September 2011 Archives
Saturday Night Live returned for Season 37 this past weekend, kicking off with an Alec Baldwin-hosted episode (this was Baldwin's sixteenth time as host, which makes him the record holder... at least until his "nemesis" Steve Martin returns to Studio 8H for his sixteenth stint) and Radiohead as the featured musical artist. Which sketches had us laughing hardest? Read on.
ABC's new '60s-era airline drama Pan Am takes its maiden flight on Sunday night, fueled by strong word of mouth (it made our list of must-see fall shows) and a cast that includes Kelli Garner, Mike Vogel and Christina Ricci, star of such films as The Opposite of Sex, Sleepy Hollow and, perhaps most memorably, both of the Addams Family movies, where she played the quintessential Goth daughter, Wednesday. In advance of the show's premiere, Ricci and the Pan Am creator Jack Orman spoke with the press about the show's direction, the mod fashions and a very special Beatles episode.
Fall season is underway, and maybe it's just us, but we're already sick of seeing ads for these shows and talking about these pilots. Especially since almost all of the pilots we did see that really knocked our socks off aren't airing until midseason. We are not patient people, so we're looking ahead at the winter to the shows that have piqued our interest. Some we haven't seen, but on paper they've got a lot of potential and could be the cure for our forthcoming winter doldrums.
The new boss is in town, but he isn't off to a good start.
Our TV viewing was mainly devoted to all of the scripted premieres this week, but these reality TV folks acted like big enough idiots to draw our attention away from shows that might actually have some real value.
Several comedies decided to double up this week, airing not extended hour-long episodes, but two separate episodes back to back... perhaps with the theory that since we'd been waiting all summer, we'd really want more. But in all three cases, this really didn't work: How I Met Your Mother's first episode was great, while its second one was a dud, and vice versa for Modern Family. Last night, The Big Bang Theory's second episode wasn't terrible, per se, but it just wasn't the laugh-a-minute episode that the first one was. In fact, if it had aired separately next week, we probably would have chalked it up as a fine, adequate episode with a few laughs -- instead it suffered by comparison. Here were the highlights of both episodes (thank god for Amy Farrah Fowler).
Whitney is hands down the most dreadful new show of the fall. There's really not even a question about that at all. We considered compiling a list of the worst moments from the pilot, but that would've been only one line long -- "every single excruciating second" -- and would've felt like a cop-out. So we sat through the first episode again (we're totally scarred for life now, thanks for asking) to pinpoint the show's exact problems.
ABC's new Charlie's Angels isn't the worst remake that we've ever seen (we're still leaning towards Knight Rider for that dishonor), it's not exactly what you'd call Emmy-bait (though it isn't trying to be), it doesn't have the most attractive cast on TV (Vampire Diaries probably wins that one) and it definitely doesn't have the most kick-ass girl action scenes (we tip our hat to Nikita ), but with all that said, it's not the worst show to premiere this fall. It isn't even that bad when all is said and done. It's just that it falls in the unfortunate position of being average -- not great, not appallingly awful, just there. And unless it garners some Big Bang Theory-style ratings, it probably won't be there for long.
Hooray, Parks & Rec is back! Obviously, we're happy to see what's happening in Pawnee, but it felt like some of our favorites were relying on too-familiar jokes while others were really bringing their A-game in the season premiere. Unfortunately, this show is still too close to the bubble to ever have an off week, so we're going to have to stay on top of these people if there's ever going to be a Season 5. Let's see who carried their weight in this week's episode:
In our pre-Season 3 interview with Dan Harmon, Community's creator wasn't shy about admitting that this is the show's make-or-break year. If it holds its own or, better still, grabs more eyeballs, it'll likely stay on at least as long as it takes Jeff, Annie and the rest of Greendale's most self-centered study group to graduate. If those ratings keep slipping, though, we may never get to see them accept their diplomas. The musical number that opened last night's season premiere openly addressed Harmon's desire to reach a bigger audience, with such pointed lyrics as "We're going to seem like a mainstream dream" and "We're going to have more fun and be less weird/Than the first two years combined." So how exactly is Greendale different this season? Here are some of the biggest developments we spotted in the premiere and whether we think they'll have an impact on the ratings:
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