Friday July 18, 2014

I really enjoyed all three of the new shows I watched last night: MarriedYour The Worst and Satisfaction.  None of them were earth shattering, but all 3 will have me back next week.

The Hollywood Reporter does NOT agree with my sentiments regarding the FX series.  "There's little doubt, however, that Married and You're the Worst are big steps back for the channel, mostly because they reveal a cheap, easy and unsophisticated take on sexuality and, at least inMarried, seriously wastes the talents of stars Judy Greer and Nat Faxon. (The wonderful John Hodgman is also in the show, as is Jenny Slate, who is always great).

"[T]he pilot for Married is a tonal disaster, with Faxon, as Russ, a whiny, sexually demanding and clueless husband who feels cheated in life because wife Nina (Greer) is too tired and harried with their three daughters to put out or, it appears, have even the slightest interest in sex. It's such a tired trope that it's shocking FX didn't cover the script, from creator Andrew Gurland, in notes.

"Married (and You're the Worst) traffic in masturbation jokes that seem dated even for high schoolers, but apparently some people never mature in their ability to express male-female struggles on any other level than the lowest and easiest. The Married pilot is forced, mostly unfunny and tragic in that you immediately want to root for Faxon and Greer, two very funny and very likable comic actors, to have better material. The entire cast gets an infinitesimal increase in material in future episodes, but it's difficult to recommend anyone sticking around while Married tries to improve its foundational flaws.

"You're the Worst is even a — oh, fine, here goes — worse pilot, with the whole production seeming unsure of itself (both series are very self-conscious of what they're attempting, but more so withWorst). The goal of Worst seems to be in taking two unlikable characters who currently loathe the concept of a relationship and slowly bring them together as they discover that they're not as awful and prickly as they seem or, charitably, that they are well-suited to each other because they enjoy the terrible behavior of the other.It's probably important to point out that this negative reaction to Worst has nothing to do with being prudish in any way about really bad people and dubiously offensive behavior between a man and a woman. Egregiously crude and rude and morally bankrupt can be hilarious when done effectively (an argument can be made that Archer does just that), but everything in You're the Worst seems forced and juvenile. Even its best moments — pinpoint rants — seem like they read better on the page than they do coming out of the mouths of stars Chris Geere and Aya Cash.  And yet, as Jimmy and Gretchen, it should be noted that Geere and Cash are very, very good — they just need better material. (Unfortunately, the rest of the cast, even though they don't get much work, grind the show to a halt — an almost insurmountable problem except that Worst's penchant for trying to shock with crassness is really the stumbling block here).

"If the pilot wasn't so off-putting and unsure of itself at the same time, viewers might feel compelled to give the second episode of You're the Worst a chance. It's a definite improvement and there are glimpses of a show there (same with Married), but even Geere's [sic] British accent and his spot-on timing, which often does the material a solid when there's nothing there and Cash's underlying glimpses of sentimentality, can't set the hook.

"The problem for both shows, essentially, is that they are so hellbent on shocking in some kind of 'we're on cable, we can go balls out' kind of juvenilia, that all you'll really want to do is kick them both in said balls, and tell each to stop the frat-boy nonsense and go for something less easy and obvious."

Pretty scathing, huh?  BTW, it's Judy Greer, not Judy Geere.  Just sayin.

Darryl Hall's home reno show premieres on DIY tonight in case you have nothing better to do.  By way of reminder, Hall from the musical duo Hall & Oates as he revives the historic charm of an 18th century Connecticut home.

I whole-heartedly disagree with the house's decision on who to vote out of the Big Brother house last night.  That was a short-term play, not a long-term move.  I won't spoil it in case you haven't watched yet.

Courtesy of Reality Blurred, here's what BB producers think of the creepy Caleb/Amber dynamic:

Allison Grodner: “I think the Big Brother house is one of the safest places to be, with all the cameras and 24-hour surveillance. I think that’s the story: She’s feeling that way and he’s being—there’s the love triangle or whatever you want to call it with Cody and him, the jealousy triangle. He’s possibly getting a little creepy, a little stalkerish. We’ll see. We’re just playing the story that’s evolving right now. … We don’t see it as anything dangerous.”

