Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Men Kissing In A Super Bowl Ad? So What?

There is controversy over an ad from, which CBS is considering for the Super Bowl. ManCrunch is a gay dating website, and the ad features two guys in football jerseys watching the big game and they reach into the bowl of chips at the same time and gaze into each other's eyes and then start making out...much to the shock of their buddy sitting nearby.

I just watched the ad, and it's hilarious.

Come on, CBS! You already turned down a Go Daddy ad featuring a retired football player acting effeminate. Now you're on the fence about ManCrunch? What's the message you're trying to send?

Maybe it's not about any sort of message. This is the Super Bowl, after all, not the State of the Union. We're just here to drink beer, gorge on nachos, and vomit after trying to eat 20 hot wings in a row.* The Super Bowl really isn't the place to discuss politics. The host network--in this case, CBS--has one job, and that is to collect some serious cash-money for ads. That's it. As long as the ad isn't paid for by NAMBLA, who gives a care?

CBS okayed an anti-abortion ad paid for by the conservative and religious group Focus on the Family. I'm fine with that. Left wing, right wing, hot wings, at the end of the day, if a 30-second Super Bowl ad can change or challenge your beliefs, maybe your beliefs weren't as strong as you thought.

So CBS, stop overthinking these ads. It's just a game. Nobody stopped watching you after Janet Jackson's big reveal, and nobody's going to stop watching if you show a couple of guys making out. It's totally fine!

*I have not been able to touch a hot wing since.

UPDATE: CBS officially rejected the ad. Surprise, surprise.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big Love: Are The Opening Credits Better Than The Show? Debatable.

Last night, I watched the second episode of this season's Big Love. This puts me almost a quarter of the way through the season (here's why), and I still don't know what's going on. Too many storylines, too many new characters, and not enough of Bill's crazy mom.

But what I do know is that I LOVE the new opening credits.

Check it out on YouTube sometime. It's been compared to Mad Men's opener, with the lead character falling through space. But unlike Mad Men's opener, Big Love's isn't animated. Set to the song "Home" by Engineers, it features Bill and his three wives falling through black space, sometimes in slow motion, and sometimes suspended in mid-air.

It is haunting. Captivating. And absolutely gorgeous. I've seen it twice, and both times, I couldn’t tear my eyes off it.

The old theme, which featured Bill and his wives ice-skating and the ice cracking between them, was set to The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." It, too, was terrific.

Seeing the new opener got me thinking about theme songs and opening credits in general. Chuck's is really fun, and I watch it all the way through each time. Mad Men's music draws you in, and the art/graphics are neat. I also love Dexter's, even though I can't watch the part where he gets bitten by a mosquito, and the part where he nicks himself shaving.

I can never watch people shave on TV. Too traumatic.

On the other end of the theme song spectrum, you have songs that go on foreverrrrr. You could probably take a shower and blow-dry your hair in the time it takes for the Family Guy theme to play through. Then there's Survivor, with all that tribal chanting...gahhh.

The latest theme song abomination I've discovered is Damages. Great show, but horrible theme. It's some guy mumbling, "When I am through with you...there won't be anything left..when I am through with you." He also mumbles some other things but they are incomprehensible. The singing is combined with bleak shots of NYC sculptures and architecture I've never seen, and I've lived here all my life. Yeah. Come visit New York!

I recently read an article saying that these days, traditional opening credits are getting supershort, even disappearing altogether. I hope not (unless your name is Survivor). Openers can be done well, and Big Love has proven it--twice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why, ABC, Why???

ABC has canceled Ugly Betty.

I am so...

I can't speak. I don't even know what to say.

The current season will be the show's last.

R.I.P. Betty.


American Idol: All Sass, No Class.

Talk about terrible guest-judging on American Idol! I have been watching this show for nine seasons, and I do not recall two guest judges more obnoxious and bratty than Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry.

First of all, why is Avril Lavigne a judge? What has she done lately? Also, she's my age (25). I think some of the contestants who auditioned were older than her. I don't know about you, but if I lined up for hours to audition for a singing show, the last thing I'd want is Avril giggling at me like a 15-year-old at the mall.

