Review: Empire

I’ve never been a fan of hip-hop or rap music. The closest I ever came was watching the movie “Hustle and Flow” starring Terrence Howard. That film’s greatest claim to fame is that it won an Oscar for the song “It’s Hard out There for a Pimp”. While I’m sure a lot of people voted for that song just because they wanted to see an Oscar go to a song with the word Pimp in the title, it actually deserve the award. So often films hire some popstar to sing some new song over the closing credits. The song really does nothing to enhance the film itself and did not appear in the body of the film. It’s just an excuse to get an Oscar nomination and possibly a win. In this case the song was integral to the story. It showed how this wannabe rap star actually created a rap song. He gave me a slightly more positive impression of rap music. I’m still not a fan of rap. I guess I’m just “old school” in that I happen to like melodies.

Terrence Howard is in the rap business once again in the new Fox series Empire. In some ways this might be a sequel to what is original pimp character might have done had he actually succeeded. It’s not a sequel. These are totally different characters. Howard plays Lucius Lyon, a rap star turned media mogul who is about to take his company Empire Media public on the stock exchange. In the midst of what should be the pinnacle of success he discovers he has approximately three years to live because of ALS a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Meanwhile his ex-wife Cookie played by Taraji P. Hansen. She has just been released from a 17 year prison sentence for dealing drugs. We find out that her drug money provided the initial $400,000 investment to lunch Empire Media. She uses that fact to blackmail her ex-husband and she’s trying to wrestle control of the company from him.

Meanwhile Lucius has told his three sons that they are all on trial to see who is going to take over the company from him “someday” even though he doesn’t tell them how soon that someday might be. The obvious choice is the son who went to business school and has had his life together is whole life. This is once actual rap star to take over the reins and one of his sons is obvious choice except for the fact that he is gay and Lucius has never accepted it. The third son is a musician and rapper but is pretty much a slacker.

Without giving away one minor plot twist we get to see that Lucius hasn’t completely left behind his gangster roots despite the fact that he is trying to portray himself as a legitimate businessman.

Overall the show is well written, well acted, and has the potential to be a big hit. The plot lines are reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy. There was a reference to King Lear in the pilot episode and future episodes have titles like “Unto the Breach” and “Sins of the Father” on which give it sort of an epic scale.

It appears we are also going to get three or four performances of rap and R&B songs in an episode all of which seem to be fairly well done although as I said I’m not a fan of the genre.

I was fully anticipating to give this show an honest review but did not think that it would grab my interest enough to make it on my regularly watched list. I watch way too much TV and I’ve still got season 2 of House of Cards unwatched 3 ready to drop next month. But for the time being I’m going to stick with this one and give it a “I’m watching” rating. It might not be for everyone. It might not be for me.

Longmire, Hell on Wheels, SYTYD, Girls, Missing, Dad, Rizzoli and Isles extended; Selfie, Perception, and others die

I got so far behind on writing entertainment news that some of these “spoilers” are no longer spoilers because the episode is already aired weeks ago. I’m going to go ahead and post spoiler links as if they were timely. It could be you still got old episodes cluttering up your DVR that would make these actual news. Got all tied up designing Christmas cards and playing with robot dinosaurs.


Meanwhile I did a recap of all of my reviews of new service this season. In case you missed it here is the link. It includes some information about canceled shows and shows which have had extended episode orders. Also contains a link to Ausiello’s series renewal scorecard that tells you the odds of shows being canceled. I will not be reporting cancellations with any of these shows since they’ve already been reported in this story.


We are very sad to report the passing of Carol Ann Sucri. You’ve probably never seen her but she is a important part of one of your favorite shows. She did the voice of the unseen Mrs. Wolowitz, Howard mother on Big Bang Theory. She passed of cancer at age 62. They have not yet revealed what will happen to the character but they don’t intend to replace the with a different actress and they resisted ever having her actually appear in the show.

Also RIP Mike Nichols director of The Graduate and numerous other great films as well as pioneering improv comedian with wife Elaine May.

Also RIP Glen A. Larson age 77 created the original Battle Star Galactica, Magnum PI, Knight Rider and other shows.

