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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Whitney's 20Thirteen Fall TV Preview

Today, we are welcoming long time friend Whitney Whitworth and her very special brand of pop culture expertise to our budding roster of TwoOhSix.com contributors. Her love of cats, culture, and cuisine will keep you entertained and informed and, when you see all the mini crafts she has made available to you on her very own NotMadeByACat website, you might just fall over from all the awesome.

So, I did all of your dirty work and watched alllllllll the new fall previews.

I'll give you the long and the short of it and, so you don't have to waste all of your time like I did, just skip to the good ones (hahahhaha, they don't exist. Spoiler alert). If I miss any in my recap, I guess they weren't that notable.

Lucky Seven:
It was canceled. 'Nuf said. In fairness, it...well, actually, thinking about it is absolutely tiring. It wasn't funny, it wasn't overly dramatic, and it didn't have anyone notable in it. The premise was a group of convenient store workers win the lottery and end up extremely unlucky, but here is the thing, there were too many characters and none of them were strong. I wasn't going to watch a second episode.

The Goldbergs:
This show is trying really hard to be the new ‘Wonder Years’ for my generation, as it is a voice over of a young boy growing up in the ‘80s with a grumpy dad and girl problems. It’s all right, and I’ll give it another episode or so, but as of right now, it’s just a whimper of what other decade specific comedies have provided in the past. I do like the cast though; I think they fit in their roles and carry them off well.

Dads vs. Mom:
So this is a review of two new shows, Fox’s ‘Dads’ and CBS’ ‘Mom’. You heard it right from everyone else, ‘Dads’ is so... terrible.  It’s not funny, it’s overtly racist/sexist and just plain dumb.  There is no new comedy, which is really sad, because I think Seth McFarland can produce some pretty good comedy from time to time. I just… I forced myself through the first episode and couldn't even bring myself to the intro of the second. ‘Mom’, on the other hand is clearly a Chuck Lore production. While both shows are multi-camera, laugh track sitcoms that are pretty formulaic, ‘Mom’ is neither forced nor stale. It is sort of Roseanne-esque, in terms of the working class mom vibe that it delivers, but it is a little hipper and risky, but not in a way that makes you feel dirty for laughing at it. Skip ‘Dads’ and go straight to ‘Mom.’

Sleepy Hollow:
This looked really stupid from the previews.  I want to like the premise, it has me written all over it due to its creepy, Halloween-y, science fiction vibe with a strong female lead, but I think I was just really distracted while watching it, because everyone but me seems to love it.  I don’t like that they already set it up for seven seasons, by stating that the next seven years of Sleepy Hallow would be cursed with demons and such.  I think I just like culty sci-fi too much, because this doesn't live up to the expectations of other classics I have in my head.

Brooklyn 99:
The first episode had a lot of promise. Andy Samberg is pretty awkwardly funny, which I like, the story line is cop comedy, but without a cop buddy feel to it, but the “cases” that they work on aren't ridiculous and silly. The characters were likable and the acting was on point, but it started to lose its hilarity by the second episode. I haven't seen the third, so there is time to recover, and there is a lot of promise, but it could also nose dive fairly quickly.

Super Fun Night:
They canceled the pilot. I repeat, this show was shit canned before it even started, but the folks at ABC said, no, let’s skip to the second episode and give that a go, because supposedly, it’s better. I don’t know why, and it shouldn't have because, in general, I really like Rebel Wilson, but it was really boring. Plot line is as follows: outcast girls draw something fun to do from a hat and do it. Ummm, really, that’s it? Yes. That’s it.  In the first episode they went to a karaoke piano bar and Rebel Wilson was super afraid to get up and preform and then ends up okay…psh….Pish posh. That doesn't even make sense. Anyway, the show seemed like one long one liner with a feel good message at the end that seemed too forced.  And mostly, the writing is really obvious, (i.e. “I need to put on these Spanx.  Oh man, they are really uncomfortable!” or “I really like my boss, but the hot girl likes him too! Oh no! She’s a bad person.”) I am guessing this will be canceled soon.

Welcome to the Family:
It was obvious.  By this point, you should realize how disappointed I am in these new shows.  It had its moment, and was probably in the top, measly, five of the comedies I previewed, but it’s not really memorable.  I mean, I can tell you the premise is some teenagers get pregnant and the families can’t stand each other (see the funnier ‘Mom’ as mentioned above,) but other than that, nothing stands out at the moment. It’s not like the first time you watched ‘Modern Family’ or ’30 Rock,’ yet again, nothing this season has been.

Seriously?  Seriously. I watched this. Ugh. Okay, so the main character is a cop fighting the hard streets and crime, but, kicker, he is wheelchair bound (hence, his nickname ‘Ironsides’.) This is so bland, as most re-hashed cop dramas are these days. I think this is the next show to get axed. It’s truly awful. Stick to CSI reruns or something more fun.

Agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D.:
I was decorating my house while watching this, so I am not super sure that I got everything, but again, ANOTHER let down. I wanted it to be more like ‘Heroes’ or ‘Smallville’, but it was not super entertaining and the plot line, which should be “hey, superheroes are awesome and kick some ass in unrealistic ways,” was replaced by something far too complex. It was the first episode. The complexities made it complete background noise to my decorating. I should have felt captivated; instead, I was just let down.

The Crazy Ones:
Robin Williams stars as, wait for it, Robin Williams, which was kind of annoying, but not as annoying as Miss know it all bossy pants Sarah Michelle Gellar. She bugged me in this. The writing was only so-so. It has potential to pick up, but if you are going for this classy, high end, unrealistic job office setting, you have to make it, in some way, relatable to your average audience, which this show fails to do. Why do other office comedies like ‘Parks and Rec’ or ’30 Rock’ work? Because their actors are not tired. Sorry Mrs. Doubtfire, I just don’t really want to see you on TV every day anymore; your acting is pretty much still stuck in the 90’s and you’re not an attractive older man, like Mr. Baldwin. Also, the characters are neither nice, nor mean, nor anything; just boring rich people interacting with other boring rich people. It’s sadder than Don Draper cheating on his tenth wife.

Michael J. Fox Show:
Well, as a comeback, its way better than that listed above. I'll probably keep watching it, but to be honest, as much as I love Michael J. Fox, I'm not really in the mood for feel good comedies at this point in my life. If you are, then you may enjoy this a bit more than I did.

The Blacklist:
This show is going to be successful. That being said, I am not a fan. It’s got enough drama and a recognizable cast, the script is written well, but it is just not that entertaining. I really don't feel like sitting down and watching fictional high-stake negotiations that don't matter. I think 24 did a much better job, which is the closest thing that I can compare this particular drama to in the end.

That Wonderland One- blah blah blah blah.
Boring and has no potential for longevity.

Here is the Recap:
You don't need to get involved with any of these new shows.  Wait and see what survives until season 2, binge on season one next fall and then jump back into it.  Maybe catch ‘Mom,’ ‘The Michael J. Fox Show (if you are sentimental,) or Brooklyn 99 (assuming it picks up on episode 4.)

***I forgot one that I kind of liked!***

Trophy Wife:
It was pretty funny and also has some potential for future seasons. The awkward moments were pretty comical and the characters were likeable enough, and I, as you probably know, am not really a fan of blond female leads. If you pick a new comedy to watch, this one, at least from the pilot, is easy to follow and provides some belly laughs. If you have chose between watching this or 'Mom,' which I contend are the best new comedies thus far, it's basically comparing 'Modern Family' to 'Roseanne'.  Both are good, but what are you in the mood for?


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