Sunday, September 7, 2014

Amazon Pilot Season: The Cure for the Fall Jitters

What are the Fall Jitters you ask?

It's the shakes tv-aholics like myself get in late August/early September. The need for our favorite shows to come back and to finally see all the new fall shows we've been teased about for the past month.

I am in desperate need for new TV seasons. A girl can only watch Happy Endings  and Pretty Little Liars so many times before feeling an overwhelming need for new material.

Thankfully, Amazon's latest experiment gave me something new to watch with the power to vote on it, to boot.

At amazonoriginals.com I saw some decent new shows with some of my favorite actors. They brought back Sarah Chalke, Paul Reiser, and Chloe Sevigny to some interesting and different shows. While I'm not a fan of all that I saw, everything I watched was a decent pilot.

I really enjoyed Really because of the cast, the writing and the ending that definitely has me wondering what is going to happen next?

Red Oaks brought back Paul Reiser, and made him out to be a cocky-villain that I just really want to see more of.

The disappointment was The Cosmopolitans. I wanted to love this show so much because of the cast, and it's set in Paris. Unfortunately, it's more short film than compelling series material. With that said though, I'd give another episode a shot.

The best thing about all of these shows though, it helped soothe my need for new TV.. for an hour or so.

I want my fall TV....
(Stay tuned for some fall TV picks)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funke: Weekly TV Recap 2/24/12

Hey pals! It's a little late because I had a ton of TV to catch up to today, but here's this week's TV recaps and stories.

Favorites
1. The Good Wife - My only complaint about this show is completely CBS's fault. Why the heck did you put your best drama on Sunday nights during sports seasons? I hate having to DVR both The Good Wife and CSI: Miami, mostly because I'm embarrassed to have CSI: Miami on my DVR. With that said, this show is so strong with story line and characters. I was impressed by the famous Christian hand-job giver from True Blood, Anna Camp, this week. Her characters two-timing teases have me excited to see where they'll bring it too. I love the Alan Cummings story as well, mostly because if you were going to have two women vie for the attentions of Eli Gold, Parker Posey and Amy Sedaris are the only plausible actresses to pull that off.

2.Raising Hope - It's dangerous territory to put together two characters that have had chemistry. They did a good job with the first week of Jimmy and Sabrina's relationship and I hope they keep it up. The one thing that threw me off, why was Maw Maw so present this week as compared to her typical far-from-lucid demeanor?

3. Cougar Town - I caught up on the return and this week's at once. The start of the season was really strong. I want a wine necklace. I think the humor is definitely there, but I'm surprised how much more I like Happy Endings. They're very similar except Happy Endings doesn't have as much wine, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

4. Happy Endings - I love that there were Clueless references, butterfly effect jokes, and the fact that Max was literally a bear the entire episode. The best part though, "kewl!" I love the lexicon that this show brings back, or makes up. It's totes ahmazing.

5. Suburgatory - It was a really funny take on suburban trends this week, and a great Dahlia face-off to boot. I think this show is doing great for a first season, but this episode really nailed suburbia to me.

Changing channels...
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

1. Glee - This week was every school assembly + after school special combined with some less-than-exciting musical numbers. There were way too many themes jammed in, and by the time they got to the last one, not only did everyone see it coming, we were wincing because no one wanted it. I think that Ryan Murphy loves it when we talk about his shows. I think he's doing a great job at that, I just wish he was focused more on having us talk about the fantastic writing and flawless musical numbers instead of how ridiculous it is. I guess that's why we have Smash now.

2. How I Met Your Mother - So, this week we followed up the billionth "I love you, Robin" the same way pretty much all of them have. Nope, Ted and Robin shouldn't be together... but maybe Robin and Barney? I'm giving them one more episode and then I'm pulling the plug and watching repeats of RuPaul's Drag Race instead.

TV Trivia:
Real life couples on prime time that gross me out:

Penny & Leonard dated on and off on The Big Bang Theory, and Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco dated off-screen during the first season.
That has to be awkward to make out with your ex...

