Monday May 20, 2013

Sorry for the brief hiatus, happy to be back.

I have not yet read any recaps or analyses of last night's episode of Mad Men, but this season has officially gotten a bit too dark and weird for my taste.  I touted this show as the best drama on TV, but Matthew Weiner and crew seemed to have pushed the envelope too far, as far as this writer is concerned.  Don's flashbacks to his first sexual/molestation encounter were uncomfortable at best as were those mysterious B12 shots that were handed out at the office.  I'm absolutely not giving up on this show in any way, shape or form, but I truly hope it gets back on track next week.

I also caught up on Ready For Love, which was pulled from the NBC schedule and is now available only on-line.  I'm guessing I'm 1 of maybe 500 people who are still watching this show and I won't lie, it's not half bad.  The 87 minutes per episode can be exhausting, but I'm going to watch this one until the bitter end . . . despite the fact that Ernesto is allegedly dating EP Eva Longoria.

I continue to enjoy Maron on IFC.  It remains funny and fresh and that nice combo of Louie and Curb Your Enthusiasm (a comparison I've made before).  If you're not watching this show, I highly recommend it.

Kelly Rowland is joining The X Factor.  Who cares?

Here's EW's take of the best and worst of everything from the upfronts:

Highest concept (figuratively): Mixology — a sitcom where the entire series takes place during one night in a bar. Cheers only felt like that. 

Highest concept (literally): Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. You see that trippy trailer? Might as well call it the Bong Hit Fairy Tale Hour.

Most-deserved cancellation: Where to start? Animal Practice, Guys with Kids, Partners, Do No Harm, The Mob Doctor, Golden Boy, and a bunch of others that are already fading from memory.

Luckiest show: Nikita. With only 1.4 million viewers (including DVR), fans are fortunate that The CW continues to give its showrunners a chance to craft an ending (and sister-studio Warner Bros. a chance to make a six-episode order worthwhile). In contrast, CBS wouldn’t even let CSI: NY shoot a one-episode finale for a drama that’s been on for nine seasons and averaged 11.2 million viewers. Have a nice life, Gary Sinise!

Luckiest show runner-up: NBC’s Community.

Luckiest actor: Zooey Deschanel. New Girl may be down in the ratings, but it’s getting Fox’s post-Super Bowl slot.

Smug mother-f—ers: CBS.

Desperate motherf—ers: ABC.

Pouty motherf—-ers: NBC.

Manly motherf—-ers: Fox.

Repetitive motherf—-ers: The CW.

Biggest Trend (industry): Shorter seasons. The nets are finally catching up to what cable nets have done for years by ordering fewer episodes and stacking them in clusters to avoid repeats. Examples include CBS’ decision to air back-to-back runs of the new drama Hostages(pictured above) followed by the Josh Holloway-starrer Intelligence, and ABC clustering serialized shows like Grey’s Anatomy into 12-episode batches.

Biggest Trends (content): CBS-style cop dramas (two with robots!), and comedies about boomerang kids.

Biggest stealth cancellation: The Dancing With the Stars results show, which got merged into the performance show.

Show we’re glad got cancelled but wish one of its stars would stayThe New Normal, and Ellen Barkin.

Pilots the interwebs were most surprised didn’t make itBeverly Hills Cop, Delirium, Backstrom, The Sixth Gun, Mulaney.

Most offensive trailer: Fox’s Dads, which comes courtesy of Family Guy creator (and professional misogynist) Seth MacFarlane.

Best original show title: Mom. (Shocking that such a simple but effective moniker has never been used before). Also: Intelligence and Almost Human.

Worst new show title: There’s nothing as bad as previous honorees in this category, like It’s Messy (eventually retitled The Mindy Project), The 2-2 (eventually retitled NYC 22) or Golden Boy (which amazingly stayed the same). Andy Samberg’s cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Ninehas one of those lame generic cop show titles like, well, NYC 22 or Detroit 1-8-7. Fox’s Rake is a confusing title since the show is not about gardening and that’s not the character’s name (“he’s kind of rakish” is the closest we got to an explanation). Then there’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a title that’s more annoying than bad. Are we supposed to awkwardly write “ABC’sMarvel’s…” and insert those periods every time? Pain. In. The. A–.

TV stars we’re most excited about: Karl Urban in Almost Human (Star Trek‘s Dr. Bones is a bonafide TV star), Anna Faris in Mom, and James Spader in The Blacklist.

Fall star we’re least excited about: Megan Boone, Spader’s Blacklist co-star.

Best scheduling move: Two hours of comedies on CBS Thursdays. It’s about time CBS confiscated the Must-See TV block.

Biggest time period catfight among new shows: Mondays at 10 p.m.: CBS’ Hostages, which looks really strong and is on the No. 1 network, vs. NBC’s similarly promising The Blacklist, which has a big Voice lead-in.

Most divisive show: ABC’s The Goldbergs. We get it — they scream all the time.

I caught the finale of The Office over the weekend and I come away from it feeling a sense of closure.  It was not an emotional finale as far as I was concerned and upon the rolling of the final credits, I uttered "adios Office" and moved on.  It had a good run, perhaps a couple of seasons too long for some people's taste, but went out on a high note.  

Rupert Murdoch compared Facebook to a "crappy MySpace."  I couldn't agree more.