Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Watch 'Party Down' Tonight!

If you don't have Starz, you can watch season two of Party Down on Netflix. If you are like me and do have Starz but can't find it on your line up of thousands of channels, put down the Friday night martini, pick up your guide and look for it. It's on tonight at 10pm. (Or also watch it on Netflix). If this show hasn't crossed your eyeballs you're missing a great comedy with a stellar cast filled with the likes of Megan Mullally, Adam Scott, Martin Starr, Ken Marino, Lizzy Caplan, and Ryan Hansen.

Tonight's episode, "'Not on Your Wife' Opening Night" was directed by David Wain and guest stars Rachael Harris and Rob Huebel.

It also will warm you up to see Huebel (and Party Down's Megan Mullally who also stars) on Children's Hospital...on Adult Swim starting on July 11th with season one, followed by the brand new season two in August.

100 Questions: Here's One. Why?

It feels like NBC is trying to stifle the progression of the comedy sitcom by going back in time to the land of Friends. Fun and carefree pretty 20-somethings let their libidos loose in fun, sexy New York City where huge apartments are a plenty for little money and the life is so complicated and weepy. Goodbye creative television comedy. Hello canned laugh tracks, poorly executed performance and boring characters.

Perhaps co-star, creator and writer Christopher Moynihan's script read well. After all, the premise has charm on paper: A young single woman named Charlotte Payne can't find the right man, so she goes to a dating service (not online - a real dating agency with chairs and desks) where she is asked 100 questions about what she's looking for in a man. This invokes various stories about her dating and experience with relationships. Great! Could make up for some interesting stories about a modern girl (yawn) looking for love. This may have worked ok in the read through, but in last night's pilot, the premise fleshed out by humans didn't work.

Sophie Winklemen is serviceable as Charlotte, but a bit...annoying. This pains me to admit. I adore her in BBC's The Peep Show where she's funny and perfect in the role of Big Suze. However, her performance in Questions in the pilot was straining. She tried too hard to impress us with Charlotte, and that is a turn off for viewers who need to slowly cotton to her character by finding that vibe of empathy to which we can relate so we can like her and want to come back to cheer her on.

The storyline itself is formulaic. The supporting characters are foisted upon us like a bunch of sorority sisters who want to be bestest friends in the first five minutes of knowing you. There is no slow lead up to who these individuals are or what they are about. They are mouths that spew one verbal zinger after another - one joke every ten seconds, blinding us from getting a whiff of their true nature. Meanwhile, a very obvious chorus of canned laughter plugs in the quiet space left open by unfunny dialogue. Am I supposed to relate or like these friends of hers as they watch her turn down a marriage proposal at Yankee Stadium? I do know that one friend was disowned by his billionaire father. Ok. Why? He didn't seem like a douchebag. Time will tell, and it better tell us quickly because the 13 episodes ordered by the network was reduced to 6.

Sandwiched in between the summer re-runs of Community and 30 Rock with little fanfare, it slipped through like a mistake made by a newbie techie at NBC's Broadcast Operations Control, if that department still exists.

I don't mean to pick on a show that might not make it. What infuriates me as a comedy fan is that after the Conan fiasco and the dumbing down of The Office in recent years, this is what NBC give the audience?

100 Questions
' only question should be...why? And if there is a why, a little exposition, funnier dialogue and less fake laughing last night would have given us a better answer.

Here's another version of the pilot seen last night. I guess they did some retooling because last night's episode aired with a slightly different cast than seen here:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jenna Fischer in "A Little Help"

New film out soon starring The Office's Jenna Fischer and it looks pretty good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Six Seasons of Not Watching 'Lost': A Clueless Person's Guide to the Last 10 Minutes of the Finale

The series finale of Lost was famously on last night on ABC. I have not watched one flicker of film this show has produced. It's a promise that the five seasons I currently have on my Netflix "Watch Now" list will be viewed; however, I couldn't resist gazing at the last ten minutes. As someone who had just spent one hour witnessing Walter and Jesse chase a fly around their meth lab on AMC's Breaking Bad, I needed to find some excitement. Tuning into those last moments on Lost, anxiously awaited by Lindelof and Cuse fans everywhere, was satisfying yet weird. Years of angst and mystery, constant analysis and in depth discourse on each storyline was bypassed by me. Let's just cut to the chase, I say. The problem is - I didn't know what the hell I was watching.

