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

So Say the Words I Long To Hear…2011 Emmy’s Recap

My random, rambling, errant thoughts on last night’s Emmy’s broadcast.

The opening number was stupid.  Jane Lynch is lovely, classy, joyful, and a blast to watch, but who writes this shit?  It is so gaggy and lame to view just sitting on my couch, I can’t imagine what all the “cool” hollywood people think as they’re forced to watch that crap, like the Clockwork Orange.  Also, the EmmyTones?  Are you fucking kidding me?  What a great group of actors, singing the stupidest things ever, to awkward silences and forced claps.  How they even managed to stand up there and get the words out, I’ll never know.  *Shudder*

How fun to get to watch Modern Family sweep the first 20 minutes of the show.  Gag me as Steve Levitan talked about his kids walking in on him and his wife “doing it” and how that was inspiration.  It came off as smug and creepy.  Listen, it’s a good show.  I watch it, I laugh.  But it’s not the best comedic show on television, goddammit.  In my well-informed opinion (I faithfully watch every nominee), Parks & Recreation was the most consistently funny, crazy, awesome comedic show this past year.  The others are all gravy, but P&R blew it out of the park.  Oh, oh, and somehow Phil and Claire Dunphy BOTH get to win?!?!  Those two characters are annoying as shit, stupid and lazy, and my least favorites on the show.  I do not think they’re the best male and female comedic supporting actor/actresses on TV.  Julie Bowen’s physique is terrifying, and while Ty Burrell sure seems like a swell guy, nobody makes me laugh like Jane Lynch and Eric Stonestreet.

For Lead Actress in a Comedy series, I loved how all the ladies stood up onstage together.  All I could think was that I wanted to hang out with them.  Martha Plimpton’s dress was FANTABULOUSO and damn did she wear it well.  I was also a huge fan of Laura Linney’s black shirt-dress, I thought it was flattering and sexy.  It was really adorable to watch everybody be so happy for Melissa McCarthy for her surprise win (pretty sure she mouthed ‘holy shit’ when her name was called) and while I do really freakin’ love her (shout out to Sookie!), didn’t they kinda give this to her cuz of Bridesmaids?  Is Mike and Molly really that great? (I don’t watch it, so my judgement here is completely crap – feel free to let me know if I’m wrong)

Charlie Sheen time-out!  WTF?  He seemed well put together, and like he meant what he said, but oh holy shit seriously?!  Dude, you talk about drinking tiger blood and how you’re a warlock and then you’re all normal, wishing CBS well??  HUH?  I’m confused.

Jim Parsons MORE THAN deserves his award, in my Big Bang Theory-lovin’ opinion. Sheldon is one of the most original, insane, awesome characters on TV and he’d be nothing without Parsons’ delivery.

Peter Dinklage is awesome, he’s my favorite male character on Game of Thrones.  His speech was great; I got a little teary when he told his wife how much he loved her and that she was awesome.  I know these people are winning an award for acting, so who the hell knows if they mean it, but hearing them profess their love always gets me all weepy.

Julianna Margulies doesn’t need to keep winning for The Good Wife, if only so we don’t have to keep hearing her thank her “spectacular” husband for the umpteenth time.  I am going to start throwing up on instant sight of her.  (Random love professions are sweet – see:  Dinklage.  Incessant, bi-yearly gushfests are nasty – see:  Margulies)  Biggest snub of the night was not giving the Lead Actress in a Drama to Connie Britton.  Why not do another hubby/wife winning duo and give it to Coach Eric AND Tami Taylor?  A gross error.

And on to Coach Eric, ah, Kyle Chandler,  you wondrous creature.  I had goosebumps and got teared up when Drew Barrymore and the new Charlie’s Angels (one of whom was Minka Kelly, a former FNL cast member) were so flipping excited and screamed his name, that was cute as shit.  He was clearly stunned, so gobsmacked that he forgot to thank his real life and on-screen wives, but I can’t care cause he’s amazing and adorable and perfect in every way, I’m-sure of it. *flashes crazy grin*

As much as the young guys singing “Hallelujah” did a beautiful job, it was awkward to have people singing live during the in memoriam. :/

Definitely want to have sex with Jeremy Piven. *Shiver*

Can I just say how HAPPY I AM that Downton Abbey was recognized?!  Shit you guys, that show was AWESOME!  Do yourself a favor and watch it.  While I’m at it, also the Masterpiece Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch and my lovely little British Bilbo hubby Martin Freeman. (PBS is da bomb, ya’ll) I wish I could have seen the Entourage guys hand Minerva McGonagall her award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries though. 😦 But dammit, I was happy Maggie Smith won, cause she was delicious as the Dowager Countess.  Mental note:  Need to start saying “Dowager” more often.

