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.
There is absolutely no reason for Surviving Jack to be a good show. It has the same premise of half the sitcoms this season: kid with grumpy father grew up in the 80s/90s and is now reflecting on it. Television this season has basically been filled with a bunch of The Wonder Years wannabees. Despite starting from the same cliche, Surviving Jack uses the past as a tool to enhance the comedy, instead of as a distraction. There is no haha it’s the 90s, what were we thinking? It’s just a sitcom that happens to take place in the 90s.
Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni as Dr. Jack Dunlevy, who is a great doctor, but a rough parent. He love his kids, but doesn’t know how to get that across. Jack is forced to take over primary parenting responsibilities when his wife, Joanne, goes to law school, a move he fully supports. Like any mother, Joanne is afraid of what will happen. As it is, she has two teenage children, Frankie and Rachel, who are busy getting themselves into trouble.
In the premiere, Frankie and his friends George and Mikey steal dirty magazines from a homeless man. Not wanting to be found out, Frankie hides it in the backyard. Jack catches his son digging a hole in the backyard at 2am. He’s not mad that Frankie has the magazines. However, Jack disapproves of the fact that he stole them. A few days later, he takes Frankie, George, and Mikey to return the magazines. The homeless man jumps out from behind a tent, holding a shovel, and scares them. Jack fights the man until the boys are out of sight. Then, Jack pays the guy 20 bucks because that part was a set up. Of course, Jack would. He’s that kind of guy. Jack acts like a drill sergeant, whose convinced he’s actually a big softie. He’s not, but he cares.
Ground Floor may not be the most original concept, but the actors seem made for their characters. When watching the show I don’t think “Oh, there’s John C. McGinley playing Mansfield” and “Skylar Astin pretending to be Brody Moyer,” I wonder where the character ends and the actor behind it begins. John C. McGinley makes you forget he’s Dr. Cox because he owns Mansfield. As for Skylar Astin, it appears he pretty much plays himself with a new name, which he gets away with because he has only been in a few things.
If McGinley, Astin, and the rest of the cast weren’t so good at their roles, Ground Floor would be boring. In “The New Office,” an older employee is fired and the young ones stab each other in the back to impress Mansfield. Thankfully, Brody and Threepeat are quirky enough that the backstabbing is friendly and silly. For example, Threepeat discovers a cool new way to sit down that he calls “the Riker,” after Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it backfires when it tries it in Mansfield’s office because the chair back was too large. All the kissing up to the boss doesn’t pay off, when no one gets the empty office. Mansfield decides to give it to his plant because it was the only thing in the room that didn’t annoy him.
Believe it or not, Mom is the best new sitcom. To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for the show and really thought it would be cancelled at this point. Well, I was wrong. Shows that I had much higher hopes for, such as We Are Men and The Michael J. Fox Show, have either crashed and burned or their cancellation is only a matter of time. Mom has improved. Stepping back from the show and not reviewing it for a week has made me see that.
In “Loathing and Tube Socks,” Christy comes to terms with the fact that she is the problem in her life, which is only slightly the case. Christy’s attitude doesn’t help matters, but how would you feel if your teenage daughter was pregnant and your mother would make you her fall guy? Granted, Bonnie only made her daughter the fall guy in Christy’s dream, which had them smuggling drugs from Mexico. However, it was clearly a little too real for Christy. Christy even called her mother to yell at her. Bonnie didn’t take to well to this, but Bonnie has little more than a superficial love for her daughter and thinks she’s a crazy person.
I’m going to be honest. Back In the Game is not a show I’ll be watching week after week. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. I’m just not one of those baseball dads or soccer moms who turned the show on and said “this is my life.”
Back in the Game focuses on the relationship between Terry Gannon, her son, Danny, and her dad, The Cannon. The three of them live under one roof because Terry had to move back home after her divorce. Terry, played by Maggie Lawson, isn’t happy about the arrangement because The Cannon always calls Danny “Donny” and pushes baseball on him., which is a problem because not only is Danny not very athletic, he’s only interested in the game to get a particular girl.
Things are complicated when Danny’s tryout is so bad he doesn’t make the team. The coach, Dick, holds a meeting for parents of all the rejected kids. It becomes clear that Dick rejected all the outcasts. The foreign looking kid. The flamboyant stereotype of gay men. The fat kids. All don’t make Dick’s team.
