Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nostalgia TV - ME TV

Nostalgic for your old-time favorite TV shows?  Welcome to ME-TV!
The cable channel ME-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television)  presents a wide variety of  classic, iconic series that so many of us grew up with and have defined pop culture and television for decades.

Shows currently in the channel's ongoing lineup include comedies like M*A*S*H, Cheers, I Love Lucy, The Bob Newhart Show, The Honeymooners, My Three Sons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and more.  Dramas include the original Hawaii Five-0, Emergency!, Perry Mason, The Big Valley, Star Trek, Columbo, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, The Rockford Files and The Untouchables, among many others.

Give a watch and let the memories roll in!

To find ME-TV in your area, visit and enter your zip code in their provider finder to see where you can watch in your area. Follow the link to your local affiliate's website for local broadcast, cable and satellite distribution information.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TNT - Have a Blast With These Fun Shows

TNT is on fire with two shows, one of which I have been with since its premiere, the other I have heard of but only recently watched and liked.

This show was a winner for me from the get-go.

Here's the lowdown:  Based on characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry and strong working relationship that has helped them bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.

The series co-stars Lorraine Bracco as Jane’s demanding and intrusive mother, Angela, Lee Thompson Young as Detective Barry Frost, Jane’s somewhat green partner, Bruce McGill as Detective Vince Korsak, Jane’s seasoned former partner who resents her being paired with Frost, and Jordan Bridges as Jane’s brother, Frankie Jr., a patrol cop who hopes one day to become a detective.

I love the unlikely, how-on-earth-are-these-two-women-friends? friendship because Harmon and Alexander really pull it off.  Their chemistry is undeniable and I really like the way the show usually bookends each episode with them, the opener just a small vignette in their lives/relationship, the closer wrapping up with a nod to what's happened in the hour and how they've been affected. 

The show does have moments of real drama, from Jane dealing with trauma caused by a criminal from her past (who recurred over several episodes) to Maura dealing with having a mob boss for a biological father to a real falling out between the two friends.  They eventually made up and are back in fine, fun, banter-filled form.

This show has been on for a while but I wasn't really drawn to it.  It did have actors I've seen on other shows I love (Angel, Supernatural) but wouldn't necessarily follow over to this show.  But the other day I had it on in the background and little by little I caught moments that had me laughing out loud.  Plus I love the heist genre, and so I gave another episode a viewing.  Now, me likey.

The lowdown:  The Leverage crew is led by former insurance investigator turned thief, Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton). His cohorts include Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a brilliant grifter; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane, Lindsey on Angel), a retrieval specialist; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Jake on Supernatural), a gadget and technology wizard; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf), a slightly off-center thief adept at rappelling off buildings. The quintet uses their skills to fight corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on ordinary citizens.

Again, great cast chemistry is key and each character fills an important role to the overall team, making it a solid unit.  It's a great balance of action and humor, a combination I love in other shows I watch, including Hawaii Five-0, Castle and Psych.

That's my opinion.  Now give these series a watch and see if you agree.  Way to go, TNT!

Both shows happen to air on Tuesday nights.  Catch new episodes of Rizzoli & Isles at 9 p.m., followed by new episodes of Leverage at 10 p.m. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rest in Peace - Larry Hagman

TV icon Larry Hagman, whose screen career spanned nearly 55 years, has passed away at the age of 81 due to complications from cancer.

He was best known as Major Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970):

And of course J.R. Ewing in both the original Dallas (1978-1991) and the reboot, which debuted last summer and will return in January.  At the time of his death, he had completed filming six new episodes.

Rest in peace.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Network Axes Fall Again ...

Three new casualties of the fall season have come to pass ...


I had saved the first six episodes of this devlish series starring Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams and finally buckled down to watch them recently.  It's a decent show, not necessarily "must-see" TV, but entertaining enough.  But alas, it is not meant to continue.  ABC will let it play out the 13-episode run, then Satan's posh playground will fade away.


I had anticipated watching this series starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman but was unable to because of a crowded Thursday 8 p.m. time slot.  Kind of glad now that I didn't get committed cause it always hurts to have a show taken away so early on.  It's a shame ... I have heard that it's a strong show creatively.  It too will play out it's initial 13-episode run.  Upside?  I'm hoping Autumn Reeser will come back to Hawaii Five-0  in a more frequent capacity.

This is one series (starring Michael Urie and David Krumholtz) I'm actually not sorry to see go.  I watched the pilot and just had no love for it.  Gave it one more try but, no.  I'm never happy to see actors lose work, but this show just wasn't funny.  A very poor Will & Grace redux (same creators).

Still plenty more on, so keep watching!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Watch This Show - Breaking Bad

I repeat:  Watch.  This. Show.

I had heard people talk about Breaking Bad over the years and not a one had an even close to bad thing to say about it.   But still, I never saw it as my cup of tea.  I mean I have heard amazing things about The Sopranos, The Wire and The Shield but have never had the desire to get into them (not to say I won't, because I do hear such great things about the latter two, especially).

But when I got season one of BB in a swag bag, I put it in a pile of DVDs for later viewing.  A few weeks ago later came around and, being such a short first season, I hunkered down and watched.

And it really is as good as everyone says, maybe better. I strived to zip through the Netflix discs of subsequent seasons, eagerly, hungrily awaiting the next until this past weekend, when I finally caught up with season five, part one.  Now I'm in the agonizing holding pattern with everyone else till the series - the end of the series, in fact - returns next summer.

Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White (the ever-brilliant, Emmy-winning Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle), one of the most fearless actors out there), an underachieving chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, uses his expertise to begin cooking meth to get the money to pay for his treatments and provide for his family's future.

His partner in crime is Jesse Pinkman (the terrific Aaron Paul (Big Love), who just picked up his second Emmy for the role), a former student who was a small-time dealer till he hits the big time with Walt, but not without many consequences, pitfalls, losses, betrayals and a whole lotta pain.

