Tag Archives: The Middle

Appealing TV: Upfronts, Hannibal, and I Wanna Marry “Harry”

This week the annual network upfronts were held, where the networks woo Johnson or Johnson or Taco Bell so they can inject secret Illuminati iconography into your programming. Also, to quote David Letterman at the CBS upfront, “I’ve been coming to these for 30 years. I have no idea who you people are.”

It also brings with it the first trailers for the new slate of programming that will be making its debut in autumn (Largely replacements for the ones that won’t be returning that we all still haven’t finished mourning just yet). A couple that come to mind for me: ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, based on the memoir of the same name by NYC restauranteur Eddie Huang, CBS’s Battle Creek (Vince Gilligan’s follow-up to Breaking Bad, actually was developed by him ten years ago. Also won’t be debuting until mid-season). Lastly, while technically cable, I was really impressed with TBS’s Angie Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones, and created by Steve and Nancy Carell. Check out The Hollywood Reporter for a good upfront round-up.

So, what else is on?

(We’re still working somewhat super sized listings, will be doing abbreviated version like last week. An asterisk means it will not be returning in the autumn.)

Monday, May 19
The Maya Rudolph Show (10pm, NBC, series premiere)
Maya Rudolph anchors an honest-to-gosh variety show, a special that could very well be a series. Featuring Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Sean Hayes, and musical guest Janelle Monáe. Also, Maya Rudolph will be performing with Gretchen Lieberum as part of her Prince tribute duo Princess at the Regency Ballroom on Wednesday May 21. I hope this does well so it can only add fuel to my ‘please bring back Viva Variety‘ fire.

Bones (8pm, FOX, season finale)
Mike & Molly (9pm, CBS, season finale)
Warehouse 13 (9pm, Sy Fy, series finale)
The Bachelorette (9:30pm, ABC, season premiere)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (10pm, Logo, season finale)

Tuesday, May 20
Judge Judy Primetime (8pm, CBS)
Did you hear about the people that faked a case in order to get on Judge Judy? They said that underneath her robes were some boot-cut jeans. I’m not exactly sure what will transpire on Judge Judy Primetime, but maybe we’ll get a glimpse of those boot-cut jeans. Wait, that’s Judge Judy After Dark.

I Wanna Marry “Harry” (9pm, FOX, series premiere)
What were you expecting, another Ken Burns documentary about sharecropping? THIS. IS. SUMMER. SEASON (and FOX, to boot). Jazz isn’t the only true American art form out there! I Wanna Marry “Harry” is in the grand American tradition of obsession with
British royals and duping people on TV. I’m calling this the spiritual successor to Joe Millionaire, like it or not, but I’ve been needing to find more ways to insert the phrase ‘spiritual successor’ in my life because I like the way it rolls off my tongue.

Dancing with the Stars (9pm, ABC, season finale)
The Voice (9pm, NBC, season finale)

Wednesday, May 21
Mixology (9:30pm, ABC, season finale*)
I remember at the TCAs, Mixology was touted as a sort of LOST but in a singles bar. Get the fuck out of here.

The Americans (10pm, FX, season finale)
The Americans was my favorite show (returning or debut) of 2013. The second season of the 80′s spy drama (which blessedly doesn’t embody the stereotypical 80′s neon-blasted aesthetic tripe) that is really more about relationships and family and sex really stepped into its own, putting forward a throughly hypnotic viewing for glory of Mother Russia. The second season of The Americans made season one of The Americans look like House Party 2.

American Idol (8pm, FOX, season finale)
The Middle (8pm, ABC, season finale)
Revolution (8pm, NBC, season finale*)
Survivor (8pm, CBS, season finale)
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (9pm, NBC, season finale)
Modern Family (9pm, ABC, season finale)
Chicago PD (10pm, NBC, season finale)

Thursday, May 22
American Bible Challenge (8pm, Game Show Network, season premiere)
Remember, summer season! Better get used to stuff like this from the cable badlands until autumn!