Also RIP Christine Cavanaugh who was the voice of Rugrats’ Chucky

Also RIP Edward Herman age 71 of brain cancer. He was a veteran character actor that I most remember for his amazing portrayal of a guest doctor on MASH who cannot deal with the rigors of meatball surgery and ended up needing help from psychiatrists Dr. Sidney.

Also RIP veteran ESPN Stuart Scott.

Also RIP Donna Douglas who played Ellie Mae on the Beverly hillbillies. Pres. Since the last installment we had season finales of Sons of Anarchy, The Newsroom, and White Collar all of which went out with one of their best seasons ever. We will try to get caught up for the second half of the season for remaining shows and prepare for midseason replacements shows.


Normally when we say “postmortem interview” we just mean an interview with a producer or actor at the end of a series or season. As you might guess with Sons Of Anarchy and The Walking Dead, “postmortem” is a literal term regarding characters 🙂


You might want to bookmark the first of these links below which gives the midseason premiere dates for many shows. In the links below read


Midseason premiere dates calendar

Postmortem interview with Mark Boone Junior a.k.a. Bobby from Sons of Anarchy

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated November 5 (holy cow I really am behind)

Spoilers from Inside Line dated November 7

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated November 11

Interview with Big Bang producer about Sheldon and Amy’s relationship

Spoilers from Inside Line dated November 17

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated November 18

Interview with Producer of Gotham about midseason finale

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated November 25

Postmortem interview with actress and producer about The Walking Dead midseason finale

Postmortem interview with Juice from Sons of Anarchy

Postmortem interview with Gemma from Sons of Anarchy

Spoilers from Inside Line dated December 3

Interview with Morena Baccarin about a variety of her roles

Postmortem interview with producers of Revenge about killing off major character

Interview with Castle user about midseason finale plot twists

Postmortem interview with Sons of Anarchy producer Paris Barclay about the grand finale

Interview with cast of White-Collar about series finale

Spoilers from Inside Line dated December 17

Spoilers from Michael Ausiello dated December 24

Spoilers from Inside Line dated today!


Not in the links below but also of interest…

History Channel will have a three part miniseries Sons of Liberty about the Revolutionary war January 25 -27

Showtime is developing a drama about a presidential election that starts a second US Civil War

CBS announced that the current season of The Mentalist will be its last

Downton Abbey has been renewed for season six. I’ve never seen it.

HBO series Girls returns for its fourth season Sunday, January 11

Fox is bringing back “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” to prime time. No dates that. Format tweaks promised.

AMC announced Hell on Wheels will return for a fifth and final season

Showtime has renewed Homeland for season 5 and The Affair for season 2

USA Network has renewed Graceland for season 3. I quit watching after about four episodes of season 1

TNT has canceled Franklin & Bash. Cited inability to know which was which 🙂 just kidding

Randy Jackson will be completely gone from American Idol this season Contestants admitted he really didn’t give them any usable advice. Scott Borchetta who is famous for discovering Taylor Swift will be the mentor this year.

TNT announced there will be no third season of Perception. Second half of season two premieres in February and will be the end.

Longmire Lives! Will return for season 4 on Netflix

VH1 is bringing back a new season of The Osbournes. Show originally ran from 2002-2005

Tommy Flanagan a.k.a.Chibs from Sons of Anarchy is the new bad guy Malcolm Black on Revenge

CBS has canceled The Millers. I watched a few episodes of the first season but it just wasn’t that good

Gemma lives! Katey Sagal and husband Kurt Sutter will work again on his new FX drama The Bastrop Executioner. The show is set in the time of King Richard III. No word on how big her part will be.

Former SAMCRO president Ron Perlman will be a bad guy in upcoming episodes of Blacklist

CW network has renewed Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion, and America’s Next Top Model

Hot in Cleveland will end in 2015 it in the sixth season

HBO has ordered two series and adaption of 1973 film Westworld

So You Think You Can Dance has been renewed for season 12

Fox is considering an American remake of British cop show Luther however Idris Elba will not play the title character.

