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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.

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

The Daily Show: Blacks and Jews

Larry Wilmore is the most consistently hilarious part of The Daily Show’s current stable of mock-correspondents. TDS has never shied away from racial humor, and Wilmore gives us the perfect marriage of satire and honesty. This clip from last Thursday’s episode is exactly the kind of material that has caused such a large group of people under 35 to get most of their news from Jon Stewart and the gang.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, News, Television | , , , | Comments Off on The Daily Show: Blacks and Jews

Summer TV Preview Part 4: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Here is part 4 of my Summer TV Preview.  Most of this is focused on Thursday, and I also included Friday and Saturday as well since there isn’t much going on.

 

Thursday

 

NBC – I have zero interest in The Peacock’s sad attempt at reality tv, but I strongly recommend catching up on the repeats of The Office and 30 Rock if you didn’t catch them during the season. There is also one new show I’m going to check out–The Listener is about an EMT who can hear people’s thoughts. The show originally aired in Canada, and stars newcomer Craig Olejnik as main character Toby Logan. It reminds me of several other shows I have enjoyed in the last couple years, with one man using his unique knowledge to try to save people or prevent wrongdoing. Think Eli Stone or Journeyman.

 

Comedy CentralTosh.0 is a new show featuring comedian Daniel Tosh that takes the internet to task with segments on viral videos, tweeting, blogging, vlogging, poking, and everything else we spend so much time doing. Based on the clips, the show looks like what would happen if The Daily Show got The Soup pregnant. Tosh.0 premieres on June 4th at 10/9c.

 

Lifetime – You’ll have to wait until August 20th, but Project Runway has finally emerged from pissing contest between Bravo & Lifetime. This sixth season will air at 10/9c, and both Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn will be back. No one has to point out to me that I’m hooked on the new flagship show for the “#1 Network for Women”. I enjoy watching these eager young designers create each week, while simultaneously proving I know absolutely nothing about fashion.

 

Showtime – Penn & Teller are back with more Bullshit! on June 25th at 10/9c. As for this season’s topics, I’ve only seen the topic for the first episode–Orgasms. I think it’s safe to say P&T won’t have any trouble working some of their trademark gratuitous nudity into the premiere episode.

 

USA – I haven’t watched it, but I keep hearing about how good Burn Notice is. I don’t think I’ll take the time to catch up, but I am planning to check out the third season premiere on June 4th at 9/8c. On new series front, Royal Pains stars Mark Feuerstein (The West Wing, What Women Want) as shunned New York doctor Hank Lawson and Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip) as his younger brother Evan who convinces him to take a weekend in The Hamptons after Hank gets fired. I find Costanzo hilarious, so I’m looking forward to this one.

 

Fridays

 

SyFyEureka returns for a third season on July 10th at 9/8c. I’ve never watched the show, but I know my fellow geeks enjoy it.

 

USA – Your Tony Shaloub and Dule Hill withdrawal will be gone on August 8th as new seasons of the popular Monk and Psych premiere at 9/8c and 10/9c respectively. Cherish the 16 episodes of Monk, because they are the last ones you’re going to get.

 

Saturday

 

ABC – The alphabet network runs out the clock on Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money in the 10/9c timeslot starting May 30th. Don’t look for any of these shows to be tied up with a pretty bow though since these episodes were all in the can before the shows were cancelled. Good news for Daisies fans though, as an upcoming comic book mini-series will give us some closure.

 

Look for the final part of my summer preview to be posted later today.

May 31, 2009 Posted by | Cancelled, Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Season Finale, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer TV Preview Part 4: Thursday, Friday, Saturday