The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, pt. 2

Guys, I hope you’re enjoying premiere season as much as I am. And, in the event you’re not, I hope you’re enjoying reading my blog as much as I am enjoying writing it. I’m just going to assume you are, for all of our sakes.

Well, today’s post covers the premieres of last night, specifically: Glee, New Girl, Raising Hope, Parenthood, and Ringer. Yes, I know Ringer technically premiered last Tuesday, but I forgot, so it was still new to me, OK. So let’s get started, shall we?
New Girl
When I found out Zooey Deschanel was going to have her own television show, I may have fainted. By which I mean, I did NOT faint, but probably squealed like a girl. What is there not to love about her? I mean, she somehow manages to be quirky and off-beat without being the least bit pretentious or hipster! I don’t know how she does it, but I dig it. She sings, she wears vintage clothing, she’s super nice, and she tweets adorably to Ben Gibbard! I’m. Ob. Sessed. That being said, “New Girl” didn’t quite blow me away. Zooey was Zooey, and that was nice. She was a nice stable core, around which rest of the show is clearly built. This is great, but quirky girl being quirky isn’t going to sustain a weekly television show forever, if you know what I mean. There have to be solid supporting roles – which I think we have, or at least, will have. I’m hoping the guys in particular begin to differentiate themselves, and gain a couple extra dimensions. Because at this point they are just The Douche, The Chump, and The Black Guy Coach. The Douche takes off his shirt and says fratty things, The Chump cries about being dumped, and The Coach yells. Cool. 
Final Verdict: Zooey alone has me signed on for a five-episode commitment. Throw in the son of Damon Wayans, and Leo from Veronica Mars, and I’m optimistic. Add the model friend Cecelia telling the boys that if they hurt Jess, she “will crazy murder” them, and I legitimately expect to be hooked. I’m just not quite there yet. 
Raising Hope
Easily my favorite new show from last season, Raising Hope seems to be one of those shows not a lot of people watch, or even know about. Fewer make it past finding out that the baby’s mother was a serial killer who was electrocuted. But I LOVE it. It blends shockingly irreverent with oddly sentimental in a way that The Office still wishes it could. Martha Plimpton was robbed at the Emmys, because her portrayal of Virginia is nothing short of brilliant. How Garret Dillahunt wasn’t even nominated (especially if you’ve seen his totally opposite character in The 4400) is beyond me. I even enjoy Lucas Neff – who is in some respects the male counterpart to Egg, Bland, Plant, Yam, Ann “Hog” Veal, in that he seems to make no impression whatsoever on most people – and Cloris Leachman, whose character MawMaw is a little too crazy. Anyway, the premiere revealed that Jimmy was once a musical prodigy, who had the power to make girls swoon with his voice and piano skills. Everything was set for him to become a star, until he was struck in the head by a rogue putter. Upon waking, Jimmy had lost all musical talent. Throughout the episode, Jimmy tries to get it back in various ways, before everyone realizes he sounds amazing drunk. What I appreciated about this episode was the numerous ways it subverted expectations, from the drinking, the truth about the putter. Plus, it ended on a somewhat hopeful note that has me excited about the future for Jimmy/Sabrina.
Final Verdict: This show had me hooked about ten minutes into its pilot, and it hasn’t done anything to jeopardize that so far. It has avoided two of the biggest sophomore mistakes – suddenly introducing new/irrelevant/unpopular characters (LOST, The OC, One Tree Hill), and going for bigger, crazier spectacle (Glee). All it needs to do now is stick to formula, but introduce just enough advancement to make sure this isn’t just a rehash of Season 1.
Ok, so I don’t watch Parenthood too often. My reasons are as follows: Lauren Graham will forever be a Gilmore Girl in my head, and to be perfectly honest I heard enough of any of them talking to last me a lifetime. TOO. MUCH. BANTER. Dax Shepard infuriates me a) because he reminds me WAY too much of Zach Braff (who sends me into rage blackouts. I mean, we get it, being a neurotic Jew is hard. This is hardly New Information. But do we really have to suffer through every inconsequential thought you ever have? [This is ironic in a post-Twitter age]) and b) stole Kristen Bell from me. Come on dude, you’re eight feet tall. Do you really have to get with one of the seven who are shorter than me? Also, I thought it was a total copy clone of Modern Family, what with the grumpy grandpa and the whole “we are a unique modern family” feel. So when I watched the season finale a few months ago, I was shocked because it was SUPER dramatic and I was expecting comedy or at least a little levity. NOPE. It was all crying. Sorry TV, enough of that going on in my own life [at the time; medication has been sought, no one worry]. But I tuned in for the premiere out of sheer curiosity/I was high on TV and needed more. What did I think? Well, +100 for Peter Krause, because Six Feet Under was Phenomenal. +50 for Mae Whitman (25 because she was Ann in Arrested Development, 25 because she is the voice of Katara in Airbender). But -100 because she didn’t appear until 45 minutes in and then only for ten seconds. -25 for Jason Ritter because The Event was JUST SO EFFING AWFUL. So I guess we’re vaguely ahead in this game where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter. But I don’t know if I’ll be coming back. You see, I work nights, so I’m never going to see it live again, and I just didn’t feel that spark to keep me coming back for more, let alone having to hulu it.
