Posts tagged ‘TV Review’

July 6, 2014

So Much Television….

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while. When I started thinking about it, there was a lot more television going on. Now, I suppose,  it is more of a reflection on the highlights of the past six months of television. Now that we have straightened that out, here we go…

Orphan Black – my best new find of 2014 (which is really from 2013.) I missed season one but am now all caught up to season 2.  The most amazing thing about this show is the lead actress who plays at least five cloned versions of herself so well that you forget they are all the same person. Then of course you have mystery and drama and mostly likable characters (including that guy Max Headroom who is not so likable but a cult classic, Sarah’s half brother  who is hilarious and you totally want to be friends with, and the hottie from Nashville and Game of Thrones who I would love to be more than friends with.) Definitely worth watching. Go back and catch up.

The second show I added to my list was Penny Dreadful. I can’t say you should definitely watch this, but the premise is interesting and if you love creepy, monster stuff like I do, you might like it. It is a mish mosh of characters from Irish and British fiction all together in one story…werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray… There was a bit more devil possession going on that I would have liked but there was enough drama to keep me sucked in.

The Walking Dead and Louie were especially awesome this season. It has been so long since The Walking Dead that I can’t remember the details, but I remember being back in to it after not loving it so much last season. That Pamela is a piece of work, but I like her for Louie. The flashback to Louie’s teenage spiral in to the drugs and how he didn’t have the perfect answer to keep his daughter from going down the same path, except a hug. Hugs are awesome. The world could use more hugs.

The Americans had a stellar second season. Being a spy is very complicated. Being a spy in a time of typewriters and land lines is quite a challenge. Being a Russian spy with American children..phew! What will happen to Paige next season? Will she be forced to give up her newly found Christian community to join her parents as a next generation Russian spy?

The Bachelorette – I have given up on pretending I am not going to watch this show.  As ridiculous as it is, I always get sucked in. Every season I wonder..what if I were the Bachelorette? Could I actually pretend to be super excited about all of those dates? Wouldn’t it be cool to have wardrobe and makeup 24×7 for three months? Could I really make out with so many different guys in the same week? How did she not know on Day 1 who she would end up with? What the heck would I do for my hometown date? How does she remember what she is going to say at every rose ceremony? Right now I am wondering….Josh or Nick?

Big Brother – just like the Bachelorette I am once again hooked on this insanity. I am equally fascinated by observing these people’s behaviors as I am about the editing decisions made to tell the story. I think my dream job would be to work on this show. I just want to see how it all works! I could do with fewer competitions though. As creative as they can be, they are ridiculously stupid. Clearly I am not the key demographic for this show. Middle America must love these competitions, because they added a third weekly competition this year. Right now, I am rooting for Frankie, the smartest and most entertaining house guest this year (brother of Ariana Grande but this man stands on his own.)

Mad Med was its usual awesome self.  Parenthood tugged at my heartstrings most weeks. This is one of my absolutely favorite shows that I don’t list on OK Cupid as a fav because its just not as cool as saying, say, Game of Thrones.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, wouldn’t it be fun to see Jamie, Cersie, Tyrion, Arya Stark, Daenerys,Margery, Sansa, Lord Varys, Brienne of Tarth, John Snow, Lord Baelish all in the Big Brother House? Who would be able to build the longest word out of wooden letters shaped like lice (in the Miami Lice competition) that they have to fish through a pool to find? I can say that none of them would have trouble being a “have not” which requires eating an oatmealish food called slop for a week, sleeping in uncomfortable beds, and taking cold showers.

I did not love American Horror Story this season. Jessica Lange was awesome as always but the witch thing just didn’t do it for me. That show tends to go just a little bit too far sometimes, even for me. I got sucked in to 24 Live Another Day (because I loved 24), and initially, I was totally in to it..now it is dragging on and I am ready for it to be over, for good.  Scandal was fun as always with lots of twists and turns.  Definitely a must watch.

Finally watching True Detective. I clearly should have watched this instead of 24: Live Another Day, but sometimes, I make stupid entertainment decisions. I am back on track now, and loving it.

I also finally watched The Normal Heart this weekend on HBO (the story of the start of the AIDS epidemic in NYC and the founding of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Amazing. Watch it if you get the chance.

I had a lot to catch up on. Hopefully you stuck with me. Before I go, I will mention that I just started watching The Leftovers (right up my alley, mysterious, troubled, sad characters, sci fi element to it. If that’s your thing set your DVR.). Masters of Sex, Ray Donovan, and The Bridge will be back soon….but I will try to get out of the house this summer. Really, I will.

