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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.


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.


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!

Cage match

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Cage match: Parenthood vs. Modern Family. But to be fair, I’ve watched both seasons to air so far of Parenthood and only one disk of Modern Family. So I’m not fully versed in Modern Family.

There seem to be more family-centric shows surfacing these days. If the 90’s – 00’s were all about singletons and urban families then this decade is all about families. Maybe that’s because the people writing these shows see that their audience/target demographics are growing up. Me and my husband are part of their target audience. In the last decade it was all Sex and the City and Friends. And while I’m not quite at the Parenthood stage of my life yet, I am married and finding myself settled and living at the more “boring adult” stuff in life (I put it in quotes because I’m far from bored).

Part 1 (Parenthood) will be posted today. Tomorrow will be Part 2 (Modern Family)


I first added Parenthood to the Netflix queue for two reasons. 1. Because Hulu Plus doesn’t have first first season in their catalog (boo and hiss) and 2. I confused it with Modern Family. An easy mistake to make just as Entertainment Weekly pointed out. They did try to squeeze the two shows into the same genre. But Parenthood has a lot of heart. I find it impossible to watch this show and not care about these characters as if they were actual people. I think this comes down to the dialog and the acting. Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, and sure…I’ll even throw Dax Shepard in there because he really proves himself in this show. The dialog really flows and sounds natural. It sort of reminds me a bit of Gilmore Girls, but with less coffee. You know when you’re talking to someone and your having a conversation how you sometimes talk over each other’s sentences? That’s how dialog goes sometimes on this show – natural. They even argue like real people.

However, as my husband is fond of saying about this show, the alternate name could easily be #whitepeopleproblems. I mean, they live in Berkely, California. All the kids have money. In the first season the grandfather (Craig T. Nelson) has money problems (from a bad investment which probably took a lot of money in the first place!) and a lot of references are made to the bad economy, but it’s still white collar problems. And in fact I don’t even remember a resolution to that story line.

Now, I’m not saying every show needs to be gritty and “real”. This family represents tons of families that exist. In fact I can relate to many members of this family; particularly Haddie the teenage daughter of Adam and Kristina. She reminds me of me as a teenager. Everything was a battle between me and my parents despite feeling like I had everything under control and being a generally pretty responsible kid. And now as an adult and married person I get some of what goes on between the other married couples on the show.

After watching two seasons of the show I don’t feel like anything has gotten stale or boring like some of these shows. Sometimes plot resolutions are too quick for my taste, but it’s preferable to dragging on. The drama isn’t too heavy and the comedic moments are true gems.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review of Modern Family!
(Parenthood’s second season is available on Hulu)