Almost as awkward as making out with your on screen brother, which is exactly what Lauren Graham and Peter Krause are doing. That's right brother and sister Braverman are together off-screen. First season several critics complained that the sexual tension between the two off-screen made for awkward on-screen scenes. Check out when Sarah and Adam worked together at the sneaker factory to see if you can see the sibling sparks. (grossssss)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Funke - Your Weekly TV Recap 2/17/12

Oh man, this week had redemption and some serious sitcom turmoil. Let's take a look at the playback, shall we?

Best of the Week
1. Joan Rivers on WWHL - Watch What Happens Live is Andy Cohen's talk show where usually the guests are forced to talk about all things Bravo. (BTW, Andy, call me. I'd TOTALLY be there.) This week he had Joan Rivers on and she was fantastic. Her honesty, and quick wit showed through. It was really awesome to see a female comic crack everyone up and reveal so much about the industry.

2. 30 Rock - Fantastic. I know I bashed last week's episode, but in comparison this week was possibly one of their best in a while. It was everything that made 30 Rock great. It had New York City references, a Batman reference, even the Jenna story was great. Also, I don't know why Mr. Met showed up, but as a Mets fan it totally made my night.

3. Smash -Oh wow, how original, another critic loves Smash. Honestly, I wanted to hate this show. I wanted to find the American Idol reject who sang 'Beautiful' in the constantly aired commercial and punch her in the face. That's how much I didn't want to like this show. The thing is, it's a pretty great show. Debra Messing is just as great as she was on Will & Grace, she even has a gay side-kick. I hope it's able to keep up the spot-on theatrical work, because if so, NBC finally might have some must-see TV again.

4. Revenge - I won't spoil it for you, but I just have to say this evening soap is doing a magnificent job with the twists and turns. It is keeping me hanging on, and counting the days till the next episode (Not for another 2 weeks!)

5. Parks & Recreation - They brought back Louis CK and he perfectly off of Adam Scott. As always though, Ron Swanson steals the show. The jazz subplot, just fantastic. Let's celebrate with some Ron Swanson meme:


Now, onto the best thing that ever happened to Reality TV

Big Ang.
Good lord, this woman is flippin' fantastic and crazy. Much like the rest of the Mob Wives, really. As Drita put it "Ya gotta love Big Ang, I mean, that voice!"

Biggest Upset of the Week - How I Met Your Mother.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT WRITERS ROOM??? Did everyone just get really tired and say, ya know what? Let's just pull a story line that we've done like 10 times now, because everyone will really dig that.
Come on! I feel like even the actors had to question that script. There better be a fantastic twist to follow, because that ending made me reconsider watching new episodes moving forward. Such a bummer.

SPOILER ALERT ABOUT HIMYM

Ted told Robin that
- wait for it-
he loves her.
In the most recent episode. Just like he has almost every season. Kids, you are never finding out who your real mom is.

Downton Abbey Progress Report - I am on catch-up with this fantastic show. Unfortunately, I made it my gym show, so I've only seen 3 hours of it. I really need to step up my game and get on an elliptical because I really feel like I'm missing out. What I will say is, what I've seen so far, I LOVE.


Fun Family Shows:
Shows that are actually still appropriate to watch with your kids:
Once Upon a Time
The Middle

Favorite TV Trivia of the Week:
The license plate on Cam and Mitchell's car on 'Modern Family' is the same as Larry David's on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' : 2GAT123

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Funke - Your Weekly TV Recap

This week had a lot of great shows. Let's take a look at the playback...

Best of the Week
My top 5 shows:
1. Pretty Little Liars - If you are not watching this show, what! what! what are you doing? Is it because it's on ABC Family? Get over it. I know the commercials for Joey & Melissa are painful, but this show, like Spanx, it is worth the discomfort.
Is it because they're teens? What, you'll watch them when they are singing but not when they are keeping life threatening secrets?
I'm just saying if you enjoy bitchy people, suspense, and some good ol' fashioned murder/teen drama get into it.
This week the girls had a slumber party in school, which made me wonder, does that really happen? I can't imagine there are enough chaperones in the world to handle a co-ed high school slumber party, but alas, it happened in the world of PLL. The best part of this week was the unexpected alliance of Mona and everyone's favorite lesbian swim team member, Emily. Their interactions made it seem like Mona was A more than ever, but at this point I could be A. Have you heard people think it might even be Ezra?