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December 26, 2012

2012 Fall TV Roundup

This post is long overdue. You probably don’t care about fall TV anymore, but I can’t stand leaving things undone. I like to give final commentary on how things flushed out with my fall TV recommendations, so here it is.

In my post, “Barely Getting Ready for Fall TV“, I said I was going to check out 8 new shows this fall. Here is how I am feeling about them now.

Nashville – I watch it every week. I love the tunes. I love Hayden Panetteire. I love the guy who plays Deacon. I still think the writing is really bad and that it is generally not a good show. I am flabbergasted that Connie Britton was nominated for a Golden Globe for this role. So flabbergasted in fact, that is inspired me to write this post. She seems so awkward to me. I just don’t get it, but I do watch every week.

The Mindy Project – I occasionally put this on and it occasionally makes me laugh. I mostly think this is a mediocre show with average comedic value. It is not on my list, so I should not be watching it.

666 Park Ave – cancelled. I watched maybe two episodes, fell behind, and then removed it from my queue once it was cancelled.

Go On – this has accumulated on my TiVo and I have a million better things to do than watch it. I may or may not ever catch up. I should really do about a million other things.

Elementary – I still don’t like procedurals. I find the stories in the show predictable. I have watched a few episodes and have some accumulated on my TiVo. I am curious about the relationship between Holmes and Watson so this might be one of those shows I play while I do other stuff around the house. I don’t like it enough to watch it full out.

Ben & Kate – I still find this hilarious, but sometimes it grates on me a little. I don’t love it as much as New Girl. It is on my official list. I still think the character of Kate is annoying but I read a review that said she was excellent at playing an annoying dork person (or something like that), so maybe she is just an amazing actress?

Last Resort – I never got past two episodes of this and it was cancelled. Done.

Revolution – this is a full fledged ratings hit apparently. Go figure. I just could not muster up interest to give it a far shot after I decided it was horrible.  After the hurricane, I did have some curiosity about a world with no power, but that curiosity did not last more than one episode that I half watched.  I’m done with this one.

In summary, I have added 2 shows to my official list from the new fall season and could live without both of them.

What I could NOT live with out (well, of course I could, but prefer not to) are the many returning shows that I LOVE.

Homeland was amazing this season. Wow! The whole season I kept wondering how they would have a third season with both Carrie and Brody and continue this story. They did it! And I can’t WAIT for season three.

American Horror Story is SO creepy and awesome. I told my sister she was not allowed to watch it with my new baby niece in the house because I don’t want her to absorb any of it in to her subconscious. It is that  creepy. Speaking of creepy, this was my favorite season of The Walking Dead. How about that Governor?  Creepy. How did Andrea get sucked in?

I get a little teary during almost every episode of Parenthood. That is my feel good show, for sure. All I need, is a husband like that Adam Braverman. He is the best.

Scandal is fabulous. I love watching the star crossed relationship between the prez and Olivia Pope, and that woman kicks ass! This show is kind of a procedural, now that I think about it, but it keeps surprising me. That Shonda Rhimes makes good TV!

My fall TV roundup is officially…done.

September 30, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Last Resort

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of boats. You could not pay me a million dollars to get in a submarine. It might be my greatest fear, to be submerged underwater in a submarine.

That being said, Last Resort is about a submarine crew that questions orders to release a nuclear missile and finds themselves in a world of trouble. I was of course terrified for them that they would end up stuck in this submarine trapped underwater forever (even though it does somehow make its own air and power, what would they eat? Can you open the window to fish? I can’t imagine so.) Fear not, although they are in a world of trouble they do escape to an island during the episode and leave the sub parked off shore.

I would not say Last Resort has an amazing plot or amazing writing (it’s no Homeland or Breaking Bad), but it does peak your curiosity and it is far more watchable than Revolution (which I did try one more time and it was still horrible.) Why is the US shooting at its own ship? Why is the president being impeached? What troubles await them on this island they have landed on (where the quiet bartender is from the show Dollhouse that I think I am the only person that watched)? How can this plot sustain itself for a whole season?

This the kind of stuff I like. An ongoing mystery that plays itself out over the season. It keeps you guessing as it reveals various thinks about the characters.

Andre Brougher is…Andre Brougher. Love Andre. Scott Speedman is super cute. The acting by these two is good. Some of the rest of it, is a bit shaky. Scott’s wife is played by an actress who is possessed by a very bad alien on Falling Skies so when I look at her, I just see alien. It makes their love a little unbelievable for me.