Labyrinth (8pm, CW, miniseries premiere)
After last week’s Rosemary Baby miniseries re-adaptation or whatever, I was fully prepared to flip whatever table (real or metaphorical) in front of me with whatever snide, faux outrage at the state of adaptions and remakes when I saw the listing for CW’s miniseries Labyrinth (which ends on Friday), assuming it was just a rehash of the David Bowie classic. Well, I was only half right (or wrong). It’s not an adaptation of the 1986 Jim Henson movie, but an adaptation nonetheless, of the Kate Mosse best-seller, which ping-pongs between two women in modern and medieval France and their united search for the Holy Grail. Carry on, then.

Last Comic Standing (9pm, NBC, season premiere)

Friday, May 23
Hannibal (10pm, NBC, season finale)
If each first season episode of Hannibal was named for an element of French cuisine and each second season episode was named for an element in Japanese haute cuisine (Kaiseki), then by logical deduction, each episode of the third season (congrats by the way) will be named for each item on Taco Bell’s breakfast menu.

Saturday, May 24
Happily Never After (9pm, ID, season premiere)
Leave it to Investigation Discovery to continue to pump out sleazy true crime re-enactments with punny show titles. But real talk, its pun game is pretty weak, on some C- level. Gotta get on Bar Rescue’s level.

Sunday, May 25
Mad Men (10pm, AMC, Spring season finale)
I, for one, cannot wait for the legacy of Mad Men to force “From the network that brought you Mad Men,” before introducing the trailers to Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project or Chris Hardwick All-Star Celebrity Bowling show.

See you next Monday!

Appealing TV: Justified, Golden Globes, And The Great Midseason Return

People returning to work who say “back to reality” after a break have never taken psychedelics, obviously. They clearly don’t know that reality is in fact malleable. They usually also talk about leaving money on the table, or insist on ringing a gong whenever a sale is made.

But forget them. Midseason is lumbering around the corner. It’s like September in January!

So, what else is on?

Monday, January 6
The Bachelor (8pm, ABC, season premiere)
I watched Catching Fire, and couldn’t help but project Katniss and Peeta’s relationship onto Prince Charles and Catherine Middleton’s marriage. And then I felt sad. What if all the winners of the Bachelor tried to overthrow the government?

Almost Human (8pm, FOX)
Castle (10pm, ABC)
Teen Wolf (10pm, MTV)

Tuesday, January 7
Justified (10pm, FX, season premiere)
A couple of shaky post-pilot episodes notwithstanding, the thing that gets me the most about Justified is its consistent quality over its current four season run. We all recommend series and end up picking and choosing which seasons to skip over, but with Justified, after referencing with almost hushed reverence its transcendent second season, everything else is gravy. This season, Michael Rapaport is the big bad, the alligator farming patriarch of the Crowe crime family from Florida. Now let’s get Walton Goggins nominated for something.

Intelligence (9pm, CBS, series premiere)
In his first television role since LOST, and first since 2013′s worst film of the year, Battle of the Year, Josh Holloway plays a secret agent implanted with a computer chip that enables him to project data visualization pornography that enables you to solve things. You know, the kind of rad UI stuff that you’d normally have to be all Beautiful Mind to see. Also starring CSI’s Marg Helgenberger and Once Upon a Time’s Meghan Ory as the Secret Service agent sent to protect him. Start you shipping engines, Tumblr. CBS’s best bet is to have Intelligence join the ranks of Person of Interest and Elementary. Come on, they’re surprisingly good shows from the same network that a majority of AARP members fall asleep to.

Cougar Town (10pm, TBS, season premiere)
White people drinking wine in Florida! Cougar Town is best fictional thing to come out of Florida since Miami Connection. I am outright giddy at its return!

Killer Women (10pm, ABC, series premiere)
“Mom, this isn’t Justified, this is Killer Women.” The Sofía Vergara produced show, based on the Argentine crime drama Mujeres Asesinas, stars not one, but two Battlestar Galactica alum in Tricia Helfer and Michael Trucco.

