kingoftv.net

thoughts on pop culture

Community Episode 1: Pilot

Despite my aggravation with The Peacock, I’m happy to report that at least one of their new shows left me wanting more. The pilot episode of Community has shown us that fast-paced, smart comedy did not end when Arrested Development was cancelled. Keep in mind, the similarity between the two is no accident, considering Anthony and Joe Russo have been at the helm for both.

Joel McHale turns in a good performance as smarmy lawyer Jeff Winger, and The Daily Show’s John Oliver is a lot of fun as Jeff’s former client and college faculty member Duncan. The cast is rounded out with Chevy Chase (who is great, but I’m not sure will be content to be a bit player) and a host of fresh faces. One of those faces belongs to Danny Pudi, whose short list of credits includes appearances on ER, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Greek, and the recent direct-to-dvd sequel, Road Trip: Beer Pong. Pudi stole the spotlight in this pilot episode, and in the process gave us one hell of a Judd Nelson impression.

The next few weeks will paint the full picture, but at this point the ratings outlook is good, especially considering McHale & company held over 90% of the 18-49 demographic from their lead-in, The Office. As long as creator Dan Harmon and his writing staff can figure out how to let each member of this ensemble shine, I think Community has an excellent shot at filling the fourth spot in NBC’s Thursday comedy lineup.

The Onion A.V. Club has a great interview with McHale here.

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Comedy, dvd, Home Video, Movies, New Series, Premiere, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBC Hates the Internet

Old Media doesn’t understand New Media. This trite statement has been floating around the web ever since it stopped being used exclusively in university laboratories and went mainstream. I’ve been along for the ride the entire time, although from my first session on Prodigy until now, I’ve never had an Old Media encounter of my own to talk about. Now I do.

I started kingoftv.net one year ago so I could exercise a few creative muscles and put all my hours in front of the television to better use. Somewhere along the way, I decided to treat this more like a job than a hobby, and I believe that has directly resulted in the steady traffic increase I have seen since the beginning of 2009.

As part of my effort to be more professional with the site, I have endeavored to seek out many resources to both verify the facts I post, and ensure that I’m using authorized media in conjunction with my content. That means going directly to the networks in many cases to get images that are approved for use by the media. Each network has their own method for sharing their media, but it generally involves some kind of sign-up process where I share information about this site and myself. I haven’t signed up everywhere yet, but I can tell you that FOX and ABC make it pretty easy to get in. At first glance, I thought NBC Universal would be very similar, especially since their process was almost identical to the others.

The difference came yesterday when I received the following message.

“We were unable to process your application for NBC Universal Media Village.

The site is restricted to domestic credentialed media and for use in conjunction
with NBC programming only.  Denial of your account is based on the foregoing
criteria.

If you believe your account has been denied in error or if you have any
questions, please contact NBCUMVSupport@nbcuni.com <mailto:NBCUMVSupport@nbcuni.com>.”

The one positive thing I can say is that this response did arrive within the promised 24 hour time frame. Otherwise, this form response shows me exactly why NBC has found itself playing catch-up. It’s time for NBC Universal to wake up and smell the bits and bytes that are driving the conversation. We live in the age of Facebook and Twitter, where viewers no longer wait for print media to tell them what to watch. A quick search for #community on Twitter shows just how many people have already shared their thoughts about a show that just premiered two days ago. Admittedly, I am much more like a columnist than a reporter, but sharing my opinion doesn’t mean what I do here isn’t journalism.

I believe embracing the kind of attention the web brings and helping it flourish would be a winning strategy, but NBCU doesn’t seem interested. Or more likely, they just don’t get it. That’s the kind of mindset that will lead them to a third straight year at the bottom of the ratings.

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Internet, kingoftv, Premiere, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thursday Premieregasm Tonight!

Just a quick reminder of tonight’s big premieres:

Survivor: Samoa
Fringe
SNL Weekend Update Thursday
Community
Parks and Recreation
The Office
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I’ll be recording them all, but I’ll probably only watch Fringe, The Office, Sunny, and Survivor tonight. The rest (plus a new Project Runway) will have to wait for this weekend.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Thursday Premieregasm Tonight!

2009 Fall Preview – Mondays

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Monday

ABCCastle is the only show on my grid from the alphabet network on Monday nights. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have dynamite chemistry and it makes for a great hour of television. In a world of stale procedurals, pairing a Patterson-esque author with a high-powered detective was an inspired choice. The show is far better than the now-cancelled direct adaptation from 2007-08, Women’s Murder Club. I realize some might note the similarity in formula with The Mentalist (Detectives + Quirky Outsider = Mystery Solving Goodness), but I have room for both shows on my DVR. Castle returns for a second season on September 21st.

CBS – Over the last few years, CBS has built a seriously hilarious two-hour block of comedy on Monday night. How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men all return for more laughs, with freshman Accidentally On Purpose filling in the extra slot. The new entry stars Jenna Elfman, Grant Show, and several fresh faces, with a plot that sounds like a kind of tamed version of Knocked Up. I’m going to give the show a chance, but it will be on a short leash. My main concern is that it appears to be shot in a very traditional way, which means it could be too much like an old-school sitcom for my taste. We’ll see how Accidentally stacks up with the Monday night all-stars when the CBS comedy block premieres on September 21st.

