Tuesday, December 17, 2013

From Zap2It.com: "Veronica Mars" & "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" live again on cable channel Pivot

Um...these are probably my two favorite television shows EVER!!! What is this Pivot channel & how do I find out if I have it????

Read the whole article here. The most important info is in the second paragraph. I don't even know what the rest of the article is about. I don't care. Nothing else matters after finding out that I can watch VM & BtVS again on television...if I can find out what channel they're on!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From Zap2It.com: Stream classic Nickelodeon shows from the '90s on Nick Reboot

OMG, I am sooo excited about this! I think I am probably most excited to see Roundhouse, only because it was brought up in conversation just today by my brother and I now have the theme song stuck in my head. I kinda want to belt it out loud but do not want my fiance looking at me like I'm a weirdo. But yes, if you had a favorite 90s Nickelodeon show, definitely check this out. Or find Nick Reboot here.

Ah, screw it! "Whenever my life gets me so down, I know I can go down, to where the music and the fun never end, as long as the music keeps playing, you know what I'm saying, you know that I can find a friend-en-end, down at the Roundhouse!"

Monday, October 14, 2013

From Zap2It.com: Kindergartners sing 'Day Man' from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Not for nothing, but 'Day Man' is one of my favorite songs. I used to watch that episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia over and over again just to hear Dennis and Charlie's masterpiece. The only thing that makes this song better is having kids sing it. If you've never seen that ep of the show or even the show, god forbid, and you think these kids are totally adorbs, I highly recommend you check it out. The song is featured in season 3, episode 9: Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person. Meanwhile, I'm going to start teaching my daughter to sing this song right now, even though she can't even speak yet.

You can see the video and accompanying story on Zap2It.com here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How I Met Your Mother final season, redux

Last night was the premiere of the final season of How I Met Your Mother. Again. We thought we were here last year, people, then Jason Segel had to go and ruin it for everybody by agreeing to return for a ninth season. Not for nothing, I used to love this show, but let's hope this time it's for real. I cannot say enough how much this show wears on me. It has become so pedestrian. I started watching it last season just because I had invested so much time and wanted to see how it ended, but when I found out it WASN'T the end, I stopped watching. Now I'm here doing the same thing again. I'm feeling more than a sense of deja vu. And it's not easy. This used to be one of my favorite shows. This show used to be funny and heartwarming and touching, a show with real characters who were flawed but lovable and who obviously cared for each other, a show with heart and soul. But for the last 4 1/2 years, the writers and the actors have been phoning it in. These aren't the same characters I fell in love with. I used to feel like I was watching a story unfold; now I just feel like I'm watching a sitcom, and a not very good one at that. I used to laugh regularly. I still do. I catch repeats whenever I can because the first 4 1/2 seasons are still a part of my favorite show - it's just that that How I Met Your Mother is a different show. I didn't laugh at all last night. ::Sigh:: I will say this. Spoiler alert!! At the very end, when Future Ted is talking with Future Mother, I felt some emotion well up. Maybe it's because we finally get to see Ted and the Mother together. Maybe it's because there seemed to be genuine affection between them, and the sappy, romantic Ted being portrayed was the sappy, romantic Ted of old. Or maybe it's because if we're finally seeing Ted and the Mother together, it means this now trainwreck of a show is finally almost over...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Who Do You Think You Are?" renewed for second season on TLC

From The Hollywood Reporter by Michael O'Connell:

"The second wind for Who Do You Think You Are? will continue on TLC. The cable network announced Tuesday that it's picked up the unscripted series for another 10-episode season.
News of the reality show's renewal comes just a few months after TLC revived it after a three-season stint on NBC ended in cancelation. Who Do You Think You Are?, based on a British format, is executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky Is or Isn't Entertainment and Shed Media.
Exploring celebrity ancestry for a total of 35 episodes by the conclusion of its current run, the TLC season has featured episodes focused on Christina Applegate, Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Chris O’Donnell, and Trisha Yearwood. It concludes Tuesday with an episode following Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons.

The next season sees the episode order upped from eight to 10. This season has averaged 1.8 million viewers in first runs."

The article can be found here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thoughts on HBO's show Family Tree

I don't get HBO but my dad does, so whenever I've been going over there I've been checking out the Christopher Guest series Family Tree on HBO On Demand. If you haven't heard about it, it's a mockumentary format wry comedy about a man, played by Chris O'Dowd, who inherits a box of mementos from his late great-aunt and not knowing much about his family to begin with, finds a picture of someone he assumes is his great-grandfather. Investigating that mystery sets him off on finding out more and more about each of the crazy and colorful characters he learns about on his family tree.