Walt, a.k.a. "Heisenberg," is doggedly pursued by DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris, CSI, Medium), who just happens to be his brother-in-law: Hank is married to Marie (Betsy Brandt,Without a Trace, Private Practice), the sister of Walt's wife Skylar (Anna Gunn, Deadwood, The Practice).  I don't want to give anything away ... let's just say Skylar's existence in Walt's life is anything but easy.

The show has had an amazing cast of regulars and guest stars, most notably How I Met Your Mother's Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman), Wiseguy's Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) and Revolution's Giancarlo Esposito (Gustavo "Gus" Fring).  The story moves at breakneck speed, often horrifying you with unspeakable images and scenarios.  It's violent, shocking and addictive to the most satisfying degree.

I can't really say much more with out giving away possible spoilers, and I won't do that to you.  What I will do is greatly urge you to submerse yourself in the world of Breaking Bad and see what everyone, now including me, are raving about.

Breaking Bad is available on DVD and through Netflix.  The second half of Season 5 - the show's last - airs summer 2013 on AMC.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Supernatural Postmortem

Oh, my  beloved Supernatural, what art thou doing to me?

Without question, this is my all-time favorite show, as I have written in earlier blog entries.  I love the characters, I defend it to the hilt on message boards criticizing it, I have faith in the storytellers behind it and have been disappointed very, very rarely over its many seasons.  And I hope for more seasons to come.

So why am I so frustrated by season 8?  Why am I waiting to fall in love with this season?  We are five episodes in and I know they're just mapping out where we're going, watching Sam and Dean cope with each other after yet another long separation, the changes each character has undergone in their respective experiences - Dean in Purgatory, Sam in retirement from hunting.  And I know plot lines build to a head around episodes 9 and 10.  So I have to find patience.

But at the heart of this show are the brothers and their relationship.  I've read interviews with stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and I know they appreciate the chance to play with and off of other actors and find interesting things to play when not in scenes together.  I also know that they have practically carried the series single-handedly all these years and appreciate the chance to have some time off, deferring screen time to guest stars and recurring characters (Jared especially, being a new dad to 7-month old son Thomas). 

But the last two episodes ("Bitten", the Chronicle-esque ep, and "Blood Brother") in particular featured the Winchesters far less than normal.  Tonight's especially barely featured any scenes with them together at all.  Tonight we got more insight into Sam's year off and the beginning of his relationship with girlfriend Amelia (Liana Balaban) and saw more of Dean's time in Purgatory with vampire pal Benny (Ty Olsson) and angel pal Castiel (Misha Collins).  But it really was "The Benny Show." (though I do like the new term "Vampirate" ... thanks for that Ben Edlund).  This is important information for us, I know, and the preview for next week's episode seems to confront the tension between Sam and Dean that has been slowly building.  But dammit, the pacing and distance between the brothers is frustrating me.  Even though we've had tension between them before, it bothers me more now.  I can't quite state it eloquently.  I'm just ... waiting.

So what is a die hard fan to do?  No way in hell I'm walking away.  I'm too dedicated, too invested.  And I know it will become the show I love so much again.  I can't call these growing pains ... they don't happen so late in the game.  Second wind?  8-year itch?  Call it what you will, I will never abandon this show.  It's meant to much to me.

Despite what I've written here, I'm not saying I completely hate the new season.  I'm just not excited by it.  And that saddens me.  I used to hate waiting a week for the next episode.  Now I find I can wait quite easily.  Should I be so emotionally invested in and bothered by what is simply a TV show?  Hey, I'm a TV blogger.  I live for TV.  So at my core, I just can't help myself and I hope you, my readers, appreciate my passion and opinion.

If you're a fan of Supernatural, I can only ask you to stay with it.  If you love it like I do but feel similar frustrations, trust in the writers along with me and believe that it'll find it's way back and being that show again.  If you are ready to abandon it or have already, at least hold onto your love of its earlier seasons, because they really are stellar, entertaining and just plain great.

If you have never watched the show, don't let this entry defer you from giving it a chance.  Watch from the beginning (it's on TNT twice every day and of course on DVD) and hopefully you'll discover you love it, too.

As for me, I will anticipate the next episode and the ones after that, always.

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to comment below.

Supernatural airs Wednesdays on the CW at 9 p.m.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh, NBC ...

I think I've given up trying to figure out the Peacock Network's strategies for programming.  Since when do you shelve your hottest new series - one that requires following an intricate ongoing mythology - for months?  That's exactly what they are doing with the new hit show Revolution

For sure the show is going to lose momentum - and possibly viewers - when it goes on a long-ass hiatus at the end of November.  Return date?  March 25. That's four very long months.  It's hard enough waiting out a show that doesn't have an ongoing saga/mystery.  Not to mention it's been a long, damn while since the net had such a successful show.  This seems like programming suicide to me.

Then there's the fan favorite and critic-darling Community.  Granted, not a ratings wonder.  And having been exiled to Friday night, you can guess how the net has felt about it.  Plus the recent firing of creator Dan Harmon ...we all know how fans feel about that.  But when the show FINALLY returns to the airwaves on Feb. 7, it will be in its new 8 p.m. time slot on Thursdays.  Don't cheer just yet ... it'll be going head-to-head with ratings powerhouse The Big Bang Theory on CBS.  But Community has had and will now have more time for people to catch up with the DVDs/streaming, which may bring along new viewers when it returns.

The musical drama Smash will also return in February (Feb. 5).  It's been a long wait for a show that started strong and finished less strong, but I'm looking forward to its return.

NBC will be premiering its slate of mid-season shows over the coming months, including Deception (formerly Infamous), a drama/soapy murder mystery. Starring Meagan Good, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan and Katherine LaNasa, the show premieres Jan. 7, moving into Revolution's time slot. 1600 Penn, a First Family sitcom starring Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman and Josh Gad, premieres Jan. 10 (Thursday). Ready for Love, a matchmaking show produced by Eva Longoria, premieres March 31.

Again, not sure I understand why NBC is shelving Revolution for so long, except that maybe when it returns, it'll have a nice, uninterrupted run through the back half of the season.  Let's hope loyal viewers are patient enough to return with it.

