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Fall TV Preview: The Good, The Bad, and The Maybe

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm

It’s my favorite time of the year. For a month solid, I can sit in front of my TV and be bombarded with experiences my eyes and ears have not seen before. Yes, it is always nice to have the old favorites back (come on Big Bang and Modern Family!), but I also love diving into all the new shows the networks offer up. As I have said in the past, I watch every new show at least once…or should I say attempt to watch every one at least once. Sometimes, the show is just so bad, I can not even make it through the first episode (as we the case of last year’ Raising Hope, which is am still amazed became a hit).

So here you a go, a breakdown of the 30 new shows about to hit the small screen, and my predictions as to which ones will be hits…which ones you better watch while you can before they are yanked….and which ones the networks will need to show a little patience with.

THE HITS

The X-Factor (Fox)

Idol guru Simon Cowell is bringing the U.K. talent competition hit to America, with judges Paula Abdul, Nicole  Scherzinger and L.A. Reid.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 8/7c.

If there is a more secure guaranteed hit about to air, I don’t know what it is.  The country is obsessed with these talent shows, and there is no bigger name in the talent show game than Simon.

Terra Nova (Fox)

Fox’s adventure epic takes place in both the future and the past, with a family in the year 2149 joining an emigration back 85 million years to prehistoric earth for a fresh start. Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang star in the Steven Spielberg-produced series.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 26, at 8/7c.

FOX better pray this is a hit, if not, they will be in big trouble.  Already the most expensive TV pilot ever created, and beset with massive productions issues from the start, it appears the Spielberg led series is finally back on track.  Sci-Fi fans will flock to this show….but FOX needs others too as well.

New Girl (Fox)

Zooey Deschanel proves once again that she’s got the “adorable” market cornered in Fox’s new comedy. She plays a newly single woman in her mid-20s who moves in with three male roommates, creating a new, wonderfully dysfunctional family.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 20, at 9/8c.

This will be a hit only if two things happen: the writers don’t completely rely on Zoey Deschanel’s cuteness to get them by, and they writers don’t turn this into an all sex and relationship show.

Up All Night (NBC)

With an all-star comedy cast, Up All Night follows new parents (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) as they try to balance their new lives as parents and their work lives. Maya Rudolph also stars in the new comedy.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 10/9c.

Outside of X-Factor, this is the only other “sure thing” about to hit the air.  The cast is so packed with talent, the only way this show could fail is if they have monkeys writing the scripts.  The time slot may also be the show’s other issue.

Alcatraz (Fox)

Lost’s J.J. Abrams returns as executive producer featuring one of America’s most notorious prisons. But it wouldn’t be a show tied to J.J. Abrams if there weren’t a little mystery tied in. Rebecca Madsen, a police officer (Sarah Jones), and Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), a “hippy geek” who is the world’s foremost expert on Alcatraz, team up to find out why the 302 prisoners of Alcatraz that suddenly disappeared 50 years ago have returned in modern day.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 8/7c.

It’s Hurley back with Abrams, do I really need to say anything else?

Allen Gregory (Fox)

The animated comedy stars Jonah Hill (who also co-created the series) as Allen Gregory DeLongpre, a snobby child being raised by his two dads.

Premieres Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8:30/7:30c.

For some completely unknown reason, FOX can put any adult style cartoon on in Sunday night and people will flock too it.  Johan Hill is a rising star in Hollywood, so his name alone will guarantee at least a full season pick up.

Last Man Standing (ABC)

Tim Allen returns to comedy TV, but it’s not Tool Time. He plays Mike, a marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store. At home, Mike is outnumbered by his female household of his wife and three daughters.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 8/7c.

It’s Tim Allen doing what Tim Allen does best: be a guy.

Person of Interest (CBS)

Based on a screenplay by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, the thriller stars Lost’s Michael Emerson as a billionaire who built a program that can predict when a person will be involved in a crime before it happens. However, the program can’t determine if the person will be the victim or perpetrator, or where he or she is, so the billionaire genius enlists elite former CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) to help him prevent violent crimes before they happen.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 9/8c.

This is my most anticipated new show.  The concept is very original, the cast is perfect, and you have a great time slot.

Hell on Wheels (AMC)

It’s the 1860s, and Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a former Confederate soldier, is determined to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who murdered his wife. His hunt has him moving westward to Nebraska’s “Hell on Wheels,” the lawless towns that move with the construction of the railroad.

