Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When Guest Stars are Signs of Doom or Success

New Girl has been announcing guest stars left and right (Lake Bell, Natasha Lyonne, Katie Cassidy, Justin Long), so what's this mean for the show?  Is it not good enough that it has to rely on guest stars to have viewers from the start?  Let's take a look at how guest stars' roles have been a sign of trying to save a doomed show or of a highly sought after show.

Will & Grace
Classic example of how the show went to hell once Harry Connick, Jr., came on as a recurring character/cast member.  Cher, Ed Burns, Woody Harrelson, Britney Spears, and so many others guested on the later seasons of the show?  How did they snag those folks?  They were probably bribed with a crap ton of money or new cars...because that's what NBC got the cast of Will & Grace, right?  The characters got to be even more caricaturish of themselves.  Karen became a one-dimensional pill-popping boozehound with little to do but one-liners and bitchy remarks.  Her characters growth was quickly retracted with racist remarks to Rosario or heartfelt moments turned to mean jokes for laughs.  Plots became odd, sluggish, and very stale.  Viewership dwindled, so the guest star appearances went through the roof.

Inclusion of Guests: Negative

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Notebooks of Hank Williams

My, my, my.  There's a tear in my beer thinking about this.  Hank's unfinished songs written in various songwriting notebooks left in his car have been kept from prying eyes until now.  The producer Mary Martin gathered Nashville's most celebrated and talented songwriters and asked them to choose a song for the album and finish it, applying their own melodies.  Contributors include Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan, Patty Loveless, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, Hank's descendent Holly Williams, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Levon Helm, and Sheryl Crow.  I assure you that we'll discover new Hank classics.  Look for The Notebooks of Hank Williams on October 4 on vinyl, CD, and digital release.

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams EPK from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Day Frances Bay Died...

Frances Bay, born January 23, 1919, has died September 17.  The 92-year-old has appeared in films such as Happy Gilmore as Happy's grandma and a slew of TV shows, such as Happy Days (as Grandma) Charmed (as old Phoebe), the marble rye loaf lady on Seinfeld, and The Middle as the family grandmother.  Here's to Frances, everyone's grandmother!  Yeah, I'm drinking at 11 am, so what?

Happy Endings Live Review

The sound was awful, so the online viewers couldn't hear as well, but what I could hear was brilliantly hilarious.  This makes you see the cast as they interact with each other and play off one another's jokes.  They truly do have a comedic rapport that feeds off each other in a very natural and respectful way.  Adam Pally (Max) and Casey Wilson (Penny) were brilliant as hosts, feeding off each other.  Read on for more about it, or simply watch it at yowie.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Just In: Fred Savage Finds Happy Endings

Director and (former) child actor Fred Savage will reprise his directorial talents on the sophomore season of Happy Endings in the first half of the season.  Not only will he lend his hand to that area, but he'll be in front of the camera as a date for Alex.  Don't read on if you don't want slight spoilers.

Kristen Bell and Justin Long Unsupervised

You guys!  The writers and producers of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby are about to bring about havoc yet again.  The show is currently titled Unsupervised, and it's about two teenage boys Gary and Joel, who want to not turn out like their parents, who do not parent them at all.  Essentially they parent themselves and try to do right.  Voices will be from Kristen Bell, Justin Long, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Alexa Vega, Rob Rosell, and Sunny stars Kaitlin Olson and David Hornsby.  I expect great things from this show.

Chloe King's Nine Lives Are Used Up

Skyler Samuels
ABC Family has just pulled the plug on the adorably dramatic The Nine Lives of Chloe King, but it's looking to the future with a new show Strut by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.  Nine Lives followed the trials of The Uniter, Chloe King, who suddenly wakes up (after dying) to find that she revived and has feral powers.  She had to deal with her human life and her Mai life.  Poor Chloe found love on both sides of the fence.  Being fiercely protected by her fellow Mai, she feels caged and has to break rules put on her.  It's nice to see a young independent lady making decisions for the just and good.  Chloe's decisions often put her in danger, but she risks her life to save others or to do what's right.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Showtime's Time to Shine

I totally forgot to tell my dearest readers about Homeland's debut.  It's one I've been waiting to watch, and I can!  The lovely and talented Claire Danes returns to TV in an twisted tale as a CIA agent, determined to find the truth about why a POW was released after years of imprisonment in Afghanistan.  She's trying to see what no one else will, that there is a sinister plot veiled beneath the surface of the soldier's homecoming.  The first episode can be watched after the jump, but it officially debuts on Showtime October 2.  Mandy Patinkin ("You killed my father, prepare to die!") also stars.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Female Creators in Full Swing

A slew of television pilots ordered are from female creators, but a few really stand out for their content and creators.