What do you think of NBC's programming strategy?  Let me know in the Comments below.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review - American Horror Story Asylum

The FX series made its return tonight, continuing it's dark and twisted legacy.  The show carries the rating of TVMA and warns of language, sex, violence and nudity - all of which were presented in spades in the first five minutes of the premiere episode, definitely setting the tone for this season's offering.

Though it falls under the title American Horror Story, this is not a continuation of last season.  Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Glee, The New Normal) intend to have every season be a self-contained entity, casting many of the same actors - including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto - but in completely new roles with no connection to the previous season.  Think of it as a repertory theater company, but for television.

Minor Spoilers Ahead
Leaving season one's haunted house behind, we now are taken to and within a 60s era mental institution, Briarcliff Manor, run by righteous disciplinarian Sister Jude (Lange), a nun with a troubled past. Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner. From Nazis and serial killers, to mutants and aliens, no one is safe inside these walls.  Lurking in the shadows of this "sanctuary of healing" are terrifying evils that blur the boundaries between reality and insanity.

Briarcliff is also home to the notorious, deranged serial killer Bloody Face (Peters), a.k.a. Kit Walker, a young man accused of viciously killing dozens of women.  Thing is, he may be innocent of the crime.  See, when we first meet him, he's a simple service station worker secretly but happily married.  He and his wife then appear to fall victim to an alien abduction - the whole nine: flashing lights, high-pitched sounds, pinning to the ceiling, etc.  That's the story he defends himself with when he is brought to Briarcliff and subjected to the horrors within (during his "treatments," we are shown snippets of what appear to be flashbacks to Kit's abduction - probe table, experiments, everything you expect from the typical abduction scenario).

Heading up Briarcliff is Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes, Flash Forward), for whom Sister Jude lusts after, and "treatments" - which include shock therapy and something liken to A Clockwork Orange - are conducted by Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell, 24, Six Feet Under).  Inmates ... sorry, residents? ... so far include Shelley (Chloe Sevigny, Big Love) and Spivey (Mark Consuelos, a.k.a. Mr. Kelly Ripa) and, unwittingly, writer Lana Winters (Paulson, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), who came to get the exclusive on Bloody Face but who apparently is not meant to ever leave.

I've never personally seen a mental institution first hand, but I have yet to see a depiction of one on TV or in the movies that isn't a chamber of unbridled crazy with the most deranged and disturbed individuals roaming around freely, taunting each other and frequently lashing out with violence.  AHS Asylum ratches up this typical environment even higher, as you'd expect it to, being the show that this is.  Some may deem it doing so simply for the shock value, and that may indeed be so, but that level of disturbedness worked really well in season one.  I thoroughly cringed all throughout that one

This time around, I did less so.  Oh, the show still pushes the envelope with the violence and horrific imagery, rapt with "boo!" and "gotcha!" moments, but I didn't flinch as much this time around.  I wasn't as freaked out.  We'll have to see if Bloody Face ends up being as menacing a figure as the rubber-clad man was, and I'm sure the twisted goodness is just getting started.  But so far, doesn't have me in it's deranged clutches like last time.  We'll see if that changes. 

Props to the show's great promo imagery:

Bottom Line:  Not yet committed to Asylum, but gonna keep watching.

American Horror Story Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review - Nashville

Man, do I love a good pilot!

Nashville, premiering tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC, is as good as you've heard.  It's the next delicious new soapy drama with all that makes the genre so hard to resist - heroes, villains, greed, manipulation, fighting back, betrayal, ultimatums, triumph, set backs, etc.

Mild spoilers ahead
Nashville stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story) as reigning Queen of Country Rayna James, who has dominated the country music scene for over 20 years.  But her newest tour isn't selling and her star is falling, causing her longtime label to lose faith in her, threatening to pull their support.

They do have one solution:  Rayna would "co-headline" with music's hot new #1 cross-over artist Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere, Heroes), a sexy, sassy vixen with a heart of coal and a tendency to chew men up and spit them out.  A word that rhymes with "itch" definitely comes to mind.  To be fair, she doesn't have the best past - mom is a drug addict - but this is a girl you're going to love to hate, and Rayna's reactions to her (Britton's facial expressions are hilariously priceless in those moments) make it clear that this reluctant pairing ain't gonna fly.

Rayna must also deal with father Lamar (Powers Booth, 24), a successful businessman with whom Rayna has an extremely volatile relationship (could never see her ever being Daddy's little girl).  Lamar is dead set on having as much local power as possible, so he sets up son-in-law Teddy (Eric Close, Suits, Without a Trace) to run for mayor by playing up the "finally-get-out-of-Rayna's-shadow" card.  Sister Tandy (Judith Hoag, Big Love) is on board, proving that the sisters couldn't be more different.  Then there's the mysterious secret (paternity, maybe?) about one of Rayna's two daughters, thrown out in a heated argument with dad.  Wonder what that's about ... so juicy!

I didn't feel like I was watching a TV show with this pilot.  I felt like a fly on the wall witnessing these people's lives, and that's a testament to the quality of this show.  Britton is effortless in the lead role and I'm not an expert on the Tennessee accent but I bought her as a native completely (Britton hails from Boston).  Panattiere is clearly having fun in the role and she's a great foil for Rayna.  Despite Rayna's response to the labels ultimatum ("You can kiss my decision as it's walkin' out the door."), you just KNOW that tour is gonna happen.  How can it not with all those claws poised to strike?

Nashville is the brainchild of Callie Khouri, who knows how to write strong women with bite (she penned Thelma and Louise).  The show co-stars Charles Esten (Enlightened, Big Love) as Deacon, Rayna's bandleader of 20 years who harbors a long, unrequited love for her.  It's not long before Juliette lures him into her seductive web.  There's another story line about Deacon's niece Scarlett (Clare Bowen, Home and Away) possibly becoming another rising star, but it was a B-story we'll explore further, especially since the pilot left us believing she may be the key to Rayna's situation.

I'm not the biggest fan of country music, but the songs so far are quite catchy.  May make a playlist sometime in the future if they're made available.