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 6, at 10pm.

AMC does period pieces better than any other network….and TV has been in need of a great western for some time now.

American Horror Story (FX)

The co-creators of Glee, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, go in a much a darker direction with the psychosexual thriller, which more closely resembles the tone of Murphy’s Nip/Tuck than the happy high school musical show. Friday Night Lights’ Emmy nominee Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga star in the creepy new series.

Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10pm.

The Cast is STRONG, the creators know how to put original concepts on the air, and FX knows how to take a series like this and push the boundaries.

WILL NEED TIME

Ringer (CW)

Not only is Buffy the Vampire star Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to the small screen – but fans are getting double the dose. Gellar will pay twins Bridget and Siobhan in the CW’s new drama. When her sister suddenly disappears, Bridget, a recovering alcoholic on the run from the mob, decides to take her place, but soon finds out that Siobhan’s life was not as simple as it seemed.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 13, at 9/8c.

Gellar fans will flock to the first episode to see what the show is about.  But will they stick around? The biggest obstacle facing this show is going to be to not make the storylines so complicated that they will be impossible to follow.

The Secret Circle (CW)

Cassie (Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson) suddenly loses her mother, and has to move towns to live with her grandmother. Cassie’s new high school friends seem mysterious and yet also know more than she expected about her. They then explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they’ve been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 15, at 9/8c.

CW has the market cornered on supernatural shows, and this one going keep them at the top….if they don’t try to turn it into 90210 meets The Craft.

Prime Suspect (NBC)

She played a tough-as-nails bar owner in Coyote Ugly, and now Maria Bello is throwing on a detective’s badge for the new crime drama from director Peter Berg based on a British television hit.

Premieres Thursdays, Sep. 22, at 10/9c.

Have you seen the commercials for this? Have you seen the original Helen Mirren series? If you have seen both….you know where I am going here.  This show is NOT Prime Suspct, but it has Peter Berg and a talented actress in Maria Bello, so given time, it could become the next good police drama on TV.

Free Agents (NBC)

Based on a U.K. series by the same name, Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Huff) stars as newly divorced Alex, who is missing his kids and trying to keep himself together. Alex’s co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together, but she drinks too much in order to cope with her fiance’s untimely death. After these two newly single co-workers share a night together, they must deal with the awkward work environment and the challenges of finding a new way of living.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 10:30/9:30c.

Anyone remember Matthew Perry’s show last year…..yeah, that’s the problem I see here.  This is in a HORRIBLE time slot, and has a cast so big, everyone has the potential to just get lost and trip over each other.

Grimm (NBC)

Mythology meets detective drama in Grimm, in which Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s part of an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.

Premieres Friday, Oct. 21, at 9/8c.

Most of the time, the world of mythology does not fair to well on network television, simply because it is a niche market.

Pan Am (ABC)

Pan Am follows the tumultuous lives of the flight attendants of the airline giant during the 1960s. Christina Ricci stars in the period drama.

Premieres Sunday, Sep. 25, at 10/9c

This is ABC trying to ride the Mad Men wave…and it is a complete coin toss.

Revenge (ABC)

Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) heads to the Hamptons, but this is no vacation. While she seems like a stranger to many of the residents, Emily was actually raised there, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now, she’s back to get even.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 10/9c.

Love the concept of this show, and ABC has proven it will allow these types of shows to find an audience (can you say LOST).

A Gifted Man (CBS)

A surgeon that’s talented but self-absorbed? Never seen that before. Patrick Wilson stars as the doctor, who begins to question his life when he is greeted by the ghost of his ex-wife.

Premieres Friday, Sep. 23, at 8/7c.

Patrick Wilson is a very underrated actor, and ghost angle makes this one look interesting.

EARLY EXITS

Man Up! (ABC)

What does it mean to be a man in the modern age? That’s what three family men are trying to figure out in Man Up! They’re trying to beat their childish habits to become what they think a man should be in this new comedy.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 8:30/7:30c.

Is there a more tired out premise than men behaving like children? This is “According To Jim Part2”, and it wasn’t funny the first time around.

H8R (CW)

You know that celebrity that drives you nuts? What if you could tell them to their face. CW’s H8er, hosted by Mario Lopez, lets celebrities meet the people who hate them in an attempt to win them over. Kim Kardashian and The Jersey Shore’s Snookie are two of the first celebrities on the show.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 8/7c.

