Your Weekend Guide and Some (Disappointing) New Pilots

Some local links for the weekend, then on to more TV reviews as the pilots keep on comin’:

I’m on record early and often for not being a fan of jam bands. Or the whole jam thing. But I’m also on record as knowing this area is, and many readers are too. Know what I am a fan of though? Two-day music festivals where you can just hang out and listen to music and have fun. And that’s what’s going on at Memorytown this weekend — Autumn EquiJam 2011. The 2011 part makes it seem like there will be more of these, which is always a good thing. I think that you can have a big jam fest every weekend around here and people would support it. Looking at the lineup, there will be more than just jam bands there too. But wait, didn’t Memorytown close down? I’m going to have to look into to this and find out what’s going on. Email me if you know what’s up with this. Although if they did have jam fests every weekend, Cartman may find his way here to break ’em up.

When you become an adult, you put away the bong, the toga and Natty Light … and you start doing things like black dress parties. Hey, don’t knock it! Girls look awesome in black dresses. It’s almost impossible not to. And every girl has a favorite black dress, because they’re aware they look hot in it. So it stands to reason that it would be good place for guys to check out hot chicks. Pretty simple equation, actually. That’s at The Lounge in Bartonsville on Saturday night.

yes, yes, he's alive, we're aware

yes, yes, he's alive, we're aware

OK, if you don’t wanna wear a black dress, you can wear a robot costume. Yeah, a robot costume! And then you can do the robot to the tunes of Sarah Street favorites Johnny Rydell and Vince DelSole. Trying to come up with what would be the best robot to dress up like. I’m coming up with Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba, any of the Transformers who weren’t in the stupid movies, C3-PO, AWESOME-O from South Park, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit (for $100,000) and Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater. Terminator would probably be the easiest. Leather jacket and sunglasses. Bam. Or go the harder route. Oh, an even easier one? Paint a big red circle on your forehead and say you’re Hal 9000 from 2001.

Pardon my ignorance — but I don’t know Big Dru Entertainment. But the company is celebrating its one-year anniversary tonight and tomorrow at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg with two nights of comedy first, then DJ dance parties after, both nights start at 8.

Some TV reviews. And so far, I’ve only been reviewing pilots because we can catch up with our returning favorites anytime. They’ll be around for a while. So we’re sticking with pilots for at least another week:

WHITNEY (9:30 p.m. Thursdays, NBC): One of these kids is doing her own thing, c’mon can you guess which one … That’s the song I hear playing in the back of my head when I watched Whitney. It doesn’t fit on NBC’s Thursday night comedy lineup. Its live-audience laughs, its played-out jokes, its LCD pandering with nothing but sex jokes, its star in a sexy nurse outfit … none of it seems to add up. When would we see Leslie Nope running around in an outfit bought from the Playtime Boutique? Or see Liz Lemon begging for sex? And Jim Halpert wouldn’t be caught dead filling out forms for said sex. Not because he wouldn’t be looking for sex, mind you. He’d just think it’s stupid, as would the entire writing staff on The Office. and that’s the side of the Whitney argument I fall on. It’s just stupid. The sad part is, it might not be that bad a show if Whitney Cummings wasn’t playing herself. TV history is full of stand-up comics who got their own show and succeeded as actors — Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, Gape Kaplan. You know, the greats. But poor Whitney Cummings — whose stand-up act I like a lot and love her on Comedy Central roasts and Stern appearances — she doesn’t look like she’s joining that list anytime soon. The show slowly plodded through 18 minutes, following Cummings’ lead, until finally hitting a decent, comedic pace of a dialogue exchange at a hospital. But that’s only because sitcom vet Jane Kaczmarek stepped in to pretty much pry the scene out of Cummings’ hands. Otherwise, the rest of the show fell somewhere between “unwatchable” and “quasi-entertaining if it’s 3 in the morning and every other channel is showing Hee Haw reruns.” Decent ratings though. Maybe Cummings just isn’t that good an actress … GRADE: D

there are worse ways to waste your time. try putting that on the poster!

there are worse ways to waste your time. try putting that on the poster!

