Veep has Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Armando Iannucci. House of Cards has Kevin Spacey and David Fincher (at least for the first two episodes). How can Alpha House, the new political comedy that's launching on Amazon on Friday (the first three episodes will be made available then, followed by a new installment every week), hope to compete with those dynamic duos? Easy -- by partnering the always-reliable John Goodman up with Doonesbury mastermind Garry Trudeau. Based on the pilot episode at least, it's a combination that holds a lot of promise… even if it's not fully realized yet.
The future of television may have arrived today in the form of Netflix's heavily hyped original series House of Cards, a 13-episode political thriller set inside the halls of power in the nation's capital. It's not just the prestigious names (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are in front of the camera, while directors like David Fincher, Carl Franklin, James Foley and... um, Joel Schumacher are behind it) that are associated with this remake of a popular British series that makes it such a notable production -- it's also the way Netflix is choosing to put it out into the world. Instead of going network-style with one episode per week, the streaming service is releasing all 13 hour-long installments of Season 1 in bulk, allowing viewers to decide if they want to consume the whole thing in one day, one week or one month. It's the ultimate test of the relatively new practice of "binge-watching" television, an experiment Netflix will try again in April when it unveils an entire new season of Arrested Development in one fell swoop. Will it work? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we watched the first episode of House of Cards and here are five reasons why you'll probably want to binge-watch this series.
Considering the strength of its cast, there's no excuse for how terrible NBC's 1600 Penn pilot is. I get that Jenna Elfman can be absolutely grating to some, but even then, there's Bill Pullman, Book of Mormon's Josh Gad, Martha MacIsaac (playing essentially the same role she had in Superbad, which I'll get back to in a second) and The Descendants' Amara Miller. The series was also created by Gad as well as President Obama's former speechwriter Jon Lovett, and is directed by Modern Family's Jason Winer, making it all the more confusing that the first episode was just so stinking bad.
Bravo has recently aired two cases of cast members quite obviously cheating on their partners, and we're trying to figure out which incident was more disturbing:
Can we give the judge who said that The Glass House wasn't a Big Brother rip-off a pair of glasses and force him to watch episodes of both shows? Because while there are a few noticeable differences, ABC's reality series definitely looks a lot like BB to us, right down to the terrible interior decorating. But since we're not in the legal business and have nothing to gain from that copyright infringement lawsuit (aside from maybe one less show to watch this summer), we're more interested in how the new program is better or worse than its predecessor.
While Housewives come and go on these shows, this season of Real Housewives of New York City has experienced a major cast upheaval. Out are Jill, Alex, Kelly and Cindy, with only Ramona, LuAnn and Sonja surviving the reaping. To provide some new blood (not to mention more drama), the show welcomed aboard Aviva, Carole and Heather. But can these ladies really fill the shoes of the likes of Jill and Kelly? Well, no one brought out any jelly beans and started spouting off about "satchels of gold" in the season premiere, and there was no screeching of "Bobby" in the most annoying whine ever, so we're skeptical. Here's how the new gals did in their debut effort:
What can I say about Desperate Housewives? Once a clever, black humor soap opera about life as a woman in the suburbs, Marc Cherry's series eventually became a Sunday-evening afterthought that only the most devoted of fans watched and even then, it was mostly to see it end. In Season 1, it averaged 23.69 million viewers -- in Season 8, it never quite reached the 10 million mark. Now, Desperate Housewives has left us... and against all odds, takes a tiny bit of each fan down with it.
Fox recently announced that after eight long seasons, House will be coming to an end this May. We're thrilled, though probably not as thrilled as Hugh Laurie, but very happy none the less. While it is far too late for the show to go out on a high note, it can at least go out in an interesting, or at least totally ridiculous and entertaining, way. Here are our suggestions, largely inspired from other, better programs.
The latest season of The Real Housewives of Orange County kicked off last night, and after the tumultuous battle of the blondes during the reunion last year, we had high hopes for fireworks in this premiere. And we thought that the new brunette cast member would really shake things up. Well, color us let down so far.
Welcome to the "Let's bash on Brandi" segment of this reunion -- but at least in her case, she bites back. Thank God for her, or else we would have fallen asleep during the episode.
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