You know why people hate them? Because they are famous for simply being on TV….so why would putting them on more TV sway people’s minds? What an idiotic concept for a show.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox)

Two best friends (Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran) are single moms struggling to raise their difficult and over-privileged teenage daughters. The moms fear that their daughters are turning into the girls they hated in high school.

Premieres Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9:30/8:30c.

“Over-priviledged teenage daughters” simply translates into “unwatchable spoiled brats”

Hart of Dixie (CW)

New York city girl Zoe Hart (The O.C.’s Rachel Bilson) is on the fast-track to a successful career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. When a turn of events ruins her plans, Zoe ends up working at a small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. She soon discovers that Southern hospitality is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 26, at 9/8c.

I like Rachel Bilson…I think she is an ok actress….but never in a million years would I think “hey, she would make a great HEART SURGEON!!!” Are you kidding me here? My pick for first show canceled of the season.

Whitney (NBC)

Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and her long-term boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), explore the modern-day trials and tribulations of love and relationships in NBC’s new comedy.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 9:30/8:30c.

New flash to network exectutives: foul mouthed comics are funny to their fans because they are foul mouthed.  When you strip that away….you get what this show will be…a half an hour of a not funny comic trying to say things as dirty as she can to get by the censors.

Charlie’s Angels (ABC)

A reboot of the 1976 series stars three new women as the beautiful bad-girls-turned-good crime fighters. Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Annie Ngasi Ilonzeh (General Hospital) and Rachael Taylor (Transformers) star as a street racerm Miami cop who fell from grace and a world class their, respectively.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 8/7c.

There are only two words to describe why I would want to watch this show: Minka Kelly….umm…what was I saying, I got discrated there for a minute

Suburgatory (ABC)

Moving to the suburbs was supposed to make single father George (Jeremy Sisto) and his 26-year-old daughter’s lives easier, but they find a while new set of problems in their Stepford Wives-esque surroundings.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 28, at 8:30/7:30c.

Read that description again….Jeremy Sisto (who I like as an actor)….and his 26 year old daughter?? What the hell is she still doing living with him and following him around when he moves!!!

Once Upon a Time (ABC)

Based on the most famous fairytale words that ever existed, Once Upon a Time brings the most magical tales of old into the modern world. When Emma Swan (House’s Jennifer Morrison), a bail bonds collector, is found by the son that she gave up tens years ago, she learns that she holds the key to saving the Real World and the Enchanted Forest.

Premieres Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8/7c.

This could possibly be the dumbest premise for a show I have ever heard.

Unforgettable (CBS)

Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. The only details she can’t remember those that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 20, at 10/9c.

She can remember everything except events about what is problem the most important thing to happen in her life? Can you say contrived?

How to Be a Gentleman (CBS)

Based on a book by the same name, the comedy series follows an uptight manners columnist (David Hornsby) and his freewheeling trainer (Entourage’s Kevin Dillon).

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 29, at 8:30/7:30c.

Kevin Dillon is (or should I say was) tolerable on Entourage because you got him in small doses…..just imagine having to watch him for a half an hour….yeah, I got chills thinking about it too.

2 Broke Girls (CBS)

Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and relative newcomer Beth Behrs star as two New York waitresses who dream of opening a cupcake shop together. Creator Michael Patrick King was a significant participant (as an executive producer, director and writer) on another show that showed young women living in New York, Sex and the City.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 19, at 9:30/8:30c.

The last 4 words are all you need to read

The Playboy Club (NBC)

Bunnies are running wild in this drama, set in 1963 at the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Hugh Hefner has the opportunity to look at any scripts, and a younger version of Hef will be seen in the show, but only from the back.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 19, at 10/9c.

While the concept of the show is interesting…..the boycotts will kill it before it ever has a chance to find an audience.  Several NBC stations are already refusing to air the pilot.

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Movie Review: Trust

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2011 at 1:41 am

If you follow this blog, or even follow me on Facebook, you know I watch a lot of movies. From old classics to the cheesiest modern day teen stuff, there is pretty much nothing I will not at least attempt to watch. I bring this up because of the following statement I am about to make: I can not remember seeing a more riveting, emotional, intense, daring, and socially relevant movie ever than this film.