Also, she showed up wearing a hoodie with devil ears and lots of makeup and black nail polish. This isn't one of your sk8t3r b0i concerts, Avril. At least put the dang hoodie down.

Next up, Katy Perry. She, too, is my age. Now, my complaint about her isn't her fashion or lack of industry experience. No, my complaint is her complete lack of a soul. Yes, I am aware she's a preacher's kid and I just said she has no soul. Allow me to explain. The last audition of the day was this guy Chris Golightly, a 25-year-old guy who grew up in the foster care system. He said he lived in at least 25 homes. When he opened his mouth to sing "Stand By Me," I started sobbing. All I could picture was him singing to the parents he never had but wished he had.

And you know what Katy's response to him was? "I understand where you're coming from..." Huh??? Katy, nuclear family. Chris, foster home of the week. Yeah, I don't see it. And then when Kara said she loved his audition, Katy had this gem: "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart. You have to have talent." Because Katy Perry knows all about talent.

Not to mention Katy threatening to dump her Coke in Kara's face at one point. It's always nice when you're invited to be a GUEST JUDGE on someone else's show and you think it's okay to say something like that.

All I can say is, I am so ready for Ellen DeGeneres to join this show. Talented, funny, kind, and dresses well. Avril who?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spinoff City.

CBS is prepping a spinoff to its hit series Criminal Minds. I have not seen a single episode of this show, but it does quite well on Wednesday nights. What's interesting about the spinoff is the network is wooing Forest Whitaker to star in it.

Yes, that's right, CBS of all networks is paving the way to a more diverse television landscape! Who'd have thunk it?

The other thing worth noting about the Criminal Minds spinoff is well, just that. It's a spinoff. CBS has three CSIs, two NCISes (which spun off of JAG), and now we're talking a third franchise. I don't hate on spinoffs the way other people do--after all, without spinoffs, we would not have Melrose Place (either incarnation), Private Practice, and The Colbert Report. We would not have The Hills or The City. We would not have Degrassi: The Next Generation (yes, I watch that, and no, I'm not ashamed of it).

So yeah, spinoffs are cool with me. It's just that I wish they'd spin off shows I watch more. Or, instead of canceling a show I like, they'd spin off one of the characters. Example: Lane from Gilmore Girls. She was the coolest character on the show (much cooler than dippy Rory) and I've always wanted to know what happened to her. Did she become a famous musician and go on tour? Is she still with that Zach dude? How are her babies? And how's her crazy mom?

Another good reason to love spinoffs: They take the place of craptastic new shows. Instead of The Deep End, ABC could've given us an Ugly Betty spinoff. Instead of Human Target (twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back), Fox could've given us a Glee spinoff to hold us over until April. You get my drift.

Will I be watching the Criminal Minds spinoff when the backdoor pilot airs this spring? Nope. But for every CBS spinoff there is on TV, that's one less Three Rivers. And we can all be grateful for that.

24: Grow A Spine, Starbuck!

I know this is going to make me sound insane, but I am one of those people who talks to her TV when something frustrates her or something crazy happens. To my credit, my fiance is usually in the room with me, so theoretically, you could say I am...uh...running my ideas past him, which makes me not as crazy. But yeah. I yell at my TV.

I was yelling last night during Chuck when he got inside the coffin with the dead guy and closed the lid...and you could still see everything inside the coffin. I went ballistic.

Me: How can you still see everything? It should be pitch-black!

Fiance: Well, he has his cell phone out, so maybe it's lighting up--



I was yelling again during 24. I didn't mention this in my last 24 post, but Starbuck (it's a better name than Dana Walsh/Jenny Scott or whatever her character's real name is) drives me crazy with her hair over her left shoulder. In every single second of every episode so far (five hours and counting), she has had her blond hair over that same shoulder. It never leaves that position. Not when she turns her head, not when she gets up and walks around, and drives across town. Hair. Still. Over. Shoulder.

Speaking of driving across town, why is she still hanging around that Ricky Gervais-lookalike bad guy? First of all, when he found her cell number and called, she should've pretended it was a wrong number and hung up. Then she should've ignored every subsequent call from him. Then when he came to visit her, SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE DOWNSTAIRS. Now he knows a) she dyed her hair (which defeats the purpose of dyeing her hair) and b) she's still scared of him. Also, she should not have removed her engagement ring before seeing him. Because not five minutes later, she gives him the keys to her apartment (WHY???)...where she has tons of pictures everywhere of her and her fiance. And then when he calls her up and demands an explanation, she comes right out and admits she's engaged.

