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The ratings game

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NBC’s Entertainment Chair gave a speech to TV Critics the other day. In it he said the following:

“Did you see the ratings?,” he asked about the show, which was often pulling a mere 1.0 rating in the adult demo on Friday night. “That rapid fanbase going crazy on the net didn’t come to the show. Chuck‘s time had come. Chuck is over, let’s alert the masses.”

Note: I copied this from Entertainment Weekly. I believe that “rapid” might actually be “rabid,” but I don’t know.

While Robert Greenblatt did give the awesome news that “Community” will finish out the season in the spring (yayyy!), but isn’t promising a renewal for a 4th season, I’m still annoyed that Executives aren’t looking at the other places their fans are viewing their shows.

So “Chuck” fans didn’t show up to watch the end of the show. Number one: you aired it over the holidays. If you expect viewers to watch it during it’s first airing then they may not be around to do it. Holidays = shopping, parties, and generally doing other stuff than watching TV. And number two: maybe those fans all watched on your website. Or maybe they purchased it through iTunes, Amazon, or somewhere else. Maybe they DVR’d it (although sometimes those numbers get included into the ratings).

Look, I get that “Chuck” was probably costing more money to produce than it was bringing it. It clearly hasn’t been a runaway hit that I’m sure the network wanted. But, how much longer do we have to wait for Executives like Greenblatt to take notice of the other places their viewers are.

I refuse to feel guilty for not contributing to watching “Community” as it airs if it’s lack of viewership that cancels the show. NBC was still getting my money (first through Amazon and now through HuluPlus).

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Save Greendale, part 2

I realized last night as I was watching the latest “Community” episode that I always have a huge smile on my face when watching this show. Last night’s episode (where they parodied “Glee” so perfectly) was no exception.

Haven’t seen “Community” yet? Afraid you won’t get it when you do try to watch? Good news! You can catch up on Hulu!! While practically everything is on hiatus for the winter this would be the perfect time to catch up…and then start Tweeting #savegreendale to send the message that no one wants this show cancelled except for the stupid suits at NBC!

I mean…c’mon! Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) raps in this episode!

 

Save “Community”

I look forward to Friday evenings because not only is that usually the kick off to my weekend, but I get to watch some good TV. What people with cable watch on Thursday nights is what I watch on Friday. That includes “Community” which I have to pay for separately through Amazon in order to watch it on my TV.

“Community”, like “Parks and Rec” and “Modern Family” is a feel good show for me. There are occasionally serious moments built into certain episodes, or the season as a whole, but it still makes me laugh genuine laughs. The characters are interesting, and the humor is smart. I just do not understand why it doesn’t appeal to more people.

Maybe it’s a generational thing? My in-laws have watched it, but totally didn’t care for it. My mom has never watched it. It could be that the jokes just go over some people’s heads because they happen to be very pop-culture oriented (which is another reason I love it), and if you don’t get the reference you might not get the show.

In the Fall 2011 rankings, “Community” comes in at number 68. The next NBC show on the list has been cancelled (“The Playboy Club”) and the one after that, “Prime Suspect” is also on the chopping block.

With the news that “Community” is being pulled mid-season and replaced with “30 Rock” a lot of fans, including myself, are getting nervous. All 22 episodes of this season has been guaranteed, but what about next season? I’m so not ready to see the end of this show!

I don’t have Twitter, but if you do and want to speak up, I believe the hashtag is #savegreendale.

Fall TV Premiere Week Round 3

And so it continues and ends (for now…I’m still waiting for a few new shows to pop up). A lot of comedy in this block! Except for Whitney. Who knows what that was supposed to be.Whitney

I had heard that this show really wasn’t worth the time. The advertising campaign didn’t do much to win me over either. But, at the end of a long night of TV watching my husband and I decided to see just how terrible it was. In the end, we agree with Hulu’s The Morning After in how they rank NBC’s Thursday comedy block in terms of which episodes this week were the best. “Whitney” falls squarely at the bottom.Part of the problem is that it is filmed in front of a live audience. This prevents the show from doing anything creative with its storytelling. It’s all linear, no cutaways, nothing unique. For example, when Whitney goes to go find something sexy to go put on for her boyfriend instead of a cut to seeing her coming out of the bathroom in another outfit or something we have to watch and listen to her paw through her terrible underwear drawer. I felt like I was watching a terrible sitcom from the 80s or 90s.

