RIP: A to Z

A to Z - Season PilotI do love it when a headline has it’s own rhyme scheme. Much farther down on my list of loves, however, are Fall cancellations. That’s not to say that they aren’t a necessary part of the TV circle of life. When shows die, their carcasses are absorbed back into Mother Pop-Culture and are reborn, under the guise of a “new” show. And so it goes; Cheers begets Friends begets How I Met Your Mother begets Happy Endings begets… CSI: New Orleans? Who knows.

While I’ve been pretty satisfied by most of this year’s early cancellations (Bad Judge, Manhattan Love Story), one has lodged itself in my craw. I know that A to Z wasn’t the strongest contender this year. It’s ratings weren’t great and it was, truth told, just another serial rom-com to clutter the bottom of the DVR, but I liked it. Whereas the aforementioned Bad Judge and Manhattan Love Story were fundamentally flawed, I thought A to Z had a lot of potential. Or that it would, at least, outlive that laugh-tracked disaster Mulaney (sorry John). Because it was funny, and it was clever, and it was going somewhere, albeit a little slowly. Apparently that wasn’t enough for the ‘stach twisting, cigar puffing, show slaughtering fat cats over at NBC. So rest in peace, A to Z. We hardly knew thee… RHYME! Sorry, sad again. So, so sad. It really is too bad. More time is what I wish we had.

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Whitney

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About Last Night: Mulaney

mulaneyThere are events in life that will never live up to our expectations or hopes for them.  The premiere of Mulaney last night was just such an event for me.

I have listened/watched to John Mulaney’s stand-up an alarming number of times, to the point where some of his bits are deeply ingrained into my daily lexicon. (And seriously, if you have not watched his New in Town special on Netflix yet, you need to re-evaluate your life.)  I was trying to remain optimistic about the premiere of his new show, a multi-cam sitcom loosely based on his own life.  Also, it has a (shudder) laugh track.  But I love his stand-up!  I know he’s funny!  I crush on him!  What could go wrong?  As it turns out, a great deal.

mulaney-ep101_pilot-sce_00568_hires1It’s not that the show didn’t deliver some laughs, but all the laughs came from material with which I am very familiar.  It was beyond bizarre to see one of his best bits, a story about going to the doctor for Xanax with unforeseen consequences, being acted out.  The truth of the matter is that Mulaney may not be the best actor, bless him.  He was a bit too stiff and didn’t have that lovable dork swag that he has when he has the microphone stand in front of him.  But then, Jerry Seinfeld was never a great actor either and Mulaney is obviously trying to take a page (if not a whole chapter) from his book, almost to it’s detriment if you ask me.  The comparison may hurt in getting viewers as people will just write it off as a copy but then it may help retain viewers who remember that Seinfeld opened to not so great reviews.

On top of that, no one felt completely comfortable in their roles and the episode was grossly disjointed as they tried to fit include too many character introductions and too many of his popular bits that all had nothing to do with each other.

All that being said, I am a TV comedy pro and I know that every sitcom needs a solid six episodes to really get into it’s groove.  Also, early reports about the upcoming episodes are that the show gets better.  This show was stuck in development limbo for a while and any show is going to suffer from that, so once again, I am going to remain hopefully optimistic and just hope that my heart doesn’t get broken because it did crack a little last night.

(ASIDE: Mulaney fans, was that Ice-T doing the announcing at the beginning of the episode.  Please tell me that was Ice-T.)

-Ellen

Marry Boff Kill: New Fall 2014 TV Shows

You may not have noticed, but we love TV here at Fangirly.  Like, love love.  So much so that I attachments I form to my shows are lasting and real.  I thought I might try and predict which shows I want to spend my life with/have a one-night stand with/give the axe.

Marry:

gothamGotham – As Whitney so perfectly summed up yesterday, this show has some things working against, but from where I sit, it is one of the most promising of this new crop of shows.  I’m a little hesitant to tie myself to a show that is almost exclusively comprised of villains as that may get trying, but i have faith in the human decency of Baby Commissioner Gordon.

marry meMarry Me – Do you know what else I have faith in?  The creative team behind Happy Endings.  Comedies always take a bit longer to find their groove, so even if I am not sold on this one within the first few episodes, I am going to stick with it.  I initially gave up on Happy Endings after the first couple of episodes.  It makes me weep to think about how I was part of the problem.  I will not do the same thing to this show.  If only for the possibility that someday the whole cast of Happy Endings will guest star as Wilson’s old college friends or something.  Have I mentioned that I love Happy Endings?

the flashThe Flash – Those smarty-pants at DC Comics and The CW know how to guarantee an audience for a new show.  Just air a back door pilot during a show that already has a rabid fan base and then guarantee crossover episodes for years to come so that said fan base has no choice but to also watch the new show.  I also saw this pilot at Comic Con and it promises to be a fun, poppy, comic book romp.

Boff:

janethevirgin_pilot_1_1200_article_story_largeJane the Virigin – I am not just picking this because it is humorous to boff the “virgin show”. Back when the promo for this show came out, it would have gotten a kill, but early buzz is pretty good with great reviews for star Gina Rodriguez and it is not too hard to convince me to watch a sweet CW show.

Mulaney – Please be good, Mulaney, please be good.  There is a lot riding on this one for me.  If it is good, I will get a weekly dose of John Mulaney’s patented blend of dorky, pop culture infused stand up.  If it is bad, I will cry.  The multi-cam format with a laugh track has me worried but I am trying to be optimistic.

gracepointGracepoint – I haven’t yet gotten around to watching the UK source material, Broadchurch, but I feel like that may work in my favor for this US version.  Bonus boffability points for David Tennant with an American accent. I’m weirdly into it.

Kill:

selfieSelfie –  There is so much here that I want to like.  I mean, Karen Gillan in a My Fair Lady retelling?  What’s not to like? I don’t know but this looks kind of stupid.

Scorpion – CBS hammered the final nail in this show’s coffin when it obnoxiously self-promoted on my beloved Big Brother.  Stay out of my trashy television!

Cristela – This show seems to be cashing in on the ethnically-diverse-female-who-pokes-fun-at-her-weight card that Mindy is already working.

 

Ellen

 

Choice Picks: New Fall Shows You Should Get Excited About NOW

Sunday

Mulaney (Fox) 9:30

Wait, I’m confused. If the show is supposed to be named after him, then why isn’t it called Whitney’s Future Husband?

Monday

Gotham (Fox) 8:00

I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve been sexually attracted to The Penguin.

Tuesday

Selfie (ABC) 8:00

Amy Pond stars in a My Fair Lady retelling. I’ve told you all you need to know.

The Flash (CW) 8:00

You got to hand it to the CW, they know when they’ve found a winning formula: cute boy + comic book premise – waiting months and months for next installments.

Marry Me (NBC) 9:00

Full Disclosure- I have no idea what this show is about. They had me at Casey Wilson. And they really had me at Ken Marino. In summation, they really have me.

Forever (ABC) 10:00

Ioan Gruffudd stars as a medical examiner who enjoys a fulfilling career and a normal human lifespan. Oh, scratch that, he lives forever. I gotta learn how to pick up on context clues.

Thursday

Gracepoint (Fox) 9:00

From what I can tell, David Tennant stars in the US version of last years Broadchurch, which also starred David Tennant. Hey, reduce, reuse, recycle.

A to Z (NBC) 9:30

My only hope for this show is that Cristin Milioti doesn’t die at the end of the 9th season. Sorry, too soon?

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) 10:00

Ironically, Viola Davis probably could get away with murder.

-Whitney