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 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 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:
EW, 'Grey's Anatomy': Ready to Love Again?:,,20196955,00.html
TV Guide, What’s Next For Grey’s?:

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.