About Me

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Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm addicted to great television. I'm on a mission to share with you what I think are the best of the best when it comes to shows and mini-series. Long format visual storytelling is my entertainment of choice. I've got a lot to say, so stay tuned..... P.S. I am under some sort of invisible legal obligation to state that I do not own any of the photos posted herein unless otherwise specified and if you see any of your images and would like me to credit you or take it down (‘cus you’re just a meanie), please contact me

Monday, December 12, 2011

15 Gifts for Your Favorite TV Lover

So I might be a little late, but I've compiled a list of gifts that would make any TV lover jump for joy this holiday season (or for a birthday if you don't want to pay for express shipping...my bad). Also, I apologize in advance for the fact that the hyperlinks NEVER work on this site, but I've included the websites where you can find these items. Just search by item name.

1. "How I Met Your Mother" - Bro Code Audio Book $19.98
Who doesn't bust a gut listening to Neil Patrick Harris as womanizer Barney Stinson spout his ridiculous rules of life known as The Bro Code? Now, you can be educated while riding in the car cruising for chicks or running in the park trolling for hotties. Living by this code will change your life. Granted, you might end up sad and alone by next Christmas, but you'll be just as cool as Barney. *Suit required*

2. "NCIS" - Bert the Farting Hippo $45
As any "NCIS" fan knows, forensic wizard Abby Sciuto gets through those tough nights in the lab (including the ones where people are trying to kill her) by snuggling up with her trusty Sub Saharan sidekick Bert. This flatulent friend is not only cute but he has a lot to say. Just hug him and find out.

3. "Dexter" - Ice Truck Killer Thumb Drive $39.95
Remember season one? You know, the one with the chopped up body parts. No not the current season, the other one. This Thumb drive will freak out your friends and co-workers and who doesn't want to do that?

4. "Bored to Death" - Binoculars $14.99
If you know someone that wants to be a private dick or just has some stalkery tendencies that you'd like to foster, these are essential. Where would the fictional Jonathan Ames be if he didn't have his peeping tom glasses? Probably passed out from a whole lot of Mary Jane and Chardonnay.

5. "True Blood" Pint Set - $39.95
Who hasn't watched "True Blood" and though, "Damn, I'm thirsty"? Well now, whether you're drinking lager, cola or AB+, you've got the perfect vessel. Bottoms up!

6. "How To Make It In America" T-Shirt - $24.99
If you've lived in NYC, but don't any more, this show makes you so homesick that you want to wear the clothes the fictional fashion company produces. They are pretty cool, so it's not like you'd look like an idiot. Wish they had the Crisp hoodie, but this tee will do.

7. "Psych" Pineapple Cookie Jar - $39.99
What kind of cookies do you think Gus keeps in his cookie jar? My guess is thin mints...or pinwheels. No, you're right. Oreos it is. I think this is a pretty cute jar for those who know and a conversation starter when you have guests that have never heard of the show. Don't fill it up, but offer cookies, the jar takes care of the punch line for you.

8. "The Walking Dead" Daryl Dixon Action Figure - $16.99
Yes, that's right. You can now own a mini plastic, ripped Daryl Dixon. Figure comes complete with signature crossbow and string of squirrels. The only thing that would make it better would be a zombie ear necklace. If Daryl isn't your cup of tea (what's wrong with you?!), you can choose from most other members of our merry band of survivors. Ideally, get the entire cast and re-enact scenes from your favorite episodes. On that note, don't bother me in January. I'm busy.

9. "Awkward" Jenna Lives/In Tribute Tee - $25
If you watch the best show MTV has ever made, then you don't really need any explanation. If you don't watch, you should. And then you'll want a Jenna Lives t-shirt. Plus, it's got my name on it. Buy it. Wear it.

10. "Revenge" Infinity Box - $24.99
Ok, so I'm teetering on whether or not to drop this show. Regardless, this is a pretty box. You don't have to be hell bent on revenge for your father whose business associates framed him for a terrorist attack to have this box. Or you can. It's up to you. This is actually a really good gift because you can give it to someone that doesn't watch, but if you give it to a fan, they may feel the need to seek vengeance for something awful that's happened to you. Gift carefully.

11. "PanAm" Carry On Bag - $89
You too can be as fashionable as the worldly stewardesses of PanAm. Disclaimer: Carrying this bag does not mean that you will travel the world for free, get to meet the president, or be recruited to the CIA. It does however mean that you will look super cute and retro (in that stylish '60s way, not a dirty '70s way). Start packing...

