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mad_typist

mad_typist
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Birthday
September 18
Bio
I'm a liberal secular humanist who enjoys writing, reading, playing video games and watching sports. I am a former member of the Armed Services who now enjoys the sweet sweet freedom of civilian life. My blog will be centered mostly on politics, football and video games. I'm not a professional hater, but I am a highly ranked amateur. Also, yes, I am a girl.

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APRIL 9, 2009 3:52PM

New Shows Premiere! Fan Bandwagon Now Open For Business

Rate: 6 Flag
New Shows Premiere! Be The First On Your Block to Join the Fan Club

An unusually large number of new shoes are premiering this week, so I thought I'd put up a quick note to let you all know, so you can get on the fanboy boat early for them. I also threw in a few gems you might have missed earlier this year that I recommend.
 
Comedy

The most high-profile entry is the new Office spin off that isn't a spin off, called Parks and Recreation. P&R stars the always excellent Amy Poehler, along with Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones (the yummy Karen from The Office, though she's playing a new character here). Early reviews are mixed, but with a cast this great and a producing staff like this, I'm in for the long haul. Remember that The Office took almost 15 episodes to really find its groove. After all, Baby Mama was a terrible script with a weak central story, but Amy Poehler's performance went a long way towards making it a film I wanted to watch more than once (and I have, and she's still awesome the second time around).

The first 4 episodes of Better Off Ted have already aired, but if you missed it, you can still catch up on ABC's website. Seriously, this charming little show is laugh out loud funny most of the time, and it's still in its infancy. Portia di Rossi totally steals the show as Ted's ice queen boss Veronica (the scene of her assessing a line of children at the company daycare facility for a child cute enough to be her protege is particularly hilarious), but the rest of the cast also performs admirably. This week's episode dealt with the subject of race, and knocked it out of the park (Central plot: the new motion detectors installed by evil corporation Veridian Dynamics refuse to register the presence of black staff members, whose skin can't reflect enough light to make the sensors work. The company's solution? Hire white minimum wage workers to follow all the black employees around to open the doors and make the drinking fountains work. Hilarity did indeed ensue.)
 
Also, listen up you beautiful bitches, because I'm about to fuck you up with some truth: Kenny motherfuckin' Powers will be back for a second season of Eastbound and Down! If you missed this excellent 6 episode show on HBO, go run out and find it OnDemand. It's very dark, but it totally grew on me by the end. Danny McBride is outstanding as racist, drug addled narcissist Kenny Powers, a disgraced pro baseball pitcher forced to return home after running out of money (and coke and hookers). He pulls off the delicate balancing act of playing a totally despicable human being (The title of his self-improvement tape? "You're Fucking Out and I'm Fucking In") who you can't help but cheer for anyway.
 
Drama

New show Harper's Island sounds like it should be awesome. It's a cross between Survivor and Agatha Christie's 10 Little Indians. Basically, a group of friends and family have arrived on the private Harper's Island for a wedding, but a serial killer is on the loose. Over the course of the show, the killer works his way through the island's occupants, with the show promising that a cast member will die every week. It stars Christopher Gorman, who I've loved in all his other roles (Ugly Betty, Popular, Jake 2.0). It's the kind of show that's fun if you're watching with friends and essentially playing along at home trying to figure out who the killer is before the big reveal. Reviews are mixed for this, but if you follow zap2it.com's 10 handy tips for enjoying the show, it might just be the kind of sweet televised confectionary treat to start your spring off right. Also, even if you hate some of the characters, you can enjoy the thrill of seeing them brutally murdered at some point!

A new cop drama premiered last night called The Unusuals. Normally, I'm not thrilled to see the TV schedule cluttered with yet ANOTHER cop show, but in this case, I may make an exception, due to the excellent cast assembled here: Amber Tamblyn (loved her in Joan of Arcadia, curious to see how she does playing an adult for once), Harold Perrneau, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Renner look like they might be a lot of fun to spend Wednesday night with (consider the show a nice chaser to go along with your dose of Lost for the week). Jace over at Televisionary has good things to say about this show:
But don't let the series' innate quirkiness get to you. The Unusuals is clearly positioning itself as NYPD Blue crossed with Barney Miller. Yes, there are homicides and other crimes typically found in every single cop series, but there's a levity and humor here that's not often found in most straightforward police procedurals. And there are also some other interesting approaches at work here that might make you a believer in the unusual as well.
.....
Ultimately, The Unusuals is an offbeat and compelling police series that offers a tantalizing blend of bizarre cases, eccentric characters, and an overarching mystery that seems to involve the secrets of every single character in the precinct.
Sounds good - I've got the first episode DVR'd and will post my thoughts in a bit.