I am not sure the show is smart enough to be successful, but it was an Entertainment Weekly best pick. That might say a lot about our options for new Fall TV this year. Apparently 8pm on Thursday is also a “death slot” for ABC with no show in that slot making it to a second season since 2009 (including the beloved by me Fast Forward.) I can’t recommend it whole heartedly, but if you have nothing better to do, you might check it out.

September 29, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Elementary

Elementary has an interesting premise. Sherlock Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) has just escaped from rehab (on the day of his release because he was bored). Lucy Liu (Joan Watson) is hired by Sherlock’s father to be his “sober companion” for six weeks.  His father has made this companion thing a condition to letting his son live rent free in the Brooklyn apartment he owns.

Sherlock enjoys solving crimes as a “consultant” to the police (so he answers to no one but himself) and has teamed up with a New York cop that he crossed paths with in Scotland Yard before rehab. Watson gets sucked in to helping him with it since she has to stay by his side, but she kind of likes it.

Sherlock is keenly observant, pretty much exactly like The Mentalist.  The difference is that he has a British accent and tattoos. Now that I think about it, this show is The Mentalist, but slightly darker. Holmes and Watson have a similar relationship to Jane and Lisbon.  So net net, I guess the premise is not all that unique.  Same show set in NYC. I don’t know if Holmes will have a nemesis like Red John, though. That might make it more interesting.  The Red John story is what I like best about The Mentalist. (Oh and Patrick Jane is kind of hot.)

How many crime solving shows can there be? Are people really not bored with smart crime solvers uncovering tricky clues that lead to an unexpected outcome? Are there really that many unexpected outcomes? If you are looking for another procedural to add to your life, this one might not be so bad. I might pop in on it once in a while, but smart crime solvers don’t generally do it for me, unless the crimes are of the supernatural nature, of course (aka. Haven or Fringe.)

September 27, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Ben & Kate

Ben & Kate is funny. I laughed out loud. At first, I thought, “Who is this guy with weird teeth, he can’t be the start of this show?” And the first few minutes were not super hilarious. Then the adorable girl from We Bought A Zoo appeared.  She is so cute and I LOVED We Bought A Zoo, so I kept watching.

When Ben went to stalk his ex-girlfriend with “the cute one from We Bought A Zoo”, it started to make me laugh. In the next scene Ben and his friend are brainstorming how to crash her wedding in hilarious masks, just because, it’s funny.

The humor is quirky. The characters are funny, especially Ben. Kate (Dakota Johnson – daughter of Don and Melanie) is a little odd.  She mostly has a deadpan face with little expression, but she is a good straight man to Ben. She grew on me by the end of the episode.

The only time when I was not chuckling, was when Kate said, “What a woman is most afraid of is that she will never find that one person who accepts her for who she is and that if she does and finally starts to let him in that he is going to leave”. I got a little vaklempt at that point.  I was not quite sure how it fit in to the episode, but it is kind of the story of my life recently, so I kept watching through eye mist.  The most hilarious scene followed involving lipstick, the super funny British lady, and the “cute one from We Bought A Zoo.” Then I was laughing again.

This one gets a thumbs up.  I think it fits right in with New Girl, another quirky show that I find hilarious.  If you still don’t like New Girl, then (a) you are crazy and (b) you might not like Ben & Kate.

September 24, 2011

Thoughts on Fall TV So Far

I watched a voluminous amount of television this week.  I had a last minute emergency business trip to cover for a sick employee, so I was in a hotel with no TiVo and working long hours to do both of our jobs.  Some of those hours were in front of the TV where I “half watched” quite a few shows that I was not even planning to check out!  The bad news, is that I liked a few of them..

Here is a summary of what I checked out and my thoughts (in order of best to worst):

Up All Night –  Funny.  Will Arnett and Christina Applegate have a baby.  She goes back to work, he stays home.  Mostly very funny.  Something about it is a tiny bit off.  Not crazy about the boss lady (Maya Rudolph) and Christina is not quite as funny as Will Arnett so seems a tiny bit awkward, but it is just getting started and they when they settle in more and build chemistry this should all evaporate (and I might be making it up in my head). Definitely worth watching.

Whitneyrandomly turned on this sitcom about a couple who have been together for a few years but she does not want to get married and they have some friends.  Smart, dry humor.  Right up my alley.  A sitcom, so some dumb stuff, of course, but  I think I laughed out loud at one point.  I think I am adding this one to the list.

