First… Let’s give a big “WOOT WOOT!” to NBC for finally getting their heads out of their asses and doing the right thing (well, except canceling The Office… no worries, there will be a full on temper tantrum about that in an upcoming article). I don’t know if it was the war cry of “#sixseasonsandamovie” or the fact that the Peacock Network has slashed two of their four Thursday night comedies, but NBC seemed to finally concede, and recognize the fact that COMMUNITY is a force to be reckoned with. Well, either that, or they are just as in love with Joel McHale and his abs as we all are. Yes, even YOU. So returning this fall to your screens will still be two of the funniest shows on television – along with the Greendale Gang will be the amazing ensemble from Pawnee, Indiana – Parks and Recreation. Seriously, how can you NOT bring that gang back? On the close of their AMAZING fourth finale we left knowing that Ron Swanson’s girlfriend, played by the dazzling Lucy Lawless, was going to be his baby mama. Umm, hello! Ron Swanson… AS A FATHER?! Yes Please! While they aren’t the hottest couple on television, Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt definitely have my vote for one of my favorite TV couples. Leslie Knope, certainly not a woman to be outdone, and her nerdy counterpart, Ben, have found a way to make Job OCD and Geek, sheek, sexy and sweet. And, yes Leslie, we concur; Ben does have a very nice butt and we are glad to see it back for season 5!
Sticking with NBC for the moment, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that they have decided to finally let Whitney go. The fact that they kept it on the schedule for as long as they did, and that it warranted enough attention to even have a consideration for a second season makes me extremely sad. I, personally, tend to think that NBC had some of the smartest, funniest shows on television. But allowing Whitney to stick around would be akin to letting Mose run the farm completely (if you don’t get that reference, no offense, but this blog may not be for you). Moving on to some of the Peacock’s other programming woes; they have decided to cancel The New Normal. Gotta say, for a show that I never watched, I was most surprised about seeing that cancellation. The buzz had been strong at its’ initial premiere, and, I thought, all season long. My reasons for not watching it were twofold – I already watch Modern Family, and while I get that they are two very different shows, I felt that they were too similar to find time for both in my already packed viewing schedule. My other reason for not watching was that it was a Ryan Murphy creation. Now, don’t start hatin’ because I really have NOTHING against the man himself. Personally, I would kiss his feet for American Horror Story alone. BUT, after watching Glee for four seasons now, I’ve had my fill of Mr. Murphy’s version of campy comedy. Another head scratcher for me is that they are also keeping around Grimm. Now, before you go get all, ‘well, you just don’t like fantasy-type shows,’ let me just tell you that I recently spent time at a Supernatural convention and would give up my life and family to go out on the road with the Winchesters… I am a child of the X-Files and I cried like a bitch when I found out that Fox was opting NOT to renew Fringe. (I also watched Charmed, god help me, and did tune in for other cultish sci-fi stuff like Dark Angel, Carnivale, and Dead Like Me). So, by letting my Nerd-Flag fly, I feel confident in saying I just don’t get Grimm. I get that all these networks want to cash in on a sci-fi genre show, especially in today’s television landscape, but I just feel that with the brilliant writing out there and beautiful CGI that seems much more readily available for the small screen, you could just do better. I won’t sit here and pull the show apart, since I wasn’t an avid watcher. Just more of a passing, WTF, NBC? But, I do have to give NBC a big thank you for recognizing what an amazing show Revolution is, and giving it another season. So I guess we can just call it even.
Let’s just be thankful to ABC for Modern Family. Somehow, they hit comedy gold with that thirty minutes of snarky goodness… but really, that’s all they got in the way of bringing the funny. With only a handful of episodes under it’s’ belt, ABC has already retired freshman comedies Family Tools and How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest Of Your Life). I didn’t watch either of them personally, but some of my other fellow TV Junkies here had given the latter a shot and found it worth a second watch. So, what’s the reason that ABC can’t seem to hold its own in the laughlight? Sure, Suburgatory is returning, and the little I’ve seen of it, I can say it’s got charm. But when I watch for more than fifteen minutes of a thirty minute show, and all I get is a slight chuckle that really doesn’t make sound… I tend to lose interest. Happy Endings will NOT have a happy ending on ABC, even though I believe it is being considered by USA or TBS (if they were smart, they’d grab it the same way Cougar Town was pulled from obscurity). Know what ABC does well? Drama. Not life or death drama… (save for Grey’s Anatomy, which, yes, renewed for another season) but, ‘hey bitch, that’s my (man, wife, mother, father, sister, brother) and you (wronged, slept with, embezzled from, etc) and I will get you for that.’ Really, it’s soaps on a bigger budget. Not knockin’ it… just spittin’ the truth (as my strange little mind sees it anyway). Look at the success they had with Desperate Housewives and now with Scandal, Revenge, Nashville and even Once Upon A Time (granted, not a traditional drama compared to the rest, but still, a drama). All renewed, by the way. Otherwise, ABC will be perpetually known, in my house anyway, as ABC: Always with the Bachelor Crap. While I do have a handful of guilty pleasure shows hiding in the reality TV wave, I am not a fan of the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Both renewed, probably every year… until I die.