Also, Kate Winslet is incapable of NOT being goddess-like.  What does one have to do, to become so fabulous?  I couldn’t love her anymore unless she had given birth to me.

Random scary moment:  What the FUCK was with the Lonely Island montage/medley?  I just don’t understand the reasoning there…. it was so, so batshit, and in a scary bad way.  I felt awful for Michael Bolton, I was so humiliated, I could hardly look at the screen.  I don’t understand why they needed Ed Helms to play Justin Timberlake, and there was a huge American flag, and Akon, singing the “I Just Had Sex” song…it seemed like what would go on in a crackhead’s brain.  Woof.

Final thoughts:  Sweet Christ, I watch a lot of TV.

~Annie

Don’t Even Bother With My Heart

You know I have high standards for romantic comedies.  Or rather, I want to, it’s just that so few actually meet them.  Hollywood has pumped out one predictable, gag-tastic disappointment after another over the past several years and I’m loathe to admit that upon seeing the previews for each one, my sad, love-starved little hopes stirred and swelled with anticipation.  At first introduction to the latest attempt to trump the iconic When Harry Met Sally…, it happened again.  My expectations ambitiously rose.  And this time, they were only half let down.

Friends With Benefits, like all romantic comedies, is predictable in its formulaic plot and often trite dialogue.  It trips over (but quickly recovers from) several of the usual pitfalls.  He’s commitment-phobic, jaded by his parents’ broken marriage and father’s illness; she’s emotionally scarred, so warped by her mother’s series of disastrous relationships and lack of a father that she clings to the notion of Prince Charming and true love, fairy tale-style.  The movie opens with each getting dumped by their significant other and told they’re damaged goods.  They meet, their friendship blossoms and the inevitable “just sex, no emotions” pact is made, sealed with right hand on iPad Bible app.

Issue no. 1: why does Hollywood continue to pretend that gals like Mila Kunis aren’t abnormally attractive?  I like Kunis and I’d like to see her in more movies, but whatever character she plays should openly own the fact (yes, it’s a fact) that she is smoking hot.  Stop making her pretend that she’s just an average girl with all of our average-girl insecurities.  Try as you might, we won’t buy it.

The more serious issues I have are with the attempts at serious, heartfelt dialogue.  Here are a few actual lines from the movie: “You’re great together.”  “This is the happiest I’ve ever seen you.”  “You’re perfect for each other.”  “If you think that there’s even a chance that she could be it, you fix it.”  Swear to god, those are the literal, word-for-word lines.  I’m sure they’re lines (maybe with slight variations) from at least a dozen other romantic comedies of the past 20 years.  Nothing original there.  The lowest moment, in my opinion, was Justin Timberlake’s father opening up to him about “the one who got away” so as to prevent him from making the same mistake.  Really?  How many times have we seen that gem?

All that being said, FWB is entertaining and well worth a watch.  It did not have the warm, glow worm effect on me that my most treasured romantic comedies have but it’s cute and very, very funny.  The supporting characters, including the likes of Woody Harrelson and Jenna Elfman, are charismatic and give the two leads much needed depth.  (Side note: I adore Woody Harrelson.  Period.  And why doesn’t Jenna Elfman get more, and better, roles?  She is the embodiment of charm.)  And the minute cameos by Andy Samberg and Emma Stone were super funny, if way too short.  Timberlake and Kunis have great chemistry as friends and as lovers and seemed to have a ton of fun, making the movie fun to watch.

Which leads me to this flick’s real saving grace: the sharp, hilarious banter between not only the leading couple, but nearly all of its characters.  It’s full of great quips, fast, clever one-liners and snarky pop culture references.  I defy anyone who doesn’t literally laugh out loud at at least one line uttered in nearly every scene.  Even the cheeseball, too-serious moments referenced above are quickly made up for with the sharp-tongued repartee that immediately follows.  Also, there is LOADS of sex, complete with MK side-boob and JT’s rippling abs.  And it isn’t the melodramatic, too-magical-for-reality sex that movies usually showcase, but sex involving awkward positioning, muscle cramps and “Wait!  I have to go to the bathroom!” right in the middle.  You know, like real life shit.  When Jamie (Kunis) gives Dylan (Timberlake) lessons on his oral performance, I simultaneously laughed out loud and wanted to applaud the woman bold enough to actually say: “What are you trying to do – dig your way to China?  You’re not a lizard.”  Right on, chicka.

~Nikki