I've anticipated this show for a while and I wasn't disappointed.  Kudos to ABC for finding these delicious gems of drama (they also feed us the superbly addictive Revenge).

Bottom Line:  Have a grand ole time with Nashville.

Nashville premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review - Arrow

I had the opportunity to watch the pilot episode for Arrow at the Paley Center for Media's CW night and I went in believing this was going to be the new Smallville for the network, and while there some similarities - it's a superhero origin story, it has the same director of photography and it's even using Lex Luthor's mansion as the main estate - this show is much more Dark Knight at its core ... and it's very good.

One thing that definitely put me over the top, in addition to the terrific pilot (directed by legendary pilot episode director David Nutter, of course it is), was meeting star Stephen Amell (Heartland, Private Practice) at the Q&A afterwards.  What a charming, likeable guy.  He earnestly talked about the role, about tweeting from the set and his desire to do his own stunts even though he knows he reluctantly has to defer to his stunt double. It's important to me to like the star behind-the-scenes, and I do here.

Very mild spoilers ahead:

Amell portrays billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, a spoiled bad boy whose life of luxury is upended when he is shipwrecked on a dark, mysterious island for five years.  During that time, he transforms himself into a fierce warrior and expert archer.  He is eventually rescued and returns to Starling City, his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson, Kings, NCIS),  and sister Thea (Willa Holland, Gossip Girl, The O.C.) - dad was on the boat and met his fate ... well, won't spoil that for you.  He also reunites with his friend Tommy (Colin Donnell, Pan Am) and seeks out ex-girlfriend Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy, Melrose Place, Supernatural), whose sister Oliver was having an affair with and who went down with the boat.
All sense that something has changed within Oliver, but they have no idea how much.  He has returned with a purpose: to amend for his incorrigible actions before the accident.  He does so by becoming Arrow, a green-hooded vigilante determined to take down the criminal element and restore Starling City to its former glory, fight the ills of society and right the wrongs of his family.  This is where Arrow is more like Dark Knight than Smallville.  The creators insist their Green Arrow is undeniably human, as will be all the nemeses and villains he'll do battle with.  No alien superpowers here (though Oliver is incredibly skilled and agile, rather borderline superhuman).  There's also the darkness in him that he unleashes on the night (Batman) while in the day he maintains a broad public persona - the spoiled playboy everyone remembers him to be (remember Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins?)  ... after all, who would possibly suspect such a shallow, carefree person to be their dark savior? He even has his own Alfred-like confidante in trusty bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey, Blue Bloods, Dexter).  The fun there will be that Diggle calls Ollie on all his snark and crap and they form a playful friendship. Having the funds to pull off his new mission also helps, and his "batcave" - a loft somewhere in the city - is complete with a workout apparatus that ... well, watch the pilot and be careful not to drool too much. Seen those abs of Amell's on all the posters?  You know the one:
In effect, the producers say that there are actually four characters Amell is playing: The Oliver before the accident, the Oliver while on the island, the Oliver that returns and the Arrow persona, and so far, Amell is pulling them off wonderfully.  He and Cassidy have incredible chemistry, and since it has been made know that her character eventually becomes Black Canary, that will be something to look forward too. 

Also intriguing is the mystery behind Oliver's own mother.  The pilot clearly lays out that she knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

The series will flashback to the time Oliver spent on the island: how he survived, if he was alone, how he trained (and who possibly trained him) and more, which should provide some awesome action sequences to compliment the ones that we'll see in the present (the pilot had one wicked-ass battle).

One line in the episode definitely made you see just who the new Oliver is and what he's about:  he tells his beloved housekeeper Raza (sorry, don't know the actress' name) - a kind of co-Alfred: "I want to be the person you always told me I could be."  Swoon.

This show is off to a great start and as someone who stuck with Smallville for all ten years, it's nice to have another hero origin story to watch.  And if the pilot is any indication, this is going to be a good series.  And as the lead in for Supernatural, how can you lose?

Bottom line:  Arrow hits the bullseye.

Arrow premieres this Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recap - Supernatural

They're baaaaaack!

Yes, my favorite show of all time is finally back on the air after a very long - though pleasantly program-filled - summer. And overall it was a very strong season premiere.  We're in Season 8 now and I think the show is in for a rockin' good season.

Now, I have a friend who keeps telling me that I have to write about why this show is my favorite and to share my passion with others.  I agree, especially if it gets new viewers watching, but then I realize how very hard that is to do.  To put into comprehensible words and sentences all that I want to say, all that I feel for the show, its cast, writers, directors and stories ... it's daunting, overwhelming.  I may be able to do it justice one day, but let me sum it up as best I can for now:

This show has two of the strongest leading men on TV today.  Particularly Jensen Ackles (Dean).  There's is nothing this man can't do: action, drama, comedy, broad comedy, you name it.  He is the master of the single-tear fall, he has 101 expressions, can deliver one-liners to perfection and ... let's face it, he's damn pretty to look at.  Plus he's become a hell of a director.  His onscreen brother, Jared Padelecki (Sam), is also a gem.  He can convey sweet innocence and compassion then on a dime be as cold-hearted and soulless (literally, as seen in season 6) as they come.  He's had to play the gauntlet of these emotions and all the ones in between during the show's run ... and he ain't bad eye candy either.  Except for that hair ... more on that in a moment.

I have watched a lot of television, I mean THOUSANDS of hours, but never have I followed the people behind the scenes like I have with Supernatural.  I actually know writers and directors by name and have become fans of theirs.  A great deal of the writing of this show is nothing short of brilliant, often in a single episode making you laugh, cry, scream, be tortured emotionally and fall in love, and that's a feat to be celebrated.  Not that there haven't been a small handful of eps with their problems (sorry "Red Sky at Morning" and "Bugs", I'm looking at you), but even in those there are moments you are willing to tune back in for again and again.

See, for me, I love a show that has re-watchability for me.  If I can take an episode I've seen a dozen times and watch it over and over and still discover new things or it can still touch me like new, that's a winner for me.  And that's Supernatural.  Hell, I own all available seasons on DVD and have them on my iPod and still will sit there and watch it on TNT twice every morning if I'm around.  And that's with freakin commercials! That's a credit to the show.