Malin Ackerman plays Kate, a young, carefree, step mom to three step kids and has to deal with her husband’s two ex-wives. In a voice over, she mentions how she met her husband, Pete. She and her friend were having a good time at a Karoke Bar, dancing, drinking and she fell and broke Pete’s nose with the microphone. They rush to the hospital and to kill time they get to know each other by explaining their injuries. Pete’s first ex-wife, Diane, is a nurse, who happens to be on duty the night Pete breaks his nose. She’s the one who puts his nose back in place. With all the confusion and panic going on between the families, Pete asks Kate out on a first date. Kate didn’t expect to meet Pete’s entire family in one night.
The Goldbergs is a lot like The Wonder Years. Perhaps too much. Both have an adult narrator reflecting back on his childhood and take place during what is perceived as a more idealist time. For The Wonder Years it’s the 50s; for The Goldbergs that time is the 80s. Had the similarities ended there, The Goldbergs would be described as inspired by The Wonder Years. Instead, it’s a copy.
How similar is The Goldbergs to the beloved sitcom about Kevin Arnold? Grumpy father? Check. Perky mother? Check. Older sister? Check. Older brother? Yup. Winnie Cooper? No, but there’s a already a love interest for young Adam Goldberg. Supposedly, all these characters are based on real people, but that doesn’t help the show’s case.
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Mom is a broad comedy that wouldn’t feel out of place in TV Land’s lineup with Hot in Cleveland and The Exes. While it is not the best show ever, Mom works well and is one of the few shows nowadays that an entire family can watch together.
Mom stars Anna Faris as Christy. At first Christy isn’t the most likeable character, even though she is genuine. As the pilot progresses, we find out that Christy can’t connect with her daughter because she takes after her mother, Bonnie, who was a terrible parent. Both women are members of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is where they run into each other after years of not talking. Christy tries to be a better parent than her mother was, but its hard when her mother is the perfect grandmother for Christy’s daughter, Violet. Despite not getting along with her, Violet take after her mother, Christy. Have you noticed a theme yet?
Christy, Bonnie, and Violet have a tendency to date really stupid men. Baxter is the son of Christy’s youngest son and thinks selling pot is a good way to get money for the child support he is six months behind on. Bonnie will do just about anything that moves. Violet has the most stable relationship with men. She has been with her current boyfriend Luke for around a year. However, Luke’s about as bright as Baxter. The only reason Luke likes bananas is because they come with their own container.
Now that summer has finally gone, fall is finally coming into high gear. What’s great about fall is the leaves start changing, the weather gets cooler, everyone becomes obsessed with pumpkin flavor and the new shows premiering this season. Airing October 3rd, NBC has a new comedy entitled Welcome to the Family, which can currently be watched on Hulu. This show is about how two families come together brought on by an unplanned pregnancy. Not only do these families collide, but there cultures do as well. Having a Caucasian family and a Latino family come together as one will certainly bring on the fireworks.
The Yoder family and the Hernandez family are at their children’s graduation. Dan, who is played by Glee’s Mike O’Malley, notices through his camera lens his daughter, Molly is texting at graduation. He points out to his wife, Caroline, that their daughter is texting in the middle of graduation. It’s sad to say how typical it is now; students are so use to relying on their phone that they can’t let them go. They need to be tweeting, updating their Facebook statuses or else they feel lost in the world. Not only wouldn’t they know what’s going on with everyone else, but it also kills time for them. Who wants to sit through the boring speeches when you’re just waiting for your diploma?
Molly’s boyfriend, Junior, is the valedictorian of his school and is Stanford bound. He begins to give a speech to his fellow classmates. As he continues to read the speech off his iPad, he notices a message from his girlfriend saying “I’m pregnant.” Everyone becomes confused as a long awkward silence lingers on in the gymnasium floor. So to break the awkward tension, Junior’s dad, Chuey Herndandez, is the first to stand and applaud his son for having a “short and sweet” speech.
Coming home from graduation, Molly just throws her graduation gown on the stairs and throws her diploma in the living room as if she doesn’t have a care in the world. She was happy to have skated by throughout her high school years. Her dad, Dan, says “Be careful with that, that’s our proof.” Molly doesn’t want to celebrate with her parents, so she decides to “bounce” and opts to spend time with her boyfriend. She asks her dad if he can return her cap and gown as if she doesn’t want to own up to her responsibility.
Molly’s parents are so happy that she graduated that they decided to make her room into a home gym. “She’s Arizona State’s problem now,” Dan says in glee. Clearly, he doesn’t know what’s about to come next.
Lookwell is exactly what you would expect when Conan O’Brien, TV Funhouse‘s Robert Smigel, and Adam West team up to produce a sitcom, which is totally not a bad thing. While the show did not make it passed the pilot, NBC aired Lookwell‘s only episode in July 1991 and the show was reran on the cable network Trio, which is now defunct.