Tuesday Is The New Thursday

It used to be that Thursday night was my favorite TV night.  The only night I bothered to watch any television program as it aired rather than record it and watch a day or two later when I could fast-forward through commercials.  Thursday at 8pm, I was on my couch, my TV tuned in to NBC.  It began with Community, moved on to 30 Rock, then Parks & Rec and ended with The Office.  Hell of a line-up, am I right?

Brooklyn 99Then NBC started screwing with Community’s schedule, splitting each season in two, airing its episodes seemingly randomly with little or no promotion.  Then 30 Rock reached its close, soon followed by The Office.  Now, Parks & Rec is the only one of those shows still on air (I have no idea what happened to Community.  It was never officially canceled nor, as far as I can tell, is there any plan to put it back on air.  Wtf, NBC?) and while I do faithfully watch and love it, Thursday has become just another one-show night.

Not to worry, though, my dears, because as one door closes, another one opens.  Case in point: Tuesday night programming on FOX.  I have come to look forward to Tuesdays as I once did Thursdays and it’s all thanks to FOX’s current line-up.  At 8:30pm, Brooklyn Nine-Nine kicks off the night (I watched one miserable episode of Dads and will never put myself through that again), New Girl follows and The Mindy Project wraps it up.  That’s right: Tuesday is the new Thursday.

I know some folks think Andy Samberg is just a bit too much.  Too loud, too silly, too over-the-top.  If you fall into that category, allow me to set your mind at ease.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine is very much an ensemble show.  While Samberg is the star, his presence does not dominate every episode.  More than that, his trademark ridiculousness is fairly toned down here.  And he and the ever stoic Andre Braugher play off each other to utter perfection.  Every single episode elicits a few hearty laughs, some from Samberg’s goofy antics and many from others in this excellent cast, and they’re only getting better as the season progresses.

I admit I came late to New Girl, having just started watching this past summer, but once I began watching, I couldn’t stop until I was New Girlentirely caught up.  Zooey Deschanel has slowly won me over and now I am entirely hooked.  Like all great sitcoms, the cast as a whole is the real star here and every key player shines.  I’ve developed a full-on crush on Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield is one of the funniest comedic actors on TV right now.  Lamorne Morris can make even the most absurd plot line work for him and now, Damon Wayans, Jr. has come back to reprise his role as Coach, a character who’s been missed since the pilot, his one and only episode before this season.  His chemistry with the rest of them is so easy and charming, it’s like he never left.  Seasons 1 & 2 are currently streaming on Netflix, which means you have no excuse not to watch.

Finally, The Mindy Project may arguably be the weakest of the three but it has been getting The Mindy Projectincreasingly better since it first aired last year.  Mindy Kaling is hilarious and charismatic and Chris Messina in the male lead plays the sensible and pragmatic curmudgeon to her moody, pop culture-obsessed girly girl.  Ike Barinholtz, while occasionally creepy, often gets a laugh as the sweet but dopey nurse Morgan and Xosha Roquemore has been a great addition.  I wish Betsy would disappear (sorry Zoe Jarman – it’s the character, not you) but otherwise, the cast has pretty much found its groove.  Kaling and Messina have a fun “will they, won’t they” thing going on and thanks to Kaling’s many Hollywood connections, both seasons have been rife with awesome cameos.  (Mark Duplass needs to be permanently added to the cast; his hippie midwife rival character is too good and should be fully utilized.)

I don’t know what else you’ve got going on every Tuesday night, but I’m sure it can wait.  Forget reality TV and network dramas – thanks to FOX, the sitcom is making a comeback.

:) Nikki

Let’s Do This…

AMC released the full-length trailer for The Walking Dead season 4 at Comic-Con and whatever you may think of the show as a whole, there’s no denying the awesomeness of their trailers.

Sounds like they may be channeling 28 Days Later with that radio broadcast, which might actually serve the show well.  I have long considered 28 Days Later to be the best zombie flick ever made.  (Some argue that it isn’t a true zombie flick because the zombies became zombies by infection rather than reanimation after death.  Whatever.  Splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned.)

Plus, it appears that Daryl gets loads of screen time and anyone who watches knows that more Daryl = happiness. :)

~N.

