Review: State of Affairs

Katherine Heigl made news when she very vocally departed her job playing Dr. Izzie Stevens on the hit show Gray’s Anatomy because she didn’t think that the part was meaty enough. She wanted to play more substantial characters.

It’s a common complaint in Hollywood. You hear it mostly during awards shows either from presenters or nominees/winners. I’m guessing 5-10 years ago the complaint sounded something like “Isn’t it a shame there are better roles written for women these days but fortunately we got five nominees here to the rule.” In more recent years Hollywood has turned to patting itself on the back for doing a better job on the line goes something like “Isn’t it wonderful that they are finally writing better roles for women and boy have we got five doozies for you tonight!” Even though things are getting better, a recent sketch on Saturday Night Live featured a stereotypical character that was a poorly written female character in a badly written movie. It was funny because you’ve seen that character dozens of times in romantic comedies.

The irony of Haeigl’s boisterous departure is that she went on to star in several forgettable romantic comedies (Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth), most of which her character was much more forgettable and less substantial than when she played Izzie on Gray’s. With her starring in the new NBC drama State of Affairs, one would hope that she was finally getting what she was looking for in the role of a tough, self-assured, well-written role model of a female role.

Before we get to the review of State of Affairs, I have to comment on the state of affairs of female roles in movies and TV shows. My guess is that the current state of affairs is going to turn out to be a case where the women say “It’s just what I asked for but it’s not what I want”.

Certainly we’ve come a long way in the types of characters being portrayed. Look at the career of Katey Sagal for example: She has gone from ditzy housewife Peg Bundy on Married with Children to a more believable struggling widowed single mom Cate Hennessey in 8 Simple Rules to Gemma Teller in Sons of Anarchy. While Gemma certainly is a more substantial role than Peg Bundy, is it any improvement in the way women want to be portrayed in media? They don’t want to be the airhead housewife but do they really want to be sociopathic biker gang matriarchs who kill their daughter-in-law and end up starting a gang war by covering it up? Do they really want little girls growing up to be Gemma Teller? I can appreciate the gals want to move beyond June Cleaver and Carol Brady but at what cost?

Shonda Rhimes who created Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, and the new How to Get Away with Murder seems to be the champion of writing meaty roles for women. She has done a lot for that cause. We also have Nurse Jackie, Homeland, Shameless, Black Box, Revenge, The Good Wife, and Madame Secretary all featuring strong female leads. While these are certainly better vehicles for actresses to show off their skills, are they really doing women any favors by portraying these characters? Here are just random observations that I’m able to come up with off the top of my head. I’m sure the list is more extensive.

Meredith Gray, Olivia Pope, Annalise Keating, Jackie Payton, Carrie Matheson, Fiona Gallagher, and Catherine Black have all been so obsessed with the men of their lives that it has nearly destroyed their careers. Although they are all “strong, independent women” sometimes they can’t help being guy crazy like a teenage girl in puppy love.

Carrie Matheson, Catherine Black are certifiably mentally ill. Also if you count vengeful, murdering, sociopaths as mentally ill we can throw in Gemma Teller and Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke as well.

Fiona Gallagher and Jackie Payton are drug addicts and the list of alcoholics and near alcoholics is too long to mention.

Carrie Matheson, Catherine Black, Jackie Payton, Fiona Gallagher, and Bad Judge Rebecca Wright can easily be described as nymphomaniacs. Carrie Matheson, Gemma Teller, and Amanda Clarke have had sexual affairs with enemies in order to manipulate them.

With the exception of perhaps Meredith Gray, all of the women listed in the previous three paragraphs have cheated on their husbands or steady boyfriends.

So that brings us to Katherine Heigl’s new role in NBC’s State of Affairs. She certainly is a “strong, independent woman” in that she is a top CIA analyst whose job it is to give the daily threat assessment briefing to the President of the United States. The president happens to be female and African-American so we got another cutting-edge role there. The show is just dripping with women making it in a man’s world by taking on roles traditionally reserved for men only and championing the feminist cause! Heigl is so macho her character’s name is “Charlie”. But it’s not short for “Charlene” or “Charlize”. It’s short for “Charleston”. You remember the last Charleston in Hollywood? He rode chariots in Ben Hur, parted the Red Sea, and declared “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” Okay so that was Charlton not Charleston but you get the point.

I have to wonder if the creator of the show went into the network executive and said “I’ve got this great idea for a show about a guy named Charlie whose job it is to brief the president on the terrorist threat of the day.”

The executive yawns.

So the producer says “but wait the president is female”.

Slightly smaller yawn.

“Oh I forgot to mention she’s black.”

Mild frown but no yawn this time. In frustration the producer says “Okay, Charlie is a woman also. We get some hot looking broad who wants to play a meaty part to portray her.”