12. "Bones" Booth's Cocky Belt Buckle - $29
What is the first thing you notice about Seeley Booth? No, not his dreamy eyes...or his sparkling smile...or his great head of hair. Look lower. It's his signature cocky belt buckle. If there's a man in your life that must conform for his career but really wants to rebel, this is a must have. Who knows, maybe you can find some matching socks.

13. "Sons of Anarchy" What Would Gemma Do? Billfold Case - $24.95
I find myself asking that exact question more than you'd think. If you're a badass or a badass biker mama wannabe, this might just be the accessory for your spikey leather handbag. It's great for carrying business cards, cigarettes and razor blades. You just never know.

14. "Inbetweeners" Briefcase Wanker Laptop Skin - $24.50
Let's face it. We've all got a little briefcase wanker in us. Maybe you're more of Neil. Either way, if you love this raunchy British teen comedy as much I do, there's no better way to pay homage than with this skin. Or check out the Friends! (thumbs up) t-shirts and iPod skins.

15. "Parks & Rec" Ron Swanson Cookie Gift Box - $30
This may be the most amazing edible gift I've ever seen. I don't even know what to say. I'm speechless. Just order.

Feel free to add your suggestions.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Television + Me = True Love

Last night was a great night for television. Traditionally, Thursdays have been the must see night, but Sunday has kicked Thursday's ass in the last few years and especially this season.

What would we do without DVR, VOD and East Coast feeds (thank you Buddha for the East Coast feeds!). Last night, I was able to watch "Dexter", "Boardwalk Empire", "Homeland", and "The Walking Dead" all of which had some major moments, some of them squeal worthy. I've got it down to a science these days. DVR the EST showings of the premium cable series and watch back to back. By the time you're finished it's time for some AMC, sometimes TNT, occasionally FX (but that's usually on Tuesdays). Within 24 hours, you can watch four, five series all airing in the same time slot depending on your viewing device preference. Beats the hell out of the days when you just missed it altogether or had to fiddle with your VCR to tape one show at a time and you better be sure there's no overlap. Oh, what's a VCR you ask? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videocassette_recorder

So what's her point, you may be asking yourself? Well, there's some great television being made right now and you can watch (and therefore appreciate) a lot of it all at once thanks to technology. If you want it, the content is there and it's actually good, nay great/super/amazing/marvelous/enter your positive adjective here.

You might not share my fondness for zombies, affection for serial killers, "respect" yes in quotes, for gangsters or curiosity in terrorists, but there is well written drama on the air and yes, mostly on premium and cable networks willing to take chances. Best possible example I can give you from the last three months, FX's biker tragedy "Sons of Anarchy". I tread lightly as you know if you follow creator Kurt Sutter's Twitter feed that he's not a fan of TV bloggers. But he shouldn't have a problem with me as I don't have a single negative thing to say. "Sons" is so superbly written that I literally go into series withdrawal between seasons. I know. I have a problem. Unfortunately I don't know of any TV rehabs or if I'd even want to go. One of the things I was thankful for this past Thursday (and all year long) is that there are terrific stories being told and I get to watch them. This is what gets my juices flowing.

The morning after a phenomenal episode, I can't wait to talk about it and share that excitement with someone that will geek out as hard as I do. AMC understood this need and gave us "Talking Dead", a panel show to discuss each ep of their record setting hit series "The Walking Dead". Chris Hardwick is the cute, skinny, male version of me flipping out about any of my favorite shows. The difference, he's on TV and gets zombie ear necklaces from Greg Nicotero (JEALOUS!!!!). Ok...there's probably a few other differences too. If only I could have panel discussions every day with the creators/writers/stars/fans of shows I love. We could start out with once a week too, that's cool. I can make it work. Anywaaaaayyy....I suppose I should wrap this up. If you've ever spoken to me in person you know that I could go on for days but I'll leave you with this....

There is an abundance of Great (with a capital G) television out there right now and you can see it all if you want to. If you need suggestions on where to start, drop me an email and I'll give you a couple dozen recommendations or a refined list based on your taste. That's right, I'm a matchmaker too (but don't expect to see any reality shows on that list. They are my Kryptonite).

Happy viewing my friends

Monday, October 10, 2011

Do You Feel "Enlightened"?

Mike White and Laura Dern are co-creators of the latest HBO comedy "Enlightened". Dern plays an executive in the health and beauty industry who after having an affair with her boss, has a super embarrassing meltdown in the office. Broken Amy Jellicoe heads to Hawaii where she learns to meditate and swim with sea turtles. Cut to three months later and Amy is blackmailing her way back into her old company...with the best of intentions.

