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