Friday, October 14, 2011

This week in television...

Just some notes on some of the shows I watched (and didn't watch) this week:

  • Pysch is back! Love, love, love this show - oh show, I how I missed you! Still hating the the Shawn-Juliet hook-up. They might be dating in real life, but I don't see any chemistry between the characters and there was never an organic reason to put them together. That being said, if they can keep that storyline to a minimum, and focus instead on the much superior, sparks-flying pairings of Juliet-Lassiter's partnership and Shawn-Gus's bromance, then I'll still be a happy camper. Plus, it was about time someone questioned whether or not Shawn is really psychic. And of course Henry taught him how to beat a polygraph!
  • Monday night's episode of Castle was much darker than usual but still oh so compelling - I don't think I've ever seen an episode with so few quips and wise-cracks from Castle, but mad props to Seamus Dever as Detective Ryan for stepping into a more prominent role in this episode and totally knocking it out of the park.
  • What else, what else...this isn't actually from this week, but I watched it this week, the wedding episode of New Girl. I kinda hated the second episode. But the final scene of this third episode, with the four roommates doing the chicken-dance to "Groovy Kind of Love" actually made me tear up (that's a sentence I never thought I'd say) and may have been the moment I officially fell in love with this show.
  • Have I mentioned Suburgatory yet? While I HATE that Jeremy Sisto is playing the father to a high schooler because it just makes me feel sooo old (he'll always be Elton from Clueless to me!), I love him, Jane Levy is adorable and fantastic as Tessa and needs to be cast in something with Emma Stone where they play adorable, sardonic sisters, like, NOW, and it's actually funny.
  • Maya Rudolph is starting to grate on Up All Night but loving Christina Applegate and Will Arnett more and more each week. And that baby who plays Amy, I just want to eat her up she's so cute.
  • So many shows to watch last night, the Best Night of Television Each Week...special shout out to Parks and Recreation. This show makes me want to move to Pawnee, Indiana. Loved every storyline, love that this show has characters who actually like what they do and the people they work with, and love love love Ron and Leslie. I am totally a Ron and Leslie shipper, not in the romantic sense, but in the sense that they have the most chemistry and the most believable and hilarious platonic relationship I've ever seen on television. Kudos to Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman for making their mutual respect and yes, even friendship, one of the things I look forward to watching the most every week.
  • TVD rocked hard as usual. Booo to no Alaric, but props to tying characters together in overlapping storylines much better than they did last year - not sure yet how I feel about Tyler becoming a vampire-werewolf hybrid, but loving the reversal in Stefan and Damon's roles, and thank you, TV gods, for not killing Matt (at least not permanently). This show has taken books that I loved and thought were awesome and just developed that story into such a much more rich, complex, satisfying one steeped in history and mythology - the writers on this show have done an amazing job making a good thing even better.
  • The Secret Circle, however...I haven't been watching because there's no room on my DVR, so I was planning to catch up at some point in the future, and have been following the story in summaries and reviews online. After reading what happened to Nick in last night's episode, I will not be watching this show after all. Nick Armstrong was not only my favorite character in The Secret Circle books, a quiet but decent and loyal (and hot!) guy, but he was an extremely important part of the Cassie-Adam-Diana storyline. You can change a tv show's storyline from that of the book - sometimes you have to, sometimes it just works better - but this was a serious misstep that just changes the story too much in too fundamental a way. See TVD for how to do it right - details and storylines have been changed, but the essence of what the storyline has always been is still the same. Sorry, TSC. I'm going to stick with my paperback copies of the books instead.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"The League" takes a long, hard, serious look at fantasy football

Yeah right.

If you've ever dated or been married to a guy who participates in a fantasy football league, you should watch this show.

If YOU'VE ever want to or have actually participated in a fantasy football league, you should watch this show.

If you have ever met a man and been driven nuts by a man and wish there was something on television that reflected their misplaced passion and focus, their obsessions, their childish behavior and pranks, their some-time stupidity, and their complete arrested development and extended adolescence, you should watch this show.

If you think all that stuff I just listed is only somewhat annoying and actually a little funny, you should watch this show.

If you like a down-and-dirty, raunchy, frat boy tale that is legitimately hilarious, you NEED to watch this show! Like, now! :)
The third season of "The League" premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. on FX.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And the annual chopping block has commenced...

Less than a month into the new television season and we already have our first victim - announced today that after only three episodes, NBC's "The Playboy Club" has been cancelled. I never saw an episode so I can't say from experience, but I had no interest in watching that show. It, like "Pan Am," were obviously jumping onto the "Mad Men" bandwagon and trying to recreate the magic of that amazing show, but I would guess both will fail - first, because you don't have as much freedom with storylines on the major networks as you do on the cable networks; second, because there is an air of authenticity that surrounds the stories and characters of "Mad Men" that is missing in "Pan Am" at least (like I said, never saw "The Playboy Club") and third, because nothing that ever tries to mimic the magic of having the write actors, writers, network, producers, et al at the right time (and this goes for books and movies as well) always fails. The point is, I'm not surprised by "Playboy Club"'s demise, and even though I watch "Pan Am," it's really just too idealistic and has potential but just doesn't deliver.

At least in this case, it seems NBC has axed a show that deserves it - sometimes, in the interest of ratings and money over allowing an excellent, quality show that gets off to a slow start the room and time to grow and build an audience, you lose a Great Show that Coulda Been - see Firefly or Wonderfalls, just to name two off the top of my head. So let's hope that the next few weeks, which will surely see more shows fall, sees the right shows fall.