CBS is a foreign network to me. I easily watch more programming on the BBC, than on CBS. But just basing off their canceled/renewed list, I don’t see a huge shift in their programming come this fall. Axing mostly comedies, Rules of Engagement and Partners, and one of its many CSI-type shows, CBS is giving its’ core viewers what they want: consistency. I’m not saying every CBS viewer is eligible for Medicare, but no one I know under the age of 40 watches anything but Big Bang Theory on CBS. Hell, I don’t know anyone who watches that, but damn if it isn’t popular as hell. I suppose because I don’t find ‘set-up, joke, set-up, joke, insert laugh track’ type comedy funny anymore (sorry, Arrested Development and The Office completely, and thankfully, ruined that forever) I have a VERY hard time finding the comedies that CBS has to offer, funny. Stick to the murders and charming detectives CBS, it’s what ya know, it’s what you’re good at. Having said that, however, there are a few other TV Junkies here that are partial to How I Met Your Mother, so for them, I am happy to hear of its’ renewal.
QUICK CBS SIDE NOTE: This summer CBS is breaking tradition and airing a 13-week mini-series Under The Dome, based off Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name. I read that beast. If the cast and crew can come close to recreating that magic on screen, I will be one happy mama jama this summer. A-MAZING. A Must Read, and a Must Watch! So, fellow readers, I implore you to tune on June 24 when the Dome Comes Down.
Finally, in the spirit of finishing this column before my kids explode from boredom; let’s talk about FOX and the CW, shall we? Face it, FOX caters to the stoner college roommates that like to play drinking games to anything Seth McFarland touches. Frankly, I’m good with that. Just like FOX in that regard, CW knows its niche audience and they know how to make them fairly happy. So, for that, I applaud them. They may not have the strongest programming, or the most diverse shows. But they know how to shock and awe, whether it’s in humor, drama, or blood. FOX and the CW are like the bastard cousins that you are afraid to invite to Thanksgiving. You know it will be a blast to have them there, but you also don’t want the elder family members to give you the eye scolding because you are participating in their tom-foolery.
Can we have an honest moment… I like Glee, and while this won’t get me much love among Gleeks out there, I am a bit ashamed that I do. This season kinda sucked, but it was still better than a lot of other crap on TV. There is just something about Jane Lynch I can’t stay away from, and while Mr. Schushter is loved by all, I tend to agree with Sue that there is just something wrong with a man of his age wearing vests… in 2013. Outside of Glee, FOX brings most of the crazy-type drama with the breakout hit monster, The Following. I watched the first few episodes, and stopped, well for no good reason really. That is one of those shows I had to put on the summer viewing list, because it was pretty damn awesome. While I love me some comedy, I love some dark sinister, psychologically damning storytelling too. I’m well balanced like that. Checking out FOX’s fall roster they, too, have seemed to cut the dead weight, axing Ben and Kate, The Cleveland Show and Touch. I have to say though, good job on knowing you have something shiny, fun and new with New Girl and The Mindy Project. With the current void of smart and funny women on TV, I am beyond thrilled that Zoey Daschnel and Mindy Kaling are getting a shot to put their brand of humor out there.
Before I have to head off for an hour of poopy diapers and hair pulling, let me just say that I am grateful to the CW for knowing, and understanding, that Supernatural MUST continue. I don’t know how I feel yet about them constantly moving the Winchesters from Thursday, to Friday, to Wednesday and NOW to Tuesday… but as long as the boys show up every week in that hot ass car, I can look the other way on their scheduling A.D.D. For me personally, that is all I tune in for on the CW. I can attest to the fact that The Vampire Diaries has fans just as rabid as Supernatural does, so I wasn’t surprised to see their renewal, and subsequent spin off show, The Originals. I have just had my fill of vampires, so I will opt out of that. But, again, kudos to that network for understanding their average viewer. With the majority of their programming getting renewed, the CW is gaining strength in those who watch and tweet at the same time. Those that bombard social media like Twitter and Tumblr with their OTP mems (one true pair, for those of you who aren’t hip to fandoms and ‘shipping’). Saying goodbye to only four of its essential twelve shows, I would say the CW knows what it’s doing and will continue to make their way to the top of the off-beat television food chain.
IMHO summary: CBS, caters to the crime drama and demo of those in their golden years, ABC targets the bored house wives who secretly want to live the life of a Kardashian but don’t have the balls to admit it, FOX & the CW tunes in on the younger, more stoned generation of our country’s youth (just stop and think about THAT for a second… your kids may NEVER know who Michael Landon and Pa Ingels were, but they will for sure know who Seth McFarland and Stewie Griffin are). Then, you have NBC… NBC is the weird hybrid of them all, but I feel like they are most in tune and in touch with those of us who want to grow up and be Tina Fey, instead of Lindsay Lohan. So, which network will end up regretting their cuts and which ones will bask in the glory of their new and improved Fall schedule? Only time will tell I guess, but until then I will just dive into some summer series, and stalk other networks like AMC, A&E, FX, HBO, SCI-FI and TBS for what they have to offer for hiatus viewing pleasure.
Keep a lookout for our first ever EntertainMeTV Podcast on The Office finale… yeah, we cried. If you say you didn’t, you’re full of it… (c’mon, now, all together in your best Michael Scott voice)… That’s What She Said!