Luke Wilson is Levi, Amy's drug addicted ex-husband. It seems that despite the divorce, Amy and Levi still have some sort of relationship...but she draws the line at snorting blow on the coffee table. This should be good. Her slightly cold and distant mom is played by Dern's real life mother, Diane Ladd. Imagine the possible drama on that set. Amy is staying at her mom's while she gets herself back on her feet. I love everything about the house from the rainbow painting in the living room to the plastic plants and fake grass.

So, Amy is back at work. Will her co-workers be able to tolerate the new her? It will be fun tuning in to see. I really enjoyed it. A breakdown is almost always amusing and Amy's was particularly so. If you don't believe me, just look at the billboards and bus banners documenting the worst day of her life (or just scroll up). The premiere was well written by and directed by Mike White. The score, written by veteran composer Mark Mothersbaugh was terrific. Light, yet soulful. Plus, they use the Regina Spektor song Human of the Year. Very nice. The best part about it is that Amy is relatable. She's real. There have been days where I've felt like I was on the edge. The same edge that Amy jumped/fell from. Wonder if I would have come back as the picture of tranquility. Probably not.

Check out "Enlightened", Mondays at 9:30 on HBO, right after "Bored to Death".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

See the Original After the Failed Remake- Free Agents

On Saturday night, BBC America premiered the original "Free Agents" on which the recently cancelled American version was based. The pilot was nearly the exact same script swapping out the overly British-y words and phrases for ones Americans who don't watch BBC can understand. The original is far more dirty than the remake (and the remake was pretty filthy for NBC standards). I thought the Americanized series was ok, it had potential. Now that I've seen the original, I've realized that it's somewhat better. The only problem is that there are so many words (curse and those I don't consider to be) bleeped out. At times, it's distracting as the characters tend to spew foul comment after foul comment.

Freshly divorced and chronic crier Alex is played by Stephen Mangan who most recently was seen as in Showtime's "Episodes". Ironic that in "Episodes" he was British television writer adapting his show for an American audience only to have it suck? That's funny because as mentioned above, the American version of "Free Agents" was cancelled after only 3 eps aired.

His coworker and "bed buddy" (this is a clean blog, people) is Helen, fellow talent agent at CMA. Irish actress Sharon Horgan is a grieving fiancee attempting to drink her way through the pain of her young betrothed's death.

Anthony Head (Giles to you "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans) is Alex and Helen's sexually charged boss Stephen. Frankly it's a miracle that he hasn't been sued for harassment with his behavior, but makes for funny television. Head even reprised his role in the American production. Hope he didn't sign a lease.

The opening titles are cute and the main characters have good (not great) chemistry. Unfortunately, the supporting characters are not as humorous as their American counterparts. If you like the NBC show, give this one a try. It's not a huge commitment since the U.K. original only lasts one season which is six episodes (average length of a British season or series as they call it). So, I'll keep watching as it's a total 3 hours out of my life and there are a few laughs, but the first two episodes didn't blow me away. Not sure if the more recent go of it affected my judgement though.

Saturdays at 11pm on BBC America. Part of the Ministry of Laughs.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My TV Family

Who hasn't watched a show or a movie, fallen in love with a character and though "I wish she was my big sister" or "if only he was my dad"? Well I've created version one of my television family. If I could cherry pick each member from one of my favorite shows, here's who I'd be related to.....(warning: this is subject to change)

Dad - This was the hardest choice for me, so it's the only category with a tie. I can't decide between Ned Stark from "Game of Thrones" and Leroy Jethro Gibbs from "NCIS". Not sure why I picked two dudes with funky hair. If you don't like the tie, think of Ned as being my dad and Gibbs as my step dad. I have a feeling that both of them would scare the hell out of any dates daring enough to pick me up at home (weapons aside).
Both have that protector quality that all little girls need and want. Ned encourages his children in their interests however gender inappropriate they may be (for the time period) and doesn't abandon his bastards. He's a good guy like that. Gibbs may not always say what he's feeling, but his actions speak louder than words. Just ask Abby Sciuto.

Mom - Camille from "Parenthood". She seems to have it all together in the mom department. As matriarch of the Braverman clan, Camille knows when to back off and let her kids and grand kids make their own mistakes and when to intervene. She's always got a shoulder for you to cry on and a hot cup of tea waiting. Don't get me wrong, she's not perfect. There was the whole affair thing, but that's what makes her real. (I'm not crazy, I know she's not an actual person)

Big Brother - Seeley Booth from "Bones". I've always wanted a big brother. One that is dependable, protective and always has my back. Can't get much better than Booth in that area. Just imagine a teenage Seeley taking up for his little sister. For some reason, the visual in my head is of him wearing a letterman jacket. Not surprising that he followed in Dad's footsteps working for the government and going off to war (see how that works for either dad?!).