BBC America announced it will show season 4 of Luther sometime in 2015 emanates

American Dad! Has been renewed by TBS

Michael Ealy recently played an android cop on canceled series Almost Human will be the new bad guy opposite Kevin Bacon on the next season of The Following.

NBC has canceled his plans for a new Bill Cosby comedy given his recent scandals

Hugh Laurie is joining the cast of Julia Louis Dreyfus’s HBO comedy Veep

William Shatner will guest on four episodes of Haven on SyFy Channel

Queen Latifah daytime talk show has been canceled

ABC has canceled “Members Only” a drama starring John Stamos before it even airs. Must’ve been a real stinker.

George Eads a.k.a. Nick Stokes is leaving CSI

Unaired episodes of canceled ABCs sitcom Selfie are going to Hulu streaming

Walking Dead creator confirms Daryl really is straight but will introduce soon

Netflix announces House of Cards season 3 will premiere February 27

Lauren Graham fresh off her stint in Parenthood will star in and cowrite NBC comedy about late-night TV She will also play Matthew Perry’s ex-wife in the reboot of The Odd Couple on CBS starting in February

Kathy Griffin has replaced Joan Rivers on Fashion Police.

HBO rewrites drama about 70s rock produced by Scorsese and Jagger

AMC has ordered a pilot for a series based on the comic book Preacher

TNT has renewed Legends for season 2. I gave up after about four episodes

Former NCIS Cote de Pablo a.k.a. Ziva will appear in a CBS Miniseries The Dovekeepers set in ancient Israel. Starts March 31.

CBS midseason shows CSI: Cyber will premiere March 4 10 PM, Battle Creek March 1 10 PM

Two and a Half Men series finale will be February 19. Reboot of Odd Couple the same night

Emily Deschanel a.k.a. Dr. Temperance Brennan on Bones is pregnant and so is Bones. Producer confirms as they will become part of the show.

Mark Hamill will guest star on The Flash as The Trickster reprising his role from Arrow

Judge Len Goodman says he’s leaving Dancing With The Stars after the spring season. Show has not officially been renewed.

The Librarians was the highest rated premier on cable in 2014

Torchwood’s Burn Gorman is the new bad guy on ABCs Forever

SyFy Channel is developing a Superman prequel about Kal–el’s grandfather titled “Krypton”

SyFy Channel will air the fourth and final season of Continuum that is only six episodes

  1. Night Shyamalan’s thriller 10 episode series Wayward Pines premiers on Fox May 14

USA Network has renewed Playing House for season 2. I never heard of it

Rizzoli and Isles has been renewed for season 6 of 18 episodes

Dave Letterman’s final broadcast will be May 20, 2015

Kirsten Dunst has joined the cast of Fargo season 2

Criminal Minds 19th episode will be a pilot for a spinoff series about a globetrotting group of profilers

American Idol is dropping its results show similar to what Dancing with the Stars already did last year

The spinoff series of The Walking Dead will be set in Los Angeles

Vikings season 3 premieres on History Channel for 10 episodes starting February 19

Starz series The Missing has been renewed for season 2

Former JAG star David James Elliott will guest star on the upcoming Scorpion

Former Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson will play Poseidon in upcoming episode of Once upon a Time. No word yet on if you will cross a stream to get to the ocean 🙂

John Travolta will play Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer will play Robert Kardashian in OJ themed American Crime Story. Cuba Gooding Jr. will play O.J. Simpson. Sarah Paulson is Marsha Clark.

Comedian Kevin Hart will host the first SNL of the year January 17

HBO has renewed Girls for season 5 before season 4 has even aired

Blake Shelton will host and be musical guest for upcoming Saturday night live January 24

USA Network has canceled Covert Affairs. It was a favorite of mine but it had pretty much run its course.

Netflix premiere dates bloodline March 20, Marvel comics Daredevil April 10, Grace and Frankie May 8

NBC is cutting sitcom About a Boy by two episodes down to 20

Netflix series Marco Polo has been renewed for 10 episode season 2

Gladys Knight will guest on upcoming Hot in Cleveland

Christian Bale will not be playing Steve Jobs in upcoming biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. Also the project has switched studios. Michael Fassbender will take the Jobs job instead.

