Thursday, March 16, 2006

New TV Shows!

OK, so I’ve been checking out some of the new, um, Spring(?) TV shows and here’s what I’ve got for ya:

New Adventures of Old Christine, CBS

This is Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ second stab at a sitcom since the end of Seinfeld. I actually kind of liked the show that failed, called Watching Ellie. This show, however, is more of a Elaine character, and I think America wants that.

So imagine Elaine has been married, had a kid, and gotten divorced and you’ve pretty much found Christine. She tries to lie her way out of things, but everyone sees right through it. She’s got the same mannerisms and attitude as Elaine, so this might work. Then again, I liked George’s show and it was cancelled pretty quickly.

Christine’s loser brother lives with her, but his comic relief is decent if not somewhat predictable. The writing is not exactly sharp, but certainly better than most sitcoms. That’s like saying you can tolerate Jessica compared to Ashlee. Also, the child is an OK actor, but not very good. It’s hard to find decent child actors anymore.

After 2 episodes, I’ll give it a few more tries. I actually did find myself laughing out loud as a few things, especially when Christine acts "sexy." The 2 moms who she tries to impress at her son’s new private school are an interesting addition, and an Andy Richter cameo in the second episode as "Sad Dad" was, well, brilliant.

3.5 out of 5

The Loop, FOX

Bret Harrison (Grounded for Life, That 70’s Show) plays Sam, a brainy young gen-y’er who wrote his thesis on the airline industry and suddenly found himself as an executive with an airline. But he’s trying to balance this new responsibility with the party lifestyle forced on him by his roommates, including his older bum of a brother Sully (Eric Christian Olsen), college crush and med student Piper (Amanda Loncar), and bartender Lizzy (Sarah Mason).

OK, so where’s the comedy? Well, it’s in Sully’s “rules” of drinking and such. For instance, if you pass out from being drunk, you get the clippers. Therefore, Sam showed up at work the next day in a suit with a large track of hair missing from the back of his head. Also, Sully likes to occasionally steal Sam’s Scion early in the morning, forcing Sam to borrow a neighborhood girl’s pink bike to get to work.

But wait, it gets better. Sam’s boss Russ is played by Philip Baker Hall (remember Lt. Bookman from the library episode of Seinfeld plus over 100 other TV shows and movies?), who throws analogies and one-liners around so quickly that the Simpson’s would be jealous. Sam also has to fight off the advances of his colleague Meryl (Mimi Rogers) as she constantly grabs his ass and asks him to fish for things inside her clothing.

OK, so I’m a fan of Harrison. He’s got the shtick of the bumbling nerdy guy down and he’s fun to watch. Hall is absolutely excellent in this role and his timing is great. I’m actually looking forward to tonight’s episode!

4 out of 5!

Hey, there’s more coming Friday afternoon so stayed tuned, so to speak!


Bill Purdy said...


While your descriptions are good, they don't make me want to try out either show. TV sucks these-a-days.

And if Arrested Development is 5 out of five stars... is "The Loop" REALLY 4 out of 5?

Just wondering...

Pat Angello said...

Um, yes!

I know most sitcoms suck, and there are only a handful worth watching, but don't judge without watching it!


Bill Purdy said...

So... what sitcoms deserve, say, a 1 out of 5?

And I will judge strictly from your descriptions, which are probably better than the show anyway.

I will admit that casting Philip Baker Hall earns the show one bonus star. But that's as far as I'll go!


Pat Angello said...

OK, Purdy, think of it as grades:


Anything on UPN=1 (other than Everybody Hates Chris=3)
2 & 1/2 Men=1
According to Jim, Hope and Faith, Yes Dear all=1
George Lopez, Freddie=1
Will & Grace=3.5

Am I making sense yet?

Bill Purdy said...

Dearest Patrick:

Will & Grace a 3.5? Seriously? Maybe in its first season (and that's a big big maybe), but they've wrung the comedy well completely dry -- now even gay people can't stand it. I'd give it a 1.5, tops, because not being on UPN/WB gets it a half a point automatically.

And Everybody Hates Chris, which actually employs both a talented cast (the ex-Redskin and his wife are amazing) and, you know, writers, should be higher than Will & Grace, too. If we agree to lower Will & Grace, then I am OK with your 3 (which is a C, right?) because it really hasn't met its potential (though it's a perfectly enjoyable show).

So... why do you use a numeric scale, which implies an evenly incremental order (1=20%, 2=40%, 3=60%, 4=80%, 5=100%), when you really (as explained above) are using an alpha grading scale:

5 = A = 90-100%
4 = B = 80-89%
3 = C = 70-79%
2 = D = 60-69%
1 = F = 0-59% ?

An alpha grading scale assumes anything that gets a 2 or above is, in fact, passable. Only a 1 is failing.

But an evenly incremental numeric scale implies that anything that receives a 3 or below is failing. Can you see how I could get confused? I thought your ratings were evenly distributed across the quality spectrum, when in fact grades of 2-5 are passing grades for you!

So, if your scale is, in fact, an alpha grading scale, why not just use letter grades? It works for Entertainment Weekly.

Love always,


Pat Angello said...

Hey Bill,

It's my effin' scale and I can manage it any way I want to. Screw you for getting in my face about it. And screw you for telling ME how much I like a show that YOU haven't even seen.

So, basically, screw you!

Oh, and if you want to blog about some TV show that you think is great, I'll be right there to tell you how crappy it is. Oh, and I'll make sure I don't watch it either.

Sus said...

I've been curious about the Julia LD show as some of the previews look pretty damn accurate for us divorced gals.

Bill Purdy said...

I PVR'd The Loop, based primarily on your recommendation here, and a 30-second clip I saw online. So there.

Now, Pat, no need to get all grumpy simply because I explained (in detail) how I didn't understand your "effin' scale." You should know you are one of my primary sources of guidance for all things TV & oughta be grateful I took the time to explain why your scale didn't jibe with my expectations of shows I haven't yet seen. It's called "communication," and our world would be a lot better off if we had more of it, don't'cha think? It's not called "trash Pat because he likes 'Will & Grace' (which, buy the way, is the only TV show I actually trashed in any of my comments, and which also happens to be a show that I have, unfortunately, seen dozens of times)." Our world doesn't need any of that.

I'm not exactly sure how I ticked you off in the first place. Let's take a look back at the comments:

1) I said TV sucks in general, and (based on your descriptions), the two shows you reviewed do not sound good to me (I have since changed my mind about "The Loop").

2) You defended your comments and confirmed that The Loop is good. You called me a bastard.

3) I said I would, indeed, judge these shows based on your description (at that point, The Loop still sounded crummy to me). After all, why post a review of anything if you don't expect people to judge based on your review?

4) You explained your grading scale. You made a very good point about UPN.

5) I explained how I had been misinterpreting your scale all along. I suggested an alternative grading method.

6) You told me to screw myself.

7) Sue remarked that Julia Louis-Dreyfus might just have nailed the whole divorced forty-something woman role.

8) And here we are, with you mad at me for some reason, and me forced to defend myself.

What would Herve Villechaize say about it?

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!