The Internet is a strange place. Hardcore fans of TV shows are a weird bunch. What happens when you combine the two? These websites.
Law & Order & Food
People love Law & Order, all 200 versions of it. Some are incredibly dedicated and document every background event. Those fans are responsible for this Tumblr page, which is dedicated to documenting every time Munch munches and Detective Briscoe wants a sandwich. Law & Order & Food features pictures from all of Law & Order’s spin-offs. While criminals caught on Law & Order have the right to remain silent, all food that appears has “the right to remain delicious.”
Most American television viewers know Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House. However, in 1998, Laurie made a guest appearance on Friends as a very sardonic airplane passenger who tries to reason with Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel, about going to London to stop a wedding. Laurie may have had a small role on Friends, but it’s easy to see why he deserved a big break in America a few years later.
Friends was a sitcom on NBC that began in 1994 and lasted 10 seasons. It is currently in syndication on multiple channels and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Friends might have been a success, but its short-lived spin-off, Joey was a failure from the start. Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) moved from has native New York City to Hollywood in the spin-off. Joey was meant to be a big hit after it was announced as part of NBC’s fall schedule for the 2004 season. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Joey had low ratings from the beginning and never succeeded with critics. It was cancelled in the middle of the second season. Even so, it lasted too long.
In the pilot, Joey goes to Hollywood after hiring a new agent and is offered the lead in two television series. He accepts the one of the offers and assumes that the other one will be a huge flop. The series Joey chose is cancelled almost immediately. At this point, he is right back where he started. He is a struggling actor, who is untalented and is failing to realize his dreams because he is unable to make decent career decisions. Conversely, the show he rejected becomes a huge hit. Joey is close-minded right from the start and it is extremely hard to root for him.
NBC hit a home run with Go On. The show stars Matthew Perry as sportscaster Ryan King, whose boss forces him to join the Transitions therapy group. Of course, Ryan feels that he does not need therapy and any attempt to convince people to agree with him fails because he keeps lashing out at everyone. For those who insist on making Friends comparisons, Ryan is Chandler Bing, if Chandler Bing suffered from clinical depression and was constantly sardonic. It is a little jarring at first, since Friends is still being rerun continually, but it works.
Ryan’s first Transitions’ meeting makes up a big part of the pilot episode. When he first arrives, Ryan takes his place in the circle and listens briefly to some of his fellow group members’ problems. He quickly gets fed up with the wallowing because everything in his life is a competition. Deciding to do something about this, Ryan pulls out a whiteboard and starts making a bracket that one of the group members dubs “March Sadness.” For someone to progress in “March Sadness,” they have to tell their sob story in 5 seconds and it has to be more depressing than their competitors. It is twisted that Ryan turns suffering into a competition, but for some reason it does seem like a feasible way to move on in one’s life. The winner was a Fausta, a woman who spoke mostly Spanish and lost both her husband and her son. As the winner, Ryan crowned Fausta with a pastry box that she now cherishes.
This week, Episodes was very blunt and was filled with both serious and absurd conflicts. The show opens with Matt entering his house late at night to find his stalker, Labia topless in his kitchen. He is shocked that she even found a way into his house. Labia has a very calm response to Matt’s anger. She is very aware that Matt does not like her, but she does not care. She is just excited to tell him that she made cookies. Labia still thinks of Matt as a childhood crush who kept her spirits up when she had cancer. She uses her cancer as a way to get sympathy from Matt. Matt tries to calm her down somewhat nicely. He explains that she had cancer, but she survived and is now healthy. Under the circumstances, Matt has no problem screaming at her to get out of his house. She then says that she would die for Matt. He acknowledges, almost regrettably, that she did not die. Finally, Matt threatens to call the police. Labia promptly puts her clothes on and leaves. The beginning was not particularly relevant to the rest of the episode, but it did a great job setting up Matt’s bitter attitude that he would have for the rest of the episode.
Upon hearing that Community got renewed for a fourth season, I was excited, but also a little disappointed in the size of the order. Thirteen episodes means less of a chance of further continuation (six seasons and a movie!), but given the fact that NBC needed room to budget its new shows it wasn’t a surprise. It also got me very curious about the upcoming Fall season.
Most shows produced for network television never see the light of day. A lot of them get cancelled after a few episodes. Some get really bad time slots, others get terrible lead-ins. A lot of times, it’s just a bad show. The point is very few shows get respectable runs, especially in recent years. On NBC, the only truly stellar run in the last 5 years has been The Office, which is clearly on the decline. Not since the ending of Friends could any show on the network truly be considered a “classic”, so there’s a certain degree of skepticism in my mind when there are six shows debuting in the fall and many more set to debut afterwards.
Lately, Matthew Perry has made a career of less than promising movies and sitcoms that go no more than 15 episodes. It’s just not the same as when he was Chandler. Hopefully that will change because Go On is looking promising.
As Ryan King, Perry portrays a slick, sarcastic sportscaster who, after the death of his wife, is ready to get back to work. However, his boss will not let him back on the air until he goes to group therapy. King’s goal is really just to get back on the air as soon as he can, but it seems that his less-than-caring approach seems to work for him and the group. Perry’s character resorts back to what worked best for Chandler: a tragic backstory and the use of humor as a defense mechanism.
The highlight of the trailer was a sequence of Ryan holding a contest for “Who has the best sob story?”, known as “March Sadness”. With its snarky attitude, a caring story, and what seems like a solid supporting cast for Perry, this show looks like it could last a while. NBC is advertising this series as Matthew Perry’s return. Here’s hoping it’s a bit more triumphant than the last attempt, which was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in 2007.