Fall 2016 Television Preview: Sunday

E: Welcome to the best night on TV, the night when cable pulls out all the stops.  Want prestige adaptations?  We’ve got ’em. Costume dramas?  You’re on.  Movie stars?  Check.

C: And I… don’t think I watch anything on Sundays. I’m the low-brow one on this gang, I guess.

M: Something tells me I’ll give you a run for your money there. In Thursday’s post we mentioned how that night has fallen off as the most competitive, best night on TV. Well, Sundays was always up there, now it’s the king of the hill (though, not Hank Hill). But it’s become a weird hill. NBC has football (which until about 5 years ago was on ESPN), CBS decided to go with a slate of similar-but-different, law enforcement-y procedurals, with acronym-happy NCIS:LA, Madam Secretary and Elementary. FOX, as it has for years, has gone all comedy on Sunday, and ABC is kind of schizophrenic, with the fantasty-ish Once Upon a Time, followed by the very heavy Secrets and Lies, and ends with the extremely soapy Quantico. What a weird night.

E: Two things you won’t get this fall? Game of Thrones (it’s such a long wait until April) and The Good Wife (sigh).

M: Poor E, her long-time favorite show has come to an end. Was it at least a satisfying end?

E: Confession time: I have still not actually watched the final two episodes.

M and C: WHAAAT!?  whaaatminion

E: I know.

C: Okay but seriously, that is shocking.

M: Like, “end of The Sixth Sense if you hadn’t heard there was a twist” shocking.

E: I know! I was really glad they were ending it (boy it got really dark and unsatisfying in later seasons, even though it still gave us the most brilliant, topical cases of the week and the most vivid characterizations on television), and I was glad it went out on the creators’ terms, but I don’t know.  It’s too emotionally fraught.  What if I don’t like it?  I heard mixed reviews, and I just could not — still cannot — bring myself to watch.

C: Well, I can’t say I don’t sympathize. I’ve given up on some of the shows I was the most emotionally invested in because I couldn’t handle the loss of the things I liked about it. But, you know, usually with a season or two left, not two episodes. Poor E 😦 Continue reading

Advertisements

Fall 2016 Television Preview: Friday

M: Ahhh, Friday: once a TV graveyard, now an odd mix of the “pity-move” where shows get sent before they get cancelled, and steady medium ratings earners. In other words, shows that aren’t going to get great ratings but, without costing too much, keep enough eyeballs (and advertisers) that the networks are willing to keep renewing them, yet aren’t willing to move them to more popular nights.

E: Friday Nights: lower your expectations.

C: I think Fridays have been like that for a while now, actually.

M: Yes, didn’t mean to imply that was brand new, just newer. There was also a trend (started by Grimm a few years back) of spooky shows on Fridays that seems to have come to an end, at least on the broadcast nets. However, this year there are some interesting new offerings.

C: I’d say it started with The X-Files… but maybe that wasn’t a trend so much as a lone beacon of Spooky in the night.

M: X-Files spent most of it’s life on Sundays, though.

C: Now a waning Vampire Diaries is trying to be that beacon…

E: Huh — I hadn’t noticed the lack of spooky programming, but you’re quite right.  Is that just happening now?

M: Seems to be.

E: Friday night’s the night I catch up on the TV I watch with my kids, so I’m never watching live, personally.

M: In past years we had combined Friday and Saturday.  However, in a development this year, it appears that the nets have given up on Saturdays completely, so we’re just mentioning one BBC America show…

E: And one cartoon, because my family is all about it!

M: …but that’s it for Saturday. So we’re not giving it a whole post, as we didn’t feel the need to tell you that most of the nets are showing news magazines and college football (including the very narcissistic-ally titled “FOX Sports Saturday: FOX College Football“).

C: LOL. What channel is that on, I wonder?

E: I haven’t a clue – but I can tell you that our other previews are here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Again, new shows are in blue, red asterisks (*) mean we’re watching. Continue reading

Fall 2016 Television Preview: Wednesday

C: Ah, Wednesday. The night I’ll probably spend watching new episodes of series that air Monday and Tuesday nights, online.

