Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Fallen Star! - Lone Star Canceled

After being hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the season, Lone Star, after two episodes, has the dubious honor of being the first cancellation of the season.

This makes no sense to me. It was placed on Monday at 9:00 going up against the most hyped show of the season, NBC's The Event and against one of the most highly rated shows ABC's Dancing with the Stars. So instead of putting it on hiatus and bring it back later in the season, or instead of trying to find a less competitive spot for it, it's canceled?

At least a handful of episodes will remain unaired, what a loss! What ever happened to giving a show a chance to find an audience? They didn't have to give it a full 22 episode commitment, but the axe after two episodes? That's idiotic.

So next week, Lie to Me will start its third season early.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

It’s called Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps … but I did, for a good couple of minutes. Oliver Stone is always trying to say something with is films. This time around he’s trying to make a statement about how we got into this financial mess. There is enough blame to go around, according to Stone. Yet, he is saying too much and not doing enough. I’m sorry but watching a bunch of old white guys around a conference table is not exciting.

Wall Street picks up where we think it would. The embodiment of 80’s greed, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglass) is getting out of prison. A look at the old ‘mobile’ phone he brought in with him is a vivid reminder of how long he’s been away (it’s huge!). He’s out in a different world … one tettering on the edge of financial collapse.

Meanwhile, his estranged daughter, Winnie (Carey Mulligan), is the antithesis of dear old dad; she’s a idealistic do-gooder who runs a politically liberal website. Clearly, she’s got some unresolved issues with Daddy because she’s living with Jacob Moore (Shia LeBeouf) who is an up-and-coming Wall Street trader with his own daddy issues. His surrogate dad is Louis Zabel (Frank Langella), who owns and runs a major brokerage company.

When the markets begin to crash, it’s Zabel’s firm (like Goldman Sachs) that is sacrificed. A despondent Zabel steps in front a subway car, another casualty of the economic disaster. However, there to pick up the pieces is Bretton James (Josh Brolin) an investment banker who is what Gordon Gekko used to be (and maybe still is).

Stone gives Gekko a monologue that updates his Greed is Good speech from the first film. This time around, the speech is Greed Is Legal and ALL of Us Are Guilty of Being Greedy. Basically, I could have left after that speech (several women in my audience did leave well before the end) because it just kept droning on and on and never really took off.

I wasn’t invested in these characters. I was bored. Susan Sarandon as Jacob’s over-extended real estate agent mom is under-used and I never really connected with Mulligan’s Winnie either. Shia LeBeouf was serviceable but not much more. And although this is billed as Michael Douglass’s movie, he was surprisingly absent from about the first 20 minutes. Make no mistake about it, this movie is not Gekko’s story. In his defense, the first film wasn’t about him either. It was about Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and his dad (Emilio Estevez). This movie is about Jacob Moore (LeBeouf). The difference is that the story this time around isn’t nearly as compelling or engaging.

Having said that, Sheen makes a cameo as Fox which, for me, was the most entertaining scene in the film. Otherwise, sleep on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Outsourced (NBC)
Thursday, 9:30 PM
What it’s about: After completing the management training program, a new manager is asked to manage a call center in India.

What I thought about it: Like The Office and 30 Rock, Outsourced is another workplace comedy; but instead of New York or New Jersey this one takes place 10 time zones away in India. I wish I could say it was worth the trip. The elements are there ... fish out of water, culture clashes, and basic workplace drudgery. There is a lot that could be funny ... but it wasn't.

$#*! My Dad Says

$#*! My Dad Says (CBS)
Thursday, 8:30 PM

What it’s about: Based on a Twitter account by Justin Halpern called Shit My Dad Says, it's about exactly what you'd think it'd be about ... funny and inappropriate things a crotchety old man says.

What I thought about it: First off, it's pronounced BLEEP My Dad Says (remember this is CBS and not HBO). The great thing about Twitter is that it's short and sweet and to the point. And on Twitter, Shit My Dad Says is funny. Yet when stretched to a half hour and shaped into common sit-com, it loses some of its zing. I enjoyed William Shatner as the Dad but the rest of the cast was cardboard, formulaic and just not funny.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth (ABC)
Wednesday, 10:00 PM

What it's about: A defense attorney and a prosecutor face-off each week on a different case. We get to see both sides and then the whole truth.