I'm a genealogy buff - how could I not love it? But to be more specific:

  • Even if you're not a genealogy fan, if you are a Christopher Guest fan you should check this series out - it is classic Guest. It's a mockumentary in the vein of Guest films like Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman, with the usual wacky cast of characters and many of Guest's usual suspects, such as Bob Balaban and Fred Willard, popping up. It's funny in a wry, dry, deadpan sort of way.
  • Chris O'Dowd is great. You might know him as the police officer/love interest in the movie Bridesmaids, but I knew about him years before that from his role as an Irish IT nerd in the Britcom The IT Crowd. 
  • If you ARE into genealogy or if this show sparks even the slightest interest in genealogy for you, the specific genealogy bit that I love about this show is that yes, O'Dowd's character uses the Internet and yes, he takes a DNA test, but his genealogy journey is about photographs of unknown people and other family heirlooms and mementos that raise questions about who he is and where he came from. He goes to genealogy research centers but he also goes to cemeteries, he connects with cousins, he visits old homes of his relatives and talks to neighbors and old co-workers, anybody who might know the stories, anybody who might be a living resource. And I guess that's what I love the most about the genealogy aspect. He's not collecting ancestors. We all do that to an extent. I know I do. He wants to know the stories - he finds a picture of a great-grandfather he never knew but also wants to know what he did for a living and what others thought of him and funny stories about his days performing as the rearend of a two-person horse. And just as we all do, he's trying to connect himself to those stories - he's trying to find bits of himself and his personality and his journey in the ancestors he's discovering and learning about. And he finds cousins during his journey! I have found cousins, amazing cousins who are both great people and great resources - that's one of the best parts. Strangers won't care about your personal family tree finds. Friends and even some family members won't even care. But cousins, fellow researching cousins, will! There's really no point in finding the stories unless you also find people to share them with!
I haven't finished the season yet but I'm enjoying it so far. Have you watched Family Tree? What are your thoughts on the show? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Emmy Awards 2013: Nominations Announced

Emmy Awards 2013: Nominations Announced

Take note, network television and advertisers - you have some competition! Netflix's series "House of Cards" received multiple nominations, including best drama, and Fox's best comedy series of yesteryear, "Arrested Development," resurrected by Netflix this year, scored a best lead actor in a comedy nod for the always classy and hilarious Jason Bateman. So networks, particularly the big 4, take note - time to step up your game and stop serving us uninspired, pedestrian crap.

On a side note, I'm not thrilled with all the nominees, although as I've gotten older I've learned that most award shows are popularity contests and that innovative, fresh, worthwhile fare are often overlooked. Best in show isn't always. Who am I happy about? Bateman of course (Jason, call me! Ha ha...no, seriously!). Amy Poehler for lead comedic actress, Bill Hader for supporting comedic actor, all Mad Men nominations...I've only seen one episode of Veep but I enjoyed it, it's my brand of funny.

Who were you happy to see included? Upset to see excluded? The Emmys will air Sept. 22.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters this weekend June 7.

Much Ado About Nothing is a movie, but it was directed by television's Joss Whedon and stars many a folks from various Whedonverse television shows, including Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, and Alexis Denisof, so it's noteworthy for this blog - probably won't get to see this in the theater, but as I am a huge MAAN fan (loooved the Kenneth Branagh version and made my then 8 year old brother memorize the song from it - mean, or awesome? What other third grader can recite Shakespeare by heart?) AND an even bigger Whedon fan, I am very much looking forward to this movie. Love that many of Whedon's usual suspects are involved. Love that Nathan Fillion is one of them, and also that he will be playing Dogberry, a hilarious role - can not wait!

Read the New York Times review of the movie here.

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker star in Joss Whedon's adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, in theaters June 7.
Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker star in Joss Whedon's adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, in theaters June 7.

Thoughts on Netflix's fourth season of Arrested Development

Be forewarned: If you haven't watched the fourth season of Arrested Development, there are spoilers below.

Finally finished the series! Thanks to my 2 month old for making it take almost two weeks to watch 15 episodes, otherwise I would definitely have binge watched.

First, I'd just like to say how much I missed this show. The very first time I saw it, I hated it. After that, I was just totally in love. So even though the fourth season wasn't perfect, I was overall happy to have my show back!

