It's been a number of years before we had anything remotely kind to say about American Idol, and when we got a full screener of this season's premiere, we definitely rolled our eyes. It seemed like a sign of desperation because the show usually just sends critics teasers for each season, not full episodes. So out of sheer curiosity (and boredom during that off week during the holidays), we decided to check it out. And, well, it was surprisingly decent. We'd go so far as to even say watchable, almost to the point of enjoyable. And if the premiere is any indication of the direction the show is taking this year, maybe we'll grouch less about having to sit through yet another competitive reality singing show. This is not to say that it's blow-your-mind DVR-worthy but it is definitely leaps and bounds above the last few Simon-less seasons. So why the dramatic improvement? Here's our take on the big changes:
It's almost too ironic that Fox's new comedy Enlisted (you know, the one you've seen roughly 79,282,084 commercials for) is about being outstanding in your field and getting stuck in a position that's beneath you. Because that's exactly what Fox has done to this very funny and heartwarming series by sticking it in the dead zone time slot that is 9:30 PM on a Friday. (It's also ironic that the title Enlisted looks a whole lot like the title Enlightened, another show that never got a fair shake.)
Having been exiled from the zombie-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland that he created for the small screen, Frank Darabont returns to his mid-20th century America stomping grounds (the location of his first three features, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Majestic) for his latest foray into television, Mob City.
A small-screen staple since the late '80s, the improv comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? returned in its latest incarnation on The CW last night, with a few familiar faces (Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles, who were regulars on the long-running ABC version) and a couple new ones (host Aisha Tyler and guest player Gary Anthony Williams, whose seat will be occupied by a rotating crew of comics -- among them Heather Anne Campbell, who appeared in the second episode that aired right after the premiere, and Keegan-Michael Key -- in the weeks ahead). But the format hasn't changed at all; it's still a half-hour of intro-level improv games where, as Tyler constantly reminds us, everything is made up and the points don't matter.
While the kick-off to our 2013 Tubey Awards is still a few weeks away, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), whose membership includes two TWoP editors, will reveal the winners of its 3rd Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards tonight (June 10) at 11 PM EST/8 PM PST in a ceremony that will be webcast live on UStream. (Reelz Channel will air a special about the awards starting at 1 AM ET/10 PM PT on June 16.) Retta from Parks & Recreation will serve as host, and scheduled presenters include Hugh Dancy, Cat Deeley, Johnny Galecki, Seth Green, Allison Janney, Tatiana Maslany, Elisabeth Moss, Adam Pally, Sarah Paulson, Aubrey Plaza, Kevin Rahm, Emmy Rossum, Jimmy Smits, Eric Stonestreet and more. Comedy legend Bob Newhart will also be honored as the recipient of the Icon Award. Check out all of the nominees below before you tune in.
In the immortal words of T.S. Eliot, "Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over." Or maybe, "This is the way
the world Community ends: Not with a bang but a whimper" would be more apropos. Whichever Eliot line you chose to go with, Community's fourth season (and, potentially, series) finale "Advanced Introduction to Finality" was a definite off-note on which to end a season that was already often out of tune.
Last night, Nickelodeon premiered its new version of the hit kids' game show Figure It Out. While the Victorious-era Nick fans may have been thrilled, '90s kids who grew up watching the original Summer Sanders-hosted show have reason to be skeptical. After tuning in to the reboot, it seems to me that the magic that was Figure It Out has been lost for the new iteration.
Shortly after this new show was announced last spring during May upfronts, we were able to see the pilot in advance and it cracked us up. It was one of our favorite sitcoms of the 2011-12 lineup and we've been impatiently waiting for it to air ever since. And now, almost a whole year later, it's finally on ABC and, thankfully, it's still as funny to us as when we first saw it -- mostly because of the power of the Beek. Playing an over-the-top version of himself, James Van Der Beek elevates this show from being the next New Girl or a 2 Broke Girls clone to give it a place in the comedy ranks that's uniquely its own.
Well, this is the most Lifetime show we've ever seen on Lifetime, and a perfect fit with the utterly ridiculous Drop Dead Diva. That's not saying that The Client List is good by any stretch of the imagination, but it is very in keeping with the network's formula of women in tough situations trying to make the best of things. It would actually be somewhat of an empowering message if you take away the fact that the star is parading around in lingerie and prostituting herself for quick cash. And if you could focus on anything at all besides Jennifer Love Hewitt's half-naked body and the scantily clad men she spent the premiere episode oiling up.
I was about six years old when I was introduced to Buffy and Hildegard on Bosom Buddies and thought that the show was wildly funny. So it should really be no surprise that during the series premiere of Work It last night (same basic premise), my six-year-old daughter thought that the five minutes I let her watch were very entertaining. But, given the not-at-all-coyly-disguised sexual comments and tampon jokes during those few minutes, I turned it off. She'll thank me later. Because while old Bosom Buddies reruns today are still entertaining, even for an adult audience (thanks largely to the comic timing of a young Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari), this new show cannot possibly stand the test of time.
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