Archive for August, 2012
The new Fall TV season is just around the corner and once again the summer doldrums will be replaced by overflowing DVR’s as a batch of new and returning series compete for viewers’ attention.
I’ve already outlined by 10 Fall favorites here on the site, but there were a few key shows missing from my list. Yep, I totally forgot to include Homeland in my Top 10 – and it definitely deserved a place! But I also left second season comedy New Girl off my list, even though I was an early fan of the Fox show in 2011. My reasoning? New Girl experienced one of the worst mid-season quality dips in recent memory. But is the Zooey Deschanel show deserving of a second chance?
First let’s recap. When New Girl launched in the Fall of 2011 it was different and fresh. Deschanel’s Jess was quirky and girly, but she was also endearing and likable. I especially liked the way the show’s male cast were protective of her like a little sister. Then there was Schmidt, the show’s standout character whose neuroses and tics were brilliantly played by Max Greenfield, the series’ breakout star.
Back to another familiar topic here at Remote Patrolled – the soap opera that is the American Idol judging panel!
Last month I wrote about the departure of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez after just two seasons on the show, a fact that has to give some comfort to the jettisoned-too-soon Kara DioGaurdi.
Now we know that Mariah Carey is on board as a season 12 judge, and it looks likely that she’ll be joined by pint sized rapper Nicki Minaj. But are Mariah and Minaj enough to save the slipping show?
Okay let’s first start with Mariah. Most people in the entertainment industry know that Carey has been circling an Idol style show for some time now, having almost signed on to season 1 of the US X Factor. She’s a big name and brings huge credibility as probably one of the finest voices of her generation (along with Whitney, Christina and Celine). Plus this is a good fit for Mariah who now has children and could do with the exposure following a slip in sales.
Mariah may also remind viewers of Paula Abdul, given her penchant for wackiness and self-absorption. The difference – Abdul was likable. Carey is not. And she has a truly More >
It’s True Blood time again here at Remote Patrolled as the supernatural HBO series reaches the end of its fifth season. So did True Blood deliver for you this year – or is the summer staple gradually losing its bite?
I’m definitely a True Blood fan and have watched every episode of the show to date. But I’ll also admit that the show has proven frustrating at times with consistent failings that seems to crop up every season: too many characters; storylines that don’t connect; a tendency to slide into silliness at times; and key characters who simply aren’t interesting enough to warrant their protracted screen time (yep Andy and Terry – that would be you!)
So how has Season 5 stacked up?
Well to be honest many of the traditional True Blood problems are still in place. The first half of season five was definitely fragmented with numerous totally separate storylines developing at the same time. We had Bill and Eric mixed up with the Vampire Authority; the return of Russell Edgington and Reverend Steve Newlin; Tara’s vampire conversion courtesy of her ‘Maker’ Pam; Sookie trying to find out who murdered her parents, Alcide fighting to be top dog in his werewolf pack; Sam More >
Time to return to one of my key themes at Remote Patrolled – the difference between the big and small screens and the ridiculous snobbery that still exists when it comes to movies and TV!
A couple of years ago, just after I launched this site in fact, I write a post called Second Acts, advising five Hollywood stars to take on a TV role to boost their careers – and give themselves some much needed meaty material to work with.
The five I mentioned were Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan and Jennifer Lopez. And yet only one of the five took my advice… and look at their careers now! Meg Ryan has barely acted in the last two years, while J. Lo has scored a couple of huge hits, successfully re-launched her brand and is now fielding multiple move offers. Idol worked out well didn’t it?
And it’s not just Jennifer Lopez. Who would have thought that Jessica Lange would enjoy a career resurgence at the age of 60! Or that Jeff Daniels would suddenly become relevant again? Or that Claire Danes would score the role of a lifetime on Showtime?
So in the spirit of goodwill – here’s five MORE More >
There’s a running gag on Episodes, the terrific Showtime comedy series, which speaks to the creative bankruptcy at the heart of Hollywood.
In Episodes Matt Le Blanc’s fictitious show, Pucks, is regularly thrashed in the ratings by a talking dog show that the Pucks producers look down on with disdain. The joke is essentially – how could a show with a talking dog actually get green-lit by a studio – and how the heck did it become a hit?
Well sometimes really, really dumb ideas do actually make it to series – but thankfully they rarely become smash hits. Because the fact is as much as we all may joke that the American viewing public has some pretty bad taste at times – audiences can smell a turd – and a stupid idea – from a mile off.
Which brings me to The Neighbors, the upcoming Fall season’s most ridiculous and wrongheaded sitcom concept.
Time for another Before They Were Big here at Remote Patrolled - and this time we’re taking a look at Jeremy Renner, one of the stars of summer 2012 with The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy hitting movie theaters.
For most people Renner broke out in 2008 with his Oscar nominated turn in The Hurt Locker (sorry, I still think the movie is over-rated!). But like many ‘overnight successes’ the actor had been ploughing away for years and had a string of credits under his belt including a critically acclaimed turn as Jeremy Dahmer and roles in North Country and 28 Weeks Later.
Plus like many actors of his generation Renner was a frequent guest star on network TV shows, appearing in The Net, Angel and in 2001, an episode of CSI.
Speaking of which, here’s Jeremy in action, aged 31, in an episode entitled Alter Boys… hmm, reminds me of a younger Breckin Meyer (the stoner from Clueless now starring in TNT’s Franklin And Bash) – anyone else get the same vibe?
So are you excited for the third season premiere of Face Off, launching August 21st on Syfy?
Hold up – what’s that? Um, didn’t Face Off just finish it’s second season barely a few months back?
Yep, that’s right – a quick Wikipedia check does indeed reveal that Face Off season 2 crowned its last winner on March 14th this year, so just over 5 months ago. That’s less than half the 10-month break that separated seasons 1 and 2. So is Face Off coming back too quickly? And do these type of quick turnarounds – so common in the reality TV genre – hurt ratings?
First up let me say once again that I’m a huge fan of Face Off, so I’ll definitely be there for season 3 – no matter when it airs. Plus if you were Syfy wouldn’t you want your biggest show back on air as quickly as possible? Face Off ended it’s 2nd season with 2.4 million viewers, Syfy’s biggest unscripted rating to date. Why not milk that cow for all its worth!
When Does It Start: Monday 13th August at 8pm EST on NBC
In A Nutshell: It’s Survivor meets The Army.
What’s It About: 8 ‘celebrities’ get ready to join the army in a gratuitous display of flag waving patriotism – and in an effort to stay on the tabloid radar.
There’s ex Superman Dean Cain, boy-bander and TV host Nick Lachey, boxer Laila Ali, Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince, WWE diva Eve Torres, skier Perabo Street and actor Terry Crews. And let’s not forget Todd Palin, the latest Palin family member to pimp themselves out to a reality TV show.
The 8 celebs will each be paired with a special forces or law enforcement professional, before being sent on an actual military training exercise. At stake – prize money for each ‘stars’ chosen charity.
Hosting the show are ex-Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark and ex-Dancing With The Stars co-host Samantha Harris. Let’s hope the latter can actually string a sentence together this time around…