There was a handsome guy in a tee and jeans bloodied and crying. Suddenly, he was dressed up and in a cathedral someplace else. All his old plane crash friends were in this Unitarian type church saying hello to each other. I presume they were all dead. The handsome guy and his father were talking about how this place is what they all wanted it to be. Cut to the same handsome guy, this time in a tee and jeans bleeding and dieing in a parallel world in the woods. He collapses. A cute dog runs toward him, lays beside him as he he dies. This made me cry. Seriously. I'm a sucker for a dog. Bloodied version of handsome guy in woods in laying on the ground, looking up. He sees a plane. He smiles. Handsome cathedral version of the guy in church, gorgeous lady who is obviously his chick because, geez, look at her, she gorgeous. White light...dreamy music. Bloodied guy. Cute dog by his side. And scene.

I have no idea what happened. But I wept.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'Children's Hospital' on Adult Swim

Season one of the hilarious web to TV series Children's Hospital will premiere on Adult Swim July 11th with season two of brand spanking new episodes to follow. Trailer-wise, it looks very funny, exciting and horny! A link for the sneak peek was just posted on Rob Huebel's site (who co-stars) and everything just got all sunny and dewy in my world. See the sneak peek on

Previously on TVBlogster...
Comedy Online on The WB: Children's Hospital

What to Watch on the Internet
Adult Swim Adds Children's Hospital to Line Up

What I'm Watching on Fox this Fall

Can you imagine if Will Arnett's show Running Wilde ends up pitted against wife Amy Poehler's Parks and Recreation on Thursdays? That's my feverish nightmare. But, luckily, the network programming overlords wouldn't dare. The new single camera Fox comedy will be on Tuesdays at 9:30pm, while the wonderful Parks and Rec will remain on NBC Thursdays - sadly beginning mid-season.

stars Arnett and Keri Russell in a story about a wealthy bastard and a poor altruisitic single mom who deplores the excesses of the rich. The knew each other years before. Now they are grown up. He likes her, she hates him. Mix with water and stir. I'm not being snarky. I want this show to work, but the description is a bit formulaic. The trailer makes it look like a sappy romantic comedy, but I feel this has promise. Arnett could make a Tupperware party fun.

Fox is the network that brings you animation comedy galore. Sunday nights will be filled with The Simpsons, American Dad, The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. I'm not much of an animation fan; however, come mid-season Bob's Burgers will be on the slate, and I can't wait. Voiced by Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman and Kristin Schaal just to name a few, this comedy cartoon is a comedy fan's happy dream.

Ain't No Party Like an Upfronts Party...

TBS held their Upfronts yesterday featuring Conan O'Brien and George Lopez promoting their late night talk show line up. This past year has been like a nauseating sleigh ride for Conan. As mentioned today, last year at this time, he was at NBC's event promoting the new Tonight Show. If we had a crystal ball back then to foresee the future, I think we'd have been flabergasted by Conan's outcome. It's just a complete turnaround. Despite the trauma it caused, it's pretty wonderful.

Monday, May 17, 2010

SNL Digital Short

NBC Upfronts Today: The Comedy Continues?

The NBC Upfronts are happening right now, today, at the moment of this writing. The Hilton Hotel ballroom is humming with Ad executives and programmers trying to convince the media that they have a line up that will knock the affiliate's socks off, bring tears of joy to advertisers and make all that bad Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien press seem like it was all a horrid dream after a hefty Mexican meal.

Being more interested in their comedy line up on Thursday night this coming Fall, it's a less than thrilling ride down the peacock path for this blogger. Happiness comes in the very funny 'Community' keeping its 8pm timeslot (NBC just ordered six more episodes). '30 Rock' moves to 8:30pm. 'The Office' will continue to gasp and cough along at 9pm. But there is sadness in the form of 'Parks and Recreation' being pushed to mid-season to make room for new laffer 'Outsourced', followed by the dreary 'Love Bites' - because outsourcing American jobs to India is hilarious, and on the flip side of that hour, you cannot get enough of hot women on the prowl since MTV and VH1 have not been able to fulfill that need. Thanks for more of that, NBC.