New Girl –   This is the new Zooey Daschanel sitcom where she is this wacky girl who moves in with three guys.  I have to watch it again (and pay full attention) to get the full drift of this, but the dynamic was unique.  Three buddies living together and this chick moves in that they don’t all want to sleep with but they feel for her and take care of her.  I was only half watching but there was something about it that seemed sweet.  Probably because at the end they all show up at this restaurant to support her on her first date post break up instead of going to this cool party and sing to her from Dirty Dancing (which she has been watching non stop post break up).  It was also kind of funny I think…I am going to check it out again.

The Playboy Clubthis shockingly sucked me in.  Eddie Cibrain is easy on the eyes, and it is interesting getting a view in to this weird bunny world.  I have no idea if it is at all true to life but its not horrible TV.  Not top of my list, but it might get another look.

Two Broke Girls – EW rated this sitcom one of the top 5 new shows but I had dismissed it. Dejected rich girl rooms with broke girl and they waitress together.  Sounded stupid.  It wasn’t bad.  I liked the other ones better though so I am wondering why this got top pick… Does that mean I have to watch it again?

Unforgettable  – Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) literally can’t forget anything. This detail remembering makes her awesome at solving crimes.  It is an interesting premise and they show these flashbacks of her remembering things where she is there and not there…if you love procedural (and or Poppy Montgomery) you might like it.   (Dad)

Secret CircleI was happy to learn this week that I can’t watch ANOTHER show about a bunch of teenagers.  The Vampire Diaries, Secret Life of the American Teenager is enough for me.  If I were a teenager (or maybe still in my 30s, I might watch)

Revenge – woman returns to the Hamptons to avenge the wrongs done to her and her father when she was a young child.  Miraculously, no one recognizes her.  Pretty bad premise and not super well done.  Madeline Stowe looks very strange.  She must have done something to her face.  I don’t think this is worth my time.

The X Factor – What I saw was annoying.  I am pretty much not interested.  How many of these shows can there be?  I might pop in on it now and again, but this will not  be a regular thing.

That’s it so far on new shows. I have some on my TiVo to catch up on this evening but first, I have to get my self out for a run.

September 20, 2011

Initial Thoughts: Ringer

Ringer is by far the worst show I have ever seen. I almost didn’t finish the pilot. It was painful.

The premise is that one twin pretends to be the other twin because twin #1 (prostitute/drug addict) is in danger and thinks her sister (a super rich bitch) committed suicide while they were out together on a boat so she is hiding out pretending to be her (twin #1 fell asleep and when she woke up, super rich twin was gone with only her very expensive engagement and wedding ring left behind in an empty prescription pill bottle.) Ridiculous.

This boat scene reminded me of the Muppet Show for some reason. I must have seen some Muppet with huge sunglasses and a scarf in a completely fake boat at some time in my life that I can’t quite place. Probably a better image to help you get it would be an old movie from the 50s where they never REALLY filmed in any water and everyone knew it. The boats were obviously fake and the bouncing up and down on fake waves was fake. In the 50s, this was fine. In 2011, this ridiculous.

Another silly scene had the two twins talking to each other while looking at themselves in those mirrors where you see yourself over and over indefinitely. Clearly intended to be an artistic way of having Sarah Michelle Gellar in a scene with herself. It was weird. The poorly written dialog didn’t help.

I was trying to figure out if the show was trying to make fun of itself, but it seemed to be taking itself seriously.

I just checked out a few reviews and the critics are not being as harsh as I am, which I find perplexing. They find it akin to a “charming B-Movie” but bordering on camp.

It does have a pretty good cast. Buffy, herself, of course. “Blossom” plays the rich twin’s BFF (and she looks great. She has grown in to her nose or had it adjusted well.) The guy with the amazing eye lashes from Lost is some kind of law enforcement guy looking for the twin in trouble. The endearing and adorable dad from Life Unexpected is Blossom’s husband that the rich twin BFF is having an affair with.

I decided to finish the pilot while I was writing…the twin in trouble pretending to be the rich twin just found out that the rich twin is pregnant. I wonder how she will pull that off? And, shocker…rich bitch twin #1 is alive and well in Paris.

I doubt it is worth one more hour of my time…but I am a little curious.

January 17, 2011

The 2010-2011 Midseason

This post is long overdue.  I intended to write a blurb about what was coming up in the midseason and what I would be checking out, but now the midseason has begun so I can also include my thoughts on what I have seen so far.

Shows that premiere in the midseason are historically not very good and nothing really struck my interest, which is why I was not inspired to post.

