Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The Bachelorette News is No News at All

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

On The Critic Show podcast, I enjoy sharing what people like and don’t like in the world of entertainment.    It’s a given that there will be people who enjoy TV shows and movies that I don’t care to watch…and that’s perfectly okay. However, there are movies and television shows that I can’t figure out why anyone watches.

As I stood in line at a local store this week, I noticed that People Magazine’s lead story was about a woman named Ashley Hebert, who is the latest person to be shocked that happy endings rarely occur in shows like The Bachelorette.  She evidently had some bad experiences with the men on the show, especially the one she wanted to choose for her own.  He made her to believe he was interested in her, led her on and then told her he didn’t really have any feelings for her at all.

Is that terrible?  Yes.

Is it shocking?  Not really.

Is it front page news (even for an entertainment publication)?  By now you would think not.

Granted Ashley’s circumstances might be a bit unique, but it’s consistent with how these types of shows turn out.  Nonetheless, there have been over 15 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and millions of people still tune in to watch and hope that two people find love.   I ask those people, how many times is this going to show cry, “Wolf!” and you come running.

The people that end up together almost never stay together.  This poor bachelorette also seemed to fall victim to a bunch of guys that want to be on TV.  They wanted to be famous.  Well, the public gave that to them for some reason.  I don’t get it.

Remember the “reality” show Temptation Island?  This was yet another great commentary about our culture and what entertains us.   It showcased couples that allowed cameras to film them as they traveled to an island filled with swimsuit models to see if they could break them up.  The only thing more amazing than the supposed shock of someone getting lured away from their boyfriend or girlfriend was how shocked people were in Season 2.  Don’t you know what happens in these shows?  Surely you had to know SOMETHING about Season 1 before signing up.

I ask a similar question to people who still watch these shows.  Why devote your time to this when you know how it’s likely going to turn out?  The person at the center of it all makes their pick and all is beautiful on the day of the finale.  Then the magazine cover comes out to tell you that the reality after the reality show has set in.

It’s then time for the star of the show to find a new mate.  It should also be time for more people to find a new show.


I’m Moving in with New Girl

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

My biggest fear sitting down to watch the season premiere of New Girl was wondering how the show was going to be structured.  Specifically, we know that Zooey Deschanel is very cute and can play quirky really well. I wondered if they would rely on only that in the show.

Does that make sense?

We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where the writers have done this.  They just take the specific talents or shtick of a certain actor and stretch that out in a story or episode and care less about plot and supporting characters.   I was relieved to find out that New Girl cares about everyone in the story.  Yes, Zooey is the centerpiece at the table, but the rest of the table dressings complement her very well.

It was really impressive how these writers manage to introduce the characters, allow them to make us laugh and show us they have heart in such a short span of time. The three roommates are fun and real.  They are guys without being too much of the cliché, overdone beer commercial douchebags.  I use that term affectionately (if that’s possible) due to their use of the very funny douchebag jar.

On a side note…THAT’S DAMON WAYAN’S SON!  Good grief he looks like his dad!  And good grief I feel old now!

From the moment Zooey’s character, Jessica, moves in after awkwardly coming home to a cheating boyfriend, she blends well with the guys…Schmidt (not the best name to have when people make fun of you), Coach and Nick.

The laughs were quality laughs, and I really appreciated the decision by the writers to have the guys make such a heartwarming decision at the end.

It was a nice touch and yet another reason to hang out with them all again next week.

What are Two Broke Girls Worth so Far?

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

On our current podcast Daniel Manu, the executive editor for, said that when it came to the sitcom that Whitney Cummings stars in, he wasn’t impressed.  This was mainly due to the constant loud and brash dialogue her character has throughout the show.

However, he did seem to like the sitcom she produces, Two Broke Girls.

As I watched the first episode last night, I could see Cummings’ imprint on this show right away.  The first of the two broke girls we meet,  Max (Kat Dennings), has a very similar personality to Whitney.  She’s blunt, brash and sometimes overly rude and sarcastic.

Later in the show, with the help of some cheesy dialogue, we’re led to believe that underneath all of that attitude is some heart.  The problem is that by the time we see that, we’re 85 percent the way through the show and it’s harder to believe that such an aspect to her personality is even genuine.

