Sunday, 20 May 2012

New Pilot Watch: J.J. Abrams' 'Revolution'

May I present to you the first pilot for next season that I'm excited about, J.J. Abrams' Revolution.

Oh man, you guys! As you can see from the trailer, it looks to be Abrams at his high-concept best. I like the possibilities of a character-driven sci-fi quest show set in a dystopian future after all electronics are rendered useless. I read a review (on Vulture, maybe?) that said that for every 10 network sci-fi shows, usually only one is good. Fingers crossed for this one. I'm going to need something to fill the void Fringe is about to leave.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Renewals and Cancellations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Network upfronts have been going on the last week or so, and we now have news about which bubble shows have been unceremoniously cancelled, and which ones the network execs in their infinite wisdom have decided to maintain. As per usual, there is lots of good here and lots of bad. Among the good/great/spectacular news: FOX renewed Fringe in spite of its ratings for a final tie-up season; NBC renewed Parks and Recreation for a full-on 22-episode season (!!); and NBC is keeping Smash around in spite of some frightening creative flaws in the addictive musical drama. The bad/ugly/evil news came in the form of CBS renewing a boat-load of crappy, high-rated procedurals and horrible comedies; and The CW cancelling The Secret Circle (Sad trombone. You would think a show like that would be able to survive poor ratings on THE CW, right? Wrong, I guess).

Anyway, here are some updates on shows I watch and/or find myself midly invested in.

30 Rock (13-episode final season, which is sad, but it's a great testament to NBC that it lasted seven seasons!)

American Idol (Hopefully will produce more of this, and less of this.)

Blue Bloods (I drop in and out of this one, but am glad for my parents that it's still around.)

Cougar Town (And moving to TBS, which is good news for three reasons: 1) TBS will actually promote the show; 2) The move to TBS was contingent on all of the principle cast members returning; and 3) Producing at least 40 more episodes (to get to 100) is in the best interest of TBS, who retains syndication rights.)

Fringe (YESSIR! Only for 13 episodes, but I'LL TAKE IT!!)

Glee (Silly, stupid fun.)

Grey's Anatomy (And Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr., and Chandra Wilson have all also renewed their contracts for two more seasons! One guilty pleasure dies, while another lives to fight another day.)

Grimm (Is anybody watching this show? Has it moved away from the procedural format and towards some kind of mythology yet?)

Happy Endings (For 22-episodes! Yessir!)

How I Met Your Mother (For probably its last season.)

Law and Order: SVU (Why is this show still on?)

Modern Family (No surprise here.)

New Girl (If you're not watching this show because of the early season hype attack, you're missing out. This.)

Once Upon a Time (Good, wholesome fun on my Sunday nights.)

Parenthood (Glad NBC is sticking by this show. It's pretty great. Only 15 episodes, but that's better than none!)

Parks and Recreation (22 new episodes! 22 new episodes!!!!)

Pretty Little Liars (CAN'T WAIT for new episodes this summer!)

Private Practice (Renewed for [probably] a 13-episode final(?) season, which is about all the room in my life I have left for this show and its "special crossover episodes".)

Revenge (Rich people soap fun!)

Scandal (Yayness! Really enjoying lots of things about this newbie, btw.)

Smash (Come on, Smash: live up to your pilot episode! You can do it!)

Southland (TNT continues to stick by one of the best dramas on TV period.)

Suburgatory (Great news, as this show keeps getting better. Maureen Ryan's loving it, too.)

The Good Wife (Obvs. Dot com.)

The Office (See note for Law and Order: SVU, above.)

The Vampire Diaries (TVD lives on in infamy!)

The Voice (Glad NBC has a hit, but airing this show in the Fall and the Spring seasons is going to be a bad move.)

Up All Night (Uneven, but has potential.)

Alcatraz (A decent show in spite of hemorrhaging ratings. In usual JJ Abrams fashion, it would have gotten better with a second season.)

Awake (Conflicting emotions: I like this show okay, but I'm okay deleting the backlog on my TiVo.)

Bent (NBC dropped the ball on this charming comedy before it even aired. We've all missed out.)

Chuck (My feelings were hurt by the finale. Why did they end it like that?!)

GCB (This one hit me surprisingly hard, and I'm sad to see it go. I think this show would have worked better, and perhaps survived, in half-hour instalments rather than hour-long episodes.)

House (Probably a couple seasons late.)

Make It or Break It (Disappointed, but not surprised to see it go. I'm going to need another girls-in-sports show ASAP, though.)

One Tree Hill (There's a good possibility that I watched all but, like, 3 episodes of this entire series. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!)

Pan Am (Got better as it went, but uneven. I'll miss the occasional bouts of Goran Visjnic on my TV.)

Prime Suspect (Wish this had been a midseason replacement show, as lower expectations for this really good procedural/character drama might have kept it around.)

Ringer (So many awful things here, but was good fun for the majority of its run. Sad to see it go.)

The Secret Circle (Booooooooo! How do 90210 and Hart of Dixie get a pass over TSC? Y'all, I am NOT OKAY with that!)

Monday, 7 May 2012

'The Voice' Pre-finale!

I haven't posted much on NBC's The Voice this season, but I've been enjoying a lot about it lately. It's sort of a shame that the press for both The Voice and American Idol have focussed on this cockeyed "competition" between the two shows, because, frankly, there's room for both in our TV-verse -- especially since NBC's scheduling of the former didn't force us to choose (well done, NBC)! While I have been enjoying The Voice a lot in recent weeks, I have to admit that it took me a while to get into any of the contestants. The coaches are so much more interesting than the contestants (the opposite is true on Idol, incidentally) that it was hard to remember many of the "voices" we saw in the blind auditions. Then it kept getting weirder when about half of the battle rounds went to contestants with seemingly stank personalities. Hmmm.

The "live shows", though, are where the real magic started to happen. They started off a little slow, but when the sing-for-you-life thing kicked in on results shows, desperation started making people awesome. Namely, Ashley de la Rosa with this performance of Grace Potter and the Nocturnal's "Paris (ooh la la)"! (I also LOVED her version of Jewel's "Foolish Games" because it made me hear that song differently, which is all I really want my reality singing contestants to do!) Additionally, some people who were pretty good during the auditions started getting a lot better in the live shows. I'll miss Jamar Rogers, even though I like Juliet Simms better.

After all was said and done, we ended up with Tony Lucca (Adam's new BFF, and Xtina's punching bag**), Jermaine Paul (Blake's protégée who is amazingly not a teenage girl), Chris Mann (Xtina's opera singer with the frightening gaze), and Juliet Simms (CeeLo's whiskey-voiced murderer). If you know me at all, you'll not be surprised that Juliet is my favorite of this bunch, and, really, of the whole season. I tried to like Tony Lucca, but can't see much past the MMC nostalgia thing; Jermaine Paul is fine, but he's not exactly going to set the world on fire; and, seriously, would you buy a Chris Mann record? I don't think you would. Juliet's performances of "Roxanne" and "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World", however, are some of the best reality show performances this year! It would be a real shame to see her lose out to one of those three fellows. I'm also really curious to see if a woman can win The Voice, because I don't think a woman can win Idol any more (not just this season, either).

It will be interesting to see what happens tonight on the final performance show! Who are you rooting for??

** The real fun starts in this clip around the 2:12 mark during the night that will forever be known as "Honesty Night". Wowsers.