Vandalia Films, Jennifer Garner and Juliana Janes' production company, will be hiring Easy A writer (!!!!!!) Bert Royal as the pilot script writer for a half-hour comedy series The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, based on the popular non-fiction book.  Producers will be Donna Roth and Susan Arnold.  The show will follow the lives of the loner, the nerd, the popular bitch, the new girl, the gamer, the weird girl, and the band geek to highlight the qualities that set them apart as young adults that later in life will be what set them apart in the working world. (Variety)

Read on for more!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Battlestar Galactica's War on Terror

Today is the tenth "anniversary" of the 9/11 attacks.  While televisions shows (like 24) and action movies fed the anti-Islamic Western fears and fed off those fears as well, other shows handled terrorism with dignity and reason.  Enter Battlestar Galactica, the show that made us think about ideas that we never thought of before.  By not using real places like America or Afghanistan, it could touch on themes without angering too many people.  Some could see it as entertainment, while many who watched loved it for the messages it brought forth as it entertained with thick plots and rich characters.  Let's take a look at how BSG made us rethink our position on terrorism, good and evil, and "the other".

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Fall Shows: A Second Opinion

S.E. already provided you with his list of new Fall shows he's excited for. While I agree with some of his choices (New Girl, Up All Night, Once Upon a Time), there are some shows I'll be watching that were not included. Below are more new shows to consider.

Pan Am (ABC: Sunday at 10 pm)

Inspired by former Pan Am stewardess Nancy Hult Ganis's work, this period drama, starring Christina Ricci, follows a group of Pan Am flight attendants in 1963. It seems the show will revolve around Laura Cameron (played by Margot Robbins) who begins working for the airline after ditching her finance just before their wedding. She joins her sister, Kate (played by Kelli Garner), who's already a stewardess. Kate, meanwhile, has been acting as a go-between for the government as working for one of the largest airlines in the world allows her to go where others can't.

Many are calling Pan Am ABC's answer to Mad Men, but I think it's more. While I love Don Draper and the rest of the crew, I think Pan Am will be able to stand on its own. For one, the shows seems to be focusing on its female characters, rather than being a boys' club like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce tends to be. Actually, the only similarity one can see for now is the time period and the fact that both shows are dramas. 


Whitney (NBC: Thursday at 9:30 pm)

NBC struggled last year to fill its 8:30 pm time slot. Perfect Couples turned out to be not-so-perfect and the Paul Reiser show was gone faster than you can say "Bye Bye, Love." Luckily, they've moved Nerdy Pop's favorite, Parks and Rec into the slot, giving Whitney a chance at 9:30. A smart move if you ask me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

See Happy Endings Cast Live Online!

You, too, can see the Happy Endings cast when they perform live Sept 18 at 1 am ET.  Expect great things because this entire cast is hilarious.  I don't know what to expect: a live performance of an episode or two, skits, improv, or stand-up routines, but I'm super pumped to be able to watch this live for free on Yowie.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Shows for Fall 2011

What new shows am I excited about for this coming TV season?  Not many.  From what we hear, the new shows, especially comedies are pretty awful and even downright offensive (and not the It's Always Sunny kind of offensive).  Keep in mind, though, that many critical judgments are based only on the pilot, and our opinions are solely based off previews and actually seeing New Girl pilot.

New Girl
We've watched this adorable show many times already, and the pilot was released for free download Tuesday, September 6, on multiple platforms, including iTunes.  The things we love already about New Girl: Zooey Deschanel, Lord of the Rings references, the douche jar, and all the singing.  Zooey Deschanel is on her way to becoming America's sweetheart, not just nerd fantasy.  Deschanel's character Jess narrates her life in song, essentially giving herself theme songs as she goes through the day, which is something I wish I did, if not have a soundtrack for every moment of my life.
Tuesdays, 9 (FOX...surprisingly)