January is a big time of the year for TV buffs. New shows are finding out whether they're getting a second go-around, old shows are finding out that no one watches them anymore and networks are beginning to clear house to make room for mid-season premiers.
For every A+ hollywood effort there are 5 that make you wish you didn’t own a TV. Here is our wrap of of the 2012-2013 TV season thus far!
(Writers Note! The scale I rank the TV shows on is something I invented called “The Whitney Scale”. The scale goes 1-5, 1 being an OK show and 5 being a terrible show, like Whitney.)
People follow JJ Abrams like a religion. He could literally just sneeze on a Star Trek DVD and fans would pay hundreds just to touch it. Followers of the Book of Abrams were more than excited to see JJ’s latest project, Revolution. You see, with LOST ending a few years back and the Star Trek sequel still a ways away, JJ fanatics were foaming at the mouth for some of that sweet sweet Abrams video magic. Cut to 3 months later and we all kinda wish that JJ would have taken a nap instead of put that piece of poop on air. Revolution was cliche, had terrible actors and a plot that got boring 10 minutes into the first episode.
This show somehow survived the mid-season cut list but i wouldn’t get too comfy in the Revolution seat. That show better get HELLA better next season if it wants to go to season 3.
Reasons to watch Last Resort: Autumn Reeser
Reasons not to watch Last Resort: Everything Else
I will be honest, the pilot of Last Resort was not terrible. It had an interesting plot and seemed to hold my attention through all 42 minutes (specifically the last 20 minutes which were legit intense). The issue for Last Resort came in episodes 2-13 when the plot became repetitive and directionless. The show’s main plotline surrounded a submarine being forced to dock on an island in the pacific. This meant that if the submarine left the island there would be no more show yet there was no REAL reason for them to stay on the island so the show was kinda pointless.
The show was better than Revolution but still pretty darn unwatchable. Mercifully, ABC pulled the plug on Last Resort.
I don’t know who approved this train wreck of a show or why someone didn’t stop it being aired but somehow this made it into the TV lineup this year. The Neighbors is about a family that moves into a neighborhood that they soon discover is infested with aliens. Think of it as Mars Attacks meets the Stepford Wives (Not the good 1975 version, the crappy version from 2004 with Nicole Kidman).
Well, it is a good thing they gave The Neighbors the axe after se.... WAIT! THEY DIDN’T CANCEL IT YET?!? WHAT? Did ABC even watch the show? oh, they didn’t? Well, they should probably watch it.
666 Park Avenue
Not terrible but very forgettable. I like to think that 666 Park Avenue was like a poor man’s American Horror Story. 666 never pushed the limits and was as safe a ‘thriller’ as they come (I use the term “Thriller” VERY loosely here).
Mercifully, ABC opted to not order a second season of 666 Park Avenue and once again, Locke from Lost is forced to update his resume.
2 Broke Girls
WILL SOMEONE CANCEL THIS DAMN SHOW ALREADY! Who is watching this show and saying “Wow, this is comic gold! I am enjoying this! Who wants a hi-5!” ?!?! 2 Broke Girls prides itself on making jokes that are less witty remarks and more racist observations set to a laugh track. Also, and no surprise here, Whitney Cummings (From Whitney) is the Showrunner. I doubt that Whitney Cummings is actually trying to destroy all media BUT will someone get her away from TV before she accidentally breaks it.
The only reason it doesn’t get 5 Whitneys is because of Kat Dennings’ ta tas.
OK! I will give Animal Practice some props here. This show was not TERRIBLE. I watched a few episodes and it had its bright spots. I will even admit that there were times when I did have a good belly laugh in. Don’t believe me? The monkey TEBOWS in one episode. I don’t care what you say, that is comic gold! I should also point out that the show was casted really well (Justin Kirk, Bobby Lee and newcomer, Betsy Sodaro rounded out a quirky-but-still-very-silly cast. Also, baseball fans might find it interesting to note that Nick Swisher’s wife was the leading lady). The biggest issue with the show? The premise was WAYYYYY too hack-y. The fact that the show took place in an animal hospital gave it an built-in handicap that it never really got over.
The show was kinda funny and you could make the argument that it might have deserved a second chance at proving itself but alas, the gods of network TV are an unforgiving group.
The show hasn't even premiered released yet but NBC did put up the pilot episode on Hulu and I watched it (so now you don’t have to). Admittedly, 1600 Penn’s premise is pretty interesting. The show focuses on the ‘family’ aspect of being a President. Think of it as Modern Family meets The Obamas.
The show’s weaknesses come through with its casting. Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman and Martha Mclasaac (Becca from Superbad) are fine but WHOOAAAAA MOMMA does Josh Gad crap the bed in this one. Am I the only one that is starting to find Gad SUPER annoying? I don’t get the appeal or why he does it but Gad needs to stop acting like an ensemble member of the cast from The Ringer. 1600 Penn suffers immensely from Gad’s “wait. is the joke in this scene that he is mentally handicapped?” performance. Gad is basically a plus-sized wrench that is thrown into the engine of the show. Sadly, Penn doesn't recover.
Interesting premise but poorly executed. Also, I gave the show .5 more Whitney points because at no point during the pilot does President Bill Pullman yell “WE WON’T GO SILENTLY INTO THE NIGHT!” (Where my Independence Day fans at?!?!)
Yup. This got renewed for season 2.
Which is the most Whitneys that a show can get.
The New Normal
The New Normal was put on this list for 3 reasons.
1) It was not that funny. Plain and simple. There were some funny moments but nothing remarkably hilarious. As far as comedies go, TNN was the epitome of forgettable.
2) I am getting tired of kids on TV shows being unbelievably witty and smart.. I don’t know when the trend of having kids speak like a prepubescent Aaron Sorkin started but can we end it. I like my kids like I like my level of drunk, STUPID. TV kids need to start acting more Leave it to Beaver and less TED talk. TNN’s leading kid (Bebe Wood) is less an actual kid and more a caricature of what I imagine everyone Mark Zuckerberg was like as a kid.
3) It is SUPER preachy. Before I go forward I should say that I totally feel for the hardships that LGBT Americans go through. That being said, halfway through the second episode I wanted to grab Ryan Murphy (TNN’s Producer) by the shirt collar and yell “WE GET IT! IT IS NOT EASY TO BE GAY IN AMERICA!” It seemed like every episode there would be a ‘Cosby Talk’ moment and that talk was always about the struggles of being gay. That wouldn’t have annoyed me that much if it fit naturally into the show but each time it happened it felt less like a lesson and more like a shoe-horned plot point.
At the end of the day, The New Normal’s main shortcoming was that it felt SUPER forced without a comedic pillow to fall back on.
Everything on the CW
The CW has less hits than Madonna's last CD.
Quick poll, has anyone watched any of the following shows? 90210, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, Emily Owens MD, Hart of Dixie, Nikita, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and Prom Queen?
No? Yeah, me neither. Gossip Girl ended a few weeks ago so the question remains, who the hell is watching The CW nowadays?
Hey CW! You betta step up youse game!
Eitan Levine is a New York City based comic. Follow him on Twitter at @Eitanthegoalie .