What I thought about it: I like the premise: we get to see t he case come together from both sides (prosecution and defense), then after it’s all said and done and the final gavel has been pounded, we get to see a little something that lets us know what really happened. I like the chemistry between the two principals Maura Tierney (ER) and Rob Morrow (Northern Exposure and Numb3rs). Yet, I didn’t really care for the show.

This is a Jerry Bruckheimer production and his trademark fast-pace and fast editing don’t really lend themselves to a legal drama. At some points it was even hard to follow. As a result, I lost interest.

The Defenders

The Defenders (CBS)
Wednesday, 10:00 PM

Where it’s about: Two lawyers in Las Vegas take on the cases that the big law firms won't touch.

What I thought about it: If all we had was television to go on, it would be easy to think that everyone in this country was a cop, a doctor or a lawyer. The Defenders is one of the latest in the long line of lawyer shows. It’s different because it’s set in Vegas … and the new associate (Jurnee Smollett) stripped her way through law school. Jerry O’Connell and James Belushi do a good job playing off of one and you can tell they are having fun. Ultimately though, this show just isn’t memorable or compelling. By this time next week, I’ll have forgotten that it’s still on.


Undercovers (NBC)
Wednesday, 8:00 PM

Where it’s about: A married pair of former CIA agents return to work to beat the bad guys and spice up their marriage.

What I thought about it: J.J. Abrams, the guy who brought us Alias, Lost and Fringe is going down a different path with Undercovers. I honestly don’t think many of his faithful fans will be coming along for the ride. Gone are the intricate plots, the mind-bending twists and turns and all of the mysteries and mythologies. This time around J.J. Abrams just wants to have fun!

I enjoyed Undercovers. It’s fun and entertaining. Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are Steven and Samantha Bloom , a happily married couple who retired from the CIA and are running a successful catering business. Of course they get lured back for one final score and realize that espionage gives their marriage an added boost. The chemistry between Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw is amazing. I hope the writing picks up in future episodes however. It was a little flat and cliched. I'd like to see a little more wit. So far though, I’m along for the ride.

The Town

Ben Affleck loves his hometown. In his second directorial effort, he goes back to Boston (like he did the first time around for Gone Baby Gone). Specifically, The Town is set in Charlestown, which has the dubious distinction of producing more bank robbers than any other city in the world.

Doug (Ben Affleck) and his crew including his hot-headed friend James (Jeremy Renner) have got robbing banks down to a science — dousing the bank with bleach to mess up fingerprints and DNA and torching their getaway cars to destroy evidence. Yet James is a liability. He’s not content with just robbing the bank. He’s got a penchant for violence and you know that’s going to get him into real trouble at some point.

In the opening heist, they briefly hold a bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall) hostage before letting her go — but not before taking her license so they can find her if she talks to the police. The F.B.I. comes a-calling in the form of Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm), but Claire isn’t much help as she didn’t see their faces.

After looking at her license and realizing that she lives in the neighborhood, James wants to ‘get rid of’ her. Doug however, has another plan. He wants to know what she knows first, and before he knows it, he’s falling for her.

Ben knows his way around Boston and has managed to make a movie with an authentic look and feel. He knows the streets and he knows these characters. The Town draws you into it. You feel the hopelessness of a group of guys who inherit the family business, bank robbing. You feel for James because you know that someone living that close to the edge will eventually fall off of it. And, you feel for Doug because he does dare to want something different for himself even if he doesn’t really know how he’s going to get it.

Well-written and well-acted, The Town gave Jeremy Renner, who starred in last year’s Best Picture, The Hurt Locker, another opportunity to showcase an intense and explosive performance. Affleck and Rebecca Hall also craft a believable romance. Even Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively gave a solid performance as James’s sister and Doug’s part-time girlfriend. I only wish Jon Hamm had been given a little more to do.