Also, as someone who studied media and communications in college, I just want to say how interesting I think it is that web-based subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon are getting into the television production game. I've said before that original programming on cable networks like TBS, USA, FX, and AMC is giving the major networks a run for their money - because they are smaller networks, they don't have to pull in the big numbers that the major networks do, so quality programs with smaller fanbases not only get a chance to air, they don't get yanked after only two episodes. But also, because these networks don't necessarily have to cater as much to big advertisers, they can do edgier shows and also more niche programming - they don't have to do broad comedies and dramas that appeal to everybody (and therefore usually end up appealing to nobody). So those networks have changed the game a bit, and now that Netflix and Amazon (and Hulu? Does anyone know about this?) are entering the game, it's being changed again - because they're subscription based, they don't have any advertisers to appease. I've always said that television is not about entertainment - it's a vehicle for advertising. It's not about the shows. The shows are there to draw in potential consumers. It would be nice for programming to be about (quality) entertainment for once.

Okay, so kudos to Netflix for taking a chance on a somewhat popular and much beloved (with its small fanbase) but wildly unsuccessful Arrested Development. And kudos to the actors, many, especially Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, who have gone on to develop fairly successful movie careers, for returning to their roles in this cult hit. The fourth season only worked because of that and because of the return of showrunner Mitch Hurwitz.

Now my thoughts:
  • Mitch Hurwitz and his writers are just genius at the wordplay, the innuendo, the double entendres. Arrested Development always has been a cerebral comedy. I am STILL finding verbal and visual jokes when I rewatch old episodes that I missed on my first, second, seventh viewings. That was all there in the fourth season.
  • While still really funny, this fourth season was pretty dark. Things really just don't go the Bluths' way...but I guess that's really all their faults. Even Michael and George Michael, the "normal" Bluths, have their faults and get in their own way.
  • Realize that due to the actors' schedules, they had to focus on different characters in each episode, and didn't get to see everyone in every ep, but hated that a lot of time was devoted to newly introduced secondary characters like Debrie and Marky Bark and Rebel. I guess Marky and Rebel didn't bother me quite so much, but for some reason Debrie did. I don't know. It was just weird to see so much of these characters who weren't Bluths and had no history with the family. Oh, but I did like seeing John Slattery. I'm a huge Mad Men fan, so it was fun seeing him play a dingy hippie type. Plus, CUA alum shout out! :)
  • Also was both intrigued and annoyed by the disjointed-ness of the timeline. Liked how each subsequent episode showed the same events from a different character's perspective, but hated how it was hard to keep track of what things happened when...but maybe that was just me. I am extremely sleep deprived...
  • Liked the secondary characters they were able to include, if only briefly - Annyong, Lucille 2, Tony Wonder, Ann/Egg/Plant, Oscar, Kitty, Sally Sitwell...it was like visiting with old friends again!
  • Speaking of old friends...liked that Hurwitz knows these characters so well that they were still the same as when we last left them. Although, why was George Bluth so effeminate?
  • Portia de Rossi's face was very distracting.
  • I did not get the end. Ending with George Michael punching his dad in the face was very anticlimactic and kind of disappointing. I later read an article where Hurwitz explains that this was George Michael finally breaking away from the Bluths and breaking that cycle blah blah blah, and I guess that makes sense, and that actually would be a nice - and more importantly, hopeful - note to end the season/series on, but it wasn't an obvious note. At least not to me. But again, maybe that's just me. Sleep deprived and all...
  • Loved seeing Ron Howard on camera! And making fun of himself no less... 
  • We're still left with questions...what's going to happen with the movie? What happened to Lucille 2? What about FaceBlock? And the wall? But maybe this isn't  the end of the series...Hurwitz noted that he's open to resurrecting the series every few years if Netflix is interested, so maybe we'll get answers yet. Or maybe I'm the only one who still has questions.
So, overall, I heard the season was panned by critics. But what do critics know? This series was resurrected for the fans, not the people paid to analyze and pick apart...there were things I didn't like, things I didn't get, but overall, I enjoyed it, and with all the crap on television nowadays (and all the good programs in repeats!), it was nice to have new episodes of one of my old favorites back again!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

From Zap2It.com: 'Community' Season 5: Dan Harmon says he's returning

Best. News. Ever. Actually makes this television fan happy they decided to renew Community for next season - also makes me cautiously hopeful that the show we all fell in love with might be the show that returns to the air!

Welcome back, Dan Harmon - you were sorely missed!