The executive says “You mean someone like that broad Katherine Heigl who walked out of Gray’s Anatomy because it wasn’t substantial enough? (Makes air quotes around ‘substantial enough’) Get her and it’s a deal.” I don’t know if that’s what happened but my narrative certainly fits what I’ve seen of the show so far. The female leads just seem like a gimmick by NBC to try to re-create the Shonda Rhimes success over on ABC. They just don’t ring true at all.

So Heigl gets a meaty part. But how does she fair as a role model for young girls? Basically she suffers from PTSD because she witnessed her fiancé being killed in an ambush in Afghanistan while on some sort of a press junket. She copes with the loss by drinking to excess and sleeping with guys she picks up in bars. And her dead fiancé just happens to be the son of the black female president. And there some sort of big conspiracy rose about how he died. So while we got a female centric drama with some action scenes. It’s still all about a woman obsessed with a man and her inability to get over losing him. So she drinks and screws are way out of her misery.

There is some hope for the ladies. Alicia Florrick of The Good Wife somehow manages to balance her career, her role as a mother, the death of a boyfriend and somehow keep her dignity. She does throw back and occasional glass of wine at the end of the day but doesn’t appear to be an alcoholic. I suppose technically she is cheating on her husband but it’s a marriage to a cheating politician that she maintains for appearances only. Téa Leoni’s character Elizabeth McCord in Madam Secretary is a high-powered job, balances career with husband, kids, friendships and seems to be a loyal non-cheating wife. If I had a daughter I would much rather she use either of these women as role models then some of the crazy women I’ve discussed in this article.

So I declare the “state of affairs” for actresses in TV and films to be much improved. They’re getting the meaty complex roles that they really want. But the “state of affairs” for how women are being portrayed in TV and film is questionable. I’m sure the ladies are glad that we don’t see June Cleaver anymore but I have to wonder if at some point the awards presenters are going to start complaining again. “Why are all the meaty roles for women as drunken nymphomaniac sociopaths? Why can’t they just portray us as mothers and wives. Working mothers and wives but mothers and wives nevertheless?” As I said earlier, I fear it’s just what they asked for but not what they want. Nor should they. Then again… If I really knew what women want, I wouldn’t be an amateur entertainment blogger.

So now what do I think about the TV show “State of Affairs” my recommendation is “skip it”. If you want action and international intrigue and conspiracy theories with strong female leads, go watch “Homeland”. If you want Washington drama with strong female leads and juicy plot twists watch Scandal. And if you want international intrigue, Washington drama, and drama that arises out of the actual situation and is not some contrived “let’s put a woman in a man’s role” type of show, watch Madam Secretary or if you don’t care for DC politics then watch The Good Wife.

CW Network moving to WISH-TV channel 8. CBS to WTTV channel 4.

As previously reported in this blog, starting January 1, 2015 WISH-TV channel 8 is losing its CBS affiliation contract to channel 4 WTTV. Local stations have to pay networks to our network programs. It was time for WISH-TV to renew its contract with CBS but CBS wanted better terms. WISH withholding out so CBS just told them to go take a hike. Several articles I read on the topic said that there were a number of stations holding out and that CBS wanted to make an example of us to get the other stations to sign for the new terms.

Original report said that WTTV would retain CW Network programming on a side digital channel. Over the air their regular CBS programming would be channel 4.1 and CW Network would be on 4.2. About a week or so ago Bright House Cable had already established a new channel titled “WTTV-CW” that was sending out a signal that was standard definition (480i) and not HD however it was 16×9 size so it looked like it filled an HD screen.

Two days ago it was reported in Variety that WISH-TV had bought out WTTV’s contract with CW Network. The WISH is now airing advertisements for various CW Network shows such as “The Flash” and “Vampire Diaries” coming to channel 8 January 1. The special WTTV-CW channel no longer appears on Bright House Cable.

Early reports after the loss of the CBS affiliation speculated that WISH-TV might discontinue its local news reporting because it’s expensive to do and without the ad revenue they get from network programming it’s hard to maintain such a newsroom. But as it turns out the opposite is true.

WISH-TV as a new tagline in their advertisements “WISH-TV Today, Tomorrow, Forever” basically throwing down the gauntlet saying to its viewers “Don’t count us out yet, we’re not going anywhere.” They recently aired a one hour special featuring their major on-air personalities for news, weather, sports reminiscing about the history of the station. They also recounted various stories they had covered in the past. Gave you a behind-the-scenes look at what their day was like. They also talked about how great it was going to be to have all this extra time to report the news without worrying about breaking in on network programs. They must all be great actors because they sounded like they really meant it. Basically they were admitting “We haven’t got anything else to show you except news so that’s what were going to do.”