To turn a Bostonian phrase: “The Town is one wicked cops and robbas tale!”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Detroit 1-8-7

Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)
Tuesday 10:00 PM

What it’s about: Gritty series about homicide cops in The Motor City (that’s Detroit, y’all)

What I thought about it: I haven’t seen James McDaniel since NYPD Blue. He shows up here on yet another police procedural. This one just didn’t keep my attention. Besides its cool retro soundtrack there wasn’t much to keep me engaged. Detroit 1-8-7 is a very by the numbers show. There is nothing unique about it. The characters didn’t really draw me in and neither did the case they were working on. 1-8-7 is cop code for murder. I predict a similar fate for this show.

Running Wilde

Running Wilde (FOX)
Tuesday 9:30 PM

What it’s about: From the creators of Arrested Development, two long lost lovers reconnect as opposites (she’s a humanitarian and philanthropist) he’s still a spoiled rich kid.

What I thought about it: There were two really big problems with this show. Big Problem #1, it’s a comedy but it wasn't very funny. One attempt at comedy involved a miniature horse and it seemed to just drag on. But oh, this isn’t just a comedy, it’s a romantic comedy, which brings me to Big Problem #2.There was absolutely no chemistry between Will Arnett and Keri Rusell. I’ve seen more chemistry between a business woman and a homeless guy forced to sit next to each other on the subway. Running Wilde should be running off the FOX schedule very quickly.

Raising Hope

Raising Hope (Fox)
Tuesday, 9:00 PM

What it’s about: From the creators of My Name is Earl a quirky ‘white trash’ (their words not mine!) family decide to raise a baby.

What I thought about it: I found myself laughing out loud a few times. Of course, if sophisticated and witty comedy is your thing, by all means skip this one. But if you are a fan of silly, physical comedy, watch this. I had reservations about Martha Plimpton doing comedy but she pulls it off. And then there is Cloris Leachman who has a habit of stealing every scene. I’ll be watching this one again.


Chase (NBC)
Monday 10:00 PM

What it's about: A team of bad ass U.S. Marshalls hunt down some of America’s most wanted deep in the heart of Texas.

What I thought about it: Well, I think producer Jerry Bruckheimer might have made a misstep with this one. I can see it being 'chased' right off the fall schedule. Hopefully, The Event will do well and it will retain most of that audience. If not, this show is in trouble.

Poor writing lead to a lot of cringe-worthy lines ... lines that really good actors might have had a problem with which made it even worse when this crew (lead by Kelli Giddish and Cole Hauser) tried to tackle them. Plus, it practically beat us over the head with the fact that it's shot in and takes place in Texas. It practically screamed, "Look we're shooting this in Texas and we've got more Texas flavor than a cowboy in a ten-gallon hat wearing his Levi's and chompin' down on a big juicy Texas-sized steak. It's big because everything's big in Texas and we ARE in Texas. Really we are!"

Action is great and there was some action in Chase. The problem is action alone can't carry a series, not for an hour and definitely not for a season.

The Event

The Event (NBC)
Monday 9:00 PM

What it’s about: While investigating the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée, a young man uncovers … wait for it … the biggest cover-up in U.S. history and it reaches all the way up to the highest levels!
What I thought about it: As I watched this premiere, I thought of 24 and Lost. They started the show by displaying the time in a digital clock fashion, which immediately put me in the 24 frame of mind. It also tried to deliver on the action (of course, it wasn’t nearly the adrenaline rush that was 24). However, I feel like The Event will unfold a lot like Lost with mysteries and more mysteries inside of mysteries.
Having said that, I couldn’t really get into this premiere. The pacing was uneven and the time jumping back and forth was just too distracting. I do believe Jason Ritter is a good choice for the lead. He’s a real guy and not some ruggedly heroic-looking superhero. I bought his desperation as he frantically searched for his girlfriend (I did not buy him getting a gun on an airplane though). Blair Underwood was very presidential as Elias Martinez, the Afro-Cuban president.
While we still aren’t sure what The Event was and who the Detainees are, the big event in the premiere of The Event, was the disappearance of a plane mid-air just before it collided into the hotel where the president was staying. It was enough of an event to make me watch again. I am willing to give it a few more weeks to ‘gel’. With a large and intricate conspiracy, like the one being hinted at, I think it will take a few more weeks to get all the major players involved. So, here’s hoping it gets better and fast.