I won't even go into the fact that she promises him a six-figure sum to make him go away. After he smacks her around. Girl needs to grow a pair. Also, she has the government's resources at her beck and call. She could make him "disappear" quite easily. So why doesn't she?

Hey, even Hugh Grant joked about doing just such a thing on Love Actually, and he was the prime minister.

So yeah, I am annoyed at Starbuck and all her secret past/criminal ex-boyfriend drama. I'm not sure how (or if) it'll connect to the larger terrorism plot, and frankly, I don't care. The 24 writers set us up to dislike her from the start--she's weak, she's condescending to Chloe, and she's Hastings' pet. Now all of a sudden we're supposed to care about her? As she grows progressively spineless and shirks her job to tend to her psycho boyfriend? Freddie Prinze, Jr., you deserve better.

And speaking of Freddie, where was he last night? I missed him. Hey, 24 writers: Less Starbuck and more Freddie, please!

Last point: How on earth did Chloe miss that other car leaving the parking lot after Jack? It's not like her to be so careless. Far as I'm concerned, Chloe has eyes on the back of her head and on the sides of her face. She can monitor six video screens at once while conferencing in Field Ops and uploading schematics to Jack and making a cup of coffee, cream and two sugars, please. So why are the 24 writers making Chloe look so sloppy and slow this season? Blah.

Okay. Enough ranting. For now, anyway.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Goodbye, Coco.

Last night, I watched Conan O'Brien's final episode of The Tonight Show. And the whole time, I just felt very sad for him.

No, I'm not pitying him, because he's coming away with a boatload of money, and he'll probably end up on another network and continue having a nice career. What I felt sad about was this: that after working for 20 years, he finally got his dream job, only to have it taken from him seven months later because the morons at NBC don't know what they're doing.

This is just wrong. I'm no network head, but I know about honoring your commitments, and NBC screwed up so badly here. The network basically effed up the lives of not just Conan, but his 100+ staffers who moved their families and lives across the country to continue working on the show. NBC also shot itself in the foot--Jay's numbers will never be what they were, no matter what time slot he has. NBC also lost a great talent who gave them everything he had for two decades. Shame on you, NBC. Shame on you.

From what I understand, Conan's not allowed to work for another network until this fall. So we're not going to see him for six or seven months. But I hope he does eventually find another job, so we can once again see him doing what he loves most: making us laugh.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Deep End. Already In Deep Shizzle.

So, who's watching ABC's new legal drama, The Deep End? Anybody? Bueller?

I haven't written about this show since I've been busy blogging about others. And also because this show has gotten no marketing push at all (at least, none that I've seen).

And let's face it, the premise of the show is so tired (a bunch of young, attractive lawyers at a competitive LA firm), I'd fall asleep at my keyboard writing about it.

In any case, the show debuted last night, and the numbers are terrible. The show drew 7 million viewers. To give you a comparison, Jay Leno attracts about 5 million viewers a night...and it got canceled. By week 3 or 4 (if it makes it that far), The Deep End should be down to 4 million and change. Especially when Survivor premieres.

Sorry, Matt Long. Another one bites the dust. I did like you in Jack & Bobby, though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

American Idol: Yes, Asian People Can Sing!

My people have never won American Idol.

In fact, we've never even come close. Not runner-up, not third, not fourth, not fifth. Anoop Desai, who's Indian, made it to #6. A dude named Paul Kim, who liked to sing barefoot, also made it to the finals, but he was around #24 or something. Yes, I Wikipedia'd him...word up, Wikipedia! No, I don't know why I just wrote that.

Anyway, the reason I write this entry is because in last night's episode of Idol, a young Asian man got a golden ticket, and his name was John Park.

John, I don't know you personally, but dang, you can sing, and you are a stud. You had Shania all a-twitter!

I am so, so happy you made it through to Hollywood. Let's hope this isn't the last we hear of you, because too often, Idol shows us a great contestant during auditions...and then we never hear from them again.

