Archive for November, 2011
Okay – now it all makes sense!
After a somewhat painful second ‘season’ (I know, we’re only halfway through), where at times it felt as though we the viewers were half dead ourselves, The Walking Dead roared back to life last night with one of the show’s best ever episodes – and an amazing finale scene.
You know the sequence in question – the final five minutes of the Fall season finale in which our team of survivors, led by the increasingly hardened Shane, released the Walkers in the barn and shot them dead in front of an aghast Hershel. But it was the final touching shot of long lost Sophia exiting the barn that carried the most power. Though we barely knew her as a character, it was shocking to watch Rick shoot the bewildered Sophia in the head, casting a whole new light on the Season 2 episodes so far.
LOVE AND HIP HOP: I’ve talked frequently here at Remote Patrolled about Vh1’s ratings woes – especially late last year when the network really was in the ratings toilet.
But credit where it’s due the former music network has certainly turned the corner in recent months. Mob Wives is a solid hit for the network and about to launch its first spin-off in the Spring. And then there’s Monday nights, which Vh1 has transformed into a solid ‘urban’ night – powered by standout Love And Hip Hop.
This week Hip Hop attracted 2.78 million viewers and a 1.6 18-49 share, the top rated reality show of the night, ahead of such series as American Chopper, Hoarders and Monster In Laws. Plus not far behind is fellow Vh1 reality show, Basketball Wives, which pulled in 2.26 million and a 1.3 youth share on the same night. I still don’t really know what the Vh1 brand stands for – but at least the network has some solid ratings to crow about…
Okay – here we go!
I don’t know how you guys spent your Thanksgiving – but as part of my day my partner and I went to see the new Muppets movie (even though I was battling a work-induced cold!) Now I have to say going in, The Muppets was one of my most eagerly anticipated movies of the year. Like a lot of people my age (I’m 37) I grew up on The Muppets TV show in the late 70’s / early 80’s – and can’t help but smile when I see the likes of Miss Piggy, Animal and my favorite, The Swedish Chef. Plus there was the near unanimous praise for the new Muppets movie – 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sounds like a sure bet, right?
Well sadly I’m with the 3% who didn’t give the new Muppets movie a rave review! For me it’s a big old disappointment…
Okay time for a bit of controversy here on the site!
As you’ve no doubt read over the last couple of days, cult comedy Arrested Development is about to get a second chance at success, courtesy of Netflix who’ve just agreed to finance an unspecified number of episodes of the show, leading up to a proposed feature film. Commentators all over the web are cock a hoop at the news. But am I the only person who thinks Arrested Development should have stayed canceled? (more…)
It’s time for another Hall Of Fame entry here at Remote Patrolled, a strand we haven’t run for a while given all the new Fall TV Shows!
This time around we’re talking The West Wing, the groundbreaking NBC drama that ran for 7 seasons from 1999 to 2006, back in the days when the Peacock network was still capable of producing great shows!
The West Wing is one of those series that’s remembered fondly by a generation of TV viewers for a whole host of reasons. Foremost among them though was that it was smart. And honestly, smart TV doesn’t come along all that often.
Just like ER before it, The West Wing established its own style of dialogue and pacing. Who can forget all those one-shot walk and talks around the White House, as characters discussed complex policy matters and foreign affairs? The West Wing was one of those shows where you really had to work to keep up with what was going on. Often I wouldn’t fully understand a storyline until halfway through an episode. Put it this way – we’re not exactly talking Keeping Up With The Kardashians here!
Winners and Losers From The Last 7 Days
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Another great week for FX’s American Horror Story, as the scariest show on TV continues to grow into a smash hit for the network.
This week’s episode, largely centering around Jessica Lange’s Constance and featuring a scene that doubtless made every guy watching wince – pulled in 3.06 million viewers and a 1.8 18-49 share, making it the most watched cable show on Wednesday night in both total viewers and demo share.
What’s more American Horror Story has been growing every week and has now almost reached its premiere levels (3.18 million). And with three episodes left in the current season there’s every chance Horror Story will set record ratings by the end of its run.