Lone Star

Lone Star (FOX)
Monday 9:00 PM

What it’s about: A con man with a conscience lives a double life and a double lie as he infiltrates a filthy rich big Texas oil family while living a middle class life with the daughter of one of the families he’s scamming.

What I thought about it: It was a solid premiere, James Wolk (a dead ringer for Kyle Chandler) as career conman, Bob Allen, has the charisma to pull off his cons and keep you watching. The premiere did a great job of laying the groundwork for this season. His dad (David Keith) wants to exploit his sons ‘talent’ as a con man and keep him from going straight. His wealthy father-in-law played by Jon Voight wants to give him a great new job, much to the dismay of his oldest son. He’s also got the love of two women to motivate him to do the ‘right’ thing, even though it’s impossible for him to do right by both women.

Bob is a protagonist in the same vein as Tony Soprano or Don Draper (Mad Men). In other words, we want to route for him even though he’s doing the wrong thing. While his intentions may be good (or getting good), he’s still a con man and by the end of the premiere, he’s also a polygamist. Yet he does seem to have some sort of moral code which was illustrated when he turned down the opportunity to hook up with an attractive woman at a hotel. He turned her down because he didn’t want to cheat on his wives (either of them). His moral compass clearly doesn’t have the same true north as most but it is a working compass all the same.

I will definitely be watching to see how this story develops and to see just how slippery Bob Allen can get to stay one step ahead of the truth.

Fall Television Show Review Redux

Because ...
a) I am human
b) I have a full-time job
c) I also try to have a life
d) There are only so many hours in the day

I have revised my Fall TV review schedule. I’m focusing on the new shows and I won’t be reviewing any returning shows. Having said that, here is my new list of shows to review.

Monday, Sept. 20
Lone Star, 9 p.m. (Fox)
The Event, 9 p.m. (NBC)
Chase, 10 p.m. (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept. 21
Raising Hope, 9 p.m. (Fox)
Running Wilde, 9:30 p.m. (Fox)
Detroit 1-8-7, 10 p.m. (ABC)

Wednesday, Sept. 22
Undercovers, 8 p.m. (NBC)
The Defenders, 10 p.m. (CBS)
The Whole Truth, 10 p.m. (ABC)

Thursday, Sept. 23
$#*! My Dad Says, 8:30 p.m. (CBS)
Outsourced, 9:30 p.m. (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept. 28
No Ordinary Family, 9 p.m. (ABC)

Wednesday, Sept. 29
Law & Order: Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (NBC)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Swift Justice with Nancy Grace

Trashy daytime TV (talk shows and court shows) are a guilty pleasure of mine. One thing that has always bothered me is that the hosts are too nice. They never say what I would say to the woman who has tested seven men and still hasn’t found her baby daddy or the man who slept with his girlfriend’s mom.

But I think that will change with Nancy Grace. She has the latest entry into the crowded courtroom show market. In Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor is hearing cases and making rulings. Since she isn’t a real judge her show has a completely different feel. She doesn’t wear a robe or pound a gavel. There is no trusty bailiff standing off to the side. Instead, she stands behind a desk and freely walks around her blue stage. She also has a large screen behind her that she uses to interview experts, witnesses and defendants who couldn’t make it to Atlanta to appear on the show.

I don’t watch Nancy Grace’s CNN show but I have seen it. I think her pull-no-punches style will translate well into the daytime market. What I like best about her show is that I finally have someone who is saying the same things that I would say if I could. She blatantly asks one defendant accused of beating his girlfriend, “What were you thinking?”

Get’em Nancy. I’ll be watching.

The Apprentice Season 10

The 10th season of The Apprentice started last night by going back to basics with a little spin. This isn’t Celebrity Apprentice where C List celebrities battle it out for their favorite charities while trying to play as nice as possible. This season is about recession, resilience and reality.

All 16 hopefuls started off riding high on the wave of success before the recession sent them crashing into the shore. Now, the group of former attorneys, business owners, realtors are either unemployed or dramatically underemployed. Brandy was a corporate attorney making six-figures. Now she sells $2 cupcakes from a mobile van. Alex went from a successful engineering career to a new job driving a tow truck. David was a top level account manager. He married his high school sweetheart and fathered five kids. Now he’s out of work and his marriage is on the rocks. He’s on the show to reclaim his family.