Even more importantly, John, you may be the guy to show America that Asian people can sing. You may even be the guy who makes us all forget about William Hung. (I think for that achievement alone, you should be awarded one of those Fords they always give the finalists.)

I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up too high about you, John Park. Because what if tonight was the last we'll see of you?

Well, at the very least, you are now immortalized in my humble blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CSI: Miami: And You Think You've Got Daddy Issues.

On last night's CSI: Miami, we meet a white guy named Russell Turner who gets sliced in half by a samurai sword while running from a guy on a motorcycle. Yes, sliced in half. At the waist. It is a lovely way to begin the episode.

Then we meet Russell's 15-year-old son. His name is Kenny Turner, and he's Japanese. Turns out Russell adopted him when he was a baby. So now Kenny is fatherless. It's very sad. Kenny seems like a nice guy.

Then we find out Kenny's biological father is this guy named Takashi Yamada, who's the head of the Japanese mafia. (Yes, this is the requisite Asian mafia episode, which every crime procedural is required to do at some point.) Yamada has been trying to find his biological son for ages. By the way, Yamada has lots of tattoos, and he doesn't get inked by ordinary needles, he uses bamboo needles. This factoid will come up again later on.

Then we meet Kenny's biological mother, Susan Lee. By the way, she does not look a day over 25 (we Asians have terrific genes). Susan says she was raped by Yamada when she was 15. She didn't want her son to join the Japanese mafia, so she took her baby and ran away and found a shelter, where she met Kenny's adoptive father and gave her son to him.

Then the CSIs learn something weird about Takashi Yamada's blood type. It has changed over the years. How could this be? Calleigh figures out that he must've gotten a liver transplant, because the body will sometimes change its blood type in order to accept the new liver.

But why would Yamada need a new liver?

Because those crazy bamboo needles he gets tattooed by penetrate so deeply into the skin, they block the sweat glands, which eventually screws up the liver. So, back to the reason Yamada has been looking for his son all these years...




I don't know about you, but this is the life lesson I took away from the episode: If you're adopted, don't let your biological parents find you. They may be after your organs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Golden Globes: Winners, Losers, and Michael C. Hall's Hat.

Last night was the Golden Globes awards. I normally don't watch this show, but 24 wasn't starting for another hour.

Here, in no particular order, are the big TV winners of the night:

Best drama: Mad Men. Love this show, and happy that it won. While it beat out Dexter, I can't hate on Mad Men, since it didn't win any other awards. By the way, Jon Hamm, what was up with the beard?

Best comedy/musical: Glee. YES! I am so happy for the cast. I may/may not stalk all of them on Twitter, so I may/may not know how truly excited they were to be at the show, never mind if they won or lost. What a great group of kids.

Best actress, drama: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife. Dang it, still can't spell her name right on the first try. I've never seen an episode of The Good Wife, or ER, for that matter. But she seems like a nice lady.

Best actor, drama: Michael C. Hall, Dexter. I totally cried when he went up on stage. Dude has been getting treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "It's nice to have a justifiable excuse for accessorizing," he said, in reference to the hat he was wearing to cover up his loss of hair.

Best actor, comedy/musical: Alex Baldwin, 30 Rock. Never watched this show. By the way, why are musicals and comedies lumped together? Are there that many musicals on television that it needs its own name in a category? And while we're at it, Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester on Glee), was also nominated for this category, and he was great at the musical stuff AND the comedy. On this alone, he should've won. I'm just saying.

Best actress, comedy/musical: Toni Collette, United States of Tara. Never seen this show either. And yes, I believe Lea Michele should've won, for the aforementioned reason.

Best mini-series made for...zzzzz I'm sorry what were we talking about?

...Skipping over the best actor/actress for mini-series/motion picture made for TV, since none of us have actually seen any of those performances...

Best supporting actor: John Lithgow, Dexter. AWESOME. The man was stupendously frightening this season. Out of habit, I shrank away from the TV as he gave his speech.

Best supporting actress: Chloe Sevigny, Big Love. I'm torn on this one. She's great on Big Love (funny, emotional, relatable), but I just don't know. I mean, she plays one of three wives, all of whom are terrifically portrayed. So it's hard for me to see why she should be nominated (let alone be given the award) over the others. Also, I have soft spots for the scene-stealing Jane Lynch (Glee) and underrated Rose Byrne (Damages).