Royal Pains has been renewed for 16 episodes over 2 season

Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a new series

Oliver Stone will direct a film about Edward Snowden

Mark Wahlberg is developing a reboot of the Steve Austin story to be titled Six Billion Dollars Man. Yes that’s Billion with a “B”. You know… Inflation

Animated feature “Animal Crackers” will feature the voices of Ian McKelln, Danny DeVito, and Sylvester Stallone

John Lassiter, founder of Pixar, will direct to Toy Story 4 to debut in 2017

Godkiller post-apocalyptic comic will become animated trilogy

NBC is considering doing a live stage production “A Few Good Men”. Aaron Sorkin will adapt his screenplay

DreamWorks animation is undergoing merger talks with Hasbro

There will be a computer animated 3-D Peanuts movie November 2015

Netflix is expanding to Australia and New Zealand

Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul premieres on AMC February 8

Financial consultant Suze Orman is leaving CNBC to start a syndicated show of her own

CNN to political correspondent Candy Crowley is leaving the network

Lifetime Network will show its Whitney Houston biopic January 17

Star Trek 3 will premiere July 2016 to be directed by Justin Lin who directed Fast and Furious 6



Save the Dates! Your Guide to 125+ January Returns, Debuts and Finales


Sons of Anarchy’s Mark Boone Junior on That Scene, Gemma’s Future and His Favorite On-Screen Moment

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Grey’s, Arrow, Castle, White Collar, Good Wife, Grimm, Elementary, Nashville and More

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Castle, Once, Supernatural, Brooklyn 99, Jane, Big Bang, Gotham, SVU/P.D. and More

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Downton, Revenge, Grimm, Blacklist, SVU and More

Big Bang Boss Talks Sheldon and Amy’s Huge Breakthrough, Reveals Why He’ll Be ‘Sweating’ Their Next Milestone

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on HTGAWM, Mentalist, Parks and Rec, NCIS, Sons, Bones, Homeland, POI and More

Gotham EP Talks Jim’s Grim Fate, Arkham’s Ascendance, Bat/Cat Bond, a ‘Dark’ Turn and the Extended Run

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Once, Glee, Grey’s, Vampire Diaries, HTGAWM, Jane, Parks, Cougar Town and More

Walking Dead Midseason Finale Post Mortem: [Spoiler] Sounds Off on Killer Twist — ‘I Did Not See It Coming’

Sons of Anarchy’s Theo Rossi Reflects on Juice’s ‘Powerful’ Season 7 Arc

Sons of Anarchy’s Katey Sagal Breaks Down Emotional, ‘Perfect’ Gemma/Jax Scenes: ‘Charlie and I Were Bawling’

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Once, Arrow, H50, Vampire Diaries, Scorpion, SVU, PLL, Mentalist, Haven and More

Memories from the Set: Morena Baccarin Reflects on Firefly, Homeland, V, Mentalist, HIMYM and More

Revenge EP Defends [Spoiler]’s Death, Previews Emily and Victoria’s New War

Post Mortem: Castle Boss Discusses [Spoiler]’s Next Move, Espo and Lanie’s Big Decision, OLTL Reunion and More

Post Mortem: Sons of Anarchy EP on ‘Shakespearean’ Finale, Audience Satisfaction and That Crazy Car Chase

White Collar’s Matt Bomer & Tim DeKay on Series Finale ‘Twists,’ Movie Hopes

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Arrow, Once, NCIS, The 100, Vampire Diaries, Gotham, Bones, H50, Castle and More

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Bones, Once, Arrow, Grey’s, Parks, Nashville, Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow and More

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on Once, Castle, Glee, Grey’s, NCIS, Chicago P.D., Criminal Minds, Librarians and More


Review: Midseason re-review of all programs

We’ve already started seeing some midseason shows premier so I thought I would take a second look at all of the new fall shows that I’ve reviewed and see how they have held up to the first half of their freshman seasons. The link on each title below links to my original review. The shows are given in the order I reviewed them.

