The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

No, I’m not talking about Christmas! My feelings toward that season are extremely well documented. I’m talking about PREMIERE SEASON! And for a TV addict like me, this is pretty much the same thing. 

Now, I was going to post about the Emmys, but realized this would be better. And then I realized reviewing the week’s premieres would be a lengthy undertaking. So, I propose this: one post a day, reviewing the previous day’s premieres. I watch, so you don’t have to! You’re welcome!

Alright first up we have “The Playboy Club.” So let’s get this out of the way: IT WANTS TO BE MAD MEN. It’s not. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be good in its own way. Let’s face it, Mad Men would never make it on network TV. It’s slow, introspective, cerebral. TPC takes the nostalgic appeal of a time when women wore pearls and men wore fedoras, when you could still smoke wherever the hell you wanted, when change seemed possible, when music was real, and repackages it for a network audience. That means Bunnies, the Mob, and – apparently – Tina Turner. The series seems to focus on three characters: Don Draper Nick Dalton, Bunny Maureen, and Bunny Mother Carol-Lynne. Not-Don-Draper has the whole silky voiced air of mystery thing going on [SideBar: I kind of suspect homeboy was chosen solely because he sounds so much like Jon Hamm]. He apparently used to work for the mafia, but is now looking at becoming District Attorney or some such. Carol-Lynne apparently was the First Bunny, which she only now seems to realize is a bad thing in this business. She has Issues with that. Maureen apparently has some sort of seedy past that is never elaborated on, and may or may not accidentally kill the head of the mafia. Oops. So that’s all going on. The directing is great, as is the music. I found myself drawn in by the leads, almost against my will. After all, I went in pretty biased against the show. The acting seemed pretty good, and there’s just enough going on with the side-plots to keep things interesting.

Final Verdict: You’ve got me interested, weird “Chicago” vibe not-withstanding. I’ll commit to a five-episode… commitment. It has that long to get me truly on-board, or I jump ship. I only have so much bandwidth to hulu with.

This next review comes from my dear friend, Trace.

When I heard the premise of the new CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls,” my immediate thought was, “wasn’t The Simple Life cancelled in like ’07?” The show is centered on two hot girls who don’t get along but are totes bffz and like, can’t BELIEVE they have to work in such an icky diner. Immediately I pushed it to the part of my brain I like to call, “Things that Make Me Want to Move to Europe,” and never gave it a second thought. That is, until I heard the creds signed on to the show. Created by producers Michael Patrick King (sugar daddy of the Sex and the City glamazons) and comedienne Whitney Cummings (who I happen to find very witty and Chelsea Handler-ish), the two girls announced to be playing the Paris/Nicole pair were Kat Dennings (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist; Thor) and newcomer Beth Behrs. I almost always enjoy anything Dennings is in, as I am a sucker for girls with a biting tongue and deadpanned mug, and I was actually vaguely familiar with Behrs through various theatre connections, so I decided I would tune in and see if this has anything going for it at all. The verdict: not much. The show opened with Dennings spitting out a cornucopia of extremely forced and unfunny one-liners, with a few sexual innuendos to keep it kosher. Also: canned laughter. If there is any better way to get me to turn off the television, it’s to use canned laughter in a sitcom. I was very upset. The show introduced zany caricatures of diner-folk, and altogether felt lumpy and rough. Things got a little better once Behrs arrived on-scene; she managed to combine believability and cartoonish arrogance into her performance, making it the single thing I like about the show. Though she breathed nuance and intelligence into a role we have seen a million times before, I don’t know if it will be enough to save this show from the dregs of Two and a Half Men Hell.

Final Verdict: Will I be watching next week? Possibly, if only to see what else Behrs can do, but I’m not making any promises.
Next up, we have a personal favorite show of mine: “How I Met Your Mother.” Last season’s finale pulled the rug out from under us – the wedding they had been teasing all season, the wedding at which Ted meets his future wife, was not in fact some random guy’s wedding, but was actually BARNEY STINSON’s wedding. But! Who was the bride?! Nora? Robin? Surely it has to be one of these! But… this premiere totally ignored all that. Surprise! Instead, it focused on… Marshall getting a streaking video off the internet, Barney sleeping in a diner, and Ted going to an architecture conference. Don’t worry, there was Martin Short. Making the worst puns I’ve ever heard with the worst green screen I’ve ever seen. (In case you haven’t noticed, I was not a big fan of this episode) It’s just… we only have two seasons left! I wanted to see some acknowledgment of last season! An awkward gyno visit with Lily! Another glimpse of the wedding! A freaking yellow umbrella moment. Instead we got a weird guy with 40s taped to his hand, a Lenny Kravitz fake-out, and – oh yeah, the return of Victoria. As in, the most boring of all Ted’s girlfriends. We’re in the fourth quarter, guys, we don’t have time for bullcrap like this. I would rather Ted do something crazy like maybe be single for once, than see the return of Lametoria. 
Final Verdict: Of course I’m going to watch. I mean it’s the sixth season. Come on. But things better change because this was dumb.
Aaaaaand that’s actually it for today. Because I’m not reviewing Reality/Variety shows, I refuse to watch Two and a Half Men, I don’t watch Hawaii 5-0 OR Castle, and the rest of the season hasn’t premiered yet. BUT, check back tomorrow when I post an unprecedented second time in a row! I should be reviewing New Girl, Raising Hope, Ringer, and due to popular demand, the return of Glee coverage! 

Also! If you watch Cougar Town, TALK TO ME. I could use a reviewer of Abed’s favorite show!

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