Dads (8pm, FOX)
Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (8pm, ABC)
NCIS (8pm, CBS)
Pretty Little Liars (8pm, ABC Family)
Brooklyn Nine Nine (8:30pm, FOX)
New Girl (9pm, FOX)
The Goldbergs (9pm, ABC)
Ravenswood (9pm, ABC Family)
The Mindy Project (9:30pm, FOX)
Trophy Wife (9:30pm, ABC)
Chicago Fire (10pm, NBC)
Person of Interest (10pm, CBS)

Wednesday, January 8
The Real World (10pm, MTV, season premiere)
I won’t dignify it and all the Ex-plosion season crap. It’s the season of The Real World the people of San Francisco didn’t ask for. Are we all going to hate watch together?

Psych (9pm, USA, season premiere)
If solving murders is really all about touching your forehead and making pop culture observations, I truly got into the wrong racket. Thanks a lot for the inflated expectations, Psych.

The Middle (8pm, ABC)
Revolution (8pm, NBC)
Super Fun Night (8:30pm, ABC)
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (9pm, NBC)
Modern Family (9pm, ABC)

Thursday, January 9
The Spoils of Babylon (10pm, IFC)
Leave it to Will Ferrell and Adam McKay to finally bring us a mini-series that makes fun of the mini-series of the 70′s and 80′s. And they brought an all-star cast with them. Including, but not limited to: Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, and the voice of Carey Mulligan.

Parks and Recreation (8:30pm, NBC, 100th episode!)
White Collar (9pm, USA)

Friday, January 10
Enlisted (9:30pm, FOX, series premiere)
The hype is strong with this new midseason sitcom, featuring a trio of enlisted brothers stationed at a Florida Army base. We all seem to prefer fictional Florida over real Florida. Keith David is also in it, which is always welcome.

Banshee (10pm, Cinemax, season premiere)
The rad thing about this ‘golden age of television’ or whatever is that the rising sea lifts all boats. Even if those boats largely specialize in churning out low-rent softcore pornography. Banshee fell largely under a lot of people’s radars, but Banshee offers solid, pulpy-drama that is executive produced by Alan Ball (of Six Feet Under, and True Blood fame). And it still contains plenty of skin. This is Cinemax, after all.

Helix (10pm, SyFy, series premiere)
Executive Produced by Ronald D. Moore, the mastermind behind the Battlestar Galactica re-imagining (real question: has enough time has passed to assume that whenever somebody is talking about Battlestar Galactica, they aren’t talking about the 70′s, Lorne Greene, thinly-veiled Mormon allegory and actually means the one with Eddie Jimmy Olmos?). In Helix, a group of scientists from the Center for Disease Control get more than they bargain for when they investigate a possible viral outbreak in an Artic research station.

Bones (8pm, FOX)
Last Man Standing (8pm, ABC)
The Neighbors (8:30pm, ABC)
Hawaii Five-O (9pm, CBS)
Raising Hope (9pm, FOX)
Shark Tank (9pm, ABC)
Blue Bloods (10pm, CBS)

Saturday, January 11
US Figure Skating Championships (8pm, NBC)
Finally, some sports that are actually on ice (!) ™ and not some lame attempt to crack a joke. This year’s championships are out of Boston, and I suppose will act as an appetizer to february’s Winter Olympics.

Sunday, January 12
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards (8pm, NBC)
Step aside people who clog social media with updates about sports, it’s time for the introverted and pop culture sensitive people to shine. Let’s all pretend we write for a snarky pop culture outlet and make fun of celebrities and ‘the industry’ together. Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler host, which is reason enough to watch. Or at least look at the .gifs the following morning.

Shameless(9pm, Showtime, season premiere)
The William H. Macy family sitcom hasn’t succumbed to Showtime’s meddling and needless extending just yet.

True Detective (9pm, HBO, series premiere)
True story: a couple of months ago, I happened on the OK Cupid profile of a girl who asked if she should order HBO. I messaged her for the sheer reason that True Detective was premiering in January. Needless to say, the girl never messaged me back. HBO, you’re welcome. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star as detectives investigating a serial killer in Louisiana over the course of seventeen years.

Episodes(10pm, Showtime, season premiere)
I had no idea this was still on, seriously.

Girls (10:30pm, HBO, season premiere)
My first SXSW was in 2010, the same year Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture debuted. Tiny Furniture went on to win Best Narrative Feature, and got her noticed by Judd Apatow, which reportedly lead to her getting a show on HBO. Three years later, Girls will be premiering its third season, Dunham will be delivering a keynote address at this year’s SXSW, and I still live with my family, where I sleep in a twin sized mattress. She is only three months older than me. WELL.

