Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Sitcoms

Though many new sitcoms are premiering this year, absolutely none have managed to stand out to me as (as the folks on HIMYM would say) "awesome" . To tell you the truth I haven't even seen most of them: only 2. Both are critical flops and both lack the creative energy one might expect with such comedic talent working on them.

The first is perhaps one of the worst sitcoms in a long time... 'Til Death. Though phenomenal as a supporting player in Everybody Loves Raymond, Brad Garrett simply cannot carry his own show. It's quite simply not funny.

The other, however, I don't mind at all. The Class is not considered to be terrible but it certainly hasn't been acclaimed. And yet, after just having watched the second episode, I find it mildly amusing. It's not lightning in a bottle, but it's good for a few chuckles and provides a nice break from serious shows about doctors and lawyers, kidnappings and criminals (yes its true I counted- I watch 10 shows that fall into these categories). The cast is great- pulling together Joan of Arcadia alum Jason Ritter, the anti-mean girl Lizzy Caplan, Joey's ex-neighbour Andrea Anders and a cast of suitably likable others. One of the executive producers is one of the great masterminds behind FRIENDS David Crane and the show is directed by Will & Grace's James Burrows. How this isn't lightning in a bottle I'll never know but it's worth a watch anyway.

More on the up and coming sitcoms of the year to come.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


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The past month has marked the beginning of a new year in television. Fox shows started over a month ago and we're still waiting on others. My PVR is overflowing already. Here are some of the highlights so far:

1) STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP- premiered last Monday at 10 on NBC. This show is everything I expected it to be. Anything that ends with a Queen song you know has to be good (the Will & Grace finale anyone?). I love Aaron Sorkin's work. He finds a way to still challenge his audiences when every other television writer is finding new ways to talk down to them. The actors who portrayed 2 of my all-time favourite TV characters, Chandler Bing (Friends) and Josh Lyman (The West Wing), Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford, are in good hands. Great cast, great writing, GREAT SHOW. I can't wait for more episodes.

2) How I Met Your Mother- the premiere of the second season was last Monday at 8:30 on CBS. I really love this show. It is one of the best sitcoms since that fateful year when we lost Friends, Frasier and Sex and the City all in one fell swoop. I genuinely feel for all the characters and it consistently makes me laugh out loud. I'm part of group on Facebook (the ultimate in procrastination aids) that is devoted solely to How I Met Your Mother and the girls in group have all come to a general consensus that every single one of us would marry Ted in a heartbeat (although I'm more of a Marshall fan). It's wonderful to see the talented Alyson Hannigan in the hands of intelligent writers again (who willingly goes from Joss Whedon to Adam Herz anyway?) and Neil Patrick Harris has finally been able to shake Doogie Howser and is without a doubt the highlight of most episodes of this show. How I Met Your Mother is definitely worthy of a long run and sincerely suggest you check it out.

AND, last but not least on my list of the top 3 premieres of the year is...

3) THE OFFICE- season 3 premiered last Thursday at 8:30 on NBC. Now I have to admit, I didn't get into this show until I started watching the reruns this summer. Yes I know, for a tv-aholic 2 full seasons is FAR too long to miss out on this good a show. I have to defend myself in saying that the prospect of an Americanized version of a British hit irked me. I thought it would be unoriginal and over the top. Its not. Its purely brilliant. Steve Carrell is indeed funny and yes he gets the credit for it (although the Emmys are kind of asleep). In my opinion the best parts of the show are the interactions between Jim and Dwight. Come on- in the season 3 premiere Dwight calls Jim on his office phone to ask him the specifics of how to order Gaydar over the Internet- That is funny. John Krasinski is amazing as Jim and I can't help but root for him and Pam, and how do you beat a bobblehead obsessed suck up (aka Dwight K Shrute)?