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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Famous Favorites

When you love pop culture and entertainment as much as I do, you come to realize something: Having favorite celebrities is rather different than having favorite actors or singers. You can love a person for who they are (who could have guessed) while not really loving their role choices or song style. To me, that’s the mark of a celeb doing things right. When they’re not fake or trying too hard, but just down-to-earth people who remind us that celebs are people too. Knocking down the stereotypes of “celebrity,” they make us like them just by being them. I, naturally, have a ton of people like this in mind, but let’s start with three:

JTJustin Timberlake: Here’s the thing about JT. I’ve been in love with him since his spaghetti-fro days and I always suspected he would have a successful solo career. But I haven’t always enjoyed his style of music. When I was a knee-socked elementary school kid, *NSYNC was my jam. Loved them. Knew it was a phase, but loved them. They were my first concert. When they broke up and Justin started doing his own thing, I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t immediately love it all. “Cry Me A River” can still get me singing in my car to this day, but that was about it. And as his style evolved, my enthusiasm waned. Until the “20/20 Experience.” The music was better, but the concert was mind-blowing. It made me love the music in spite of itself. Seeing him live was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m not even remotely embarrassed to admit that. He rose up out of the stage flanked by a full orchestra, decked out in—what else—a suit and tie and I was re-awakened to what it feels like to love JT. He’s a fantastic performer with a wonderful sense of humor—ever see him with Jimmy Fallon? Any conversation they have is hilarious. He’s taking time off now after his whirlwind tour to adjust to being a dad and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Continue reading

65th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

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Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and this year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), did the honors of announcing who would be in the running for television glory in the wee morning hours—5:40 a.m. to be exact—today. And the (acting) nominees are… Continue reading