House of Lies (10:30pm, Showtime, season premiere)
Don Cheadle and Veronica Mars (aka Kristen Bell) return as raiders in this satire of high-powered corporate consultancy.

See you next Monday!

Appealing TV: Unleash the hounds, it’s the 2013 television season! And Breaking Bad ends!

I hope your DVRs are ready, and your loins are prepared for Sunday September 29, which is probably the most important night in television history (c u Breaking Bad).

In this extra stuffed edition of Appealing TV, I dare you to try and read the entire entry in one breath (note: don’t do that).

Monday, September 23
How I Met Your Mother (CBS, season premiere)
This is the show’s final season, and now the mother is finally revealed. How will Ted Mosby use the M60 and the ricin cigarette?

NCIS (CBS, season premiere)
Television for the 60+ set to fall asleep to.

The Voice (NBC, season premiere)
Guys, we made a mistake with Usher. Here, have the original judges back. Or maybe that was our plan all along? Sorry Usher, you were just a pawn in this.

2 Broke Girls (CBS, season premiere)
Still broke, still offensive, but I love you Kat Dennings.

Mom (CBS, series premiere)
Is Chuck Lorre in the sitcom business or the money business? Neither, he’s in the empire business. New sitcom from the Chuck Lorre sitcom machine, starring Anna Faris.

Castle (10pm, ABC, season premiere)
How many ‘hey guys, Nathan Fillion was in Firefly’ references can you fit into a single season of Castle?

Hostages (10pm, CBS, series premiere)
You mean I can get all the tension and intrigue of a show like Homeland on network television? Aw man, Dylan McDermott is in it? I knew there was a catch.

The Blacklist (10pm, NBC, series premiere)
James Spader in a hat! James Spader in a hat! James Spader as eccentric criminal genius trolling young female FBI agents!

Tuesday, September 24
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, series premiere)
Still haven’t gotten totally on the hype train, because I am afraid it will just be a Case of the Week slogfest that wants to be The Avengers on a network budget. In which case, just make Gotham Central a television show.

The Goldbergs (ABC, series premiere)
We get it, this sitcom takes place in the 80′s, the 80′s was a thing, and the 80′s are different from today, what with your tweeting, dubstep, and fisting.

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, season premiere)
I knew someone who confused Parenthood (the movie) with LL Cool J’s In The House.

Trophy Wife (ABC, series premiere)
Malin Alkerman and Bradley Widford mixed family sitcom it up.

Lucky 7 (ABC, series premiere)
A group of gas station workers win the lottery, and we see how their lives change.

Person of Interest (CBS, season premiere)
Jesus Christ and Ben Linus are like Ivory and Ivory, because they work well together. Wait, that’s not how it goes! Shit.

Chicago Fire (10pm, NBC, season premiere)
People who work in fire service sure have a lot of sex. Granted, I could say the same thing about people who work at Subway and pitch a show about it (sponsored by Quiznos).

Wednesday, September 25
The Middle (ABC, season premiere)
Sometimes you just need a good, solid sitcom. And The Middle is that.

Revolution (NBC, season premiere)
If the power did go out, shit would look like Mad Max, not a story of Thanksgiving pageant.

Back in the Game (8:30pm, ABC, series premiere)
It’s Bad News Bears the series. The cleaned up network TV of Bad News Bears with Maggie Lawson and James Caan.

Modern Family (ABC, season premiere)
The Yankees of sitcoms comes back for an hour-long premiere.

Criminal Minds (CBS, season premiere)
This show always seemed to be callous/salacious in its attitudes towards mental health issues to me.

Law & Order: SVU (NBC, season premiere)
Somebody is gonna get Special Victimized in this two hour season premiere.

Nashville (10pm, ABC, season premiere)
The one thing from last year’s freshman crop that charmed me, really glad this is coming back.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (10pm, CBS, season premiere)
Nitpicking, sure, but why does nobody on crime shows ever remark on the shocking amount of unusual murders that take place in the city/town the show is set in? You guys need some better social programs.

