Marry Me ‘s Not Ready For Long-term Commitment

Anyone who has ever had a “why am I still talking” or wishes that their friend who talks to much would get their telepathic message to stop talking can relate to Marry Me‘s main characters, Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Dan Marino). Despite Annie being the high-strung one and Jake being the opposite, they both say too much, which gets Annie into a lot of trouble. Annie got Jake fired from his job and insulted his mother. Jake’s problem is he talks way past the point of where the topic he’s talking about became embarrassing.

Going on the pilot, the show may be a little one dimensional. Jake and Annie love each other. Annie messes up Jake’s initial proposal because she was made he didn’t propose on their trip to Mexico, so she starts going off on their life together. In the other room, their friends and family are hiding. Annie manages to insult everyone, except her two fathers. Naturally, no one is in the mood to celebrate. Annie and Jake agree to redo their proposal.

Proposal attempt #2 doesn’t go much better. Annie surprises Jake at his office. Initially, Jake’s just embarrassed. Things take a turn for the worse when his boss finds out that Jake was on vacation. Jake told his boss that he took off because he was in the hospital trying to decide whether or not to pull the plug on his mother. As a result, Jake is shown the door. This is the point where I started to wonder how many more failed proposals will we have to sit through. Fortunately, it was zero.

Annie and Jake finally decide they should get married when they both skip their engagement party. Neither one is in the mood for celebrating, so they go their separate ways. Turns out they each decided to go to their favorite Mexican restaurant alone. That is how they decide fate is bringing together. Weird? Yes, but it worked for this couple.

When the plot took a break from Annie and Jake, it focused on Annie’s two fathers: Kevin One (Tim Meadows)  and Kevin Two (Dan Bucatinsky). They fight over who is Annie’s biological father. Everyone knows it’s Kevin Two because he and Annie are both white. Kevin One likes to argue that it’s possible Annie is a light skinned black woman, which would make her his biological daughter. No one believes it, but it really doesn’t matter because the both Kevins love Annie.

Marry Me has the potential to be clever. The writing is witty. The cast has chemistry. The show simply needs to be careful about slipping into a rut. No one wants to watch 13 episodes of “look the main characters can’t get a proposal right.” The second episode will decided the direction for the rest of the series. I’m going to give the show the benefit of the doubt: the pilot suffered because it was purely background that served only to set up the future.

Jay Leno May Return to TV

Jay Leno is currently in talks to host a 10pm show on TBS. I know. I know. Don’t even joke about that.

According to Variety and every other media outlet, including NBC, Leno may return to primetime. Yes, it’s on cable. Fortunately for Conan O’Brien, Leno’s potential new show will air on CNBC and will be about cars. Basically, CNBC has decided to ignore what could be considered its mission statement: to provide financial news. I guess they figure as long as they air Squawk Box no one’s going to mind Jay Leno’s car show after trading hours. (To be fair, CNBC has filled out their schedule with reruns of Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the past because a network wouldn’t last long if it only operated from 4am to 7pm.)

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Gracepoint: An Inexact Copy

Dear David Tennant: the next time you’re cast in an American drama series and some network honcho tells you to lose your beautiful Scottish brogue, you fight it.

My own biases aside, there’s much to be said about Fox’s new drama Gracepoint. I don’t want to be yet another person stuck in the abysmal “British originals trump American remakes” mindset, nor do I necessarily want to focus on how foreign Tennant’s accent sounds to me, a fan of both his run on Doctor Who and the original Broadchurch, from which Gracepoint is directly influenced. But in its relocation from the English county of Dorset to a northern California town, it seems to have forgotten parts of itself along the way.

The pilot episode of Gracepoint is structurally almost identical to its cousin. Young mother Beth Solano (Virginia Kull) wakes up one day to discover her son Danny is mysteriously missing, and makes the usual calls and inquiries into his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Detective Ellie Miller (Breaking Bad alum Anna Gunn) returns to work after a vacation to find that the job she was being considered for has been given to Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant With An American Accent, whoops, there I go. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.). Carver is an out-of-towner hoping to put some demons of an undetermined nature to rest, and Miller is rightly pissed that he’s muscled his way into her limelight. But these characters’ normal lives all come crashing together when Danny Solano’s body turns up on a Gracepoint beach, jump-starting the worst breakdown of “love thy neighbor” in TV history.

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Mulaney, Series Premiere, Review

Mulaney is a modern take on Seinfield. The former is nowhere near as good as the latter, but Mulaney is far from being another Selfie. Although, that’s not saying much.

In the show, John Mulaney plays a fictional version of himself. The fictional John Mulaney is a struggling standup comic, who lands a job at Lou Cannon’s television show. Cannon (Martin Short) comes off as self-absorbed, but in the end we find out he has a soft spot for Mulaney. Cannon uses Mulaney’s jokes, so Mulaney doesn’t quit.

I love Martin Short’s obviously affected over the top public persona, but he does it all the time and there’s no other character that rivals his hamminess. Making matters worse, (the real) Mulaney either can’t act or is completely uninterested in his own show. As a result, the scenes with Cannon and (the character) Mulaney feel like “The Martin Short Show.” If Short wants to do weekly television, someone should give him his own damn show. Leave Mulaney in the writers room.