Caroline (Beth Behrs) was a bit easier to get used to and therefore,  I was more interested in learning about her.  So far her “rich girl having to get her hands dirty” character hasn’t been too cliché and that’s always a good thing.  You can’t say the same thing for the over-the-top rich woman that Max babysits for.  Yikes.

The rest of the jokes were hit or miss for me.  There weren’t many “LOL” moments.  I was especially shocked that the “Ha!  She’s actually gay” joke was again utilized.  Max accidentally touches lips with a woman when they bump into each other on the subway.  While the “take that off my bucket list” line was funny…the woman later handing Max her phone number was a huge stretch of a gag that fell flat.

I understand that it’s only the first show and I am willing to give this program some time.  At least it wasn’t as bad as watching the first episode of Mr. Sunshine where I knew I wouldn’t be coming back.

I love the idea of counting how much money they make at the end of each show.  For now, I plan on watching them make a little more.

Television is Getting my On-Demand Attention Again

August 24, 2011 Leave a comment

I guess you could say I lost faith in television.  I didn’t trust it.  When it came to sitcoms, I didn’t get it anymore and for a guy who’s easily amused, it has to be really bad for me to feel that way.  When it came to action or drama, I was rarely interested.  So often we see the same kinds of dramatic characters every year maybe with a different police unit, hospital or courtroom.

To be fair, I wasn’t much of a courtroom, hospital or police unit kind of guy anyway.  However, the reoccurrence of these kinds of shows year after year resembled something that many entertainment viewers say today…Hollywood is out of ideas.

And when you’re not a fan of the genres I just mentioned…where do you go?

Fortunately after running away from TV for many years, good shows I didn’t know about have found me in other ways.  They’ve made it fun to be an episodic viewer of SOMETHING again.  Here’s how it happened:

WORD OF MOUTH.  My brother and sister- and-law hounded my wife and I to see a show called The Big Bang Theory for weeks.  My brother especially knew that I would love these characters because I too love Star Wars, superheroes and geeky-themed stuff.

However, I also love the writing, the humor, the actors and the quality of each and every one of them.  Needless to say, my wife and I have seen every episode and are anxiously awaiting the new season.  I actually interviewed Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) for my September 15 podcast and it was an interview I couldn’t wait to do.

AT THE MOVIE THEATER.  I’m sure many of you have those days where you just get out and want to just go see a movie…even if it means getting to the theater and just randomly pick something.  That was me when Ichose to see a movie called Serenity.

What can I say?  I LOVED it!  Then I found out this was an extension of the cancelled Fox TV series, Firefly.  I couldn’t wait to go get the complete set and enjoy these characters again.  This is a show that should have never been cancelled.  It’s brilliant.  It’s sci-fi done right in so many ways.  Nathan  Fillion talks about the fun of getting into that browncoat and holster and you can’t doubt his sincerity.  Captain Mal is as good as they get when it comes to sci-fi coolness and he’s got a great cast and creator to back him up.

ON DEMAND.  To be honest, I was a little late to indulging in on-demand.  After all, I had little faith in TV.  What was I going to watch?  However, I genuinely want to have something to watch.  So, I started searching.  Have I found some really bad shows?  Yes.  More often than not that has been the case in fact.  However, I’ve also found gems like Legend of the Seeker.   No pun intended, but I don’t actively SEEK out dragons, wizards and swords…but I love this show.  The cast is solid.

I absolutely love Bruce Spence’s character, Zedd.  Nobody else could have played that part like him.  I also can’t take my eyes of the beautiful and talented Bridget Regan.

I like my share of Britcoms and I was very pleased to have Netflix introduce me to a cute and quirky little show called The IT Crowd.  Not every show is hilarious, but the characters are fun.  This is especially true of the character named Moss.  I will say there is one episode that was the funniest of the entire run and that was when they go to the theater to see a play called GAY.

Whether it’s on demand, catching it in real time or seeing it on the web, I find myself looking for ways to have faith in television again.  It’s nice to have shows to love and look forward to.  There have been hits and misses along the way, but I’ve really enjoyed the hits.

As a result, I plan on taking my newly renewed interest in TV and see if there are any shows in the 2011 fall season that can make me a fan from day one.

I have to admit, it’s better than avoiding it all together.