That's it for this year's Golden Globes!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

24: Jack Is Back! And His Son-In-Law's A Vampire!

I just watched the season premiere of 24, and first off, I am SUPER EXCITED this show is back. I have missed my Jack, and Chloe, and...yeah, that's about it, everyone else has been written off or killed. I'm still mourning Edgar.

Anyway, here are my early observations and thoughts so far:

-Jack's granddaughter is way cute. "Grandpa" is an unsettling moniker for Jack though. He does not look a day over 40.

-Since when is Chloe...incompetent? It was so bizarre seeing her get reprimanded every five minutes for being slow.

-Speaking of reprimands, the CTU New York boss is a class-A jerk. Bill Buchanan, come back from the dead! And bring Edgar with you.

-Jack killed a man with a fire ax. The fiance got a kick out of that. Though it's probably no match for when Jack bit a chunk off a guy's neck.

-Holy familiar faces, Batman! In the two hours alone I counted: Jennifer Westfeldt, Freddie Prinze Jr., the game show host from Slumdog Millionaire, and Starbuck from Battlestar Gallactica. (Yes, I had to ask the fiance about that last one.)

-I don't hate Kim Bauer anymore. I used to find her annoying, but she won me over when she convinced Jack he needed to stay and help Chloe.

-I forgot to mention another familiar face: Paul Wesley from The Vampire Diaries! He plays Kim's husband Stephen. Man, he's hot. I can totally see how they produced such an adorable offspring. On Vampire Diaries, he is Stefan. Stephen, Stefan. I love it.

What a great premiere. Yeah I totally skipped over all the plot stuff, but you already know all about that, because it's the same every season: Evil terrorist wants to blow up a city/kill the President/unleash nuclear weapons/all of the above. The only thing that changes each season is the terrorists' countries of origin.

Oh, and we're finally out of LA. New York...we've been Jacked!

Alex O'Loughlin: Third Time's The Charm? I Don't Think So.

When I read this bit of news, I just had to come here and share this with you.

Remember when I wrote about all the networks doing remakes of old TV shows? And how they are pretty much guaranteed to suck?

And then remember when I said, "CBS, enough with Alex O'Loughlin already!"? Because having two series canceled in back-to-back seasons kind of indicates he's not leading man material?

Well, apparently, CBS isn't listening. They are going to smash two birds with one stone by trying to get Alex O'Loughlin to star in the remake of Hawaii Five-O.


I'm sorry. I can't help it. That is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

That's all I had to say.

And now, back to the Jets game.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Damages, Season 2. Biggest. Letdown. Ever.

So I was all hopeful that season 2 of Damages would be teh awesome, because of how amazing and addictive season 1 was.

Boy, was I wrong.


First of all, there are too many characters.

Last season was nice and simple: Ted Danson, Ted Danson's lawyer, Ellen, David, Katie, Katie's boyfriend, Glenn Close, Pete, Tate Donovan.

This season there's Ellen, Glenn Close, Tate Donovan, Katie, Ellen's therapy boyfriend, evil Kevin Smith cop, evil NYPD cop, blonde hooker, blonde hooker's client, Chevy Chase lookalike, Chevy's lawyer, Chevy's lover (played by Marcia Gay Harden), two FBI detectives, Pete, Pete's wife, Pete's bootleg DVD dealers (there are at least 3), and the male journalist. And those are just the ones I can remember.

Then there's the crazy timeline. Last season there were two sets of time: the present and six months ago. The show would count down from the six months, going back and forth (present, six months ago, present, five months ago, present, ten weeks ago, and so on) until everything synced up. It was very cool. The show also made it clear whether we were in the past or the present--the past looked normal, and the present looked washed out and everything had a yellow tint. This season...fuggedaboutit. It goes from the present to six months ago to ten weeks later to ten years ago to four months later to...who cares. Everything is shot exactly the same so you have no idea if you're in the past or present or future. Yes...there is a future.