Read about it here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

'Parks and Recreation': NBC renews veteran comedy for Season 6

If you know anything about me, you know I love love LOVE this show...more often than not this show is creatively better than most of whats on television right now. One of the finest sitcoms I've ever watched, and better than a lot of dramas out there, too - both funny and heartwarming, with well rounded characters living in a world that despite its quirkiness feels very real. I wish I could be friends with Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. Ron Swanson is a wry, dry revelation. Ron and Leslie have one of the best "bromances" ever on television. And if I could, I would totally move to Pawnee. Good on NBC for renewing this show!! Now make sure you watch it!!! Read the story at Zap2It.com here.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Community as we knew it...

If you've been watching Community this season, chances are, you know what I'm talking about when I say that the show we all knew and loved is no more.

Despite the ousting of creator Dan Harmon as show runner, I was excited about Community's return and optimistic that the actors and writers knew the quirky world of Greendale Community College and its cast of colorful characters well enough to bring back a show that had some semblance to the original.

Alas, the episodes that have aired just prove why I tend toward pessimistic realism.

Community was never your typical sitcom. That was part of its charm. Part of what it did so well was parody the pop culture around us, such as in a Quentin Tarantino inspired paintball episode. The writers this season attempted to parody the widely popular Hunger Game books and movie in an episode that pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with this season - instead of ACTUALLY parodying The Hunger Games, the show TOLD us it was going to do it, and then never actually got around to showing us anything having to do with The Hunger Games. One of the great rules of writing - and this applies to writing that people just read, so it most definitely applies to writing that will be turned into something people watch like, say, a television show - is SHOW DON'T TELL. Don't tell me why an event was exciting. Describe for me how there were fireworks and acrobats and a car chase. So in the case of Community, we have an episode which is trying to play on The Shawshank Redemption, with Annie, Troy, & Abed trying to escape from Shirley's terrible Thanksgiving celebration. We know it's terrible because the characters keep telling us it is. We don't actually get to see any of the terrible things that are happening. And then to top it off, we only know its a Shawshank tribute because Abed says it is, not because the characters actually DO anything to try to escape besides stand around in a garage and talk about escaping.

It's not just bad Community writing. It's bad writing, period.

The characters are all still there, but their voices are not the same. Its people trying to get inside the head of Dan Harmon, who is no longer there, and write what they think he would write...except its like these people have never even met Harmon. It's obvious that Harmon was the major voice and heart and soul of this show, and that Community as we knew it is over and gone for good. It would almost be better if these writers realized that and rebooted the show - keep the characters and general concept, but make them you're own. Shows reboot all the time for all sorts of reasons. If you can't imitate someone's voice, you make your own. Yes, it would be like watching a different show, but it would be so much better than what is happening now - these writers are so at a lost trying to recapture Harmon's voice that the show isn't even funny anymore. It's not heartfelt, it's not original, it's not even typical sitcom fare. Two and a Half Men is funnier than the Community airing now, and that's saying a lot. I keep watching out of habit and obviously ill-advised optimism that things might still turn around. But it's no longer must-see TV for me. Thank god for my Community DVDs...three seasons of brilliance is better than nothing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

’Veronica Mars’ fans donate more than $1 million to fund big-screen movie

’Veronica Mars’ fans donate more than $1 million to fund big-screen movie

Now, that's love! Shout out to devoted fans of quality television, as well as to the writers & actors who actually produce quality television storytelling... Here's hoping for the return of our favorite marshmallow & the rest of the Neptune gang! (Now, if we could only get a Party Down reunion, too!!)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

In honor of Valentine's Day: From 'New Girl' to 'I Love Lucy:' our favorite TV couples

In honor of Valentine's Day, Henry Hanks put together a slideshow of 20 of the best television couples over the years on CNN.com. It's pretty good - many of my favorite tv couples are on the list. Did yours make the cut? Who would you add or take off?

You can find the slideshow here.
It became clear this romance was doomed as soon as it turned out that a night of passion with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would turn vampire-with-a-soul Angel (David Boreanaz) back into his evil self, Angelus. Buffy ended up with another vamp; Spike and Angel ended up with a spinoff.Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz portrayed a show business couple on "I Love Lucy," while behind the scenes they invented the sitcom. The real-life couple controlled every aspect of their hit show, still one of the most beloved of all time. And it wouldn't have been a hit if these two didn't make people fall in love with Lucy (and Ricky) every week.