So I guess I was able to put it into some words.  But it still doesn't convey it enough that I'm not just a fan, I truly respect this show and all those that bring it to life episode after episode, season after season.

And I have to believe the PTB at the CW feel the same, cause not only have they stuck with the show - which isn't a ratings winner, but then again, what show on the CW is? - for eight seasons, but has taken it out of "death night" Friday and brought it to the forefront of Wednesdays at 9 p.m.  And the head of the net says he will keep the show on the air for as long as they want to keep making it.  Love that!

So, back to last night's premiere.  Some spoilers may come to the fold here, so if haven't watched the ep yet, may want to come back later (but please do).
To recap where we left off, last season Dean and Sam finally managed to defeat Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart), a.k.a. Head Leviathan, sending him back to Purgatory.  Unfortunately, Dean and Castiel (Misha Collins) got caught in the blast wave and were transported there right along with him, leaving Sam to believe his brother was well and truly dead.  Now, that little wrinkle has never stopped them before ... I mean, come on, these guys have died SO MANY times before but have always managed to come back, usually because one brother fights to bring the other back, or someone else pulls that feat off.

But this time was different.  Sam actually kept the promise the brothers have so often made to each other (but never kept): if one dies, the other should go live a "normal, apple-pie life."  So that's what Sam did.  I know a lot of people right now have a problem with that.  After all, these boys have gone to Hell and back - literally - for each other, and you thought they would never be able to move on without each other.  But to Sam, everyone he knew and loved was dead.  There was nothing left to fight for, no one left to fight with, so he walked away and found a new life away from hunting.  And you can't fault the guy for that.  Maybe if he'd known where Dean was he'd have gone after him, but he truly believed Dean was dead and accepted that.

But Dean wasn't dead.  He was in fact in "hell-adjacent" serving a tour being likened to his own demonic Vietnam.  24/7 peril, monsters constantly chasing you, no chance to relax or be safe, vicious, horrible death looming around every corner.  And for a man who spent 40 years in Hell, this seems so  much worse.  Hell damaged his psyche, but Purgatory seems to have clearly hardened the man to a new level of stone, and I think we're going to see that emerge dangerously throughout the season.

Suffice to say the dynamic between the brothers has shifted once again as it has done so many times before.  I like that their lives over the past year (that's how much time they were apart ... so far they've spent several years apart over the 8 seasons, so what the hell year is it for them anyway?) will be told in flashbacks: how Dean got out of Purgatory with the help of new vampire-BFF Benny (Ty Olsson) and what happened to Castiel vs. Sam and new on-again-off-again girlfriend Amelia (Liane Balaban) in a hunt-free existence and more.

The premiere was great in that it had the brothers together for the whole hour.  We've had them separated so much in the last few years of the show, so it was a nice change.  And there was a brotherly hug, which so many of us love to see, rare as they are with these macho guys.  I can deal with recurring character Kevin "The Prophet" Tran (Osric Chau) for a bit, but I hope he's not going to be a constant third passenger in Baby (i.e. the Impala).  He's clearly going to play a key role in the overall story for the season: finding the spell that can lock demons away in hell forever.  And of course, thrilled to have Mark Sheppard's Crowley still around.  And Castiel should pop in in the next few episodes.

As much as I love this show - have I mentioned that? - during the ep I couldn't help but nag at a few things - nobody's perfect, right?

1) Sam said he dumped all their old phones.  So how in the world did newly-returned Dean get in contact with him to set up the rendezvous at the cabin? It'd been a whole year!

2) Dean seemed to have his old clothes ... did Sam save them for him, even though he believed him to be dead and gone once and for all?

3) Sam's hair.  I saw Jared at Comic-con this summer and couldn't believe how long it's gotten.  We're talking can-make-a-ponytail long.  He's always had long hair but now it's ridiculous.  And Dean never mocked him for it ... boo.  Upside?  The Wolverine-esque sideburns are no more!  Additional point - when the boys go into FBI-mode as they did tonight, no way would I buy the bureau letting an agent have their hair that long.  He still looked good though, and he's a new daddy, so he's got to be tired, but it doesn't show.

4) Sam fell back into fighting a little too easily.  Sure he's hunted all his life, but he WAS out of the game for a year.  Hell, even Dean was a little rusty in "Exile on Main Street" (seaon 6 premiere ... he'd been out of the life also for a year living with Lisa (Cindy Sampson) and Ben (Nicholas Elia)), so I don't buy the ease of the skill all that completely.

5) The brothers went right back to their usual way of being, which also seemed too easy, considering they've just had this amazing, miraculous reunion.  Couldn't we take a little time to enjoy it, feel it?  I know Jeremy Carver (new showrunner who also wrote this ep) probably wanted to take us smack right into the action of this new storyline, so I guess I'll just go with it.  He is one of my favorite writers and I'm so glad to have him back (he left to kick start the American version of Being Human on the SyFy Channel).

6) Borax - the stuff the boys use to reveal a Leviathan - is a harsh chemical.  So how come they were spraying and getting sprayed willy-nilly with the stuff, including near the eyes, and it didn't burn like the dickens?

There's probably a lot more I can say good and less good, but I think I'll end it here.  Bottom line, I can't recommend this show enough.  I know a lot of fans nitpick more than I do, get angry and defensive about plot points and character stuff, but I put my faith ever in the writers, cast and crew to do what they've been doing for me for 8 years: entertaining the hell out of me and giving me two incredible actors to watch - and drool over.  I mean, come on, how can you NOT??
 Tune in to Supernatural season 8 every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the CW and every Monday-Friday, 9-11 a.m. PST on TNT.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Welcome Back, Supernatural!

TV Tour Guide wishes Supernatural a hearty "Welcome Back!". Very much geared up for Season 8, which so far sounds pretty damn cool.

How did Dean spend his time in Purgatory?  How did he and new BFF Benny - a vampire - escape?  What happened to Castiel?