The new schedule starts with a local news program at 4:30 AM that will run all the way until 9 AM. That’s not significantly different from what WTHR 13 does however much of that timeslot is filled with The Today Show from NBC. WISH will be local programming the entire time. In addition to that large block, they will do one hour at noon, two hours at dinner time from 5 PM to 7 PM. Again you get the same thing on other stations except that a half hour of that block is national network news. WISH will fill the entire thing with local. Finally at 10 PM through 11:30 PM you will get more local news. A total of 13 hours per day. WISH was already doing a 10 PM half hour news for its sister station WNDY 23. I’ve been unable to determine if this 10 PM broadcast will appear on both stations or if it’s moving from 23 to 8 completely.

Back in the 70s WTHR and WRTV swapped ABC and NBC affiliations but that was pretty much an even trade of two major networks. It was going to be a huge loss for WISH to lose any network affiliation whatsoever. The purchase of the contract for CW Network helps a little bit but it’s still a big loss for WISH. Of course CW Network is thrilled to be at a bigger more well-established local affiliate.

Here is a link to the “Variety” website reporting acquisition of the CW Network contract.

Here’s an article from the Indianapolis Star in August reporting the original loss of CBS.

Another article from Indianapolis Star from past August on the topic. Be sure to check out the slideshow on this Indy Star article.

It’s going to be strange but at least we still get to see all of our relations from both CBS and CW.

Utopia Fails; Bridge Closed; Judge Impeached; A to M not Z; Bye-Bye Boo-Boo; AC Clark Dual Pickups; Multiple Shows Extended;

Except for a couple of November premieres, we’ve seen all of the new series this year. You can find reviews of almost all of them in earlier posts in my blog. In a week or so I will post a recap to see if any of my opinions have changed. So far we’ve had our first casualty of the new season. ABC has pulled the plug on “Manhattan Love Story”. It was just a so-so romantic comedy. Also officially canceled are Bad Judge and A to Z but they will be allowed to finish out their 13 episodes. Check out the renewal scorecard in our first link below and save the link for future reference as it is updated. So far I’ve pulled the plug on three series that I’m no longer watching. Selfie lasted two episodes for me. Stalker made it to three episodes before I quit watching although it has been picked up for a full season. And Jane that Virgin I was unable to watch an entire episode before giving up on it. Everything else is either on a “I’m watching” or the jury is still out.


In the links below read


TVLine Renewal Scorecard save this link for future reference.

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated October 14

Spoilers from Inside Line dated October 16

Spoilers from Inside Line dated October 24

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated October 29

Overview of Marvel Studios pipeline of upcoming films.


Not in the links below but also of interest

Look for British actor Jamie Bamber a.k.a. Apollo Adama from Battle Star Galactica to appear on NCIS as Bishop’s husband

SyFy Channel has acquired the rights to “Dark Matter” graphic novel series to be developed into a weekly series by the producers of Stargate

HBO has announced in 2015 it programming will be available as a subscription streaming service for those who do not have cable.

Archie Panjabi a.k.a. Kalinda is leaving The Good Wife at the end of the season. I’m hoping they kill her off considering what an interesting character she is. She deserves a good exit.

Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars in 2015.

Colette lives! Recently deceased madam from Sons of Anarchy will appear in season 3 of House of Cards

CBS is also launching a standalone online streaming video service

Victor Garber will guest star on Blue Bloods and The Flash the season

Dean Stockwell will take a quantum leap to NCIS: New Orleans in an upcoming episode to reunite with Scott Bakula

DirecTV has ordered a new season of it series Kingdom about MMA fighters

Opie Lives. Ryan Hurst a.k.a. Opie from SOA will guest star on Bates Motel

There will be a Sharknado 3 next summer on SyFy Channel

Bones 200 episode will have an homage Alfred Hitchcock style thriller

We are very sorry to report The Bridge is closed. Canceled by FX Network.

Chad Coleman a.k.a. Tyreese from Walking Dead will guest star on L&O:SVU in an NFL domestic violence episode

Morena Baccarin will guest star on upcoming episodes of Gotham as Dr. Leslie Thompkins

Supernatural may introduce a spinoff series to be titled Supernatural: Bloodlines

Once upon a Time will get a double sized episode in November

ABC has increased orders for Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs, and Black-ish to 24 episodes. Castle, Once upon a Time will get 23 total this season. Resurrection sticks with 13.

TLC has canceled “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” after Mama June started dating a convicted child molester. Duh.

Lauren Graham from Parenthood will guest star on the reboot of The Odd Couple as Oscar (Matthew Perry) ex-wife.

Nikita alum Lindsy Fonseca will guest star on Marvel’s Agent Colson although not as an agent. Wish it was more of a kick as role.