Madam Secretary: Originally I gave it an “I’m Watching” and said I could upgrade it to “I really like it”. It’s a definitive yes on that upgrade. The plots have remained mostly believable. The writing is smart. The acting is good. The running plot of the conspiracy theory hasn’t jumped the shark yet. Comes in a very close second to “Gotham” as best new series of the season. Has been picked up for full season and season 2 is a likely renewal.

GothamI’m highly likely to watch any comic book based TV series even if it’s only marginal. However this one greatly exceeded my expectations. So far no one wears comic book costumes which gives it a strong feeling of reality. The crime noir style system interesting. The characters are very multidimensional. The plot twists are phenomenal. Any insights we get into these epic characters at a different point in their life is just amazing beyond words. The most pleasant surprise is the relationship between Catwoman as a young girl and the young Bruce Wayne. My favorite new series of the season hands down. Has been picked up for a full season but no word yet on season 2.

Scorpion: All of the things that I liked and disliked about the show remain intact. The plots are still highly unbelievably contrived. The action scenes are still lots of fun. The interaction of the misfit characters gives that some redeeming value. I’ve kept watching it just because I like to show where the nerds are the heroes but it is in no way a quality show. Picked up for full season and highly likely to get a season 2.

Forever: This show was a very pleasant surprise in my original review. I didn’t think I would like it and I did initially. My opinion has not changed. It is one of my favorites new shows. They’ve taken the premise that this guy is immortal and comes back to life each time he is killed and made it believable and grounded in reality. They haven’t gone off on some supernatural or alien twists. The running plot of a bad guy who is similarly afflicted with immortality reached a peak at the midseason break and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Meanwhile it is a reasonably well written and very well acted police procedural whose individual stories are pretty good. Picked up for a full season but Michael Ausiello’s Scorecard list it as a longshot. (See links at the end of this post.)

How to Get Away with Murder: Although I was very skeptical about this show in my initial reviews, I stuck with it and in the end it’s paid off. The stories were strong enough that I could overlook the flaws with the show. The continuing Ministry of a murder being covered up by the law students did indeed hook me in. I still did not like in any way shape or form the flash-forwards that revealed the murder mystery. I especially dislike the fact that unlike “Damages” which used a similar storytelling device, these foreshadowing’s were not given in order which made it even more difficult to follow that part of the plot. I also had a lot of difficulty figuring out exactly who was the murder victim. Those scenes were all extremely dark and when they would show the victim’s face I was unfamiliar enough with the characters that I couldn’t figure out who it was. It’s no spoiler to tell you now that it was Annalise’s husband. In the end is up to Shonda Rhimes excellent standard. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second half of the season. It has been picked up for a full season and season 2 is a sure thing.

black-ish: I said I wasn’t like me watching many more of this show after the first one but I gave it a second and third chance. It turns out that Black-ish isn’t such a bad show after all especially when it stops trying to be so blackish. It may be because I’m an old white guy that I don’t relate to the more ethnic aspects of the show. I’m no racist I don’t mind that it’s about what it means to be black but I just don’t think those parts of the are especially funny. When it just tries to be an ordinary family comedy this show succeeds pretty well. The only really “blackish” themed episode that really made me laugh was one episode where Andre tries to teach is teenage son how to give “The Nod” and he passes another black man. I may do a separate blog post about “The Nod” of which I’ve experienced my own little version. The funniest part of that episode was when the father and grandfather taught the son how to scrunch up his face when he sees a woman walked by with a big black butt. Very funny stuff. So I continue with it even though it is somewhat inconsistent. With the exception of perhaps “Mulaney”, this is probably the best new comedy on. That’s not saying much because most of the rest of the new comedies really stink. Picked up for full season and likely to get 2.

Selfie: My low expectations for this show were confirmed. The Henry Higgins character tried to cure Eliza of her nerdy Internet addictive ways. The only episode that worked was about the second or third one in which she tried to get him hooked on the Internet and social media. That one was genuinely funny but it went downhill after that. ABC did not order additional episodes beyond the original order. It did show those that had been filmed but dump several of them during the holiday doldrums. Will not be back ever and it is no loss.