And so it goes. These folks are the faces of the recession, victims of the downturn. On any other show, we would have spent at least 30 minutes of the two hour running time on sob stories. There would have been tears. Slow, thoughtful music would have played to accent just how hard these hard luck stories were .The goal would have been to get us in the viewing audience to grab a tissue and dab an eye. In fact, I was scared of that happening based on the tear-jerking promos they had released. But this is The Apprentice and Donald wasn’t having all that. We heard enough of their stories to see where the contestant had come from but that was it. Donald told them that this was the opportunity to turn things around and with that the teams were divided into men versus women.

Their first assignment: choose a team name and pick the first project manager (the one most likely to get fired if they lose the challenge). The guys started out looking to mythology for inspiration, thinking of the Phoenix rising from the ashes. They eventually settled on Octane. Once that was done, they quickly picked Gene (who didn’t volunteer), the unemployed former military man and financial advisor. At 46, he’s the elder statesman of the group.

The women bounce around a few names, including Phoenix but settle on Fortitude because it means strength. The project manager bit is settled quickly when Nicole a 27-year old attorney and former Miss Los Angeles nominated herself. When no one objected, Nicole felt she had won her first victory, saying, “[This is probably] the easiest thing I’ll probably ever do on The Apprentice.”

With team names picked and project managers assigned, the first challenge was given. They were supposed to take an empty space and turn it into a modern office.

Since this is getting long, let me summarize. Nicole took managing by consensus to a new level (and a new low) asking for input on every little thing and not ever really making a decision (or doing any work). Tyana, a former real estate agent (and the current Miss Cougar California) offered her expertise on staging and designing the office space, but Nicole wasn’t having it. She questioned Tyana’s sense of style because she was wearing a ‘questionable’ polka dot dress (okay…).

Over at Octane, Gene didn’t really have a clue what to do… but that didn’t stop him from barking orders (it was easy to see him as a military man). Their worst moment came when The Donald arrived and two of the crew members slipped on the rug that none of the guys had the time to tape down.

In the boardroom, The Donald told the truth. This challenge would be tough for him because he didn’t like either space. As they showed both spaces on the screen, it became obvious why. Octane’s space was done in a myriad of Crayola crayon colors. I expected a playroom, snacks and nap time in the early afternoon. Fortitude’s space was snooze-inducing and not modern at all. They even had an old portrait of some old dude in the executive space. How is that modern?

Since this is The Apprentice and not the Celebrity Apprentice, it didn’t take long for the gloves to come off. Gene complimented David for his work ethic. So you’d think David would return the favor but he didn’t like Gene’s style and he said so. Clint, a former CPA and real estate attorney from deep in the heart of Texas, came to the boardroom without a tie, which didn’t get past The Donald. Yet despite all of that, the men managed to pull off the win, leaving the ladies in the board room.

The girls however were chomping at the bit to take down Nicole. Mahsa, a 29 year old ADA from Brooklyn, brought the New York attitude to the boardroom. She exuberantly threw Nicole under the bus, backed it up, ran over her again and then put it in gear and flattened her a third time. None of the other ladies came to her defense and surprisingly, Nicole didn’t come to her own defense. Of course, The Donald couldn’t stand for that and Nicole became the first Apprentice to be fired.

Little did she know when she called become project manager “the easiest thing I’ll probably ever do on The Apprentice,” that it would be just about the only thing she’d do on The Apprentice.

These people are hungry. This season of The Apprentice promises to be a scrappy good time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parenthood Season Season Premiere

The second season of Parenthood premiered last night and I have to say I am continually surprised by this show. I started watching it because nothing else was on. I kept watching it because I liked what I saw. It’s a family drama that doesn’t take itself as seriously as the Walker clan on Brothers and Sisters. I swear that show is just too much … just one over-wrought emotional mess after another over-wrought emotional mess after another over-wrought emotional mess … and that’s just one episode!

Parenthood has managed to strike a pleasing balance of drama and comedy, topped off with some solid writing and great acting. Peter Krause, Lauren Graham and Craig T. Nelson immediately come to mind. Hell, even Dax Sheppard is pretty good (and that’s saying something).