South Park (10pm, Comedy Central, season premiere)
Everybody’s gonna get it.

Thursday, September 26
Big Bang Theory (8pm, CBS, season premiere)
You can’t stop Big Bang Theory, you can only hope to complain to other people about how pandering it is.

Parks and Recreation (8pm, NBC, season premiere)
One hour premiere, takes place in London!

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, season premiere)
Still? Two hour season premiere.

The Crazy Ones (CBS, series premiere)
Robin Williams gonna Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar gonna Sarah Michelle Gellar as father-daughter partners at an ad agency.

Glee (FOX, season premiere)
First in a two-part season premiere, so let’s all sing the Beatles.

The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, series premiere)
Michael J. Fox’s return to television, with Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt in tow.

Two and a Half Men (CBS, season premiere)
Men Men Men Men Men (and Amber Tamblyn)

Elementary (CBS, season premiere)
The surprisingly good freshman procedural returns for its second season.

Parenthood (NBC, season premiere)
It’s back for you to not watch, and for people to try and convince to you watch. You should watch it!

Friday, September 27
Undercover Boss (CBS, season premiere)
Aka “giving my employees only 39.5 hours so I don’t have to give them benefits seemed like a good idea at the time” the series.

Masterchef Junior Edition (FOX, season premiere)
I believe the children are our future of food media.

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, season premiere)
This show gives Scott Caan a paycheck, and that’s all I can ask for from a show nowadays.

Blue Bloods (CBS, season premiere)
Tom Selleck, Tom Selleck’s mustache, Don Frye, and Don Frye’s mustache. Shut up and take a Peabody, show that will never get made.

Saturday, September 28
Saturday Night Live (NBC, season premiere)
Tina Fey hosts, and Arcade Fire provides music for this week’s season premiere.

Sunday, September 29
Once Upon a Time (ABC, season premiere)
I honestly still have no clue what this show is exactly about, and sometimes I confuse it with Grimm. But good on it for still being on the air.

The Amazing Race (CBS, season premiere)
Heading into its twenty-third season, how is this show still on the air? Not because like whatever, it’s stale, or whatever, but because much like cartography, most of the world has already been Amazingly Raced in, right?

The Simpsons (FOX, season premiere)
People still bitching about the quality of the Simpsons in this day and age are the type of people to remind you on Facebook that they’d rather be reading a book than watching sports on television because they’re better than you.

Bob’s Burgers (FOX, season premiere)
Tune in for the burgers, stay for the absurdness, tune in again for the sweet tunes.

Breaking Bad (AMC, series finale)
The Breaking Bad series finale will exist solely in-between the commercial breaks of this week’s Low Winter Sun. That’s the twist for you.

Revenge (ABC, season premiere)
Oof, sorry to hear about your time change, Revenge.

The Good Wife (CBS, season premiere)
The Cod Liver Oil of television shows. I know it’s good for you, but bleeehhhhh.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!, season premiere)
Keeping Up with the Kardashians is the extended cuts of headlines blogged months ago.

Family Guy (FOX, season premiere)
Pop culture reference, random cutaway, casual sexism. There, I just saved you thirty minutes.

Homeland (Showtime, season premiere)
After a misstep of a second season, will season three ditch the Brody/Carrie romance for more of the intrigue and emotional napalm of the first?

American Dad (FOX, season premiere)
Far superior to Family Guy.

Betrayal (ABC, series premiere)
I don’t know about you, but I think somebody is gonna get betrayed.

The Mentalist (CBS, season premiere)
I thought The Mentalist lived only in syndication on TNT, much like the memories of those we loved and lost.

Eastbound and Down (HBO, season premiere)
I initially groaned at the announcement of a fourth season of the profane and pathos stuffed sitcom (thought positioning it as a trilogy was perfect), but am starting to come around.

Masters of Sex (Showtime, series premiere)
Martin Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as researchers pioneering advances in human sexuality in the fifties when everybody was a fuddy-duddy.

Hello Ladies (HBO, series premiere)
Stephen Merchant as a single man navigating women in LA.


See you next Monday!