Intelligence Is The New “Little Black Dress”

Russell_Brand_MSNBCI don’t know if you feel this way but there are few things sexier than a high IQ.  Well, a high IQ coupled with the ability to speak coherently, to express oneself with a relative amount of poise and grace.  Add to that a healthy dose of humor, and that’s what I call the jackpot.

Case in point is a celebrity I’ve never found particularly attractive but who recently demonstrated his intelligence by responding gracefully to the rudeness of a few talk show hosts.  I’m speaking of Russell Brand and if you don’t already know about this incident, don’t feel bad – neither did I until earlier today.  I’ll fill you in.  About a month ago, Brand was out promoting his new stand-up tour and interviewed with the folks on “Morning Joe” over at MSNBC.  Five minutes into the segment, the three hosts began talking about him as if he weren’t sitting at the table with them, referring to him in the third person and talking about his accent and his outfit rather than, you know, interviewing him about the tour he was there to promote.  They were obnoxiously rude and Brand rightly called them out on it.  And he did it with style, with humor and wit and a little commentary on the absurd topics that can be called “news” by the media.  He spoke intelligently, revealing to anyone listening his sharp wit and clever mind and for the first time ever, I found myself attracted to the man.

He spoke so well, I think he embarrassed and maybe even somewhat intimidated host Mika Brzezinski, who became so nervous she could barely form a sentence.  If you want to get right to the rude bit, skip to minute 5:00.  Otherwise, if you have 8:34 minutes to spare, I suggest watching from the beginning.

See… he looks kind of hot now, doesn’t he?  I said it before and I’ll say it again: there are few bigger turn-on’s than intelligence.

~Nikki

Enough To Make My Systems Blow

Lost-Season-6

My deepest apologies for having been absent for so long.  I know you’re feeling ignored.  (And rightfully so.)  Truth be told, I’ve kind of been ignoring everything lately.  You see, about 6 weeks ago, I hurt myself.  Nothing major – just a pulled muscle.  But it was enough to keep me off my feet for a few days and so I began an endeavor that I’d been putting off for some time.  A friend had been pushing me to watch Lost.  I’d never seen it – not a single episode – when it aired and with 6 seasons of about 20 or so 45 -minute long episodes each, I simply didn’t have time.  It seemed a daunting commitment.  And then I hurt my leg.  And for three straight days, I did all I could to keep weight off of it, to keep it elevated, to sit on the couch and rarely move.  If ever there was a perfect opportunity to consume HOURS of television, this was it.  And now, more than 5 weeks later, I have but one season left, much to the dismay of the great many things (like this blog, for example) that I’ve ignored in the meantime.  All for the sake of watching just one more episode!

The weird thing is, I can’t say I’m in love with it the way I loved Breaking Bad or Dexter or even Sons of Anarchy.  I don’t feel like I’m so damn eager to see what happens next that I simply must keep watching.  I’m not emotionally invested in any of the characters.  What I feel is more like a burning curiosity to see how it all comes together.  Which isn’t to say that the characters aren’t developed, because they are, or that the story doesn’t suck you in, because it does.  But there’s just so much going on – supernatural forces, The Others, the black smoke monster, Ben Linus vs. Charles Whidmore, alternate realities, flashbacks, flash-forwards, are they dead, are they alive, what the hell is going on???  This show is BANANAS.  There’s too much crazy to get invested in the characters or any single plot line.  What keeps me watching one episode after another is the consuming desire to finish the series so that I might finally get some answers.  I just want to know how they’re going to pull it all together and whether or not they manage to do it well.

I’ve heard that the finale created a great divide among fans.  Passionately hated by many, yet genuinely liked by others.  I think that’s a good sign.  If it makes any real attempt at finishing the story, it will strike fury in the hearts of some while winning over others.  When the finale to a series is tolerably received by most, that typically means it’s too bland too either offend or seduce.  And I have no taste for “safe” writing.  Especially from a show like this.  A show that has been balls-to-the-wall insane from the very first frame.  That has introduced and developed more characters than its audience can keep track of.  That will spend 2 or 3 hour-long episodes developing a character just to kill him/her off before that season’s end.  That has more plot twists than a soap opera and is by no means bound by the laws of physics.  Polar bears live in Hawaii!  A conspiratorial experimental community lives in isolation, recruiting scientists and physicians for the purposes of… medical experimentation?  Social experimentation?  To satisfy the controlling needs of their sociopathic leader?  Who the fuck knows!  Plus, there’s a monster of the magical kind as well as an ageless immortal who can’t be seen by most people (but can by a select few) calling the shots as well as time travel and epic electromagnetic forces at play!  Seriously, how could a show that has twisted together plot lines and ideas of such OUTRAGEOUS PROPORTIONS play it safe at its finale?

