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.


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.

My New Favorite Shows

I have been slacking a bit on the TV commentary so I thought I would take a moment to let you know what I am really loving these days:

American Horror Story – This show is creepy and scary and I love it.  Dylan McDermott and Tami Taylor (from Friday Night Lights) move in to a freakishly haunted house with their teenage daughter.  Any normal human being would have moved out half way through the first episode, but in all fairness, they can’t see all of the creepy stuff we see (like this leather wearing ghost dude.) I can’t say more because I don’t want to ruin it for you.  You can check it on Hulu if you missed the first few episodes, and I strongly recommend that you do (unless you don’t like scary creepy stuff, then skip it).

Homeland – as awesome as promised by Entertainment Weekly.  Prisoner of war comes home from Iraq after being held and tortured for 8 years.  Claire Danes, self medicating CIA agent with an undisclosed mood disorder of some kind got intel that an American prisoner of war has been turned, and she is convinced it is this guy.  It’s excellent.  Suspenseful.  Characters are intriguing.  Oh, and did I mention Mandy Patinkin as Claire’s boss?  (Yentl!) Seriously good show.  They are running a marathon tonight of the first few episodes starting at 9pm so you can catch up (if you are reading my blog and have Showtime!)

Prime Suspect – still love it.  Glued to the TV for the whole thing.  Love Maria Bello.  Love watching her interact with the suspects, her squad, and just bopping around in that hat.  She’s awesome and tough.

The rest of the new ones I can kind of take or leave…

  • Person of Interest – not feeling a bond with the crime stopping main characters
  • Up All Night – still feels forced to me.  Not a fan
  • Terra Nova – lost interest
  • Whitney – got less funny and more typical sit-commy but I will keep it on the rotation
  • New Girl – my fav of the ones I can take or leave, if that means anything.  It makes me laugh

I am mildly looking forward to the premiere of  Once Upon a Time tomorrow night.  I don’t have high hopes that it will be quality TV but it might be cute!  I may also check out Grimm (the other fairy tale one that is darker and on Fox ) but I have a feeling it will be a dud, so I should skip it.

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.

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.

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.

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?)