Parks & Recreation: So Long, Farewell

by Angel Cohn January 31, 2014 6:00 am
<I>Parks & Recreation</I>: So Long, Farewell

It's been building up all season, but now "Ann and Chris" finally gave us the send-off for Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe. And honestly, I'm glad it's over. Much as I occasionally love some of the Ann/Leslie moments or Chris/Ben moments, I hass long felt like these two were out of place in the ensemble for a while and just biding their time until they could leave with their baby for a far off land outside of Pawnee. While some might be sad that they are gone, I'm happy we can all get on with our lives and maybe return to the Farmers Market After Dark. That place just looked like a good time.

Four Suggestions for the Future of the Lifetime Original Movie

by Ethan Alter January 24, 2014 12:51 pm
Four Suggestions for the Future of the Lifetime Original Movie

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.

Community: The Adventures of Shark Troy and Lava Abed

by Ethan Alter January 24, 2014 10:20 am
<i>Community</i>: The Adventures of Shark Troy and Lava Abed

Perhaps because he's working on a shortened season order for the first time, Dan Harmon apparently opted against spacing out his movie parodies. Two weeks removed from his David Fincher homage, he returned to the spoof well last night with "Geothermal Escapism" a.k.a. "Community: Lave World," which sent up a whole bunch of post-apocalyptic disaster movies with a specific emphasis on the legendary Kevin Costner boondoggle Waterworld.

Modern Family: All Dinner, No Show

by Angel Cohn January 23, 2014 10:38 am
<I>Modern Family</I>: All Dinner, No Show

After last week's pretty solid episode, I was kind of not dreading this one, but instead this "Three Dinners" offering was totally unpalatable and as excruciating as sitting through a dinner with Mitchell and Cam where they discuss Syria. Also, the whole episode was a total waste of some really talented guest stars.

Wahlburgers: Say Hi to Your Mutha For Me

by Aly Semigran January 22, 2014 11:00 pm
<i>Wahlburgers</i>: Say Hi to Your Mutha For Me

The new A&E show Wahlburgers brands itself as a "real life reality series," but it's really just one long commercial and/or recruitment video for the restaurant that bears the same name. It's not a terrible show per se, and the Wahlberg family matriarch Alma with her thick Boston accent ("I BEG YA PAH-DON, " "That's MAHK when he was doin' The Perfect Staaaahm) and lovingly no-nonsense demeanor is certainly a delight to watch, but this is as glossy (quite literally, as the camera looks like it was doused in Vaseline), low stakes and carefully produced and edited as a reality show can be.

New Girl: The Do’s and Don’ts of Birthday Surprises

by Aly Semigran January 22, 2014 9:33 am
<i>New Girl</i>: The Do’s and Don’ts of Birthday Surprises

Let's ignore, for a moment, that the logistics of Nick's impromptu birthday surprise at the movie theater are pretty impossible and live in the fantasy, shall we? It was sweet and ridiculously romantic and set our already-unrealistic expectations for love even higher than most sitcoms. New Girl, when it's great, is a top-notch romantic comedy and "Birthday" was no exception. (Much like Season 2, it looks like Season 3 is picking up steam in the second half.) Sure, they've turned Jake Johnson's Nick Miller from a relatable slacker into a dreamboat boyfriend, while Zooey Deschanel's Jess has regressed to a cliché of herself. In fact, at one point in the episode she wishes she could be a cool girl in the movies "who wears men's shirts and sneakers," which sounds a whole lot like Deschanel's character in (500) Days of Summer. Still, if New Girl is destined to be a romantic comedy instead of an ensemble sitcom, it's doing a good job of it -- when the show is clicking, it is both very romantic and very funny. Here are the do's and don'ts of birthday surprises from "Birthday":

Rake and Other Shows with Vague, Deceptive Titles

by Aly Semigran January 21, 2014 12:39 pm
<i>Rake</i> and Other Shows with Vague, Deceptive Titles

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.

Girls: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of “She Said OK”

by Aly Semigran January 20, 2014 5:55 am
<i>Girls</i>: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of “She Said OK”

Who's your least favorite girl on Girls? It's actually a tougher question to answer than who is your favorite, isn't it? Unlike, say, Sex and the City, where fans willingly identified themselves as the characters ("I'm a Miranda!"), Girls dares you to figure out who you can tolerate this week. And while your answers may fluctuate (Shoshanna's speed-talking insanity may charm you one week, and grate your nerves another), it's pretty apparent who Girls' least favorite girl is: Marnie. This show hates Marnie so much that not only have they made her storyline for the better part of two seasons "pout," but they have had her humiliate herself by singing in public twice now. Last night's episode of Girls, "She Said OK," was no exception to the Marnie-hating rule. But, lucky for her, there's a new girl in town named Caroline (Adam's little sister) and she is totally crazy and hate-worthy. In fact, Marnie hate may actually just turn to pitable from now on. Maybe. Until then, here's the good, the bad and the funny of "She Said OK," in which Hannah has her 25th birthday party and a whole lot goes wrong:

Modern Family: Back to School Again

by Angel Cohn January 16, 2014 10:27 am
<I>Modern Family</I>: Back to School Again

Maybe it's the budding fever that hit me last night, but "Under Pressure" may have been my favorite episode so far this season. I credit that not to the onslaught of guest stars, but more to the super-fast pacing that really just had this episode moving right along with quick laughs and away from stuff that wasn't as amusing. Here are the moments, from worst to best.

Enlisted: A Show That Deserves Better Than Its Dead Zone Time Slot

by Aly Semigran January 10, 2014 10:00 pm
<i>Enlisted</i>: A Show That Deserves Better Than Its Dead Zone Time Slot

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.)

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