Manhattan Love Story: I called this one “Could be watchable” and had some hope that it would turn out okay. In the end it didn’t and the network canceled it after just 4 episodes.

Gracepoint: This is the Fox network remake of the British series Broadchurch: I absolutely loved the British version and could not understand why they would make an American version of it since the British one had already been shown here on BBC America channel. It’s a murder mystery that plays out over 10 episodes after seeing the first episode the plot points or 100% identical with the original British version. I mostly watched because I wanted to see how far they would go to keep the plot identical. Spoiler alert: I’m going to tell you who-done-it. In the original British version it was the female detective’s husband. He was never remotely a suspect until just minutes before they figured out it was him. The plot went down numerous blind alleys and eliminated other suspects before discovering the shocking twist. In the American version it went identical all the way through the confession of the husband. I was so pissed off that they didn’t change the show even one tiny bit. And then they changed it. It turns out that it was the 12-year-old son of the detective and that the father was confessing in order to save the boy. It turns out in both versions the father was a pedophile who was trying to have a relationship with the murdered boy. So the father was the bad guy either case. But the actual murderer was different. I love the original story a lot. The plot twist at the end that changed it wasn’t worth sitting through 10 hours of the same stuff. The American show Gracepoint will not be back next season as it had low ratings. The British show Broadchurch as just started showing second season in the UK and it will be on BBC America here starting in February. I highly recommend the British version.

Mulaney: I described the show as a ripoff of Seinfeld and the show itself recognize that when one character said to Mulaney “I defended you saying you’re not a ripoff of Seinfeld.” The second episode of this series was one of the funniest half hours I’ve seen on TV since Seinfeld. While they all were not that brilliant, overall I really liked this series. Unfortunately I got moved out of prime time into a 7:30 PM Sunday time slot has aired only intermittently. Ausiello lists it as “A long shot” for renewal. I’m disappointed. I’m going to miss it.

Bad Judge: I continued to watch this and it occasionally made me laugh. I admit much of it was just to see Kate Walsh run around in her underwear most of the time. The network did not order additional episodes beyond the first 12 but they did let all of those show. It will not be back next season. No big loss even though I kinda liked it.

A to Z: Initially only really liked this show but in the end the quality went downhill. The network did not order any episodes beyond the original 12 although it is showing all that were shot. It will not be back.

Jane the Virgin: I didn’t care for this show and only watched one episode. Actually I didn’t even finish all of it. It did get a full season pickup and is a likely return in season 2. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Cristela: The second episode of this series wasn’t as good as the first one and only ended up not watching it beyond that. It wasn’t a bad show. It just wasn’t good enough to keep me watching when a watching way too much TV to begin with. Was picked up for a full season and Ausiello says season 2 is a safe bet. I might try checking it out again at some point.

Marry Me: Although I thought the one big joke of the opening scene was pretty good, the rest of the show didn’t hold up and I gave up after 2 episodes. NBC on the other hand ordered an additional five shows beyond the original 13 however Ausiello says season 2 is too soon to tell.

Constantine: I have lukewarm feelings about this show and preferred the long-running CW network show Supernatural. I’ve only seen about three of these. The remaining episodes are filling up my DVR. NBC decided not to order additional episodes beyond the initial 13 however that doesn’t necessarily mean it has been canceled officially yet. They could still pick it up for season 2.

Utopia: I did not review this reality series that was sort of a cloud of CBS’ Big Brother. I kind of liked Utopia even though I fast-forwarded through the boring parts. Fox pulled the plug after just a few weeks. We didn’t even get to see the reaction of the contestants hearing that the show was killed. I think the outside world knew about the cancellation before the utopians did.

The McCarthys: I did not review this CBS sitcom except to say in a Facebook post that I would not be reviewing it because it was so bad it wasn’t with writing a bad review. Ausiello does not report any additional episodes pickups for the season and says that season 2 is too soon to tell.

