Category Archives: Network Television

The Celebrity Apprentice Rises From Its Grave

Just when you though self-aggrandizing D-list celebrities would have to go elsewhere, NBC decides to resurrect The Celebrity Apprentice…with the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. *Cue collective eye roll.*

Apparently, NBC understood perfectly well that the show was nothing more than self-promotion for Donald Trump and figured the show still has a chance, so they went with the one person in the world who could engage in ham to ham combat with the Trumpster.

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.

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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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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Joan Rivers on The Tonight Show

Yesterday, Joan Rivers died at the age of 81. Before she was E!’s go to fashion critic, she had a long history with talk shows (a lot of it is not good). We’re not going to go into the details of the falling out between Rivers and Johnny Carson. Instead, we’re choosing to remember them in happier times. In the following clip from The Tonight Show, Joan sits down with Johnny to discuss her book Enter Talking.

Remembering Don Pardo

You may not know what Don Pardo looks like, but you certainly know his voice, if not his name as well. Pardo is best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live. However, he had already had a long career with NBC, a network he started working for in 1944. We’re choosing to remember Don Pardo with his two appearances on camera during the NBC version of The Price is Right, which he was the announcer for.

NBC’s Food Fighters Takes on Food Network

When it comes to food competition shows, there are no original ideas. A show like Food Fighters has to be judge based on it’s execution, which is good if you can stomach Adam Richman.

Food Fighters takes the big kitchen feel of Iron Chef America and combines it with Throwdown/Beat Bobby Flay‘s underdog versus master chef formula. It’s derivative, but works well because it’s different enough. Unlike past shows, Food Fighters has the home chef compete against 5 different chefs with 5 different dishes. Each chef is worth a different dollar amount, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with the possibility to double all winnings at the end. After the chef is announced, the contestant gets to choose which one of the remaining dishes will be made this round. At the beginning, it leads to interesting combinations like a seafood chef attempting a mango tart. Toward the end, you get a Latin chef making fish and quinoa, which would have been boring if Lorena Garcia wasn’t a firecracker.

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Mad TV Song Parodies

Mad TV wasn’t a very good show. However, like most sketch comedy, it had it’s moments. Before everyone on the internet was making parody song music videos, Mad TV was doing it better. Here are some of the show’s funniest music video parodies.

Britney Spears- “I’m Not a Child”

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