Big Sister - Lily from "How I Met Your Mother". We'd be close in age, but she's a little older, giving me lots of advice. In this parallel universe, I'm also small enough that we could share clothes and shoes. Hanging out with her and her husband Marshall is super fun. Can't wait for my little niece or nephew to arrive.

Husband - Jim from "The Office". We'd been friends for ages, but it was only a couple of years ago that he told me how he felt. I felt the same way! It wasn't long before we were planning a wedding and now we've got a beautiful baby.

Daughter - Hope from "Raising Hope". Seriously the cutest baby on television....and so well behaved. Always smiling and looking just over my shoulder, that is when she's not playing with the dog. She loves to woof at them.

Now that you all think I'm officially crazy, what would my TV family and I watch if we all sat down in front of the TV together? Any suggestions?

Who would your TV family be?

P.S. I'm in the process of picking out my extended family in my head and I see Supernatural's Bobby Singer as a grumpy uncle. Don't you think he'd make a good addition?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Five Reasons I like "Terra Nova" (So far...)

Finally got a chance to catch up with the pilot of "Terra Nova". Monday nights are gonna be packed this fall, however you should check out this new series. If you haven't seen it, Earth is dying. Scientists find a fracture in time and a new settlement is created 85 million years in the past. Sounds stupid, but I really enjoyed it, much to my surprise. Here's why...

1. Gorgeously shot in Australia, this series is stunning to the eye. No expense was spared in the multi multi muliti million dollar pilot (they're saying upwards of $20 mil). Risky, but if the story grabs us, it could my visual substitute for "Lost".

2. The men. Love Jason O'Mara. He doesn't have the best luck with new shows ("Men in Trees" and the Americanized "Life on Mars"), but he's so damn likeable. Stephen Lang is much like his character in Avatar, but that's what he does best. This time around he's on the good side as Commander Taylor. New crush, Dean Geyer who upon research found out that he was an Australian Idol. That's right. Still cute. I'm not however a big fan of the son, Josh. Guess the juvenile, spiteful behavior of a typical teenage boy isn't appealing to me.

3. Christine Adams. As Mira, Adams is leader of the Sixes which is a renegade group surviving outside the settlement. In the one major scene she had, she was powerful and engaging. I get the feeling being anything else is out of the question for Christine. I remember her most as the cold sister-wife of Joel McHale's character in a single episode of "Pushing Daisies". That's how memorable she was. Being a badass leader will be a home run for her.

4. The action/suspense. I'm not a fan of horror, but everyone likes a little suspense. They did a pretty good job or keeping me on the edge of my seat. I'll even go so far as to say, they could save some bucks and show the dinos even less. What you can't see, scares you more. All in all the pacing was good. Hope they can keep it up in 42 minute episodes.

5. The mystery. There is strange gold writing or equations on the walls near some waterfalls. Commander Taylor and the Sixes know it's there and they want to keep it secret. Does this mean other humans have been there? From another time? What does it mean???!!!! Can't wait to find out....as long as it doesn't take six seasons or the show gets cancelled before all is revealed.

You can watch the first episode at www.fox.com or even OnDemand. Finally! Fox is OnDemand (for me at least). Episode two will air Monday at 8pm, just before the premiere of "House", which is also going to be A...wait for it.....MAZING!

Did you watch? What did you think?

Monday, September 26, 2011

First Round of New Dramas Hits the Air Waves

After a crazy week, I finally had the chance to catch up on some of the latest dramas to premiere. Here are my thoughts. What are yours?

"Pan Am"
Our obsession with nostalgia continues with the production of another sixties era drama. While NBC has those girls in bunny costumes, ABC has classy ladies in airline stewardess uniforms (complete with girdle). Jack Orman and Thomas Schlamme bring us into the sophisticated world of flight attendants, pilots and even spies. Christina Ricci plays head purser Maggie who is accompanied by French mistress Colette and rich sisters Laura (who ran out on her wedding) and Kate (newly recruited spy). In the first ten minutes, I was hooked. The costuming is nothing less than STUUUU..Ning. Schlamme did a wonderful job of directing the pilot episode which had a great glow to it, while keeping a clean, fresh look. The score was fitting and beautiful. This show is going to blow "The Playboy Club" out of the water. Being on a network, they probably won't have the the freedom that "Mad Men" has to get as dark and dirty, but "Pan Am" has the potential to give them a run for their money. Watch out Matthew Weiner.