Rich Meehan: “I think he’s just really into her and he’s just kind of lovestruck. When we’re watching—obivously, we’re watching all the time. I don’t think there’s any worry. I think he’s lovestruck. He thinks she’s beautiful. Possibly in his real life he doesn’t get a lot of ‘no’s.… I don’t think we ever played it as a showmance. We kind of played it as it is. He likes her, she’s not really into him, and we’ll see what happens, and now Cody’s come into the mix, so that’s an interesting element. We’ll see what happens.”

Per EW, Les Moonves talked at the TCA about what changes are in store for CBS in light of the addition of Thursday Night Football.  "CBS’ scripted stars have done some light promotion for the big Thursday Night Football acquisition—see this delightful promo, for example—but Moonves promised that the coin will flip the other way as well during the fall season. 'You’ll get to see some NFL-themed programs within our own entertainment shows, where you’ll see players, coaches, even potentially owners who are not camera shy starring in some of our TV shows,' Moonves said. 'The entire company is behind NFL on Thursday night at CBS.'

"[Sean] McManus did pencil something in to the 'What You Will See' category. 'What we’re all pursuing now is 4K, which is super high-definition. The camera… suspended over the field will indeed be a 4K camera, for the first time ever.'”  I will be purchasing my 4K TVs shortly . . . . 

Per Deadline, "Two months after the upfronts, where the broadcast networks introduced the pilots they had chosen to join their 2014-2015 schedule, there is still hope for a handful that didn’t make the cut. Sony TV, which already successfully rescued its cancelled NBC comedy series Community with a deal at Yahoo, has been in conversations with TV Land for its Jim Gaffigan single-camera comedy pilot. The family comedy, inspired by Gaffigan’s real life, went through two incarnations at CBS with pilot orders in 2013 and 2014. TV Land had been interested, and conversations have been going on for the past month or so. I hear TV Land is well down the road of trying to make the show work there. I hear the cable network is currently looking to reduce the actors’ compensation to get the budget — which already has been adjusted down — feasible. If the project goes at TV Land, I hear Sony would likely have a passive role and Peter Tolan, who co-wrote and executive produced the CBS pilot, would probably consult."

Yes Jason Biggs, TOO SOON.

A review of VH1's Dating Naked, which I have yet to watch.

Per Deadline, "Rob Schneider is teaming up with comedian pal Max Amini to direct the LA-based stand up’s hourlong special Max Amini: Authentically Absurd. Amini is set to perform two live shows this month at the Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills, with filming slated to take place during the sold-out Saturday July 26 show. The comedy special marks the latest indie venture for Schneider, who ventured out back in January with his DIY comedy series Real Rob, which he co-created, financed, directed, and starred in. Amini has been a resident comic at LA’s Laugh Factory, was a finalist in NBC’s Diversity Showcase, and is a series regular on Real Rob. His TV credits include NBC’s Heroes and Mind of Mencia.Authentically Absurd is produced by Abstraction Media and all proceeds from the evening will be donated to ALS research."

Per EW, "Two and a Half Men‘s isn’t going quietly: The longest-running comedy on broadcast TV will conclude its run with a final season storyline that deals with gay adoption—sort of—and possibly marriage.

"CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler gave some reporters the scoop after her executive session panel at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills Thursday. In the show’s 12th and final season, Walden (Ashton Kutcher) is going to have a major health scare that leads him to an 'existential crisis' that causes the young playboy to want to 'add more meaning to his life.'

"So he decides to adopt a child. 'He starts the [adoption] process and realizes it’s very difficult to adopt the child as a single straight man. So, once and for all, he decides he’s going to propose to Alan [Jon Cryer]—they’re going to adopt a child as a "gay’" couple,' Tassler said."