2 BROKE GIRLS(8:30 p.m. Mondays, CBS): … or maybe she just picked the wrong show. Last fall, Cummings was a pretty hot commodity and was able to sell two scripts into development. Whitney at NBC, and 2 Broke Girls, at CBS. She was looking to star in both of them, but she could only do one. She choose Whitney, and CBS then got Kat Dennings, a somewhat seasoned, maturing comedic actress to take the lead in this one. And not a better choice could have been made. When you know the backstory, it’s extremely easy to see Cummings as the sassy waitress trying to make it in the big city, a modern-day Carla Tortelliwithout the kids. She gets cheated on, her apartment is a rathole, she has to work two jobs to make ends meet and is contemplating a third. Sound familiar? Instead of Nick, the boyfriend is a chiseled womanizer, but you can see him ending up with Casey Kasem’s wife too. There’s no new ground being broken here, this is the same show we’ve seen a thousand times before, a modern-day Odd Couple. But Dennings is just charming enough to pull off mean, a uneasy paradox of necessity in comedy. You can’t have a major bee-yatch in real life trying to pull off mean, it’s just to natural for them and they come off like nothing but a bee-yatch that you don’t want to succeed. But even though Dennings talks down to the entire cast and does everything but yell to the world, “I’m smarter than everyone!!!” you still feel bad for her when she gets cheated on or when either of her bosses treats her like a second-class citizen. So that’s a start. There were one or two good laughs in the pilot, but nothing more. Hopefully the laughs are coming. GRADE: C+

i can always use an excuse to get in a minka kelly pic

i can always use an excuse to get in a minka kelly pic

CHARLIE’S ANGELS (8 p.m. Thursdays, ABC): I feel bad reviewing this because I was only able to make it through about a half hour before I checked out like there were cockroaches in my hotel room. Big, new TV shows like Charlie’s Angels do everything in their power to make sure you know exactly what the show is about before you watch — but it’s still worth watching because the advertising may have missed a few nuances of interest. That is not the case with Charlie’s Angels. It is as advertised — hot chicks blowing s— up with no semblance of heart, emotion or story. At least that’s what I gleamed from the first half hour. I stayed around just long enough to see Minka Kelly show up, make me wonder why I like her so much because she’s such a bad actress, have a boat that she was on blown up, jump into the ocean with the two other angels, all of whom came out of said ocean with only their hair wet. You know, so you don’t think it’s fake or anything. That told me 100 percent of what I needed to know about the show, and enough to make me realize I need to watch no more. Something tells me I’ll check in around December, catch right up and not be able to make it past the half-hour mark again. GRADE: INCOMPLETE. But impossible to recommend. To anyone. For any reason.

it's a little difficult to take this pocture seriously. this looks like a nightmare scene on wilfred

it's a little difficult to take this pocture seriously. this looks like a nightmare scene on wilfred

THE PLAYBOY CLUB(10 p.m. Mondays, NBC): Sometimes, networks need to stay the hell away from the creative people behind TV shows. If they can’t, maybe they should be physically restrained, or distracted with shiny objects long enough to let showrunners get their versions of a TV show on the air. The Playboy Club isn’t a bad show— but it’s not good either. And the bad parts have network meddling written all over them. I imagine someone came to NBC with this idea for the show, and NBC was lukewarm. Then they thought, “Wait, this could be our Mad Men!” and they went to town doing everything they could to make this show feel like Mad Men. They found actors who look like the Mad Men cast, others who talk like the Mad Men cast, but they forgot the part where writers still need to write dialogue for the cast. NBC is trying to fool you into thinking this could possibly be half the show Mad Men is — but it’s not. And it never will be. That’s not necessarily a shot, because Mad Men may go down as one of the 10 best shows that’s ever been on TV. There is still signs of a potentially good show in the Playboy Club. Eddie Cibrian’s Don Draper impersonation is actually pretty good, and theater actress Laura Benati is pretty good in the Joanie role. Amber Heard not so much in the Peggy role, but unlike Elisabeth Moss, her heavy lifting is confined mostly to her cigarette cart and the wardrobe department. She doesn’t have to do much except shake her bunny tail — and she looks good doing that. There probably won’t be much of a chance to develop it though since the premiere tanked. GRADE: C.

This entry was posted in Movies, Pop Culture, The Local Scene, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.