Sundays at 10pm on ABC

Verdict: Watch it!!!!

"Hart of Dixie"
It's a fish out of water story starring that girl from the Magnum ice cream commercials. You might know her as Rachel Bilson from a little show called "The O.C.". Dr. Zoe Hart is on her way to becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon but her bedside manner could use some fine tuning. Since graduating from medical school, Zoe's received job offers in the form of small town postcards from one Harley Wilks. With basically no other choice after an ultimatum from her boss, she decides to take the position of hillbilly healer in Bluebell, Alabama where the mayor is a former NFL player with a pet alligator and the women dress up like Scarlett O'Hara and dance in the town square. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the lead should be believable as a doctor. The only thing Bilson makes me believe is that she's a ditz with a mental illness which makes her think she's a doctor. The folksy element is cliched to say the least and in the last act, we find out that Wilks (the now dead doctor that lured her down there) was actually her biological father. Sorry for the spoiler if you're delusional enough to be excited about this show. Despite having two "Friday Night Lights" alums and being created by "Eli Stone" writer Leila Gerstein, I'm gonna have to take a big ol' pass on this one. ROLL. TIDE.

Mondays at 9pm on CW

Verdict: Don't bother

Dylan Walsh and Poppy Montgomery return to television in yet another procedural for CBS. Walsh is NYPD Detective Al Burns (I know, horrible name) and Montgomery is Carrie Wells, former cop/homicide consultant who has a condition preventing her from forgetting a single detail...ever. The only things she can forget are the details surrounding her sister's murder. And oh yeah, Carrie and Al used to be a couple so I'm sure there'll be more than a little tension in this newly formed team. When Carrie recalls the memories, she's in the memory, walking through it, watching herself. It's annoying. The overkill continues by giving Carrie a mother with Alzheimer's. "Unforgettable" will most likely be my mom's new favorite show, but you need a better gimmick than crazy good memory to rope me into another cop show. It's difficult for me to get into and respect a series that treats its audience like idiots and ends on a freeze frame (NCIS excluded). Come on, throw me a curve ball. Nothing exceptional about this procedural.

Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS

Verdict: Don't bother (but tell your parents to give it a try)

Emily Vancamp is in the Hamptons and big surprise....looking for revenge (as a girl named Emily, not very original ABC). Back when Emily was Amanda, an eight year old girl spending the summer in the Hamptons with her successful single dad, the wealthy that rule this exclusive town were responsible for her father's downfall. She's back (undercover) and worming her way into the lives of the rich and fabulous all so that she can destroy them. Forgiveness is not an option. As expected, it's very melodramatic, but there was enough mystery to keep me interested. Madeleine Stowe is a natural queen bitch as Victoria Grayson. Not a fan of hers, but she's well cast as this cold and calculating matriarch. I have such a crush on the Henry Czerny who plays cheating husband Conrad to Victoria. What a silver fox! "Roswell" fans might recognize Nick Wechlser as a local boy who was a true friend to Amanda as a child. Not sure how I feel about him, but I think having the "real people" element will be good for balance in a world of fake rich people. If you like fancy clothes and houses, you might like it. I'll give it another episode or two and see how it goes.

Verdict: Give it a try

Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC

"Person of Interest"
Ben Linus is back! Ok, so it's not Ben Linus, but Michael Emerson is playing another character that pulls all the strings in CBS' newest crime drama (with a twist!). Emerson's Mr. Finch recruits former Army Ranger Reese (Jim Caviezel...yes Jesus) to help him prevent crimes which he predicts from a machine he built. It sounds all sci-fi referring to it as a "machine" instead of software, but I read that it's actually based on technology that is in use and will be in the next few years. Unfortunately this magic machine only gives out social security numbers and the owners could be the victim or perpetrator. Let's all agree that Caviezel is not the best actor, but I do think he was well cast a soldier. The action was fun, but a bit over the top. Emerson was as creepy and mysterious as ever, just the way we like him. The transitions using a montage of security footage is cool. I was weary of this show after reading the descriptions, but it has potential. If the directors and writers can use the strengths of Caviezel, Emerson and the fabulous Taraji P. Henson who plays an NYC detective, they could have a winner. Focusing on how we're close to this reality will draw me in more than talking about a magic machine that spits out qualitative information. I'll give it a few more eps. How could I not with Mr. Emerson in the mix? Plus it's created by Jonathan Nolan. You might have seen his name in the credits of a few little movies called Momento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. That gives me high hopes.