How did Sam spend his year away from hunting?  Did he find true, peaceful love with girlfriend Amelia?  How will he and Dean reconcile his leaving the life?

How did the year apart affect their relationship?  Will the reunion be a successful one?  Will they become a solid unit once more?

Tune in tonight at 9 p.m. PST on the CW.  You can always watch the Presidential debate later online ...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review - Elementary

For years CBS has been the king network of the procedural genre.  So it was just a matter of time before they brought the original top investigator to the airwaves.  And they've done it well with Elementary.

Mind you, this show about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes set in modern times is coming out in the shadow of the incredibly popular BBC series Sherlock, but since I've never seen that show, I get to come into this premise fresh.  Not to mention I'm a fan of both leads.

The lowdown:  In present day New York, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller, Eli Stone, Dexter) works as a consultant for the police, solving crimes with his mastery for seeing what others can't.  As he puts it, "I don't guess, I observe and I after I observe, I deduce."  The rub is that he's a recovering drug addict fresh out of rehab and has the tendency to be short-tempered, antsy and at times a bit unstable.  Enter Joan Watson (Lucy Liu, Southland, Ally McBeal) - yep, Holmes' sidekick is now a woman - a "companion" assigned to live with Holmes for six weeks to help he re-acclimate into his life and society.

Holmes immediately starts deducing things about her - her past, her personal demons and especially why she's no longer a surgeon - putting her on the defense but intriguing her at the same time.  How could he know so much about her?  In traditional fashion, Holmes walks us through how he comes to his conclusions, detailing what he sees and how the clues come together to create the whole picture.  He is reluctant to have Watson along and yet, when he challenges her too much and she walks, he realizes that he didn't mind having her around so much, especially when she displays a talent for deduction of her own.  When they solve the crime-of-the-week together, a beautiful partnership is born and an interesting new series is born.

Elementary is a very intelligent show without being too high-brow.  It's a series that's clearly going to be about the cases, the clues and how Holmes and Watson work together to solve the mystery and work out their relationship.  This is not going to be a romantic show, a la Moonlighting or Castle - at least I hope it isn't - and I'm glad.  I like the way Miller and Liu play off each other - reminds me of The X-Files' Mulder and Scully.  They're equals, even if Holmes' ego may at times make him deem himself slightly above her in status.  The beauty is that Watson isn't going to take that from him, and that's a tribute to Liu's portrayal.  I buy her in the role and I am pleased with Miller's Holmes.  Not to mention he finally gets to use his natural British accent!

I think this show is a nice addition to the CBS lineup.  I appreciate the filming style, it has moments of humor, a great cast and the pilot impressed me.

Bottom Line:  Elementary, my dear Tourists!  Watch this show.

Elementary premieres tonight, Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. on CBS

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reviews - Vegas and Made in Jersey

At the CBS Preview Party hosted by the Paley Center for Media, I was able to see two of the network's new procedurals - I call them that not because they necessarily exactly fit that genre of show but enough so in that they look like they will be featuring a case-of-the-week format - Vegas and Made in Jersey.

I didn't love either show tremendously, but didn't dislike them either.  Here's my take:

This new show starring Harrison Ford ... sorry, I mean Dennis Quaid, who was SO channeling Ford (if you watch the pilot this week, you'll see what I mean) - this is his first TV series - is based on the life of Ralph Lamb, who was a soldier-turned rodeo cowboy-turned rancher-turned sheriff in Vegas in the 60s.  Michael Chiklis (The Shield, No Ordinary Family) co-stars as mob kingpin Vincent Savino, whose dealings were thwarted by Lamb's efforts.  Vegas also stars Carrie-Anne Moss (Chuck) as Assistant D.A. Katherine O'Connell and Michael O'Neill (Necessary Roughness, Grey's Anatomy) as Mayor Ted Bennett, who knows Lamb from their military days and ultimately recruits him after the current sheriff is murdered.

I have to be honest, while I like Quaid a lot (catch him when he's on Ellen - they have a running bit that is hysterical), I found myself tuning out and thinking about other things halfway through the pilot, which is never a good sign.  The pilot episode didn't feel like a first episode, but more like a 4th or 5th.  Plus I didn't get why someone would choose to tell this man's story.  Not knowing anything about the real Ralph Lamb, the pilot didn't really intrigue me enough to watch more and find out.  The episode did have a cool few moments - Quaid's Lamb plays a very cool game of chicken with a car - and you know his play-by-his-own-rules, do-things-his-own-rough-and-tumble-and-others-be-damned way is sure to create dramatic tension and interesting showdowns down the road, I'm gonna pass on adding this show to my DVR Season Pass lineup.

That's not to say it's a terrible show.  It's not.  It's just not for me.  Justified is much better.

Now this show I went into with the lowest of expectations.  I mean, I am SO over the portrayal of my home state on TV - Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jerseylicious - just typing these titles makes me cringe.  So when I first read about this show and the description of lead character Martina Garetti (Janet Montgomery, Human Target, Entourage) - heavy accent, big, loud family, in-your-face attitude - and saw that Snooki-esque hair bump atop her head, I thought, here we go again.

But as the pilot episode went on, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself liking it.  I like that Martina is an underdog who fights with real smarts.  She's intelligent and savvy and rather likeable in a grows-on-you kind of way.  You want to root for her.  The show co-stars Kyle MacLachlan (Desperate Housewives) as Martina's boss and Donna Murphy (Trust Me, Hack) as her mother.

To be honest, a similar show that I really like and would recommend more is USA's Fairly Legal starring Sarah Shahi.  She, too, is a pistol who fights with cleverness and sass, does things her own way and is often annoying to her coworkers but endearing to us.  It's a better show, but I liked the pilot for Jersey and would give it another look if it weren't in direct conflict with two other shows I love and am committed to:  FOX's Fringe and the CW's Nikita.  Maybe online ...

Bottom Line:  Wouldn't bet on Vegas but make a plan to catch Made in Jersey.