On the comedic side last night, patriarchal couple Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) are in marriage counseling after Zeek’s infidelity was revealed last season. The counselor is encouraging Zeek to acknowledge his wife, so throughout the episode he says, “I hear you and I see you,” to show how much he acknowledges her and just about everybody else.

Meanwhile, Crosby (Dax Sheppard) is trying to make a long-distance relationship work with Jasmine (Joy Bryant). Their attempt at “Skpye sex,” fell apart as he frantically ran around the apartment searching for a stronger Wi-fi connection to continue the festivities.

Other light-hearted moments involved Julia’s (Erika Christensen) 6-year old asking if she came from a vagina, and high-strung Kristina (Monica Potter) teaching her teenage daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos) to drive.

Alas, Parenthood isn’t a comedy, so these moments were balanced by Adam’s impending workplace woes at the shoe company. His boss, Gordon (played by new addition Billy Baldwin) thinks Adam’s never-ending family issues keep him from focusing on work. To save his skin, Adam says that he’s always thinking about work and co-opts a silly idea his sister Sarah (Lauren Graham) had come up earlier that morning when she commented that there should be a Lo-Jack for shoes.

To his surprise, the boss thinks it’s a great idea! Sarah however didn’t appreciate having her idea stolen. Adam ends up making amends by offering his unemployed sister a paid internship at his company. Of course, it was clear to see that this is also a set-up to hook-up Sarah and Gordon.

There was also a set-up for a break-up. Crosby was exhausted from traveling back and forth to New York to visit Jasmine and Jabbar (Tyree Brown) and excited about the two of them finally coming to see him, until Jasmine had to cancel at the last minute. Crosby wasn’t the only one who was heartbroken though. Adam’s son, Max (Max Burkholder) who suffers from Asperger’s (a mild version of autism) was looking forward to a sleepover with Jabbar and lost it when he realized his guest wouldn’t be coming. Luckily, his caregiver (Minka Kelly) was there to calm him down and turn Crosby’s head as well. It doesn’t take a psychic friend to figure out we’ll probably be seeing more of these two together.

I know I’ll be seeing more of Parenthood.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall TV Schedule

The summer is over. Fall TV is back! Here is the schedule of fall shows, both new and returning. I've highlighted the ones I'll be reviewing here!

Monday, Sept. 13
90210, 8 p.m. (The CW)
Gossip Girl, 9 p.m. (The CW)

Tuesday, Sept. 14
One Tree Hill, 8 p.m. (The CW)
Life Unexpected, 9 p.m. (The CW)
Parenthood, 10 p.m. (NBC)

Wednesday, Sept. 15
Survivor: Nicaragua, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Outlaw, 10 p.m. (NBC) NEW

Thursday, Sept. 16
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 10 p.m. (FX)
The Apprentice, 10 p.m. (NBC)
The League, 10:30 p.m. (FX)

Sunday, Sept. 19
Boardwalk Empire, 8 p.m. (HBO) NEW

Monday, Sept. 20
Dancing With the Stars, 8 p.m. (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother, 8 p.m. (CBS)
House, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Chuck, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Rules of Engagement, 8:30 p.m. (CBS)
Two and a Half Men, 9 p.m. (CBS)
Lone Star, 9 p.m. (Fox) NEW
The Event, 9 p.m. (NBC) NEW
Mike & Molly, 9:30 p.m. (CBS) NEW
Castle, 10 p.m. (ABC)
Hawaii Five-0, 10 p.m. (CBS) NEW
Chase, 10 p.m. (NBC) NEW

Tuesday, Sept. 21
NCIS, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Glee, 8 p.m. (Fox)
The Biggest Loser, 8 p.m. (NBC)
NCIS: Los Angeles, 9 p.m. (CBS)
Raising Hope, 9 p.m. (Fox) NEW
Running Wilde, 9:30 p.m. (Fox) NEW
Detroit 1-8-7, 10 p.m. (ABC) NEW