Thursdays at 9pm on CBS

Verdict: Give it a try

"A Gifted Man"
Women around the world were ecstatic to hear that Patrick Wilson would be headed to our living rooms every week in CBS' latest meta drama. Wilson plays successful surgeon Dr. Michael Holt who's life has been his work. When his do gooder ex-wife dies, she begins appearing to Michael from beyond the grave teaching him how to be a better man. It's all very idealistic so if you're into that kind of thing, good for you. For me, there were far too many centered close ups and white light. Although Holt has a good bedside manner with his patients and their worried families, he treats his assistant (played by the amazing Emmy winner Margo Martindale) like crap despite admitting she's the glue that keeps him together. That really rubs me the wrong way and makes it hard for me to root for him. The writers try to soften his character with a single parent sister raising a teenage son, but I can't stand Julie Benz (aka Rita from Dexter). Strike two is the blatant product placement of the iPad. I swear it's in every other scene. So far, Margo Martindale is the only reason to return and I don't believe that she's signed as a regular. My prediction is that this show will either sink very quickly or air of eight seasons. Depends on how much the old people like it.

Fridays at 8pm on CBS

Verdict: Don't bother (unless "The Ghost Whisperer" and "Touched by an Angel" are your favorite shows EVER)

***What are you favorite new dramas? Can't wait for the second wave...coming soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's the Odd Couple with Chics! 2 Broke Girls

Apparently Whitney Cummings should stick to creating shows because "2 Broke Girls" was instantly funnier that "Whitney" which she stars in. Kat Dennings (40 Year Old Virgin and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) plays Max, a sharp tongued, street smart, no nonsense waitress. She waits tables at a scuzzy diner in Brooklyn where the newest staff member, Caroline is a down and out uptown girl. These two broke girls couldn't be more opposite, I know.... shocking. After Max comes around to Caroline's charms, the two decide to go into business together....well to raise money to go into business together. I'm sure shenanigans will ensue as these unlikely pals attempt to work multiple jobs, including nanny-ing for a real housewife that named her children Brad and Angelina. Yup.

Aside from the cheesiness of being filmed in front of a studio audience, it's actually pretty funny. The dialogue is razor sharp (with a the exception of a "tender" moment toward the end). Max says everything I wish I was clever enough to say in the moment including putting a couple of hipsters in their place. The characters are quirky and likable for the time being. I'll definitely give this one a chance. Check it out Mondays at 9:30 on CBS.

P.S. There's a horse involved.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Girl is Simply Adorkable

Let me start by saying that I wasn't clever enough to come up with "Simply Adorkable". Some creative copywriter over at Fox probably did. I saw it on the site and loved it. Ok, now on to the post. If you want to get a jump on Fox's new comedy series "New Girl", go to Hulu.com this week to watch the first episode. Already expecting to like this show, I loved it! Zooey Deschanel is quirkly and lovable (as usual) in her role as Jess, a recently single girl moving in with three guys she met on craigslist. Her new roomies have to adjust to a lady in the house, but they soon fall for her charms. And by charms, I mean her Lord of the Rings references, horrible sense of fashion and tendency to make up theme songs about herself. Ok, so maybe lady wasn't the right word.

Jess' roommates are Nick, Schmidt and Winston. After only one ep, I'm already super crushing on Nick. He was dumped six months ago, so can totally relate to Jess. He's compassionate and mature. Just what Jess needs in her life right about now. Schmidt on the other hand has inspired one of my favorite things in the show, The Douchebag Jar. That's right, after every douchey thing he says or does, he has to put a dollar into the jar (it's always full). LOVE IT! That could totally come in handy.

In the pilot episode, one of the roommates is Coach, played by Damon Wayans Jr. Since "Happy Endings" was picked up for a second season, he wasn't able to do the show. I wish there was a way he could have done both. I'm loving this guy. Cuter than his father and definitely has the family funny gene. From what I can tell on Fox.com, Coach is replaced by a similar character that is a former athlete, also played by a tall, bald, African America man in his late twenties. But not the same character? I'm a little confused. Guess I'll figure it out when I see the second episode. Jess is also supported by her best friend Cece, who happens to be a model. Not sure if we'll meet her mom, but sounds like they're close. She knew after a break up, Jess would be watching Dirty Dancing on repeat. It's like we're the same person!

I am really excited about this show. Normally endearing isn't a word you'd use to describe a comedy, but this one totally is. Part of me feels like Jess and the other part wants to take care of her. Although it's unlikely in real life, it's sweet that these boys (who are basically strangers) want to be her guides.