Our favorite Cylon Tricia Helfer will guest star in upcoming episodes of Suits

Marcia Strassman from Welcome Back Kotter has died of breast cancer at age 66

Charles Dance a.k.a. GOT’s Tywin Lannister will star in upcoming SyFy Channel miniseries Childhood’s End based on Arthur C Clarke’s novel.

Neil Patrick Harris will host a 10 episode variety show on NBC

CBS has picked up a full season order for Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, Stalker, and Madam Secretary

NBC has ordered a full season pickup for Mysteries of Laura

Neil Patrick Harris will guest star on American Horror Story with his husband David Burtka

Kira Sedgwick will star in and produce an upcoming HBO comedy about a former nun who tries to get her life together after leaving the church.

AMC will have Hugh Laurie in the John le Carre “The Night Manager”

HBO has signed all the major actors for season 7 of Game of Thrones which will probably be its final season.

Comedy Central has announced December 18 as the final date for The Colbert Report and Stephen moves to replace the Letterman

Starz canceled series Magic City will return as a theatrical film with Bruce Willis joining the original TV cast

Sharon Stone will play a female vice president in upcoming 10 episode Agent X. For TNT in 2015

Woody Harrelson will host SNL November 15

SyFy Channel is developing a miniseries for 2015 based on Arthur C Clarke’s 3001: The Final Odyssey

William Hurt has been cast the lead role in AMC sci-fi drama Humans for 2015

Warner Bros. has announced there will be three more Lego movies and a Harry Potter spinoff films based on Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them.

NBC has scrapped plans for a comedy called Mission Control about astronauts wife.

Elizabeth Pena who played several episodes of Modern Family as Sophia Vergara’s mother has died at age 55 after a long illness

Frank Langella will guest star in multiple episodes of The Americans on FX. Can’t wait.

Al Pacino is returning to Broadway in David Mamet’s “China Doll”

McMillan will publish a book “The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks” to fill in the 25 year gap between the original series in the upcoming return on Showtime.

Fox has trimmed its order for it new sitcom Mullaney from 16 to 13 episodes

Tony Mendez, cue card man for David Letterman for 21 years, has been fired after disagreement and physical altercation with one of the shows writers. He will be paid his salary to the end of Letterman’s run.

Barbara Walters un-retires to bring back “10 Most Fascinating People” to ABC

ABC has ordered a spinoff of Shark Tank titled Beyond the Tank

Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming film written by Aaron Sorkin

AMC networks has paid $200 million for a 49.9% stake of BBC America

Insurgent, a sequel to the film Divergent, will be released in 3-D.

Avengers: Infinity War, the third avengers story, will be split into two films.

Elizabeth Norment who played Kevin Spacey’s secretary in House of Cards has died of cancer at age 61

Metallica will appear on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson for an entire week in November

The cast of Sons of Anarchy will visit Conan O’Brien November 11

Jay Leno will be a guest on the Tonight Show this Friday

CW network has given full season orders to The Flash and Jane the Virgin

Craig Ferguson’s last day will be December 19. James Corden takes over March 9 at Late Late Show

Fox’s canceled its reality series Utopia. Media found out before the participants did.




2015 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Glee, Grey’s, Revenge, Blacklist, Arrow, New Girl, Once, House of Lies and More

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Nashville, Once, Five-0, Castle, Covert Affairs, Grimm, Arrow, Flash, Beast and More

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Castle, White Collar, Once, Haven, Supernatural, Arrow, Beast and More

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Castle, Bones, The Leftovers, Vampire Diaries, Once, Newsroom, Good Wife and More

Marvel Unveils ‘Captain America 3: Civil War’, Chadwick Boseman As ‘Black Panther’, ‘Captain Marvel’ & More



Review: Constantine

John Constantine’s business card describes him as “exorcist, demonologist, and master of the dark arts” although he’s thinking about changing the last one to “dabbler rather than master”. That pretty much sums up NBC’s new supernatural drama Constantine. It’s loosely based on the movie Constantine starring Keanu Reeves and the DC comic Hellblazer. Constantine is played by British actor Matt Ryan you probably not seen before. The characters are basic pentagram drawing, salt sprinkling, holy water splashing, Latin spouting demon hunter. His sidekick Chas is a cab driver who apparently can come back from the dead. We don’t know the full back story on that one yet. Chas is played by Charles Halford who has recently appeared in my roles in Agents of SHIELD and True Detective.

In the opening episode, Constantine has checked himself into a mental hospital so he can get electroshock therapy to try to convince himself that demons don’t exist. But when a demon leaves him a message that the daughter of a former friend of his is being targeted, he checks out to go rescue the princess so to speak.