ESPN – Just like Sundays, I always leave room on my grid for Monday Night Football. I’m not a fan of the way they add 30-45 minutes of bullshit to a game to milk the advertising dollars, but I can’t argue with some of the great matchups that are scheduled this season. September 28th we get to see Carolina at Dallas, marking the Monday night debut of the new Texas Stadium (and it’s low-hanging scoreboard). October 5th gives us Brett Favre’s first team visiting his current team, and for me there is the November 16th game with Baltimore at Cleveland. Here’s hoping my Browns don’t get humiliated again like they have in their last few MNF appearances. Check out the full season schedule for all of the matchups.

FOXHouse returns on September 21st with a two-hour season premiere that takes us inside the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital where Wilson dropped the good doctor off at the end of the season finale. If you can’t wait until then, there’s a great behind the scenes video available here that will take you inside the process of building the Mayfield set. In the post-House timeslot, we get a second season of Lie to Me starting September 28th. As of right now, I’ve only watched one episode of the first season, but that’s enough for me to know I’ll be watching season two as well. I didn’t watch the episodes the first time around in the spring because I thought the show sounded like a ripoff of The Mentalist, but Tim Roth and company take this one in a totally different direction.

NBC – Peter Berg has proven he knows how to make great television with Friday Night Lights, so I’m willing to come along for the ride when his new show Trauma premieres on September 28th. Trauma takes place in San Francisco and is being billed as taking place “exclusively in the field, where the real action is.” I just hope this isn’t an attempt at a Rescue Me clone, because I think we all know that won’t work on network television. Also on Mondays, we have an entry in the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ category. Heroes is back for a fourth season, but I would very seriously discourage anyone from watching it at this point. Seasons two and three were both disappointing, and I have no legitimate reason to think season four will be any different. The only reason I’m still going to watch is because I want networks to continue to make shows that are different, and admittedly, I want to see what kind of goofy shit they’re going to try to salvage the show this year. I recommend finding something else to watch when Heroes premieres on September 21st.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Football, New Series, Premiere, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Mondays

2009 Fall Preview – Sundays

Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaelenh/

Zach Galifianakis will appear in HBO's Bored to Death, premiering September 20th. Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaelenh/

Attention Fellow recliner jockeys: Put a fresh set of batteries in your remote and break open that new pack of adult diapers, because the fall premiere season is upon us!

Sunday

ABC – Nothing new on Sunday nights from ABC, but I’ll be tuning in for new seasons of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters starting September 27th. At this point, I actually wouldn’t recommend any new viewers tune into Brothers & Sisters. The show has already aired its best episodes, but at this point I’m hooked until it’s done for good. Desperate Housewives on the other hand, had an awesome season last year that refreshed the series and returned it to the kind of well-thought-out storytelling we enjoyed during the first two seasons. Admittedly, Neal McDonough was a big reason why I enjoyed last year so much, so I’m disappointed he won’t be back on Wisteria Lane this season. However, I have heard that Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos, Joey) will be joining the cast in a role designed to fill the Edie void, which should make for some interesting developments.

AMC – As I write this post, I’m finishing final episodes of the second season of Mad Men, so I realize I’m behind, but it only took a few episodes of the first season for me to realize this is a great show. I know this isn’t news to most people, but if you haven’t seen the first two seasons yet, now is the time to get on board this outstanding dramatic freight train before it arrives at the Emmys to load up on trophies. Season three premiered on August 16th, but since AMC is like most cable channels, you can catch repeats with ease.

CBS – We’ll get a fresh season of the best reality show on tv when The Amazing Race premieres its 15th season on September 27th. The big news this time is that they will finally be in HD! My big screen has been ready to show these breathtaking destinations in high def for years. On October 4th, the eye brings us a new drama series, Three Rivers, featuring Alex O’Loughlin (the short-lived Moonlight), as the head of a transplant team making miracles happen in Pittsburgh of all places. I’m always interested in new medical dramas, so I look forward to seeing what they do with this. On the surface, I would think there’s only so much you can do with transplants, but I’m prepared to be wrong. Also, kudos to the creators for setting the show somewhere other than New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

FOX – Animation Explosion (or whatever they call it) continues this year, with The Simpsons and Family Guy returning to their regular slots. I don’t watch American Dad, but it’s back as well if you’re interested. On a new note, our favorite African-American from Quahog is getting his own show–that’s right The Cleveland Show will be taking the slot between the two animation powerhouses. I find Cleveland’s voice alone to be hilarious, so my hopes for this one are pretty high. The whole lineup premieres on September 27th.

HBOBored to Death premieres on September 20th. All I needed to see to put this one on my list was one name–Zach Galifianakis.  That’s right, the man who stole this year’s biggest surprise hit movie, The Hangover, will be co-starring on this new series. Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) handles the lead role. There are only eight episodes, but I’m willing to bet they will leave us wanting more.

NBC – Sunday Night Football takes up all of primetime as NBC strives to fill its 2009 schedule with anything other than new scripted programming. I may not talk about sports much, but well-produced sports are some of the best reasons to invest in HD that I have seen. I won’t watch every week, but you’re guaranteed to see some great match-ups on Sunday nights as we get closer to the end of the season.

SHOWTIME – Dexter returns on September 27th, and I can’t wait. I’ve been excited about this one ever since I wrote about John Lithgow joining the cast when the story broke back in May. Can Dexter be a dad and go up against a new serial killer nemesis at the same time? Another great plus is that Keith Carradine will be returning as FBI agent Frank Lundy, last seen during the show’s second season.

August 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Football, Game Shows, kingoftv, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Sundays