2. Top Chef Texas - This season promised it would be bigger and it is delivering. There's been really different competitions, and drama this season with the girls being edited as super catty (Which just begs for a reunion show, please Andy Cohen? Pretty please with Maker's Mark on top?). The best part this season though - Last Chance Kitchen. It was seemingly a throw-away at the end of each episode to drive traffic to bravotv.com. The chef that got kicked off was challenged by another former cheftestant in a short cook-off challenge, judge solely by Colicchio. Every week it was an awesome bonus to each episode. This week they let the winner return to the main competition and it was, of course, the most controversial chef - Beverly. While I wish she wouldn't cry so darn much, I really don't have anything against her. The rest of the chefs seem to have a beef with her - and it is not a delicious one. While I can't remember what they cooked, I do remember that this was the episode that everyone cried - it felt like a Michael Landon convention in the kitchen. I am bummed about who lost but still think the final challenges will be interesting and mouth-watering to watch.

3. Modern Family - Two of my favorite TV critics GMMR & Ducky of the TV TalkPodcast recently brought up a great point about this 3rd season sitcom - it's missing the allure of the first season since we were meeting all these crazy characters and didn't know all of their quirks. This week, in almost a way to combat that they brought together the characters in a new way foiling Cam and Gloria in the kitchen and bringing a new character onto the scene, Betty Luke. Greg Kinner's cameo was good, but it felt a little trite. Taking on mouth-kissers feels as though it's been done to death and while they tried to put a fun spin on it, it definitely wasn't the best part of the episode.

4. New Girl - Speaking of old conventions, New Girl took this week's episode out of the 90s cinema fad of threesomes, and made it hilarious. It resulted in wonderful uncomfortable humor that had me squealing with delight. I feel like it quelled some of the tension between Jess and Nick, which is good because while I wouldn't hate to see them together, I'd be totally cool with them drawing it out Sam and Diane style.

5. Glee - The sass off between Nene Leaks and Sue Silvester was so good I wanna make a ringtone of it. You honestly could just watch that clip, because other than that it wasn't all that thrilling. Ricky Martin was better at acting than I would've thought, in fact he kinda schooled Mr. Shuester in more ways than one. But was the world really missing Ricky Martin? I feel like he can go back to jet skiing with dolphins in Miami, we're good.

Something I Noticed
Wednesday night on ABC is what Thursday night on NBC used to be when it was 'Must See TV'. I have proof!
So, what made 'Must See TV' great was the stellar sitcoms. Just some to grace the mega ratings time slots were: Seinfeld, Mad About You, Friends, Fraiser, News Radio, and Will & Grace. The formula was - 1-2 strong sitcoms, 1-2 not as strong, but still funny sitcoms, and then ER would bring the drama to top off the night.
ABC has this formula playing out perfectly on Wednesdays, and if you're not on board yet set your DVR or put these in your streaming queue:
The Middle
Suburgatory
Modern Family
Happy Endings
and then the drama that tops it off, Revenge.

It's a mirror image to the formula of NBC's Must See Thursday, but now it's ABC Wednesday...and NBC is still trying to get that magic back on Thursday.

Disappointments of the Week
30 Rock - I love this show, I didn't need this week's to be an hour long. It felt stretched. I'm also feeling like Liz Lemon's character is becoming less inspiring. She used to be head of a show, stressing over writing and corralling all her crazy co-workers. I feel like it's now more about her just being an awful woman. Maybe it was just all the period references, but this week bummed me out a bit.

Real Housewives of Orange County - Over it! It just seemed like a build-up for more screaming. Can't you gals be classy like RHOBH and just say bitchy things and then point at each other with stern voices?

Guaranteed LOL Shows
Happy Endings
Modern Family

Shows that Need to Come Back Sooner than Later
Community
Cougar Town

Favorite Trivia of the Week
Madeleine Stowe of the fantabulous evening soap drama Revenge was also in the 1990 shitty movie also titled Revenge. It's not like a Buffy thing though, the TV show and movie do not share plot lines or characters.