The Flash: I’m not sure why I never got around to writing a review of this CW network comic book hero show. I really like it. Is a worthy companion to Arrow which follows it on CW. Both are set in the same universe of DC comics and they had a really good crossover episode on Flash 108 and Arrow 308. Highly recommended if you like costumed comic book hero shows.

State of Affairs: I only recently reviewed this show so read it. I quit watching after three episodes but the TV ads for it imply that it is becoming more action and less politics so I may give it another chance at some point. Ausiello listed as “too soon to tell” about renewal.

Here is a link to TV Line Renewal Scorecard Prime time Networks.

Similarly here is a link to TV Line Renewal Scorecard Cable Networks.

Review: Galvant

Last night ABC premiered a new offbeat comedy musical series called Galvant. As usual our only standard for comedies is “Did I laugh?” And indeed I laughed huge amounts.

Set in the 13th century the title character is the most famous and brave knight with a land. In the opening sequence we find that he’s in love with the maiden Madalena. She is kidnapped by the evil King Richard to be taken as his bride. In typical romantic hero stories, Galvant burst into the wedding chapel as the ceremony is taking place and makes a big speech about how the king can give her wealth and power but he can’t give her true love. You can chase me to the ends of the earth but she will always love me because only I love her. And in the comic twist Madalena says “I’ve given it some thought and I think I’ll take the money and the power instead of the love.”

In the next scene it’s a year later. Heartbroken Galvant is a drunken bum, Madalena still hasn’t consummated the relationship with the king. She prefers to get it on with the court jester whose jokes the king doesn’t get. “Knock, Knock… Orange you glad I didn’t say banana” escapes the king’s sense of humor and he is clueless the Queen is banging the jester.

Joshua Sasse as Galvant and Mallory Jansen as Maddalena are both British actors I’ve never seen before but are both brilliant in their roles. Timothy Ormundson is wonderfully cast as the hapless King Richard. You will recognize him from Psych where he played the similarly hapless detective Carlton Lassiter where he also got to show off his musical comedy skills in episode 715 “Psych the Musical”.

The feel of the thing is reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail set to music which of course is the Broadway musical Spamalot. I’ve not seen Spamalot so I can’t make a direct comparison. All I can say is that if you like extremely silly comedy set to music you will adore this series. It runs for eight episodes shown to per night for four weeks. You can catch a rerun of the first two this Saturday or get it on demand.

My favorite part is the brilliance of the lyrics. In the first episode the king is upset because Madalena is constantly comparing him to Galvant and finding him inadequate. So the king wants to kill Galvant and thinks of all the ways he could do it in a lighthearted song that includes lyrics such as…

♪ I want to shoot him with a crossbow ♪
♪ I want to stab him in the eye ♪
♪ I want to liberate his head from his neck ♪
♪ And then punt the bloody wreck sky high ♪
♪ I want to hurl him out a window ♪
♪ And shove explosives where the sun don’t shine ♪
♪ Want to skewer him with swords ♪
♪ Then slowly twist them ♪
♪ All around his reproductive system ♪
♪ Won’t that be divine? ♪
♪ Then she’ll be mine ♪

In the second episode the king and Madalena as well as Galvant and another princes he has been helping decide that perhaps they are such awful people afterwards. The song is titled “Maybe You’re Not the Worst Thing Ever” and in part goes…

♪ You’re frigid and demanding, I shudder at your call ♪
♪ Whenever you come near me, my flesh begins to crawl ♪
♪ But sometimes there are moments ♪
♪ I’m not repelled at all ♪
♪ Maybe you’re not the worst thing ever ♪

♪ You’re utterly disgusting, I loathe your manly stink ♪
♪ I see your mouth start moving, and, God, I need a drink ♪
♪ And then from out of nowhere, I’ll look at you and think ♪
♪ Maybe you’re not the worst thing ever ♪

♪ You’re worse than crabs ♪
♪ Worse than scurvy ♪
♪ Worse than lice or plague ♪
♪ But truth be told ♪
♪ you’re growing on me just like mold ♪

This show isn’t for everyone, but if you like offbeat over-the-top comedy set to music (and I do) it can’t be beat. It gets a definite “I’m watching” rating from me.