I guess I'm a little excited to see where this goes...

The other big premieres for me this week are all this Thursday, so I'll get around to my thoughts on those in the coming days.

For now, here is this handy dandy premiere calendar (also courtesy of tvguide.com). If only I had found this before I decided to make my own personal excel spreadsheet...haha.

OH and also totally not TV related....but I'm having very conflicting thoughts on whether or not to read Dan Brown's new novel, The Lost Symbol. I'm intrigued by the idea of it taking place in D.C., but I'm not sure I want to commit myself to another Dan Brown book after having such conflicting experiences with The DaVinci Code (hated it) and Angels & Demons (liked it, didn't love it). Ah well, I'll probably pick it up if I have some down time or over winter break.