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


Best Bad Boys of TV | Vol. 3

Just in case you missed my last two PSAs, let’s refresh:

You gotta love a good bad boy. That quintessential television character always seems two-dimensional on the page until they get fleshed out into living, breathing, brooding boys who don’t want your heart but you’re still compelled to yank it from your chest and give it to them anyway. It’s up to the actors who play them to let their softer side show through just enough to make you love/hate them and look forward to the next time they grace your screen.

I shuffled through my long list of favorite shows in my head and realized that almost every single one had one of those leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding, look-me-in-the-eyes-and-swoon kind of guys. So this topic is going to be broken into segments and we’re going to explore it over the next couple PSAs. (Because I said so.)

Last time, I covered characters from AMC’s other smash hit “Breaking Bad,” as well as Joss Whedon’s cult classic “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the now-defunct WB’s darling drama “Gilmore Girls.”

Next up:

Jimmy Collins | Smash
Played by Jeremy Jordan


NBC’s “Smash” was a short-lived success, but there’s no denying that Jimmy’s appearance pulled the show from its slump in the sophomore season. The kid from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it in the big city was the breath of fresh air our girl Karen so desperately needed to push her to reach her superstar potential by following her own path, not the one she felt obligated to take. The actors, an American Idol runner-up and a Broadway vet, helped the characters make truly beautiful music when they finally accepted each other for who they were at their core: two people just trying to find a connection. Continue reading

Best. Reunion. Ever.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon had one hell of a throwback performance last night when Jesse & the Rippers took to the stage to perform some classic favorites: They jammed their way through their #1—in Japan—single (and Beach Boys’ hit), “Forever,” Elvis’ “Little Sister” and of course, Chan Romero’s “Hippy Hippy Shake.” But all hell broke loose in the audience when Jesse segued into the Full House theme song, “Everywhere You Look.” Danny Tanner was spotted dancing in his seat, but the pièce de résistance came at the end of the set, when none other than Aunt Becky joined our beloved Uncle Jesse on stage and planted a smooch right on his lips… and our early ’90s shipper hearts imploded. Nostalgia overload.