Wednesday, Sept. 22
The Middle, 8 p.m. (ABC)
Hell’s Kitchen, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Undercovers, 8 p.m. (NBC) NEW
Better With You, 8:30 p.m. (ABC) NEW
Modern Family, 9 p.m. (ABC)
Criminal Minds, 9 p.m. (CBS)
Law & Order: SVU, 9 p.m. (NBC)
Cougar Town, 9:30 p.m. (ABC)
The Defenders, 10 p.m. (CBS) NEW
The Whole Truth, 10 p.m. (ABC) NEW

Thursday, Sept. 23
My Generation, 8 p.m. (ABC) NEW
The Big Bang Theory, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Bones, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Community, 8 p.m. (NBC)
30 Rock, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
$#*! My Dad Says, 8:30 p.m. (CBS) NEW
Grey’s Anatomy, 9 p.m. (ABC)
CSI, 9 p.m. (CBS)Fringe, 9 p.m. (Fox)
The Office, 9 p.m. (NBC)
Outsourced, 9:30 p.m. (NBC) NEW
Private Practice, 10 p.m. (ABC)
The Mentalist, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Friday, Sept. 24
Medium, 8 p.m. (CBS)
Smallville, 8 p.m. (The CW)
CSI: NY, 9 p.m. (CBS)
Supernatural, 9 p.m. (The CW)
The Good Guys, 9 p.m. (Fox)
Blue Bloods, 10 p.m. (CBS) NEW

Sunday, Sept. 26
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 8 p.m. (ABC)
The Simpsons, 8 p.m. (Fox)
The Amazing Race, 8:30 p.m. (CBS)
The Cleveland Show, 8:30 p.m. (Fox)
Desperate Housewives, 9 p.m. (ABC)
Family Guy, 9 p.m. (Fox)
Dexter, 9 p.m. (Showtime)
Brothers & Sisters, 10 p.m. (ABC)
Undercover Boss, 10 p.m. (CBS)
Bored to Death, 10 p.m. (HBO)
Eastbound & Down, 10:30 p.m. (HBO)

Tuesday, Sept. 28
No Ordinary Family, 9 p.m. (ABC) NEW
The Good Wife, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Wednesday, Sept. 29
Law & Order: Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (NBC) NEW

Friday, Oct. 1
Human Target, 8 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, Oct. 3
American Dad, 9:30 p.m. (Fox)
CSI: Miami, 10 p.m. (CBS)

Friday, Oct. 15
School Pride, 8 p.m. (NBC)

Wednesday, Oct. 27
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)

Wednesday, Nov. 10
Lie to Me, 8 p.m. (Fox)

WOW! I'm going to be watching a lot of TV...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Apprentice is Back

Celebrity Apprentice is definitely a guilty pleasure. This past season I was treated to the loopiness that was Cindy Lauper, the surprising charm of Brett Michaels and the Ice Queen bitchiness of winner Holly Robinson-Peete. Yet, I have to say, I am glad that the regular Apprentice is coming back.

Premiering September 23rd, this year’s Apprentice wannabes all share one unfortunate trait. They are all unemployed. I think this will add a degree of reality and urgency to this season’s competition. These people aren’t competing for charity, they are competing for their lives.

Check out this promo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Flicks I Want to See!

The good thing about having your own movie review blog is that you don’t have to review anything you don’t want to review. Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly published a list of 25 movies they are looking forward to. I was able to whittle that list to down around 10.

