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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.

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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Emmy Highlights

Before we get into the clips, a full list of Emmy winners can be found at the Washington Post. There aren’t too many surprises. It gets a little boring reading the list. (Confession: I didn’t watch the awards last night.) Congratulations to Breaking Bad for going out on top. Modern Family won best comedy series and ties Frasiers‘ record for most consecutive wins at five. The only surprise is that the networks and cable shut Netflix out of the race.

Below are three moments: one that’s a mixed bag, one that should be talked about, and one that is being called a highlight.

“Weird Al” Sings Theme Songs

I love “Weird Al” and adding lyrics to theme songs that don’t have them could’ve been brilliant. Instead, we witnessed a hastily thrown together sketch that is awkward to watch. Prepare to role your eyes when “Weird Al” mentions that Game of Thrones has lots of boobs and that George R.R. Martin needs to start writing more, so he doesn’t die before the series is finished.

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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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David Letterman Is Retiring in 2015

Wow. David Letterman announcing his upcoming retirement shocked me. It shouldn’t have. We all knew it was coming. No one was under the impression Letterman would be hosting The Late Show until he dies. He’d host it until Jay Leno was out of the collective consciousness or dropped dead. Once Leno said goodbye to The Tonight Show stage one last time, Letterman’s days were numbered. All he did today was confirm everyone’s assumption.

When all is said and done, Letterman will have hosted a late night talk show for 33 years: 11 as host of NBC’s Late Night, the last 22 will be with The Late Show and CBS. It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago few people expected Letterman to surpass his idol Johnny Carson’s reign in late night, which was an impressive 30 years. Now, we’re wondering how CBS will fill the hole in their lineup when Letterman leaves next year.

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Hannibal‘s Kaiseki Leaves Us Hungry for More

Season two of Hannibal hit the ground running. Quite literally too, as the opening scene was a flash-forward of an intense fight between Hannibal and Jack Crawford. So far, we know that Hannibal is going to get figured out, and the rest of the season is going to be dedicated to seeing how that comes together. Season two started where season one had left off, Will Graham was framed for all of the horrible things that Hannibal had done and is now imprisoned. Even worse, his new psychiatrist is Dr. Chilton, who is still full of himself even after having all of his organs removed. At this time, only the audience, Will, and maybe Hannibal’s psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier know that Hannibal is last season’s big baddie “The Chesapeake Ripper”. It’s unclear, as of right now, what Bedelia knows, but she has made some implications that she knows too much about Hannibal.

This season is going to stray away from the first season’s formula of featuring a killer of the week. Instead, they are going to have a “big baddie” which has already been revealed to be Mason Verger, notably played by Gary Oldman in the film adaptation of Hannibal. It isn’t known exactly when Verger is going to show up, but last night introduced an unknown killer kidnapping random people based on the color of their skin. Also the feel of their skin, that was oh so creepily pointed out to the audience when the killer complimented a man’s smooth skin on the subway. Later, this man was abducted and found himself in a room of “dead” people. It’s unclear whether or not they are dead or in heroin-induced comas even though the coma thing has been done before. The last shot of the night revealed that the bodies are arranged in a way to make it look like an eye.

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Late Night with Seth Meyers Review

I love Seth Meyers, but Late Night with Seth Meyers is mediocre. It’s so mediocre that I could only bring myself to watch two episodes for this review. That being said, the show has some incredible potential. Seth’s in the same situation Conan O’Brien was when he began hosting late night: having writing skills doesn’t translate into being a good performer.

Part of Seth’s problem is that he delivers the monologue like it’s a Weekend Update. Rapid fire one liners may work on The Tonight Show, but on Late Night we’re used to a monologue that’s delivered like a one-sided conversation. Seth understands it, but when he attempts to joke about a bombed joke, he just digs himself deeper. He’s trying his best, but he doesn’t know when to move on. Not helping things is that a lot of his jokes miss the mark. If I have to think about the logic behind your joke before I understand it, it’s not a good joke. Seth’s still has to figure out that a monologue full of “just for us” jokes doesn’t work for the 12:35 crowd.
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Jay Leno Says Goodbye to “The Tonight Show”

Let’s get this out of the way, I’m a Conan O’Brien and David Letterman fan. For all intents and purposes, the media tells me I should despise Jay Leno. I don’t. He’s not my favorite comedian. I find what he did to David Letterman distasteful, but it’s been over 20 years and the two men now talk to each other again. I also think he should have left NBC after they handed The Tonight Show to Conan. However, things get nasty when two people are battling over their dream job. For years ago Jay came out looking bad, yet so did Conan. The real loser was NBC.

Instead of hating Jay, I understand that he’s vanilla. Something bland that the remains of an aging mainstream America falls asleep watching. I am not his target audience. In spite of it all, I watched the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno expecting something more than a typical show. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. NBC’s making a big deal about the changing of the guard at The Tonight Show, but Jay went out with a whimper. It was an average show that focuses more on the past than normal, which is saying something for a show hosted by a guy still making Monica Lewinsky jokes in 2001.

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