There is nothing that sets this above any other demon hunting character or show you’ve ever seen. At least not after watching one episode. I suppose if you are an undying (no pun intended) fan of the genre you want to check this out. So far I would rank it slightly better than SyFy Channel’s Dominion but not as good as CW network’s Supernatural which is currently in its 10th season. Supernatural has great humor, drama, and characters that over 10 seasons you really come to appreciate not to mention the awesome 70s rock soundtrack. So if you want to demons, go with Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural and only check this out if you can’t get enough demon hunting.

The show will probably find an audience because it airs right after Grimm and I will watch a few more episodes to see if it comes up with anything interesting but for now I’m giving it a weak “could be watchable” rating.

Review: Marry Me

NBC produced a half hour preview of its new fall season that was hosted by the stars of their new sitcom “Marry Me“. During that preview they introduce themselves as the stars of “NBC’s new hit comedy ‘Marry Me'”. That’s a pet peeve of mine. People who don’t understand the meaning of the word “hit”. It makes me want to hit them (different meaning of the word “hit”). How can the shell be a hit if it hasn’t even aired yet? So the show already had one strike against it going into it. Having already fallen in love with the new couple comedy “A to Z” I went into this one with a huge chip on my shoulder.

The entire first episode was essentially a single joke, the consequences of which plays out over the entire episode. It’s one of the most clichéd gimmicks in all of sitcomiry (okay so I made up that word). In the opening scene Annie and Jake have just come back from a romantic vacation in Mexico and she goes off on a rant complaining that Jake did not propose to her during this romantic getaway. In the rent she reveals that they been dating for six years, she’s 32 years old and her eggs are dying, and he needs to get off his ass and propose to her. As she is ranting and running around the apartment she has her back turned to him and doesn’t see that he’s down on one knee with a ring in his hand trying to tell her to turn around and look at him. She continues to ignore him and then goes on to ranting about family and friends who make fun of them because they’re not yet engaged. Along the way she says all sorts of nasty things about those family and friends. After she FINALLY turns around to see him ready to propose then all of those family and friends who she has just trashed (including his mother) pop out from behind their hiding places to say “surprise”. They’ve heard everything. So it’s all of the extremely clichéd situations of every situation comedy you ever seen all rolled into one scene. As silly as it was I have to give them credit for pulling off the biggest one of those I’ve ever seen.

After everyone leaves, they decide that that was not their official proposal because he didn’t want to have to tell that horrible story of how the proposal went for the rest of his life. He promises to re-propose in a few days and then that will be the official one. She then decides that the only way to “fix this” is for her to propose to him. So she goes to his place of employment to propose to him in front of all his colleagues and along the way reveals that they had just spent a week in Mexico. However he had told his boss he needed off work because his father was sick. This gets him fired from his job so now she’s real and another proposal story.

We then get to see some flashbacks of how they met and various events along the way. The flashback gimmick works pretty well and is not a distraction. In fact in this case it makes a little more interesting. By the end of the episode they do get officially engaged. It remains to be seen how much of the story is told “present-day” and how much in flashback.

There’s reasonably good chemistry between costars Casey Wilson and Ken Marino. She is also currently a very of the film Gone Girl but is better known for her role in the recently canceled ABC sitcom Happy Endings. He is relatively unknown but has appeared in the adult swim series Children’s Hospital. Some sitcoms rely more on the supporting cast then the main characters in order to succeed. This one includes Tim Meadows from SNL and Dan Bucatinsky from Web Therapy as Annie’s gay parents. JoBeth Williams plays Jake’s mother. They might add something interesting to the mix.

Compared to the other new romantic comedies this season “A to Z” and “Manhattan Love Story” this one is stronger on the comedy than the romance. As always the real test is “Did I laugh?” and be in place and I did. Given that I really like A to Z and that Manhattan Love Story is growing on me, this one might not make the cut on what I’m watching regularly. But it does show a little promise so I’m going to give it a rating of “Could Be Watchable”.


Review: Cristela

Having already been disappointed in two other ethnic sitcoms this year (black-ish and Jane the Virgin) I went into ABC’s new Hispanic sitcom Cristela with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. While this isn’t exactly must-see-TV, it does have some potential. The show is created by, written by, and stars Cristela Alonso who has more credits as comedy writer then as an actress. In this ABC sitcom she plays a girl named Cristela who is in her sixth year of law school. She lives with her mother, her sister, brother-in-law and niece as she’s trying to make ends meet and go to school at the same time. The show starts with her applying for and getting an unpaid internship with a prestigious law firm. Her new boss is marginally racist but knows that he is and jokes about it. One of the other new interns is his daughter who upon seeing Cristela presume she’s part of the janitorial staff. Even her father thinks the daughter is a dimwit.

The jokes are extremely cliché. The laugh track is annoying. But on occasion it did have some really funny moments in it that had me laughing and the live audience as well. If the show ever get the following in the audience gets used to the characters, they may not need to use the laugh track as much.