The other problem is that the jokes all fall flat. Seriously, nothing is funny in this show. The characters aren’t funny, and the actors aren’t making me laugh. The writing is just atrocious. I kept hearing, prior to the show’s premier, that Whitney is known for being such a cutting edge comic; she’s so real and dirty. She makes jokes about vaginas and doesn’t hold back. I know this is network TV, but there wasn’t even a hint of that! Even if some of that was brought to the show I don’t think it would help.

There are all sorts of issues with this show, but the one that caused me to have a real pained expression on my face came when the topic of marriage came up at the end of the episode. Here are two characters who pretty much say that they really love each other and are definitely committed to each other. They don’t want to be with anyone else and don’t foresee wanting to be with anyone else. Whitney has an epiphany that she loves her boyfriend so much after he has an accident that puts him in the hospital that she really does want to spend the rest of her life with him. Yet they won’t get married because Whitney is “scared” of marriage! Look, I get it’s a personal choice for everyone and that a lot of couples are choosing these days not to do it. But in this show Whitney is prevented from going in to see her boyfriend in the hospital. She has seen firsthand one of the many benefits to being married. They admit that they love each other and are committed enough to be married. Yet marriage is too “scary.” WTF. I do not understand.

But then again I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who is 4 months into marriage. I chose it because yes, it is scary, but also wonderful.

Prediction: Cancelled by mid-season. No one is liking this show and I see why. I don’t think this show can be saved unless they change up the style and I’m pretty sure it’s too late to do that. Unless I’m in the mood to lambaste something I doubt I’ll give this show a second chance.

Community
Last season Pierce was pretty much a d-bag most of the time. And then he redeemed himself at the end of the paintball match (game? war?). Or at least the show has presented Pierce as being redeemed. I don’t have the warm and fuzzies for him yet. I think that he was too much of a jerk to be forgiven so easily. But the group seems to have welcomed him back more easily than I have.Musical number! Just go watch it. Because it’s pretty funny. And it sets the theme for this episode: trying to be normal.

Biology 101 is the new class everyone is taking. Well, until Jeff got himself kicked out for some shenanigans with his phone (oh Jeff and his phone). He winds up creating a feud between himself and the professor (who is pretty intimidating). Jeff also freaks out and has a mild psychotic break in the study room. But who hasn’t by this point? Abed has yet another little mental thing go on during this episode as well. He found out “Cougar Town” was a mid-season replacement so Britta tries to find other shows for him to like. She finds a British show similar to “Cougar Town” called “Cougartown Abbey” (I guess it’s similar? I know nothing about that show) but because the Brits are so good at closure it ends after 6 episodes. Cue Abed retreating back into his semi-comatose state.

And then comes “INSPECTOR SPACETIME”

It looks suspiciously like “Doctor Who.” I loved it. LOVED IT!

And Abed loved it. This parody was the best thing about this episode for me. I want to say that the fact that Abed falling in love with the pseudo-”Doctor Who” makes him normal because DW has become so mainstream now. Or maybe becoming a fanboy is the opposite of normal which is par for the course for this group.

Also, we got to see a bit of John Goodman. We’ll be seeing more of him. He’s a good foil to the Dean which is great. It saves us from the same Dean/study group interactions over and over again.

I’ll also mention that Hulu+/NBC sucks because I pay for a Hulu+ subscription and this show isn’t included! I then pay extra to Amazon to be able to keep up with this show. Ridiculous!Prediction: Things are getting mixed up a bit this season. I feel a little shaken up and not quite settled yet when it comes to “Community.” I don’t know if it’s because a lot of other shows did 1 hour premiers or if I’m just not sure yet where we’re going this season. But I really love this show and I have faith in the creators.

