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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

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.

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