Fall 2015 Pilot Tests

When I start hearing buzz about a new fall drama or comedy, I usually wait before diving right in. It needs to reel in some great reviews and ratings first, maybe an article here and there in Entertainment Weekly. After I read up on it and watch a trailer or two, I give it the ol’ pilot test. If the pilot episode hooks me, I stay with it for a while. If it doesn’t keep me interested, I try to rough it for a few episodes, given that some shows just take longer to really get underway, which I get. And even though I usually have a full fall roster every year ready to jam up my TiVo, I still try a couple new ones, just because. So this year, here’s what’s new to my ever-growing line-up and whether or not I think I’ll keep them …

Best Time Ever
Tuesdays at 10 on NBC

Best Time EverAs mentioned in my last PSA, I’m a huge Neil Patrick Harris fan so imagine my surprise when his hugely touted variety show, new to NBC this season, appeared to flop miserably. I found myself with a puzzled look on my face throughout much of the first episode, even fast-forwarding entire segments. The second episode did not fare much better. It’s as though he’s trying to cram much too much into every second and the pressure of performing it all live puts a strain on the easy-going, natural charmer that we know NPH to be. The audience participation in the first episode leaned more toward stalking and the second—an on-air proposal—seemed odd and out of place. His celebrity guest announcers falter awkwardly and “The End of the Show Show” runs the gamut from chaotic to sloppy. The only parts worth sitting through are the pranks and the physical obstacle course, which changes from show to show. But even so, after two episodes, I removed this from my TiVo to-do list. Sorry Neil, it just didn’t live up to its name. Continue reading

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2014 Fall TV Premieres

I’m like a kid on Christmas morning when fall sweeps rolls around. I giddily set my TiVo to record all my favorite shows and mark dates on my calendar for season premieres. My schedule is jam-packed with medical drama, singing students, Russian spies, and zombies (sorry, walkers). I come home from work, eat dinner, shower, and settle in with my remote for a good two to three hours. I’m a total couch potato—no shame! Release dates for the 2014 season have recently been announced and I’m already counting down the days to when I get to see my favorite characters on the small screen once again. My schedule looks a little something like this:

SPOILER ALERTS!

SUNDAYS

Sunday

The Walking Dead—Season 5 premieres 10/12 @ 9 p.m.

I was late to the Apocalypse, but once I got into this AMC mega-hit (touted the most-watched cable drama in history), I became hungrily obsessed. With the exception of season two, every new adventure in the lives of our ragtag survivors has been explosive. Season 4 closed on one hell of a cliffhanger and many comic readers are speculating that the new turf in Terminus is cannibal land. Showrunners have promised that we won’t have to wait long to see how Rick I’ll-Eat-Your-Throat-Out Grimes and Co. escape from that train car. The trailer for the season was released at Comic-Con and provides a heart-pounding look at what we have to look forward to; a must-see for Dead fans. Check it out: Continue reading

Top 5 Picks for Fall Films

Movies

Sometimes I think I enjoy the trailers more than the film itself when I go to the movies. I know I’m not alone in that. I’m pretty sure everyone will agree that they enjoy being a movie critic in under 3 minutes—I can’t explain it any better than Dane Cook. I watch the screen hungrily and text myself the titles of the ones I think look good. With summer winding down, we’re now getting sneak peeks of all the awesome pictures waiting for us in the coming months. I’ve picked five of my favorites, all action/dramas, listed below according to release date. Maybe they should be on your list, too? Continue reading

Are you ready for sitcom season?

tv-network-logos-updateFor TV junkies, as summer winds down, the anticipation of fall sweeps starts to feel like the mid-December countdown to Christmas: it’s pilot season. Each September, all the new shows trying to solidify their spot in the primetime line-up get ready to battle it out. Some will make it. Others will not. Let the record show that I do try to give a few a try each season. Last year, I chose Go On, The New Normal, and Partners. I stopped watching all three long before they were each cancelled. Sitcoms especially have a rough go of it. I have to really laugh or love the characters to stick with a sitcom (New Girl) and it has to be consistent—I will not be watching Modern Family this year because the last time I laughed until I cried was when Phil got tased and destroyed the Joe DiMaggio baseball card in “Express Christmas.” That episode aired in December of 2011.

All the major networks rolled out their pilot trailers a couple months ago and I’ve compiled a list of five shows that I’ll likely try out. I chose them based on actors, showrunners, and whether or not I laughed in the 3-5 minute sneak peek. See what you make of them:
Continue reading