Tuesday November 26, 2013

Attention producers, E! needs to hear from you.  Based on the news of the three shows that they've renewed, one can only assume that they are not being pitched much of anything these days.  Per Deadline, "E! has picked up second seasons for reality series Total Divas and Eric & Jessie: Game On along with interactive weekly talk show Hello RossTotal Divas follows the private and often complicated lives of some of WWE’s most popular Divas, including The Bella Twins: Nikki and Brie and their romantic relationships with WWE superstars John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Season two will bring The Bellas’ 30th birthday in addition to Brie’s journey to the altar with Bryan. It will continue with new episodes on Sundays at 10 PM through December 15. Eric & Jessie: Game On centers on the steamy relationship of newly married country/pop singer Jessie James and Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker as they juggle their high-profile careers, family and friends. Its season one finale aired November 3. And Hello Ross will wrap its first season on Friday November 29. Some of the guests from Season 1 of the Ross Matthews-hosted show include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Jenner, Leah Remini, Lance Bass, Gloria Estefan and Kelly Osbourne. Each of the series will return for Season 2 in early 2014."  I have never seen, nor will I ever watch a second of any of those 3 shows.

E! also set a premiere date for its reality series exploring the lives of a clique of children of the fabulously wealthy. #RichKids of Beverly Hills bows Sunday, January 19 at 10p.  Can't wait.

I was able to make it through the 30-minute all rhymes episode of How I Met Your Mother last night . . . barely.  This show jumped the proverbial shark a long time ago, but this was icing on the cake (no pun intended).  The rhyming made me uncomfortable at times, and it's a gimmick that is only used by a show that cannot stand on its merits, writing, characters, etc.  Everyone involved should be ashamed as this was a bad idea from conception and should have been killed long before it made it to air.  The esteemed Alan Sepinwall surprisingly had the following to say "[o]n the one hand, I thought the rhymes themselves were fairly clever, particularly anytime we were back on the bus with Marshall and the other passengers — particularly Tony-winning guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who of course was asked to do a rap about the difficulty of rhyming 'Canada.' On the other hand, I thought the stories the rhymes were built around were dumb to varying degrees, and represented various latter-day HIMYM flaws regarding broad characterization, portrayals of women being stupid, Barney being a superhero, etc."

I'm not going to delve into the big character assassination on Family Guy this week for obvious reasons other than to say that I thought it was VERY dumb.

I know Breaking Bad left AMC with some pretty gigantic shoes to fill, but this is not how I would recommend going about filling them.  Per Vulture, "[e]arly last year, David Cronenberg was set to direct the pilot for and executive produce a show called Knifeman, which was going to star Tim Roth as an eighteenth-century self-taught surgeon who turns to grave-robbing. It's inspired by a true story! Sadly, that permutation didn't move forward. Today, AMC announced that it had green-lit a Knifeman pilot — only with no David Cronenberg and no Tim Roth. [Pours one out.] The show is still set in 1700s London, though. AMC also ordered a pilot for Galyntine, a sci-fi show set in a postapocalyptic world where humanity has been forced to eschew all technology. To be fair, Galyntine is a catchier title than Future Amish."

I'm not one to do much post-mortem on plot lines outside of Breaking Bad, but Homeland may have lost a lot of viewers with this past week's far fetched episode.  I am all for being entertained, and can suspend disbelief for an hour here (Scandal) or an hour there (The Walking Dead), but this new plan by Saul to bring peace to the Middle East was shameful.  The Slate broke it down as follows: 

"It is not just the concrete details of this plan that are implausible. It is its spirit. Because this is what Saul’s plan boils down to: Assassination plus double agent equals peace. Saul’s plan is arguing that the extrajudicial killing of a high-level Iranian official can reasonably be expected to kick off, in a roundabout way, a peace process. He claims that a plan that involves U.S. forces extracting an assassin from Iranian territory will foment peace and not an international crisis. He believes that negotiations that take place between the United States and a country heavily influenced by a United States spy will be predictable and productive and reliable. Which, no.

"Other things that made me laugh about this episode: Brody transforming from a drug-addled catatonic zombie to David Blaine in 16 days. Brody’s easy access to automatic weapons. The Marines being all, 'Brody is a super chill, cool dude who maybe killed 200-plus people, he can totally ride with us!'  Imagining the size of Chris Brody’s therapy bills: 'Everyone always acted like I didn’t exist.' Dana speaking the meta-truth to Homeland’s writers: 'Write it down and I will say it to you, as long as you promise I will never have to see you again.' The fact that Brody—alive and smuggled out of the country only thanks to the devotion of Carrie Mathison—brushes her off, calls her a bitch, and then in the car claims she is 'keeping her distance' from him—demonstrating that Caracas may have messed up his brain but not his negging skills."

According to TheWrap, "Lisa Bonet is taking a colorful path back to television.  The Cosby Show alum has signed on for a multi-episode arc on Sundance Channel’s upcoming drama series The Red Road.

"The series, due to premiere early next year, revolves around a local cop (Martin Henderson, The Devil’s Knot) struggling to keep his family together while simultaneously policing two clashing communities: the small town where he grew up and the neighboring mountains, home of a Native American tribe. Bonet plays Sky Van Der Veen, a Lenape Native-American lawyer who has come back to her hometown of Walpole, NJ to rally for justice after a terrible crime has been committed against a member of her tribe."  Holy crap does that sound like an unwatchable show.

Check out this pretty fascinating article about some "jaw-dropping" reality shows on in other countries.  On one show in Pakistan, they gave away babies as prizes.  On another show in Australia, two people auctioned off their virginity to the highest bidders.  Perhaps as amazing is the fact that "[t]wenty-one-year-old, Brazilian Catarina Migliorini scored the higher bid of $780,000 (from a 53-year-old Japanese millionaire calling himself 'Natsu'), while 24-year-old Alex Stephanov earned a comparatively meager $2,600."

They're not exactly very inventive in Canada either.  I came across a casting notice for a show called Battle Cats:

"Force Four Entertainment and Soshfeigh Media are currently casting for BATTLE CATS -- a fun, new TV competition that's taking place in the new year.  

"We're building a cat agility arena in Greater Vancouver and looking for athletic and playful cats who want to tackle our course and compete for the fastest time. We're also looking for passionate cat owners who want to appear on TV to brag about their 'cathletes.'"

Three-part series Mustang Millionaire tracks the progress of five horse trainers vying for a million-dollar prize to tame a wild mustang. The show will air on Nat Geo WILD Saturday, December 14 at 10p.

Greek alum Andrew J. West is joining The Walking Dead in what could become a series regular role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.