Whatever happened to that basic cable equivalent of Old Faithful known as the Lifetime Original Movie? Once upon a time, the network was a reliable source for campy, crazy and compulsive watchable television movies with melodramatic titles like My Baby is Missing, Mom at Sixteen and While the Children Sleep. Boasting C-list stars, shamelessly manipulative storytelling and subject matter that ranged from murder and sex to kidnapping and body issues (and sometimes all of the above), these telefilms provided countless hours of entertainment to housewives (and househusbands), bored college students and snarky entertainment journalists looking for something to make fun of...while secretly enjoying.
If you have trouble making it through an episode of the unrealistic (yet, in my opinion, charming) banter on Happy Endings, I'd be shocked if you were able to tolerate a few minutes of ABC's new How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life). Every character, joke and line of dialogue screams of trying too hard, and the interactive notes on-screen feel like a bad TV trend that we'll look back on in a few years and make fun of ourselves for. All of this is especially a shame, given that the show does have potential.
If you ever thought that being on a reality show (especially winning a reality show) was a quick way to get famous and ensure future success, just watch Life After Top Chef and consider that myth thoroughly busted. The new series, which premiered last night, is like an unscripted version of The L.A. Complex, minus the entertainment value. The show follows former Top Chef contestants Fabio Viviani, Richard Blais, Spike Mendelsohn and Jen Carroll as they try to parlay their 15 minutes of fame into restaurants and other businesses to varying degrees of success. But after one hour, I already feel caught up enough on their lives and annoying personalities that I don't need to follow them for a full season.
Based on your feelings towards the original The Office, Extras and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's dark British humor in general, you can pretty much precisely predict how you're going to feel about Warwick Davis-starring Life's Too Short on HBO. After watching the first three episodes, I'd also factor in your thoughts on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Gervais' Golden Globe shtick and how much you really liked Willow. Proceed from there.
Here's one more reason to miss ABC's One Life to Live, which airs its last episode today after a nearly 44-year run: they pay attention to TWoP's reviews! On yesterday's penultimate installment, the OLTL writers gave a shout-out to a certain website known as "Movies Without Sympathy," which lambasted David Vickers Buchanan's (played by Tuc Watkins) latest acting effort, entitled The Boy with the Chipmunk Tattoo.
Charlotte Rae, Mrs. Edna Garrett herself, made a surprise cameo last week on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. After all, don't Eastland's goody two shows and Rosewood's little vixens have a lot of common? Sure, they come from different economic backgrounds, but both groups of girls know what it's like to feel that the world never seems to be living up to your dreams. And despite their scheming, the Liars do have good intentions while Edna's gang have juicy little secrets of their own. In fact, the closer we looked, the more we realized how similar the characters were.
Oh, this show. It started out with such promise and just devolved into this terrible mess of a predictable soapy series that was finally put out of its misery last night. Because of the abbreviated season and the rushed finale, a lot of convoluted storylines that were previously being dragged out got wrapped up rather quickly for the sole purpose of giving every character a cloyingly sweet happy ending by the close. This was not the Life Unexpected I signed up for when I watched the charming and heartbreaking pilot a year and a half ago.
It was reported the other day that The CW was only going to give Life Unexpected 13 episodes for its sophomore season, which makes the chances for a third season fairly slim. As viewers of this guilty pleasure, we just hope that the show will answer several burning questions for us while they still have time. No, not whether Cate and Baze end up together (we don't care), but the really important stuff.
This season, Life fans were given a treat in the form of Donal Logue, the veteran actor (Blade, Grounded for Life) who came in to play the role of New York transplant Captain Tidwell, the new boss of Detectives Crews and Reese. We got a chance to join in on a conference call to interview Logue and Damian Lewis (Crews) about some interesting developments for the show, including Rachel's imminent departure, Crews' daddy issues and why six seasons sounds about right.
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