The Cape seemed mildly interesting (in an early Heroes-ish kind of way.)  I wasn’t planning to watch but recorded it and decided to check it out.  The first 10 minutes sucked me in more than I expected it too so I actually watched about 45 minutes of the 2 hour premiere, but then there was a lot of chasing and fighting and I lost interest and started multitasking and not paying attention.  This show is out.

I watched the new Showtime series’ Shameless and EpisodesShameless (A comedy with William H Macey as an alcoholic father of 9 kids.  Yes, a comedy) got a not so great reviews from Entertainment Weekly, but I kind of liked it.   

Episodes is a comedy about the making of a comedy show and it was also kind of funny.  I am not a huge fan of  British humor (the show they are making, on the show,  is an American version of a British show) but I might stick with it.  This one got good reviews.

Oh, yeah.  I accidentally turned on Off The Map the new Shonda Rhimes show (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) about doctors working in a clinic in the tropical forest.  I thought I might be able to get a sticker on Get Glue if I checked in so I watched it for a little bit.  The old me would watch it.  The new me, has better things to do.

Very excited for the return (and final season) of Big Love.  Curious to see what happens with American Idol and the new judges and return of producer Nigel Lythgoe (who I love from So You Think You can Dance.)

I will definitely be checking out Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry’s new show although I have not heard much about it so it is probably not great. (premiere’s Feb 9th on ABC).

I just read that Being Human (premiering on SyFy tonight 1/17 at 9pm) might be good.  A vampire, a ghost and a werewolf are roommates who join forces to live a normal life.  My kind of show, embarrassingly.

I really don’t have time to add much to the schedule so I do have to be careful here.

Click here to see the full 2010-2011 midseason premiere schedule posted by TV By The Numbers.

January 5, 2011

I Will Not Live To Dance

After less than 30 minutes, here is why I will not be watching Paula Abdul’s Live to Dance:

  • Within the first minute, I noticed that the host was wearing a suit that did not fit him properly and he looked like he could not raise his arms.  It was weird and a bad sign.
  • The set they are using for auditions is horrendous and tacky.  I could hardly stand to look at the large silver stars behind the performers and the weird bubble lights behind the judges.

  • One of the judges (the founder of the Pussy Cat Dolls, apparently a world-renowned dancer..I think not) has the worst hair I have ever seen.  I do not think the asymmetrical half head look is in these days.  Or maybe I am WAY out of it.
  • It seemed like the worst of every dancing/singing/talent show out there all mixed together.

Unbearable.  I did only give it 25  minutes, but I do not think I will be eating my words.  Middle America may end up loving it, but this TVaholic gives it a huge thumbs down.

December 30, 2010

Breaking Bad Gets a Second Chance

I don’t know exactly what my problem was the first time I tried Breaking Bad.  I don’t think I watched more than one episode. Maybe I just could not get past seeing Walter in his tighty whiteys? (which is how he spends about 1/4 of the pilot and is illustrated on the right)

Since the show has been touted as one of the best shows on TV for the past three years, and they are reshowing it from the beginning on AMC, this TVAholic decided it was worth another shot.

I am now four episodes in.  It’s awesome.  The main character, Walter, a high school chemistry teacher, finds out he has lung cancer and decides to start cooking crystal meth so he can leave money for his family. He is a really good, geeky, guy who has been delt a bad hand and fights back against the world’s injustices.   It is kind of “Dexterish” in that he is doing bad stuff but you are totally rooting him on.

The acting and character development is superb.  Every choice he makes is believable.  For example, he made a pro con list and shed many tears while deciding whether or not to kill a drug dealer he has locked up in a basement and is feeding sandwiches to.

The supporting cast also rocks.  His former student side kick/meth partner (see left), is a hilarious, endearing f*&$-up.  His pregnant wife is kind of annoying.  Not enough so that you can’t believe he really loves her, but you are psyched when he uncharacteristically tells her to crawl out from up his a&^.  His brother in law is a racist, obnoxious DEA agent (but also kind of a good guy), which adds some additional plot complexity, and is also how Walter learned about this new line of work.

I don’t want to give away too much (because you should all really watch), but the scene where Walter and his partner are cleaning up a dissolved human being off the floor, truly rivals The Walking Dead guts scene.

There are shows that people LOVE that I just don’t get in to (i.e. Entourage and Dancing with the Stars) but this one I clearly misjudged.  Now I have to figure out what will come off the list as I add catching up on Breaking Bad to my repertoire (which I realize is a totally inappropriate use of that word, but if Sarah Palin can make up her own words, I can use words in new ways, right?)