Vegas premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. on CBS
Made in Jersey premieres Friday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. on CBS

Saturday, September 22, 2012

LifeBites Emmy Commentary

Hey Tourists!

Your TV Tour Guide has done her very first video entertainment segment!  It's for LifeBites LIVE and it's all about the Emmys, which air this Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8p EST/5p PST on ABC.

Check it out!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review - Partners

The CBS Premiere Party at the Paley Center for Media featured a screening of this new sitcom followed by a panel with the cast and creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the same team behind Will & Grace.

W&G was loosely inspired by an event in Kohan and Mutchnick's life and led to eight nearly-always hysterical seasons (show featured a terrific cast including Eric McCormack as Will, Debra Messing as Grace and the magical comic duo of Jack, played by Sean Hayes, and Karen, played by Megan Mullally).  Trying for years to put more of their real-life, decades-long friendship on screen, Kohan and Mutchnick finally have in Partners.

If only it was as funny as W&G.  It's not, at least the pilot isn't.
The creators said in the panel that they are not trying to make any political statements with their show - which follows the relationship between straight man Joe (David Krumholtz, Numbers) and gay man Louis (Michael Urie, Ugly Betty) and their respective mates Ali (Sophia Bush, One True Hill) and Wyatt (Brandon Routh, Chuck) - like, say, The New Normal may be doing.  "We just want to entertain as many as we can;  no teaching, just hopefully making people laugh," said Mutchnick.

I didn't laugh.  I barely chuckled.  And being that W&G was a show I consistently laughed at, that's a shame.

So what's the problem?  I think maybe, at least in the pilot, they're trying way too hard.  I swear, when the characters were talking and came to the joke - which they seemed to do with almost every line - the actors actually paused and gave a "look" ... you know, like "insert laugh here" or the way Ricky blatantly reacted to Lucy in I Love Lucy.  It worked then.  Now, it's just obvious and a little sad. 

There's a supporting character, Joe and Louis's assistant in their architecture firm (didn't catch her name), that portrays the worst of the Latino stereotype with the super-heavy accent and, I kid you not, she actually used the line "I will cut you" when putting the guys in their place.  Later there was an actual boob-smoosh - no doubt an homage to Jack and Karen.  Doesn't replicate here at all.

Then there's Ali, Joe's girlfriend, who's beautiful, successful and clearly wrestling with the fact that she has to share Joe with Louis (with whom she reluctantly does yoga). Nothing new there ... I mean all of Will and Grace's love interests had to deal with the same issue, but with them it was funny, it worked.  Here - and to be fair I've only seen the one episode - not so much.

And we have Routh's Wyatt, who is Louis' boyfriend.  He's a male nurse, a profession Wyatt's proud of but Louis has a problem with - it's embarrassing to him.  So we'll get jokes about that but not enough to sustain the funny.  I appreciate Routh wanting to do comedy.  He said at the panel that that's what he loved about playing Clark Kent in Superman Returns.  Can he pull it off?  Only time will tell ... hard to say from the pilot since he didn't have that much to do.
The end of the episode had the quartet sitting together with Ali stating what is clearly the heart of the show:  there are four people at the table but three couples.  The series will undoubted play off this premise and explore those relationships, the subsequent conflicts, etc. The creators said they will incorporate things that happened in their own friendship, so that could be interesting. Maybe it was just a weak pilot and the show will get better.  But other ensemble sitcoms have been hysterical right from the start, including other CBS fare How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls.

And of course, Will & Grace.  See where I'm going with this?  If you want a funnier show with this relationship premise and a quartet of comical characters, go with that one.

Partners premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review - Revolution

Okay, I have to confess I went into the pilot of this new NBC fantasy drama a bit biased.  How could I not when it comes from a trio of creators I have incredible respect for:  J.J. Abrams (executive producer), who has been behind some of my favorite series including Fringe, Alias, Lost and Felicity; Jon Favreau (executive producer and pilot director), who I like both as an actor and director; and last but certainly not least, Eric Kripke (series creator), who brought forth my very favorite series, Supernatural.

So to say I had high hopes for Revolution is an understatement.  But I had to also remind myself to look at the pilot as its own entity and determine if it's going to be a show I'll want to stick with.  It is, at least for a while.

The lowdown (SOME MILD SPOILERS AHEAD):   On an ordinary evening, Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee, The Good Wife, Lie to Me) rushes home in a panic and tells wife Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost, V) to get things ready to go. "It's happening, isn't it?" she asks, terror in her eyes.  The "it" she's referring to is the mysterious, sudden and complete loss of every single piece of technology - computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights, all electricity on the whole - across the globe.
Jump to 15 years later and a world that has emerged without modern conveniences which we have become so incredibly dependent on (looks very much like I Am Legend).
What follows is a journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of strong-willed daughter Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos, Being Human) and quiet son Danny (Graham Rogers, Memphis Beat).

After Ben is killed (mom passed years before) and Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders - led by Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad) under the orders of General Monroe (David Lyons, The Cape) - Charlie heads off with family friend Aaron (Zak Orth, 30 Rock, Fringe) and town doctor Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips, Animal Kingdom) to get help from estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, Rizzoli & Isles, 24), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life.

Turns out Ben was directly involved in what caused the global blackout and Miles may have knowledge about it and may be the key to getting the power turned back on.  The "actual" key to doing so seems to be a fancy flash drive Ben entrusted to Aaron before his death.
And it's not the only one.  Grace (Maria Howell, The Vampire Diaries, Army Wives), a woman who helps Danny during a brief escape attempt, also has one.  So one mystery for the series is established - just how many of these drives are out there, how do they work and are they truly the answer to bringing back the power?

Thus Revolution follows Charlie and her rogue band of survivors as they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America while exploring the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if - or how - it will ever return.