In the pilot (and yes I know it's just a pilot) the characters are all very well written, funny but with loads with room to grow. There is a great dynamic among the cast. I imagine they all have fun on set. There is a bright tone that gives the viewer a hopeful feeling. Jess will get through this breakup and come out the other side with three new best friends....and hijinks will occur in the meantime. So I highly encourage you to check out "New Girl" on Fox Tuesdays at 9pm starting Sept 20th. But you can see the pilot on Hulu.com right now.

P.S. Don't forget to start your own Douchebag Jar. We've all got on in our lives. Why not profit?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PaleyFest's NBC Fall Preview Party

On Thursday night, The Paley Center hosted the NBC Preview Party. What was extra cool, was that it was totally free (unless you got screwed by the public parking garage like I did) and there were goodies. The night was kicked off by a viewing of "Whitney" and a panel discussion with the stars and producers. Following the panel, was a showing of the five more brand spankin' new NBC shows. Here's my take...

"Whitney" - Some of you may already know Whitney Cummings from "Chelsea Lately" or a couple celebrity roasts. She's been doing stand up for years and this fall TV season, she's got two new shows. This one is autobiographical and she's also the creator and producer of the CBS comedy "2 Broke Girls". In "Whitney", she and her boyfriend of 3 years (played by Chris D'Elia aka stoner Stankowski of Glory Daze) are in a committed relationship with no plans to get married. They are accompanied by four pals. Two are engaged and giddy. One is a disgusting bachelor on the prowl and the last is a drunk, bitter, divorcee (she's my favorite).

I love the billboards around town. They're so funny, but the actual show left something to be desired. It's multicamera and shot in front of a live audience. During the panel, everyone expressed how proud they were of that fact, but I failed to see why it made the show better for the viewer. I totally get that it provides an energy for these stand ups turned actors, but so much about this series from the audible laughs to the cheesy lines is cliche. I love D'Elia, but he had a smile on his face after every funny line he delivered, which made it less funny for me. My final verdict, I couldn't stand it. Unless you're already a huge fan of Whitney Cummings, skip it. I'm sure you can find something else to watch or do on Thursdays at 9:30.

"The Playboy Club" - It's the early '60s. You're in Chicago. You want to look at sexy ladies. Where do you go? Why the playboy club of course...if you've got a key. Eddie Cibrian does, or should I say hot shot lawyer Nick Dalton does. In the pilot he helps a new bunny who's gotten into some trouble. The killing kind, not the baby kind. The shocking violence that transpired was very abrupt, occurring in the first few minutes. That pretty much took me out of it.

Although the costumes were gorgeous and the art direction superb, the acting left something to be desired. And the story.....really? It was melodramatic and soapy. If that's what you're looking for, go ahead and give it a try. But for me, it's a thumbs down. I could hardly wait for it to end, but maybe you're looking for some bunny tail on Mondays at 10pm.

"Up All Night" - Christina Applegate and Will Arnett play new parents without a clue in this new single camera comedy. Chris (Arnett) is getting used to being a stay at home dad while wife Reagan (Applegate) goes back to work for crazy talk show host, Ava (Maya Rudolph).

Very excited about this show. After finally getting into "Samantha Who" this summer, I'm definitely a big Christina fan and who doesn't love Will Arnett?! Plus, if you're over 25 you can most likely relate to this subject because you've either gone through it all or are fearing babies without handbooks. Check this one out....seriously. Wednesdays at 10pm.

"Prime Suspect" - Based on the highly successful British series starring Dame Helen Mirren, the American version features Maria Bello as a New York City Homicide Detective Jane Timoney. Jane is no ordinary cop. She takes an unorthodox approach in her investigations as she has more to lose being the only girl in an all boys club.

I like it! So far anyway. There are never enough strong, badass women on television so it's refreshing when you see one that carries a gun and makes no apologies for going after what she wants. Plus, her live in boyfriend is played by my dream boyfriend Kenneth Johnson (aka Lem on "The Shield" or Kozik on "SOA"). After seeing all the ads (Cop. An Attitude) and the first half of the pilot with Jane being all tough, I really liked that they showed her vulnerable side. It makes sense that someone fighting that hard would break down every now and then. I don't see too many men liking it but I'm hoping it will be hit with the ladies. Whether you're a Dick or a Jane, check it out on Thursdays at 10pm.