 Ted's quest to find a woman and Robin and Barney's long and winding quest for each other carried through the hit comedy "How I Met Your Mother," but Alyson Hannigan's Lily and Jason Segel's Marshall have been the glue that held it all together (with the exception of their brief breakup early on).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From Zap2It.com: 'Psych' Slumber Party: Gear up for Season 7 with cast skits, prize giveaways and more

What better way to gear up to welcome back my long-lost, long awaited show than with a "slumber party" of fan-favorite episodes this Friday night? Cable puts out way better shows than the major networks for the most part nowadays but the bad thing about cable is it takes FOREVER for our favorite shows to return!! Ordinarily, this tv fangirl would be out partying on a Friday night. But now that I'm a pregnant tv fangirl, I may have to make plans to be in slumber partying on Friday night! Or maybe I'll just DVR the marathon (which starts at midnight) and spend a day in on Saturday! Either way - woo hoo! Ain't nothin' better - as Gus would say, "You know that's right!"

Read the whole story here. Besides the fan fave episodes that will air, there will be sneak peeks, prizes, and skits with the cast - bring it on!

Join the slumber party this Friday, Feb. 15 at midnight on USA.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Ready for some football? Start with 5 great onscreen moments

In honor of the Super Bowl this weekend:

Ready for some football? Start with 5 great onscreen moments

Author Courtney Hazlett picked some great moments from both television and the movies - my dad and sister always loved Al Pacino's inspirational speech from Any Given Sunday, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Coach Taylor's "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," from Friday Night Lights - in fact, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I guess the only thing I'm surprised by is the lack of Rudy on this list. Isn't that the iconic inspirational football movie? Even the music has become the go-to music for any kind of inspirational sports montage/moment in television, previews, commercials, etc. Otherwise, good job - and good suggestions for anyone who wants to watch something to get in the mood for this weekend's game...just might have to dig out my FNL DVDs!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

’30 Rock’s’ 30 best guest stars

’30 Rock’s’ 30 best guest stars

My favorites out of this list have to be Dean Winters, Will Arnett of course, because he's one of the funniest guys out there, but also two guys you'd never peg as having great comedic chops but totally rocked it (no pun intended) on 30 Rock - Jon Hamm and Matt Damon. I didn't always love this show or think it was the funniest show on television, but it had terrific guest stars and really utilized them well!

From Zap2It.com: 'Psych' Season 7 premiere: Satchel Gizmo, Soupcan Flynn and 5 more things to look forward to

Oh, I had forgotten where the story left off!!! That's how long it has been! I cannot wait...show, don't ever abandon me again! I'll even put up with the Shawn-Juliet romance - bleh - as long as I can have my Shawn-Gus bromance back!!!

Read the whole story here.

Psych returns Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. EST on USA.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mad Men sixth season premieres April 7 with 2-hour episode

Matthew Weiner, show creator, is notoriously tight-lipped about Mad Men and is scarily good at controlling spoiler leakage, so that's pretty much all we know about the season premiere - but knowing a return date is better than not knowing anything at all! And Weiner must be a mindreader, because I had just been wondering about this last night, whether or not we would have to wait as long as we did for the fifth season to premiere (there was almost a year and a half gap between the fourth season finale in October 2010 and the fifth season premiere in March 2012) - April will be 10 months since the fifth season finale...woo hoo to a less than one year wait, but no wonder I'm going through Mad Men withdrawal. I mean, surisly! (Though I'll admit, it's probably the show's not conforming to the 22 episode, every fall through spring standard US network scheduling that allows it to maintain its creative storytelling superiority...something I'll have to keep reminding myself for the next few months).

Of course, with Baby Girl due to arrive April 3, she is now under strict orders to arrive before, or after, but not ON April 7! A happy mama is a Mad Men-premiere watching mama! :)

For more (but not much more - damn you, Weiner! - on the story), visit The Clicker here.

Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in Mad Men.
Photo credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From Zap2It.com: 'New Girl': Schmidt and Robby, a match made in CeCe-loving, d-bag heaven

New Girl has become hit or miss for me this season, and Schmidt became such a popular character in the first season that this season it's sometimes felt like the writers have been cramming him down our throats, turning his adorable douchery into just, well, douchery.

But this? Yes. The rest of last night's episode was blah for me, but the Schmidt and Robby bromance? That I can totally get behind. That one storyline reminded me why I fell in love with Schmidt in the first place (besides my ever-loyal love for Max Greenfield as Leo on Veronica Mars). More of this please!

For the whole story, visit Zap2It.com here.

Speaking of television, did you catch the Golden Globes? Are you like me, an active hater of the self-aggrandizing of these awards, or are you a fan? What did you think of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey as hosts? My girl crush love for those two knows no bounds - I could watch them read the telephone book, I think, if telephone books still existed.