M: Wednesdays tend to be my busiest night of the week, so I’m not typically even watching the stuff from the prior two nights. That said, there are three or four shows that I’ll either be watching or checking out, none of which were on Wednesdays last year.

E: Here are the links to Monday and Tuesday. Per our usual formatting, blue mean’s it’s a new show, asterisks (*) mean one of us will be watching. Continue reading

Get Ready for the Dog Days: August 2016 Movie Preview

M: Um, yeah. Last month, for the first time in years, we missed a monthly movie preview. Our bad.

E: Which is a shame, because we’re left with the spottiest month of the summer to review.

C: But in happier news, I’m back! After knocking a few items off my to-do list (got a PhD, got married), I finally have time to devote to the really important things, like lamenting the absurdity of a Ben Hur remake with my siblings.

E: Or the poor quality of this year’s August releases.  But even that paucity is sweeter with you.

C: Aww. Anyway, it’s really just a normal August, with one potential blockbuster, one or two looks-good-but-could-wait-for-video quality films, and the rest pretty humdrum fare. By which I mean, a great time to see what’s still in the theaters from July. Like Ghostbusters, which is delightful!

Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance, The Next Generation: Audition #2, Chicago

E: On the “better late than never” front, hello!  I did not, in fact, give up on the show — I’ve simply been a bit nuts with visiting relatives staying after C’s wedding.  To recap from my initial review (recap!): the new SYT features some very impressive kid dancing.  I still wish they weren’t.  Every time they tell a contestant to try out next year, I cringe; if there is a next year at all, oh how I wish it would mean a return to the true format.  I’m watching this show, but I’d give a lot if it was in addition to my favorite summer treat and not a pale substitute for it.

At any rate, here’s the latest crop of contestants (almost all successful, because how do you crush a child’s dreams on national tv?): Continue reading

Flops and Zombies: February Movie Preview 2016

M: If you’ve read our movie previews over the months/years, or if you’ve paid any attention to the box office, you know that February is usually a graveyard. It’s that wonderful combination of crap movies that studios are hoping will be a modest success because of the lack of competition, and bigger projects that have become albatrosses that the studios are trying to unload at a time that won’t be too painful, or mess up the rest of their carefully planned schedule. We’re hopeful that a few of these (Hail Caesar!, Race, Risen and Deadpool, for example) are the former rather than the latter, but, well, let’s just say we’re not holding our breathe.

E: Also, apologies, with a dissertation and wedding coming up fast, C will again not be joining us this month.

M: More so, E’s on her way to Mexico, so much of it will be left to me, which is significantly less fun for you, the readers, so we apologize. We are offering full refunds for anyone who is dissatisfied.

E: Maybe I’m dissatisfied with you hogging all the credit!

M: I’m trying to hog all the blame, and you’re welcome! Anyway, on to the movies!

Continue reading

December 2015 Movie Preview: Star Wars… Nothing but Star Wars

M: Okay, if you don’t understand the title, you need to do one of two things. First, if you don’t understand it because you don’t know that the first new Star Wars movie in the post-George Lucas era, directed by J.J. Abrams, is coming out this month, then you need to climb out from whatever rock you’ve been under for the last year or two. Second, if it’s because you don’t get the reference, you need to watch this old Bill Murry SNL sketch.

C: I actually did not get that reference, and now feel shame.

E: The key point is, it’s all about Star Wars. And Oscar movies. Star Wars and awards bait.  You know what?  It’s a lot of movies, period.

M: Well, not the SNL sketch, our December movie post. The sketch is only about Star Wars. However, since as E said, we won’t actually be talking “nothing but Star Wars,” a quick note. There are about a billion movies of note being released the first weekend this month.

C: Actually, it’s 10.

M: …fine, 10. There are 10 movies of note being released the first weekend this month. Most of them, really all but the Christmas comedy-horror flick Krampus, are limited, small releases, but still, that’s a lot even for the small releases. The month evens out a bit after that, but ramps up again in time for the Christmas school break.

E: Well, those Oscar movies have to play somewhere in December or they don’t qualify!  Not that all of these are exactly Oscar-bait.

C: That is a crazy lot, anyway. So brace yourselves!

Continue reading