The Town
Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm
September 17
A charming Boston-area troublemaker has to choose between a dead-end life with guys from his hood and a brighter future with his polished new girlfriend. It's just like Good Will Hunting — except that Ben Affleck's troublemaker, Doug, isn't a math whiz but a masked bank robber, and his love interest isn't a Harvard coed but the victimized bank manager (Rebecca Hall) who might be able to identify him and his crew to a federal agent (Jon Hamm).
Why I Want to See It: The buzz on this is great and all signs point to Ben Affleck emerging as a pretty good director. I liked what he did with Gone Baby Gone and I’m curious to see what he does with this.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin
September 24
The sequel to Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning 1987 hit Wall Street begins in 2001, when Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from federal prison with a business suit, an antiquated cell phone, and not a soul to greet him. Gekko is now a financial writer, on a press tour to promote his first tome, Is Greed Good?, and trying in vain to build a friendly relationship with his daughter (Carey Mulligan). She, in turn, is dating a whippersnapper trader (Shia LaBeouf) struggling to survive in a sinking economy.
Why I Want to See It: I’ve never fully appreciated the allure of Shia LeBeouf. However, I was a fan of the original and I’m curious to see how a sequel done 20 years after the original fares.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds
September 24
Ryan Reynolds plays a U.S. truck driver in Iraq who finds himself trapped inside a coffin with only a cell phone and a lighter. He was wary at first about a movie shot entirely in one sporadically lit box. ''We're in a coffin, for God's sake — 
for an entire film!'' he says with a laugh. But an impassioned 15-page letter from up-and-coming director Rodrigo Cortés changed his mind.
Why I Want to See It: Ryan Reynolds is definitely a cutie pie, but after a career of silly comedies (Van Wilder) and romantic comedies (The Proposal), the question remains, can he act? Well, he gets the chance to show his chops in a movie that is pretty much him trapped in a coffin for 90+ minutes.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren
October 15
In RED (which stands for "Retired and Extremely Dangerous"), Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Brian Cox play a team of retired covert agents who reassemble after the CIA tries to kill their leader, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis).
Why I Want to See It: Old (or at least older) people kickin’ ass with guns! Need I say more?

Due Date
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan 

November 15
Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter, a tightly wound businessman forced by bizarre circumstances to drive from Atlanta to L.A. with an eccentric and hugely irritating wannabe actor named Ethan (Zach Galifianakis).
Why I Want to See It: Downey + Galifianakis = Hilarious … or at least it better be!

Morning Glory
Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton
November 12
Rachel McAdams plays an up-and-coming producer charged with pulling the pathetic morning program Daybreak out of its last-place ratings rut.
 To do so, she persuades a respected former evening newsman (Harrison Ford) to assume the anchor chair beside the show's established lightweight host (Diane Keaton).
Why I Want to See It: I like seeing Harrison Ford doing lighter fare. He’s got great timing and he’s getting to old for the whole action-adventure thing (unless of course he’s kickin’ ass in Reds!)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
November 12
Unstoppable is a race-against-time thriller about a runaway train loaded with toxic chemicals barreling toward a town. Out to stop this poisonous payload are a soon-to-be-laid-off engineer (Denzel Washington) and Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine, as a young whippersnapper learning the rails.
Why I Want to See It: Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott are a pretty cool pair. Together they’ve done Man on Fire, Crimson Tide, Déjà vu and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. While the premise does remind me of Pelham, I’m willing to give it a shot.

Starring: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming 

November 24
Cher stars as Tess, a club owner coping with volatile leading lady Nikki (Kristen Bell) while mentoring newcomer Ali (Christina Aguilera, making her film debut) in this sequin-studded musical.
Why I Want to See It: C’mon, when is the last time you saw Cher in a movie?

Little Fockers
Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Alba 

December 22
The latest Fockers installment again centers on a Focker family gathering: a birthday party for the 5-year-old twins of Greg (Ben Stiller) and his wife, Pam (Teri Polo). Greg is struggling with parenthood, while Robert De Niro's retired CIA agent wrestles with his own late-life crisis.
Why I Want to See It: Honestly, I really don’t know. Maybe because I saw the other two?

Gulliver's Travels
Starring: Jack Black, Jason Segel
December 22
This 3-D update of Jonathan Swift's classic novel stars Jack Black as a modern-day newspaper mailroom clerk who is assigned to write a travel piece on the Bermuda Triangle and winds up in the tiny-people land of Lilliput. ''He realizes he can reinvent himself — not only as a giant but also as a big shot,'' says Black. ''He can say that he wrote all these Beatles songs, and everyone believes him.''
Why I Want to See It: Because it was one of my favorite books as a teenager and I’m curious to see this ‘modern day’ take on such a beloved classic.

True Grit
Starring: Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Hailee Steinfeld
December 25
This brand-new adaptation of Charles Portis' great 1968 novel focuses on a drunken U.S. marshal named Reuben J. ''Rooster'' Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) who gets hired by a 14-year-old girl (relative newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) to find the man who shot and killed her father.
Why I Want to See It: What can I say, I am a Daddy’s girl, and Daddy raised me on westerns. I love a good one!