Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday Night.

I love premiere week. It's like your first week of college classes, when you're deciding if you liked the classes you registered for or if you want to switch over to SciFi and Horror Film or Frauds and Myths in Archeology [that was an actual class I took. They taught us all the un-true things in archeology. Kinda a different approach]. Thursday night is like your star class, your most anticipated, the one you're most excited about.

But first let's talk about Wednesday [again, spoilers included].


The best part of this show is the acting, Gugu Mbatha-Raw especially. I struggled with the tone. It didn't quite have the charming cheese of Chuck or the grittiness of Alias, leaving it somewhere in the middle. And in the middle is not always a place you want to be because it often reads boring. I also didn't feel like the Blooms recruitment was justified strongly enough. There was a throw away scene with Carlton Shaw where he says that the Blooms don't suspect the real nature of their reinstatement. Unfortunately, neither does the audience. And why did they take the offer? Where they just bored in their marriage and their normal lives? Because I hate when TV shows and movies do that. Like marriages without spy missions and life endangerment are lacking something. That excitement validates a relationship. I can see how the Blooms, in their earlier lives, had qualities that attracted them to each other that probably faded over time as they switched career paths into catering. I can see how they might miss each other's bravery and ingenuity and daring. But I still find it irritating when, especially after just five years, a couple rejoins the CIA just because they need a little shake up in their married lives.

Undercovers gets a week two from me, but I'm worried that it'll be one of those shows that I don't find compelling enough that I make a point of watching and that it will eventually just slip off my radar. Especially with the explosion of spy and CIA pilots that have recently been purchased and ordered by various networks.


This was not premiere week for this Top Chef spin-off. It's first episode aired last week, and I jumped on this bandwagon faster than a kid grabbing for mellocreme pumpkins at Halloween. I love baking shows. And there is SO MUCH DRAMA. Oh man, there was more interpersonal conflict in last night's episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts than maybe any other hour of television I've watched this week. It was INSANE. It's wonderful, it's like you get a world class baking competition and an episode of the Real Housewives of Hell's Kitchen all in one.

Seth went freakin CRAZY.

And the wrong person got sent home. But you can't send the person who had TWO emotional meltdowns in one week home. That just looks cruel.

Even if it's fair.


Modern Family. Are you funny? Yes. Did you manage to beautifully and poignantly work in themes of family and identity into each storyline? Yes. Did you win an Emmy for Best Comedy? Yes.

Mmm, are you REALLY the best comedy?

Modern family is hilarious. And I will most definitely continue to watch it. But NBC Thursday night is where the award-winning comedy is for me.


It has been so long since I've watched a traditional three-camera laugh-track sitcom. It feels old. I know there are shows that still use it, right? How I Met Your Mother? The Big Bang Theory? Two and a Half Men? I think...

Better With You felt like a cross over between What I Like About You and Modern Family. It was funny, but the acting felt awkward and forced at times. And the humor definitely came from jokes and one liners, not from characters and scenarios. The characters and situations drove the plot, but it was what the characters SAID that created the humor. Look, I'm not saying one kind of comedy is better than the other. I'm just saying that if I gave you a logline of Better With You it wouldn't read inherently comedic whereas if I gave you a logline for a 30 Rock episode, the comedy stands out immediately. The humor of Better With You was definitely more organic and character driven than Running Wilde, but I'm not sure this is a enough of a stand out show in a season when we have so many wonderful comedies.

I am just so excited about Thursday night television. I am going to catch Bones, Community, 30 Rock, The Office, and The League, while also at some point relinquishing the remote to E. the Flatmate for Grey's Anatomy. Might DVR a few other shows, The Big Bang Theory, Outsourced, and %*&^ My Dad Says. It's William Shatner, guys.

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