Last, but not least, one more cop show that might strike your fancy - the new John Wells show Southland, premiering tonight. Former O.C. hunk Ben McKenzie stars, and is joined by , Tom Everett Scott, Kevin Alejandro, Shawn Hatosy and Michael McGrady, along with the always welcome Regina King. Televisionary isn't as glowing in his reviews of this show, but if you feel like you need another gritty cop drama to go along with the eight flavors of CSI and Law and Order already on the air, it might not be a bad way to pass your time. Maybe it's another slow starter that might just grow on you as the season progresses.

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I'm not a fan of most of the SNL castoffs so pass on Parks, plus there is already one Office, do we really need a second, on the same night?

The Unusuals. Very very good.

The elevator scene on Better Off Ted, Laughed, laughed and laughed some more.

Ever since Firefly was cancelled I wondered why they don't just make serial dramas and save us all the heartache of cancelled shows with an actual plot line. But I am not into murder mysteries so pass.

Not interested in a gritty police drama so pass again.
I loved the Wire and the Shield but am not so excited about Southland. Maybe because it's too much like watching the news here in L.A.

Loved the Unusuals...
I'm taping the first episode of Southland tonight. I'm not really into gritty crime dramas, but I'll give it a chance.

The Unusuals was really interesting. I'm definitely interested in the individual detectives and the long term plots for each of them. It got a season pass on my DVR.
I caught a couple of episodes of Eastbound and Down and was underwhelmed. First, McBride doesn't even remotely remind me of a pro athlete, and while that may seem to be picky, in my mind there needs to be at least some semblance of reality to the fact he used to be in "the show." The denoument in the final episode where Kenny starts tossing fastballs at people and cars is unintentionally laughable since it's quite obvious McBride couldn't strike out a Little Leaguer.

More importantly, I tire quickly of shows that rely primarily on profanity to prop up tired writing. I've nothing against profanity; in fact, I use it more frequently than most people I know. Too often, however, writers use it as a crutch. Sure, it's funny when a character unleashes a creative string of f-bombs and scatalogical references. . .when used in moderation. Yet, Kenny Powers can hardly seem to utter a sentence without reverting to profanity, and that's just overkill. Where's the creativity? It's not a show I plan to follow.
I watched Parks and Recreation, it was trying a little to hard and it seemed forced. Writers need to break away from the Office tone and establish the show on its own merits. 30 rock started out the same way and found its pace and now is a great show with its own brand of humor.

Liked the Unusuals, quirky and the introduction of a subplot adds a new dimension. Could follow in the tradition of Hill Street Blues. Would have to add of all the new Cop shows Life on NBC has been the best offering so far.

Have Harpers and Southland on the old DVR and plan to watch this weekend.
I agree about Parks and Recreation - First one wasn't great but I would bet on it and I will stick with it.

Harper's Island sounds great but let's see the product.

SouthLAnd had a bit of a rough start and I hope it straightens itself out. Bill Beck wrote a great post about it today: http://open.salon.com/blog/bill_beck/2009/04/09/southland_new_show_screened_for_authenticity

I like Amber Tamblin as well. The First show was pretty damn good with some good dialogue exchanges. If the writers can keep it up, I think this might be a winner.
Maybe I just had low expectations, but I really loved Parks and Recreation. I thought that Amy Poehler was wonderful as Leslie Knopp. Maybe it's because she's so earnest in her quest, maybe it's because she's a true believer and optimist in a world full of cynics. Leslie is very much a modern Don Quoxite, with her giant hole standing in for her windmill. I also enjoyed Rashida Jones as the skeptic slowly swayed by Leslie's enthusiasm until before she knew it, she was signing up to be Leslie's Sancho Panza.
Good to see Rashida Jones get another shot after leaving The Office and surviving that unbelievably terrible 'Unhitched' show.

I missed the first Parks and Recreation last night, but did finish off EB & D at a friend's house the other night. The series really did get better as it went on--even though Mal Beck is right: Danny McBride is a textbook sufferer of 'throws like a girl' disease.
I can't throw a ball to save my life (hence a career spent playing second base, where 90% of my throws were very short), and even I can throw better than Danny McBride. That totally bugged me. On the other hand, it's sort of perfect, because nothing about Kenny Powers seems authentic :)

I loved the final episode of the show (the "Listen up you beautiful bitch, because I'm about to fuck you up with some truth" was delivered in such a genius fashion - I totally want it as a ring tone).
yeah, just reading that again made me laugh out loud...
I agree about EB& D. Sometimes all a comedy needs to be is just that... funny and fairly mindless. I'm looking forward to Season 3.