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Checking In with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor

Last summer, Doctor Who fans were crushed to hear that Eleventh Doctor and clumsy baby giraffe Matt Smith would be stepping down from the iconic role the following Christmas. Two months later, in a live, worldwide special, Smith’s successor was announced: Peter Capaldi, arguably the first veteran actor to assume the role and a household name in the UK for his many memorable TV characters, including spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on the BBC’s The Thick of It. The feedback was generally positive, with some scattered ageist comments that we’re going to pretend were never uttered, but it would be another year until Capaldi’s real debut, where fans would be able to see him in action.

Now halfway through Series 8, Capaldi appears to have breathed new life into Doctor Who. His version of the enigmatic time-traveler is the most alien in recent memory, and it’s making for some cracking good TV. Here’s a brief look at his tenure so far, broken down by episode.

MAJOR EPISODE SPOILERS AHEAD.

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Selfie Meet Pop Culture Cliches

Have you ever watched a show and realized it was bad three minutes into the pilot episode? If not, watch Selfie you’ll be in for quite an experience. Everyone else should avoid this show. What could’ve been a clever commentary on millennials’ being so obsessed with social media that they forget to live in the moment, manages to fail and make you dislike the main character Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan). You know, the person you’re supposed to be rooting for.

As someone around Eliza’s age, I want to slap her. She was unpopular in school, so she thought having thousands of Facebook friends and Instagram followers would make her feel better. Eliza thinks everyone thought she was “butt” as a child, when it was really just an awkward stage. In her head, she’s now the popular girl. Sure, Eliza’s pretty and successful, but none of her coworkers like her and clients only buy products from her because she knows her way around a miniskirt.

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Celebrity Name Game Review

Celebrity Name Game is everything a game show should be nowadays. The show is hardly original, but all the good game show ideas are taken. All we can really expect from new game show concepts is that they don’t execute old concepts badly. Based on that criteria, Celebrity Name Game and it’s host, Craig Ferguson, excel.

Like most game shows, Celebrity Name Game combines elements from classic game shows and adds two, likable, but B-list celebrities. In this case, the show is a mix of Pyramid and Family Feud with teams of three people: one celebrity and two civilians.

The first two rounds and the bonus game are ripped straight from Pyramid. The first round has one team pick from semi-cleverly named categories, such as “Kicked to the ‘Curb,'”which features celebrities who had appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The other team is left with the remaining category. In this round, the celebrity team member provides clues to the two civilians, who take turns guessing the answer. Each correct answer is worth $100. The celebrities swap teams. The last team to go chooses the category for another round like the first. Now, correct answers are worth $200 each.

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ABC’s Forever: Appealing, But With a Murky Future

Ladies and gentlemen, your hybrid show with an undying protagonist for the 2014 fall season is ABC’s Forever, and it’s anyone’s guess how long it’ll stick around. Taking all bets now.

Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) and Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd).

Genre shows are all the rage these days, whereas crime dramas are a dime a dozen. The success of smushing together elements of the traditional and the contemporary depends on how seriously a show takes itself, and while Forever is a bit of a romp through established TV tropes, it also elicits a decided “ehhh” in terms of staying power. Starring The Fantastic Four’s Ioan Gruffudd (sporting the most wonderfully Welsh name, damn, lookit those consonants in places they shouldn’t be), this show has the potential to be a good palette cleanser in an era of sobering television, especially in a post-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. timeslot. It’s unclear, however, if that title is inadvertently writing a check the show can’t cash.

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Smile! Candid Camera’s Back

Last month, TV Land brought Candid Camera back to television after a 10 year hiatus. This version is hosted by Mayim Bialik and Peter Funt. Unlike the majority of recent revivals, Candid Camera is still the same old show, which is both good and bad.

Why is it good?

  1. Candid Camera is a family show in an era that doesn’t have any.
  2. It’s a prank show that isn’t mean spirited.  As Peter Funt told The Wrap, “Here’s the thing: A lot of other hidden camera shows strike me as out to show that people are stupid. We don’t think that’s really funny, and for the most part, I don’t believe that’s even true.
  3. The show is familiar. If there’s nothing better on TV, you can count on Candid Camera to bring a smile to your face.

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The Year of the Worst Series Finales

Fair warning: spoilers.

Series finales are always bittersweet. It means that a beloved show is coming to an end but now we don’t have to suffer all of those emotional traumas. Generally, series finales tend to be great masterpieces that tie all loose ends. This year, on the other hand, we were presented with rushed and just down right disappointing series finales. It seemed like as each show ended, you’d hear someone on the Internet commenting, “well this beats [insert show that recently ended] for worst finale ever”

Dexter

I’m going to get this one out of the way. I have not watched this show, but I plan on watching it one day. I’m not going to go into why it was terrible in fear that it will ruin something from the first four seasons. That’s when you’re supposed to stop watching Dexter, right?

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