Also, the plot. I don't know what's going on. Okay, so there's a company polluting the environment, and there's a guy with a hooker and he's making financial transactions on his computer and Pete gets blackmailed and Ellen's therapy guy is hanging out with evil Kevin Smith cop and Marcia Gay Harden is representing the hooker in court and having an affair with the Chevy Chase guy...who happens to be the father of Glenn Close's son. Yeah, I need a drink just typing all this up.

Not since Lost has a show confused me so much. I am this close to giving up Damages. But still, I have hope that season 3 goes back to the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

TCA Press Tour: Part III.

This is the final entry on the TCA press tour, focusing on ABC, a network near and dear to me because I interned there twice.

Here are the highlights:

-My favorite half-hour comedy, Modern Family, was renewed for a second season, along with The Middle and Cougar Town. Huzzah for Phil Dunphy! Now all ABC needs is a new half-hour sitcom to fill that hole on Wednesday nights. Might I suggest a show that's not about an unattractive, balding, overweight old man with a hot young wife, or a show that's not about a gorgeous woman who, for some preposterous reason, can't land a guy (I'm looking at you, Alyssa Milano's Romantically Challenged!)?

-Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (who has appeared on Oprah) is getting his own show on Friday nights. It's about getting America's fat and diabetic children to eat healthier. The show is called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Here's a revolutionary idea: Don't send your kids to McDonald's for school lunch. Starving them is so much more economical. I keed! I keed!

-Speaking of revolutions, ABC came up with the brilliant idea of spinning off The Bachelor into a new show called Bachelor Pad. It'll feature a bunch of old contestants from previous seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette living in a house together a la Big Brother. Uh, ABC, there's already a Big Brother. And it's awesome.

-Dancing with the Stars will return March 22. This time, instead of 62 contestants, they will have a mere 57. Again, I keed. They are actually only going to have 11 or 12 instead of the usual 16. And by 11 stars I mean 2 stars and 9 has-beens. Let's be real here, ABC.

Annnd that's a wrap!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TCA Press Tour: Part II.

The big news announced at Fox's TCA press tour was this:

Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol after this season.

He wants to start his own show, a U.S. version of the U.K. hit The X Factor, which Fox has picked up for fall 2011.

What is The X Factor, you ask? Think of it like America's Got Talent. It even has the Xes and everything. Recently, it birthed the career of Susan Boyle. But I'm not interested. American television does not need another America's Got Talent, even if it is produced and judged by Simon Cowell. I wouldn't even care if The X Factor featured monkeys juggling meatballs. I won't be watching.

The move is all well and good for Simon, but what about the rest of us? What about the fans who watch Idol just to see what Simon will say about the contestants? I don't know about you, but I think a panel of three nice judges will be quite the bore. Randy will call everyone dawg, Kara will grab the mic and start singing the songs herself, and Ellen will try to be their best friend.


I guess this spells the end of American Idol as we know it.

Other news from the TCA tour:

-Glee was picked up for a 2nd season! That's right, our favorite show will be back next fall!

-America's Most Wanted will celebrate is 1000th episode in March. I used to LOVE this show. John Walsh is the man. I never got to catch a criminal, though. Oh well.

-Bones will hit its 100th episode in April. I don't care.

-Fox will premiere a new show called Code 58 in May. This is the description, from executive producer Matt Nix:

"It's an action-comedy where we follow these two cops. So, in a sense, it's a procedural as they investigate usually routine crimes. They both, each for their own reasons, have been sort of banished to the worst jobs in the department. And every week they investigate a crime that can range from the theft of a small residential burglary to reorganizing evidence to dealing with a stolen car. On a week-to-week basis, it's about how that intersects with a much larger crime and how they end up sort of getting involved in something much bigger."

Wow, that could not sound more boring. I'd rather watch 1000 straight episodes of America's Most Wanted. Did I mention John Walsh is the man?

Stay tuned for news from ABC's press tour...

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Spy...The Best Show You're Not Watching.

There are certain shows out there that people live and die by. Ask people who watch Friday Night Lights, and they will swear it's the best show on television, why aren't you watching it, it deserves a bazillion Emmys and Golden Globes, and on and on.