I guess if you’re trying to compare it to something I would call it an Hispanic version of “2 Broke Girls” with only half as many girls. By the way as silly as it is, I happen to love 2 Broke Girls. So for now I’m giving this one a tentative cautious “I’m watching it”. But then I’m a sucker for silly sitcoms. Like I said my only criteria for judging such shows is “Is it funny?” and it places this one was.

Review: Jane the Virgin

I didn’t have very high expectations for show titled “Jane the Virgin” about a girl named Jane who is a virgin but gets pregnant. Either it was going to be a miraculous Virgin Mary type situation which would be creepy or it some sort of gimmick. This was the gimmick type. Jane Villanova is a 20-something-year-old latina girl who is saving her virginity for her wedding night. She lives with her mother and grandmother, works in a hotel, watches Hispanic tele-novellas, and as a connoisseur of grilled cheese sandwiches. Seriously.

During a routine visit to her gynecologist, the doctor is so obsessed with their own personal life that she accidentally artificially simulates Jane thinking that she was a different patient. Jane is a pregnant with the last bit of a sperm sample of a guy who had cancer so this is his last opportunity to have children. Suddenly Jane’s life is like one of the tele-novellas that she likes to watch.

If this was a half hour comedy they might be able to pull it off but unfortunately it’s an hour long show with too many characters to keep track of despite a voiceover narration and some on-screen graphics that try to help you keep track of everyone. It doesn’t work. Not the narration, not the graphics, not the plot, not the humor.

The whole thing was so ridiculous and not funny and not romantic that I gave up on it 45 minutes into the one-hour episode. By now you might’ve guessed my rating is “Skip It”. If you absolutely must watch an Hispanic new comedy show you might want to check out Cristela reviewed here.

No more Rush, Dallas; Twin Peaks returns; More Shameless, Lies, Episodes, Mistresses, Dead, Defiance, Dominion; RIP Hooks and Un-Cola Man

