Monday, July 26, 2010

New Blog!

Hey everyone,

I'm starting law school in 3 weeks, and have just created a new blog. Check it out here. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Announcement.

This makes me sad to write this, but here it is: I'm thinking of quitting this blog. Or at least putting it on indefinite hiatus.

My reasons are twofold:

1) I've lost interest in blogging about TV. In part because with nothing on except trashy reality TV (which I love, but let's face it, it's not very pithy stuff), I've postponed blogging to the point where I started to think, maybe all these shows aren't worth blogging. And in part because I don't know how important TV is in the grand scheme of things, and it makes me wonder if I have something else more valuable to write about. Which I do. (I explain more below.) I love, LOVE TV, and am a self-certified TV expert. Even the shows I don't watch, I know enough about them to carry on a conversation about them. That part of me will not change.

2) Even if there was a ton of stuff on, I'll have to quit next month, anyway, when I start law school. How will I blog about TV when I won't be watching TV? So I guess now is as good a time as any to put this blog on hold.

I won't say I'm ending Linda's TV for good. I am always going to be a TV fan, and I'm always going to watch my shows. I am always going to have opinions about the state of the TV industry. And I am certain I will always be able to pinpoint with 95% accuracy what shows will fail just by watching a 15-second commercial spot for it. That kind of skill doesn't just die. ;)

But consider this my last post about TV...for now. If you have any questions (my ten darling readers), or if you ever want to chat about shows, I will always be up for that. You know where to find me.

Now I have some more news.

Since I am going to law school, I won't have any kind of social life for the next three years. So I am thinking...of starting a law school blog. That way, people can still keep up with my life, and how I'm faring in school. And the blog will allow me to reflect on my education, my thoughts on what I'm learning, and the people around me. And if someone out there is considering law school, maybe my blog will help them figure out if that's what they want. I don't know. More than anything, I'm thinking this blog would just be a way to track my journey in school and see how I'm learning and changing. If/when I start the new blog, I'll post the link here.

So there you have it. When one blog closes, another one opens.

And who knows? I might be back for more TV blogging someday.

Until then, always, always remember this: Life's too short to watch bad TV.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big Brother 12: A Preview.

CBS officially announced its cast for Big Brother 12 today. Here is the breakdown:

-There are 13 houseguests, down from 14 last year.

-12 of them are white.

-Seven men, six women.

-Half the women are blonde.

-There is a podiatrist among them. That is the most interesting profession on the list.

-The least interesting? Insurance adjuster.

-Is there a model, a bartender, and a waitress in the bunch? Yes, yes, and yes. This is a reality show, people.

-They are almost all young'uns. Four of them are 24. One of them is 22. Hey, does anybody remember Natalie from last year? She was in her 20s but claimed to be 18. I wonder if anybody will pull this stunt again. It kind of worked for Natalie.

-Speaking of Natalie, I wonder if she's still with her fiance.

-One among the houseguests will be the Big Brother Saboteur. This is the big "twist" of the season. ("Twist" in quotes because this is not an actual twist; it is EXACTLY the same as the America's Player twist two years ago, which was an actual twist.) The Saboteur's job will be to wreak havoc in the house while pretending to play the game like everyone else. If he/she makes it to the halfway point of the game, he/she will get some cash-money.

-The theme of the house will be "Playground by the Shore." All the furniture and decorations will be Art Deco-inspired. Art Deco means (I had to look this up) the patterns are inspired by geometrical shapes. Art Deco hit its last peak in the '80s, when one-half of the houseguests were still coming out of the womb.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about Big Brother 12 this summer. Right now, none of the houseguests really stand out to me. They all look pretty cookie-cutter. Big Brother premieres Thursday, July 8, so I'll be back one week from Friday with another review when we all know more about the contestants.

Till then, Happy 4th of July!

(Pictured: The BB12 cast, plus Chen-bot. And in case you were wondering, yes, the guy with the bowtie is a professor.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Getting The Willies. Thanks Degrassi, For A Whole New Level Of Creepy!

Watching Degrassi Season 9 right now. On the episode where the pervy basketball coach is macking on KC in the hotel room, giving him beer and making him watch porn.

OMG, what is this show?

And why can't I stop watching?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Dog Days Of TV.

If you're a sports fan, like my dad (Happy Father's Day!), you had a lot to watch on TV these last few weeks.

If you're me, you're praying Big Brother moves up its premiere date. Wherefore art thou, Chen-bot?

In the meantime, here is what I've been up to:

-Watching the Life nature series from BBC. I hate watching animals get torn apart and eaten alive, but I really liked the episodes on insects, birds and fishes. (Yes, I say fishes.) I could watch insects forever. Also, chinstrap penguins. I love penguins.

-Watching Doctor Who. I am slowly getting used to the new Doctor's rubbery face, and Amy is getting slightly less annoying with each episode. The Rory/Amy scenes are very sad. I didn't understand Saturday's episode, though. Something about Pandorica's Box and the Doctor being responsible for the world's destruction. Huh???

-Watching Degrassi: The Next Generation. I am an out and proud Degrassi fan. Last Friday, I finally watched Degrassi Goes Hollywood. All my favorites were back--Emma, Manny, Marco, Paige, Ellie, and even Craig! I miss those kids. Oh, and when did Jay of Jay & Silent Bob get so hot? After that, I watched the first two episodes of season 9. I'm still learning the names of all the current kids. This is cool--Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries is still on this show. I am not used to seeing her in bright light, wearing something other than a leather jacket. It's very unsettling. I kind of wish I attended Degrassi High. I had a dream about Sav a few nights ago. Shut up! I am not a pedophile!

-Watching One Tree Hill. I'm one episode from the finale. Haley tried to drown herself. Some crazy lady is impersonating Clay's ex-wife. There's also this subplot with a bearded piano player and a British record producer that I just don't get. And Jamie has a friggin huge rabbit named Chester that I only just realized this weekend is FRIGGIN HUGE. If you watch this show, rewatch the scene where Jamie asks Quinn if Chester can watch The Goonies with them. You'll see.

-Reading. Maybe you thought that since I'm a TVholic, I don't read. Actually, I probably read more than you. And faster. I go through 1-2 books a week. The one I'm on right now is Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver. It's a YA book about a girl who dies...but then she gets to relive her last day on earth seven times. It's like Groundhog Day, the movie. Except it's a book. And it's sad. And I can't put it down. The book I read last week was a HUGE disappointment: Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart. I read her 2nd novel, The Myth of You & Me, two weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. Another book I couldn't put down. Well, Husband and Wife is the complete opposite. The protagonist is whiny and selfish and really annoying. And she talks about her thoughts and her feelings WAY too much. I can't believe these books were written by the same person. After this, I'm going to reread all the Harry Potters. I figure I could go on this magical journey and clear my mind before starting law school (in two months, ahh!). I still haven't read #7. Has anybody out there reread the Harry Potters, and if so, are they just as good a second time?

-Cooking. I made scallion pancakes and banana bread this weekend, both from scratch. I can make them with my eyes closed now, I've done it so often.

-Running. I'm doing a 5k next weekend, July 3, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to pass out somewhere on the course. I'm running with my husband and his sisters. And by "with," I mean "behind." So far, I can go about 3k, but with some walking in between. And on a mostly straight course. The 5k course is supposedly very hilly. If you don't hear from me after July 3, I didn't make it out alive. Send my regards to Chen-bot.

(Pictured: Some of the cast from the current Degrassi. From left to right: Claire, Alli, some dude, the new girl, some dude, Claire's boyfriend. Wow. Clearly, I need to get going on Season 9!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pretty Little Ramblings.

I started writing a post about diversity on television--the SEVERE lack of it. And by started, I mean I wrote 95% of it, but didn't have time to edit it thoroughly, and ended up not posting it. It's actually a pretty angry post. I do a lot of ranting about how shows ignore minorities, shove us in the background, pretend we don't exist, pretend we don't have stories to tell, etc.

So in the interest of not alienating my readers, and not coming across like Angry Asian Girl, I'm not going to post it. At least, not today. Instead, I'm just going to leave you with this nugget for thought:

Why is Glee casting for three new characters when it barely has any lines for its current cast--namely Tina C., Mike (Other Asian) and Matt (the black guy)? I'm presuming the three new actors will all be Caucasian, but I hope, hope, HOPE I am wrong. Please let me be wrong.

Anywhozles. There hasn't been much going on in the TV world, unless you count reality TV. I'm watching The Hills, The City, and Real Housewives of New Jersey, all of which are good, tasty appetizers. But there's currently nothing meaty to sink my teeth in. (Oh, speaking of which, I loved the last few episodes of The Vampire Diaries...cannot WAIT for season 2.)