David Schwinner (yes, I am talking about Ross from Friends here) tackles head on one of the most uncomfortable subject matter out there today: older men preying on teens through internet chat rooms. But rest assured, this is not your typical “Chris Hansen with the hidden camera” approach. This is a bold and daring approach of seeing the topic through the eyes of the victim, in this case played superbly by newcomer Liana Liberato.

The movie shines in not focusing too much on the actually incident, or the older perpetrator. Instead, you are thrust into the middle of the family crisis, as the parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) try to come to grips with what is happening, and trying to understand how their daughter can see nothing in wrong in what happened. This is Owen’s best acting job to date. The anger, pain and revenge he feels just comes seeping out through the screen as Keener attempts to re-establish some sense of normalcy to the family’s lives.

This film shoots right to the top of my list for best movie of the year and is a must see for any parent with tween or teen daughters.

5 out of 5 stars, an absolute must watch.

Movie Review: Friends With Benefits

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2011 at 2:13 am

This movie proved two things to me. First, a good, enjoyable adult comedy can still be made without drinking and drug references every 2 seconds. Second, Justin Timberlake is no longer “that musician guy that acts”, but is a truly gifted actor.

While Timberlake and Kunis are the headlining stars of the film, the movie is powered by an outstanding secondary cast. From the opening scene hilarity of Emma Stone dumping Timberlake (don’t worry, not really giving anything away there) to the poignant performance of Richard Jenkins as Timberlake’s father (saying anymore would be giving too much away), the movie is driven by the little breaks from Timberlake and Kunis together. The best of the second billed characters is with out question Woody Harelson. As the gay sports editor of GQ, he has the best off the cuff one liners in the entire film and will leave you crying from laughing so much.

But the main two in the film, Timberlake and Kunis, are really what makes this movie so fun to watch. From the first time they are together onscreen, it is instant chemistry. I never had seen Mila Kunis in anything I enjoyed (could not stand That 70s show) but I was impressed by her ability to both play the comedic and the dramatic. Timberlake, coming off his scene stealing performance in The Social Network, shines with the raunchy material he is given. And make no mistake about it, this is a RAUNCHY movie. While you get mostly TV grade nudity, you get XXX grade dialog and descriptions of what is going on, most of the time with hysterical results.

If anything did not work for me, it was Patricia Clarkson as Kunis’s mother. The character seemed like a last minute addition to the script as someone to give Kunis some type of direction. This role would have been filled much better by a younger actress as her sister or best friend. Even as raunchy as this movie was, there was an uncomfortableness watching a mother and daughter onscreen the way there scenes were written.

Overall, for me, this is the funniest movie to come out of Hollywood since Wedding Crashers, and is well worth the watch.

4 out of 5 stars

The Sexiest Female Celebrity Tournament….round 1

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

So, today on the show, I was joined my buddy Eric for our annual “who is the sexiest female celebrity” tournament. If you have not listened to this episode in years past, here is how it works: we created a list prior to the show of the lovely ladies we want for consideration. Then all the names go into a hat, and we each draw a name out one at a time, and that is how the brackets are determined. This year there was a new twist….we added a few “not so sexy” girls into the hat as well….which did result in a few….well…surprising pairings. Here is how the first round broke down….with who we determined to be the winner in parentheses.

Jordana Brewster vs Katie Holmes (Katie Holmes)
Lea Michelle vs Audrina Patridge (Audrina Patridge)
Hayden Pant. Vs Rebecca Black (Hayden)
Emma Watson vs Julianne Hough (Julianne)
Natalie Portman vs Maggie Gyllenhaal (Natlie Portman)
Kaley Cuoco vs Yoko Ono (Kaley)
Jennifer Lawrence vs Kelly Osbourne (Jennifer Lawrence)
Autum Reeser vs Kathy Griffin (Autum)
Paris Hilton vs Mila Kunis (Mila)
Jessica Alba vs Britney Spears (Jessica Alba)
Eva Mendes vs Cynthia Nixon (Eva Mendes)
Anna Farris vs Hope Dworaczyk (Hope Dworaczyk)
Elisha Cuthbert vs Olivia Munn (Elisha Cuthbert)
Rose McGowan vs Anna Kournikova (Anna Kournikova)
Hillary Duff vs Anna Paquin (Hillary)
Renne Zellwigger vs Lady Gaga (Renne Zellwigger)

you can listen to the full podcast and how it all played out here:

http://patrickryanlewis.podomatic.com/entry/2011-08-01T10_22_02-07_00