Fans of Parks and Recreation have been looking forward to the "Wedding of the Millennium" ever since the moment that Ben Wyatt first locked eyes with Leslie Knope. Amy Poehler and Adam Scott's on-screen chemistry is undeniable, so when they and Mike Schur (Parks & Rec's creator, writer, producer and director) took a media call on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming nuptials, it should come as no surprise that the trio's rapport was just as charming. Below are the highlights.
Sitcoms are usually the first to get cut when the networks decide to start offing unsuccessful new shows, and I expect Fox to get rid of Ben and Kate sometime in the next few weeks. From the basic plot to the acting to the editing, this whole series is a mess. Maybe if it had been a 90-minute movie, Ben and Kate could have been tolerable -- but anyone who thinks this is going to last more than a few episodes is going to be sorely disappointed. Here's why:
Snuck onto the NBC schedule just as the 2011-2012 TV season enters its final months, the new romantic comedy Bent, which premiered last night with back-to-back episodes, is at once both utterly generic and kind of pleasant. The premise is Rom-Com 101: a cocky, handsome n'er-do-well contractor, Pete (David Walton), is hired to renovate the home of an uptight, beautiful divorcee, Alex (Amanda Peet). What happens next -- the erotically-charged bickering, the lingering glances, the gradual thawing of icy tensions -- is so familiar, even Alex and Pete seem to realize that they're being set up for their professional relationship to take a turn for the personal. At least the predictability of watching this routine scenario play out is somewhat offset by the general likability of the supporting cast -- which includes such experienced comic ringers as Jeffrey Tambor and JB Smoove -- and, to a lesser extent, the stars themselves. Individually, Peet and Walton are only okay, but together they make an appealing comic (if not necessarily romantic) duo. Given the strength of the casting -- and the fact that Season 1 only consists of six episodes -- we'll likely stick with Bent for the duration. Still, we'd like the show more if it would make one or more of the following five improvements:
VH1 has wisely decided to give Celebrity Rehab and Sober House an indefinite break. While the network claims that the shows could return at some point, it's about time that VH1 gave the Dr. Drew-led shows a rest. Maybe in a few years we'll be nostalgic for them (no we won't) and they can bring them back Fear Factor-style. Here are some other unscripted programs that could take a break for a season or two (or longer!) and then maybe come back when they've got something fresh to offer fans.
As a fan of Futurama, I was excited to hear the series was coming back as several feature films, but the first one caught me off-guard. After all, it was the Futurama I knew and loved, but it was, like, an hour and a half long. It wasn't three episodes mashed together, either. It was one looooong episode. The trick for me was learning to get used to the pacing, which I eventually did, and now I think it's great. This week, the third movie, Bender's Game, hit stores, and it's even trickier to wrap my head around, because there's a pretty lengthy Lord of the Rings parody in it, which is longer than an actual episode all by itself. Still, that chewy Futurama goodness is still there, and the title is a pretty awesome pun. And the extras... oh, you could plotz over these extras. And also Zoidberg was there, even!
Despite what the title suggests, Rake the new Greg Kinnear show on Fox, is not about a rake or even a series of ill-placed rakes.. Heck, the name of Kinnear's character -- a lawyer with a bad boy attitude -- isn't even something like Rake Rexington, which is really too bad because then I'd be more inclined to watch this show. (His character's name is actually Keegan Deane… BORING.) Instead, the title here presumably refers to the "rakehell" characterization in literature ("An immoral or dissolute person"? Check!), as well as the term "rake" in poker (you see, the guy also gambles in this show). Sorry to bum you out, leaf-raking enthusiast, it looks like you'll have to wait a little bit longer. But don't feel bad about being duped by the vague title, because over the past few years that's become something of a trend on television. We've picked a few shows (including some upcoming new ones designed to trick us) with vague, deceptive titles, what they really meant, and what we actually want them to mean.
If you're a fan of The Sound of Music (the film and/or the stage production) you no doubt went into last night's live recreation on NBC starring Carrie Underwood (huh?) and Stephen Moyer (huh??) with apprehension. And while it didn't quite hit train wreck proportions most of us expected, it certainly didn't do the original justice, instead making viewers desperately yearn for Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. At least, that seemed to be the consensus on Twitter, where just about everyone watched and hilariously snarked together.
If you had been one of the people eagerly awaiting Bruce Willis' return to Saturday Night Live as host for the first time since 1989, then I am….so sorry. When the actor wasn't playing the harmonica (he's still doing that?), he was going through the paces of each sketch with little to no emoting, or doing terrible imitations of Michael Kors. In other words, there was no reason to shout "yippee ki-yay!" While the decidedly unfunny evening was overwhelmingly lackluster, the episode did have a few standout moments (you should be watching "Boy Dance Party" by about the millionth time by now) as well as Katy Perry in jungle attire, so not all was lost. Check out the best (yep, there were a few and they were mostly without Willis) and worst moments from this weekend's SNL below. You know it's a weak one when they rely on popular segments from a few weeks ago (like that awesome E-Meth commercial featuring Aaron Paul) to fill the time.
You know it's an eventful episode of Saturday Night Live when one of the all-time great alums Tina Fey returns to host… and she's overshadowed. A ton of stuff happened in the Season 39 premiere of SNL, including the introduction of six new cast members (hey, guy from those delightful AT&T commercials!), a truly bizarre, but memorable post-show performance by Arcade Fire and not one, not two, but three cameos by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. It's not to say that the always brilliant Tina Fey wasn't good in her own right. After all, she totally killed it as the new Albanian character Blerta in the spot-on and hilarious Girls spoof and her opening number was a delight, but Saturday night…hell, the whole entire weekend belonged to Aaron Paul, didn't it?
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