Parks and Recreation
I don’t think I can adequately sum up this episode and fully express how funny it really is. They did a fine job picking up literally seconds from where last season left off. Leslie Knope is going to run for City Council. Her dream of running for office is going to come true! Sadly that means her relationship with Ben (which still had to stay under wraps) really needs to end now. The episode traces her avoiding telling Ben this news and ends with him knowing all along. He presents her with a present of a personalized Knope 2012 campaign button – awwwww! So sweet. But he breaks it off by making himself the bad guy- again awwww.Ron is in hiding from Tammy 1, but when he comes back (after Leslie tracks him down for some advice) he announces her big news to the department and says she’s going to get a new assistant. April then volunteers Andy for the job. This saves him from having to work for Tom whose company Entertainment 720 has done jack all so far except make lame swag (that they don’t even make themselves).

There was another subplot involving Anne and Chris and penises, but it really doesn’t need explaining; it was hardly the best part of the episode. Unless this leads them getting back together?

Prediction: Not the strongest or funniest of Parks and Rec eps I’ve seen, but it set up for where this season is going. We’ll follow Leslie on the campaign trail. I’m glad we’re going someplace new! Not that the show was getting stale, but mixing it up is always good. I’m thinking it’ll be a solid season.

The Office
Michael Scott, you are missed. Let’s not forget the large Michael sized hole that he left in that show. But, you know what? The season premiere was so awesome that I actually forgot about it pretty easily. The ensemble cast works so well together (as they should by now) that everything flowed and clicked. James Spader made an (as predicted) excellent addition to the cast.Just like it was mentioned over the summer, his character is actually now CEO. The big surprise is that Andy is the branch manager! Good for him! Of course his biggest challenge will be finding the strength to standing up to the crowd when it’s needed. We’ve already seen this happen in this first episode.

Robert California has branded half the office as “winners” and half as “losers.” I surmised that it’s all a mind game; something to get them all to work harder. And I was right. When he left his notebook behind “on accident” and was confronted about the list he was pretty honest. He said that the winners need to prove that they are winners and the losers need to become winners. I’d hate to be in that office, but it’s kind of genius. And it worked on Andy. Something about Robert got Andy all fired up and angry and ballsy enough to charge in and tell him just how much everyone in the office was a winner (except Gabe – he’s still a loser). Oh, and they get to leave at 3 the Friday before Columbus day.

There was some seriously good writing in this episode. Great jokes and great execution of those jokes. The planking was taken a bit far. It was funny for a minute or two and then I was bored.

Prediction: They seem to be making Andy into a mini-Michael in a way. So I’m not expecting drastic changes which can be good and bad. Good because “The Office” is a good show. Bad because I don’t want to be bored. We may get an uneven episode here and there, but that’s kind of how it’s been the past couple of years. I’ve been excited about James Spader joining the cast since it was only a possibility. I think he’s got chemistry with the ensemble will only continue to grow.

Modern Family
“Dude Ranch” and “When Kids Go Bad” are the two episodes that “Modern Family” opened the season with this past week. Both were pretty good. The first made great use of the entire cast as they visited a dude ranch. Phil, once again, tried to prove himself to his father-in-law. But Jay was too busy keeping his eyes on Hank (their host) who had eyes for Gloria. Mostly everybody got a hilarious cowboy nickname: Manny is Hollywood, Jay is Old-Timer, and Claire is Bossy. Phil waits almost all episode to get his moniker Buffalo Phil. “Worth the wait.”Mitchell is hung up on whether he can do guy stuff or not because he and Cam are going to try and adopt a boy. In the end he blows up a bird house with his nephew and figures he’ll learn along the way.

In the second episode we hear more of the suddenly older Lily speak. Unfortunately she’s saying stuff like “I hate the baby” and “I wanna make the baby dead.” Mitchell and Cam figure this stems from the way Cam coddles her – flash to a montage of ridiculous scenes of Cam taking Lily places you normally wouldn’t have a toddler….like holding her hand while she waits for you outside the shower. Turns out it may be Mitchell’s fault. But that’s discovered later in the episode.

