Getting Ahead of the Fall TV Season

Just a reminder, I’ll be moderating a Q&A with actor Paul Dano over at the Pocono Community Theater on Friday night after a screening of his new movie Ruby Sparks. The movie starts at 7:30, the Q&A should start around 9 or 9:15, I believe. The last one actually went pretty well, hopefully no one throws anything at me this time for asking a stupid question. No, that didn’t happen last time. I just figure it could at some point.

Links and TV reviews:

maybe if they bring back napoleon too.

Still not sure why they’re doing a third Bill and Ted. I think we officially have to agree on rules on whether a movie or franchise should be revisited or not if it hasn’t been touched in 15 years. Rule #1: There has to be a clamor for it. Who’s out there shouting from the rooftops that we need, not want, a new Bill and Ted? Anyone? Anyone know? Something economics … voodoo economics. No one is out there. There are people, a small amount of people, saying, “Hey, that might be neat,” but after how effed up the second one was in the first place, why would we want a third 25 years later? You know what I’d watch? A 15-minute film short of all the different places Alex Winter called Keanu Reeves where Keanu just saw it was him, then hit the ignore button since like 1997. Just a 15-montage of the 259 times Winter went straight to voice mail, and seeing all 259 different looks of insanity on Keanu’s face. Now that would be funny. It can end with Keanu finally taking the call in 2011 when he hasn’t had steady work in three years. Who knows, maybe they can come up with something this good:

Here’s a handy-dandy list of premiere dates for every TV show from now until Thanksgiving. And I’m already depressed because there’s too much to watch. In any given week, I have about 15 hours I can dedicate to TV. Yet I count 36 shows I at least want to keep tabs on. 36! And that’s not even counting the next couple weeks of Breaking Bad, and American Horror Story, which doesn’t have a premiere date yet. That’s … that’s too many. Something will get cut I’m sure, like when I meant to keep up with Up All Night last year and lost interest after about two weeks. I’m already re-thinking my decisions to watch Go On and the new ABC comedy Neighbors anyway, so things will keep getting cut as the season rolls on, I’m sure.

Speaking of the new TV season, we can get out in front of it now since we had those two early NBC premieres during the Olympics:

could he BE any more sad?

GO ON (premieres 9 p.m. Sept. 11, NBC): There was a time in the 80s when Al Pacino got hired to be Al Pacino. By around 1989, he had become a complete caricature of himself, and no one was reigning him in. He would just go through movies flailing his arms, screaming at different volume levels (a Pacino trademark) and generally acting crazy. I call these “The Sea of Love Years” that included Sea of Love, Dick Tracy and even Godfather III. I swear, if they could have gotten someone else to play Michael Corleone, they would have. But people were still fooled into thinking he was doing a good acting job, because he was screaming and crying a whole bunch. Even Scent of a Woman, his Oscar-winning role. He was playing Al Pacino, only with less eyesight. This is where we are with Matthew Perry. He no longer is going to get hired for TV shows because he’s a good actor — which he is. He’s getting hired to do Matthew Perry things. Or worse, he’s getting hired to do Chandler things. Each of the shows he’s done since Friends — Studio 60, Mr. Sunshine, and now Go On — has depended on the wit and overal ability of Perry for the show to be a success. I’ve liked each show less and less, and it’s probably because Perry is being less reigned in from doing Matthew Perry things. You can almost see him on the set during filming of the pilot telling the director whose just trying to get a third kid through Stanford, “You tell the studio they didn’t hire me because I’m effing reserved!” And at that point, he throws another orange at Terrell Owens. And they were even done filming that ultimate Matthew-Perry-being-Matthew-Perry scene, he just did it for the heck of it. But there is still that glimmer of where Matthew Perry can be a good actor and carry a show — the fake reason-for-wife’s-death scene, “I Keyser Soze-d you.” — but it’s overshadowed by the excess of his “Whose problem are worse scene” when it looked more like he was having a seizure than anything else. Not much else so far in the supporting cast either, so I’m already not holding out much hope. Sigh. GRADE: C-.

and yeah, i thought the monkey was a little cute

ANIMAL PRACTICE (premieres at 8 p.m. Sept. 26, NBC): I don’t own pets. My parents got a dog the year before I went away to college so my three younger brothers got him more than I did. I haven’t had a pet since and I don’t want one. So I’ve never really gotten the whole “Awwww, animals are sooooooo cute!!!” thing. I don’t hold it against anyone who does. But when I see a show that I think is going to play on the cute-animal theory for cheap laughs — a la Married with Children with making Bud to stupid things — I get annoyed. Quickly. But when animals are going to be used as a metaphor for how much people suck and how dumb they are? Sign me up! And that’s what Animal Practice is. Justin Kirk’s Dr. George Coleman is pretty pathetic when it comes to human relationships, but he works just fine dealing with animals as he runs a New York City animal hospital. Until his ex (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who has a major Amy Adams thing going on) shows up with legal proof that she owns said animal hospital. Now they have to work together, oh no! Of course George quits, comes back, and makes with the nicey-nicey talk with the ex. The difference here is that the supporting cast is funny and well-written. I’d watch Tyler Labine go ice fishing for an hour, and whoever Betsy Sodaro is, if this show takes off, she has a chance to be the Jane Lynch-Sue Sylvester breakout star of the year. She only had like six lines, and I think I laughed at three of them and enjoyed them all. I’m already begrudging the show for going down the obvious girl and guy get back together road, because it’s coming. Oh yes, it’s coming. But I’ll hang out and enjoy the ride for a while. And now people are mad at the show, so it’s not off to a great start. GRADE: B-.

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