I have the same question about Chuck. The spy dramedy premiered last night, and boy, have I missed it. I even missed things I had forgotten about. Like the theme song. It's catchy, and it suits the show. I also missed Zachary Levi's eye roll that precedes his flashes. I missed his hilarious panicky throwaway lines. I missed the wacky Buy More gang. Especially Anna, who is no longer on the show. I missed Casey most of all. He can steal the scene with a single grimace.

The thing I don't understand about non-Chuck viewers is WHY. Why aren't you watching this show? It has action. Romance. Humor. A diverse cast. Snappy dialogue. Nerdy pop culture references. Relateable, loveable characters. It never slows down. Anyone can get into it at any point--there's no extensive backstory, no complicated plotpoints.

More than anything, Chuck is consistently funny and consistently entertaining. Few shows can boast this quality. Even Glee has its irksome moments (I'm looking at you, scenes featuring Terri and her sister). NBC's primetime schedule may be a huge fiasco right now, but it has this one saving grace. So readers, I ask you: Watch this show and tell everyone about it. If for no other reason than we won't have 5 nights of Jay Leno again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

TCA Press Tour: Part I.

This weekend was the start of the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour, which is where lots of cool TV news is announced. I have no idea why the tour starts on a weekend, but whatever. Here's what's been announced so far for NBC:

-Howie Mandel is replacing David Hasselhoff as one of the judges on America's Got Talent. I don't care.

-NBC took my suggestion and is creating a new Law & Order series, set in Los Angeles. Wait, they already tried that. It was called Southland, and it got canceled. Well, a rose by another name just might work. At the very least, it'll get better ratings than The Jay Leno Show. Speaking of which...

-NBC will cancel the primetime edition of Leno and give him back his old 1130PM slot. February 12 (also yours truly's birthday) will be Leno's final night in primetime. After the Olympics are over, it'll be Leno at 1130, Conan at midnight, and Jimmy Fallon at 1AM. No idea what will happen to Carson Daly. I know what you're thinking: Carson Daly still has a show?!

-Friday Night Lights may return to NBC in March. You don't care, I don't care. Moving on.

Here's what's been announced for CBS:

-Three Rivers is officially canceled. No one's surprised, and no one's sad. Except maybe Alex O'Loughlin. Listen, CBS. I think it's time you retire that ole "Let's make Alex O'Loughlin a star" mantra. Seriously. Some people are meant to be headliners (ahem Simon Baker), and others are meant to be ensemble. The other thing I want to say is, when you cancel a show, call it what it is, don't call it "on hiatus." You know what's on hiatus? Glee. Don't put that in the same category as Three effing Rivers.

-Numb3rs and Medium may be coming back next year. Uh, heck yeah. They are doing just fine on Friday nights. Leave them alone.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for news on Fox (tomorrow) and ABC (Tuesday).

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Letter To My Readers.

I have to be honest. I haven't been blogging as much lately because my enthusiasm for it has been flagging. Plus, I haven't caught up on any of the random new episodes that have been cropping up--Modern Family, Ugly Betty, and so on.

Also, I may or may not have been spending my free moments watching Michael Buble videos on YouTube. Seriously, this guy is cute.

But I know I have readers out there, whether they stumble upon my blog by chance and read one entry and leave forever (99% of my visitors), or whether they go right onto my site every day or every other day to read it (0.5%--the remaining 0.5% would be yours truly). So if I have days or weeks where I blog less than usual, please bear with me. I'm not going anywhere. I love writing, and I love my TV. And most of all, I love you for reading.

On with the TV update. I've been going through the first season of Damages like a maniac. That show is just. so. good. I can't get enough--as soon as one episode ends, I'm all over that mouse to double-click on the next one. It's so much more than Ted Danson and Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. It's Crazy Stalker Girl and that oddly pitiful bald southerner lawyer who will be on Big Love this season. It's all the guys on the show who look like famous guys: Rose Byrne's fiance looks like Jerry O'Connell, Gregory Malina looks like Tom Cruise mixed with Michael Gelman, and that SEC dude looks like Richard Gere. It's the flash-forwards to the future (or present, as my fiance likes to remind me) that reveal, just a little bit at a time, what happened, but never enough to satisfy you.

My friend who recommended this show started with season 2, and has not seen season 1. So I cannot even begin to imagine how good season 2 is.