In the meantime we have other story lines going on, like Manny stealing a locket and Gloria helps him cover up his crime, and Phil pushing Clare into a pile of cans at the supermarket (which Phil denies). Clare is so determined she’s right she just can’t let it go just like Jay can’t let go proving that Gloria helped Manny cover up his crime. Ultimately the point of this episode was that we get our bad habits from our family members. This episode works because 1. that statement is so true and 2. we know these characters so well now that their bad habits are funny to us.

Prediction: The second season was a really great one. I’m so afraid that, with multiple Emmy wins under their belts, things are going to get stale. I hope I’m proven wrong. I don’t want to see the “30 Rock” effect where things are great until a few Emmy wins makes everything go south. I’d love another consistent and great season like before. But, you know, leave room in the Emmy categories for some other shows this time ok?

Fall TV Thus Far

Let the games begin! This week saw the beginning of Fall TV premiers. Some new shows and some returning shows.New Girl

Hulu had Zooey Deschanel’s new show “New Girl” a week early. I like Zooey Deschanel. She’s got a charming vibe about her. She’s indy hip and girly. I love her beautiful singing voice and if I had 3 hours each morning, I would try and pull off her look.

So this is a Fox show. The same channel her sister, Emily ( “Bones”), is on. The tag line is “Boys will be boys, and Jess will be Jess.” It’s not entirely catchy nor entirely informative. Basically Jess (Zooey) has this horrible breakup after her boyfriend cheats on her and she decides to room with three strange guys. These guys all fit into one stereotype or another. There’s the coach/jock, the douchebag, and the sensitive one (I think that’s what he is). So naturally they’re all very different from emotional, girly, spur of the moment singing, positive thinking Jess. Oh and she watches “Dirty Dancing” continuously when she’s depressed which annoys her roomies to no end. But by the end of the ep they’re all practically besties and these guys are ready to protect their girl and do anything to lift her spirits. Because she’s just that gosh darn cute.

The first few minutes weren’t that terrible of this show. And then the opening theme song happened. It was AWFUL. It was like a mockery of itself. I kept trying to like this show for the sake of Zooey. I wanted to get into her positive upbeat cuteness, but I couldn’t. I think it was the guys on the show. They’re not likeable enough. The writing isn’t funny, and the style isn’t good enough to get me hooked. The flashback style that is reminiscent of “How I Met Your Mother” has been done by much better shows.

Prediction: Cancelled by episode 3. It’s a Fox show. They have no qualms about cancelling their shows. I don’t think this will find an audience at all.

Up All Night

Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are the frontrunners of this new show. Maya Rudolph is plays a supporting role. It’s produced by Lorne Michaels, but it has a different vibe than 30 Rock. “Up All Night” is on NBC (shocker, I know). And before you think Will Arnett is playing the same character you’ve seen him be on “Arrested Development” and “Running Wilde” just wait. He’s way more subtle here.“Up All Night”is about a couple in their 30’s who suddenly find themselves with a baby. Suddenly they have to deal with balancing work (and in this relationship it’s the mom who works and dad stays home) and home life and changing diapers while hungover. Because not only does life change when you have a baby, but when you’re so set in your ways and comfortable with the way your life is a baby can really throw you for a loop.

This was a pilot episode and it had a few chuckles in it. I see potential so I added it to the Hulu queue. It was certainly better than Arnett’s last disaster. Maya Rudolph’s character definitely rounds out the cast in a nice way and I look forward to seeing more of her on the show.

Prediction: This show is opposite “Modern Family”. Not a problem for me since I don’t watch it when it actually airs, but it’s ratings might suffer. I think it will definitely last a season, but NBC will definitely want to change it’s time slot if it wants it to survive it’s second season.