"Free Agents" - In another British import, Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn play Alex and Helen, coworkers at a Portland PR firm. Alex is divorced and missing his kids. Helen is still mourning her dead fiance after a year and drinking her way through it. They are both a hot mess, but like everyone else, just trying it figure it out. Unfortunately, sleeping together may have complicated things...or does it?

This one definitely has potential. I'm always interested in screwed up characters, so of course I like both leads. So great to see Hank Azaria and finally Kathryn Hahn is cast as a lead. For years, she's been the best friend and I've always thought she was too funny to just be the best friend. If you're a "Buffy" fan, you'll love seeing Anthony Head reprise his role as the out of touch boss. Give this one a try and let's see where it goes. Wednesdays at 10:30pm.

"Grimm" - Detective Nick Burkhardt is no ordinary cop. He's a decendent of the Brothers Grimm who were more than just fairly tale writers. They were supernatural profilers. It's now up to Nick to keep the evil supernatural creatures in check. Burkhardt is backed up by partner Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) and a reformed werewolf (Silas Weir Mitchell) who teaches Nick about the supernatural world.

I'm not sure yet. The Grimm world is beautifully shot, has great effects and made us jump in the first minute and a half, but there's something missing. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but it needed a little something. Not crazy about the lead. David Guintoli didn't grab me the way a network lead should. I love Russell Hornsby, but his character really bothered me. The actual people in this supernatural world, don't seem real. The humans in a world full of creatures need to be relatable as they are our touchstone. Hopefully the writing will improve to match the cinematography. If you're into big bad wolves and other fairy tale creatures, check out "Grimm" Fridays at 9pm. Wait...does NBC really want it to succeed? Historically, Fridays are where shows go to die. Hmmmm......

Wish I could have made it to the other network preview parties. Maybe next year. In the meantime, hope this helps you decide which new NBC shows to check out. Keep an eye out for lots of reviews in the next few weeks as the new schedule unfolds.

Get Ready To Laugh!

Who ever thought I would have seven returning comedies to look forward to this fall? Not me, I'm such a drama queen (when it comes to television that is). I much more likely to be watching "The Killing" or "The Shield" than "Two and a Half Men". Well, let's face it, you couldn't pay me to watch "Two and a Half Men". In any case, my TV schedule has been jam packed with murder, torture, backstabbing and other horribleness for the last several years. I've finally found somewhat of a balance with dramedies and full on sitcoms such as these seven, returning this fall that I am totally psyched about.

"RAISING HOPE" - White trash at the height of hilarity. The Chance family doesn't have much, but they've got more love for Baby Hope than they can handle. Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Lucas Neff, Shannon Woodward and Cloris Leachman have me in stitches every week as their characters attempt to raise the cutest baby on television.

"MODERN FAMILY" - There is no better representation of today's family and relationships than those shown on "Modern Family". Let's face it, things aren't what they were when we were kids. Fewer things are funnier than watching these parents (especially Ed O'Neil's Jay) raise children who have cell phones, laptops and more friends on Facebook than Claire has neuroses.

"HAPPY ENDINGS" - The new Friends? Maybe. It's too early to tell, but this group of late twenty somethings was surprisingly hilarious. It's got the bride that left the groom at the alter, but their still gonna be friends friends, the crazy fun girl, the interracial married folks and it's even got the straightest gay guy you've ever met (on TV that is). For me, it's a formula for funny.

"HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER" - After six seasons, I still love the McClaren's gang. That whole Zoey story line last season had me a little disappointed but I have faith that they'll bounce back. Will Barney and Robin get back together? Will Ted meet the mother this season (or ever)? Will we get to see Lily through her inevitably hilarious pregnancy? I hope the answer is yes to all of the above.

"THE OFFICE" - Will The Office be funny without Steve Carell? James Spader is funny, but in that creepy way. So what does that mean for Dunder Mifflin Scranton? Does it all go down hill from here? I hope not and I'll definitely be tuning it because even without Carell, you've got the hilarious Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, Ed Helms and entire gang.

"BORED TO DEATH" - Jason Schwartzman + Ted Danson + Zach Galifianakis + Lots of Weed + Private Investigating = An Extremely Comical HBO Series. This could possibly be my favorite of Ted Danson's roles. It was so unexpected which was why it is so amusing. Galifianakis delivery is side splitting. Can't wait!!!!

"PARKS AND RECREATION" - Last season was so great with the addition of Rob Lowe and Adam Scott to the cast. This season, we can look forward to Patricia Clarkson as Tammy 1, Ron Swanson's first crazy wife. How amazing is that going to be?! Will Leslie run for mayor? I hope so. Will she and Ben fiiiiinally get together. They better!!!