I haven't watched a single other show, but I've been keeping up with TV news, as that's my day job and all. The big news of the moment is Jay Leno. What the heck is NBC going to do with him? People are saying he'll move back to 1130PM for a half-hour show and Conan will move to midnight. Or Leno will get his full hour back at 1130PM and Conan will leave the network. But if Leno moves back to 1130PM, what will NBC run at 10PM?

My suggestions:

a) Five nights of Dateline: To Catch A Predator. There are so many perverts out there, I would like to see every one of them humiliated and immortalized on this show.

b) Law & Order every night. NBC should've just turned Southland into Law & Order: Street Patrol. Add Law & Order: Celebrities Who Threaten To Kill You On Christmas Day and they're all set.

c) New shows that are not about doctors/lawyers/people with "talent."

No matter what NBC decides to do, one thing's for sure: Neither Jay nor Conan will have the audience they once had. And it'll take MONTHS--okay, let's be real, this is NBC--YEARS for NBC to recover its 10PM audience.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Download This, Matey.

According to TorrentFreak, Heroes was the most pirated show of 2009.


I didn't realize anyone still watched this show. I used to watch it, but gave up after season 1 because I missed an episode and realized I didn't care. Even though one of the villains, played by that guy from the recent Star Trek movie, is totally hot.

#2 on the list is Lost. That's another one I gave up on. I'm thinking even people who watched it on TV decided to download it so they could watch it 5 million times to try to catch all the clues. That's the thing I'll never understand about people who try to solve a show's mysteries. When I was little, I wanted to be a detective like the kids on Ghostwriter. Now, I just want the show to tell me what I need to know. I'm always wrong, anyway. That dude in the FlashForward video probably isn't even Lloyd Simcoe.

#3 is Prison Break. For me, a poster of Wentworth Miller will suffice.

I'm a big fan of the download. Unlike a DVR, a) it's free b) you don't have to deal with commercials and c) you don't get periodic warnings that you're at 99% capacity and you better delete some stuff or else your machine will explode. Also, if you're watching a show from overseas, you can catch the episode right away.

Advertisers complain that downloading is the equivalent of stealing. How about you just put your products right in the show. Lots of shows already do it--Chuck, 30 Rock, 24. I don't mind if Jack Bauer gets in his Ford and marvels at its wonderful features for two seconds before putting the pedal to the metal to mow down the bad guys. Everybody wins. Unless you're a fan of Heroes, in which case, those downloads may be all you have after this season.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Damages: Hallelujah For A New Find.

I just found the show to take me to January 10!*

Upon the recommendation of a friend, I watched the first two episodes of the FX show Damages. It's about a tough lawyer named Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) and her young associate, Ellen Parsons (played by Rose Byrne). The first season involves Ted Danson getting sued for pulling a Martha Stewart and Glenn Close leading the prosecution. All the while, there is a murder mystery: Who killed Ellen's fiance?

Damages didn't hit me right away. About halfway into the pilot, I said to my fiance, "I don't know about this show." I had a similar reaction to Vampire Diaries--a slow pilot with too much backstory crammed into the first half-hour (why should we care about the characters' backstory when we don't even care about the characters yet?). And like Vampire Diaries, Damages starts to build and build, and before you know it, you're hooked.

What I like most about the show is all the secrets. Everyone, with the exception of Ellen's soon-to-be-dead fiance, is shady in their own way. I thought the blond sister-in-law would be dull as dishwater, but she's turning out to be quite a little sneak. I thought the guy from The O.C. (played by Tate Donovan) was done for, but he's still around to do Glenn Close's bidding. And Glenn Close herself is one scary boss.

If I can nitpick, I will say Damages does something annoying that all shows do: Have characters end phone calls WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE. Listen up, Writers Guild of America. Most of us do not end a phone conversation with a meaningful statement followed by a wistful smile. Most of us do not agree on something and then simultaneously hang up. Instead, we have sometimes awkward goodbyes that go on for too long, such as the following exchange I often have with my own sister:

Me: All right. I'll talk to you--

Sister: Okay. Bye--

Me: Bye for now--

Sister: Talk to you--

Me: Bye.

Sister: Bye.

*Two words: Chuck. Premiere.