Yesterday, my husband was playing Grand Theft Auto 4 on the main computer, and all my unwatched episodes of One Tree Hill are on that computer. So I took his laptop and went on Hulu and found the pilot for Pretty Little Liars. I'd heard a lot about the show, heard it got good reviews and the premiere broke some kind of record for ABC Family. Also, it looks a lot like Gossip Girl(it's also based on a teen book series), so I decided to watch.

It was okay. Just okay. It is crammed full of cliches, naturally, and I'm still having trouble telling the four girls apart (there's that pesky diversity thing again). It's about these four girls whose beeyotchy friend disappeared a year ago, but the girls start getting mysterious blackmail-y texts from said beeyotchy friend. And then we find out beeyotch is dead, so who's been sending the texts? Each girl has her own storyline--one of them is sleeping with her teacher, one shoplifts, one is bicurious, and one's dad cheated on her mom. Blah. This show smacks of what I imagine Gossip Girl Season 8 would be--you know, when all the original, juicy storylines have run out.

Many shows have meh premieres, and they need 6-7 episodes before they start getting good. I think we all know this. On top of that, Pretty Little Liars has this going for it--it's running against mostly reruns and crappy summer TV on the other networks, so people like me will watch it even if it's absolutely terrible. Which it's not.

So for now, I have one decent new summer show to get into. I'm also thinking of picking up one or two dramas I never gave a chance, like The Good Wife. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Glee, With Love.

Last night's Glee finale: I came, I saw, I cried.
The show wasn't without its bizarre/jarring moments. Like the whole Quinn giving birth/Vocal Adrenaline sequence. I will never hear Bohemian Rhapsody the same way again. (Baby Beth, by the way, gets the prize for cutest baby ever "born" on TV.) Also, Idina Menzel adopting Beth. Am I the only one who found that just...creepy?

Anywhosers. Weird stuff aside, this was one of the most moving episodes of Glee to date. There were about 84 different parts that had me weeping like a baby. Here are just a few:

-The glee kids serenading Will with "To Sir, With Love." I lost it when Will started to cry. And again when seeing each of the Glee kids tear up, one by one, during their close-ups.

-The entire "Don't Stop Believin'" performance. Glee songs don't normally make me shed tears, but this one did. Probably because it was a total throwback to May 2009, when we first saw the Glee kids singing it in their red T-shirts. To think how far they've come, all the way to regionals. Artie even used hair gel for the occasion! He's all grown up! If the entirety of Glee--its essence, its soul--can be summed up by one song, it's this one.

-Sue Sylvester in the last half-hour, putting New Directions down for first place. And then blackmailing Figgins to give the club another year. And then getting misty-eyed in the back of the room as the club sang to Will. Who knew Sue had a heart? Actually, all of us.

-"Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Will and Puck sang this at the Glee concert, so I'd heard it once already. But this song as the closing act for Season 1: A sweet, wistful, and memorable way to say good-bye.

And of course, the episode was not without its hilarity. Two parts stand out:

-Every line Josh Groban and Olivia Newton-John uttered in the judging room.

-The title of Sue Sylvester's memoir: I'm a Winner and You're Fat.

Best quotes:

"He was having an affair with some tattooed freak." -Quinn's mom (I hope Sandra Bullock watches this show)

"You know how many Facebook friends I had before glee club? Two--my parents." -Tina C.
"From Fort Wayne, Indiana, the not-at-all stupidly named, Aural Intensity!" -Sue

So long, Glee. It's been a crazy, emotional, triumphant ride. Thank you for all of it. The songs, the laughs, the concert (I'm still recovering). Thank you for bringing joy to the Gleeks, one inspiration song at a time.

See you in the fall.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uncle Jesse Joining Glee Cast.

In shocking casting news, John Stamos is joining the cast of Glee.

I say shocking because, really, I didn't know John Stamos was still around.

Anywhosers, he will be playing a dentist and new love interest for Emma. I can't imagine Uncle Jesse wooing the shy, OCD guidance counselor. All I can see is him with his comb, slicking back his hair and checking himself out in the mirror. Then again, Uncle Jesse was a rock star, so maybe Stamos will bring his guitar-wielding skills to this show.

I foresee an Uncle Jesse-Will Shuester showdown, presided over by--who else?--Sue Sylvester.

All in all, not a bad casting choice.

(Pictured: John Stamos, the way we all remembered him. Whose hair would Sue Sylvester make fun of more--his or Will Shuester's? Discuss.)

Terra Nova: Keep It Simple, Spielberg!

As you may/may not have heard by now, Steven Spielberg has this new dinosaur drama project for Fox called Terra Nova. I have a beef with it.

Here's the basic plot: A family living in the year 2149 goes back in time 150 million years to the dinosaur era to join a human colony and start civilization afresh.

My beef: What is the point of starting a show in the future if the whole premise of the show is to go back in time?

Does anybody else think this is totally pointless?

I don't have a problem with a show taking place in the future. But if it's going to take place in the future, I want to see future-y things, like flying cars and talking appliances and alien-human-blended families. I want to see what other people's concept of the future looks like. I don't want to see a bunch of dinosaurs and sand.

Here is my suggestion: Instead of going back in time, why not have it stay in 2149? Let's say dinosaurs are walking around, destroying everything and eating people. And let's say a couple of scientists have found a way to kill off all the dinosaurs once and for all. But the scientists are torn on whether to use it because it raises questions of morality. Is human life more valuable than dinosaurs?

Or, if they really want to hang on to the idea of starting a human colony, why not have just a few surviving people remaining on earth in 2149? And maybe some of them want to figure out how to live amongst the dinosaurs, while the others want to kill them? And maybe two people from opposite camps fall in love. You get the gist.

My plea to you, Steven Spielberg: Employ the KISS method for this show. You can thank me later.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scripps National Spelling Bee: I Dreamed A Dream...

I'm the biggest geek ever (also the biggest GLEEK), so you can bet that I have on my Outlook calendar to watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals tonight, starting at 8PM on ABC.

When I was in sixth grade, I won my class spelling bee, and also beat every other classroom winner in the school. I went on to compete in the district, where I lost out on first place by one word. ONE WORD. I'll never forget the two words I blew: tariff and magnate. They told me I'd step in for the winner if he/she couldn't make it for some reason. Of course, I never got that phone call. It was the saddest day of my life.

Ever since then, I've been trying to live vicariously through the winners of each year's Scripps Spelling Bee. I even borrowed that documentary on the Bee from the library, crying into my pillow, "That could've been me!" My goal is to train my kids to enter the Bee someday. They will be spelling "etymology" before they begin to teethe. I will take them to DC and they will get to shake the hand of that guy with the glasses who reads all the words, if he's still around. They will meet all the Indian kids and learn to spell their names, backwards, as this will surely psych them all out, not to mention give my kids the boost of confidence they need to win the Bee.

Until that glorious day, I will settle for watching the Bee on television.

(Pictured: A contestant in this year's Bee. That could've been me! High-waisted pants and all.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lost Vs. FlashForward: Which Finale Was More Frustrating?

Last Sunday, I watched the Lost finale live.

And by watched, I mean I saw the first two minutes, grew rapidly confused, and gave up. I was on the computer a lot, and only glanced up every so often. Just enough to know that they kept doing these reunion thingies. And my closed-captioning kept saying there was a little zap when the characters *realized* who they were on the island, but I never heard the little zaps. Whatever.
By the end of the episode (and the series), about a dozen of them are hanging out in a church and Jack shows up and everyone treats him like a king and Jack's dad walks out through the double doors into the light. And then we're back on the island and Jack is laying there bleeding from his side and Vincent lays down next to him and Jack closes his eye. The end.

I've read different people's theories, as well as their frustrations and raves, and I am no closer to, well, closure. The show ended in a crazy mishmash of people's stories, and somehow Jack is Jesus. And as my friend said, "Apparently, black people aren't allowed in heaven." Which is sad, but then again, we all knew Lost has not been kind to black people, or most people of color, for that matter. So it shouldn't be surprising.

I guess what I am saying is, I didn't like the Lost finale. The creators of the show who said it would provide answers to the fans were lying. Liars!

Now, the FlashForward finale. It aired last Thursday, and the husband (yes, I am now married!) and I watched it Friday afternoon. The episode was okay, that is to say, it wasn't that different from every other FlashForward episode. The only thing that made it different was knowing this would be the last episode ever of the show, which meant they needed to wrap things up in 42 minutes. That so didn't happen.
In fact, they set it up for a second season, one that would never come. I still don't get what happened with that Simon character (like, what was he DOING?), but I was rooting for that guy Bryce and the Japanese girl to finally meet. And I really wanted Mark Benford to be killed off, which we didn't actually see happen, but the building he was in exploded, so we're to assume he's dead. And John Cho can finally be the lead character. But wait...the show's been canceled. RATS.

Oh, and in the second round of flashforwards, we saw creepy Charlie as a teenager. She says something vague, I forget what it was, but I guess it's supposed to make us think her dad is still alive. Blah, who cares. We'll never find out.

So what we have here is an interesting comparison of series finales. For the first one, the show lasted six seasons, and the creators knew the end date, and they wrote the last two seasons with the end date in mind. And the finale sucked. In the other, the show lasted one season, and the creators didn't know it would be canceled until the show had already finished shooting, so they didn't write it with any closure. And the finale sucked.

What can we conclude here? That shows should have clear end dates? That end dates mean crap? That I am hard to please? Probably all of the above.

Here is what I propose, for the makers of future science fiction-y shows, and their respective networks:

DO set an end date.

DON'T add new characters and plot twists in your finale season.

DO answer every single question you ever raised. I still don't know why there was a polar bear in Lost and a kangaroo in FlashForward.

DON'T create a complicated show unless you're willing to put out a clear, easy-to-understand ending. I don't like open-ended finales that raise lots of questions and theories. What is the point of arguing about what a show meant? It's OVER.

DO shoot every single season finale with cancelation in mind. That means you wrap up everything from the current season.

(For networks) DON'T wait until the last minute to tell a show that you're canceling it. Either pick it up by March or don't pick it up. In other words, sh*t or get off the pot.

Last but not least...DON'T put a show on hiatus for four freaking months!!!

(Pictured: Bryce and Keiko finally meeting (above) and Jack and Vincent in the final scene from Lost. Okay, we can now officially stop caring about these characters.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glee Concert: Now I Can Die Happy.

So. The Glee concert. Off the chizz-ain!

I didn't know the set list going in, so part of the fun was listening to the opening chords and trying to guess as fast as possible what the song would be. And you would think, since I listen to these songs all day long at work, I would be great at this. Nope. But that's what made it fun.

Something else that made it fun: Screaming and singing and dancing and clapping and swaying along (yes...I swayed) with an entire auditorium full of crazed Gleeks. We all knew all the words, and we all knew all the characters, and it was just a collective euphoria.

The highlights:

-Like a Prayer. You guys know this was one of my favorites from the Madonna episode. And hearing Mercedes and Rachel and Kurt and that choir singing it live... Let's just say I almost passed out after this number. It was that good.

-Sweet Caroline. Bah bah bah! This was SO much fun. The whole audience was on its feet, singing the lyrics right back to the Glee cast. Best karaoke song ever. Out of the dozens and dozens of Glee songs they could've picked for the concert, this was one of the smartest choices.

-True Colors. Tina C. (okay...Jenna Ushkowitz) got a little choked up near the end, right before the last line, "Your true colors...true colors...are beautiful like a rainbow." It was an emotional moment for her, and for that reason, for the audience, too. And then, after she sang the last line, she gave the audience a sheepish grin like, "Yep, this song makes me tear up." After that, some lady near me said, "She's so cute." Yes, she is. Tina, I mean Jenna, you have at least two fans for life.

-Bad Romance. The COSTUMES. They were the same ones on the show! I thought the only way Kurt could dance in those shoes was creative editing. But nope. There he was, on that stage, moving up and down on those bleachers, rocking the crazy Gaga shoes.

-It's My Life. Now you may have guessed already, but I'm a little obsessed with Harry Shum Jr. Particularly the way he moves. And I don't know if I've told you this, but I've watched that YouTube clip of the Glee boys' mashup of It's My Life/Confessions oh, about 10,000 times. My FAVORITE part is toward the end, where Harry gets front and center and basically levitates himself up off the floor. Every time I watch the video, I wait for it. And then I die of happiness. So, back to the concert. The opening chords to this number start, and I almost pull my sister's arm out of its socket, I am so ecstatic. And then, when that part comes up, and I see Harry dart to the front, I almost lose my mind. "OMG OMG OMG HE'S GONNA DO IT HE'S GONNA--" and then Harry goes and does his levitating thing and I become so spastic, my sister thinks I have lost my mind.

So that's it, in a nutshell. My first concert ever, and it was pure euphoria. I nearly lost my voice, and I must've sweated off five pounds, but it was so worth it. SO worth it. Thank you, Glee cast, for one of the greatest experiences of my life.

(Pictured: Me in my new Gleek hat. The Glee merchandise stand was a mob scene. Some girl tried to order ahead of us, but my sister talked right over her and very firmly gave OUR order to the cashier. My sister doesn't take any guff.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

O Be Gleeful.


Yours truly is going to the Glee concert tonight!

Words cannot describe.





Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol: The End Of An Era.

The American Idol finale is on right now, and I'm watching while typing this. Which is to say, I'm not really watching at all. Just half-listening.

I don't know what it is exactly. The fact that Crystal and Lee are similar in music style and taste? The fact that they're equally matched in stage presence, voice, and guitar skills? The fact that they are both likable and modest? The fact that Lee is probably going to win, so the suspense factor is sorely lacking?

It's probably all of the above, and then some. You know what else? The Simon Cowell factor. Tonight is the last we'll see of him on Idol, which means it'll also be the last time Idol does decent ratings, and it won't be long before a) Idol hires a serious game-changer as a judge, or b) Idol is canceled altogether.

I didn't think I'd be saying it just one year after 2009, the year Adam Lambert shook up Idol and made it a must-watch show every week. But the fact is, I think Idol's heyday is over.

Oh, and for the record: I'm rooting for Lee.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CSI: Miami: They All Fall Down. Literally.


The CSI: Miami finale.

Are they all dead?

I can't stand the suspense!

I can't wait until December to find out!

Oh, man!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Glee Renewed For Season 3!

Breaking news: Glee, which has not begun its second season, has not even finished its FIRST season, has just been picked up for a third season. Jump! Sing! Rejoice!

A McStunning Finale.

I just watched the Grey's Anatomy finale, and I am blown away.

I don't think I exhaled once during the two hours.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Network Upfronts 2010: And My First "A" Grade Goes To...The CW's Nikita!

This was my first time at a CW upfront, and here is what I will take away from it:

-It was very loud. I had to take an ibuprofen afterwards, I got such a headache.

-It was hip, young, fun. Katy Perry came out and performed "Hot N Cold" and "California Gurls." The latter will be the CW's theme song running all summer long. Katy also dropped the F bomb, and I wanted to shield the ears of the little girl sitting next to me.

-Who was the little girl sitting next to me? Only the daughter of the CW president of entertainment, Dawn Ostroff. Here's how I found out: Me, to the lady next to her: "Do you work for the network?" Lady: "No, but her mom does." Girl: "My mom does. My mom is Dawn Ostroff." Me: [jaw drops] "Yeah, you could say she works for the network!"

-Naomi from 90210 came onstage, and she was Well, it's five o'clock somewhere.

-Maggie Q, the star of Nikita, is adorable and funny: "I don't think any of you understand how good-looking it is backstage. It's really intimidating. I had to push the A-cups up a little bit." Love. Her.
The CW, for the first time ever, will have an all-original line-up this fall. That means no more reruns of America's Next Top Model on Friday nights. Crazy, huh? The network also tweaked its schedule so that compatible shows air on the same night: 90210 and Gossip Girl on Mondays, One Tree Hill and Life Unexpected on Tuesdays, etc. There was no mention of Melrose Place (R.I.P.). The schedule looks solid overall, and there weren't many holes to fill. I think this may be the CW's best year yet.

Here are their new shows (there are only two!):

Hellcats (Wednesdays at 9PM)--A cheerleading drama set in college. Think Bring It On. It's produced by Tom Welling of Smallville. Hellcats stars Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale, both from the Disney Channel. Aly is a pre-law student who loses her scholarship and then she finds out there is a cheerleading scholarship so she tries out for the team and makes it. It's a little contrived, that plot, but the show looks really good. Oh, and it also resurrects two people from One Tree Hill: Psycho Derek and Q. Grade: A-.

Nikita (Thursdays at 9PM)--An Asian-American headlining a TV show? Perish the thought! Maggie Q kicks some serious butt in this remake of the 1990 movie, La Femme Nikita (which spawned two remakes and a TV series). This is also the first time the role of Nikita has gone to a non-Caucasian actress. The show is about a female assassin trying to take down the government agency that trained and then betrayed her. If the show is anything like the preview we saw, the CW may have a huge, action-packed hit on its hands. Grade: A. (My first and only solid "A" grade for any show of the 2010-11 season. And it's on the freakin' CW.)

(Pictured: Maggie Q in Nikita. Sad about the departure of 24? Here's your new Jack Bauer.)

Network Upfronts 2010: Holy Scheduling Changes, CBS!

Man, it's been busy lately. On Wednesday, I went to the CBS upfront (my last one! sob) and yesterday, I went to the CW one (my first and last). More on the CW upfront in the next post.

The thing that CBS is known for is stability. It rarely changes its schedule. But this year, CBS is making huge, huge moves.

The two that stick out the most are 1) the move of CSI: Miami to Sunday nights at 10PM and 2) the move of Survivor to Wednesdays at 8PM. I know Survivor USED to air on a Wednesday, but as far as I'm concerned, Survivor and Thursdays are synonymous. This will take some getting used to. Or not, since I won't be watching any TV this fall (but I will be downloading everything to watch in December). And what will Monday nights be without Horatio and his sunglasses?

The other huge moves are CSI: NY on Friday nights (in other words...R.I.P. CSI: NY) and a comedy hour on Thursday nights where Survivor used to be. I'm not sure why CBS felt the need to switch their Wednesday comedy hour with Survivor. But I'm sure Nina Tassler has her reasons.

Without further ado, here are CBS's new fall shows:

Mike & Molly (Mondays at 930PM)--Sookie from Gilmore Girls and some bald dude play an adorable overweight couple who meet at Overeaters Anonymous. Sookie is a fourth-grade teacher and Mike is a cop. Their scenes together are funny and sweet. Did I mention they are adorable? I see real potential here. Grade: B+.

Hawaii Five-O (Mondays at 10PM)--CBS is replacing one sexy, sun-drenched show with another. I guess that's okay. Hawaii Five-O stars showkiller Alex O'Loughlin and consistent Daniel Dae Kim. And Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica and some dude who plays Danno. I never saw the original--it was before my time--but the theme song was familiar to me. All in all, the preview was forgettable, and I still don't understand the appeal of O'Loughlin. Grade: C-.

The Defenders (Wednesdays at 10PM)--According to Jim and Jerry O'Connell star as Las Vegas defense attorneys. O'Connell's character is such a cliche--he's described as someone "whose passion for the law is matched only by his love of fast cars, beautiful women and expensive clothes," barf. The plot bores me to tears, mostly because there IS no plot, it's just about lawyers who are buddies. Whoop-de-doo. Grade: F.

$#*! My Dad Says (Thursdays at 830PM)--Pronounced "Bleep My Dad Says." The PTC is pissed and wants everybody to boycott this show. That alone is reason to love it. Also, I subscribed to the Twitter feed way back when so I was already on board with the concept. And the third reason to watch? William Shatner as the dad. He's curmudgeonly, yet endearing. Everything he says is comic gold. Grade: A-.

By the way, here is what the PTC president, Tim Winter, had to say: "CBS intentionally chose to insert an expletive into the actual name of a show, and, despite its claim that the word will be bleeped, it is just CBS’ latest demonstration of its contempt for families and the public." What's with this "intentionally"? IT'S THE FRIGGIN NAME OF THE TWITTER FEED UPON WHICH THE SHOW IS BASED. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

Blue Bloods (Fridays at 10PM)--New York City cops. Aren't there enough shows about them? No? Okay. Blue Bloods is headlined by Jesse Stone himself, Tom Selleck. He's the family patriarch and all his kids are in law enforcement. One (Donnie Wahlberg) is a crooked cop (not a cliche at all), one (Will Estes) is a rookie officer who graduated Harvard Law but decided he'd rather be a cop, and the other (Bridget Moynahan) is an ADA. Oh, and Tom Selleck's dad used to be a cop, too. The preview looked okay, but too dark for me. Grade: B-.

Criminal Minds spinoff (Midseason, TBA)--Forest Whitaker stars. This show has been in the making for more than a year now, and they still don't have a title for it. How about Criminal Minds: Same Show, Different Cast? Yep, that'd work. Grade: B.

The CBS upfront had a LOT of stars in the audience. We saw Neil Patrick Harris, LL Cool J, Chris O'Donnell, the cast of The Big Bang Theory, and the cast of Hawaii Five-O, just to name a few. By the way, I sat about 10 rows behind Daniel Dae Kim. The man wore a white sport jacket and he looked stunning. For me, seeing him was the highlight of the whole thing. Long live Jin!
(Pictured: Daniel Dae Kim. The most beautiful thing to happen to CBS.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Network Upfronts 2010: ABC Says, "More Shonda Rhimes, Please!"

Yesterday, I watched the ABC upfront. ABC has apparently adopted the philosophy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if Shonda Rhimes wrote it, order it."

ABC has something going for it that NBC doesn't: First-place status. Not total-viewer status--that's CBS. But ABC and Fox have been dueling it out in the adults 18-49 demographic in recent years, especially during the spring when Fox has American Idol. Both ABC and Fox attract the kind of young, upscale viewers that NBC used to have with Friends and Seinfeld. Okay, I'll stop with the industry-speak.

Sidenote: NBC will tell you it's got the #1 show in the fall, but they're really just talking about Sunday Night Football, which doesn't count. It's a sporting event, not a television show.

Anyway. Regarding the first part of ABC's philosophy, the network is leaving most of its schedule alone. Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and Dancing with the Stars and the entire Sunday night lineup are staying put. ABC does have a couple of holes in its schedule--it needs something to replace Hank on Wednesdays and FlashForward on Thursdays.

Here is a rundown of ABC's new shows:

No Ordinary Family (Tuesdays at 8PM)--Julie Benz from Dexter and Michael Chiklis from The Shield are parents whose family discovers they have superpowers after their plane crashes and they fall in a pond filled with magical shiny water. This one actually looked okay. Not knock-your-socks-off, but definitely potential. Grade: B-.

Detroit 1-8-7 (Tuesdays at 10PM)--It's a documentary-style drama following homicide detectives in Detroit on their jobs. It looked gritty and depressing. As I watched the trailer, one question kept running through my head: "Why would anybody WATCH this show?" I'm not even asking that sarcastically. I genuinely want to know. Grade: C.

Better Together (Wednesdays at 830PM)--A comedy about two sisters, one of whom is in a longtime dating relationship (we're talking 9 years) and the other is in a 7-week relationship and gets engaged. And their parents have been married 35 years and are totally wacky. Better Together looks cute and funny. And Joanna Garcia is in it, so you know it's good (R.I.P. Privileged). This show will fit right in with the rest of the Wednesday comedies. Grade: B+.

The Whole Truth (Wednesdays at 10PM)--I'm calling it now: The first canceled show of the season. At least on ABC. The Whole Truth is about telling both sides of a legal case, from the defense and the prosecutor. And, like, the defense attorney and prosecutor are totes BFFs from Yale Law! Oh, the drama! Grade: D.

My Generation (Thursdays at 8PM)--If you combined the Fox show Reunion and the ABC show Life As We Know It, you'll get My Generation. Wait, I just described this show using two shows that got canceled after the first season. Yikes. But fear not--this one's decent! It follows the lives of a bunch of twentysomethings, comparing who they are today to who they were in 2000, when they were seniors in high school. There's no other way to say it: It just. looked. good. Definitely worth checking out. Also, there's an Asian American actress in it named Anne Son. She plays a woman who, as a shy and geeky senior, slept with the high school jock and got pregnant by him and never told him...until ten years later. Dun dun dun! I don't even care that they totally ganked this plotline from Life Unexpected. I'm really hoping the show takes off. Grade: B+.

Secret Millionaire (Fridays at 8PM)--Fox aired it, and now ABC bought it. I don't know why. The concept is nice--rich people go into poor communities and live and work anonymously amongst the poor and decide to give $100,000 to the most deserving people. I'm already watching Undercover Boss. Sorry, Secret Millionaire. Grade: C.

Body of Proof (Fridays at 9PM)--Dany Delany, I love you. So I don't know why ABC is punishing you by giving you your very own show...and scheduling it on Friday nights! This show looks good--it's about a medical examiner solving crimes. And from the looks of the trailer, Dana can definitely carry her own show. Hey, ABC, I'd move this one to Tuesday nights at 10PM and get rid of that Detroit show. Grade: B.

Happy Endings (Midseason, TBA)--It's about couples. I actually forgot what this show was about (what with the glut of new couples comedies), so I just looked up the description from ABC. Okay, it's about what happens when a couple breaks up but they remain friends but not really because one of their mutual friends starts to like the guy and now everyone has to choose sides or something. Elisha Cuthbert from 24 is in it. I don't have anything else. Grade: D. Also, please change the title.

Mr. Sunshine (Midseason, TBA)--Matthew Perry plays a guy turning 40 and he runs a sports arena and his boss is Allison Janney. And there's a blond girl in it who he likes, but the girl is dating his boss or whatever. Blahh... I can see why this one's on the back burner. Grade: D.

Off the Map (Midseason, TBA)--The long-awaited eighty-seventh medical drama from Shonda Rhimes, the goddess behind Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Off the Map, which needs a fresh title ASAP, is about three doctors who decide, screw this cushy life in NY/LA/Wherever We're From. We're going to South America! And of course, they're all fishes out of water, just like that episode of Chuck where Ellie and Awesome go to do Doctors Without Borders in Africa and it's pouring rain when they arrive and Ellie is miserable and Awesome contracts malaria but then it turns out the FBI guy was the one who made him sick. Wait, where was I? Oh, right. Off the Map. The trailer looked bleh. Also, I don't like the jungle setting. I'll give this one a shot, because Shonda has been 2-for-2, but I just don't know if this one will work out. Grade: C.

All in all, not a bad crop, but no standouts either like last year's Modern Family. Oh, well.

(Pictured: The cast of No Ordinary Family. Tom Shayes, you're alive! Rita, you're alive! Lady from CSI: Miami who got blown up by a car bomb, you're alive!)

In Memoriam...

This year, it seemed an unjustifiably high number of big-time shows left us after successful runs on TV. Shows that changed the face of television. Shows that had an impact on society. Shows that left their imprint in our lives. Here they are, in no particular order:

24 (8 seasons): Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer once bit a chunk out of a guy's neck. Chloe. Edgar. President Logan. President Dennis Haysbert. Jack Bauer once bit off a man's ear. Tony Almeida. Michelle Dessler. Jack Bauer once cut off a man's head and put it inside a bowling bag. The CTU ring tone.

Ugly Betty (4 seasons): I still think about the Suarez family and wonder what they're up to. How are Hilda and Bobby? How is Betty in London? And I will forever miss Wilhelmina's one-liners and withering glares.

Lost (6 seasons): I will not miss this show. As well-written and nicely shot as it was, and as epic as the whole story was, there was a lot that aggravated me about the show. Kate and her love triangle. Juliet and her lack of facial expressions. The killing off of almost every minority. The appearance of random new characters late in the final season. The sheer arrogance with which the finale was written, like the creators were spitting in the face of every fan who had questions about the show.

Law & Order (20 seasons): The granddaddy of all law dramas, one that tied Gunsmoke's record for the longest-running American TV drama. I didn't watch Gunsmoke, and I didn't watch Law & Order. I should tip my hat to this show, because without it, there would not be a Law & Order: SVU.

So there you have it. However you felt about these shows, and whether you even watched them, you know that TV will not be the same without them.

Goodbye, Dell.

I watched the Private Practice finale this weekend. It left me in tears. R.I.P. Dell.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Network Upfronts 2010: NBC, Better Get Used To 4th Place.

Today I watched the NBC upfront at my office. It made me want to bash my head on the table, and not just because it ate into my lunch hour.

The new shows (and there are 13 of them) mostly ranged from bland to blander to OMG ARE THERE NO CREATIVE MINDS LEFT IN HOLLYWOOD?

Only one show made it onto my "maybe" list: The new Kathy Bates lawyer drama, Harry's Law (coming midseason). Kathy Bates plays a spunky patent lawyer named Harry (Harriet) who hates her job. So she starts up her own firm inside a former shoe warehouse. Or something. And she becomes a trial lawyer...a really good one. It doesn't sound like much, but it was the only show that didn't make me want to put a bullet through my eye.

The other new shows:

Undercovers (Wednesdays at 8PM)--Remember how I said I might check it out based on the casting alone? Well, the casting is still great (wow, black people who aren't just sidekicks!), but the show itself...meh. The trailer spent a LOT of time on the boring marriage of the lead couple, and how the marriage gets spiced up once they start going on spy adventures and killing people and running from explosions. It's like Chuck with married people, and not as funny. Grade: C.

Law & Order: Los Angeles (Wednesdays at 10PM)--Out with the old [L&O], in with the new. NBC didn't tell us much about the show. We don't even know who's going to be in it. Grade: TBD.

Outsourced (Thursdays at 930PM)--It has the most potential to be funny, and indeed, the clips we saw were pretty funny. Then I started thinking that it was offensive-funny, or at least dangerously close to being so. A whole sitcom poking fun at Indian accents and Indians trying (and failing) to act American? And it's one thing for Indians to poke fun at themselves; it's another thing to have a couple of white actors leading the show and the Indians are just there for comic relief (at least, that's what it seemed like). It made me uncomfortable. I'm hoping I'm completely wrong and reading WAY too much into this. Which I sometimes do. But I'm just sayin'. Grade: C.

Love Bites (Thursdays at 10PM)--NBC showed us a very long clip of this hourlong comedy. They called it a "vignette." I call it 15 minutes of not laughing. Basically it featured Greg Grunberg as this dude, and Craig Robinson from The Office as, what else, his sidekick. They're about to get on an airplane when they meet Jennifer Love Hewitt, who is on Greg's celebrity cheating exemption list. Long story short, it was entertaining for what it was, but not anything more than that. I like Greg Grunberg, though. Grade: C-.

Outlaw (Fridays at 10PM)--Jimmy Smits is back. He plays a Supreme Court justice who leaves the bench to become a lawyer. My coworkers seemed to like this one, but I was just bored. Grade: C.

Perfect Couples (Midseason, TBA)--I hate the concept of this show. It's about three couples (all white and hetero, of course) who hang out and play Charades and have awkward sex. I'm BORED just typing this. Grade: F.

Friends with Benefits (Midseason, TBA)--Another winner. This time, instead of COUPLES, it's a bunch of twenty/thirtysomething SINGLES. And the title is self-explanatory. Don't bother with this one, even though Riley from Melrose Place is in it. Grade: F.

The Cape (Midseason, TBA)--It's about a dad who reads comic books featuring a superhero called The Cape with his son at bedtime. Then the dad (a cop) gets framed for murder and is presumed dead and he goes into hiding and becomes The Cape and fights bad guys and abandons his son. But don't worry, he still finds ways to visit his son (incognito, of course) and share fatherly advice with him, like "Study math." This show looks less promising than Heroes, and that one died a most unceremonious death. I have no hopes for this one to save NBC. Grade: C-.

The Paul Reiser Show (Midseason, TBA)--I never watched Mad About You. So I don't know who Paul Reiser is other than his name, which occasionally appears in crossword puzzles. He has a new comedy which may/may not be based on his life (it was hard to tell based on the trailer, and also, I didn't care enough to pay attention). Grade: C.

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to view the trailers for The Event and Chase, the two shows following Chuck on Monday nights. So I can't comment on how they look, only their descriptions. Also, NBC didn't talk about its new Friday night reality show, School Pride, so I won't comment on that either.

All in all, a most disappointing crop of new shows for NBC. Looks like it's a return trip to fourth place, Peacock!

(Pictured: An ad for the new "comedy", Friends with Benefits. "Hoho, let's stand on a rooftop drinking beers and gaze off into the distance/check our PDAs!" Meh.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Network Upfronts 2010: Pickups, Cancelations And Renewals, Oh My!

With the network upfronts next week, TV news is coming faster than I can post it, so I'll just run through a quick few things that stick out in my mind:

-Chuck has been renewed for a 4th season. Hooray! Subway sandwiches for all!

-V has also been renewed for a 2nd season. I can't believe I'm saying this, but...hooray again! The show has actually been getting good. Almost good enough for me to watch a whole episode while not reading Entertainment Weekly/working on my 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

-FlashForward has been canceled. Thanks for nothing, Joseph Fiennes! I said it once, and I'll say it again: John Cho should've been the lead. Then the show might've had a shred of a chance. Sorry, Penny Widmore.

-NBC's Rockford Files remake is DOA. Thank you, there must be a television god who doesn't like remakes either. Now, about that Hawaii Five-O...

-CBS ordered its first new show for fall: Mike & Molly. It's a sitcom about a chubby married couple. Sookie from Gilmore Girls is playing Molly. Hey, can we get Michel a show? He was pretty awesome.

-The Wanda Sykes Show has been canceled, giving network execs another excuse to say a late-night show starring a person of color will not work. Dang it! Wanda, you're one of the funniest ladies around. Fox's loss.

-The original Law & Order has been canceled. No wait, it hasn't. Wait, it definitely has. Actually, there might be a chance that it won't be. Eh, does anybody under the age of 87 really care?
Law & Order is officially done. But not to fear--NBC just ordered Law & Order: Los Angeles. I'm still waiting for Law & Order: Newark.

More to come as I hear about it...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Bachelorette: Sponsored By The State Of Arizona.

I just checked out the cast photos of the latest crop of bachelors vying for Ali Fedotowsky's heart. Out of 25 bachelors, almost all of them are white. Again.

Readers of this blog know by now that I am sick of this shiznit. Like, beyond sick. Just tired at this point.

I don't know how ABC chooses its bachelors (or bachelorettes). Maybe the chosen bachelor/bachelorette gets to describe his/her ideal mate, maybe he/she doesn't. Maybe the only people crazy enough to apply to be on this show are white, maybe not. But the fact of the matter is, season after season, the show ignores minorities, ignores gays, ignores anybody who doesn't fit a certain mode.

Sorry. I've been a little riled up lately with the whole Arizona thing. And I know I shouldn't let it, because it's the same old stuff every season, but The Bachelor/Bachelorette casting still finds a way to drive me up the wall.

I just had a random thought: Instead of the bachelorette handing the men roses, why doesn't she hand them cans of beer? Or, okay, something classier? Maybe a cuff link or something? I mean, what are men supposed to do with a rose? How come nobody else is talking about this?

(Pictured: Ali Fedotowsky, the newest Bachelorette. I like this picture. It's very Runaway Bride.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NBC's New Fall Shows: How Do They Stack Up?

So far, we know NBC has picked up the following five new shows for 2010-11: Chase, Outsourced, Love Bites, The Event and Undercovers. We'll be hearing more about them after the upfronts.

Here's how I rank them: Cliche, Potential, Cliche, New FlashForward, New Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

I like Outsourced because it just sounds funny: a white guy whose company makes random stuff (like whoopee cushions) has to go to India and run the call center there. He has to train all those guys on all things American so they can handle the customers. This show has potential, but in all likelihood, I'm not going to watch. The premise sounds like it'll get old fast.

I'm mixed on The Event, because after ABC introduced Lost, the networks have all had a terrible time trying to get similar conspiracy theory/time traveling/supernatural/worldwide disaster dramas off the ground. I want to give The Event a try, but it'll probably go the way of Jericho, and Daybreak, and Invasion, and (probably) FlashForward and V: Cancellation city.

Undercovers, about married spies, is interesting (to me, anyway) for behind-the-scenes reasons: The casting was done colorblind. That's practically unheard-of in Hollywood! And what ended up happening? They cast two leads who were both biracial. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is South African and English, and Kodjoe is German and Ghanaian. Because I support this crazy newfangled notion of colorblind casting, I will be checking this show out.

I classified Chase and Love Bites as cliches because no matter how hard I looked at their descriptions, I could not find one shred of originality in either of them. Chase is about U.S. Marshals hunting down fugitives. It's basically the American version of Flashpoint. Love Bites (worst title ever) stars the hugely talented and funny Becki Newton from Ugly Betty (R.I.P.), but the premise is so tired: two single gals try to find love as their friends settle down and get married. It's Rules of Engagement minus David Spade.

(Pictured: The stars of Undercovers, Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Two of the most gorgeous people walking this earth. Eat it, Brangelina.)

Network Upfronts: A (P)review.

Next week is my favorite time of the year: the TV upfronts.

Since I work for a company that owns TV stations, I get to go to some of them. This year, I am definitely going to CBS's upfront on May 19, and there is a possibility of the CW's on May 20.

I have been to CBS three years in a row, and they always put on a good show. Last year, we saw Neil Patrick Harris and LL Cool J. I think Simon Baker came on stage, too. He's hot--I can see why CBS gave him a show. I think at some point, a person's hotness is so overwhelming, it doesn't matter if they can act or not, but if they can, that's icing on the cake. That's Simon Baker. One year, they trotted out Alex O'Loughlin and let the audience moon over him (get it? moon? as in Moonlight?). Last year, they told us about Undercover Boss, which had the whole audience sobbing. I always like the CBS upfronts, because they treat us so well. It really feels like an event.

I went to NBC's upfront a few years ago. My boss and I had terrible seats, all the way in the back. The upfront was mostly forgettable. I vaguely recall them talking about this new show Chuck. It was the only one I liked out of the 5 or 6 new shows they had that year. That was also the year they introduced that show with the cop who ate fruit. (Life. I just Googled it.) Another show they introduced was Journeyman. I'm not bothering to Google that one.

The CW. I have never been to their upfronts, but I did go to one of their events a few years ago. One of the sponsors (which shall go unnamed) gave us a bunch of goodies, one of which was a thing that shall also go unnamed, and I sold it on eBay for $300. That was awesome. I don't remember anything else from that event other than the room was very cold. I'm excited to (possibly) go to my first CW upfront this year. I love their programming.

ABC. For some reason, they haven't invited us to their upfront in years, at least not since I've been here. The closest they let me get was watching a live feed of the upfront at ABC headquarters a few blocks away from Lincoln Center, where the event was. They set us up in a conference room with a little TV in the corner up by the ceiling. I remember that was the year of Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Big Shots, and Cavemen. A terrible year for new shows on ABC, as you can tell. The only one that made it out alive was Private Practice. I fell in love with Pushing Daisies from the get-go. R.I.P. Pushing Daisies. After that year, ABC decided we should just watch the upfronts at our own offices in our own conference rooms. Next year, I anticipate ABC will just send us a link to their website telling us about their shows. I keed, I keed, ABC! You know I love you.

The only upfront we never get to go to is Fox, because my company does not own any Fox affiliates. Which totally sucks monkey balls, because I bet the Fox upfronts are awesome. I mean, if tame, safe, older-skewing CBS can knock my socks off each year, I can only imagine what Fox does. Does Jack Bauer come out and kill the entire first row? Who knows!

My favorite thing about these upfronts is finding out which TV pilots made the cut. It's also fun to see how the networks schedule their shows around each other. Everyone likes to think they are the network to beat. Except for NBC. They're just trying not to be in 4th place every year.

Next week, I'll be posting my thoughts on the upfronts. Right now, my predictions: CBS will keep its lineup mostly intact (if it ain't broke...), ABC will add a ton of comedy (to try to expand on its Wednesday night success story), NBC will unleash a bazillion new shows and see what sticks, Fox will try to convince us to watch The Good Guys, really, it'll be great, and American Idol will be fine without Simon Cowell, really, it will be, and The CW will brag about Life Unexpected while pretending Melrose Place never existed.

(Pictured: Simon Baker at last year's CBS upfront. Yum.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Amazing Race Cowboys: Winners In My Heart.

I was so disappointed last night. On The Amazing Race, the argumentative, petty, temperamental brothers Dan and Jordan beat the funny, friendly, idiot-savanty cowboy brothers and best friends Jet and Cord.

I loved those cowboys so much. They were fishes out of water in just about every challenge, and yet they found a way to enjoy all of them, no matter how clueless they were about what to do in them.

They were gentlemen through and through. They had two understandable chances in last night's finale to knock a brother to the side--when Dan and Jordan cut them in line, and again when Jordan was holding up Jet during the Star Wars challenge.

Unlike the quarreling brothers, Jet and Cord got along great. They never yelled at each other. They also never tried to steal anybody's cab (a TAR cardinal sin, IMO). They were just good guys, good people. I wish I knew them in real life.

Jet and Cord, it was a great run. Thank you for being a genuinely nice team in a season full of contentious brothers, lesbians, and models. It was a pleasure watching you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hey, Glee? Don't You Want Us To Actually Like Rachel Berry?

Some episodes of Glee are all about the music, and others focus more on the characters.

Last night, it was the latter. My absolute favorite moment of the episode: Sue and her mentally disabled sister talking and reading in the nursing home. It was moving and sweet, and it brought a tear to my eye. Not that any of us ever even disliked the character of Sue Sylvester, because she is so caustically funny, but now we have another reason to worship her: She is a wonderful sister.

And then you have Rachel Berry. Disliked by her fellow glee clubbers, and now well on her way to being disliked by us, the viewers. Not good. I want to like her. The series started off with her as the underdog, the one with big dreams, the Plain Jane we were rooting for to get the guy. Basically, the heart of the show. Now, not so much. She was so abhorrent last night, breaking the hearts of Finn, Puck and Jessie in an attempt to feed her own ego. Oh, it killed me. "Eclipse of the Heart" was a terrific closing number (as all Glee closing numbers tend to be), but it was tainted by the fact that Rachel's self-absorption was the impetus behind it.

Glee, I know you've finished shooting for this season, and I know that it's too late to go back and change things. But I can't help but hope that sometime soon, and I mean within-the-next-episode soon, we'll see Rachel redeem herself.

Other highlights of the episode:

-"Run Joey Run." Hysterical. I can't believe someone actually sat down and wrote this song.

-Olivia Newton-John. The writer(s) who decided to make her an egomaniac inserting her own sales and career statistics into every sentence: Genius. And the "Physical" video? Funny, though not nearly as good as "Vogue." Sue, more music videos, please!

-Artie's line: "Maybe if we seemed more dangerous people would stop flushing my glasses down the toilet." I love Artie.

Oh, and a note to Fox: Can you please cancel your plans to air that horrendous-looking new buddy cop show, The Good Guys? I have no plans to watch it, nor, I imagine, does anyone else on this planet. Every time the commercial comes on playing that song "Slow Ride" and that mustachioed guy (I hate mustaches) says "It's not a toy, it's an orange gun," I die a little inside. I am actually offended that you would put something like that on TV. So please, never air that show. Or at least, stop showing the ads during American Idol and Glee. Thanks!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lost Progress Report: Midway Through Season 6.

This weekend, the fiancé and I finally started watching the current and final season of Lost. We breezed through the first 8 episodes before The Amazing Race started. (Go Cowboys!)

Nope, I still don't know what's going on on Lost. I really don't have a clue what everyone's doing on the island. The Smoke Monster is Locke (but not really). Jin and Sun are still apart. Juliet set off a bomb and died. Claire is a crazy hag. Kate is on the island and... um...who's taking care of Aaron? Did I miss something?

Oh, and why is Tina Fey suddenly on Lost?

The only thing I understand and am enjoying about this season of Lost are the flash sideways, or as I like to call them, alterna-lives. They show what would've happened to all the characters had their plane not crashed in the ocean. And instead of leading separate lives, the characters still manage to cross each other's paths in very neat ways. My favorite alterna-life is Linus, who is a high school history teacher. His favorite student: Alex Rousseau. I also love that Hurley is Mr. Lucky. And he's still the same sweet, generous, funny guy. Shirtless Sawyer, Schmirtless Schmawyer. Hurley's the one for me.

The fiancé says he likes the island stories better. Screw the island! I much prefer the real world of the alterna-lives. After 5 seasons of coconuts and dirty faces and raggedy clothes, I'm loving the pressed suits and real furniture and real food. Can we get a Lost spinoff that consists of just the alterna-lives?

(Pictured: Tina Fey filming a scene at Central Park for 30 Rock? Or the new character Zoe (played by Sheila Kelley) on Lost? Which is it???)

Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Things I Hate About Cancellations.

I am still recovering from the end of Ugly Betty. So it was not a good time to learn that another one of my favorite shows, 10 Things I Hate About You, has just been axed by ABC Family.

I've only blogged about this show once before, so maybe it's my own dang fault for not promoting the heck out of this little gem. 10 Things, I am truly sorry.

Why can't good shows last forever? I know there are people out there who say shows should never outstay their welcome. I agree--if the show's been on for 57 seasons (I'm looking at you, Bones...can anybody vouch that they actually watch this show?), but 10 Things is only in its sophomore season. The kids aren't even out of high school!

Lost. 24. Ugly Betty. 10 Things. I don't know why so many good shows are going to the great flat screen in the sky this year. Look for my "In Memoriam" post on all these shows in a couple of weeks, once we find out for sure which shows are coming back and which aren't.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ugly Betty: The End of an Era.

I just watched the last episode of Ugly Betty.

It was everything an Ugly Betty fan could want. We got to say goodbye to all our favorite characters--Marc, Amanda, Betty's family, Claire Meade, and Wilhelmina. We got to see Suzuki one last time. And in the episodes prior, we got to say goodbye to Henry and Gio and Christina.

We didn't say goodbye to Daniel. We didn't have to. He ended up moving across the Atlantic to spend time with Betty in London. I don't know who came up with the idea to end the show this way (Silvio Horta?), but it really, really, REALLY irked me. I mean, why??? After four years of being Betty's boss/friend, he now has FEELINGS for her? What??? I love this show, but this, this I just don't get.

That's my only complaint about how the show ended. Really.

Ugly Betty has special significance for me. I remember when I first started my job in television research, back in the summer of '06, and it was maybe a month in that I was given the chance to check out the new TV pilots from ABC. I honestly don't remember what else was in those pilot DVDs, but Ugly Betty was one of them. I remember sitting on my parents' bed with my sister and going through the pilots one by one. They were mostly eh. Then we got to Ugly Betty. Right away, my sister liked it. She knew it'd be a hit. I also enjoyed it. We were both excited to see more of it that fall.

Oh, and sidenote: Back then, the show was called Betty the Ugly. I liked that name. Then ABC changed it to Ugly Betty, and I thought, No! It was good the way it was! Now, I can't imagine what the show would've been like with the original name. I know a title's just a title, but still. It wouldn't have been quite the same.

Anywho, another personal relationship I have with the show is with Betty herself. Back when the show started, I too was a recent college graduate starting her first real job in New York City. My company wasn't full of mean assistants, and I didn't wear a poncho and walk into a glass wall on my first day, but I related to Betty nonetheless. And over the past four years, as Betty has matured and found her place at Mode, so too have I at my company. Now, after four years at Mode, Betty is moving on to a new life across the ocean. Now, four years after I started working at my company, I am moving on to a new life across the river. The East River, to be exact. I will be starting law school in the fall.

As I've blogged about previously, there are only three shows out there that just make you feel good watching it, and Ugly Betty is one of them. Betty, I salute you for entertaining your fans for four years. ABC, I salute you for giving us Betty as long as you did (though not long enough). I know I'll be thinking about this show for years to come, wondering what Betty and the gang are up to. I'm getting sad just thinking about it.

It's been a hilarious, heartwarming, colorful ride with Betty and her braces. Television will not be the same.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ugly Betty, Stop Dating My Man!

This weekend, the fiance and I caught up on the last 8 episodes of Ugly Betty. We are now just two away from the series...gulp...finale.

I'm going to write a whole 'nother post about the show, give it its due. But I wanted to write a quickie post today, to tell you something interesting and disturbing:

My fiance looks like Betty's latest squeeze.

His name is Aaron Tveit, and he recently appeared on Gossip Girl playing a congressman and Serena's married boyfriend. He's not an EXACT match to the fiance, but it's close enough to give me the willies. Imagine Ugly Betty grabbing your fiance and planting a big one on him.

I love you, Betty, but seriously, get your hands off my man!

(Pictured: Aaron Tveit. I mean my fiance. I mean Aaron Tveit.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains: Blindsides, Blunders, and Banana Drama.

Survivor is seriously crazy this season.

Week after week, something big happens. Take last night, for example.

Parvati had TWO hidden immunity idols. One she got last week, and only told one person (Danielle) about. The other one Russell gave to her, because he has fallen under her spell. (He is such a dude.) So at tribal council, Parvati does something unheard of in 20 seasons of Survivor.

She whips out one idol...and gives it to Sandra. She whips out the other idol...and gives it to Jerri. The votes are read, and most of them are for Jerri. The only other votes are for JT. So long, JT!

I cannot remember a season as riveting as this one, and that's including the season they segregated--sorry, separated the teams by race.

Parvati might be the smartest player in the game. Smarter even than Russell. She deserves to win. Go Parvati!

One last thing: Bananas are the best fruit ever. They are tasty. They are easy to eat--no washing necessary, and no peeler necessary. You can eat them any time of the day. Nothing spritzes into your eye when you try to open one. So yeah, I am 100% with Rupert and Amanda and the rest of the Heroes when it comes to banana etiquette. If you want a banana, get it yourself, and while you're at it, get some for everyone else. Don't be a banana Nazi!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idol And Glee: This Picture Says It All.

A commenter who goes by Atheas recently shared a link to this picture, and I thought I'd give it its own entry because of what I (and untold thousands of Americans) experienced last night. Thanks, Atheas!

A Most Madgical Glee.

There will be another Madonna episode this fall! Rejoice!

Last night's Glee was the episode we had all looked forward to since, well, since they first announced they were doing it.


I can't think of any way to organize my thoughts (as evident in my previous Glee post), so let's just start by running through the musical numbers.

1) "Ray of Light," featuring cheerleaders dancing on stilts. Whaaa? It started off cool, then became totally awkward with the stilt action. Not the best way to start off such a highly anticipated episode.

2) "Express Yourself" was better, and I think we actually got to hear Santana sing solo for a whole lyric! Tina C. didn't get any solos though. Quinn looked like a young Madonna.

3) "Borderline/Open Your Heart." Playful and sweet. Loved it. I generally like the Rachel/Finn numbers, and this was no exception.

4) The "Vogue" video. Still terrific the 26th time around (I'm kind of obsessed). And now, with context! I'd wondered why only Kurt and Mercedes were in it. And why there were those knowing looks between them.

5) "Like A Virgin." My favorite of the night! The song played along to a video montage of Finn, Rachel and Emma about to do the deed for the very first time with Santana, Jessie and Will, respectively. The singing? Peppy and innocent. The video montage? Part sexy and part chaste. Not easy to do, but Glee pulled it off. This one was a winner from start to finish.

6) Kurt and Mercedes' "4 Minutes," with accompaniment from a marching band and featuring about a thousand McKinley High cheerleaders. Great number. Not my favorite Madonna song, but the Glee kids gave it an urgency and energy not found in the original (sorry, Madge).

...and here is where I turned off the TV. It was 10PM, a commercial came on, and I thought the show was over.