On the drama front, we've all heard that the original flavor of 'Law and Order' has been canceled, yet the other L&O's - 'Los Angeles' and 'SVU' - will be on the schedule on Wednesday nights.

'Chuck' continues to live on Monday nights at 8pm. Watch as Zach Levi continues to morph from a regular nerdy Joe to gorgeous hunky hero. Move over John Krasinsky. Another once floppish, regular cute dude is gestating into a commercially approved GQ model and overtaking your turf.

There's more 2010/2011 Fall Schedule to be viewed here.

You can preview some of NBC's new fare at

Join the discussion over at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White Nails SNL

Last Saturday's SNL with host Betty White brought in the highest ratings for the 35 year old show in 18 months with an 8.8 rating. How's that for a funny 88 year old comedic actress who knows how to keep her comedy fresh? Betty was charming, nervous, hilarious. She was in every sketch and shared the stage with a reunion of funny SNL ladies such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolf. Rooting for her was easy, but she didn't need it. That lady can bring on the salty material with a sweetness and bawdiness that could make Bea Arthur blush. From the NPR Muffin Sketch to Scared Straight to MacGruber's Grandma to head banging Betty in an SNL Digital Short, Betty held to the funny all night long. And why not? Keeping up with edgy comedy and rolling with the flow is Betty's style. It transcends age.

Here's a sketch from rehearsal that was cut. Damn you, time constraints! Here's Bronx Beat.

And a Debbie Downer sketch that was cut...First 30 Rock and now this terrific sketch. Did Rachel smack Lorne's dog or something? Why cut Rachel?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jimmy Fallon to Host Emmy Awards

It's been confirmed that Jimmy Fallon has been selected to host the 2010 Emmy Awards. The ceremony will air on NBC on Sunday, August 29th. Nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 8th.

Source: NYTimes. com

Commercial Redux: 'Candidate Zero' (2004)

I dig Huebel. What can I say?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Conan O'Brien: The '60 Minutes' Interview

Here are some thoughts about Conan O'Brien's '60 Minutes' Interview last night. I originally posted this on Gawker today with some modifications here. Nothing very surprising coming from a comedy fan and blogger who sides with O'Brien 100%, but...just my two cents.

Despite all the drama he's been through, I see Conan as the winner in all this. I also saw Letterman as the winner in the late night debacle back in 1993. NBC's vision of 11:30pm Late Night is middle of the road comedy that appeals to the masses and brings in the cash. It's the Easy Listening music of comedy. Carson handled it with class, style and pure brilliance. Leno pretty much made it like a big circus. If you like that. Great.

Letterman moved on with a better deal at CBS, and Conan is doing the same with TBS. Leno is left with a creaky show filled with hacky material that will never take comedy to a new level, nor challenge the audience's imagination. It's safe. It brings in numbers. It helps business. There is no soul to the humor, but the people who like his comedy and like the host don't care about soul. They just want to see that nice Jay Leno before they drink their cocoa and shut out the lights.

There is a part of me that wonders why Conan did this interview. He's brave to do it, and to me, he comes off as the classy man he is. But it stirs up all the naysayers who don't get it. The people who lament his millions and lay blame on him for his own misfortune. Yet, the fact Leno never lifted a finger to placate the matter, nor ever called Conan speaks loads about the guy. The fact Conan wishes his opponents well (despite jokingly taking it back), also speaks volumes of his own character. I also believe things happen for a reason. Conan's bumpy road will likely lead him to a creatively righteous place; whereas Jay's redux of The Tonight Show allows him to maintain his stagnant humor within boundaries placed by advertisers, executives and people who don't want to think when they laugh.

Conan was amazing last night. Yet, it's obvious the pain is etched on his face. He's not a broken man. He's a changed man. Thanks to his integrity, he'll emerge better than Leno ever will.