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

Fringe Episode 17: Bad Dreams

After an ill-timed hiatus and a so-so return episode last week, Fringe is back on the tracks with this week’s Bad Dreams.

No need for a full recap here, though if you’re looking for that I would recommend a trip to fringetelevision.com for everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about the show.  Plus cool posts like this clip of The Observer at a Yankees game.

Overall, I think this was a return to the kind of episode that got me hooked on Fringe to begin with.  We had a real life-and-death mystery that was directly related to Olivia, and while we got some answers by the end of the episode, we were ultimately left wanting to know more.  The same thing happened with Walter this week–We got to see Walter get way too excited about the prospect of seeing Pippin on Broadway, and we also learned that he was directly involved with the experiments that were done on Olivia (Olive) as a child.

I understand that FOX decided to bench their best new show for two months so they could give us two hours of American Idol on Tuesdays, but I think it was a mistake.  I mean, at what point do you start to reduce the amount of time devoted to your flagging juggernaut in favor of an up and coming show with more promise than anything you’ve premiered since House in 2004?  At this point, I hope FOX doesn’t make a big mistake and cancel the show.  We’ll find out for sure when they host their upfronts on May 18, and I’m optimistic considering the list of shows with worse ratings that have already been renewed at FOX (Hell’s Kitchen, Family Guy, The Simpsons) and other networks (Heroes, Private Practice, The Office).  

Either way, I’m not too worried. If the show is cancelled, I think J.J. Abrams will find another way to reveal the truth of The Pattern to the fans.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Science, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments