Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My DVR Hates Tuesday Nights

Who knew, the Tuesday night two weeks before the start of the season would cause scheduling conflicts for my DVR? FOX, CW and ABC Family are all new tonight. It’s only going to get worse when CBS, NBC and ABC shows return with new seasons. Although NBC and ABC might not present (more) conflicts on Tuesday night (Dancing, yawn). I’ll have to wipe the dust off of my DVR and show it some love. Yes, I know it’s an inanimate object.

I’m not sure “Fringe” is a show I’m going to like given that it’s part of a genre I don’t gravitate towards (sci-fi), but it’s JJ Abrams so I’ll give it a shot. And hey, I might not have been a fan of Dawson’s Creek, but I can totally get down with Joshua Jackson as the lead in this show. He’s looking good in the promos. A little eye candy never hurt a show!

I am sure “90210” is a show I’ll be watching live. Okay, not live live, but I’ll start it at 8:15 and be done by 9. I liked last week’s episode and I’m hoping for more Brenda this week. I don’t think it’s great TV, not by a long shot. It is however a very good nighttime soap. Funny thing, I get the feeling that they don’t realize they are a soap? They need to accept it and roll with it. Maybe not go all Melrose-blowing-up-apartment-complexes- crazy, but embrace your genre. They were #7 in Adults 18-34 last week and the #1 scripted program in that same genre. Let’s see if they can maintain that position going up against “Fringe” tonight.

“Greek” is on the DVR list, too. How awesome is that show? Dale should’ve been allowed to be a cheerleader! The jokes are so fresh and rich in pop culture. It reminds me of “The OC” in that way.

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but here goes….I will DVR and probably watch “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” tonight. That’s the worst part. I don’t want to read anything about it tomorrow and be spoiled. And really, what’s to spoil? Amy is already pregnant. I’m ashamed to say I spent last weekend watching every episode. It’s a terrible show. And yet. I can’t stop. It’s like crack.

And now, I saved the best for last – “Privileged.” From the previews it might look like the same rich spoiled CW brats we’ve become accustomed to (and love), but it’s really different. I Promise. The original pilot was a show with heart, humor and a likable protagonist. I know changes have been made to that pilot, but I still have high hopes for this one. The grandma was recast with Ann Archer and I think it was a very good move. Ann Archer is going to own the role. The lead, Megan, is portrayed by Joanna Garcia (Cheyenne from “Reba”). She’s really great in the role of a recent Yale graduate with loads of student loans who just wants to be a journalist, but is finding it difficult to land that job/career. She gets fired from a tabloid and thru a series of very-fortunate-this-can-only-happen-on-TV-events; she ends up as the very well paid tutor of Palm Beach twins. Their grandma wants them both to get into Duke. If Megan can make that happen Grandma will pay her student loans. These twins happen to be socialites who couldn’t care less about school work. Drama ensues! Really though, it’s a good show. You might not think that if you read Robert Bianco’s review in the USA Today, and we’re all free to have our own opinions, but he needs to realize he’s not even remotely close to the demo the show is intended for. He can pass that info over to his buddy Tom Shales at the Washington Post.

Rina Mimoun, creator of the show, said this about “Privileged” – “What if the Gilmore Girls were teaching the Gossip Girls?” She went on to say, “What I loved about the 'Gilmore Girls' was the (upbeat) tone. And there was this tremendous sense of heart and this fantastic mother-daughter relationship that I think made it very accessible, not just for the teenagers, but for families to watch it together. I think that's really what we're sort of hoping to do on this show is kind of tap into that vein again."**

So there you have it. Too much TV and so little time to watch all of it. God Bless the DVR.
**Deseret News – Scott D. Pierce

Promising "Privileged" recalls "Gilmore Girls"

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

Tonight at 8pm the 3 major networks will air Stand Up To Cancer. It’s a live telethon event to raise money to fight cancer. All of the cool people are donating….so go, be cool.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Write What You Know....

One is supposed to have a clear purpose when starting a blog. I think I finally found mine. The new television season is about to start and I couldn’t be more excited (be sure to read “be” like Chandler Bing says it). I have copies of USA Today, The NY Times, print-outs from LA Times & other random newspapers piling up on my desk – all filled with stories about the new shows, returning shows, writers and producers behind the shows, the networks, the scheduling, etc. Last year was the first year in a long time everything felt off. I’ve already commented on the strike probably being the cause. Mix that with some of the weak shows that were created and scheduled, plus the loss of hit shows that ended the year before and there wasn’t much to get excited about. And let’s not forget, a lot of shows had crappy seasons (Grey’s) or weren’t on par with the previous year (Friday Night Lights). This year? I think it’s going to be good. We’re going to be okay. I'm telling ya, the season is once again exciting.

Back to the purpose or focus of my blog. I’m going to link to stories I find interesting, comment on them and just write about what I love – good TV shows and the creative people behind them. I’m going to add my thoughts about the episodes and maybe even write some recaps, like I did a while back when The OC was around. At the same time I’ll be working on my spec scripts and original script or two. The fall is a great time to focus energy on things put aside during the lazy days of summer.

That focus has to wait until tonight. I’m not even trying to procrastinate (this time!), but I’m at work and the lunch hour is ending. I seriously don’t want to be one of those people fired because I blogged at work. That would suck. So for now, enjoy a random picture from TV past…..

Monday, August 25, 2008

Miss Me?

Crap. I'm excited for the new 90210. They had me at, "Brenda's back..."
Soapnet is airing a 24-hour marathon of the original (and the best) 90210 starting at midnight on Monday, September 1st. If you check out the 90210 page there's a poll asking if you're watching the new 90210 for the new cast, returning stars or if they're pretty & troubled it doesn't matter?
85% of the votes are for "returning stars." That's just Kelly and Brenda. I'm sure it would be 92% if they could've convinced Andrea to return.

No previews were sent to critics which is usually a bad sign. CW says they want to keep the buzz going which is why they won't send out early copies. Whatever. It doesn't matter 'cause ya know the numbers will be good for the premiere. It's episode 2 and 3, and so on that they need to worry about.

For your enjoyment...the promo below has me pumped for the show. I don't even care if the show is bad (for now).

Friday, August 22, 2008

The New York Television Festival

The Festival released the lineup for their Premiere Week screenings.

Friday, Sept. 12, 8:00 PM - ABC’s “Life on Mars”
Saturday, Sept. 13, 8:00 PM - FOX’s “Fringe”
Sunday, Sept. 14, 4:30 PM - CBS’s “Worst Week”
Sunday, Sept. 14, 7:30 PM - MRC & The CW’s “Easy Money”
Monday, Sept. 15, 8:00 PM - NBC’s “Life”
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7:00 PM - HBO’s “The Life and Times of Tim”

I’m not sure I’d go out of my way on a weekend to view any of those shows. The only thing that might make me show up is JJ Abrams (Fringe). The producers and cast are scheduled to stick around after the screening for a Q&A session. The reason I’m not psyched and “so there” is due to the Q&A session. Are real people going to be asking questions or will there be a moderator tossing the questions out there and moving the night along? I am not a fan of “real people” questions. The many times I’ve been to the Paley Center to attend a panel discussion there have been questions at the end that are ridiculous. They are usually asked by super fans. Example, the panel could be “Writing the TV Drama.” There’s a 45-60 minute awesome discussion with Shonda Rhimes about creating characters, process of telling the story, getting it on paper, blah blah. Usually some cast members, if not all, are on stage as well. The conversation is witty, engaging and flows. Then they open the floor for what I call real people questions and it all goes down hill, fast. “Shonda, hi. I LUV your show but this question is for Meredith. I mean Ellen. tee-hee. Soo who do you like kissing more?? McSteamy or McDreamy.”

Seriously? You came to a panel called “Writing The TV Drama” and that’s your question? Then someone else will ask something equally stupid and not on topic (“In season 3, episode 6 at the 23:34 mark, Izzie sneezed but George didn’t say ‘bless you.’ Why did you do that? Was that because George secretly wants Izzie to die?”). Those people should be smacked upside the head. I will need to check out the NY TV Festival’s site some more before buying tickets. I can’t handle dumb waste of time questions. I get embarrassed for the person asking the question!

Speaking of The Museum of TV & Radio (Paley Center), they have announced their 2008-2009 pilot screenings, too. I went to some last year. They don’t have panel discussions following the screenings, but it’s fun if you want to see a show before the broadcast premiere. Bonus, their screenings are free. Extra bonus, last year they served wine and cheese.

You should check out the TV Festival’s site if you are from NY or the NY area. It’s rare that we get television events in NY. I’m contemplating attending “The Future of Drama Development.” The panel time is still “TBA,” but it takes place on Monday, September 15th – Industry Day. The day opens with a panel of industry leaders discussing the “Current State of TV Development.” It takes place in the afternoon of a work day which means I’ll need to take the day off. That seems like it could be a waste since I sit in an office where we discuss the current state of TV development rather frequently! You know what that means? It all comes down to cost and who else will take part in the panel discussions.

Dates: NY TV Festival: 9/12/08 - 9/17/08
Paley Screenings/Parties: 9/4/08 - 9/12/08
NY Television Festival
Paley Center for Media

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Blue Period

The pink was getting to be too pink. I need to play around some more with the blue. It's a good enough change for now. Perhaps I should be more concerned with my lack of posts? Apologies to those wondering where I've been or what I've been up to. Anyone? Bueller?Mom? Bueller? Anywho. I've been enjoying summer - writing, reading, hanging with friends, watching TV, training for the 2012 Olympics ...same as everyone else. 

There are 34 days left until the start of the new TV season. Give or take a day. Or 20ish if you're The CW. Seriously, they are airing their premieres the first week in September. That's right around the corner! They are down to 10 hours this season. Will they still be around the following season? What about the other networks, is there a hit out there? More than one? Only time will tell. I for one can't wait! Last year didn't feel too much like a new season. Everyone at the network was nervous about a strike. (Just not worried enough to prevent it from happening. Sigh.) This season the networks need to prove themselves. Bring it on! Us viewers are more than ready for good TV. And we're ready for Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh to be sharing the screen together again (even if we think there is no reason to remake 90210 and it's probably going to suck). I've missed Chuck. Dirty, Sexy, Money. I'm even psyched for Private Practice which is odd since I didn't really like a lot of what aired last year. I'm nervous about the return of the Walkers. But I know I'm ready for some laughs with Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Michael Scott, Jim and Pam, Charlie and Alan and Barney Stinson. That's still not all - Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, and yes even Grey's. Not to mention all of the new shows. Well, not to mention now. I'll get to them as the days roll on by. 

All I ask for this new season is for my dvr to be filled with humor, drama and heart. 

PS- How awesome are the season two ads for Gossip Girl?

If you've been living in a bubble you can pop over to TV Guide to view all of the ads. I happen to love that they use a quote on one of them from The Parents Television Council. Genius. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Secret Teenager...a hit?

Stop it. How is that possible? I admit, I still have the last two episodes to watch, but another friend has been watching and claims it hasn't gotten any better. I'll further admit, I plan on watching both episodes. It's just I got caught up in Burn Notice. People have been telling me how awesome it is and I've been spending my time catching up because they were right. Seriously, great show. I watched most of season one online during lunch for a few days. Then I made sure to dvr the USA marathon as well as the newest episodes and now I'm all caught up on that show. Love it.

Back to The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Per Variety, "'Secret' a teen dream" and a very big ratings success this summer.

In its fourth outing, the teen drama from Brenda Hampton surged to its best scores yet Tuesday while setting some network series records in key female demos. Boosted by a huge tune-in among female teens, it also drew, for example, a larger overall audience than CW did two months earlier for the season finale of "Gossip Girl."

I suppose I'll watch the two episodes and then try to figure it out.
I wonder if the female teens are fans of Zoey 101, Hannah Montana and the like? Very new teens who were tweens during those Nick/Disney shows first few seasons. I can see them getting into this show. I once tried to watch Zoey and Hannah and just couldn't get thru them. Hannah was worse. Tweens eat that kind of tv up. It's so different from what I loved as a kid. Saved by the Bell was good tv. Would they think so? The new tween shows are very loud, bright and in your face. Not that "Secret" is the same, but if the tweens are growing up, "Secret" is the next step in tv viewing. Just my rough draft of thoughts spilled out into a blog.

Variety's story also mentions Tori & Dean hit a series high the other night. Ok, confession time. That's a guilty pleasure show for me. BUT don't try to watch it with other people...say your mom and grandma. The episode with Tori in NYC during her book tour was on and I was all, "It's an ok show, really. Just accept it for the fun it is. Nothing serious." They disagreed. Even I had to agree that Tori was very whiny. My defense "yeah, she's always like that, it's her" didn't make them change their opinion on the show. I think their opinion of me was changing so off went the show.

'Secret' a teen dream -- Variety

Friday, July 18, 2008

I know it’s Friday, I’m still staying in tonight

That’s right. File it under, “You know you’re a grown-up when…” This has been an exhausting week, both physically and mentally. I took up power walking/jogging (kinda) and I’m sore in areas that I’m hoping will simply “unsore” themselves. I also learned this week that having an interest (television writing) outside of my current career (television research) makes my boss nervous. So I’ve been informed by my supervisor. I had to share the outside interest in order to make contacts. Sigh. That’s about all I can say about that. I don’t tell my supervisor or boss that I blog, but Boss hates Facebook, MySpace and all the other sites. Boss even checks potential employees for pages on the aforementioned sites before hiring anyone. That was news Boss shared during a happy hour one night. Before we all returned to cubicle land the next morning all of our social networking sites had the privacy features tweaked!

Back to not going out on a Friday. It’s actually becoming more acceptable. It’s like my friends and I all hit the age where we no longer need to make up an excuse for bailing on a Friday night (I’ve got conjunctivitis, gross yeah, sorry, but I’ll be fine for Saturday night. It’s a 24 hour pink eye. Yeah, weird). These days I’m honest, I went out on Tuesday night and that killed my week. I don’t even feel guilty that I need to pass on Saturday night’s adventures because I already agreed to watch my niece and nephew. I not only look forward to hanging with them, but I welcome a Saturday night of puzzles, coloring, air hockey, puppet show, tea party, baking cookies and settling down to watch a Care Bear movie and maybe even Ratatouille, if the kids can keep me awake that long. I did make plans to see a movie Sunday night, but not too late since it is a school night after all.

Truth be told, I’d make myself go out for at least one glass of wine and dinner with a small group of friends tonight if not for all of the plans I have next week. My sister and I are headed to the Mets game on Wednesday night, a concert in Jersey (oy) on Thursday night, a concert nearer to home on Friday night with our older sister and our mom and then the older sister’s bridal shower on Saturday. That’s freaken exhausting. There’s also a graduation party on Saturday night. It’s going to be a week, that’s for sure. Especially since the week after I have to head to Florida on a business trip. Who doesn’t love Florida at the end of July? Ugh.

What do I have planned for tonight? So glad you asked! Eggo waffles, some chapters of a good book, some TV and just maybe, a glass of wine. I honestly do plan on writing for a chunk of time this weekend. It’s time to get things done or change my goals. And really, doesn’t just the mention of changing goals sound like I’ll be too exhausted to ever go out at night again?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Emmy Nominations

A few years back I was all kinds of annoyed when cable was sneaking in and grabbing Emmy nominations. Why did they have to go and cancel the damn Cable Ace Awards? But these days, I congratulate the cable nominees. The cable shows have stepped up to the plate while networks put crappy reality show after crappy reality show on the air. That being said, I still ‘heart’ network television and not just because my paycheck comes from a network. There are some really awesome network shows currently airing and coming this fall. We'll get into that before the fall season premieres. These days, I simply believe, the more quality TV on all of the outlets out there, the better for us viewers and hopeful writers.

The nominees:

Outstanding Drama
Boston Legal
Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
30 Rock
Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Battlestar Galactica (Six Of One) Written By Michael Angeli
Damages (Pilot) Written By Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman,
Mad Men (Pilot) Written By Matthew Weiner
Mad Men (The Wheel) Written By Matthew Weiner, Robin Veith
The Wire (30) Story By Ed Burns, Teleplay By/Story By David Simon

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
30 Rock (Rosemary's Baby) Written By Jack Burditt
30 Rock (Cooter) Written By Tina Fey
Flight Of The Conchords (Yoko) Written By James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
Pushing Daisies (Pie-Lette) Written By Bryan Fuller
The Office (Dinner Party) Written By Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky

My thoughts in list form….
-- Go Tina Fey!
-- I wish Brothers & Sisters got a best drama nom. I guess I’d remove Dexter from the list and that’s not really fair because I’ve never watched Dexter, but these are my thoughts
-- Are the best dramas on cable? No network dramas received writing nods. Friday Night Lights wasn’t as great this year, but there was an episode or two that I would put on my list
-- Speaking of, no Friday Night Lights for best drama or actor(s). Darn. Although they did get a nomination for best casting which kinda rocks
-- Calista didn’t get a nomination which saddens me because she’s really awesome as Kitty. I’m glad Sally and Rachel made the cut. I do love the Walkers.
-- Curb is still on the air?
-- No Grey’s. Now can the people responsible for the show please use this as a wake up call to make the show as good as it was in the beginning?
-- No Desperate Housewives which I assume would go under comedy. I came back this season after giving up mid way through season two and I find the show to be over the top hilarious, in the best way possible. Marcia Cross kills me.

-- Mad Men and Damages are the first basic cable shows to get best drama nominations
-- 30 Rock set a new record for comedy series with 17 nominations. I so want to be Tina Fey when I grow up which has to happen kinda soon
-- Yeah Pushing Daisies!!
-- I know it’s Lifetime but Army Wives really was a very well written show last year. It’s good this year, but last year was kick ass good

-- I only discovered House this season, but I'm pulling for the show!
-- One Tree Hill, overlooked again. The hell?? I kid. Poor CW. Maybe next year the new 90210 can score some nominations…

E Online Coverage

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mike Brady inspiration for Marshall Bowman?

Tonight while watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager I dare you not to think of Mike Brady (from The Brady Bunch Movie) whenever Grace’s dad Marshall Bowman is talking to Grace or anyone else for that matter.

Mike Brady: Cindy, you know by tattling on your friends, you're really just tattling on yourself. By tattling on your friends, you're just telling them that you're a tattletale. Now is that the tale you want to tell?

I swear when Marshall speaks he sounds like Mike Brady and I don’t think his talks are any more helpful. Marshall’s speech below isn’t quite on par with Mike’s above, but I promise you they are very similar in tone. Just watch and laugh. I plan on it.

Marshall Bowman: It’s okay that you think that of my assessment of the situation. I think that I know just a little bit more about this than you do….Yes I am a doctor. A doctor who was a teenage boy once…..

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whacked - A Fun Summer Read

Remember Jules Asner? She cohosted E! News way back when. She just had a book published, "Whacked." Honestly, it was a very fast read, witty and clever- perfect for the summer and not quite chick lit (whew). I won't reveal the ending because it's an ending that surprised me and once I accepted it, I thought it was hysterical, a little shocking and glad she went there and stayed with it (speaking of revealing things, Jules hosted Revealed with Jules Asner on E! also way back when).

Dani Hale writes for the TV show Flesh and Bone which is similar to CSI. Dani loves all things forensic science related, and stalking. As soon as she discovers her boyfriend has been cheating on her she really ups her stalking skills. She then continues to stalk current potential suitors via their email accounts. Her love of crime shows has definitely shaped her world and thinking in every way possible. Dani is crazy but oddly likeable.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Secret Life of the American Teenager - Pilot

How secret can the life of an American teen be when every (stereotypical) group of friends is discussing the same topic, sex!, in their not so quiet voices, in the hallways of their high school? Ridiculous. Yeah, I went to Catholic school, but still. It was all so absurd to watch. It was worse when Ben talked to the new guidance counselor about joining band so he can befriend and deflower Amy. At least he could’ve said he wanted to hook up with her. But nope, it was like there was a quota for the word sex. Had it been a drinking game I’d probably just be recovering from all the tequila shots in time for tonight’s episode.

The whole episode felt like a bad teen movie with a message- an after school special. The lead girl, Amy, is the pregnant teen and she’s likeable. Her friends are really annoying. I can’t believe the red head is the same actress from Still Standing. I think she needs to stick with comedy. The Jessica Simpson girl, she’s blonde, Christian and received a promise ring from her dad (parents, to be fair), won me over a bit when she made a joke about asking her mom if oral sex is considered sex. She will lose points if in the next episode if her dad is talking about her boobs. Yeah, you’ve all heard the real Jessica Simpson’s dad talk about his daughters in an inappropriate manner. The stereotypical good looking football player of course dates the Jessica Simpson cheerleader. Only he doesn’t want to wait for her to finish medical school before they have sex (take another shot!). Ricky, the stereotypical good looking bad boy dates the stereotypical pretty mean girl. Ricky is the one who impregnated Amy during band camp over the summer. Don’t feel too sad for the girlfriend because she has sex (is the tequila still burning as it goes down?) with Christian girl’s boyfriend.

All of that and more is revealed in the pilot. I’m going to watch the second episode in hopes that they have more Molly Ringwald. Maybe she had a sleepover at her house, invited Brenda Hampton over and they watched all of Molly’s movies to show her how the teen story is told? Maybe they even threw in Clueless for good measure! Please just make these teens less stereotypical and more interesting. Make them like actual teens.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New 90210 - Brenda might be back!

I'm not into most of the new cast or the idea of a new 90210, but if Shannen is coming back I will come back. Everyone knows, The Brenda Years ruled. Kelly and Donna are already signed on for the return. I still want Steve. And Brandon. And Mrs. Teasley. Why is a new cast even needed?
The funny thing is, I can't stand to watch the 90210 reruns on SoapNet. I find it painful which is odd since I love Melrose Place and can get down with it being a silly over the top soap. Maybe it's because I watched 90210 when it aired and I thought it was an awesome show. Now when I see it I cringe at the dialogue and can't believe I fell for any of them (let alone Dylan and Andrea) actually looking the age of real teens.

Ah well. Now I'm pumped to see the new 90210. I really think it might end up being my guilty pleasure show of the 2008-2009 season.

Shannen Doherty in Talks to Return to 90210

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ABC Family - A New Kind of Family

Teen pregnancy is contagious. I learned that from the movie "For Keeps" starring Molly Ringwald. I suppose there's truth to it if you read about the 17 pregnant teens in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Seriously, they made a pact to get pregnant and then raise their babies together. What were they thinking? I love my niece and nephew, but it sure is nice to go home after a long sticky night of outdoor play at a carnival. Cotton candy is messy. Cotton candy in a toddler's hair is for the mom to deal with.

Back to Molly, she co-stars in ABC Family's premiere of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." In the preview she's telling her daughter to go and be a teen and have fun. Little does she know, that teen had her some fun and is now pregnant. The teen daughter is played by Shailene Woodley who was the original Caitlin Cooper on The O.C. She wasn’t around much, always out riding China the pony with alopecia, but being able to say she was on a hit teen drama gives her some street cred when moving to a new teen drama, of sorts. I’m still trying to earn my street cred. Josie Bisset earned hers as Jane on my new favorite summer rerun show Melrose Place. Now she's playing a mom of another teen in this drama. Not sure who else is in the cast? I haven't imdb'd it since I read the pilot script a few months back and it still hadn't been cast.

The show is from Brenda Hampton who introduced us all to the Camdens. I for one never got into that show. I couldn't even watch it for fun like way too many of my friends did. I mean, friends you'd never think would watch 7th Heaven were 100% addicted to the show. Friends who go to Pearl Jam concerts. I just can't explain it, but I know it had a big following of people who watched, but were hesitant to admit they watched. Then it would come out at a party and someone else would whisper they watch it too and next thing you know, there's a circle of friends discussing Matt, Simon and their girlfriends. Along with the new kid living in the Camden home. But that's over now (after 10 years and 2 finales) and we have a new show from Brenda Hampton. I read the pilot script a few months ago and thought it was lacking in teenage speak and behavior. Those things can be easily fixed, but based on a few reviews I’ve read I don’t think they were fixed for the pilot but I'm going to check it out anyway. I'll share more thoughts after I've watched the pilot. I want to give it a fair chance even if my feelings are already iffy, at best.

Below are some links. Yesterday I did a quick google search and most articles talk about ABC Family has a whole reinventing itself. They’re interesting so go ahead, click and read if you have time or want to waste time before 5:00 rolls around. TV Gal (last link) has a review and I think my feelings are aligned with hers. I'm sure there are actual show reviews available today since the premiere is tonight.

'Secret Life' of ABC Family won't be kept quiet

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Forced Vacation

It's been a while. I just have no idea what to write about anymore. Fear not, I'm figuring it out. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I was forced to use up my 2007 vacation days, or lose them. We were not offered money for the unused days. I bet cable employees would get money. Actually, no. Cable employees have the time to take their vacations during the year. They get to wear jeans to work in the winter and bathing suits in the summer. That's how it works at Viacom anyway. I kid, well not really, but cable and broadcast really are two separate beasts. That's the way everyone like it. So there I was forced to take days off before June 30th. As was almost everyone else I work with. A couple of people didn't have any days to carry over from last year. Around here we call them slackers. I mean really, how did they not have extra days? And no, they don't get their work done faster. Did you just call me bitter?

Forced to take vacation, but I had no desire to spend money. I'm back at my parents' house to save money not splurge on vacations. These days when I even think of spending money I get all nervous. I need to stop watching House Hunters and My First Place. I forget most people on the shows are buying homes in places I could afford to live as well, not LI or Manhattan. Eventually I'll own something. Maybe my parents will sell me the garage and I can make it an awesome apartment and then get a water bed like Mike Seaver? I decided to call up or rather e-mail some friends and see who wanted to blow some hard earned money on a "stay-cation" on the east end of Long Island. I had 3 takers, wooo. My younger sister and two friends were more than happy to take the long drive and spend too much money to stay in NY. We had a blast. And the sun blasted us. Seriously. 6 hours in the direct sun and 4 times I put on 55+ sun block with helioplex and UVA/UVB rays protection and I'm still burned! No, it doesn't tan. It will eventually peel but for now it is uncomfortable to sleep and when I shower and wash my hair I have to forgo extra conditioning and just use a 2 in 1. My arms hurt too much to lift and move around. TMI? I'll stop. You really should see my hair today. Thank God I remembered a clip to pull it back. It's not quite as bad as Monica's humidity frizz, but it's not pretty. Remember that Friends episode? "Knock that thing off her head."

I was going to write while in Montauk, but then I paid all of that money to be on the beach (okay across the street from the beach). I used the time to have fun, relax and clear my mind to get the Brothers & Sisters spec completed. It's been making me angry lately. So much so that I put it down and stopped writing. But now I'm refreshed (kinda, today is my first day back and that's always a buzzkill). Tonight I plan on attacking the script. I'm just going to write and whatever comes out comes out. If it's crap, which it will most likely be, I will be fine with that. It should be enough to make me get back into writing. It's the putting it off and scaring myself into thinking I suck at writing that is no good.

A funny note.... while in Montauk we couldn't find the Lighthouse. We kept ending up at the Harbor looking around in search of the Lighthouse. Keep in mind, I've seen it many times before but it had been a while since my last visit out that way. We finally got a map from a liquor store and found the place (we were purchasing LI wine). Confuse us with tourists, embarrassing but fine; it's better than driving around and having to fill up the damn gas tank again!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


My dvr is set for the second episode. It's also set for Melrose Place. Double the Jake. I mean Grant.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Journey back to Melrose Place with me

I've done a bad bad thing. I've become engrossed in Melrose Place. I did recently say when SOAPnet starts with season 1 I'll set the dvr each day. Up until this point I had been watching season five at 6 & 7am on Saturday mornings. I don't know why I woke up that early, but it felt ok to watch the show. Target wasn't open that early so it's not like I could waste my time shopping. Now I record two episodes daily - 11am and noon. At first the show was terrible. I would watch and fold clothes, change the sheets on my bed, dust, and work on my basket weaving, but now it's getting good and I don't want to do anything else but focus on the show.

The description of the most recent episode I watched (from imdb):

Season 1, Episode 12: Polluted Affairs
Original Air Date: 21 October 1992
Just as Alison's new career at D&D takes off, she meets a marine biologist named Keith Gray, and falls for him immediately. But she is hurt when she discovers that he is married. Meanwhile, Billy has some stress with paying off a $2,000 student loan that he took while at college and blew off, although his college tuition was paid by his parents.

That show synopsis doesn’t even mention Jane’s eating disorder/body image problem which lasted the entire episode. Glad they were able to resolve that in 43 minutes along with Alison and Billy’s problems. I was nervous. This made me realize, they weren’t so great about carrying stories like that over into the next episode back in the early days. It was very similar to 90210 in that way (same creator, makes sense). Remember the sleepover at Brenda’s from what I think was season 1? The bitchy girl was there and asked Andrea, “Why do they call you Uhn-drayuh?” I do believe we also learned about Kelly’s date rape, “He didn’t even put a blanket down.” Finally bitchy popular girl, not Kelly, has to leave but her diet pills dump out of her purse. Shit. The girls are shocked; she’s pissed and DOES NOT HAVE A PROBLEM. Fortunately, the girls use the remaining minutes wisely, convince her she does in fact have an eating problem, she cries, wants help and they end with all of the girls eating big bowls of ice cream. She will never take another pill. They totally should’ve done an episode 3 seasons later when she’s like 400 pounds and Kelly Taylor and Steve won’t give her the time of day. Then she commits suicide and it’s all their fault.

And back to Melrose….like I said, this was the first episode that made me focus on the episode. That didn’t actually happen until a few minutes into the episode. I know Billy was getting calls and he’s all cool bragging it must be the girl from Shooters he gave his number to the night before. He calls her back only to learn she’s debt collector and wants the money from a student loan Billy has defaulted on. Billy is whining because it’s not fair that he has to pay it. He goes to the woman’s office and is a total jerk. Why should he pay it back when he can’t afford to? God forbid he should get a second job and earn more money. It’s not his fault, it’s the economy. Can’t she see that? Well do you think the woman likes using her English Lit degree at her current job? She reminds Billy he’s a grown up so go cry to someone else. Billy takes her advice and cries to Alison, Jake and Michael. Alison is all, dude grow up and ask your parents to help out. I think Alison means ask them for a loan because otherwise, how is that being a grown up!? Jake is all, dude that blows, dude. But Micheal? He’s awesome. He flat out calls Billy a deadbeat, blames him for not being able to get a loan for med school and having to borrow money from Jane’s parents. Billy pouts and sulks his way back into his apartment. What will he do??

Jane on the other hand needs to lose the five pounds she gained when she was pregnant (she miscarried the episode prior). She attempts to go Tracey Gold Moment of Truth Anorexia Movie exercise crazy, but thanks to Alison and Billy, she doesn’t get enough screen time. It’s all good though because we know her problem is intense right away. She takes Rhonda’s aerobics class- the advanced class. Rhonda is portrayed by Vanessa L. Williams, how she never won even an EMMY nomination for her acting I’ll never understand. She wants Jane to take it easy cause ya know, she just lost a baby. Jane just wants Rhonda to freaken teach the class and let Jane start burning some calories. An interesting note here, when Jane showed up for the class she said she decided to use her lunch break time for the class (see, we know the problem is severe!) and then in the very next scene, it’s the same day but morning as Billy wishes Alison a good day. Nice time consistency there.

So. Alison meets the marine biologist and totally flakes on work. I’m sorry, she “spaced” on work. Seriously. She didn’t stay late to help her boss, showed up late the next morning and her apology was, “I’m sorry, I spaced.” Alison is head over heels in love with the marine biologist dork after one date. You know something bad is going to happen when she sleeps with him after like two dates. Tsk tsk good girl Alison. A lesson MUST be learned. She screws work again, to ahem, screw him, only she overhears a conversation he’s having…with his wife. BWAH!! She storms off all sad. Then she cries to Billy because she might never love again. Like Billy cares? He has to come up with 2 grand. That alone makes me laugh. I can’t wait for my student loans to be down to $2,000.

Back to Billy, he goes to talk to his parents. They paid for his whole education. Say what? He took out that loan because he worked at the school paper, didn’t get paid and needed to party like his college friends. You spoiled brat. It’s not like the money even went towards your education. Try walking into a bar now and not paying, or maybe ordering pizza and not paying the delivery man. Ugh, I hate you Billy. Now I must’ve stepped out of the room for a minute because I don’t know what his mom said when he told her that, but he didn’t get the money. I think that’s when he came home to Melrose Place and had the conversation with Jake and Michael. Finally, Michael’s words hit home because in Billy’s next scene he’s back at the debt collector’s office to see what he can do to fix the problem. Time to grovel. Maybe he can make a payment plan? The woman said she was going to suggest that be he flipped out and left. She starts to “run some numbers” so they can get this resolved. Problem solved.

Jane still isn’t eating and is not too happy even though she’s lost the last 5 pounds. She explains to Micheal she thought losing the last five pounds would remove the sadness she feels over the lost baby. Michael lets her know it doesn’t work that way and he’s still snapping at people. I think they might like us to believe maybe that’s why he snapped at Billy? But I don’t buy that, the writers aren’t that deep or consistent. Ya see, Michael always seems to overreact. He’s kind of a jerk a lot of the time. None of that matters now because Michael makes Jane smile and while she doesn’t sit at a table and eat a bowl of ice cream, I think she’s going to be okay next week. Whew.

Alison is still messing up at work, I mean spacing. Seems she can’t get over marine bio guy. He really does look old and dork-ish and clearly, with the whole wife thing, he can’t be trusted. But she was in love. The boss tells her not to be that girl, to stop blowing off work and get her priorities right. The boss even said she wants Alison to get promoted but Alison just wants love. Don’t you get that? I don’t. When the episode ends, that story actually does carry over. She goes back to marine bio guy because he swears his marriage is over. I cannot wait to watch this fall apart. She’ll never love again! I can hear her whining. Bring it on.

There you have one episode from season one. The one I think is a turning point. At least it is for me. This show is so bad I love it. It’s perfect for the summer. You can guess every line each character is going to say. This particular episode was like a PSA for the college loan people – “Don’t be a deadbeat, pay your loans. You are only hurting yourself and your relationship with your peers.” Sometimes, I yell out lines and guess the endings and laugh my ass off when it happens on the screen. Why can’t I spec this show??? It would be fun and I’d totally write a kick ass episode.

I can’t wait until I get home tonight. Melrose is my reward. Don’t laugh. If I use it as a reward I feel less guilty for watching it when I could be writing or weaving those baskets. The other night I went to the track so I was allowed to waste almost an hour watching the episode. My mind and body are only healthy when I’m excited about TV; exercise alone can’t do that!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Macs are awesome. Macs don't break. Be cool, get a Mac.

I followed all of that advice and my freaken week old Mac is already giving me problems. I bought the computer on Friday, May 23rd and on Saturday, May 31st Safari wouldn't open. I did some research on Sunday with my sister's Macbook only to discover this is a common problem. Wonderful. From what I can figure out, when I agreed to download and install the new Mac updates offered to me BY MAC I messed up Safari because Safari can't run with the updates. How am I supposed to know that? Oh, the curses that flew from my mouth. Lots of curses. Like a truck driver.

Tonight I have to go to the Genius Bar and be all sweet and nice so that some genius will fix my computer. I had planned on eating dinner, walking the dog, watching Greek and last night's Denise Richards' show. My night has been ruined. Wish me luck.

As for USA's In Plain Sight....mixed feelings. I didn't even watch the whole show, but dvr'd it. I was planning on squeezing that in tonight, but that won't be happening. I caught some of Password and liked that. I was in the dining room eating dinner while mom and Grandma sat in the living room watching the show. Grandma couldn't see the word and kept asking mom to tell her what it was. I was trying to guess, but knowing the word made the game too easy. I got almost all of my guesses right. I had to join them in the living room and yell out clues for Neil Patrick Harris. Ya know, just in case he could hear me. Yes, I know the shows were pre taped.

I did see Sex and the City and really liked it. It was fun! I was not let down. I was a bit scared by the ladies who were like 47-ish seated throughout the theater. They were really excited, like clapping, whistling and hooting excited. I hope they just had too many cosmos before the movie. Then again, the movie was a 5:30 Sunday showing and not so sure how I feel about those ladies drinking so much, or anyone for that matter, on a Sunday afternoon? Hmmm.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Nothing of Importance

I am experiencing a bit of "blogger's block" this week. There's no explanation for it, not even laziness. I'm at work in a cube all day and totally have the time to blog, but nothing comes to mind. That's half true- I plan to blog about the "summer season" but need time to formulate my thoughts (a few shows: new- In Plain Sight, Swingtown; returning- Army Wives, The Closer). I will do that this weekend since the season does in fact start Sunday. Unless you are counting CBS's Elite XC Saturday Night Fights that is on tomorrow? Seriously, is anyone counting that? ::crickets:: Summer reading has already started and I'm having a blast, which is another post appearing soon.

I've decided to just blog some random thoughts and things that happened this week....

I'm reading Tori Spelling's book, why did she feel the need to write a book? I know, I know, she knew fools like me would buy it. In my defense, it was a birthday present. Fine it was on the top of my list which is why it was purchased for me. Anyway, I don't know what to think of her as a person. She seems to have the same friends since high school which means there's something good and kind about her, but she doesn't seem to realize she's a spoiled brat at times. I suppose most spoiled brats don't realize that?

An alarm clock fell on my head the other day. I had it high up on a shelf while I was moving things around, and BAM. Right on my head.

A girl sat next to me on the LIRR the other morning. She was a new graduate. I could tell by her appearance, the spiral notebook with a title about orientation for some financial company on her lap, her morning perkiness, upbeat attitude and her severe lack of train etiquette. She removed a Tupperware container from her bag where inside she had what appeared to be Sheppard's Pie. It's not even 7am! I'm sure it was actually breakfast meat and cheese on some kind of weird hard shiny looking bun (gross), but still not cool for a morning train ride when you sit next to other people! Of course it smelled, and bigger of course, she chewed with her mouth open. I was hoping to be able to read Tori's book in peace, but had to put on headphones and blast some music while reading, just to tune her out. If I had coffee and was evil I might've accidentally spilled it on her. Remember when you were being prepared for interviewing and there would always be the question, "What do you if you get to the interview and right beforehand you spill coffee on your blouse?" Heh.

I got sucked into a mini marathon of John & Kate Plus 8. I used to watch the show, then stopped and now I'm back thanks to the marathon. I love that family. The kids are so darn cute. They can't pronounce the letter "L" correctly. "I have a boo boo on my yeg." Love it. Kate has calmed down which must be nice for John.

Yeah, I watched the horrible Denise Richards' show and the Lohan one. Both were terrible. There's no point to either and even less for Denise's. At least Dina Lohan can pretend she's doing everything to help Ali's "singing and acting" career. But Denise? She needs acting lessons, STAT. What's that you say, it's not scripted? Like I said, she needs acting lessons. It was pointed out to me that there's no point for The Hills either. Ok, good point, but Denise Richards' show still bugs me. She's not likeable. Same goes for the Lohans. Ali's Long Island accent, ugh. As a Long Islander I'm comfortable in calling her out on how bad it is. Call Denise, get a deal on acting lessons and work on your speaking voice.

"Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea." Get it, now. Seriously. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. Oh, it's by Chelsea Handler.

My dog and I are both scared of the dark yet decided to walk at 10:00 the other night. I swear at one point I thought I'd have to carry him home. A street lamp was out, that part of the block was very dark and he froze.

Speaking of walking around the neighborhood, is it wrong that I look in windows? From the street, people. What kind of perv do you think I am? Blinds are open and I'm fascinated by looking in the windows. So many people have ginormous flat screen televisions. So many people watch American Idol; Nielsen isn't lying about that. I bet anyone reading this is going to make sure their blinds are pulled down tonight before sitting down to eat junk food and watch The National Spelling Bee.

I got a macbook. So far, so good.

My nephew graduated from preschool. He's more than ready for kindergarten, but I don't know if I am ready for that. For him, not me. I'd gladly go back if only for the naps (we never appreciate them until they are gone from our daily routine). He's getting so big so fast! But he gets funnier every day as does his little sister. They seriously crack me up.

I'm thinking about telling my boss I drive to work. He knows I take the train, but maybe I can convince him otherwise? I read an article over at CNN about companies letting workers work 4 days a week to save money on commuting. How much does that rock? Although around here, I'd probably only get paid for four days.

Clay Aiken to be a dad? Oohkay.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

House - Season 4 Finale

I whine a lot about TV being shitty - great shows turning terrible, nothing at the end of an episode to make me pray the week speeds by to see the next new episode, characters being assassinated, blah blah blah. Well now I'm here to praise a show. In case the title of this post didn't clue you in, it's House. I just tonight watched the season finale and loved it. Yes it was depressing as hell, but that's how I like my shows. I just want to feel something when I watch a show. I want to cry, laugh and get angry like my friends, I mean the characters, in the situations. House delivered all of that. What will become of his friendship with Wilson? Cuddy was curled up in the chair and holding House's hand. Cry. I was getting mad at Wilson and then crying with and for him.  The note on the bed? Cry more. 13 tested positive, how long does she have?
I only started watching House this season. I've heard people rave about it, I'd tune in and be grossed out by the surgeries. This season I heard Olivia Wilde was joining the cast so I gave it another try. I loved it. For Christmas I received previous seasons on DVD and still need to catch up. But I've been slowly getting through the old episodes. The funny thing is some people who have been fans since day one didn't like this season so much because of all the changes and the "Survivor" like game that was played for a lot of episodes. I can respect that. However I for one couldn't get enough of the show. So why did I wait until now to watch the finale? I don't know. I'm slow like that. I also had to watch all of the episodes since the post strike season started. Which sucks even more now that it's over for the season. I had fun with my mini marathon of new episodes. 
This is the first show that has me excited for next season. I'll be happy to have a lot of shows returning with new episodes in the fall, but House has moved to the top of the list as my favorite finale and most anticipated return. Which is funny since it didn't have a big cliffhanger ending. Ah well. Lucky for me, I have those dvds to watch with "new" episodes. This whole watching a show backwards is new to me. Wish me luck!

The Pavilion by Craig Wright

I had the opportunity over the weekend, because I bought a ticket, to see Craig Wright's play "The Pavilion" at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. I know Craig has written other plays, but in my world he's best known for creating "Dirty Sexy Money" and writing episodes of "Brothers & Sisters," "Lost" and "Six Feet Under." I love DSM! In a season with too few good shows DSM is a stand out. Seriously, you have all summer to catch up on the episodes that aired before it returns in September.

Back to the play. "The Pavilion" is about Peter and Kari who are at their high school's 20-year reunion party, but haven't seen in each other since senior year of high school when they were voted "Cutest Couple." Kari became pregnant that year and Peter left town. Kari stayed, got a job at the bank, married someone else in town and has been going through the motions of life. Peter left for the twin cities, is back for the reunion and hopes to right his wrong by admitting to Kari he still loves her and made a terrible mistake all of those years ago.
It might not sound like a romantic comedy, but it is. There was a narrator who is absolutely hilarious, interacts with the audience and then plays every guest at the reunion - male and female- aside from Kari and Peter. The other two actors were great in their roles. I only recognized Tracy Middendorf who has done tons of guest spots on TV dramas including Alias which is what I remembered her from right away. The music was from the late 80s which was awesome. Craig Wright tells stories with such heart and humor and he did so again with this play. From the theater's website: It is about the human condition, about mistakes and about regret. What happens if you made a wrong decision in the past? What if you ran away when you should have stayed? Can you change time and do it all over again, but differently, if you and your old high school girlfriend want to just badly enough?
I laughed, had moments of sadness and could actually feel how hurt and confused both Kari and Peter felt. Craig Wright wrote an amazing play. One line I loved is from Kari to Peter after he says he's sorry for leaving and not calling, "Sorry is just a word people use when nothing can be done." Whoa. So simple when read, but becomes hauntingly true when spoken out loud.
The play ends at the end of the month so if you can't see it just check Craig's imdb page and find out when you can catch something else he has done. You won't be disappointed. I need to add, my seats were 4th row center orchestra for only $60 bucks each. You can't find a deal like that at a Broadway show. I'm also glad I was a few rows back because the actor playing Peter was a spitter when he had to yell. Ew.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My True Feelings About Gossip Girl..XOX??

I really want to love Gossip Girl, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. I take all of the blame and leave none for the writers. They have written some of the sharpest and wittiest dialogue on TV. The actors are great with an extra shout out to Leighton Meester who really owns Blair. My problem? I might simply be too old for the show. I’m not yet 30 - damn close tho! but I’m also not 18 (or 14 and watching online). I have friends my age who do love the show and there are times I’m envious of them. I listen intently as they speak about the characters and stories. Maybe I missed something? I mean, that’s highly unlikely, but we all have our off days. Kidding. I really wish the excitement others have was passed on to me. Why do I want to love a show so much? I don’t know. I also don’t have the money to see a shrink to help search for an answer. Imagine if I walked into a therapist’s office and declared that my problem? Heh. Something tells me some underlying issues would surface.

When I watched the pilot last summer I was very careful not to expect the next OC; no matter how many times a TV critic would inevitably make comparisons. I prepared myself for Josh and Stephanie’s excellent writing, but that was it. I didn’t set my expectations too low or too high. I bought the first book when the making of the pilot was announced. It was a very fast and easy read (again, I’m not 14) and I quickly purchased and read book two. I bought the third book, but ended up seeing the pilot before reading it. I liked it. I even liked it more than the books. Yes, things were changed, but I appreciated that the TV show wasn’t so dark. I found the books to be kind of disturbing. I was so far removed from that crazy lifestyle and the books had such detail. But the TV show? I could get down with that. It became less real for some reason when it came to life. Less real and more acceptable. Go figure. I eagerly waited for the season to begin. Then it did. So what went wrong?

I have no freaken clue what went wrong other than I’m not as into the teen drama genre as I one was. That argument kind of loses traction when I declare my love for Greek. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it go and watch. Love it! Back to GG…when I discuss the show the next morning with friends and coworkers, I can get into it. There are scenes I do honestly love. A major problem is that I love the adult storylines and the CW audience is so not into that. When will Josh and Stephanie write the adult drama I keep waiting for? And then, more importantly, when will they call and hire me to help write the drama? I can be ready now. I’ll just change into jeans because these work pants are too long and must be worn with 3 inch heels and I so want to change into jeans and sneakers. So yeah. Problem one is my interest in the adult stuff outweighs my interest in the teen stuff. Problem two is that so much happens each week it gets so over the top. I can only suspend so much disbelief before I get annoyed. Which is why I find it so weird how much I love Chuck? Talk about over the top! But bring it on. Chuck, Blair and Nate in a scene together always makes me laugh and enjoy the show. Maybe I just don’t like Serena and Dan? They are kind of boring. Serena killed someone? Please, wake me when that’s interesting and believable.

I’m going to watch the finale tonight and probably talk about it with excitement tomorrow. The excitement will be genuine. This makes me think, had there been one show this season that I absolutely adored and craved each week, then I think I’d appreciate Gossip Girl for the fun show it’s meant to be. As I continue to search for my next favorite show I’m putting too much pressure and setting my expectations too high for shows that are meant to be soapy and over the top, but most importantly, fun to watch. I’ve lost sight of that, but tonight I’ll sit back and enjoy the episode. XOXO

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lucky Charms, Friday & The End of Upfront Week

The best thing about being a grown up aside from being allowed to have Lucky Charms is to not have to go out on a Friday night. This is at least the third Friday in a row that it has rained all day in NY. Running around the city in the rain is as much fun as you'd think - the freaken rain blowing under the umbrella that keeps turning itself inside out anyway due to the harsh winds, trying to open said umbrella when exiting the subway station while everyone else is trying to do the same and others are running down the stairs into the station trying to close their umbrellas, jumping over huge puddles, walking at least 4 blocks in the wrong direction- it's all very exhausting. I might've started the day looking put together, but end up at the bar or restaurant looking like a crazy person. I'm always shocked to see people still looking pretty as if they go to the location never having been outside? I'm not even bitter when I see those lucky people. I say good for them, head straight to the bar and order a glass of wine which makes me feel pretty on the inside....just as important.
While I've had a blast meeting up with friends and family the past few Fridays after work, tonight I'm thrilled to go home and do...nothing. I suppose that's not totally true because I do have an outline for a spec script that needs some serious work. I also need to pick up the dress for my sister's wedding. They put those bridesmaid dresses in garment bags, right? They will probably charge me for it. Ah well such is life these days.

Upfront week ended yesterday in case you never got the memo stating it was still going to happen. This was perhaps the craziest upfront season I've experienced during my last 5 years of working at a network. The weeks leading up to the presentation usually call for long long days. This year I did one 8am-8pm day. I'm not complaining, but I'm weird because I did appreciate that day. There's a certain excitement during this time of year that was missed. It finally felt like something was happening. I'll have more thoughts on the new shows over the weekend, but here are some random thoughts....
ABC didn't announce many new shows, but they do have to re-promote Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone. I still can't believe they brought back According to Jim!? I just don't get that at all. Life on Mars is a new drama from David E. Kelley (well, based on a BBC series, not new new). But I heard he's only doing the pilot. Then there's some Ashton Kutcher reality show. Yawn. NBC had their upfront weeks ago and I honestly can't recall if they have new shows premiering in the fall? CBS has added 3 new dramas and 2 comedies. I'm most excited for The Ex-List which sorta sounds like an ABC show. It's a drama about a woman in her 30s who learns from a psychic that she already met the man she's supposed to marry...she dated him previously. Now she has to find that guy. I know it sounds like a one season show, I mean really, how many relationships has she had? But the clips were funny and Elizabeth Reaser, Ava from Grey's, is the lead. This means we know Alex and Ava don’t end up together when Grey’s ends its season next week. Thanks for that. argh. FOX added The Fringe from JJ Abrams. I watch all things JJ. Seriously, I give all of his shows a chance. I'm still mad I never got into Lost. I need to just catch up with the dvds. I also need to find a few more hours in a day. The CW has the new 90210, jury is still out on that one, and they have the drama Surviving the Filthy Rich. That's based on a book which I'm glad wasn't a series. People are not pleased that the Gossip Girl series doesn't follow the books 100%. Nevermind the fact that changes were necessary. All in all it's shaping up to be an interesting season. Is there a hit out there? Only time will tell.

I'm off to a business lunch. Wooo. Then I'll come back and it's almost time to go home. I love Fridays.

The Good Witch is on Hallmark tonight, starring Catherin Bell (Jag, Army Wives). It's totally Hallmark and totally wonderful. I can't be the only fan of TV movies....so all of you fans should tune in. It's raining and a perfect night to crack open a box of Lucky Charms, eat only the marshmallows* and enjoy a sweet made for tv movie.

*As a grown up, I decided to eat only the marshmallows and after about 2 handfuls I felt sick, so proceed with caution. Mom was right. It's not good for you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

30 Rock Finale

It's with a sad heart that I admit I didn't like 30 Rock's finale last night. I barely laughed, thought a lot of it was silly and missed Jack being at 30 Rock. The episode felt nothing like a finale.

I'm going to watch it again over the weekend. Maybe my opinion will change?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's Thursday...you know the drill

Same old, same old - Will you watch TV tonight?

30 Rock airs its season finale at 9:30. USA Today's Robert Bianco has some not so very nice things to say about it. He believes the show has lost its way creatively in these post strike episodes and the finale is no exception. I'm not so sure about that, but I'll tune in tonight and see if I end up agreeing on some things with Bianco. I do see eye to eye with him in regards to Jack not acting as a mentor to Liz the way he used to. I think those scenes have been lacking and are missed. The thing is, I have always found that 30 Rock has awesomely funny episodes with a couple of weak-ish ones mixed in. I say "weak-ish" because for the most part, I still find myself laughing and enjoying the episode. Matthew Broderick is a guest star in tonight's episode so I expect a lot of laughs. Tina Fey has yet to let me down and I don’t see that happening tonight.

CSI and Two and a Half Men switched writers for their episodes this week. I don't watch CSI, but I do watch Two and a Half Men and thought the CSI writers did a good job. All of the “How the heck did these jokes get on air?” were in place. I was disgusted by the shots of food going into Jake's stomach and was looking away when I could. I am assuming that's a CSI trick right there? I'll dvr CSI and see what I think of the comedy writers’ episode. I have seen a handful of CSI episodes so I know how they work in terms of the dialogue and the story unfolding. Melinda Clarke ruled on The OC and reprised her Lady Heather role on CSI during her OC work so I made sure to tune in for that. Speaking of Melinda, she's another actress who needs to be on something in the fall!

What would a post about Thursday TV be without mentioning Grey's? You know it's bad when you are trying to remember what the heck happened last week - is there something I recall that I'm looking forward to seeing played out tonight? I suppose the Ava "I'm pregnant" but-oh-no-she's-not story has me intrigued. You know what? I more than suppose. I do wonder what's going on there? Why would she lie about that when that could be what pushes Alex away? Wasn't her point to make him want to be with her, in a relationship? Crap, I'm going to have to watch the end of season 3 to better understand their problems.

Nothing else stands out from that episode. Sure, there's the Hahn/Callie thing and Meredith/McSteamy/Rose, but the good drama is still missing. I think tonight is the night Shonda and her team bring back the drama. I mean really, there are only 3 episodes left to the season. Do it now or lose me forever. I mean that this time, I think. Maybe I would've already walked away had I not read the TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly articles. Shonda is promising big things and I'm tuning in. Ellen Pompeo is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's current issue. She and Patrick Dempsey were both bored with their constant getting together / breaking up stories. Katherine Heigl wasn't pleased with her story based on press she put out there last year. It's never good when your actors don't even like where things are headed, and are vocal. So now we're all trusting things will be put back together - the heart, the drama and the stories will prevail. I swear if I'm let down I am going to end up with major trust issues in my life soon. First Josh made all of those "The OC is back!" promises during season 3 and that season was shit, and now here I am depending on Shonda. She’s my friend and she won’t let me down, right?!?

The life of a TV viewer is a stressful one.

Links to articles referenced:
USA Today, Quirky '30 Rock' on a downhill roll at season's end: http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2008-05-07-30rock_N.htm
EW, 'Grey's Anatomy': Ready to Love Again?: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20196955,00.html
TV Guide, What’s Next For Grey’s?: http://www.tvguide.com/news/greys-anatomy-shonda/080424-01

The picture is of Shonda and her team of Grey's writers accepting a Writers Guild Award in 2006 ("Televison New Series Award")

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pilot Casting (actor)

This post is later than I intended, but it took a little longer to think of an actor I want to see in the fall. Truth is, most of the actors I really like are currently on shows. There I was racking my brain trying to think of someone I'd really like to see week after week and then it just hit me, that person is Scott Wolf. I know that might not be totally fair to pick him because he was recently on Everwood and then The Nine. It's not like he hasn't been regularly on tv for a few years. However, he's still my pick.

According to imdb, he has a sitcom in the works called, Making it Legal. I think that was from a year ago so I'm not sure if it's something that was made but not ordered to series? I would prefer my Scott Wolf to be in a drama. I'd even be cool with him joining a cast - House, Brothers & Sisters - a show with some comedic moments tossed in there, too. I used to watch Scott each week on Party of Five. Bailey's intervention is still one of the top tv interventions, Ever. I didn't watch Everwood regularly, but tuned in when I heard he was going to be on the show. I liked him on that, liked that season and now want to know when ABC Family is going to put the show back on so I can see the whole series? I suppose I'll have to wait until August for The WB online to start airing the series.

If the powers that be can please make sure Scott is on my tv screen come fall, I'd be ever so grateful.

"Grey's" coded, even with Addison back in town

Perhaps my use of "coded" in the title of this entry is as painful as Izzie's use of the word? Ok, painful maybe, but not as awkward.

In response to the previous post, people did not tune in on Thursday night. Some NBC comedies were on par or up from last week ("30 Rock" "Scrubs" and "Earl") while others were down ("The Office"). CBS's "CSI" was up from last week while "Trace" remained the same. There's still time before the dvr numbers for last week are available which is when shows will obviously see some increases. Based on Live+SD (Same Day) ratings for this week's episode,
"Ugly" and "Grey's" did worse than last week which gives them all new lows. I don't think that looks too good in a press release! Of course "Grey's" can still claim to be the #1 show for the night in Adults 18-49 so they have that going for them. I watched the episode that night and liked it (I didn't start it until 10:30ish). Liked, not loved. That is better than earlier this season and last when I hated almost everything. I was nervous going in thinking the episode will probably be my favorite of the past year and a half due to Addison's return. I am one of those fans who weren't happy to see her "spun-off." I miss the character on "Grey's;" "Private Practice" is not as smart, therefore Addison doesn't come across as smart on the spin-off. She is even a bit ditzy on the new show and I hate that about smart characters. But I'm getting lost here since this isn't about "Private."

"Grey's" seems to have a real problem right now. Addison came back, with lots of promotion from ABC and it wasn't enough to boost the ratings. What will happen in the fall? I still believe that's when viewers will come back. I don't think the ratings will be what they were in season two, but I really don't think they will remain this low. For all of the shows on all of the networks, I think there will be a boost. Although I wouldn't mind FOX posting lows with its lineup if it sticks to silly game shows.

Shonda Rhimes said the writers all watched hours of old episodes before starting on this "season 4 part two." Were they watching season 3? Because that wasn't so great. They need to go back and watch the first two seasons. I think there are three episodes left and I'll still stay on board for the ride. I do like all things McSteamy; he cracks me up every episode. But I swear, give me some good stuff or I am coding on this show.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday…Will you be watching TV?

Last Thursday, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and CW all aired new episodes of their Thursday night lineup. You’d think people would tune in, but they didn’t. “Ugly Betty” and “Grey’s” had their lowest rated episodes ever in viewers and the key demos the advertisers covet. “ER” was in the same state of emergency (I try) while “Lost” and "CSI" appear to be searching for their audiences (I'll stop). "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's" were the first new episodes since the strike. I have two reasons I think played a part in the low ratings.

1. I assume a lot of people didn't know the shows were back. I know both were heavily promoted, but if you've already left viewing that network how would you know they were new? My own research proved that point the next day when friends were e-mailing and quite a few said they forgot the shows were on. Here on the east coast, it was one of the first couple of days of really awesome weather. I walked the dog and noticed the amount of people hanging around outside - walking their dogs, playing basketball, a few games of tag. Spring weather already makes people turn off the television which is not going to help brighten up the end of this season. If people turned to cable, the internet, video games....when will they come back to broadcast tv? I do believe that was a problem realized after the strike in '87 ended.

2. What if you were already contemplating giving up a show before the strike hit and the last new episode aired? DVR's weren't even set to catch new episodes; season passes were being removed from once favorite shows. If that last new episode didn't leave you wanting more, the odds of you seeking it out now could very well be slim to none. I've already mentioned my disappointment with “Grey's” towards the end of last season and this season. Most people who felt the way I felt probably would just let it go. By let it go, I mean viewing of the program. I tend to give programs that I've fallen out of love with more chances to win me back.

Do I think viewers will eventually come back to broadcast? Yes, some. Viewership was already down year to year before the new episodes stopped airing. The chunk of viewers who left when the strike was really felt, some of those viewers, I think will come back next season. It will be interesting to look at the dvr playback for April and May. A lot of people are watching shows when they want to watch them. So maybe they haven't actually given up on broadcast tv just yet? I was skeptical of networks waiting until next season to bring back dramas that premiered this season ("Pushing Daises," "Chuck," "Dirty Sexy Money"...). But now I do think it was the right decision and perhaps why the people who made those decisions make a helluva lot more money than I! A main reason I believe they are right is due to the amount of new episodes of the established shows we are going to get before the season officially ends. What if "Grey's" becomes the show it once was, as promised by Shonda, but we don't see that until the season finale which is less than a handful of episodes away? The regular viewers will tune in next year to watch it unfold because of the long history they already have with the show - same with "CSI" "Desperate Housewives" - but if you just get into the final episode of a brand new show and it ends for a few months, how do you find loyalty for that show come the fall? Do you care enough about the characters and stories? Let's face it, no new shows became a hit this year and they had a few months to establish themselves before they had to show repeats or be yanked from the schedule.

Let’s hope next year we get a few hit scripted programs and a reason to turn to the broadcast networks. Maybe just maybe, appointment television isn’t dead yet.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pilot Casting (actress)

Sometimes I feel like blogging is just me talking out loud…to me. Which is nice. I so rarely disagree with myself. Usually, I find me to be quite witty and smart; occasionally a bit moody if I haven’t had enough sleep. Not brain surgeon smart, but other kinds of smart. Seriously, brain surgery? Why would anyone even want to? But God bless those who do!

Today I’ve decided to share the conversation that’s been in my head the past few days. No not the one about resolving the feud between LC and Spencer & Heidi (please, finding a way to get the price of a barrel of oil under $100 would be easier!) This conversation of course relates to television. Hey, I’m paid to work in the medium so I figure any time spent thinking about it is just going to help further my career. Riiight. So. The dialogue in my head is about pilot season - shows picked up and the casting being done. Recently I caught the Hallmark Movie “Daniel’s Daughter” starring Laura Leighton. Yes, that Laura Leighton – Sydney Andrews from Melrose Place. Back to “Daniel’s Daughter,” she was really good in the movie where she portrayed a woman, Cate Madighan, whose father passes away and she must go back to her small hometown to deal with his requests. I’d tell more about the movie, but that can totally be its own blog entry one day. For now, I’ll let the focus remain on Laura Leighton. This weekend I caught the Lifetime Movie “Love Notes” which she starred in as a successful classical music critic who gets pregnant after a one night stand with a country singer. I was again impressed by her acting. I imdb’d and learned that Laura Leighton has popped up as a guest star on a few series dramas the past two seasons – Boston Legal, Shark, Law & Order: SVU, CSI: Miami (even co starred in “Eyes” on ABC a few years back).

All of that being said, she’s my pick for an actress who should be grabbed for a pilot being made right now. I know they haven’t all been cast (many are still presentations as I type) so for all of the casting people reading this blog….sign her up! Oh wait, no casting people read this blog? Ah well, hopefully someone gets her to sign on for something. She stands out in all of the recent stuff she’s done and when she's the star, she proves she deserves the role. If TV movies aren’t your thing, watch her 2-part Boston Legal episode if you need reassurance. And I for one get a kick out of Sydney when I watch the Melrose repeats over the weekend.

Tomorrow, the actor I feel should be attached to a pilot for next season.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Brothers & Sisters

Spoilers below!

Rebecca is not a Walker. All of us saw this coming, but that doesn't make it suck any less. We spend how many episodes trying to accept Rebecca as a Walker, only to come to really love her as a Walker, even if she's only half Walker, to be told she's not a Walker? WHO thought this was a good idea?? I want names! And addresses so I can send dead roses or something haunting like that. The whole Justin crushing on Rebecca is disturbing because he still thinks she's his sister. To quote a line from "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," "You can love your pets, just don't love your pets." Know what I'm saying?

If you missed it, Rebecca's paternity test proved David is her father and not William Walker. Emily VanCamp was amazing in her scenes. She confronted David and fell apart as she told him she fell in love with the Walkers. Awe Rebecca, you're only human. As messed up as they are, I too long to learn I'm a long lost sibling. Seriously though, Emily knocked it out of the park. At the charity event to raise money for pediatric aids and cancer research at the hospital (I think?), Rebecca tells Justin that William Walker is her dad. She lies. And you know what? Awesome. I'll accept that. Lie forever. But you know that can't happen. The truth will have to come out. While it will make for some kick ass scenes with Nora, Holly and the rest of the Walkers (can't wait for Sarah's reaction) I just wish it never has to happen. When Justin finds out he's gonna flip and whine and I say give him a beer or some strong meds. Kidding. I do know there's no way Justin and Rebecca should ever hook up. I repeat, it's disgusting. I've spent too much time believing they are siblings. And Justin needs to stop looking at Rebecca the way he looks at her. Creepy. Even the brothers pointed that out calling Rebecca Justin's girlfriend. I swear that scene on the beach when they called him out would've been funnier had we the viewer not seen it actually unfolding before our eyes.

There was some good stuff. Sarah drinking up a storm at the charity event. The boys surfing together. The brunch they were making for Nora. Kitchen scenes always rock. Robert was offered the spot as Vice President which had Kitty not so happy. She wants to be done with the campaigning and what-not. On one hand, I see her point -more time for their relationship and this baby they want to have. On the other foot, I see his point -this is his life, politics, and Kitty has known that since day one. This kind of drama makes me tense, but I can deal with it. I like it. It has nothing to do with incest. In the end, Robert turns down the offer because he really can't trust Taylor to listen to him; their ideas were too different when running against each other for the Republican nomination. Taylor stops Kitty to let her know Robert will forever see Kitty as the reason he didn't get to the White House. Kitty tells him off the best she can because she has enough to deal with. Kitty just learned that none of her embryos are good and she will need more rounds of hormone shots, tests and egg fertilization.

Saul makes that deal Graham wanted him to make with Ojai and Golden Plum. Sarah was against it and furious when she learned of the deal. She had a huge blow out with Saul and then a fight with Graham. After time to think, and a talk with Nora, she thought maybe she was too controlling and she needs to trust Saul and Graham. When she tells them this they inform her Golden Plum has gone bankrupt and now Ojai has to come up with 20 million dollars. I do believe we've been through this whole Ojai is going out of business thing before. Really, are the writers getting lazy?? They are seriously lucky they have amazing actors to sell these stories.

Kevin's live-in boyfriend Scotty got hurt at work, got stitches and a lovely medical bill thanks to the health care in this great country of ours. Kevin decides he and Scotty should file for domestic partnership so that Scotty can be covered by Kevin's benefits. Scotty is still holding out for a real traditional partnership and doubts Kevin is ready for that so for now they should wait a little longer.

I don't really know where the show goes from here. I fear they are actually going to bring Justin and Rebecca together and that makes me wonder how sick these writers are. Were they not disturbed by the Angelina and her brother's kiss at the Oscars a few years back?!

It's just sad that they've taken what I've loved and ripped it apart. I love good tv, especially a damn good drama, and the writers this season have ruined that good drama. I don't know if they can fix what they've done. I don't even know that they are owed a chance to do that, but I'll stay on board for the last couple of episodes this season. If only because the cast always blows me away each week.