January 2011 Archives
When you hear that The Onion is getting its own television news show, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, "reliable news source," of course. In the tier of fake news reporting somewhere between Fox News and The Daily Show/Colbert Report comes The Onion News Network on IFC. Basically, ONN (not to be mistaken with OWN, which is an easy thing to do) take all of their very believable headlines from TheOnion.com and have clueless, yet confident news reporters describe them to you. This "news without mercy" includes such crucial issues as tangled headphones costing Americans millions every year and the new matching varsity jackets that the Supreme Court judges just bought. Can you even handle these riveting topics? Because "you've just been cleared to enter the FactZone."
Portland, Oregon is unlike any other place you might want as the basis of a TV show. Actually, it's probably the last place you might think of for the basis of a TV show. It's a place where "young people go to retire," you can still go to clown school and be considered cool, people choose to ride bikes/unicycles/skateboards over cars, and "you can put a bird on something and just call it art." Essentially, Portland encompasses the dream of the 90's, for better or worse. And IFC's hysterical new series Portlandia flaunts all of that like a proudly worn plaid shirt you got from a thrift store. Just don't mistake them for their evil counterpart, Seattle.
Look who's back maybe!
As a big fan of Sarah Shahi on Life, I was actually kind of looking forward to seeing her on a new show. Not necessarily a legal show, since I kind of hate legal shows, and not necessarily a USA show, since they tend to be a little... lightweight? Even Burn Notice is fairly consequence-free and light on drama, despite weekly explosions and gunfights. But since Life was a lot of fun, too, I was willing to give it a shot. I don't know if I'm going to ever watch it again, but the first episode was certainly... fun.
It's hard to believe that when this sitcom debuted, I almost wrote it off. I watched the first season mostly out of loyalty to Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari, but man, am I glad that I stuck with it. This show has gone from must-watch-because-I-feel-obligated-and-am-too-lazy-to-change-the-channel-before-The-Office-starts to something I genuinely get excited about each week.
This new NBC comedy debuted oddly about a month ago, without any fanfare, on a random night, and without the pilot episode. So I decided to give it a proper chance on its real debut night with the premiere episode as it was intended. Frankly, I didn't really need to bother.
Plenty of reality shows have done all-star editions (with The Amazing Race about to embark on its second one), giving players a second (or third) chance to make a first impression and/or win some money. In most cases, all-star editions are a fun way to pit the best (or at least the most entertaining) competitors against each other to see who really does reign supreme. Since Top Chef All Stars this season has given us a bunch of surprises about who can and can't take the heat, we'd like these other reality shows to follow suit and bring back some familiar faces for the first time.
We're almost at Friday. Here's some news to keep you busy 'til then...
Last night saw the premiere of the new show Retired at 35 and the return of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland on TV Land. And I use the terms "new" and "sitcom" loosely. With great casts involved in both of them, you'd think they'd find better material for them to work with, but that's not the case at all. Apparently the budget went to hiring actors and there was nothing leftover for the writing staff, so they just found some interns to go through episodes of other comedies and cobble some stuff together that they thought people might say. Unsurprisingly, this did not yield excellent results.
I'm not going to lie, I was honestly dreading this season of American Idol. Maybe it's because the last few times that new judges had been brought on (Kara, Ellen), it was such a disaster. But it turned out that I didn't completely hate Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez last night, even though I really, really wanted to. Sure, Steven can barely string a coherent sentence together without screeching (but neither could Paula Abdul) and J.Lo lacks the ability to say no to people (but then again, neither could Paula when she started), but there was something oddly fascinating about the chemistry they have together (and given that I've seen nearly all of J.Lo's movies and have witnessed her lack of chemistry with pretty much everyone, this was a complete shocker). I simply couldn't take my eyes off of this mess. Admittedly, this is not the Idol it once was, but frankly, it hasn't been that show for years. Maybe a shakeup was the best thing that could have happened to it since the franchise is clearly on its last legs.
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