Lesson for life (or for as long as Glee's on TV, anyway): NEVER TURN OFF THE TV UNTIL THE CREDITS ROLL. Actually, for the purposes of this blog, this lesson can be shortened to NEVER TURN OFF THE TV.


7) "Like A Prayer." Upon checking the song list online to write this post, I could not remember this song from last night, so I went and found it on YouTube. The number started off the way most Glee numbers start off, with Lea Michele standing alone under a spotlight. Then the rest of the cast joins her, and the curtains rise, and (goosebumps here) a whole friggin' choir appears and everyone is raising their arms to the heavens and Mercedes is belting it out and I think I have seen God.

Dear American Idol: Kill off two judges. Right now. I don't care which two. Four judges = four (let's face it) extraneous opinions = Glee gets pushed back = I miss the ending = I want to hurt somebody. But I just spent the last hour watching/listening to/writing about Glee, so I'm feeling giddy and smiley and I will not be able to hurt a fly for the next six hours and 47 minutes. After that, I'm coming for you, Randy Dawg.

Other random notes: I loved the reappearance of Lauren Potter, who has Down syndrome and plays Becky the cheerleader. Big ups to Becky! Also, I am tired of all the Will hair jokes. Every other line uttered by Sue in Will's presence was about his coif. Enough already.

Best quotes of the episode:

"Madonna. Simply saying the word aloud makes me feel powerful...even in voiceover." -Sue

"Mercedes is black and I'm gay. We make culture." -Kurt

"When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a misogynist." -Brittany

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Earworm, Courtesy Of Last Night's Celebrity Apprentice.

Thanks to The Celebrity Apprentice, I now have this song in my head:

Rain makes corn
Corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby
Feel a little frisky.

It's the most ridiculous chorus ever, even for a country song (and I love me some country music). Seriously. And yet, I can't get this out of my head!

Other things worth noting about last night's episode:

-Welcome back, Sharon Osbourne (halfway through, anyway)!
-Donald Trump has a weird fixation with bandanas.
-Goldberg likes percentages. A lot.
-I really like Bret Michaels. Man has a heart of gold, works his butt off, and is humble as they come.
-Luke Bryan is impossible to work with. Emily West is a sweetheart.
-Rain makes corn.
-Corn makes whiskey.
-Whiskey makes my baby--
-Feel a little frisky.
-Cyndi Lauper gets progressively meaner with each episode. And she doesn't give a sh*t. "I'll send you my picture with a dartboard and you can throw it." Can you send me one, too?

This show gets crazier by the week, and it is 100% awesome. Well, maybe more like 90%. No, 87%. What do you think, Goldberg?

(Pictured: Summer, Sharon, Maria and Bret. I love Maria and Bret.)

Melrose Place: Noah, I Am Your Father. And Your Brother.

This weekend, I caught up on two shows. One of them was Life Unexpected. Sidenote: After my post on Life Unexpected, the show's casting director Tweeted the post, and I got 59 hits in one day! I know, that's small potatoes compared to what other blogs get. But 59 is a record for Linda's TV, and I'll take it. Thank you, Jeff Meshel!

Anywho. After watching the Life Unexpected finale, I moved on to another show that also just had its season finale: Melrose Place. Unlike Life, Melrose is pretty much dead in the water. Nobody talks about it, nobody blogs about it ('cept me), and nobody watches it. Melrose had its finale on April 13, and only 1 million people saw it. Ouch.

Still, I love this show. I love the characters, I love the fashion, (Riley wears a LOT of purple--one episode, she went from a purple party dress to a purple T-shirt to a purple jogging outfit--consecutively!), and I love the snappy, overdramatic dialogue. Like Riley calling Ella "the vulture in Versace." How can you not love that??

And then there's this plotline. Let's backtrack: David (the Brad Pitt lookalike) has a little half-bro named Noah, who's the son of his dad and his stepmom, played by Brooke Burns. David and Noah have a really close bond, and David's very protective of Noah, at one point kidnapping him so he could take him to the carnival (the stepmom hates David and wouldn't let him see Noah).

Then we find out why David and Noah have such a close bond: DAVID IS NOAH'S FATHER!

I almost fell over on my couch, not unlike the way David almost fell over on the stairwell after reading his stepmom's letter.

Apparently, David and his stepmom once slept together, and Noah was the result. So let me get this straight. David is Noah's father and his half-brother. Vanessa (the stepmom) is David's stepmom and his baby mama and Noah's mom and Noah's stepgrandmother. David's dad, Michael, is Noah's grandpa and stepfather. Did your head explode?

Man, I love this stuff.

(Pictured: David, being lurk-y.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life Unexpected: Series Unrenewed (For Now).

I just watched three episodes in a row of Life Unexpected (I'm up to the season finale), and let me just say: LOVE. Some blogger likened it to Everwood, and he/she is right. I laughed. I cried. I felt my heart get bigger.

I still can't spell his name without Googling it, but Kristoffer Polaha is terrific. And so is Shiri Appleby. And so is that little Britt Robertson. They have all grown into their roles, and now I'm totally addicted to this show. I no longer see Shiri Appleby and think Roswell. I no longer see Kristoffer Polaha and think of that failed ABC comedy starring Judy Greer as a high school guidance counselor. Oh wait, yes I do. But not really. I mainly see him as a man-child/awesome dad now.

Life Unexpected had its season finale earlier this week. It has not yet been renewed by the CW. Everyone seems to think it's a sure bet that this show will come back, and I'm inclined to agree. Still, CW, what are you waiting for? Put us out of our misery and just make it official already.

Just one small thing. Can you nix the theme song? I kind of hate it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hello, Hello, Glee!

I had a meta experience last night while watching Glee.

It was during the last musical number (not "Vogue"--more on that stupendously awesome video later), "Hello Goodbye." Rachel and Finn were dancing around onstage. Artie was spinning around in his wheelchair.

I started to get a tear in my eye. A tear of sheer joy.

This is what television should be about. Joy. Not hoping someone gets eliminated or hoping a bad guy gets killed. Pure, simple joy. It is a rare show on television that gives its fans this feeling every week, and off the top of my head, I can think of just two other shows that does this as well as Glee: Chuck and Ugly Betty.

I don't even know where to start. Last night's Glee wasn't a gamechanger. Nothing major happened. It was just the simple return of a beloved show that left us for four months, making the winter feel colder and longer than it has ever been. Glee, your absence made my heart grow fonder.

Last night, we were introduced to a few new cast members: Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, who are both Broadway vets and already have ties to Glee. Idina costarred with Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked, and Jonathan is Lea Michele's BFF and former Spring Awakening costar. I didn't care much for their characters--Idina made out with Will, who is supposed to be dating Emma, and Jonathan looked like an '80s rock star. He looked about 30 years old. And speaking of looks, Idina is basically Rachel Berry in about 30 years. Holy future self, Batman!

Glee didn't change too much during its absence: Sue was still evil and funny, Terri was still just evil, Finn was still cluelessly cute, and Rachel was still...well, Rachel. Actually, Will changed a little--he is now a player, or at least, he fancies himself one. Whatever. I am still rooting for him and Emma to work things out. Also, Brittany the blonde cheerleader is hilarious. "Sometimes I forget my middle name."

Another choice line from the show: Rachel's "Who's there? I carry a rape whistle."

My favorite number of the evening was "Gives You Hell." I am listening to it right now as I type this (thank you, GummyBearGleeks for uploading it onto YouTube). Lea Michele's voice is pure magic. She can sing anything and make it ten times better than the original. Sorry, All-American Rejects. I like your version, but Lea killed it.

Oh and how foxy is Harry Shum, Jr. (aka Mike Chang)? CHEESUS. I don't know what I would do if he and John Cho ever appeared on a show together.

Fox did something very smart with the scheduling of Glee right out of American Idol. I don't know what ABC was smoking, putting V right after Dancing with the Stars. Or putting Shaq Vs...., well, putting that show anywhere on the schedule. But Fox, oh, Fox. You're a genius. Also, you're REALLY showing appreciation for your viewers. Glee right out of Idol. In fact, Glee DURING Idol. Did anyone else see Simon, Randy, Kara, or Ellen last night? Me neither. I was busy checking out Will and Sue and Finn and Tina C. and Artie sitting behind them.

Here's what was arguably the best part of the evening: The "Vogue" video. The original Madonna song was a little before my time, and I've only ever seen snippets of the video here and there. Didn't matter at all. Sue Sylvester was a genius, and so were Kurt and Mercedes and everyone else in the video. And so was the person who shot the video. And so was the person who changed the lyrics to "Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire. Sue Sylvester, dance on air" and "Lauren, Katherine, Lana too. Will Schuester, I hate you."

Isn't life better now that Glee's back?

(Pictured: Sue Sylvester vogueing. I spent about 20 minutes making that using screenshots from the video. The tilting is completely by accident. But it still came out pretty great, huh?)