Obviously this is a very ambitious premise to undertake, and such a one has been tried before with great success (Lost), with some early success (Heroes) and with not-so-much success (Flash Forward, The Event).  I suppose the series life of Revolution will depend on if they can keep the preliminary momentum established going without getting too bogged down in subplots and heavy-handed mythology, as has happened with some of those other series.
As for the cast, Spiridakos is a new face for me.  I can see the producers establishing her as liken to Katniss from The Hunger Games (right down to her bow and arrow) - a fighter, independent, a survivor.  She didn't hit it out of the park for me in the pilot, but since the story centers around her, I'll give her a chance to grow on me.  Burke is good as Miles - surly, bittter, and one who definitely kicks ass (there's an awesome fight sequence in the third act not to be missed).  Orth should provide some nice comedy as quirky billionaire (thanks to Google) Aaron who would gladly trade his nest egg for a decent roll of TP.  And I like Mitchell and will look forward to seeing her in flashbacks that will surely help fill in the story of what happened to this family directly following the blackout and the years following.

The story itself does make you think.  Just look around your life, the things in your home, things we all take for granted.  How many times have you forgotten your cell phone only to wonder what the hell you were going to do?  Imagine no medical tech, no air conditioning, no microwave and, for people like me, no TV!!  It's a scary thought.  The question is, how realistic is this premise?  Remember the panic before Y2K?  Certainly something to think about, discuss, debate and now, to watch, at least through the eyes of the powers behind Revolution.

I would definitely give the show a view.  Not sure it's for everyone, but if you are a fan of the overcoming-global-catastrophe genre, then this is one for you.  As for me, I'm gonna have to find a way to watch it online or after the fact, as it goes head-to-head with two of my favorite returning series, Hawaii Five-0 and Castle.

Bottom Line:  Power up for the Revolution.

Revolution premieres on Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review - The New Normal

First let me start off by saying kudos to the nets.  I am thrilled that today's television landscape is including programming that represents what the increasingly typical family model is today:  a unit consisting of a mix of people from previous marriages or by race, by age or sexual orientation, or a combination of these and more, like ABC's appropriately named Modern Family

NBC this fall has The New Normal, with two gay men at the heart of the show who are trying to have a baby.  Naturally there's been flack by conservative parties speaking out against the series, but I applaud the network for the effort.

Now if only I could say I love the show.  Alas ...

I'm a fan of the man behind this series, Ryan Murphy.  I was on board with FOX's Glee from day one (though I'm wary about the upcoming season, but more on that another time) and FX's American Horror Story was some super-twisted fun and looks to be again with the upcoming AHS: Asylum (could these shows BE more different??). 

But here, perhaps the most mainstream of the three, I think it's almost trying too hard.  It has a likeable enough cast and a good premise, and they certainly set up the story in the pilot episode well enough, but between hitting you with  blatant affirmations and perhaps one of the most unlikeable characters on TV (Ellen Barkin's Nana makes Glee's Sue Sylvester look like Polyanna), it just didn't grab me.
Here's the scoop:  Bryan (Andrew Rannells, hot off The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls) and David (Justin Bartha of The Hangover films) are a successful L.A. couple who have almost everything - careers, home, love - except a baby, which they begin pursuing via a surrogate in the pilot episode.
 Enter Goldie (Georgia King, Sugartown), a broken-down waitress and single mother who decides she needs to change her circumstances for her daughter Shania's (Bebe Wood) sake.  She also desperately needs to get out from under her judgmental, bigoted grandmother (the aforementioned Nana). 
Goldie is introduced to Bryan and David through a surrogacy service called Expanding Families - run by Gary (Michael Hitchcock, Men of a Certain Age, The United States of Tara) after the couple goes through a challenging narrowing-down process that included a womb-blackmailing nightmare and a surprise cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow (she's an old friend of Murphy's, having done a wonderful turn on Glee).  On insemination day, Nana tracks down Goldie and expresses her disapproval with a rant of the most un-PC content I've heard in a long time.  Seriously, there's is nothing to like about this character.  At least Sue Sylvester has moments of sympathy and heart.  Not this woman.  I see nothing redeeming, and it's not funny.

That's one of the enigmas of this show.  It's classified as a comedy, but that really doesn't fit here.  Definitely not a laugh-out-loud program ... I didn't even chuckle.  I'd call this more of a "life study" if there were to be such a genre.  The comedy I suppose will come from Rocky, played by Nene Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Celebrity Apprentice and most recently ... you guessed it:  Glee), who is doing what she does best - playing a speak-your-mind, brazen, confrontational woman who will obviously have many face-to-face-offs with Nana, and Shania, a 30-year-old in the body of an eight-year-old.  She's a precocious one, but nothing we haven't seen before.  And the Twitter references are gonna get old real fast.

Rannell's Bryan isn't as ... flamboyant as say, Sean Hayes' Jack on Will and Grace was, but he's definitely the wife in the marriage.  He has a sweet face, you do buy his desire to be a parent and the two male leads make a nice couple.  King is also sweet, but seriously, between her wide eyes and gentle voice and her affirmation-spouting nature, it's too much.

  • When Nana asked what Goldie's daughter could learn from her mother doing this, Goldie replies "That you can be whatever you want to be no matter how many people tell you you're nothing."
  • Another winner:  "I need to help these guys ... and myself."
  • And:  "A family is a family.  Love is love."
  • Let's not forget:  "Abnormal is the new normal."
  • Not to be outdone, David had one of his own:  to Goldie, "You gave us ... you gave me hope.  We want to help make your dreams come true because you're helping us with ours."
I think I got a cavity after this episode.  Look, I'm all for positivity and happiness for characters, I just don't want to be hit over the head with it so blatantly in 22 minutes, you know?
I also wish Goldie and the guys had met differently, by chance.  The fact that it was through the agency just didn't seem creative enough for me.  Would another way have been more contrived or unoriginal, maybe, but I still would have preferred it.

I may give the second and third episodes a chance, just because I want to support (without getting to political) a program that does celebrate the freedom to be together regardless of what conservative society dictates.  But the Nana character is a problem.  I'm sure the writers are counting on using Rocky to put her in her place as often as possible, but you can't rely on that in the long run.  And whether this will find its identity as a "comedy" remains to be seen.

Bottom Line:  I can neither recommend nor condemn ...

The New Normal premieres this Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 p.m. PST on NBC