Great news for creator Ryan Murphy, especially as his OLD series, Glee, is struggling big time over on Fox. Despite plenty of press coverage and some heavily hyped episodes, Glee remains yesterday’s show – this week barely rising above the 7 million mark to 7.08 million viewers and beaten in total viewers by fellow Tuesday night shows Last Man Standing (9.06 million) and Body of Proof (9.76 million). Now that’s scary.More >
Okay – I have to hand it to the guys at TLC – they’re definitely on a roll at the moment!
While other networks continue to wallow in ‘over-produced’ reality and fakery, the TLC team are digging up some truly fascinating subcultures. Obviously there’s Toddlers and Tiaras and Extreme Couponing – and coming in December, here’s Geek Love – the show that shines a spotlight on the world of nerd loving!
At the moment Geek Love is just a 2 part teaser – but I have a feeling that just like Extreme Couponing this one’s going to capture the public imagination. I think it’s a fascinating world and let’s face it, geeks are hot at the moment (check out the ratings for The Big Bang Theory and to a lesser extent New Girl)
That said – I wish this teaser was a little more polished. The trailer seems to consist of a speed dating event and a range of sound bytes – feeling more like a network pitch tape than an actual show. I’m surprised TLC allowed such a raw cut to be shown.
I’d also argue that the guy at the 1.35 mark is actually fairly handsome and with a bit of styling and a few trips More >
Anyone been to the movies recently?
Yep, I figured as much! Me too. And judging by the recent string of box office misfires it seems we’re not the only ones. Since the summer season ended in August the last 3 months have turned into a pretty bleak patch for the movie industry with weekend after weekend of box office receipts underperforming year on year. And yet at the same time this Fall season has turned into a fruitful time for the TV business with several new hits and many refreshed old series. Hmm, anyone see a connection?
So here’s the deal. I used to go to the movies virtually every week, year in, year out. And yet over the last 3 months I’ve seen just three movies – Tower Heist, Paranormal Activity 3 and Drive (J. Edgar is next on my list) (more…)
We all know comedy is a mighty subjective beast – and perhaps the most divisive of all TV genres.
It’s amazing how passionate people get about their favorite – and least favorite – comedy shows, and why. And it’s a habit I’m as guilty of as anyone out else out there (one of the first pieces I posted here on Remote Patrolled dealt with this very topic).
Take Community for example. Critics and fans rave about the Joel McHale / Chevy Chase comedy – but I can’t bear it. Not only do I find Community unfunny – I also find it unbearably smug. Perhaps fuelled by its fanbase there’s an aura of arrogance to Community, a sense that we’re so clever that most of America just don’t understand or ‘get’ us (the ratings are in the toilet but of course that’s because the average American isn’t ‘smart’ enough to like the show) The snobbery extends to star McHale himself who parodies trash TV on The Soup and then goes and stars in a movie like Spy Kids 4. Sorry Joel you can’t have it both ways!
Winners and Losers From The Last 7 Days
HELL ON WHEELS: I’ll be honest – I didn’t see this one coming!
AMC has had an amazing track record in recent years, scoring big with Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing and, of course, The Walking Dead. But it seemed to me that new western series Hell On Wheels had zero buzz and was likely headed for the ‘one and done’ category also occupied by fellow AMC ‘failure’ Rubicon.
Yet Hell On Wheels turned out to be no slouch in the ratings department in its Sunday night debut – pulling in 4.36 million viewers and a 1.9 18-49 share – AMC’s biggest opener ever, outside of The Walking Dead.
To be fair, Hell did inherit a large audience from its Dead lead in (6.29 million and a 3.4 18-49 share) – and chances are the show will slip in future weeks. But even so – Hell On Wheels would have to lose a heck of a lot of viewers not to score a second season at this stage. AMC does it again.
NCIS: It’s time to give credit where its due – and this week that means singing the ratings praises of long running CBS procedural NCIS.More >