Haven’t had much time to catch up on entertainment news because I’ve been busy watching and reviewing new series. Even the series which I didn’t particularly like, I’m going to give them a couple more episodes and after every new series that I’ve reviewed has had at least three episodes I will do a recap and see if any of the shows have gotten better or worse.
Probably the biggest entertainment news is that the David Lynch surreal crime drama Twin Peaks is returning as a limited series on Showtime. Check out the first link
Also any fans of Pixar movies absolutely must see this video linked here. It theorizes a strange connection between all of their movies. Very very cleverly done.
Meanwhile in the links below read
Interview with producer of Twin Peaks about shows return
Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated September 23
Interview with “Fitz” about what his character is going through on Agents of Shield
Spoilers from Inside Line dated September 23
Interview with Bones producer about major character they killed off in opening episode and why.
Postmortem interview with producers of Masters of Sex after season 2 finale and looking forward to season 3
Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated September 30
Interview with Sweets about his departure from Bones
Spoilers from Inside Line dated October 3
Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated October 7
Also of interest but not in the links below
HBO series True Detective will star Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell a new storyline
SyFy Channel has ordered a new series called Hunter based on the Alien Hunter books. Produced by Walking Dead Producer Gail Anne Hurd
CBS has renewed reality show Big Brother for two more seasons
SyFy Channel has renewed Defiance and Dominion for another season. We are well pleased.
Starz series Outlander will return for its second half of the season April 4
John Ratzenberger from Cheers will have a recurring role on CBS sitcom The McCarthys
ABC has renewed summer series Mistresses for season 3
Yvette Nicole Brown is not returning to Community when the show moves to Yahoo streaming next season. She will be a regular in the CBS reboot of The Odd Couple.
Showtime series Shameless, House of Lies, and Episodes will all return January 11
Tim DeKay a.k.a. The Suit from White-Collar will guest star on Agents of Shield
Fox has cut its reality series Utopia to one episode per week earlier than expected
Michael Rosenbaum a.k.a. Lex Luther from Smallville has a new sitcom on TV land titled Imposter where he plays a gay preacher
USA Network has canceled “Rush” and I’m disappointed. Kind of liked it. It was sort of Ray Donovan meets Hank-Med.
Sally Kellerman who played Hot Lips in the movie version of MASH will appear on Young and the Restless CBS soap
TV land has canceled its Jamie Presley sitcom Jennifer Falls after one season
Elizabeth Perkins from Weeds will guest star on How to Get Away with Murder as a defendant
Starz pirate series Black Sails season 2 begins January 24. Already renewed for season 3
Hollywood Game Night has been renewed for season 3. One of my guiltiest guilty pleasures
TNT has canceled Dallas after 3 seasons. Couldn’t care less
Showtime has ordered a limited series return of David Lynch classic Twin Peaks!
Sarah Wayne Callies a.k.a. Lori from The Walking Dead will star in a USA Network pilot Colony. Set in modern-day LA during an alien invasion.
Atlantis returns to BBC America November 15
Nat Geo is producing Killing Jesus based on the Bill O’Reilly book. Kelsey grammar will play King Herod. True Blood’s Stephen Moyer will play Pontius Pilate and Haaz Sleiman who was a bad guy on Covert Affairs will play Jesus
The Walking Dead has been renewed for season 6.
The Walking Dead spinoff will be a bit of a prequel covering the earlier days of the apocalypse but with new characters in a different location.
From the creator of American Horror Stories, FX has ordered a new series American Crime Story. The first 10 episode season will cover the O.J. Simpson trial. Like we need that.
Peter Fonda will guest star in an upcoming episode of The Blacklist
MTV is canceling its series Awkward after season 5
Amazon has renewed its new series Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor for season 2
CBS has renewed Under the Dome and Extant and we are very well pleased on both accounts.
CBS has canceled summer legal drama Reckless after 1 season
RIP SNL veteran Jan Hooks at age 57
Jason Ritter will return for an episode or two in the final season of Parenthood
ABC has given full season orders for black-ish and How to Get Away with Murder.
Starz basketball theme series Survivor’s Remorse has been renewed for season 2
Animated Guardians of the Galaxy series coming to Disney XD in 2015
I almost forgot to mention CBS has canceled Unforgettable
Katie Holmes returns as Jackie Kennedy in a Reelz four part miniseries sequel of The Kennedys
Fox has ordered a full season pickup for Gotham
American Horror Story has been renewed for season 5
WGN America series Manhattan about the building of the atomic bomb has been renewed for season 2.
Game of Thrones after hints that Tywin Lannister might not have died on the throne after all. May return.
AMC is picking up a British channel 4 series titled “Humans”. An adaptation of a Swedish sci-fi show will run eight episodes.
Broadway version of The Lion King has grossed a record $6.2 billion beating out previous Phantom of the Opera
JJ Abrams will produce a streaming series for Hulu titled 11/22/63 based on the Stephen King novel
Brian Singer will direct X-Men: Apocalypse for Fox
Michelle Yeoh is joining the cast of Cinemax’s Strike Back final season
The “Real Genius” movie franchise is getting a reboot as an NBC comedy series
Sasha Alexander a.k.a. Isles from Rizzoli and will guest star as one of Lip’s professors on Showtime’s Shameless
The FAA has approved the use of unmanned drones for Hollywood production.
Penn and Teller magic competition show Wizard Wars will get six more episodes on SyFy Channel
Rutger Hauer will have a recurring role on the ABC fairytale comedy Galavant
Amazon prime will premiere season 2 of Alpha House October 24
The FCC has canceled its NFL blackout rules. You can now see non-sold-out games locally
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon will move to Phoenix for a post-Super Bowl broadcast just like he did when the Super Bowl was in Indy.
Yvonne Strahovski former girlfriend to Chuck and Dexter will appear in the ABC 10 part series Astronaut Wives Club coming midseason
Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Josh Gad, and Maya Rudolph are among the voice cast for the upcoming Angry Birds feature film
Star Wars Rebels animated series has been renewed for season 2 on Disney XD
USA Network has renewed relationship drama Satisfaction
Nicholas D’Agosto will play Harvey Dent/Two-Face in upcoming episodes of Gotham
Nik Wallenda will be blindfolded as he walks between skyscrapers in Chicago on Discovery Channel November 2
Steve Martin will receive AFI Lifetime Achievement Award
The Farrelly brothers are joining the reboot of HBO’s Project Greenlight
RIP actor/artists Geoffrey Holder also known as the Un-Cola man from 7-Up commercials. Died of pneumonia age 84
There will be a “The Purge 3” film coming soon. Why don’t they just day indoors?
Legendary TV is developing a series based on the computer game Myst
TNT will begin airing older episodes of NBC’s monster hunter series Grimm
Craig Robinson, brother-in-law of Pres. Obama, joined ESPN college basketball commentator ranks
NBC has ordered additional strips of Mysteries of Laura and Constantine
Tom Welling a.k.a. young Clark Kent from Smallville will star in a film The Choice based on the Nicholas Sparks novel
Victor Garber will recur on The Flash as Doctor Martin Stein
Legendary TV is developing a reboot of Lost in Space for a TV series.
AMC has abandoned all unscripted TV shows except for Talking Dead and Comic Book Men
Animated comedy Archer will no longer call it’s nemesis spy agency ISIS after terrorist group co-ops the name.
Marvel comics has canceled Fantastic Four comics just before new movie is released by rival studio
Fox will make a TV version of the classic Tom Hanks film Big
Classic videogame Tetris is being made into a live-action movie. How? Why? Who cares?
Chris Rock will host SNL November 1
Twin Peaks on Showtime: Exec Producer Mark Frost Talks Returning Cast, Storyline and (Much) More
Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Castle, Outlander, Bones, Grey’s, Walking Dead, Chicago PD, Arrow and More
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Star Weighs In on Heartbreaking Twist, ‘Darker’ Season 2
Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Scandal, Once, Mentalist, Vampire Diaries, Reign, The Flash, Homeland and More
Bones Premiere Shocker: Find Out Why [Spoiler] Had to Die
Masters of Sex Finale Post Mortem: EP Talks Surprise Returns, Bill’s Secret and More [Spoiler] in Season 3
Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Vampire Diaries, Walking Dead, Bones, Bates, Dixie, Chi Fire, Witches and More
John Francis Daley Opens Up About Sweets’ Shocking Bones Exit: ‘I Feel Like I Lost a Part of Me’
Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Arrow, Supernatural, Once, Fosters, Chi Fire, Reign, Shameless, Gotham and More
Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Castle, Bones, Flash, Good Wife, Hannibal, Horror Story, Homeland, Gotham and More