Final Verdict: A show this (melo)dramatic just doesn’t have a place in my heart – not at this time in my life. Maybe if I felt it could compete with any of the amazing cable dramas in my life, but honestly I just don’t find it interesting. Bring in some meth dealers, some cowboy justice, or some prohibition, and I’ll give you another shot.
If at all possible, the return of Sarah Michelle “Buffy” Gellar Prinze, Jr. to network TV had me even more excited than Zooey Deschanel. I mean come on people, this is BUFFY. You already should know how much that means to me. It’s a lot. In case you were still wondering. Anyway, Ringer, is the story of Bridget, a recovering addict/former stripper, who saw a murder and was supposed to testify. However, she broke out of protective custody to see her identical twin sister Siobhan (pronounced “Shivan” apparently) who is living all Great Gatsby up in here. But things take a dark turn when Siobhan seemingly kills herself while out on the ocean. In a moment of panic, Bridget assumes her sister’s life. Only things are much more complicated than they appeared. Siobhan’s marriage (to Ioan [pronounced Owen] Gruffold) seems to be totally devoid of love. His daughter hates everything. She has a best friend! But oh guess what she’s sleeping with her husband. Oops. So yeah. Frying pan. Fire. You get it. To top things off, there’s apparently a hit out of Siobhan for some reason, and Shiv is in France or something being mysterious. Also she’s pregnant, but probably doesn’t know it. Anyway, I really like it. There’s just enough intrigue to keep me coming back. Is Shiv a spy? Is she a villain? Will the FBI figure everything out? Will the murder guy? How’s Bridget supposed to fake a pregnancy? Will she fall for “her husband,” who is apparently falling back in love with “his wife”? Will the affair be revealed? SO MUCH COULD HAPPEN! 
Final Verdict: I’m pretty well hooked guys. Look. I know this isn’t the best show on TV. I know it’s in all reality nothing special. But I’m interested. So unless it gets really bad, I’m probably in for the long haul. 
Guys. I thought this moment would never come. I successfully put Glee behind me after last season. After that Atrocious Rocky Horror episode, I was just done. I was offended on a writer’s level, as a fan of Rocky Horror, and as a human being. It was literally the worst thing I have ever seen in my whole life, television-wise. I mean, I stayed a few more episodes to review, because bashing Glee is 10x more fun than loving it, I PROMISE you. But I was done by Christmas. And then they went and promised only two theme episodes this year! And to tone it down on the guest stars! Well, I was intrigued. And last night’s episode has not changed that. Trouty mouth is gone. Good, he was useless. I’m sad that really really fat girl is gone, but if it means back to basics, bring it on. Apparently Sue is coach again? Why? Because screw continuity and logical repercussions, that’s why. Quinn is angry, and no one knows what to do with her character. Santana is a bitch. Brittany is dumb. Artie is pretty much forgotten. So basically, nothing has really changed. Inconsistent show is still inconsistent. But… I don’t know, I still enjoyed it. A) Darren Criss is there. I have to confess that I’m kind of obsessed with him. I mean, he’s probably the best singer there. GQ loves his style, and I love GQ. He made the Harry Potter Musical. And his character breaks all kinds of gay stereotypes, unlike Kurt who reinforces ALL OF THEM. So that’s nice. B) No more stupid emphasis on being current. Bring on the 80s. C) There seemed to be a renewed sense of purpose. I say “seemed” because it wasn’t totally apparent. There was a LOT going on last night. Way too much in fact. But I’m vaguely excited despite myself. As long as the show doesn’t try to do all of them every episode.  
Final Verdict: Glee, you’re still on probation. Five episodes. If you aren’t legitimately GOOD, we’re DONE. And I mean it. I can’t keep being angry that you have never lived up to that first few episodes forever. My suggestion: abandon the Sue for office plot while you can. It’s beyond stupid, and she’s past redemption as either a character or a villain. Less Matthew Morrisson being sad about being sexless. More Leah Michelle and Kurt realizing they aren’t awesome. And Darren Criss singing everything. OK thanks. 
So, that does it for Tuesday. Holy crap, what a night of TV. I can’t handle that much every week. Seriously. Luckily, it looks like Wednesday is just going to be Modern Family, maybe Happy Endings when it comes back, and I might try to review Revenge and see what happens. It’s the Everwood Girl, so… who knows. Cheesy ABC is so cheesy sometimes. 

One Response to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, pt. 2

  1. I LOVE DARREN CRISS. he is the only reason to watch Glee.

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