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Tag Archives: parks and rec

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.

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.


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?