Whatever happens, you know I’ll be back to talk about it.  In the meantime, thanks for being patient.  I swear, I haven’t forgotten you. :)

~Nikki

Tonight Is Just Your Night

I promise I’ll have an actual post for you tomorrow but for now, please feast your eyes on Jimmy Fallon and John Krasinski throwing it down in a lip syncing contest (you read that right) that covers both Katy Perry and RUN-D.M.C. and ends with Krasinski belting out a ballad from one of the best quartets ever to record music.

Seriously, I wish my job included acting like a goofball on national television with hilarious people while getting paid shit tons of $$$.

~Nikki

The Beginning Of The End

For those of you who may not know, Dexter is nearly at its end.  A great many folks out there feel this is overdue but I have enjoyed every season of the show so far.  Some more than others, of course, but I haven’t yet tired of it.  That being said, this is the series’s 8th season and god knows where else they could take our beloved serial killer.  I do NOT want to see him die, but I fear it’s inevitable.  I can’t decide whether I want it to be by Deb’s hands or not.

Here’s a combination trailer for both Dexter and Showtime’s newest series, Ray Donovan:

If you happen to be like me and simply can’t wait, you’re in luck.  Showtime released a 2 minute long sneak peak at the upcoming and final season of Dexter:

Timely or not, I hate goodbyes.

~Nikki

Fly Like Paper

Jim and PamI have been a faithful watcher of The Office nearly from its beginning and have loved the vast majority of its 184 episodes.  Naturally, Steve Carell’s departure left an obvious, gaping hole and at first, I admit I did think they should have ended the series when he left.  But this ninth and final season has been better, not quite hitting the bar set by those first few seasons, but much improved from the last couple.  I still do feel that the show has run its course and I’m glad this is the last season but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that is sad to see it go.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this:

“I am bothered by the developments that this season has brought to the Halpert family.  Jim and Pam haven’t always been the focus of the show but their chemistry and the evolution of their relationship has been a constant.  Some viewers felt it got a bit stagnant after they got married and started their family but I always felt that theirs was a natural relationship.  After all, what marriage doesn’t lose some of its zeal after the realities of daily life and the demands of family set in?  They stuck by each other and that was enough reward for me.  Earlier on in this season, when Jim pursued a career change and lost sight of Pam’s needs and wants, I felt this, too, was an organic and plausible story line.  But I expected one of them to close the gap.  To sacrifice for the other and for their family.  To stop communicating so poorly, to take a leap of faith, to lay it all out once and for all.  Whether it would be Jim sacrificing his dream job or Pam sacrificing their comfortable life in Scranton, I expected one of them to give in.

One could argue that families fall apart all the time.  Divorce in America is by no means an uncommon thing and this show has always maintained a commitment to exposing the sad, dreary aspects of the mundane lives of the working class.  Perhaps the destruction of the Halpert family is just one more harsh reality.  Jim and Pam may be no more special than any other couple who falls in love, gets married, raises a family and eventually grows apart.  I couldn’t call it unrealistic.  But it certainly isn’t what I expected, nor is it what I want to see.  Sink or swim, I want to see Jim and Pam together.”

Last night’s episode finally gave me what I’d been waiting for.  It was emotional, subtle, tender and it moved me to tears.  And it surprised me.  No surprise that The Office, with a mere 3 episodes left, still has the ability to make me tear up, but surprised that I doubted it would.  While the American series differs in a great many ways from its British point of origin, it has kept true to the pace that the show’s creators set.  They know just how long to keep you waiting, to make you damn near desperate for the pay-off, so much so that you’re even beginning to doubt you’ll get it.  We saw it with Tim and Dawn in the original series and even though Jim and Pam are really very different characters whose story has veered from that of their British counterparts, they’ve held true to the remarkable sense of timing that makes even something as small and ordinary as a hug feel monumental.

Paper Airplane

Yes, it’s true.  The Office: I will miss you.

~Nikki