Review: A to Z

So far this season we reviewed two half hour romantic comedies such as Selfie and Manhattan Love Story and neither has been completely satisfying. After watching a couple of extra episodes of Selfie it is better than I originally thought. And I still have hopes for Manhattan but to paraphrase Star Wars “Those aren’t the rom-coms you are looking for.” However if the initial episode is any indication and you are looking for a good romantic comedy, “A to Z” starring Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti might fit the bill. You might recognize Feldman from 30 episodes of Mad Men or 38 episodes of Drop Dead Diva neither of which I watched.

Like many shows we reviewed, it has a gimmick. Actually a couple of them. First of all the main characters are named Andrew and Zelda hence the title “A to Z”. The title gimmick also plays into the names of each episode and presumably the total number of episodes. Each episode is a letter from A-Z such as “A is for Acquaintance” and “B is for Big Glory” and “C is for Curiouser and Curiouser”. Presumably there will be 26 episodes although this list on only has through “E”. Also an opening voiceover declares “Andrew Lofland and Zelda Vasco will date for eight months, three weeks, five days, and one hour. This television program is the comprehensive account of their relationship from A to Z.”

The plot starts with a chance meeting between the two main characters but then we reveal that perhaps they had met before and that their meeting was “destiny”. This is not a new theme for Cristin Milioti because she was the infamous “Mother” on “How I Met Your Mother“. We had said previously that the only standard by which we judge a sitcom is whether or not it’s funny. Similarly for a romantic comedy it has the dual task of being both funny and romantic. This one seems to deliver. Maybe it’s just that I’m a sucker for stories where “we were destined for each other” is the theme. But the chemistry between the two is real and the show has a reasonable number of laughs.

I had previously compared Manhattan Love Story to one of my favorite romantic comedy TV shows “Mad about You”. This show is a much better comparison to that story. It also favorably compares to the romantic parts of HIMYM without all of the over-the-top comedy which at times ruined that show.

On my rating system this one gets a “I like It”. However you have to be in the mood for a romantic comedy and buy into the destiny plot. I do.

Review: Bad Judge

Having seen the films Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton and Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz, I suspected that the new sitcom Bad Judge was going to be another gross out comedy with lots of vomiting and toilet humor. I expected Kate Walsh’s character to be really sleazy and doing crooked deals. As it turns out the title of the show is a bit of a misnomer. Don’t get me wrong she is a crazy character who likes to have sex in her chambers with expert witnesses and she does like to party all night and coming to court with a nasty hangover. But as it turns out she does her job very well. As can be seen from the preview she does engage in some creative sentencing. Guest star Chris Purnell is convicted of bigamy and she sentences him to take a course in feminism while wearing a T-shirt saying “I am a serial bigamist”. To which he replies “How my going to pick up chicks wearing that?” This is even after his two wives have testified in his defense saying what a good husband he is despite the fact he had this whole other family behind the back.

In addition to the party hardy type of character that she is, the only plot line in the opening episode is that she keeps getting interrupted by phone calls for a 12-year-old kid whose parents she had sentenced to jail. The kid keeps getting in trouble at school and she keeps defending him. Her boss, another judge, keeps admonishing her that her job is not social worker that is actually a judge and she should not get involved in the lives of her defendants or their families. She ignores him and continues to help the boy.

At this point, it’s a little early to see just how funny this show is going to be or not. It is clear it’s not in the same vein as other “bad” comedies. Seeing Kate Walsh run around in skimpy underwear is enough to keep me watching another episode or two. Having said that she would probably sentence me to wear a T-shirt saying “I’m a dirty old man who watches TV shows just to see women in their underwear.” Guilty as charged your honor. For now I’m rating this “I’m watching”