Ringer

How annoying is this? The CW still hasn’t put the full episode of this show up on their website for people to view! I had to purchase it for $1.99 on Amazon to view. I mean, viewing wise it’s nicer because I have a Samsung TV and there is a widget on there that allows me to watch digital TV shows and movies that I purchase on Amazon. But, logically it doesn’t make sense of The CW to not put a show they are premiering on their website as soon as possible. I really was hesitant to buy a show that I had never seen before and didn’t know much about. When I bought “The Walking Dead” last year my husband was a huge fan of the graphic novel and there was sooooo much hype and coverage of the show that it felt like a safe bet. For “Ringer” I was less sure. Sara Michelle Gellar has done a considerable amount of press for the show, but I still didn’t know if it was for me. It’s not my typical genre that I go for. How many other people felt the same way as me, saw that it wasn’t available on the network’s website and gave up?

First observation straight out of the box regarding this show is the production value. It sure is a CW show. Rumor is that it was originally supposed to be a CBS show and I wonder how that would have changed things. I think that would have probably made it a better quality show to look at. One scene in particular (I think it will forever live on the Internet as “the boat scene”) was just awful. Unfortunately it’s also a major turning point in the pilot episode. Production value aside, the acting was decent. It’s nice to see that SMG didn’t let her skills slide. I think she’ll get into the grove a bit more as the show goes on. It really all depends on what the writers give her. And I’m pretty half and half on the skills of the writers.So what’s the story all about? SMG plays twins. One twin, Bridget is a Federal witness. She’s a 6 months sober ex stripper. She escapes her Federal protectors before the big trial to go visit her uber rich twin, Sioban (pronounced Chovan). Siobhan seems really unhappy with her life and on a boating trip together, Siobhan seemingly disappears at sea. Bridget then takes over her sister’s identity. Except her sister’s life is far from uncomplicated. She lives in a loveless marriage and is cheating on her husband. The plot thickens when it turns out that Siobhan didn’t actually die.Some of the dialog is snappy. And hey, surprise cameo by Blossom! There’s action and intrigue. But I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep me interested. So I’ll give it another episode to see if I’m hooked.Prediction: It’s the CW so they may not cancel it right away. It may get a whole season’s worth of shows out, but it’s not going to top any ratings charts.

Parenthood

Yay “Parenthood” is back! Boo Amber’s hair! It was the first returning show of the new season that I watched. It was like being wrapped in a warm blanket. The AV Clubgave this episode a B+ and I’m inclined to agree. I also agree that this season premier did a nice job of providing a nice stepping off point for new viewers and picking up where we left off for those of us who have watched since the beginning (or went back to the beginning and marathoned it over the summer like I did).So Adam is still out of work, but we’ve jumped ahead to the end of Kristina’s pregnancy (yay! no scenes of morning sickness and doctor’s visits and all that stuff that TV makes us watch their characters go through normally). Kristina has gone back to work and that seems to chafe Adam a little. That in turn chafes me a little bit. Stop being a dick! Your wife seems to like working and actually seems like being the one to provide for her family for a change. My husband (many times during an episode) will refer to this show as “white people’s problems” and it’s so true. Not that he and I really know much different. But being unemployed and blowing through savings, not having a job on the horizon and feeling like doom is around the corner is kind of a feeling that a lot of people are well acquainted with these days. I give props to “Parenthood” for bringing that into their storyline. Of course then Adam is presented with the quandary of take a safe but boring job or go into business with his flaky brother and fulfill a dream.The other Bravermans are facing dilemmas of their own Sarah is letting go of Amber (who is acting like a dick in her own right. I mean, really. I get asserting your independence, but stay for your mom’s 40th’ birthday!!! It only happens once. You can sacrifice some of your time for your mom. Especially when she’s done so much for you and she is being cool enough to let you go off and do your own hipster thing. My mom was never that cool. And I still showed up for all of her birthdays. Woman up already, Amber! If you want to be treated like and adult, act like one). Julia wants a coffee girl’s baby or something, but she’s also going to help Haddie’s boyfriend with his new shiny legal problems after he got arrested trying to help her drunk ass. Haddie is selfish at heart I’m realizing. I don’t think her relationship will last much longer.Now that we’ve gotten reacquainted with what’s up with the Braverman clan and some groundwork has been laid for the season, I’m interested to see where it goes. I’m still invested in the show.

Prediction: Good season. Good show. More seasons to come!